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are there sex workers/adult entertainers who enjoy their jobs?part 2

susan davis
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Joined: Aug 1 2009

in reference to tommy paines last post;

it wasn't me who made reference to tim hortons i don't think....but i understnad the reference.

i believe fortunate's point was that we all choose employment within our own physical and emotional boundaries. some people would think working as a tim hortons baker or cashier beats being a sex worker by leaps and bounds and would never imagine a situation where they would choose sex work.

on the other hand for some of us, choosing to work for minimum wage and living in poverty are unacceptable and we prefer sex work, it's income potential and the rewarding nature of the work.

as far as professionalism in BDSM, i completely agree. knowledge specific to that genre, anatomy, security strategies are all necessary. for the most part, in my experience dom's or BDSM specialists are generally very well versed in all of these things. i myself offer some all be it sexual domination services. i limit my services in that regard in particular with more complex senarious as i am not an expert. most of what i offer is verbal rather tha physical.

i'm not sure anyone is doing a victory dance. for me, it is important that we can all have a reasonable conversation abou these issues. it is paramount we reach some kind of consensus at least on points we agree on before the laws come down.

by-laws will remain even if only workers themselves are criminalized and many barriers within systematic responses will still persist. these issues are not being adressed and instead are being overshadowed by arguements on what model should be adopted by canada to adress the sex industry.

it is difficut for me to understand why so many seem so invested in the  issue but yet no clear plan for decriminalizing workers has emerged from the camp supporting the swedish model.

it was stated that many of my ideas are understood and supported in terms of supports and filling the gaps in services felt by sex workers. i am sure the proposed actions here are far from complete and had hoped people would contribute knowledge, expertise and experiences to defining the things we all agree on.

for me, when a situation or discussion is degraded so far as to become what we have seen recently in the feminism forum, it is a tragedy for everyone. we need to find a way to meet in the middle. there must be common ground.

we all care about reducing violence, we all care about exiting opportunities, we all care about creating accessible supports for people. why can't we work towards that?

it is difficult to see how very far we have to go before equality for sex workers is realized.....if ever.

i will continue to work on these issues as i have for the past years and hope for a day where reason prevails.

 


Comments

Tommy_Paine
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Joined: Apr 22 2001

it wasn't me who made reference to tim hortons i don't think....but i understnad the reference.


You are quite right, Susan, the error was mine,  I appologize.

 

it is difficut for me to understand why so many seem so invested in the  issue but yet no clear plan for decriminalizing workers has emerged from the camp supporting the swedish model.

 

Well, first and foremost, it gives us all a chance to talk about sex, even if we have to dress it up in politics and social issues.  Everyone has an investment there.   But beyond that, there are real issues from your perspective, and there's real issues from the perspective of those that see sex work as damaging to women and society. 

It's right and proper, under those circumstances, to have heated discussions, animated discussions.  These are not easy issues as rights come into conflict with each other.  And, take a look at my seniority date under my name. I can tell you this discussion has been going on since I've been here, with no clear concensus amoung people of like mind.

I would hope people can become pissed off with each other for a moment here and there, but also be able to step back a bit and still like those people in the main.

Maybe I can afford to be in the middle here, and detatched, and take a mediatory view. Though, I'm not really in the middle.  It's just no one seems to be on my side in this.   In the short term, yes, I think sex workers like yourself should be treated as a legitimate business, with all the rights and responsibilities that go along with that.   On the other hand, I would dearly love to live in a society where both men and women could find the type of sexual fullfillment that they require with other like minded people, be they life long partners, serial relationships, or casual aquaintences. Without prejudice, judgement or sniggering.

You have to admit, Susan, that sex trade workers, as much as they are exploited, also exploit the sexual repression that is the halmark of those that oppose you on the right, and perhaps a certain amount even on the left.

 

 

 


susan davis
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Joined: Aug 1 2009

i do agree that we are exploiting it. it is unfortunate however that some men,(or women) never find a partner, never find love and intimacy. as was mentioned in another thread by rework, what about a man's right to contact and intimacy and is not a "surrogate" who is willing a good solution/

our society makes sex and sexuality taboo, and so people are left with no clear choices or understnading of what is appropriate behaviour or how find a partner.

i might point ou that natural selection, a biolagical fact, is also at play here. people are attracted to each other for many reasons some emotional, some physical. the physical aspects such as smell and pheremones are only just beginning to be unraveled. i perosn may dimiss a potential mate with ever understnading why....

we must accept that some poeple will never find a mate and that those people are no less people or sexual than any one else. in my experience a man's emotional health is intimately linked to his sexual health. so is true of women but for men it think it is stronger. men need to feel beautiful, sexy, attractive, desirable just as women do. how can we as a society say"sorry you didn't find a mate, too bad you will never experience intimace and sexuality."

a religious womanwho phoned me up to argue one day( lots of people call me....it's weird...) described a young man of 32 who's wife had died of cancer. she stated that se was sorry he would never experience sex again in his life but that that was what their religion dictated. i asked her what she thought men who never found a wife should do and she replied that it was too bad fr them but that sex was explictly reserved for the marriage bed.

can we as a society afford to ignore the needs of these men? can we really expect that every man will some how magically be able to find a partner and marry? we must see things the way they are and try to be as understnading as possible of all sides. i understnad your reference was mostly in regard to openess in relationships about particular sexual preferences and the fear of many people to share these desires with intimate partners.

but it is a bigger discussion than that.single fathers, working their fingers to the bone with little to no support( unlike single mothers) and having no time to go out and meet anyone and being an undesirable mate as a result of already having children...

or men with disabilities, or men whose wives are disabled.....

do these men not need comfort, compassion and to feel wanted, desired.......?

it may be considered exploitation in some interpretations- the sex worker client relationship- but in my mind the client gets a valuable servie that improves their emotional and physical health and fulfills some part of being without an intimate partner. it's why i find my work rewarding. i can see them change and feel better. i can see them relax. they tell me how much i mean to them and that i am their friend.

wasn't there just a study released stating that men who have sex everyday have 70% less of a chance of catching prostate cancer?


spanks
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Joined: Oct 30 2009

susan davis wrote:

i do agree that we are exploiting it. it is unfortunate however that some men,(or women) never find a partner, never find love and intimacy. as was mentioned in another thread by rework, what about a man's right to contact and intimacy and is not a "surrogate" who is willing a good solution/

our society makes sex and sexuality taboo, and so people are left with no clear choices or understnading of what is appropriate behaviour or how find a partner.

i might point ou that natural selection, a biolagical fact, is also at play here. people are attracted to each other for many reasons some emotional, some physical. the physical aspects such as smell and pheremones are only just beginning to be unraveled. i perosn may dimiss a potential mate with ever understnading why....

we must accept that some poeple will never find a mate and that those people are no less people or sexual than any one else. in my experience a man's emotional health is intimately linked to his sexual health. so is true of women but for men it think it is stronger. men need to feel beautiful, sexy, attractive, desirable just as women do. how can we as a society say"sorry you didn't find a mate, too bad you will never experience intimace and sexuality."

a religious womanwho phoned me up to argue one day( lots of people call me....it's weird...) described a young man of 32 who's wife had died of cancer. she stated that se was sorry he would never experience sex again in his life but that that was what their religion dictated. i asked her what she thought men who never found a wife should do and she replied that it was too bad fr them but that sex was explictly reserved for the marriage bed.

can we as a society afford to ignore the needs of these men? can we really expect that every man will some how magically be able to find a partner and marry? we must see things the way they are and try to be as understnading as possible of all sides. i understnad your reference was mostly in regard to openess in relationships about particular sexual preferences and the fear of many people to share these desires with intimate partners.

but it is a bigger discussion than that.single fathers, working their fingers to the bone with little to no support( unlike single mothers) and having no time to go out and meet anyone and being an undesirable mate as a result of already having children...

or men with disabilities, or men whose wives are disabled.....

do these men not need comfort, compassion and to feel wanted, desired.......?

it may be considered exploitation in some interpretations- the sex worker client relationship- but in my mind the client gets a valuable servie that improves their emotional and physical health and fulfills some part of being without an intimate partner. it's why i find my work rewarding. i can see them change and feel better. i can see them relax. they tell me how much i mean to them and that i am their friend.

wasn't there just a study released stating that men who have sex everyday have 70% less of a chance of catching prostate cancer?

in one post  every songle mom i know is now PISSED.

.single fathers, working their fingers to the bone with little to no support( unlike single mothers) and having no time to go out and meet anyone and being an undesirable mate as a result of already having children...

whre do moms get support most single moms i know strruggle for everything and work their fingers to the bone. dads have an easier time to meet someone as most moms i know are home everynight with the kids.

talk about buying into mens bullshit hook line and sinker

postin this one every where i no single moms are an cannot wait to see the shit hit the fan.


susan davis
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Joined: Aug 1 2009

name one support group for single dads.....?name one housing coop for single dads.......?supports for single moms may not be adequate but single dads get nothing.

did you never meet one single dad.....?vulnerable man.....?was every one of the men who paid you a jerk, priveldged chauvanist pig?did you never once feel anything for your customers? compassion?

i choose not to spend my energy hating, i did enough of that after i got out jail.....

the post was related to sex workers taking advantage /exploiting sex consumers.

go ahead and post it every where, i welcome the conversation.

i hardly think my post reads if if i "buy into men's bullshit hook line and sinker". sorry you can't understnad i care about the men who visit me and do not see them as pervert pedophile rapists....maybe we should talk more about it.....

how do others feel about our customers.......

an excerpt from "trade Secrets" occupational health and safety training for the sex industry- the results consultations with many many workers across our industry......

 

Chapter Three - Our Clients

 

"I have, for the most part, been grateful to my customers.  I have been a very lonely person, so I appreciated the company.  For many years, my customers treated me really well.  As my addiction got stronger (alcohol and cocaine), my customers became more abusive because I started working in scarier areas and loving myself a lot less.  I didn't respect them.  I became more cold."

 

According to Canadian sex industry workers, most clients are kind and generous.  The stereotypical image of clients as mentally unstable outcasts is both untrue and unfair.  Sex is a natural, primal desire of humans.  The fact that some people feel inclined to pay for it does not make them bad people.

 

However, due to stigma towards sex industry workers, bad people do find us to be easy targets.  They know they can harm us with near impunity (legal or moral), unlike harming other women.  For this reason, and many others, it is important for all of us to manage our relationships with our clients with the big picture in mind.

 

Try to avoid repeat performances from: clients who are "cheap," who refuse to pay for services, and/or who become violent share information on  difficult or violent clients with other workers.  If there is an organization that distributes bad trick information, read the information and warn others when appropriate. 

 

You can reduce the need to take risks with strangers by nurturing relationships with regulars who are safe and consistent.  This chapter will focus on managing relationships with your clients.

 

Typical Clients

Although there are really no "typical" clients, just as there are no "typical" sex industry workers, there are some things we can tell you about your patrons.

 

You may wonder if sex industry patrons seek a range of sex industry services or if they tend to stick with one.  This is very individual, however, most of the clients who contributed to this project admitted to having interests in several areas of the industry.

 

Here are some types of customers, as described by a sex industry worker who contributed to this Guide: 

 

Lonely Customers - They feel lonely for whatever reason (estranged marriage, divorce, disability) and they want to spend time with beautiful, intelligent sex industry workers.

 

Regular Customers - They come around often and may spend a lot too.

 

White Knights - They want to rescue us because they think we're in a bad situation; they need to feel like they're helping.

 

Young Punks - Younger guys who treat the sex industry workers poorly and behave in a really vulgar manner.

 

Fetish Guys - They have fetishes for example, they love feet and they want to buy your socks, or they like to watch you lap dance their girlfriend.

 

Tourists - These clients go dungeon hopping all over the world trying out the different Dominas. They aren't afraid to lay some money down, and you know you are getting graded and compared on your performance.

 

Time-wasters - Clients who call every day, and email about their fantasies all the time, but rarely book.

 

An escort in Vancouver describes her clients like this:

 

The nice ones:  These are people who are looking for intimacy and companionship.  Whatever they are lacking in their personal life, they hope we will help them find it.

 

The mean ones:  These people will be mean to anyone.  It just happened to be my turn that day.  Since sex industry workers are at the front lines, like firemen, policemen and businesses with access open to the public, the chances for sex industry workers to meet people who lack proper people skills are higher.  The chances to meet people who direct their anger and aggression towards sex industry workers also occurs.  The stigma that sex industry workers are less than human and deserve less respect due to their profession is very real. 

 

The floaters:  Sometimes a person who has a distinguished façade in the world, gets into an appointment with a sex industry worker and loses all mind of gentlemanliness.  Suddenly he acts like an ape.  When the sex industry worker reminds him of his actions or requests respect, the gentleman can amend himself and restrain himself.  Sometimes he will stay nice.  Sometimes he will switch back and forth.

 


Stargazer
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Joined: Jun 9 2004

spanks, that is pretty tacky. There is no point in having a board war.

 

Susan, I have to agree with spanks on the single moms thing you mentioned above. Single mothers don't have the support you think they do.  I know, I was one, as are many of the people I know. We work hard, we have no support. We make ends meet by doing whatever we can but in no way are single fathers worse off. In fact, think about this: a man who raises his own child is considered exceptional, and put on a pedestal for being a good father. Single mothers on the other hand are often demonized. They are told they cannot work and have a job - it damages the child. They are not shown even close to the respect single fathers are, simply because we are women and it is considered our job to raise the kids, come home and cook, clean, read to them, take them to school, go to work. Men are parised and awarded for doing the exact same thing, even less. Single fathers get pats on the back for simply seeing their kids every second weekend.

Lest we forget all the mom blaming that occurs in this society - from shrinks to educational professionals. If our kids don't turn out perfect it is always our fault. We are to blame for crime by our kids. No mention is rarely if ever made of the fathers who abandoned their own kids. men are not made into demons for abandoni9ng them at all. They get a pass. They get to walk whenever they want, hide their money away so they don't have to pay child support.

I am guessing you have never been a single mother. I really wish you would think about what I've posted before getting all weepy eyed for single dads.

 


susan davis
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Joined: Aug 1 2009

you are right , i am not a mother. the post was in relation to men who may NEED my services, not about single moms....i respect single moms but respect single dads as well and was making a point about their time and ability to meet a mate......single moms ofetn have social capitolie-friends-to baby sit once in a while, etc- single dads are not supported in building social captiol amongst themselves....

again, i am not a mom and so will not get into it with youse guys about it. i assume you are right. but can we at least ackowledge that single dads do have a rough time? i think it's a bit hard to say they have priveledge over single moms...i have met "a few" single dads in my career and i can tell you its not all roses and praise from the community.

my post is not intended as a dis on single moms but rather to highlight barriers for men trying to find a partner.


susan davis
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Joined: Aug 1 2009

i also understnad what you mean by mom blaming but that in no way was the intention of my post.


Michelle
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Joined: May 10 2001

Sorry, but no, single dads don't have it any worse than single moms.  If anything, a single dad has it easier than a single mother, and of course they meet people - single fathers meet people all the time.  How do you figure they don't, or that they have less opportunity to meet women (if they're straight) than single moms do of meeting men (if they're straight)?  Single fathers are often fawned over as if they're saving the universe by looking after his kids, while single mothers are either seen as a burden, or pitied.  And if she goes on welfare because her ex doesn't pay child support?  Look out, she's a pariah!

Furthermore, men tend to make more money than women, so single dads on average most likely make more money than single moms. 

And the idea that single dads don't have any support while single moms do?  Not true, if you're talking about child support - they are awarded child support just as single mothers are.  And I'll bet you probably know at least two or three single mothers who don't get the child support they're owed.  I know one single father who wasn't awarded any child support.  But I know, and have known many women whose exes were deadbeats.  And single dads get the same government benefits for their kids that single mothers do.

Single parents don't have it easy.  But you can be sure that single mothers have it just as bad - and probably worse - than single fathers.


susan davis
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Joined: Aug 1 2009

as i said, as a "non mother" i assume you are all correct.


Tommy_Paine
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Joined: Apr 22 2001

 

This took a very odd turn.

 

Speaking as a man who was a single father, with three daughters from ages 8 to 15 at the start, I have to say yes, there was very little support-- or so it seemed.   But I had my job, and because of that a sterling credit record so the good people at the bank could "help" me (still paying for that "help", years later... yesterday, I sardonically thought to myself that the good part about dying before my aloted four score will mean that the bank looses the bet, and I win!)   And, I had the support from my male co-workers, who put up with my incessant whining, and supervisors that cut me much slack when I couldn't keep my emotions in check in a few isolated instances.

What's a broken window between buds?

So yeah, as a single dad I didn't have a formal infrastructure for support,  because I didn't need it.  Maybe some guys situations are comarable to what single women with kids go through, but I bet most are like me.  Fucking lucky to have a society making things as easy as possible for me, instead of tripping me up at every turn.

 

I know one single father who wasn't awarded any child support.

Is that me Michelle?   Because that wasn't a court award or non award, but part of an amicable trade off.  I recieved no child support, but in exchange my ex signed off on spousal support. 

And while where here, when it comes to mom blaming, my ex had reasons for leaving me.  Things sometimes go to shit, and I'm not blameless.  It just made economic sense for my daughers, for me to stay in the home with the girls, and more importantly it's always been my gut feeling that when men leave daughters, it tends to have a very negative effect on thier adult relationships with men later in life.

 

we must accept that some poeple will never find a mate and that those people are no less people or sexual than any one else. in my experience a man's emotional health is intimately linked to his sexual health. so is true of women but for men it think it is stronger.

I agree with the first part-- and that's why I think there will always be a need for professional services such as you offer, and I don't have a problem with that.  I'm not sure about the second part... I think when we examine the sexual and emotional differences between men and women,  the less significant they appear the closer we look.  I think it's... nuanced, the differences.  Not stark.

This is getting somewhat personal, and it's dangerous territory for me because I can blather too much information.  But here goes.  I'm not sure being a single dad is a barrier to finding a lover or another partner.  My intention was to go two years after my marriage without dating, or at least certainly one year.  In the mean time, I used the net to cast some bread upon the waters, in message boards/forums dedicated to a certain sexual milleu, shall we say.   My thinking was that I wanted to establish a fairly slow moving friendship with a woman whose sexual, and other interests dovetailed with mine.    I certainly wasn't ready for how eager many women were to strike up an intimate relationship with me.  And it continued "in real life" where casual conversations with women I met while out and about were often engineered by them to a point where I was supposed to ask them out for coffee, or ask for a phone number, or offer mine. Unfortunately, I wasn't ready. Well, fortunately, I wasn't ready.  I already had a friend, you see, and our friendship evolved rather nicely into matromony years later.

Where am I going with this.... oh yes.  Lest anyone think I  think I am god's gift to women, rest assured that's not the case.  I can't lie here anyway; Michelle, Maysie, Sineed have all seen my face made for radio and my middle aged paunch. (okay, it is offset by an always fashionable mullet)  So, I think there is a certain special cache that single dads whose kids reside with them have.  It makes you "safe" and it makes you... a martyr? A person with a proven track record with commitment?  I'm not sure.  But it's about as good as owning a Corvette.

Now, in the time I was truly single, did the lack of sex with someone else become an issue to my health emotionally or otherwise?   I'd say not.  Then, that may be because of factors particular to me.  Yes, I am...libidinous... but then I'm fortunate to have a vivid imagination, also.  Relief, shall we say, was always close at hand.

 

 

 

 


Michelle
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Joined: May 10 2001

Thanks for acknowledging our experiences, Susan.  I appreciate it.  This is why I like discussing stuff with you - we can actually have a real discussion about things we disagree on, and challenge each other without attacking.

BTW, there are support groups for single parents that are open to both genders - the One Parent Family Association comes to mind because it was the organization my single father joined (yes, I lived with him).  And the one he joined had a ratio of something like five women to every man - so he got lots of support, and had no trouble meeting women! :)

Men don't generally need single-father co-ops, because men aren't generally discriminated against in the regular housing market or the co-op housing or subsidized housing market.  Landlords don't assume that single fathers are fiscally irresponsible, poor parents, probably on welfare, etc.  That kind of assumption does get made about single mothers. 

When my parents separated, they were making pretty much exactly the same income.  They split the assets down the middle, and shared finances for 18 years before that, so their credit should have been the same.  My father applied for a credit card and got a higher limit than he asked for.  My mother applied for a credit card from the same company, asked for a lower limit, and got refused.  The assumption was that a divorced woman with a child is unable to handle money, whereas a divorced man with a child and the same income is able to.  (This was before they started giving out credit cards like candy.)


PeaceGuy
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Joined: Oct 29 2009

Tommy_Paine wrote:

 Now, in the time I was truly single, did the lack of sex with someone else become an issue to my health emotionally or otherwise?   I'd say not.  Then, that may be because of factors particular to me.  Yes, I am...libidinous... but then I'm fortunate to have a vivid imagination, also.  Relief, shall we say, was always close at hand.

 

I agree with much of your assesment of this matter & to some folks 1-2 years without sounds like a mighty dry spell.  However, your experience was self-imposed and you received regular (though perhaps unwanted) evidence of your desirability.  You had a significant amount of control over your situation and an apparent array of options.  This is not the situation that Susan has referred to.

Since folks here share their experiences...  I spent more than two decades wandering in the desert before the rains finally arrived this year (1984-2009).  Having a social support network, be it family, friends or just the people at work was critical to me through this long period of unwanted celebacy.  I cannot say that my physical health is any worse than I should expect given my lifestyle.  I do know that my self esteem & feeling of self worth took a heck of a pounding throughout that period of my life.  Though issues do remain, particularly with social graces, a more normal sex life has made a significant change if how I perceive myself.  I don't regret that I didn't seek out the services of a sex worker in all that time but I can certainly understand why someone else might.

 


Tommy_Paine
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Joined: Apr 22 2001

That's an interesting perspective, PeaceGuy, and I'll be a while digesting it.

 

 

the post was related to sex workers taking advantage /exploiting sex consumers.

Just to be clear, Susan, I'm not casting sex workers as mercenary, out looking to take advantage of poor unsuspecting clients.  I mean that there's an interesting paradox going on here, where your profession relies upon the forces normally opposed to you, to also create the conditions that make your profession possible, if not necessary.

 


fortunate
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Joined: Oct 29 2009

On the topic of the title, it is funny how there is another thread that forbids sex workers who do enjoy their work from posting (feminism forum).   This refusal to hear the very ones who have the experience and knowledge with that there there we know what's best for you, poor things, is pretty much insulting, imo.   Then the loaded explanation of the purpose of the thread, which is that if you are pro-decrim that means you are pro-pimp lol.   Ridiculous oversimplification of something that is not even very complicated.  Remove these outdated and unnecessary laws and you will improve the lives of the sex workers you claim to want to help.  Evidence supports it, over and over.  Including the evidence of the negative impact of restricting the public safety of street based workers.

And don't diminish my choices, experience and knowledge by going on to tell me that I do not enjoy the people who visit me, and that I do not find value in what I do.   On the other hand, find me one single working person who doesn't at some time complain about their work day lol. 

Regarding comments on a poll asking at what age did you start, a few examples of POVs from working service providers:

"i'm one of the old chickies that started in my late 30's. I'm so glad i did!"

"(at 26) I just started last year, and this has been a BLAST! Had a great year, and here is to many more!"

"30. I found in my late 20's I was wanting to explore, & when I hit 30 I was very curious about trying it out. I liked it so much I stuck with it."

"19! I thought I knew everything about life and sex and I knew nothing. That's being 19 for ya."

"I was 19, although ever since I was 13 I thought it would be cool"

"I was 16 the first time I ever did this and 18 when I became a full time SP. It was from personal choice. I don't regret a day of it!!!"

"It frustrates & angers me when "they" say ALL providers are into it for the money, drugs, getting pimped/victimized. Yes there are many many negative, destructive reasons some are in the sex trade...that is all over the world. I never expected myself to get into this industry...I am 28 turning 29 in December. I started this about 1yr ago...so a "rookie" as far as providers go...but I have been in it long enough to learn I enjoy myself, my sexual nature, and men with what I provide."

"I started at 23. I had many offers as a young teenager during my hitchhiking days but never took the plunge until after I finished college. I'm happy that I never did it because I had to, but chose to do it when I wanted (and was ready) to."

"I was 25.  I had thought about being an escort since I was about 17 though."

 

These are more stories, for those who have mind open enough to hear more than rhetoric and biased reports from one single source.  Those who want to criminalize the activities around the legal work of prostitution affect all of these voices, the ones who have chosen this work, are not poor, uneducated addicts and who simply wish to be left alone and get on with it lol.

http://www.myfirstprofessionalsex.com/

"One of the things that has always fascinated me was the decision people make to go into sex work, especially prostitution and pornography. With the stigma attached to this kind of work, the decision to sell sex or perform sexually for money isn’t one most people take lightly. So why do people do it? The most basic answer, of course, is usually for financial gain. And though that may seem like the pat answer most outsiders believe it should be, there’s usually a much more substantial thought process that goes into the decision. My First Professional Sex is an attempt to capture those thoughts and understand why people make the decisions they do. Sex workers are human beings, just like everyone else. The stigma associated with their line of work can often be quite dehumanizing. And, sadly, there are a lot of misconceptions about what brings people to sex work. I hope to show that there are a wide variety of reasons people get into sex work – reasons that are unique to each individual, reasons that are just as valid as the reasons anyone gets into any other line of work."

 

Poll results on age of first sex work experience so far: 

15% under 18

30% from 18-22

38% 23-34

16% over 35 

almost 90 replies thus far


fortunate
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Joined: Oct 29 2009

My attempts here are to make sure everyone knows that there are a great many people who choose sex work, who refuse to be labeled "victims" and who deserve the same rights & freedoms to pursue their chosen profession as any other worker in Canada.


susan davis
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Joined: Aug 1 2009

Tommy_Paine wrote:

That's an interesting perspective, PeaceGuy, and I'll be a while digesting it.

 

 

the post was related to sex workers taking advantage /exploiting sex consumers.

Just to be clear, Susan, I'm not casting sex workers as mercenary, out looking to take advantage of poor unsuspecting clients.  I mean that there's an interesting paradox going on here, where your profession relies upon the forces normally opposed to you, to also create the conditions that make your profession possible, if not necessary.

 

i totally know tommy. no worries.....some of us are mercenaries!lol....i've known workers who bankrupted men squandering millions ....yes millions of his dollars.....one poor guy ended up sleeping on my couch! my little brother was staying with us so me, my husband , my brother and my customer/friend all living in a one bedroom where i worked!! my little brother answered my phone one night after we came in from diner and drinks, we were all a little tipsy....he said to the customer on the other end of the phone..."no, i'm sorry she's not availible but john is.........(the customer asked my brother to describe john)...well he's 6 foot 1, brown hair, slightly balding......my formerly wealthy client and all of us were killing ourselves laughing ....the irony of it all.......


susan davis
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fortunate wrote:

My attempts here are to make sure everyone knows that there are a great many people who choose sex work, who refuse to be labeled "victims" and who deserve the same rights & freedoms to pursue their chosen profession as any other worker in Canada.

i saw your poll and voted fortunate!!!great work!!

re: abolitionist thread- i feel like it's good for them to have space to freely post their opinions. i am going to try to respect space for those against full decrim.

we can always, as you did above, discuss their position over here and even post links to the comments in their thread to which we are refering.

it is also very difficult for me to hear that people, even after everthing we have shared here still choose to honor their own opinions over the voices of sex workers. while some formers sex workers are involved in discussions and i respect that their experiences have shaped their position, i find that it smacks of the old assertion of us being so raped and abused ...of course we think we like our work and choose sex work, we're dilusional. if we were "rescued" we would see it and repent for our sex work choices.

it is such an oppressive stance, especially as it plays out in this interesting article where our arguements are called "fake".....

 

http://nomorepotlucks.org/article/crux-no6/speaking-truth-and-power

 

KH: The right for feminists to name experiences outside of society's definitions was a hard-won battle. Which is why I am puzzled by your dismissal of certain experiences as co-opted, or temporary, or simply a reinscription of past victimization. Is there not any point at which a sex worker can positively describe her own experience and be heard? Is that not at odds not with a notion of 'empowerment' but one of 'self-determination'?

SGC: I honestly think it's important to see real choice, considered choice, no choice and where there is the potential for real consent. If you have to fuck to eat, that's not a choice. The question is the women who say they do it and they are absolutely fine. I believe women and what they say, and I don't say they're wrong. But that's not a circumstance I want to push for, that's not my activist project.

KH: You also suggested that sex work cannot be considered a valid choice since 'no one grows up wanting to be a prostitute'. No one grows up wanting to get an abortion but that doesn't mean they don't value the option if necessary, nor that they should be made to feel illegitimate or irresponsible for taking it. Are you concerned your characterization of sex workers in those terms does, in fact, reinscribe the stigma they already face from the broader society?

SGC: I like your analogy to abortion, you've helped my argument. I can protect the right to make that choice. But once you're already pregnant, it is the only choice, the only thing you can do... but you can't pretend abortion is a piece of cake.

Sex workers are so afraid of being stigmatized they had to fashion a fake argument and say they love the work. I understand the political need to get credibility. Get them alone and most sex workers say they wish they didn't have to do it. I want to talk about the reality, not the ideology. That's why I think two things can be true at the same time. It's hard work, and a violation of their bodies, but they have the right to do it in safety.


fortunate
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Joined: Oct 29 2009

"Sex workers are so afraid of being stigmatized they had to fashion a fake argument and say they love the work. I understand the political need to get credibility. Get them alone and most sex workers say they wish they didn't have to do it. I want to talk about the reality, not the ideology. That's why I think two things can be true at the same time. It's hard work, and a violation of their bodies, but they have the right to do it in safety."

Of course, this is where they fail miserably.  To me, this person is trying to justify their statements with a "fake argument".  Because she cannot fathom that she would enjoy this work, therefore she feels perfectly free to invalidate and dismiss any sex worker's honest declarations of how they really feel.  Ridiculous, because this sort of tripe is used often so it doesn't matter what a working sex worker says they think, this sort of person says "there there, I know best.  Let me tell you how you feel".    Try taking the sex out of the work, just once, and see how ridiculous it sounds when you try to apply it to any other worker.  I've been alone with a few sex workers, and not one single one of them ever said that they "wish they didn't have to do it".   Each and everyone of them, at some point, has said, though,  "I LOVE MY JOB!!".

I don't know many working people, regardless of what they work at, who would not prefer to be independently wealthy so they don't have to clock in every day.   But I am damn sure, based on my experience and actual face to face conversations with real sex workers, that they would probably still choose to do the work even then lol.   They enjoy sex, they enjoy spending time with men, the $$ makes it possible for them to pay the rent too.   I cannot think of too many regular jobs out there that allows people to do something that is, in the end, about pleasure.

100 replies to my polls, and survey says:  85% of sex workers started when they were over 18.  16% of them were over 35.  How do these people try to explain the mature woman who quits a 6 figure income in a soul-sucking job to do this?  Or, hey, imagine someone coming into your job and saying, "there there, I don't care if you say you enjoy being a teacher, I KNOW that you cannot possibly mean  it."

 


spanks
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Joined: Oct 30 2009

did you never meet one single dad.....?vulnerable man.....?was every one of the men who paid you a jerk, priveldged chauvanist pig?did you never once feel anything for your customers? compassion?

 

did you just use the term vulnerable man!?  was every man who paid me a priveliged chauvinistic jerk? yes i would say they were. i am all for working women but can we not pretent the men actually care for us.can we not pretend that somwhow they hold us in high esteem. do i have c ompassion for them? sure becasue i am only gettin one side of the story they alway want to make as if life is so hard for them. without us they would have to learn how to havve real relationships, grow up and play nicely and stop being selfish. i have no problems catering to their selfishness pays the bills but let's not play that somehow they are so hard done by.


martin dufresne
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Joined: Dec 24 2005

Judge chides jury for having too much compassion for woman who castrated her rapist dad in order to protect his grandaughters. Source

Women who fight back are always denied by authorities this compassion society decrees for any men who complain of not having enough of whatever they want.


Loretta
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Joined: Apr 22 2001

susan davis wrote:

re: abolitionist thread- i feel like it's good for them to have space to freely post their opinions. i am going to try to respect space for those against full decrim.

we can always, as you did above, discuss their position over here and even post links to the comments in their thread to which we are refering.

it is also very difficult for me to hear that people, even after everthing we have shared here still choose to honor their own opinions over the voices of sex workers. while some formers sex workers are involved in discussions and i respect that their experiences have shaped their position, i find that it smacks of the old assertion of us being so raped and abused ...of course we think we like our work and choose sex work, we're dilusional. if we were "rescued" we would see it and repent for our sex work choices.

I came over here to read what's being said and this is what jumped out at me. Does this mean that sex workers are the only ones  who get to have a say in any discussion about full decrim (as you call it)? How does that work when it doesn't work in any other field? Governments (who are shaped by the people who elect them) put all kinds of restrictions, laws and regulations on work of all types. We don't allow miners to be the only ones deciding what their working conditions are, for example. Full decrim (legalization) will come with conditions, as it does in every other field.

Also, if you are choosing to post comments from "over there" to over here and discussing them, I would assume that those of us having discussions "over there" could post comments from here to discuss as well.


martin dufresne
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Joined: Dec 24 2005

From the opening post: ...for some of us, choosing to work for minimum wage and living in poverty are unacceptable and we prefer (ENTER WHATEVER)

I wonder just how many people choose poverty and minimum wage conditions.

Tommy_Paine
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Joined: Apr 22 2001

I don't regret that I didn't seek out the services of a sex worker in all that time but I can certainly understand why someone else might.

I wanted to return to PeaceGuy's post, because I couldn't sort out the thoughts it sparked in me at the time.   But it makes me wonder,  if PeaceGuy or myself had used professional services for sex whether it would have been any true relief, or substitute for what he or I consider sex.  

I said above I have a vivid imagination.  Maybe in spite of it, or because of it,  I think I have a pretty good grasp on reality.  I am not sure that I would experience with a professional-- knowing that she's only there because I paid her to be-- anything different than what I experience masterbating.   I suspect it's different with other guys, or they are better at the willing suspension of disbelief than I am. 

I agree with Susan, above, that there will always be a need for professional services.   I also agree that there are substantial issues that need to be addressed which the "abolitionist" side brings up.  

 

However, I more honestly believe that niether view is helping society to a more healthy view of our sexuality, and this is the well spring of most of the nasty stuff associated with the sex trade, for one, and many other things besides.


martin dufresne
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Joined: Dec 24 2005

Why wouldn't disallowing the purchase of sex, the recourse to economic power as a shortcut to negotiating sexual relating, lead to a healthier view of sexuality? It does for me. Consider an analogy; interpersonal conflict is not the easier path: it calls for listening, moving away from one's personal viewpoint and agreeing to seek a common view, even if it is not the one we started out with. To bypass this process, one can always resort to power, intimidation, pulling rank, violence even, in brief exercising privilege. Isn't remaining outside of that sphere more healthy? We can think of other fields of human agency where the use of money or force is disallowed. And we can look at jurisdictions and situations where recourse to them have led to loss of humanity.

To restate the opening question "Are there some of us who insist on NOT buying or selling their sex life, and is that simple idiosyncrasy? Or are there significant equalitarian values involved?" If so, don't we want a society where alternatives to prostitution and blocks to sexual exploitation systems would make that possible for all, even the poor and the racialized? How do we get there? How much do we want to?

 


Tommy_Paine
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Joined: Apr 22 2001

Why wouldn't disallowing the purchase of sex, the recourse to economic power as a shortcut to negotiating sexual relating, lead to a healthier view of sexuality? It does for me.

 

Well, think about it Martin.  You came by your views because of what you saw and experienced, not because it was agin the law.  When you outlaw something like this, you take away the chance of other people to come honestly to your particular form of enlightenment.

When it comes to "vice" there's no better way to create demand than to ban it.


martin dufresne
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Joined: Dec 24 2005

The notion of "vice" doesn't enter the equation for me, and my personal history did not include it either. I find that the problem is less a prohibition creating demand than a traditional licence to use power for convenience, one that has been progressively cut back by people growing to understand its harms by finally listening to the people being harmed.

 


Tommy_Paine
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Joined: Apr 22 2001

 

Well, that's a common theme that runs through most threads, isn't it?   Increasingly, whether we're talking about the E-Health scandle in Ontario, senatorial windbags, the priveleged stealing vaccine from infants and pregnant women,  job loss in manufacturing, the dissapearance of the family farm,  or the industrialization/corporatization of the illicit drug trade, and, let's not forget the looming environmental catastrophe, it's all about how this society has become unabashed about the strong exploiting the weak.

In fact, this society cellebrates the exploitation of the weak as if it is a virtue.

This subject here is mearly a spur on the tip of this iceberg.

Taking an abolishionist view isn't going to do anything about that spur, let alone the iceberg.

 

 


Tommy_Paine
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Joined: Apr 22 2001

If so, don't we want a society where alternatives to prostitution and blocks to sexual exploitation systems would make that possible for all, even the poor and the racialized? How do we get there? How much do we want to?

 

Certainly not by making things illegal, and getting our justice system-- increasingly one of the more powerfull enforcers of the rights of the priveleged to expoit the rest-- involved.

I think the starting point is with our popular culture, what our kids see on T.V., what toys are used to indoctrinate them, and the lack of cultural counter balances against it. 

It might sound nuts to equate, for example, the advent of auto tune in the music industry and Bratz Dolls, and wall to wall pharmacuetical advertizing on American T.V. to the degradations we see, and everyone is against, happening in our streets to sex trade workers who are there because they are addicted to Perdue Pharmacuetical's Oxycontin, but it's not as nutso as you might think.

The solution to this problem, and others, should not be delivered into the hands of the people who are the very cause of it.

 

 

 


Loretta
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Joined: Apr 22 2001

Tommy_Paine wrote:

The solution to this problem, and others, should not be delivered into the hands of the people who are the very cause of it.

I agree, but in this case, I see the people who are the very cause of it as the corporate/business sector and I don't believe it's their right to sell sexual intercourse (whatever that looks like) where women are finding our rights and freedoms increasingly diminished.


fortunate
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Joined: Oct 29 2009

martin dufresne wrote:

Judge chides jury for having too much compassion for woman who castrated her rapist dad in order to protect his grandaughters. Source

Women who fight back are always denied by authorities this compassion society decrees for any men who complain of not having enough of whatever they want.

What has this got to do with the topic under discussion?   Are you seriously trying to link sex work, sex workers and a prevalence of violence in the world.  Is this woman a sex worker?  Is this man a client of sex workers?  What is your point?


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