This week's Sex Stories We Love looks at the sex work industry from sex industry from different angles that will remind us all that sex work is real work.
For some folk, their first foray into sex work—whether that may be as a labourer or client—is phone sex. While this sexual outlet may not be as popular as it was back in the day, the industry is still thriving. Phone sex operators can offer a unique level intimacy: it is both a direct connection and highly anonymous at the same time. People really do enjoy talking about sex and other things, but there is still stigma around open expression of feelings—horny or otherwise.. As with other types of sex work, being on the other end of the line can be tough on performers and burnout is quite possible But those are always remembered.
The Business of Sex Work
As with all forms of paid labour, knowing how to handle your money is key. In most situations, sex workers are independent contractors who pay a fee to a service, which might be a cam network, a strip club, an escort agency, a brothel, or others. Yet, the possibility for business expenses does not end there. Isa Mazzei's example of how to run a cam show business demonstrates the importance of both practical financial organization as well as how entrepreneurism and creativity must be ingrained in your routines. Sex work is work as well as business. Neither should be underestimated.
The Heaux Mentor
Another important part of business, including sex work, is mentorship. This can take many forms, including everything from financial advice, sharing knowledge about businesses and individuals to avoid, or even just a calming hug at the end of a hard night. In an industry that depends so much on "relationships," the connections that sex workers make with other sex workers can be paramount both personally and professionally. Lydia Dupra, aka The Heaux Mentor, has offered herself as a sharer of information for sex workers since she retired from escorting and pron. This wide-ranging and intriguing interview focuses on her desires to help, her movement forward with a cosmetics line, and how make-up and cosmetic surgery affected her life both positively and negatively. I definitely recommend that you read it!
The True Voices of Sex Work
This shouldn't be an outrageous idea, but history proves otherwise: to understand the effects of legislation and law, speak to those most affected by that legislation and those laws. SESTA/FOSTA has been in place in the United States since 2018 and it has significantly impacted the safety, incomes, and free speech of sex workers. However, because sex workers are a marginalized group who are denied an active voice in the legislative sphere, the stories coming out denouncing SESTA/FOSTA are not being heard or recognized. Fortunately, one politician is trying to change that. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) understands the negative impacts of this legislation so he announced a bill to study the impacts of SESTA/FOSTA with sex worker voices included. Could this data lead to the repeal of SESTA/FOSTA and possibly pave the way toward decriminalization of sex work? This is a story to follow!
Understanding Sex Work and Society
The effects of criminalizing sex work and patriarchal laws aren't just felt in the U.S. This is a worldwide concern. We live in a world where people who struggle—often because of misogynistic laws, social assistance and service cuts, and unequal access to financial well-being—do enter the sex industry when they feel they have no other options. And instead of being offered unfettered help, they are abused, maligned, and ignored. Yes, sex work can have very serious, negative effects on people. That cannot be ignored. Yet, these effects are surely amplified when you do not feel you have a choice but to sell sex because the rest of society has failed to help or offer you anything else. Sex workers are not the problem. Sex work is not the problem. Economic and social structures that limit and deny members of our work are the problems. Misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic beliefs are the problems. Stigma and social dismissiveness are the problems.
A Great Service!
Finally, not many sex workers can maintain a 9 to 5 schedule where it is easier to make healthy meals for yourself. Meals 4 Heels in Portland recognizes this and is helping those who work the later shifts enjoy a tasty, healthy meal!
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