I’ve been thinking about this a lot since my last blog post.
Thought about it and wrote about and talked to one of my besties (non-sex worker) about it last night…then I felt compelled to re-write it. Damn her.
So, ‘coming out’ as a sex worker of course ties in with contributing. And I randomly came across Lola Davina’s website, and her research confirmed exactly what I had been considering – “that people who personally know a stripper, porn actor, pro dom, or [sex worker] are more likely to have a favorable impression of both the sex industry and sex workers than people who don’t know anyone in the Biz.” (https://www.loladavina.com/bio/)
This is exactly what I have been thinking.
I’m proud of the work that I do as a sex worker. I have no shame whatsoever. So why wouldn’t I share it just like I’d share I’d switched to engineering (I haven’t), or consulting (I shared), or writing novels (ditto). So why not sex work?
I touched on this in my last blog post – the idea that not everyone will approve, and perhaps I don’t have the energy to put in that emotional labour, over and over again. Possibly to people who will never see it the way that I do.
And I had thought, maybe I don’t have to? Maybe I can write a blog post, and just say, “Here. Read this. This will explain it to you.” I can even share links with other worker’s thoughts on the matter – there are so many smart, thoughtful, articulate people in this industry. I don’t even have to carry it alone.
Then, Bestie rained on my parade and said, er, no. That’s not really contributing. To really shift people’s opinions you need to be prepared to engage with them, try to help them to understand your point of view. Work at it. And be prepared for the fact that some people might never shift. And some might even wipe you. But being open to talking about it, trying to shift perceptions – that’s the contribution.
Then she proceeded to obliterate Reason 2 as well (“who cares?”, basically….) (Reason 2 was how leery I feel of people I know finding me on line and following me, checking out my photos, and judging me). “If you’re happy with your choices and who you are, why do you care?” she wanted to know. I’m shy, is what I’m thinking…but yeah. I see her point. This is the work I’ve chosen. This is what it entails.
Then, just for good measure, she threw a third reason into the mix: that perhaps my work here is self-acceptance (we’re social workers/therapists…this is the stuff we chomp down parmas over…), and my motives aren’t so altruistic after all.
(Everyone needs a best friend like this, btw. I grumble, but no-one sees me quite so clearly as she does…).
So I had been thinking, the more people who see me (normal…ish!!) going about being a mum, a writer, a sex worker, a friend, a high-achiever, a happy person, without any of the stereotypes they imagine (being broken, hating men, being abused, supporting misogynists), the better, right? Not only that, going about LOVING being all of those things…doing that is going to help shift the stigma, right?
But now I wonder if coming out is also something more personal. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family…but I’ve always been the ‘good girl’. The straight A student, the dux of my school, the one who smoothes over arguments and tensions. The one who can be relied on. The one who doesn’t rock the boat.
Perhaps ‘coming out’ is something that is actually, really, very much for me.
Food for thought…
Until next time,
NB Just to be clear: I am not advocating everyone should ‘come out’ for any reason. This is a very personal decision with many, many contributing factors. This is merely a reflection on some of the factors affecting me, and this choice for me.