the "good" and the "ugly"

Heute bin ich über einen interessanten Twitter-Eintrag gestolpert; den ich unbedingt kommentieren musste, auch in Bezug auf die nachgereichten Kommentare, auf englisch.

Sorry my comment was too long for the entry on Bust magazine. Check out the discussion here:
TheGood #SexWorker ‚marginalizes all of the women who arn’t doing sexwork2put themselves thru college‘ (blog comments meanwhile have been deleted)

This article was overdue! but …
I ve recognised since two years now that there are tendencies to segregate not to solidarise within the sexworker-scene itself; its a kind of a monetary class-system inside the sw-scoop, driven and disguised by some virtual clients & sexworkers themselves and at the same time, i.e. more escorts; it reminds me to the german differenciation between mistresses who are touchable und who arent resp. that many believe they are no sexworkers. The segregation you can find more in the virtual battlefields of message boards directed to escort girls and their clients, a lots deny that escort belongs to sexwork and prostitution, esp. escorts who offer bookings from 3 or 4 hrs minimum. In my understanding its a „regime of purity“ to satisfy clients needs; escorts with higher rates and their clients dont want to identify with prostitution resp. „Johns“ & punters. Thats why escorts advertise not only with highest rates but also with exclusiveness, wishlists and sophistication, that must not necessarly exist in real-time. Its to marketing their target-groups. I wish all sexworkers would call higher rates to manifest the worth of intimacy. But in many views sexworkers and punters are „others“, so called hookers or callgirls who do also incalls or bookings with a limited time from 1 hr. They are „cheap“ in their minds and men who ask for a shorter service seem to be the same, in the view of the „highers“ and „longers“. I m a sophisticated, intelligent, self-determined escort girl, inside/outside, I stand up for sexworker rights, I confess publicly to act as a sexworker and their rights, I ve no advantages and because of this kind of coming-out & speech just very few bookings with bright men who are worth to meet; I ve a higher degree and I m proud to say because it was a lot of work, but this was never a reason to look down on others, more the opposite, because I am a sexworker among other activities and I know that its work, in particular because I know the very different fields. I worked as a dominatrix, in brothels, later on in hotels, as a callgirl and independent escort. I solidarise with all sexworkers world-wide: hookers, whores, streetgirls, queer sexworkers, high-middle-low-escorts (?!), women who work in brothels, parlours, flats and so on. I took a stand to show up with my face on the internet and describe myself in my blog as a sexworker and sexwork rights activist. The thing is, my experience is that many clients dont feel attracted to women who act self-determined, intelligent, who confess to be a sexworker, because they dont like the word „work“ in sexwork and dont want deprived of the illusion that escorts just do it for money and not (only) for fun. Its not only the discretion thing … They think that prostitutes/sexworkers just do it for money whereas escorts do it for fun; funny that the rates are on the highest levels on the side of the called high-class-escorts who seem to do it just for fun. In german & british escort message boards I follow these discussions over years and I m really fed up with it. The male virtual logic, so far I could follow, means that higher rates are justified by an understanding of escort as „no work“ and follows the logic that escorts who call higher rates are „pure“ like an angel, not too busy and ve just a very few of clients a month, i.e. 2 or 3 escort dates whereas a callgirl who works also from a flat (in UK it is quite normal because business men are usually very busy and use their lunchbreak and spare time for some relaxation) and offer hourly sessions must be very very busy and therefore are not pure enough and make „it“ just for money. We all know that the reality looks quite different. A lots of women are happy if they have two hourly bookings who do escort just two days a week. The frequency is not dependent from high and low. You cannot quantify high & low and availability. Whereas a so called horny housewife who works professionally just 2 weekends a month, in the sense of availability, a single callgirl with higher rates can may be available 7 days a week with 15 encounters, depends not how she looks like but where she is located, New York, London or Berlin. Ok during the credit crunch all looks the same.

The segregation is also moving downwards, that means a lot of women who work in brothels and do so called quickies or half-hour-services look „down“ to streetgirls and also to their flat-mates from Eastern-Europe, some for racist reasons but more because they struggle; a lots of trafficked girls work with lowest rates and we know that many of them are sex-slaves and earn almost nothing, only their madams and pimps. The impact of dumping rates and recession makes the rates lower and lower so that many sexworkers are struggling, also so called high-end-escort girls. I think the discussion around „sophistication“ is not the point. The point is, that sexwork means foremost money and for the majority existential survival, to feed their loved-ones and not to live a life with luxury goods and Gucci Pucci, thats an illusion. The diaries of callgirls tend to idealise the escort world while the media coverage, abolitionists tend to scandalise. These are the extreme modes how the sexworkers world becomes reshaped in public and virtual life. The question is not if there are other options than sexwork, as commented. Only the sexworkers themselves can answer these questions individually and privately, must not do in public. To say sexwork/escort is just fun, a hobby, sounds in my ears like a marketing strategy to held the rates on a higher level. In my understanding fun & companionship is only thinkable with awareness and has nothing to do with „exclusiveness“.
Of course there are a lot of former sexworkers and allies situated in the „carer-industry“, some for good reasons (i.e. Laura Augustins book „Sex at the Margins“), others more with a kind of help-or missionary-syndrome, offered by institutions mostly organised by abolitionists (reminds me to the rescuer-syndrome by so many clients). But the overwhelming majority I know are self-determined women and men with friends, families, partners, a social network and need not to be rescued. Because self-determined sexworkers are no victims, in contrast to sex-slavery and exploitation, thats are two different shoes usually mixed up.

The question of education:
There are some former sexworkers who work as academics and are now allies of sexworkers and their rights, try to give support as activists, i.e. legal battles. There are women who write books or blogs about the sw-industry also for very different reasons; for some of them it is a kind of mental hygiene or therapeutic writing as it is for me; others want to make some money and finalise their sexworker career with a book and confession. Why not? If they have something new and different to tell … The fewest have the talent to work that issue in a very differentiated way; the most tend to write for a wider audience, fulfill publishers wet dreams and the voyeuristic move of the hypocritical audience who feels attracted to the so called redlight. The hypocrisy works from the inside and the outside; clichés are more marketable than the idea of a self-determined sexworker life.
The real problems are the lack of solidarity and the stigma from the outside, of society, but also from the inside as described above. I think we need all support we can get and I invite all true sophisticated sexworkers with higher degrees to come forward and to articulate; knowledge is a privilege and hard work we can use to follow our targets to support sw-rights; others, on a global space, have not the ability, time and power to fight verbally or legally, they sucked by existential needs. Knowledge is not only a symbolic power and sophistication makes more sense to advertise our needs than high-street-bags & beauty, self-awareness and knowledge is power itself.

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