Nothing But a Whore

monetnoseart.jpgMy dad use to veto my thoughts and feelings with these words: “I make the money around here and when you start supporting this family you can have a say in how things are run.  Until then, keep your mouth shut and do what you are told.”

 

As a teenager, I often dreamed about making money so I could have an opinion. 

 

I got married in my early 30’s and my income rose dramatically from a level which barely kept the lights on to a very healthy six figure income.  It wasn’t my job that changed.  I had been an escort for a couple years before I got married.  But once I said “I do,” I did do my best to be a financial knight in shining armor.  Whatever my husband and stepchildren wanted or needed, I went out of my way to make the money to purchase it.  It felt like a self-sacrificing role but of course it was more of a manipulative maneuver given my training around money and power.

 

Despite or maybe because of MY overbearing assertions about being the one in charge because of MY income, I eventually grew tired of being the primary breadwinner in my marriage.  The more money I made the lonelier I felt and the more tired I became.  My husband didn’t express much appreciation for my money and yet he became accustomed to all that it could buy.  Making twice the money he earned never meant being respected as a good provider or a hard worker.  And though he rarely said so, he didn’t like what I did to make my money. 

 

When you are a whore, your family takes your money as penance for your sins – not a gift of your labor.

 

Shortly after I purchased my first home – my mother went to great lengths to brag about my cousin who had recently purchased a mobile home.  I was a bit flabbergasted.  I had just purchased a home in the suburbs worth nearly a half million dollars (1997 prices mind you) and I had done so completely on my own.  It was my credit rating, my savings, my down payment, my name on the contract and absolutely NO one helped me – not even my husband.  With the exception of a friend who loaned me a few thousand to put in the bank to beef up my savings account for 6 months, no one lifted a finger to help me.  Not that I minded that.  I enjoyed being a self-made woman.  Still the fact that my mother took no notice of my accomplishment hurt like hell.  So I asked her, why she was so impressed with the mobile home my cousin had acquired in part due to her husband’s recent death.  My mother replied “Well, SHE worked HARD for HER money.”

 

Apparently sucking cock and dodging serial rapists and vice cops isn’t hard work.  Oh well, it seemed like work at the time.

 

Today I live on a drastically reduced income after retiring from escorting and divorcing my husband four years ago.  Funny, you might think I would have quit prostitution while I was married.  But I didn’t.  I am too stubborn for that.  When I did quit, it wasn’t to please anyone but me.  I had simply gotten fed up with looking over my shoulder and I wanted to be legal for a change.  Towards the end of my escorting career, I had been arrested, audited and robbed or raped – depending upon how you look at it.  I was ready to go live in the woods for awhile and write my first book.

 

Despite the fact that I no longer “turn tricks” people can still assault me with their expectations and projections about sex workers and money.  It seems some people expect me to have more money than I do. And once they ascertain my scaled down lifestyle, they resort to disparaging stereotypes about money hungry whores who can’t save a penny.  I did save money thank you.  But more to the point, the expectation that we are all terribly rich (or should be) is predictable and boring.  It doesn’t matter what I do for a living now.  I used to be a prostitute. 

 

Once a whore – always a whore?  In this profession people see you as transformed from a human to something less than human.  Whores don’t do prostitution – they ARE prostitutes.  There is a difference.

 

As a sex worker I hated losing my status as a human.  But I have never really felt human anyway.  As a woman I have always watched the wicked hand of patriarchy sweep my humanity from view with a few simple incantations: whore, slut, cunt, bitch . . . and with those monosyllabic words I am marked as fair game for all sorts of crimes from rape to murder.

 

Standing mute before my accusers I despair of ever knowing true acceptance.  I may play the seductress, the mistress, the goddess but if my projection of archetypal attributes evidences a crack leaking some semblance of the mundane truth of my existence, then I am catapulted into the dark realms of the persecuted and ostracized.

 

Are there no tears for the whore?  Will the world never find it in their collective hearts to mourn our deaths?  Or honor our labor? 

 

September of 2007, a Bay Area sex worker posted a warning on Craig’s List regarding a man who raped her.  Her blunt account of events sent familiar waves of grief and rage through me:

 “He ended up throwing me down the stairs when he was done, I have a sprained ankle. And he shoved me out the door without my things. I had to flag down a car driving by and they called the police for me, but he was not arrested because I have a record in prostitution so the police saw me as exactly what the rapist saw me as…..Nothing but a Whore…” 

A month later, a Philadelphia judge put the less than human status of sex workers on the law books by ruling that the rape of a prostitute is in fact only “theft of services.”  Sadly, I understand this line of reason.  When I was raped by a man I intended to do business with, I tried to comfort myself with the words “robbery” and “bad debt.”  Maybe if I could just dismiss the whole affair as a “cost of doing business” I wouldn’t have to feel any emotional pain. 

I had conceptualized being arrested for prostitution in a similar fashion and consequently, the night I WAS arrested for prostitution, I smiled for my mug shot and treated the whole incident as something mildly amusing.  Could I treat my own rape as nothing more than a client who failed to pay his bill? Six months after my on-the-job rape, I began behaving like a traumatized rape survivor – not a business savvy entrepreneur.  So much for my psychobabble.  Turns out that I am human after all – and rape is rape – no matter what you do for a living.  If I have to learn such a hard lesson about my own victimization, how hard will it be to change the world’s (and the voting public’s) perceptions?   

Yes, I can be victimized, but I will NEVER be a victim.  I am a survivor.  I survived incest and date rape before I ever started working in the sex industry.  When I grew up and confronted my dad for molesting me, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “So what if I did, you’re a prostitute now, so it doesn’t really matter, does it?”  Yeah, I’d like to hurt him for saying that too.

 

Most sex workers are survivors.  If you don’t learn how to take care of yourself in this profession, you don’t last long.  In fact, we are wonderful caretakers.  We take care of ourselves, our clients, our families and our loved ones.  It’s what we do.

 

But the world wants to either vilify us or “rescue” us.  San Francisco’s mayor Gavin Newsom has climbed on board the “anti-trafficking” bandwagon along with every other political player and many non-profits vying for federal funding.  This last year, San Francisco pissed away over $11 million putting poor women of color through the prostitution merry-go-round of arrests and fines. 

 

Having sat in a San Francisco jail cell with street prostitutes for over nine hours the night I was arrested for prostitution, I know the utter absurdity of prostitution laws first-hand.  Most of the street prostitutes are on a first name basis with the cops and there is a ton of flirting on both sides.  It makes the whole arrest-fine-release-arrest cycle a very expensive joke on taxpayers.  But what isn’t funny is the horribly negative impact it has on the day to day lives of those sex workers who are being put through the system on a regular basis. For them, vice functions as yet another pimp they have to pay off one way or another.

 

The real reason the world wants to punish whores is because we violate their prized beliefs about sex, love and money.  In particular, female sex workers flaunt assumptions about women’s sex drive, dependence upon men and preference for marriage.  We are a thorn in society’s side because we refuse to be “good girls” and we don’t even have the decency to feel remorse for our ways. We can also mess with the public’s “need” to know who the whores are when we blend with “good folk.”

 

Recently, I taught a workshop about Sacred Prostitution and most of the women who attended were providers.  A male friend who attended too said something completely inane – these women wouldn’t stand a chance at hooking up with men if they weren’t charging for their services.  On some level, I kind of knew what he was trying to say.  Most of these women appeared as less than sexy that particular day.  But tell me this, how is it that anyone would be able to charge for something they couldn’t give away?  That is NOT logical.  Further, he exhibited an all too typical assumption on the part of client types – thinking sex workers look like they do on the job – all the time.

 

It reminds me of the young lesbian strippers who told me tales of being worshipped and adored while wearing wigs and make-up only to be spat upon on, on their way home from the strip club – unrecognizable to their clients with their short hair, scrubbed faces and piercings. 

 

It isn’t the first time I have witnessed such a superficial and patriarchal view of sex workers. Still it made me angry.  For me, the fact that some men will pay for sex with women they might not want their friends to see them with has always pointed to the discrepancy between what actually fires the libido and what caters to social prominence.  The two have nothing to do with each other and only fools who have bought into the lies of this dominant culture and completely abandoned themselves would believe otherwise.

 

Anyway, the whole idea that sex workers are nothing but a collection of body parts and the image they project is insulting.  Maybe people confuse us with models.  But that is a different type of sex worker.  Whores do more than pose.  Whores are talented people who get paid for their sex appeal AND their skills.  Sacred Prostitution in particular is a profession which usually requires training of some sort – either mentored learning or self-study but you certainly don’t learn something that counter-culture by watching television or reading the newspaper.

 

So in the final analysis, it seems that the phrase “Nothing but a Whore” says it all.  Whether the topic is our money or our bodies or our rights or our safety, we are not to be treated like people.  Every breath we take is suspect and all the normal day to day aspects of our existence which we share with the rest of the human race, are reinterpreted to serve the denigrating stereotypes which fuel our oppression.

 

I agree with the world.  It doesn’t matter what I do for a living – I am a Whore – and damned proud of it.

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Nothing But a Whore

  1. There’s so much going on here! Great post.

    The tangled money issues are spot on. From society convincing us we shouldn’t appreciate and respect what we earn, to others thinking we’re “rolling in dough” (and stupid with it) to the whole “can’t save” thing.

    But although I was supposed to feel less than human as a sex worker, to be honest, I felt more human than I do now. I miss it in many ways. There’s nothing better to put you in touch with your own humanity than reaching out to others–not that it can’t be draining. Or dangerous in this society.

    I hope you get the chance to repeat this post in a speech and change some perceptions.

    XX

  2. I loved your blog.
    I would love to be able to eventually buy your book.
    I am in one of them not so rich states of poverty,ha ha.
    Who am I kidding,I havent been rich since I started this a year ago.
    I have always been hand to mouth and still trying to figure out what I do wrong or if others lie about real wages get weekly.

    One thing about becoming a provider is that noone will help you when you start out.
    If anything,Some might throw up road blocks,
    but help is not on the high list of cool things to do.
    Not in my case any way.

    I swore I would change that one day and give help to ones starting out.
    A place they could go too and trust that the information was informative and up to date with all them stupid embarrassed to ask questions answered best I could without hanging myself or such but relieving my mind of any guilt for throwing them out to the wolves as they are today.

    Alot of assumption for most that anyone doing this type of work is from this arena already.
    Having been dancing or massage or just the local whore of township seems to make you a candidate too.
    I was not.
    I had regular career for 22 years.
    I Was raised as all inhibited good catholic girls and knew little of sex or how to do it in that many ways let alone talk about it much
    without getting a bit red.

    Had someone bet me four years ago,bet me a million bucks
    I would be sitting around one day,
    reading through public forums and such on the internet
    hoping there was a raving review on my abilties,well,
    I would be in the hole a million bucks for sure.

    Just goes to show you,life still has her ways of giving the cosmic burp on ya.
    Im on a new path of life and hey,I was always kind of a wild
    child adventure free spirited type of gal anyway.

    I threw off my societal mind screwing shackles and put on fuzzy ones.

    After I lost my job while getting shafted,boned and tatooed with no paint.
    I came to thinking about this as a career option after seeing a special on the history channel for tax evasion and the Mustang Ranch.
    I was also motivated by my soon homeless state if I did not
    come up with some money for the hands out asking for it all the time.
    Being the kind of woman who does what she has to do,
    I tried it.
    I think I am still trying it,lol,
    as I do not feel I have any tip of the “tip” of the iceburg
    in knowledge of all there is to this.
    I cant find anyone who wants an understudy .haha
    Or anyone who wants to train me individually and privately for millions a year.

    (The Position is still open by the way,better hurry though,its a one of kind chance to spoil rotton a gal,
    all the while teaching her all you know in how to please you in any way
    we deem funner than monkey barrels,
    while paying grossly expensive fees. Opportunity knocks!)
    lol
    I havent made near what the girl on tv said she was making weekly.
    But I do have hopes. ha ha
    Yes being at the ranch I am sure had its rewards and status of many wealthy men coming through just to say they had been there in thier lifetime.

    I am not really on that list of things to do before they die ,
    let alone aristocrats at the present time,
    but I have high expectations ! ROFL

    Back to the starting out problems.
    Nothing like a marked women to slime balls who prey on newbies.
    Most forums and Back ground checking places wont take you in or let you post ads until you have three reviews.
    It is a catch 22 and the new gals are at mercy of the scumbags,being socially labeled as such and in open for all to see.

    You cant be seen,
    rather no ads to see your offering anything,
    are in business,
    if not able to post ads.
    How can you get reviews if not posting ads?
    Who would see you? Where can you post one?
    Then on top of it most men will not see anyone that is new.

    You hope for brave nice clients to call soon.
    Ask favor of god,
    Can he maybe throw ya a boner this time in a hurry
    so can stay sheltered and able to shower and eat.

    They put Newbie on your forum handle name.
    Now not for nothing,but if that is not a come and rob me
    or treat me bad beacon,
    I must be having a criminal mind,because it sure is what I would look for if I were a scum bag and preyed onthe new unknowledgable and scared witless but desperate due to liking dry sheets and water daily.
    But not enough of a criminal I suppose as I never thought about resorting to losing my morals ,Yes I have some high standards of right and wrong.
    Stealing was wrong and prostitution was not.

    I am sure this is not mosts view,
    but I never saw anything wrong with escorting or such.
    If anything,I kind of found it intriquing,tabooishly fun if anything,
    but of course my life was set on its course(so I had thought)
    and that just was not an option at that point in life so
    I really didnt think much on it.

    So I was not really prepared in what or how to go about doing it.
    So I winged it,affer finding out none was helpful or leading me where I mgiht find somelor letting on any was even around ot be found.

    ON the good side,
    I certainly did not have to hurdle much social persecution worries
    or breaking law mind set as I never thoght it was a law worth having anyway.
    It helped society way I saw it. So that part wasnt hard.
    Actually I recall a moment that I was laughing hysterically on my carpet I managed to stay another month on thinking how ironic it was to be getting payed to have fun,as I was a bit of a home body,
    I did not go out much.
    I was still alive in my wants and desires
    but was tired of the games,bars,creeps and disappointments,
    so I was not seeing men all too often and well,no money to go out anyway.
    BUt as odd as it was,
    Here I am getting payed to go out,
    have fun and what an ego boost to a aging woman to have men
    pick them out due to some attributing factor or review
    over all the many choices is well,flattering.

    I felt pretty. It felt good, I was haoppy and I guess I was surprised I was. The stupidity of it all.
    I am laughing now.
    It makes no sense but it does but it dont.
    Now I only had to do an hour or so of work at a time.
    Make some money for bills,although very unpredictable as when i have it or how often,so thrill of that mixed in and I can manage to behave in public for an hour at a clip I think.

    Its the dating jerks I had given up on and well,
    now I get to have fun and no worry of relationship hell.
    They leave. or I do.
    and both are happy.
    What a deal.
    Broke, 42,feeling attractive and spunky for some michievious actions
    or such I am discreetly trying to figure out while thrill of being so frightened of doing it wrong I end up embarrassingly in jail or dead or you know. Whatever could happen that I screw up in some way by being naiive.
    While acting like I know exactly what I am doing
    and I am damn good at it!
    I guess the whole idea took me into the giggles as I wasnt in jail and I had it seemed made some happy faces,had one myself,kinda having fun,
    money in my pocket(for now) still dont know shit and some thrill of being stupid I suppose ,the newness of it all.
    The hand in the cookie jar and getting away with three of them?

    Dr. Sue and porns helped alot.
    Then it was my curiosity,
    I like adult fun,am not dead,not bad looking I dont think,
    a lot of mustered up bravado from balls of the invisible kind,
    that gave me the guts to do it I suppose.
    Possibly a lot of ego or rather pride.
    I was not capable to ask for help or make my self a nuisance to others by begging or groveling.
    I figured it was pretty obvious my issues to anyone who knew me and none seemed to find me worthy of worrying about so I wasnt going to go give satisfaction of watching me sink by giving them front row seats.

    ONe day maybe I can fix this Newbie problem,
    No one place to find information at problem one day on a website.
    I am pleased to find today you have already thought of this yourself and
    given this medium to us be utilized.

    I am sure your book is full of much needed information
    that could save a lot of stress,headaches,possibly even lives.

    ANywya, I am still learning,and was impressed with your doing it and after reading your blog,
    it appears as if it is going to be chock full of what I need and then some.
    I look forward to stalking ya a bit in future.
    In a good way of course.
    You seem like you been through it all.
    You also seem to of made it out shiny and with a sense of humor .
    This is something in itself.
    You have remained beautiful in heart
    as well as that exterior wrapping being lovely to see as well,
    that our fine little providing souls are wrapped in.

    The way I see it with the society view point all sucky and backwards as it is,
    that if any one used a bit of logic,
    they would be making this legal.

    Only reason it is not as well as drugs of some sorts is due to the ones making money off it big time way,
    are the ones making it illegal.
    They got it in thier pockets .
    The cash coming from it,whether it is from busting us,selling us,using us or seeing us,they some how have thier hand in the till and do not want competition.
    Period.
    We should be getting praise and thank you notes if anything.

    For one it saves marriages.
    Providers and escorts are safer than the local tavern late night
    take the beer pretty slut at closing time risk or
    the free sex adverts that god knows why or when they did last and are not professionals and will most likely not be professional in action
    of staying healthy and alive.
    2,
    The rape numbers surely have gone down due to this outlet being available.
    I think if it was more available and easily obtained with out heat from police or the neighbors prying eyes,maybe the rates would go down considerably less.

    3,
    I do know that divorce rates are much lower.
    Many would not have been able to stay in thier marriages for long
    if they had no way of getting some kind of satisfaction thru another medium.

    You seem like your on the ball and I hope to meet ya one day.
    Stay sweet and keep the sarcasm ,I love it.
    Micky

  3. Apparently sucking cock and dodging serial rapists and vice cops isn’t hard work. Oh well, it seemed like work at the time.

    it’s because most of America has been brought up by “religion” that sex is not to be promoted and used as a tool for making money or gaining power

    Well the Grecians and Romans had fun for how long?

    It’s religion that built America

    I remember the great Venus De Light – 2 time stripper hall of famer and 6 time miss nude universe and pro prostitution said to me she was retiring from the industry because of the taking of strippers tips by some of the largest strip clubs in the country

    She fought years ago in Manhattan flashing her titties with her friends to fight against the obcenity law that women wouldnt bare their breasts in public but men can.

    She won for awhile

    lol

    http://www.lvrj.com/news/9612332.html?numComments=42
    http://pimpcafe.com

  4. Great, “It’s” all over the Internet!!! You survived nothing- you sure as heck did not survive your own lack of intelligence. Peddling rights for human filth masquerading as a real woman? Give it up! And please, please tell someone that a condom only gives 70% protection against the HPV virus that is spread by skin to skin contact and needs no symptoms to be spread. Cervical cancer threat for wives unlucky enough to have a husband who, unbeknownst to his wife, physically assaults her by using a “High Risk” Low Class Last Resort like yourself. Spare the drivel about how being clean or attractive makes you virus free. Empowering “whores” is your field? How about not aiding and abetting the TOTAL, COMPLETE HUMILIATION OF THE HUMAN BEING WHO LOVES HER HUSBAND THE MOST – HIS WIFE! No empowerment for her! You and your filthy ilk wage ware on the American family more than the homosexual lobbies ever will. What can we expect? God says in the Bible that harlots “wipe their mouths and say they have done no wrong.” Of course, in your fantasy world this planet had no creator – or at the very least a creator who wanted family units to be destroyed by money addicted human toilets. Pat yourself on the back, keep telling yourself how abused you have been by the world and people like me who can show in a million ways that you offer nothing to the world. You are the enemy of any sane woman – wife, mother, grandmother, and especially young girl growing up to be infected with your brainless poison. By the way, how smart of you to let men continue the pedophile abuse that you suffered at your own father’s hands. You have succeeded in pimping YOURSELF into continuing to be the victim. FOOL. Please go away and keep your poison from infecting young girls. You are a dim bulb who perpetuates her own abuse and than bitches about it. (PS- More from that silly God – “Her house is on the way to hell.” Proverbs 7:27 Thank you for all you lead to their own destruction. You’ve come a long way baby? NOT!!!

    1. Thank you Betty for exemplifing the very hatred and stereotypes the sex worker rights movement is working to overcome! Your anger and prejudice are indicative of someone who is in a great deal of pain. I don’t know your story but I am sure you have been hurt somehow by someone and sex workers make a convenient target for your fear and sadness. I hope you find the healing you need to create a more loving presence on the planet but meanwhile I wish to address just a few points for my readers. The two most important facts pertinent to the vitriol you have spewed here is this:

      1. Many sex workers are daughters, mothers and wives

      2. Many sex workers pray, go to church and believe in any number of dieties including God

      It is a dangerous thing when we cast any population as villain. Even the Religious Right. Let us move into this new year with love and acceptance and tolerance in our hearts!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s