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Archive for June 8th, 2017

I have a “good girl” job and a secret sex work career; aside from my clients, there are exactly two people on this earth who know what I do – and one of those is my therapist.  I feel zero shame about doing what I do, and have felt it as a calling from a young age; however, I’m deeply aware of the consequences of exposure.  But I’m quite clear that my silence comes at the cost of isolation, so I’d like to change that and develop a support system.

There are a lot of sex workers who don’t have a support system or peer friends they can turn to; as you point out, this work can be very isolating because the stigma makes it difficult-to-impossible to discuss with anyone who isn’t a fellow inhabitant of the demimonde.  And since we’re in the midst of a moral panic over our work, the danger isn’t just emotional but physical; sex workers can be arrested, see their businesses and careers (both sex-related and “straight”) destroyed, have their kids abducted by the State, lose friends and family or even be infantilized and forced into “treatment” or “diversion” programs which treat our choices, jobs and sexualities as pathological.  If you live in a city with a SWOP chapter, I suggest you join right away if at all possible; your privacy will be respected and you’ll meet other sex workers to talk to.  If there is no nearby sex worker group, or if you feel uncomfortable attending meetings in real life, I strongly suggest you reach out to other sex workers on social media; you’d be amazed how much it can help and how real & strong those friendships can become.  For example, Mistress Matisse & I met online more than 5 years ago and now we’re extremely close friends in real life; I’ve also met & befriended many other sex workers on social media, and have developed strong bonds even with folks I haven’t met in the flesh.  Such connections not only help to keep physically-isolated sex workers emotionally healthy, but can also help us to stay safe.  And best of all, they remind us that we’re not alone, that the anti-sex busybodies cannot control us and that we are slowly but surely moving toward a day when we don’t need to hide any more.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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