delve a little deeper....
Having spent the most the weekend tweeting innuendos to a group of train drivers (how did my life end up this weird?) and looking forward to a delicious threesome and then recovering from it I have been reading some serious stuff and getting cross. What better way to deal with that crossness, in the short term anyway than to write.
Hopefully, you will have read my letter to Rhoda Grant last week so you'll have a fair inkling how I feel about my work. She obviously took no bit of notice of me (or anyone else who has written to her regarding her stupid bill). This article is a great example, indeed Anne Brown from Angus Woman's Aid says "Nobody chooses to resort to prostitution. We have never worked with a woman who has seen it as a choice.”
ARRRGHHHH!!!!!! Yes some women are in dire situations, but I am not and nor are many many other women. As I pointed out in my letter, yes there are women who are in horrible situations, so why are the people in power not focusing on them and lumping us all into the same 'poor prossie' bracket?!
I'm not going to sugarcoat everything, being an escort is not all lovely, we do get shitty clients and there are days that you wonder if the phone will ring again and days when you wish that those wanting free dirty texts will leave you alone.
Awful things to happen to escorts, there are women out there who are coerced into this world and some that feel they have no escape. When you hear about a fellow escort getting hurt your nerves go on edge and you wonder if the next client to walk through the door is going to be 'the one', and I don't mean in a stupid romantic sense. Every single escort will have a story of a man who has ripped them off, scared them or just plain creeped them out. I have probably turned down perfectly nice men on the basis my bat sense tingles, but you do have to rely on your instinct and it's better to never know if you were right or wrong about a man than risk finding out yes, you were right.
Despite all that, I do enjoy my job, I have met some fabulous men, I have made good friends with clients, I have been made to feel beautiful and adored. I've had amazing sex and I have given most (I hope) of my clients a great time. I have given men affection they don't usually get, made them laugh, made then feel sexy and wanted. I have given confidence to inexperienced men, fulfilled fantasies and had brilliant interesting conversations. This all makes me feel good.
I don't have a boss, annoying staff or a long commute to work. I can pick my days off and holidays, wake up when I want in the morning, I make my own decisions about my business and don't have to get tangled up in office politics. Of course, I don't get sick pay, or holiday pay and like any self employed person there is always the spectre of doom whispering 'What if you don't make enough money this month?' in your ear.
It's not much fun working in an industry that dare not speak its name. (Is prostitution the new gay?) Your mother is unlikely to be proud of you, you make up shit when you meet new people and you live in dread that your family/friends/boss/landlord (delete as appropriate) might find out what you do. Nearly all working girls have someone they don't want to know about what they do however proud they are of themselves.
There is social stigma and yes it can be dangerous. Changing societies perception of prostitution will take a long long time and I'm not convinced it ever will be totally mainstream. I can just about live with that, although I'd quite like to be able to put 'Self Employed Escort' on my CV one day and not have to make up more bullcrap to fill in the employment gap.
So yeah, there are ups and downs...oh, like most jobs. Some of my bookings I refer to as 'admin jobs'. The man is nice enough, it's all goes well but doesn't set your world on fire. It's like doing the weekly filing. You do it well but you don't have to think very hard and you don't love it or hate it. Some days I don't get any highs or any lows. It's like everyone else pretty much.
What I don't want to and shouldn't have to put up with is other people thinking they need to rescue me. And I don't mean a man on a white horse (although I would consider that option some days!) I mean the annoying 'do gooders' who think think prostitution is only about drug addled victims of abuse or innocent Thai girls conned into thinking they were coming to the UK to work in a restaurant. Yes, these things happen, I'm not disputing that at all, I'm pissed off because there is a thinking that prostitution is a violent crime against women. No, I don't mean when someone actually harms an escort, I mean ALL MEN. FULL STOP. Here's a great example. This blog by Jemima101 talks about a Reclaim The Night march organised by a Rape Crisis Centre. She points out that you'd expect a rape crisis centre to be on 'our' side. Oh no, prostitution gets lumped in with 'violence' that includes rape, sexual assault, pornography, trafficking, domestic abuse and female genital mutilation…
Yesss, those things are pretty, noone wants rape, assault or genital mutilation hanging about, but pornography and prostitution makes their list of things that they want to eliminate. How very open minded and forward thinking.
What actually annoyed me more were some of the comments made in response to the article. Here's one by a woman called Mhairyi who says:
"The ones with choice in the prostitution industry are the men who choose to abuse wo/men for money. That isn’t an acceptable choice. By stating clearly that women are not for sale Rape Crisis are stating unequivocally that you cant buy consent – that coerced consent is no consent at all and that unconsensual sexual activity is sexual abuse regardless of whether money changed hands.
I want to see the day when every wo/man in Scotland who has ever had to accept money in exchange for providing sexual services has the right to take their abuser to court, and for a mass of prosecutions to result."
Right, so that's you reading this, you nice kind sweet men who bring me joy and chocolates (and help pay my bills). According to Mhaoryi you are abusing me and should go to court.
Note, this is in Scotland, but if the law does change is it likely to happen in England too?
Not only if the proposed bill is passed going to effect the escorts working from flats, but will also have a detrimental effect on those who are most vulnerable, the street workers. They too will lose the 'nice' clients and be forced to see men who are dangerous. This article discusses this issue and puts it into real terms based on real women's experiences and opinions.
I just don't understand why the concentration is focused on Stop Prostitution and not on How can we make life safer for prostitutes?