delve a little deeper....
Ok, this is going to sound full of snark, but if it stops just one moron from ringing me up then I am happy! :)
Things clients say that won't get you a booking with me:
Crime: Overuse of terms of endearments
Likely to say: "Hello darling, how are you my darling? I'd like to see you today darling, when can I see you darling?"
Why it offends me: It's annoying, I am not your darling and if you annoy me in the first 3 seconds of a phone call I'm not going to tolerate an hour with you.
What you will be saved in my phone as: DNS (Do not see)
Crime: Asking a million questions
Likely to say: "Where are you? how old are you? Can you tell me what you look like? How much is it?"
Why it offends me: If you don't know these things about me, why have you decided to call me and if you tell me your mate gave you my number then I shall tell you to bloody ask him what I look like!
What you will be saved in my phone as: DNS (Do not see)
Crime: Getting off for free
Likely to say: How big are your breasts, are they full? Do your nipples get hard? Are you shaved? What will you wear for me? Are you horny?
Why it offends me: I can hear you wanking!
What you will be saved in my phone as: Phone Wanker
Crime: Boundary Pushing
Likely to say: Do you do anal/bareback/other service I don't offer? Oh but I'm small/clean/nice, I'm sure we'll get on really well, when you meet me you'll see I'm a gentleman...
Why it offends me: Just NO!
What you will be saved in my phone as: TWAT
Crime: Having a vivid imagination
Likely to say: My wife and I want to have a threesome. Now let me tell you a really long winded scenario about how I'd like the booking to happen. Oh, she is out at the moment, I'll get her to call you later.
Why it offends me: Your wife knows nothing of this you lying cunt!
What you will be saved in my phone as: TW (Timewaster)
Crime: Owning an enormous penis
Likely to say: I've got 10 inches can you take that much? I'm going to send you a photo! Are you sure you can take it? I've got good girth too!
Why it offends me: You've got a 4 inch winkle and you're never ever going to actually show up.
What you will be saved in my phone as: Cockwomble
Crime: Being Scary
Likely to say: Can we do a rape scenario? Can I tie you up and spit in your face? Can I take you dogging?
Why it offends me: No respect for my safety and security concerns, also I've never met you before!
What you will be saved in my phone as: DNS (Do not see)
Other things that make me be booked up for the next six months
1. What time are you open til?
2. What's your postcode? (as an opening line)
3. What girls have you got available? (Um Lydia, Lydia or Lydia)
4. Can I come now, I'm two minutes away. (when you don't know where I live and you haven't even said hello)
5. Can my mate come too?
6. Anything in an accent I can't understand.
7. If you're calling me when I can hear kids nearby (It weirds me out)
8. Would you fuck my dog for a grand (Yes, it happened)
9. I want you to pull my mate but not let him know I've paid you.
10. I want to meet you in a pub/in public (When I don't know them at all)
Am I too cynical?!
This month I spent some time ranting about The All Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade (APPG) are launching an inquiry to assess the current UK legal settlement surrounding prostitution. They wish to identify how legislation to tackle demand could safeguard those in danger of sexual exploitation and abuse. I wrote about the issues that concerned me regarding the APPG in this blog and urged people to respond to the questionnaire. In fact I was so determined to get people to take note and respond I blogged a helpful breakdown of the questions, along with my answers.
Incidentally, the responses for this survey are due to be released in January 2014, so that'll be interesting.... watch this space.
I also had a photoshoot in January. Here is one of the photos:
Consisted of me both plugging my March tour to Reading and trying to convince people to romance me on Valentines day. Both failed miserably :(
I also wrote my first blog on my struggle with feminism and how I found it hard to relate to. As someone who of course believes in the equal rights of women, I found it hard to discover that many other women only want equal rights for a certain sort of women (ie. Not sex workers, the working class or anyone who they disapprove of) and that radical feminism has hateful views on sex work, transgender issues and all men.
The Easter Bunny with One Ear was one of my favourite stories I shared with you this year! The saga rumbled on into May too where I wrote about it again. I never did get a refund!
Other than being the oldest bunny in town I wrote a lot in March! Joan Smith pissed me off, I worried about Talking Dirty and I got pissed off again, this time with Melissa Farley and was inspired to write Why I made The Choice to become a prostitute by Brooke Magnanti who had written about Farley.
With April's showers came a long piece on porn, this took for-fucking-ever to write so you can read it again- it's a bit about the history of porn and inspired by me getting fed up with men who learn about sex from porn and therefore don't know how to do it properly!
I also dabbled in satire after Samantha Brick annoyed the entire nation yet again by announcing she was so beautiful other women hated her...
Finally, probably one of the hardest stories to write, but also one I am proud of being allowed to tell. It also highlighted the appalling rape conviction statistics and the Merseyside model in relation to Police attitudes to sex workers.
The Minxipedia was born!
AND I started a Twitter Storm!
Go May !
Oh, and then I got all angsty about feminism again!
Another tough blog- I wrote, for the first time about when I was outed at work. A hard one to write but something that a lot of people wrote to me and tweeted about which was lovely.
However, I also got slagged off by Mumsnet (I'm sure I need a T shirt for that) and in terrific news there was Victory for Scottish Sex Workers.
Part Two coming up tomorrow!
It's kind of ironic that last night I was literally round the corner from Soho having been to see Miranda Kane and her Coin Operated Girl show. A comedy performance of a former escort aiming to dispel some of the myths that sex workers are unhappy, forced, trafficked drug addicts *insert media stereotype of choice*. It's hilarious and brilliant by the way.
Completely unaware what was going on in Soho I went home to discover via Twitter that the police had been making raids on 25 flats of sex workers, three sex shops and two lap dancing clubs. This morning's media is awash with stories of crime, trafficking and forced prostitution. The angle is all about 'cleaning up' Soho and rescuing women. I am not naive enough to think that Soho is squeaky clean, I am pretty positive that there are criminal elements in Soho, however sex work is not one of them and the treatment of the women caught up in the raids is appalling and barbaric:
I just feel feel very angry, sad and helpless.
There is some irony that having published a guest blog earlier today from a lovely client that I then read THIS from The Independent by Mary Honeyball, a Labour MEP for London. Said article informs me that actually, my clients are committing violence against me and she is in favour of the Swedish Model.
Yes the Swedish Model which criminalises clients, but not the sex worker (except she uses the term prostitute, natch) which is well documented as dangerous, ineffective and stupid and of no help to sex workers whether they choose to be in the industry or not.
Soooo much has been written regarding the Swedish Model and attempts by other countries to introduce similar models or the criminalisation of clients including me, but far better by Dr Brooke Magnanti- here, Laura Lee here, here by the International Prostitutes Collective, here by Feminist Ire and here is a paper that explains why The Swedish Model has failed. A small drop in the ocean of blogs, newspaper articles and academic papers on the subject.
I read such articles as the one mentioned in my first paragraph and feel angry, ranty and sad. They make me want to shout, I feel frustration, I feel confused why sex workers are not listened to by these people who think they know better what sex workers want or need to operate safely.
I have said before but I truly believe the anti brigade operate on the basis of personal preferences (I don't want to have sex with strange men so why should anyone else), a sense of do good-ing blindness (Oh lucky middle class me, let me rescue some poor people) and possibly fear (These filthy women lure our husbands into dirty vices). Or is it just terribly trendy to come out as anti prostitution? (ooh brave old me, tackling such a gritty grimy subject, I'm just like Princess Di hugging those AIDS children) or simply misguided all men are bastards feminism?
I don't know.
I wanted to tackle what Mary Honeyball has said, but it's been said, over and over and over. Crap stats and skewed studies have been discredited, heck Melissa Farley for starters? Joan Smith, who is referenced in the Honeyball piece was laughed at collectively for her little jaunt to Sweden to sit in cop cars as 'research', but forgot to speak to any actual sex workers... then we get ridiculous TV shows where Jodie Marsh is considered a good idea and "hard hitting" expose documentaries about the seedy side of the industry whitewashed as the *entire* sex industry.
Honeyball starts her piece by referring to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women citing rape, domestic violence and genital mutilation as issues that (rightly) need tackling, then goes on to whine that prostitution isn't considered violence against women and that everyone seems to be mildly amused by it because Russell Brand pays for it! Seriously, you think that?! You don't think there is enough anti sex work propaganda about?! Or maybe, just maybe, many people do actually think that plenty of women do enter prostitution freely, do it happily and not under force or pressure. I do hope Smith reads the comments on her piece which are overwhelmingly negative with regards to her words.
Apart from anything, I don't want want crimes of violence against women shoved to one side and yet another debate on prostitution had. Those who are forced into prostitution are not sex workers, they are as much victims (and survivors) as other women subjected to violence.
Further to that, Honeyball says:
I favour the Swedish Model, a middle way which permits selling sex but criminalises buying it.
Can't you hear the clutching of pearls and smug, holier than thou smile? Aren't I clever, I'm not harming the poor women, just the nice, law abiding clients who pay for their services thus their bills and food on the table and shoes on their children's feet.
Not only has it halved street prostitution...
I think you'll find the advent of the internet did that to the industry from about ooh, what 1999?, Oh yes, by coincidence the year the Swedish Model was introduced. Spooky no?
...but it has also successfully stigmatised using the sex trade...
Ahh yes stigma, we all want more stigma don't we? Why don't we start sending unmarried mothers to the country to be hidden away until their baby is adopted or shall we start putting up signs in pub windows saying 'No Dogs, No Blacks, No Irish' ? or why don't we sack women who work as escorts because they get outed by the press? (oh, that happens still).
Yes stigma, it's what made Britain great.
Finally, just in case anyone hasn't got this point:
THERE ARE ALREADY LAWS IN PLACE WHICH COVER THE RAPE, ATTACK, ROBBERY, COERCION OF MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN. WE DON'T NEED SPECIAL ONES FOR SEX WORKERS THAT STOP US DOING OUR JOBS!
Earlier this week I hit upon the idea to ask a couple of people I like and respect to write me a guest blog post. I know that makes me sounds terribly important, or maybe even lazy, but I thought it would make a nice change to have a different 'voice' on this blog, new perspectives on the sex industry and also, I have writers block!
Mr B kindly sent me this this afternoon and I am most pleased- it's always good to hear from the the other side of the fence and, if I'm going to be a bit political, it goes towards demonstrating that the clients of sex workers are not evil, woman hating men.
So thank you Mr B, I really appreciate it! Here goes...
Ten things I've learned as a punter
When Lydia suggested I write a guest blog from the client’s perspective I was torn between two conflicting ideas. Firstly, that I couldn’t possibly represent the views of all punters, which deterred me and, secondly, that I wasn’t aware that it had been done before. The second idea gradually grew on me, so here it is: a list of ten things I’ve learned in the last couple of years – it may be helpful to others, but in the end it’s only my experience.
Those of you who follow 'the industry' will be fully aware of the recent murders of two sex workers and several blogs have already talked about them so I am not going to regurgitate their words when so much has been beautifully written already.
What I wanted to to do was highlight these terrible events and promote the demonstration happening on Friday to those of you who follow this blog and may not have read about the deaths of Dora in Turkey and Jasmine in Sweden.
Please do take time to read the following links:
From Tits and Sass by Caty Simon
Sometimes it's just a cigar blog Justice for Jasmine by Jemima. Do read the comments made by Jasmine's mother
It's time for ACTION by Laura Lee
From The International Commitee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe by Luca Stevenson
and the press release from the ICRSE
Following the murders of Dora Özer and Petite Jasmine on the 9th and 11 of July 2013, sex workers, their friends, families, and allies are coming together to demand an end to stigma, criminalisation, violence and murders. In the week since the two tragedies occurred, the feelings of anger, grief, sadness and injustice – for the loss of Dora and Jasmine, but also for the senseless and systemic murders and violence against sex workers worldwide – have brought together people in more than 25 cities from three continents who agreed to organise demos, vigils, and protests in front of Turkish and Swedish embassies or other symbolic places. JOIN US on Friday the 19th at 3 pm local time and stand in solidarity with sex workers and their loved ones around the world! Justice for Dora! Justice for Jasmine! Justice for all sex workers who are victims of violence!
Words taken from http://jasmineanddora.wordpress.com/
What I'd love is for some non sex worker type to come out in support too. Do read the above links to see where a demo is happening near you.
If you can't make it then you can do your bit by getting #stigmakills to trend on twitter at 8am, 12pm and 10pm. Follow @whorephobia for more info and look out for my relevant tweets which you can retweet.
The irony of course is that those who aren't connected with the industry will be too embarrassed what other people might think to stand in solidarity with us.
Take a little bit of that fear or shame and use it to understand how stigma, whorephobia, shite laws and injustice effect the lives and cause the deaths of sex workers.
Do it for the Jasmines and Doras of the world.
Anyone who knows this blog well enough will know of my loathing of the press and it has been at the front of my mind again because I was thinking about content for the wonderful Everyday Whorephobia website. I offered my blog post about tabloids and the outing of sex workers which was kindly accepted and posted (here if you're interested).
I'm reluctant to go into details about my own personal outing (Oh God, that sounds like I went to the seaside for the day; I mean in the press) because obviously I would prefer to protect my anonymity/.
What I haven't ever really written about is what happened when I was outed at work. I think it's time I got it down, firstly for my own cathartic reasons and secondly it is a perfect demonstration of whorephobia and the stigma sex workers face. I also feel a bit uncomfortable telling this story to other sex workers who also have other jobs because it scares the hell out of them. However, if this blog works as a reminder of why you should be really fucking careful then it's done some good. Some details are sketchy or have been altered to protect myself.
When I started escorting it was on a very part time basis. I had a full time job which was fairly demanding and meant working weekends, but this worked well because it meant I was able to work on week days when I was off work which tend to be the busier times. I didn't live with anyone I had to hide it from and my lover and best friend at the time were very supportive.
In a way escorting saved me. It sorted me out financially and I as I was started to feel disillusioned with one night stands and meaningless flings it gave me sex without the crap that went with it and despite what some people might think I found I didn't feel ‘used’ in the way I was starting to with men I would meet on civvie street. In fact I still say to people that most of my clients are nicer, kinder, more honest and more reliable than many of the non paying men I have had in my life!
Everything ticked along nicely, me being happier than I had been in a long time. Juggling work and clients was easy. I didn't have to see many clients because on top of a decent salary the extra £200 or so a week made a massive difference to me and I was getting debts paid off and able to enjoy life again. I was hardly out buying Louboutins and jetting off on luxury holidays, but able to do , you know, normal things like pay my bills on time, be able to afford to meet friends for dinner after spending so long having to turn down most social arrangements.
I'm going to skim over the story of who outed me and the background to that huge almighty fuck up of a relationship but I will say it was someone I had only known about six weeks, it was a bit intense and I felt I needed to tell him about my escorting work because at the time I thought it was a relationship going somewhere. Once I realised he was controlling, manipulative and a liar I got out. I ended it nicely (it's not you it's me type thing!) It was a fling, it was brief, it didn't work out, no harm done... you'd think.
Oh how right I was in my suspicions this man was a nutjob. He didn't take being ditched very well. After much pestering, begging, threats, anger, tears, accusations of STI's via text, voicemails and emails for two months he did finally go away.
However, four months after the end of the six week fling he reappeared. Well, actually he didn't reappear, what did appear was an email sent to several departments of the organisation I worked for. The email was written as if from a third party who knew that I was working for them and as an escort and how could they allow such a disgusting person be part of their organisation. There was a helpful link to my adultwork profile and a couple of personal bits of info thrown in such as my job title and where I lived.
The person who first picked up the email; someone I worked with a lot and got on well with came to see me with it. She assumed that it was all a made up lie and wanted to warn me that I obviously had an enemy. Incidentally, she got bollocked and taken down a disciplinary route for telling me first and not flagging it up to her manager first. She suggested I went to tell my manager and I felt I had to because she did have a responsibility to deal with it and I didn't want to have to make her feel disloyal by doing it. I'm glad I did because it would have come out anyway once other people had seen it (It went to the PR dept and the directorate too I discovered later).
So, I showed my manager and admitted that parts of it were true. He freaked the hell out and I ended up reassuring him that I was fine and I was happy doing it. Off he went to HR in a tizz. Seriously, for a senior manager he handled it appallingly and made it obvious he had no idea how to deal with me or seem to be able to cope with me as a sexual being. I was so the opposite end of his scale of the kind of woman he finds attractive! I also suspect he thought sex workers should look like Julia Roberts in Pretty woman or be heroin addled drug or some other stereotype.
Later that day I had to go to an informal meeting with him and HR where I was asked all manner of embarrassing questions. As much as I was proud of myself for getting my life together by escorting I couldn't help feeling excruciatingly embarrassed and shameful for having done it. I suppose in a way it was like discussing sex with your elderly granny which probably is a good analogy of the organisation I worked for. It wasn't a street wise teenager of a company, it was a prim, conventional, old fashioned stuck in the dark ages kind of place.
Fun questions included Why didn't you tell your manager you had a second job as per company policy? WHY DO YOU FUCKING THINK?!
Have you ever conducted business on company property? Now, if you knew where I worked you'd find this as hilarious as I did.
They asked me about the legality of what I did, who else knew, was I paying tax, where did I advertise, did I think it affected my ability to do my job properly. I mean seriously- I had been there ten years with a perfect record, little sick time and had been promoted in the last year, I hit targets, I ran a department and it's million quid budget, I was respected and frankly shit hot.
I reassured them that I would give up (ha!) and that my job wasn't effected, as surely my boss would have noticed. I only worked occasionally- maybe an hour or two a week and I was very discreet. There was nothing out there regarding my real identity or place of work and that it was only because of some insane, spurned dickhead it had been revealed.
Everyone who I told about this reassured me. It would be fine. Say you're sorry and you'll give up straight away. They can't fire you, you've done nothing wrong, it doesn't effect your work, it's not illegal, what you do in your own time isn't their business blah blah blah.
I was told they weren't going to suspend me whilst they 'investigated' further pending a formal disciplinary, but there were some limitations put on me and I know full bloody well they didn't suspend me because they needed me to cover over the Christmas period.... So I plodded on, more miserable than I ever had been, I was told not to tell anyone at all, so my team were confused at my behaviour and why I wasn't doing certain things and hiding in my office. My boss couldn't look me in the eye and actively avoided me. I was scared and upset about my job and bewildered as to what they were doing to 'investigate' and he was fucking useless. He was furious with me for 'being so stupid' and 'bringing shame on the organisation'.
So Christmas passed and then on New Years Eve I was hauled back to HR (who had come in specially) and told they had investigated and discovered 'incriminating evidence' on my computer. What they had actually found was a word document I had drafted, a Gumtree ad for a threesome, nothing to do with sex work at all but a private thing with a lover. They also had a couple of photos I had inadvertently downloaded (or uploaded, I don't know) wearing tarty clothes and one topless one. Again these were for the lover I had emailed (via hotmail, not the work email, I wasn't that stupid) but had somehow ended up on my hard drive.
Despite being comfortable with my body and taking my clothes off for strange men I was HUGELY embarrassed by this. It was mortifying. Despite quite liking men getting off on photos of me I was cringing like mad over the fact people in IT, HR and my boss had seen these photos. At this point I was suspended. I had the humiliation of being escorted to my office to collect my things, had my staff pass and keys taken away and escorted off the premises like some common thief.
As I walked to the train station I knew I would never go back.
A good friend had put me in touch with a lawyer who despite everyone else telling me that they couldn't sack me told me that yes, indeed they could sack me. Despite not using company property, assets or time to escort, the fact it isn't illegal I was still potentially bringing the company name into disrepute.
I had already decided that I couldn't face going back and never wanted to see my boss again and having discussed it with the HR woman (who was fantastic and kind in many ways) I realised by resigning prior to a disciplinary hearing I could go with an unblemished record and a good reference.
I think they would have sacked me if I had gone through the disciplinary process. I had worked for them long enough and with HR enough times on disciplinary hearings for both my own staff and as an independent manger for other departments to know how they operated and the things they kept raising such as policies regarding second jobs and using company equipment they were gunning to get me on something.
Ten days after I resigned the tabloid rag printed their story on me so even if I had got away with a slap on the wrist I'm pretty sure I would have been forced into leaving one way or another. Yeah, the psycho man was responsible for telling the paper too...
It's a shitty story I know, but it happened and I'm fine. Please don't feel sorry for me, these things make me a stronger person and quite likely I am much happier than where I was a few years ago.
The points I want to make are:
Be very careful if you escort and you work elsewhere.
The stigma of escorting sucks.
Can you imagine if I was bringing a company into disrepute for being a birdwatcher or into knitting or if I babysat the kids next door twice a week. What about firing someone for making a bit of cash on eBay or for staying up all night playing Candy Crush. Why is sex work a reason for forcing someone out of a job? Why does society think that this industry is akin with stabbing kittens or kicking old ladies in the street?
I have some theories but I'd love to know what others think.
Ask any escort and she will tell you this comes under one of the most annoying things to be asked on the phone.
It's not that we don't want clients to ask questions if they are not sure about something and I fully understand why a man would want to confirm that I do the services he requires, but the 'What services do you do?' question which annoys and this is why:
1. I like to think that a man has read my website and profile already decided I am the escort for him because of my looks/price/location/services etc etc BEFORE he calls me up.
2. If I listed all my services it would take ages. Yes I could mention the commonly requested ones and tell him my no nos but how do I know if this covers what he wants?
3. It feels faintly like he is a prank caller wanting to get off on my saying rude words.
4. Why can't he just say what it is he wants? Why can't he be specific? You don't ring a Chinese takeaway and say 'So, what's on the menu?'
5. It's not always convenient for me to speak about naughty things if I am out and about. I don't sit in my flat alone all day waiting for the phone to ring and I don't want to not take calls if I am hoping to arrange bookings for later in the day/week. If I am out I usually say I'm on the train (or wherever) and hope they will realise that it's better for me if they say 'I'm looking for a GFE with a tit wank and a blow job and then to finish off on your tits' So I can easily respond to this with 'Yes, that's fine!' Or, of course if he has more detailed questions to ask when a better time to speak is!
I'm honestly not being grumpy or not understanding that for some blokes it's a nerve racking phone call to make. It's just that the 'What services do you do?' question really bugs me.
Other questions that are impossible or annoying to answer:
1. Are you dirty?
2. Have you got big tits?
3. How old are you? (If it matters why not look it up first, I hardly keep it a secret online)
4. Is it you in the photos? (No, I thought I'd put up pics of my mate *insert sarcasm icon*)
5. Can I have your address? (before a booking has been arranged)
6. Do you know anyone local who is like you but younger? (Yes, I have had this one!)
7. What girls do you have available? (um, am not a brothel)
8. Can you come to an outcall in Manchester at 10pm tonight? (No)
9. Can I book you for my mate, but he mustn't know I've paid you?
10. Can I call you mummy? (No, really, please don't)
Some of you may have seen the Channel 4 documentary (Sex on Wheels- link to 4oD here) last night which followed four disabled people and their quest for sex. It's always fascinating for me to watch things about sex and sexuality and even more so when escorts are part of the mix.
I don't think many people really understand prostitution to be about something more than trashy looking, down on their luck types desperate to make money or the beautiful, glamorous 'high call' call girl types who get jetted round the world, so anything that changes those perceptions is a good thing. Rarely are escorts viewed as girl next door types, motherly, intelligent thoughtful or kind. We tend to be slotted into desperate crack whore or beautiful but manipulative pigeon holes. But this documentary wasn't really about us hos, it was about people who aren't able to have a conventional sex life for various reasons.
John is 26 and has learning difficulties, his mother booked him an escort to enable him to spend some time with a woman and lose his virginity. I can understand how having your mother book you an escort can be considered weird and creepy, but in John's case his mother has had to guide him through life a little more carefully than those with less vulnerable children. As much as she wants John to have a 'normal' life she will be aware that his vulnerability could lead to him being taken advantage. The fact she can bring herself to consider his sexual needs too, something most parent's don't really want or need to think about makes her pretty remarkable.
Carl was a self confessed stud in his time. He talked candidly about the kind of sex he used to get up to (lot's of and in as many places as possible!). He was then rendered paralysed from the waist down in an accident and all that changed. He is now in a wheelchair and can not get an erection or ejaculate. However, the feelings and urges a man (or woman) gets do not necessarily change due to disability. Carl is still the same person and it appeared that losing his sex life was something he coped with less well than he ability to walk.
I once did a survey (not a very scientific one) and asked lots of men if they had to lose either a leg or their penis which would they choose. The result was overwhelmingly high on the losing the leg side! Most men didn't have to think for a second to answer that losing their cock would be much worse than losing a leg!
The documentary showed Carl undertaking various forms of drugs and therapy to try and stir his penis back to life. He had a session with a psychosexual therapist (they used another title for her, but I can't remember what it was) who was attempting to find new ways of arousing him. From what they showed it was very much about sensual body to body contact and not focusing on the penis. Whilst she did not have full sex with him and it was billed as therapy I don't think what she did was very different to how a good escort would deal with the same situation. Pete said at the end that it was the first time he had had a proper hug his since his accident. That I think is probably as much what he missed as full sex, but hadn't realised it.
Anyone who has been in this game will know that whilst caressing and sucking the penis is what most men ultimately want body contact and a more sensual approach is often what is required and what many men miss when they pay for sex. It's not all about the assumed 'fucking a hole' thing many assume sex work is about.
The third person who appeared on a documentary was a young man called Pete with cerebral palsy who dreamed of becoming a porn star. He obviously had the usual urges a man of his age has despite being physically very limited. He was shown going through escort websites and discussing the kind of woman he liked- no different from the process many men go through- is it less palatable because Pete was operating his computer mouse with a stick in his mouth?
Finally Leah was a young woman with brittle bone disease and wheelchair bound. She said she was looking for a husband. Whilst she had had lots of sex she was aware that many men choose to sleep with her because it was something different for them to do, ticking a disabled woman off their tick list. She really wanted to change and meet a nice man rather than a one night stand. All her good intentions went to pot as they showed her on a night out, pissed up and going home with another man whose attitude reeked of using her as a novelty shag. I'm sure some will critisise her of being a bit of a slut, but actually she does no different to many young women and if showing that disabled people are actually the same as the rest of us in many ways was an aim of this programme then that was achieved.
I think the documentary gave a great balance between showing the difficulties disabled people face as well as showing they also have some of the same issues, concerns and needs in life as non disabled people.
The worst thing last night was reading the twitter feed connected to the programme. The #sexonwheels hashtag really brought out the nasty, rude and heartless scum that the internet seems to breed. Of course there were some very supportive tweets about the individuals shown on the documentary but also many horrid ones. I was actually shocked at the language used (cripple, mong, spastic to name a few) and the disgust over John's mother assisting him booking Laura Lee (the escort featured in the programme).
I can not see how anyone could fail to see why John's mother chose to do what she did or that she did it with love and compassion for her son. It didn't come across as weird of creepy in any way. The grief Laura also got was pretty hideous and she is obviously much tougher than me, I could never 'go public' and face the kind of abuse she has. She was sneered at for only doing it for the money and not really caring. Really? Do you think nurses, paramedics, rape counsellors, physiotherapists and others who use their skills and compassion in their job do it for free? The notion that us escorts are 'only in it for the money' was well and truly alive. Jesus, how do you think we should pay our bills, with rainbow dust and fluffy clouds?!
The fact that many people 'hate' sex workers is one I still have a bit of a problem with. I know mostly these people are keyboard warriors and say such things online because it makes them feel big and tough and cool but it does hurt a bit. I don't like being a whole sum based on my profession.
I am no more a typical sex worker than a school teacher is typical. There are good and bad in all professions, everyone has different work styles, ethics, enthusiasm, commitment and integrity. I suppose it's no different from being considered a sleazy estate agent or a ruthless banker or a bastard tax inspector. I think it's because I have never been in a job before that incites any sort of negativity!
And, in the same way that someone with a disability isn't 'typical' it can't be assumed because they are physically or mentally impaired they have no sexual urges or a need to be hugged.
On the plus side, I was pleased that the documentary showed that escorts do offer a wide range of services and are capable of dealing with all types of clients in a caring professional manner. It reminded me why I enjoy meeting virgins and those who don't fit into the typical client category (whatever that is!) and why much of this job is about making other people feel good and not just about hot sex and a pile of used notes.
If you or someone you know has a disability and would like to read more about sex and the disabled or find an appropriate sex worker do visit the TLC trust site