By Erin Sherbert
By Erin Sherbert
By Leif Haven
By Erin Sherbert
By Chris Roberts
By Kate Conger
By Brian Rinker
By Rachel Swan
People ask me, "What if he's ugly?" My attraction to a client is largely irrelevant. When I find my clients attractive, it's a bonus, but it's not a requirement. The service I provide is companionship, and when someone is respectful, generous, and communicative, I am almost certain to have a good time with them.
I am reminded of when I used to work as a waitress. It wouldn't matter if someone was attractive or interesting, I would still serve them. But certain customers are more pleasant than others and that always made the job more enjoyable. I looked forward to the man who came into the restaurant I worked at every Thursday, ordered a BLT and a chocolate milkshake, talked baseball with me, and always left a large tip. Now I look forward to my weekly client who likes to be spanked, brings me comic books, talks baseball with me, and always leaves a large tip.
Like most people, I also have hard days at work. Sometimes I don't want to put on makeup and lingerie and exude old Hollywood sexuality and coquettish moans; some nights I'd rather stay at home with my cat and watch Game of Thrones. I imagine most people feel that way. I chose sex work for many reasons, but mainly because I enjoyed the work, I excelled at it, and it allowed me to live in the city that I love. I understood that choosing sex work made me vulnerable to criminalization and stigma, but seeing myself as an entrepreneur fulfilled me in a way work never had before. People hope to find a job that is best suited to their skills and interests, and for me, that job is sex work.
Once there were naked pictures of me on the Internet, I knew I had to say goodbye to (openly) dating senators and being crowned Miss America. I thought that perhaps traditional long-term commitment might have to be crossed off the list as well. Even though I felt confident about my new professional identity, I understood that bringing a whore home for the holidays is not something many people are keen to sign up for.
Then, in February 2011, I met Jesse James, a sweet Midwestern boy who moved to the big city with the secret hope he'd someday get to date a girl who worked at the Lusty Lady. He loved Star Wars and had studied third-wave feminism. He even had friends who had put themselves through school by doing sex work. So he came to the table with an understanding that sex work was my job, and not a threat to our relationship. He also understood that I had no interest in leaving the industry any time soon. The stigma that comes with dating a sex worker can be cruel. Many people have negative opinions about sex workers, so coming out to friends and family can be challenging. Moreover, that stigma also informs legislation that criminalizes the partners of sex workers. I worried that Jesse wasn't sure what he was getting himself into.
"When Prop. 35 was put on the ballot and sex workers got wind of it, we were very concerned," says Carol Leigh, one of the founders of the sex-worker rights movement. Leigh actually coined the term "sex worker" in 1978 to reduce the stigma associated with "prostitute." The sex worker community vehemently spoke out against Prop. 35, but it seemed the arguments fell on deaf ears. The proposition was almost guaranteed to pass. Former Facebook executive Chris Kelly provided the major funding for a campaign that seemed to have an endless budget for billboards and commercials depicting images of nameless young girls with chains around their wrists and teary eyes to evoke the horrors of human trafficking. If I saw Prop. 35 on the ballot and didn't know any better, I may have voted for it too.
"Everyone's against trafficking and sexual slavery," Leigh says. "Of course issues of force and coercion are of concern to sex workers. ... At the same time, usually that's done in a way to dis-empower us, and Prop. 35 was no exception."
I know this is off story, but do you recommend, any good resteraunts, close to Fisherman's Wraf, that are good for birthdays, sorry ?
" I chose sex work for many reasons, but mainly because I enjoyed the work, I excelled at it, and it allowed me to live in the city that I love. I understood that choosing sex work made me vulnerable to criminalization and stigma, but seeing myself as an entrepreneur fulfilled me in a way work never had before."
An excellent collection of delusional rationalizations. I usually find narcissism hilarious, but this is just sad...
Props to Siouxie for injecting some sanity into the mix. Props also on yr column, lk forward to it! Prop 35 definitely uses peoples' proper horror @ a really sick & twisted business (trafficking) to attack an entirely different business: willing sex work. Unfortunately its backers have succeeded in confusing the two for many people.
Wonder how her BF feels knowing he's exposed to all kinds of bugs including HPV (which she certainly carries and spreads) which can cause cancers in womyn and men.
I don't know what's more horrifying. That a young Gen-Y sexworker thinks she discovered "hidden kinks" in San Francisco that have been obvious and popular for decades, or that people are STILL commenting that sex work is somehow not real work, or the work of the emotionally damaged.
Come on world, you're changing much too slowly.
Sorry, long rant. I had a lot of time to think on this. :)
I guarantee the troll is a religious nutjob. If she finds sex working so abhorrent then she should definitely never try sex working. But for religious people to demand their chosen morality should be inflicted upon all Americans is to indoctrinate a FREE society into their own perceived ideal way of life. Separate the church and state. Do not have abortions if you are against them.
Rape victims, women who cannot support themselves or are just teens, women who have done drugs during their pregnancies need to have this option. Why are the conservatives
trying to close abortion clinics and force women into having babies they cannot care for or ones who put out their babies in danger by living a reckless life or birth a baby with horrible health trauma and deformities? But they refuse to teach REAL sex ed, they refuse to make birth control pills an OTC drug though it's safer than Tylenol and they'll die before they make condoms free and available. So, have those babies, girls. We won't give you an ounce of help except we will pray for you. Prayers don't feed babies.
We enjoy our free society and the right to pursue happiness. Do not make your religious beliefs my American law. Do not begin 1.31 lives in a manner that they maybe cannot survive in.
You are a group of people who deny sex for fun. If sex is only for procreation, should infertile couples be required to get divorced? Are you a failure if you only have one or two kids? No. That's insane. We are a free nation. Sex workers may not be your cup of tea - personally, I couldn't do it - but you should allow them the freedom of choosing what to do with their own bodies. WE OWN OURSELVES. I don't believe in your god and refuse to worship him. I don't fear his wrath if some women support themselves this way and maybe support a few children they didn't abort but might have done so without the income that sex work provides.
You religious beliefs cannot become my national law.
Let's begin to make sex work a legitimate industry with health and safety standards, a database or licensing system that treats workers as employees and clients as, well, tax-paying clients. Instead of banishing women to the dark alley or making them fear bullshit trafficking laws, let's bring it out into the open and make it better.
Oh, and lazy? I think that's probably the last thing this writer is. She is aware of her sexual side, embraces it, gains pleasure from her work and makes a good income that would otherwise make her a retail worker needing food stamps. It's HER choice. Her clients are exercising THEIR choice. YOU can go and pray for them. The rest of us are trying to take away the stigma of this "oldest profession".
And if you think your god is against this and our nation must stand firm against this industry, how will you feel when Allah is the god in charge?
We don't have to personally be involved in their world but we do need to make sure that they can pursue whatever they want. It's a basic citizen right. And we are all citizens.
More power to the sex worker, it's a thankless occupation, a good article.
It's odd that Susie consulted Courtney/Trouble, as Courtney/Trouble is an unpleasant nut job.
If the strip clubs didn't take so much money from the girls, especially house keys.. Girls wouldn't feel the need to do extras. The term independent contractor means you can walk into work and leave whenever you want you are your own boss. The San Francisco strip clubs have some nerve telling you that you cannot leave. That is illegal. You are paying to work at their dirty ass venue: and yeah yeah so many people have them sacks work now it's just so cool. I'm a former sex worker except I was doing it legally in porn films as well as the ranches in Nevada. I pay taxes on that. I could write a book too but I figured it would all sound the same. The guys are come by are all overweight and have either too big of a penis or too small of a penis. Most of them smell that's why they come to the prostitute. Most of them are cheap. And a whole lot of celebrities. There's my book
It's not a profession. Medicine, Science, business are professions. You were showing your cootchie for cash. There is a big difference.
^^^ To judge another, is to judge yourself. Unconditional love means to accept another fully without judgement. Stand in front of a mirror, look into your eyes, and say to yourself everything you wrote. Then experience what you feel fully.
Fantastic article! As someone who loves a sexworker and who has nearly been arrested for being a "pimp" because of it, it feels good to know that there are people like you out there actively working to make things better. You are awesome keep it up!
go to school and go put your energy a real career.you are lazy.and stop dragging or keeping ostage fragile /co- depend boyfriend in your desease. and BTW:you are not selling intimacy to the married johns you provide your services to ,no ...you are just sexing them up.The men you serve are sick very sick.You need therapie ,you need to heal,go to "SAGE" it's an community that will provide you with the help you need. .you are worth more then the self inflicted abuse you put yourself through.this paper is well written but the content is pure sex traffic propaganda.she knows and we know it.you are a sad girl.
What's delusional. Everyone with a job is being used, I'm not saying that from a moronic SF progressive angle, just as a statement of fact. If a person does sex work what's that to you.
Do you do Valley speak as well?
@downtownbrown But venereal diseases are empowering to this "professional"! You know you've become a real SF entrepreneur when you contract herpes...
@Kestrel I am an atheist and have been since a child. I am pro abortion and OTC birth control. I am also the parent of 3 and having an industry that clothes itself as a profession when it consists of hourly hole rental is not the role model for children. It teaches girls that bodies are not for enjoying in athletics but for sexualizing and monetizing. It teaches boys to pay for the rent a hole dopamine rush. Giving people "choice" to sell flesh and condone this as benign freedom is, at the same time, denying them the freedom to see the other side: a hotbed of low self esteem riddled with essays like this to convince you they are grand entrepreneurs saving sad men, and a body with viruses that spread like wildfire and cause compromised immune systems overwhelmed with so many pathogens. The rent a hole industry is not freedom no matter how many sex workers would love to seduce with words as well as shaved genitals.
@ExecuteTamayoNow Medicine, science and business are industries IN which you can have a profession-like by being a nurse, researcher or accountant. Sex is also an industry, with publications, products, venues and tourism. Even if you reduce the author's work to "showing cootchie for cash" the longevity of her commitment and the skills required classifies it as a profession. And that is discounting her achievements as a sex-work author and sex-work podcast host.
@ExecuteTamayoNow business can mean almost anything. For example an account execs main tasks include entertaining clients, sealing deals over drinks, making someone feel like the most important person of the room. basically sales. think about it for a second.
@whorelover Enjoy your venereal diseases! They're empowering!
Not everyone feels the way or experiences life the way you do. Not every sex worker is "damaged" and many non sex workers are. As long as a person is doing it out of choice and not coercion then there should be no problem.