Hey, I want to remind y’all that when we talk about supporting sex workers that means street-based sex workers too and part of that includes not mocking sex workers for having prices lower than we would imagine/ set for ourselves. I see a lot of jokes about sex work where the punchline comes down to ‘cheapness’ what you’ve gotta understand is that sex work not only covers a wide area of actions but costs as well. Some people are gonna charge prices you consider ‘too low’ some people are gonna trade sex for housing. Some people are going to exchange sex for transportation, for drugs, for whatever you can imagine. We don’t need to shame folks for sexual barter, or for charging a price under what we would imagine sex is worth. One of the many perks of sex work is that you’re often able to set your own prices- this, like anything, is influenced by demand, location, demographics, etc. Some sex workers are not in a position to charge as much as others- while we can critique the systems that inform THAT, and I would argue we should, we need to make sure those critiques stay with those systems and are not aimed at workers. I am not interested in shaming anyone because they have ‘low’ prices.
Furthermore how much you charge per service is not an indication of your sense of worth, self-esteem or value. One of the constant attacks sex workers receive from civilians is that accepting money for sex automatically ties monetary value to personal worth. This comes from the ways anti-sex worker sentiment is deliberately gendered and rooted in misogyny. Society says that women and femmes worth comes from sex and sexuality and charging for sex infringes on that- if you have sex for 75$ you’re only ‘worth’ 75$. Sex workers are business savvy, they analyze market trends and understand economics. Setting a price is not an indication of low-self esteem or whatever the fuck else misogynistic bullshit, it’s a response to market trends. Honestly, unless you are offering consultations to sex workers about their business model and are giving them SOLICITED advice about how to improve their business then it’s not your place, or mine, or anyone’s to comment as to price or mock them for it. If someone wants to have sex for a hotel room, or suck dick for a ride home, or have sex for 50$ and a meal then they can. If someone wants to have sex in exchange for drugs or alcohol that’s fine too- move away from respectability politics and ‘acceptable sex work.’ There are folks who will engage in sexual acts for money, for housing, for transportation, for extra income, so that they can travel to places they might not otherwise be able to, to network, to support their families, it’s all acceptable and it’s all for them to decide. Supporting sex workers means just that- supporting sex workers and their decisions, agency, and autonomy
This is an unrolled twitter thread I did earlier, you can check it out on my twitter page which is linked on the side or, for the original unrolled version check here
There’s something in the breakdown
in the way, his filthy teeth shown through
Each time I saw him he looked more decayed
more dilapidated and worn down
It was in his mouth
like something acrid had crawled its way from the back of his throat
All the way into the cavern of his jaw
then kicked teeth out for fun
Each time I saw him the spaces between his teeth had grown wider leaving a gaping crooked maw
It affected more than the look of his mouth
the function of it too
if it could even be called that
Where it had once sounded so punctual and present
Now it sounded vacant
like every time he spoke a word his shrill piercing wale
Would ricochet back and forth across non-existent walls
His voice sounded like…
like when you place two mirrors opposite each other
And they reflect infinitely back and forth
you have the urge to step inside
To creep between those mirrors and wander whatever hall exists there
that’s how his voice sounded
After so much use
a cacophony of noise
Of machine-like whirring
clicks and whizzes
He spoke only in staccato
He was the worst palimpsest I’d ever known
How do you use your body to block itself
Shield your stomach with your own arms
Left hand over chest
Right hand over breast
It hurts to contort myself in these ways
I’m so tired of twisting and bending to avoid the gaze
I want to feel free to show myself
I have always considered myself to be a dark person for a myriad of reasons. Growing up my favorite shows were Courage The Cowardly Dog, Are You Afraid of The Dark, Beyond Belief Fact or Fiction? I loved Jumanji and Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory for their spooky whimsicality. Whether it was spooky stories, haunting music, or scary movies; if it was macabre I was into it. Overall I just have always enjoyed the feeling of being scared. I’ve never been ashamed of this, and why would I? I’ve had an affinity for dark colors, bleak days, and eerie music as long as I can remember and consider it to be a quirk of mine. We all have those, right? Some people enjoy bright colors, bright days, and poppy tunes, and don’t get me wrong I love those things too, but in the back of my mind, I’ve always preferred the dark.
While I appreciated my quirk for what it was what I found more difficult to embrace was my emotional darkness. I remember once talking to a friend on the phone and telling him I was afraid to share anything dark or heavy with people and he tried to assure me healthy friendships allow for sharing and support. Four years later and I consider that a lesson I still have not learned. I mentioned liking dark things, but I am not sure others pick up on that. I think I often present as the cheery, bright, colored, bright day person I mentioned earlier. I work very hard to keep my dark parts to myself. I like to take care of other people and I’ve often felt being dark with them would obfuscate that. So I don’t. Now, now you may be lecturing me about how this doesn’t seem like a very healthy way to be, and you’d be right. It’s not. Not by a long shot, My inability to communicate pain with others has stunted me in many ways, not only this, it has seeped out into other aspects of my life. I find it difficult to even think about bringing my pain to other people, even here on my own blog I struggle sharing my darker writing because I know people can read it. The truth is I am scared; of what, you ask? Well; of judgment, vulnerability, exposure, of lots of things really. When I sit and think about it I come to understand much of my life has been characterized by fear. But fear doesn’t serve me, so why not let it go? Much of my own art asks me to let go of the fear that I’ve held onto. I consider this blog to be a piece of art and a piece of myself as well, so I want to take the time to hold space for myself and invite myself to embrace fear. Your role in this is just as important as my own, you are the witness. I think often about visibility and what it means to see others, I think seeing people is a very radical thing we so often we find ourselves hidden or erased. Thank you for being here, thank you for receiving me. This is a beginning as well as an end, I’m going to give myself permission to be scared, to be scary, and to be more authentic; without further ado….
This spear you’ve shot me with
Penetrates to the deepest parts of me
I don’t take that lightly
Leave me bleeding
Expose me here on this floor
For all the world to see
All this world is a stage
And we are merely playing
He says his girlfriend gets “too wet”
“That’s a lot” he says
“There’s just so much of it”
And honestly I am confused? Because…isn’t that the point? Like…for her to be…you know…there? I mean maybe it’s because I never really get all that wet, or maybe because sometimes when I’m in class, or riding the subway, or dozing off- I imagine there’s a woman. And when I imagine she’s there I imagine she’s about to straddle my face. And I like that. I mean I never really imagine she’s particularly wet, that is to say I never really imagine her wetness in particular. So I like start to think about this imaginary woman, the one dropping down onto my face, like hovering over me, but getting closer …only now she’s dripping on me, and that’s cool. I’m thinking about how wet she is, “wow this bitch is wet I think” but it’s not putting me off, it’s not necessarily putting me on, but it’s not putting me off.
Like maybe I’m proud, this bitch is like drooling just for me to taste her. So she’s drooling and I’m drooling- we’re both drooling. But it’s different because I’m drooling from the mouth and she’s drooling from the pussy. That’s all wetness is really, drooling from the pussy.
Anyway. So like we’re both drooling in anticipation and now I’m wondering how long it’s gonna take her to really sit on my face. How long has she been hovering? What’s taking so long? How has she been lowering all this time? How strong are her thighs exactly? What’s her workout routine like? Where’s her gym? What is she gonna taste like? What’s my pussy doing right now?
But she’s still lowering.
Maybe she’ll never really get there, maybe this is like one of those hallway dream sequences where you run and run but never get any closer. So maybe mystery woman will just squat over my face dripping into my eyes. You think I’ll go blind? Should I ask Siri? Siri- Can vaginal wetness- Wait…am I supposed to stick my tongue out? Like when you catch snowflakes in a storm?