An open letter to my colleagues in the sex industry
There is no denying what we do is not only valuable but also legitimate work. Without the sex industry, many men (and women) would never hear a kind word from anyone or get to FEEL sexy. It’s the world’s “oldest profession” and it’s not going anywhere. It’s hard, dangerous work for many dancers and escorts. Cam modeling is a hard hustle as well. You have to bring something unique to the table and be creative if you want to stand out in the over saturated market. Pornstars, studios and independent models have their work pirated and plagiarized and there is little or no recourse.
When we made our brand a real LLC, we were denied checking accounts by all of the major banks. I don’t know any minority groups that suffer that kind of open discrimination. If you’re a sex worker, the vanilla world thinks its ok to treat you as the lowest form of life on earth. This is NOT ok. We were two very “normal” people that stumbled into sex work and we were personally shocked to see how some, who claim to be nice normal people, will talk to or treat a sex worker. Sex workers have families, bills, kids, and all the same struggles as any other working class individual and should be treated and respected as such.
The argument to normalize and legitimize sex work is an easy one. By empowering sex workers, you put the power in their hands as opposed to those who would take advantage of them. You can tax and manage the public health risk and treat it like we do with any other “sin” such as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana etc. That’s a very easy argument to make and we all know MOST people watch porn or have watched porn so for the most part anyone arguing against these basic rights is more than likely, a hypocrite. I’m even willing to bet the saintly Ben Shapiro has even watched porn once or twice in his formative years (and he turned out fine btw).
I URGE my fellow sex workers to not fall into the trap of victimhood. We are NOT victims. Our career choice is a CHOICE. It might be your only option, so it might not feel like a choice to you at the moment, but attempting to take a moral high ground with sex work as the foundation is a complete waste of time. If you pitch it as “legitimacy = safety” that’s a much more solid argument that basically no one can argue with.
I’m noticing a trend among sex workers to “piggy back” on the LGBT movement, #metoo, etc etc. This tactic will not serve us. We need to focus on facts and statistics if we want to be taken seriously and actually make progress gaining legitimacy.
If we in the sex industry know that 1.) What we do IS legitimate work 2.) Would be safer for EVERYONE if legitimized, then there is NO need to use intellectually dishonest movements or tactics to achieve what we need to make this a viable sustainable career. We need to be honest with the people we hope to persuade, but more importantly with ourselves.
The honest truth about the sex industry is that it can be a vice, it can be dangerous, it can be addictive, it can go “too far”. We need to have some very serious discussions about what porn is not acceptable. (child porn, animal porn, etc). There are a lot of sex acts I see in porn I personally find disgusting. Certain things I find disgusting aren’t “unacceptable” and other things are. So where is the line? We need to have this discussion. It will be much easier to legitimize a cam model having consensual sex on camera versus horrific graphic porn, which does exist. It will be easier to legitimize a prostitute using safe sex practices than someone who is drug addicted, careless and a public health risk.
Just like drugs, there are good drugs and bad drugs. There is abusing drugs, or using drugs in a responsible way. We will NEVER convince society at large to be accepting of all the niches of porn that are available and out there. We need to reach a consensus on what is “acceptable” and what isn’t. I think the first consideration needs to be “is the person engaging in the sex work doing it voluntarily and consensually?”. Who owns the rights to the revenue or content? These are important questions. And we cannot begin to raise these important questions until we look at ourselves and decide what kind of industry we want to be.
My wife and I make love on camera and let people watch. We’re not sticking parking cones up her butt hole. But who’s to say that’s bad? Drawing the line of what is acceptable and not acceptable is a very hard conversation and will require us coming together and electing representatives to make those decisions for us in a democratic fashion. I don’t claim to be the right person to make those decisions or the voice of our industry, but neither should you. This is the fundamental flaw in many of the movements we see today – people who were not elected claiming to be the voice of an entire group. That’s not how democracy works.
I want sex workers to be safe and operate their business and their body with individual liberty and safety, just like you. But if we are dishonest in ANY WAY, it won’t happen. I implore all of you to not get sucked into the game of “victimization” because that is a game we will not win. We do not have the moral high ground like the civil rights movement to make that argument.
However, if we can convince the world that what we do is ACTUAL work, we are normal people that deserve to be treated with a certain level of dignity, and that legitimacy will help society at large, people will be happy to get on board even if they don’t necessarily agree with our career choice. Don’t be another #victim. If we TRULY believe in our hearts our industry is real and here to stay, there is no reason to use intellectually dishonest tactics to achieve our # 1 goal – Legitimacy.