Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Is being a sex worker as bad as being a drug dealer?

In some cultures in the 16th-17th century, prostitutes were the sole women allowed to sing in public or act in theatrical performances.

I had a conversation with a young man on MSN today. He had added me as a friend and as my MSN is under my work name, you would assume people would know I am a sex worker. Why else would they add me to their friends list? Do they think an escorts website is like a dating agency, take down my email address and try and score a girlfriend or a free shag??? No lol, I would have assumed, everyone knows who I am and what I do. This gent did not.

7:21 PM) HIM: hi babe
(7:23 PM) ME: hi x
(7:24 PM) HIM: how you doin? whats your weekend been like?
(7:25 PM) ME: busy lol and u?
(7:30 PM) HIM: same, lots of deliverys. what you do?
(7:31 PM) ME: ah im an escort
(7:32 PM) HIM: nice, im a dealer, we’re as bad as each other

What does that mean? How is being a sex worker as bad as being a drug dealer? I am not selling people chemicals that could damage them or kill them! How did we get on the same social standing as drug dealers? Does everyone sees us in this way?

Was it always this way?

Prostitution is historically and culturally ubiquitous, with every culture adopting their own standards and attitudes. Since ancient history, concubines and courtiers often lived in the same house as the wife and often had equal status and some legal rights.

In Australia, prostitution is legal. I pay taxes, I am registered as a sex worker. I can even claim condoms and lube on tax lol. I have a choice of where and how I work. I can work in a brothel, which is regulated by the government or I can work for myself as an independent. I have done both and currently work for myself. I live a quiet life in the country, I see only a handful of clients a week, mostly regulars who I adore. I tour to other cities and socialise with other sex workers and clients at drinks nights. I am treated with respect from both my peers, my accountant, my bank manager, pretty much everyone that knows what I do.

In ancient Greek society, prostitution was engage in by both women and boys. Female prostitutes could be independent and sometimes influential women. They were required to wear distinctive dresses and pay taxes.

Something changed for us. The way we were being seen and treated. After having a look around on the internet and a an earlier discussion with a dear friend, I personally feel this is where it started:

Originally, prostitution was widely legal in the United states of America. Prostitution was made illegal in almost all states between 1910 and 1915 largely due to the influence of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, which was influential in the banning of drug use and was a major force in the prohibition of alcohol.

Sure there was time before this that prostitution was shunned and looked down upon, but that depends on what country you are from. Some were certainly more accepting than others. Even in Europe, with all the religion surrounding, brothels have been and still are a feature of some cities. In Japan, the Geisha still remains adored and respected.

But America just doesn’t get it. It is turning women into criminals. For what crime? Doing what they want with their own body? Sending them to jail and prison. Putting them amongst other criminals, most doing a lot more than just selling their ass. It infuriates me. By making it legal in the USA, it would be giving those girls a choice. A choice to work in a safe environment. A choice to call the cops if they are raped by a client. A choice to contribute back to their great country by paying taxes. (cos you know what, I feel proud to pay taxes in an industry that is so easy to rip off but I chose not too!)

Two things I think everyone needs to know : A. We are human beings and we have rights and B. We aren’t going away.

In Australia, because it is legal, I can get a home loan based on my income! I can get a credit card! I can contribute to my country in a positive way.

What is America doing to my sisters? They are finger printing them. They are taking their mug shot. They might empathize with them. They might see that they are good people, just caught in a bad situation… but that means nothing. On your record, for the rest of your life PROSTITUTE. CRIMINAL.

Sure, lets be real, yes there are some sex workers who are on drugs and living a crazy life, but shit, I know Insurance managers on the same path.. But not all of us are. Some of us actually like our job. We get satisfaction out of it. Its more than just sex. It is truly a lifestyle. You meet some wonderful NORMAL people. There are a few you will help thru a bad situation, their shyness with girls, not knowing how to get the wife to bed and you glow when something you have done or said has helped change it for them. You feel appreciated. The interaction is exciting! And of course, the money is phenomenal, being able to live a life that makes you happy…

and at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want? Happiness? My idea of happiness might be totally different to yours and that’s ok isn’t it? You don’t have to understand it, you don’t have to like it, but its my happiness… have you found yours? Not many can honestly say they have.

Do you live in the USA? Do you know people in the USA? Even if you dont necessarily agree with what sex workers do, surely you can see that we are not criminals and should not be treated as such. Is there something you can do to help? DO IT! Is there something you can change? DO IT! Only if the people speak can anything be done… we all have a voice.. Use it!

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