By TNT Annie
If you have been a client of professionals, then you probably already know some of the common myths about sex workers. In this article, I offer my perspective on these common myths:
- That we are all addicted to drugs
- That we are promiscuous, vectors of disease
- That we see 30 clients a day
- That we are all pimped
- That we have low self esteem, so we are attention-seeking
- That we are being sex trafficked, even if we don’t realize it
- That our clients are bad people
These are bullshit myths that pervade our society. They are reflected in popular culture, movies, music videos, and even documentaries. Police base their entire approaches to sex workers on these common myths. It’s RIDICULOUS!
After reading my analysis of these common myths, I would love to hear your perspective. Please send me an email or text with your experience or opinion!
Myth #1: We Are All Addicted to Drugs
Probably the most common myth about sex industry workers is that we are all addicted to drugs. And certainly, some of us are. But you will find addiction among people in any industry. You may be shocked to learn that off-street, female sex workers are MORE LIKELY to have post secondary education than women in the the general population. Most of us are self-employed, self-driven, masters of our own destinies. The idea that we are all addicted to drugs is a very false idea and does not represent us at all.
Myth #2: We Are Promiscuous, Vectors of Disease
Sex workers are more likely to require condoms than the girl you meet drunk at a club. We are aware that STI’s are a risk in our business, so it is part of our jobs to decrease that risk as much as possible by using condoms. In my experience, it is the clients who try to have sex and sexual contact without condoms. Once, I had a client tell me after an appointment with me that he found out he had Gonorrhea. It is extremely unlikely that I will contract an STI from a sensual massage. But I get tested regularly anyway. My friends in this business do the same. And I know many full service providers who refuse to have any sexual contact without a condom. If we are promiscuous for doing our jobs, then I guess you consider us promiscuous. But promiscuity is another thing, like addiction, that really depends on the person; not the industry they are working in.
Myth #3: We See 30 Clients Per Day
I’ve seen and heard this statistic bandied about in the media and spouted from the mouths of SWERF‘s, that sex workers are servicing up to 200 men per day. This is an absolutely ridiculous number made up by people who are trying to abolish the sex industry. First of all, it’s IMPOSSIBLE. And secondly, we WISH we were that busy! More commonly, SWERF’s say we average 30 clients per day. Personally, I max my appointments out each day at THREE and usually only do ONE or TWO. I schedule around my family and I have a life of my own too. This work allows me to have a full and interesting life. I certainly don’t spend all day every day churning out hundreds of massages. I shoot to do between 15 and 20 massages per month.
Myth #4: We Are All Pimped
Some people use the word “pimp” to describe anyone who is managing a sex work business or providing security for money to sex workers. I only use the word pimp when referring to a person who is controlling and exploiting a sex worker. Most of us are NOT pimped. Some of us work for agencies or managers, but they are not pimps. They are not exploiting us (at least not anymore than you -square job people- are being exploited by your employers). MOST of us are working independently FOR OURSELVES! So, unless we are exploiting ourselves, we are obviously not being pimped. If you ever have an experience with a sex worker whom you think is being pimped, please share this information with me privately and I will pass the info onto people who may be able to help them. You can also learn more about how to identify human trafficking in THIS article.
Myth #5: We Have Low Self-Esteem, So We Are Attention-Seeking
I know some sex workers who feel that the industry has had a detrimental effect on their self-esteem. But I know WAY MORE sex workers who feel sex work has improved their self-esteem and increased their self-worth. I fit into the latter category. Before I became a stripper all those years ago, I was insecure about my small breasts. Doing sex industry work changed that for me. My small breasts are appreciated and valued in this industry. The fact is, boob size isn’t that important to most men and some prefer them small.That’s just one example of how my self-esteem improved in this industry. Another way is that people who used to intimidate me don’t intimidate me anymore. I don’t take any shit anymore. I stand up for myself more. I don’t feel threatened by other women. I could go on and on. I don’t do this work for attention, although I absolutely loved performing when I was an exotic dancer. I do this work because I love money and love sex. Sensual massage, stripping, writing erotic literature… these endeavors fit who I am as a person. I shouldn’t have to defend my right to love my work, but the society we live in likes to demean me and silence me. Therefore, I do feel the need to express my love for my work often and without shame.
Myth #6: We Are Being Sex Trafficked and We Don’t Even Realize It
This is the strategy and tactic being used by prohibitionists to control and criminalize sex workers. They say we are all trafficked. That is complete and total bullshit. It honestly makes me angry when I see sex workers being put in the same category as victims of human trafficking. The made-up statistics and sensationalized stories about sex trafficking make it even worse. And it is this narrative that has opened the door for laws to be made against our clients. Then, when we try to defend our clients or our work, we are told that we are too degraded and exploited to know what’s best for us. We have been brainwashed by the men we sell our services to, according to our saviours. And no matter how much we shout from the rooftops that we provide adult consensual services, we are ignored, silenced, and treated with patronizing superiority. We are arrested “for our own good.” It’s quite laughable. Many of us enjoy our work immensely. We oppose laws that harm us and our clients. We oppose human trafficking. We know that there are already laws in place to protect people from human trafficking. Sex work laws are not really about protecting people from trafficking. They are based on the belief that sex for intimacy and/or pleasure is dirty and evil. But you and I know that sex and intimacy are not evil. They are sacred and beautiful and everyone should have access to these essential interactions between humans. Don’t you agree?
Myth #7: Our Clients Are Bad People
I’m sure you recognize the absurdity of this myth. My clients are upstanding citizens who treat me with respect, kindness, and friendship. They do not deserve the ridiculous stigma they are forced to endure. My clients come from almost every walk of life and they are good men. They are doctors, lawyers, teachers, construction workers, salesmen, realtors, veterans, and more. They are decent, hardworking, beautiful men who are seeking a soft and kind human touch. And I’m here to give it to them. Sure, there are douche bags who seek out sex workers to abuse and degrade because sex workers are easy targets for pos’s like that. (You know who you are.) But the majority of clients I’ve had are beautiful, wonderful, amazing humans who teach me about them and about myself. I love my clients and I will never be okay with people associating negative stereotypes with the lovely men who I am blessed to have as clients.
So there you have it! I hope this helps dispel some of the stereotypes you may have heard about sex workers in the past. Please share this knowledge with your friends. And next time you need soft, kind, human touch…you know where to find me.
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DISCLAIMER: All views represented in this article are the views of the author and do not reflect on the views of other TNT members.