I was going to delete my Twitter, but I have been bombarded with over 300 messages and it has been lovely. I haven’t replied to any of them, so please don’t think I am ignoring you if you are one of them. It is a mammoth task of getting back to you all, but I will do eventually. I still wish to delete my account, but due to financial necessity, I realised I would be shooting myself in the foot by doing so – particularly this blog and my PayPal.
This week was the tipping point as I got shouted at three times and told to go therapy, that I should just quit sex work by a sex worker, I’ve been called a SWERF and generally I’m exhausted fighting my own community. Sex work is dominated by happy hookers with the most to lose, and they punch down, hard. They do this because they don’t want the narrative and advertising that they have built up to be challenged. They don’t want someone saying clients are pricks, sex work is shit and is simply a financial necessity, not a fucking intimate, sensual, tantric or whatever fucking word experience.
It pisses me off because this is NOT the reality for the majority of sex workers up and down the country, especially street sex workers. Many of whom dislike their job and do it out of sheer necessity, and often desperation. I have not been as explicit about how I feel about sex work as I would like to, but it has messed with my head aplenty. Last Thursday, I went off the rails and drunk myself into oblivion and my support worker took me out to sober me up a few hours. I am person too!
It’s annoying because I sit and listen to women who tell me sex work reminds them of being abused, how they learned to disassociate from sex due to such abuse and that’s why they’re a good sex worker. I listen to women tell me they scrub their skin with bleach because they feel dirty, shameful and disgusting. My good friend often uses language like selling her body, selling her fanny and whatever else. I dislike it, but she has every right to say it and I am not here to police her or how she thinks and feels about it. I honestly think the majority of sex workers would feel uncomfortable in the same room with the unhappiest of sex workers who talk explicitly in detail about the horrors of their job.
The happy hooker discourse is toxic positivity and I believe is the main cause of exited sex workers becoming Nordic Model supporters, because the community likes to shut out the bad voices and experiences. They like to say shhhh be quiet, don’t say it felt like rape or you was robbed. You know what, I don’t blame them either because if someone rejected me consistently when I wanted to speak to my fellow sex workers, and then someone comes along and says you’re thoughts and feelings are valid and then love bombed me, I’d fall straight into their arms and see my ex-colleagues as annoying happy clappy people who deny the reality of sex work and my experiences.
It’s not just me. I’ve watched sex workers rip apart other sex workers for their feelings of sadness and desperation, including absolutely destroying a sex worker who did bareback in a booking once due to financial reasons. We should be wondering why they felt the need to do that instead of 15 sex workers with HUGE followings quote retweeting and shaming her. The sex worker rights movements isn’t about the normalisation of sex work, it’s about safety, opportunity and protection for those who do feel desperate enough to do bareback. Yet, we are quick to destroy the reality of such instances.
I have faced criticism and shame for my rates, prices and even when I’ve had dodgy clients. Again, you wouldn’t stand a chance working with unhappy sex workers who say they feel like shit having sex for £10, or when they’re rattling so hard they exchange whatever they can do for drugs just to feel normal again. Sex work is a fantasy for the client, not the fucking sex workers themselves who often fall through the cracks, are failed by services and found themselves doing the best they can with very limited resources and getting by. Their resilience, strength and fortitude of character is admirable, but they’re torn a new asshole because of their situation without seeing them as a person.
Sex work seems to be the only job where we can not talk about the negatives, which then flies in the face of the sex worker rights movement. If we continue to project the idea that sex work is sunshine, daisies, lots of money and happy advertising then no prick is going to think we need rights if we seem to have cushty lives. Your advertising and marketing is not more important. In no other walk of life would be try to suppress people talking about being raped, robbed, abused, exploited, being scared or whatever shit that happens in our job. After all, it is a high paid job due to the danger element but then we go on to deny that danger exists, then say we need rights to stop the dangers. It doesn’t make sense.
How can you be happy when you and your friends have low rates of life expetancy, when your life is dominated by injecting and you feel caught in a horrible cycle of sex work and drugs? How can you be happy when you are refused counselling because you’re a drug user but can’t tackle the trauma without drugs, and nobody will give you a chance? How can you be a happy hooker when you’re constantly on edge, fear a client driving away with you or you are financially forced to return to sex work after being raped, because otherwise, you will become homeless?
The nicest messages I’ve received have been from those who have said they have learned a lot or felt more confident to talk about the reality of sex work because of my posts. Thank you. We can’t say sex work is like every other work and then turn around and talk about how much we fucking love our clients, when in the crew room in McDonalds I would spent 95% of my lunch break slagging them off.
Worst of all is sex workers saying they supported me, and then throw it in my face when they disagree with me. I literally wrote a blog last week about financial abuse and this was the prime example I used. People who want to help do so without condition and without strings attached. They do not weaponise it and throw it at you to try and make you feel guilty, or as though they have some sort of right or say in your life. Accepting help is very difficult for me, but I did it because I had little choice but to, otherwise I would have sunk. It hurts like shit to have people throw it back at me and then you scream that I need therapy.
On a more personal note, it is exhausting to keep giving and giving. Nobody made me, but I enjoyed doing it because I was fed up of the stigma and whatever else. I also enjoyed talking to other sex workers and having those difficult discussions, but it doesn’t make it any less exhausting. I never intended to be known as a sex worker, my account was made in 2009 when I was 12. I have of course, never been client facing, and just spoke generally about my life and sex work and then it grew and then it was too late to hide my name. It has then made me a target in real life, especially being known for working in the Managed Zone. It’s been a high personal cost unfortunately.
One thought on “Taking a Break”
It is okay to take a break and not to delete your account. Your voice is important to many people who you will never know or meet. Delete the app off your phone and don’t reload it or login again until you are ready. Some of your biggest critics are fakes, so don’t take it seriously. Above all, be kind to yourself.