To my fellow sex workers

Don’t accuse each other of feeding stereotypes because like all stereotypes on minorities, some are true. We know that all sex workers are not the representation of what the whorephobic system describes. But some of us are sometimes. We have a duty to support each other and to support the most vulnerable among ourselves. Even if some may fit with caricatures, all voices in our movement are legitimate. Don’t be afraid of other voices and you will learn from them. No sex worker is giving a bad name to other sex workers. Everything that is expressed has to be heard; even if it is anger, and doesn’t fit with middle class rules of politeness, or that the whorephobic system tries to discredit it. Because anger is a legitimate emotion to be heard. We will be articulate together or we will not. We can’t win if we are on our own. We know we are right, but we can’t convince if we are not many enough. We need to reach and include all sex workers, whoever they are. We need to share our knowledge together and not let just one leader to decide for all. Don’t be afraid to be called crazy or even just a whore. Embrace your difference. Don’t let them make you feel ashamed. Being locked up in a closet of shame is the worst thing to suffer. Try to find other sex workers and break your isolation. Join a union or create one. We are thousands. We are millions all over the world. If we all come out together at the same time, if our parents, children, co-workers, friends, family, neighbours, if all realise that they know a sex worker, that they may even love one, we will change people’s mind. People need to know what a sex worker looks like. They need to realise that they already know us. They need to know that they have no reason to believe the propaganda of the whorephobic system. We can achieve a lot for ourselves and for others. Sex workers are at the intersection of so many discriminations, identities and oppressions. We are everywhere, so we can be an example for the whole world. We can be the avant-garde of a new Revolution.

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About Thierry Schaffauser

Queer, sex worker, drugs user, student in Gender History, GMB trade unionist, migrant, wants to change the world, etc
This entry was posted in Sex work and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to To my fellow sex workers

  1. We face several severe challenges! Thanks for your impulse statement which I like to extend and bring to our common awareness:
    – Competition: Which is very high in unregulated markets. Since our economy is partly criminalised and a grey market, solidarity is not easy. Solidarity needs structures and a foundation in order to flourish (unconditional love, basic income grant, job quota for sex workers and ex-sex workers within the helper industry and NGOs, affirmative action policy).
    – Exclusion: By law we are not allowed to cooperate, work together, have management, profit from prostitution gain, move and settle free, get help from the police, be part of organized pension plans… On one hand side we have to work on these atrocities and on the other we have to develop new infrastructure and missing support institutions ourselves: sex worker academies, sex work research centres, sex work insurance, sex worker saving bank and micro credit institute, sex work cooperatives, sex work self regulatory boards, sex worker union, sex work intra-peer supervision, sex worker elderly homes…
    – Moral hazard: Discretion, secrecy and double life, which we are forced to developed as countermeasure to taboo, stigma and alienation, makes it easy for a-social profiteers or drop-outs. Social control among us is low and can’t hardly be improved. Whore culture and unionisation can be a solution or countermeasure.
    – Self fulfilling prophecy: The stigma meme, mainstream culture and religious traditions have the capability to reiterate itself. We need to break that vicious circle. Besides, we must be alert how energy consuming and draining the fight and involvement in the public whorephobic discourse can be and that due to Self Value Management many sex workers decide to stay away in order to prevent SWBO (sex worker burn out).
    – Scapegoating mechanism: The War on Whores has more to do with stabilizing society (due to misinformation, projection of suppressed emotions, class separation ‘divide et impera’…), than with fighting sex for money between consenting adults. De-constructing societal psychological mechanisms is so important. Karpman Triangle, Intersectionality, Othering, Sexual Politics… give great explanations. We need to teach Stigma Management to our fellow sex workers.
    – Youth bound business: Like children, pupils, compulsory military/civil service, students… all these are time limited life periods, which makes is hard to establish self organizing and representational structures within and establish an inheritance mechanism for these structures and culture. Up to now every generations needed to start from scrap. Now we have formed sex worker movement and history and use modern information and self management technologies (ICT, Liquid Democracy).
    – Outplacment: And as answer for the individual sex worker on the youth bound business limitations we need to teach ourselves about financial planning, security, Whore Carer Management, Exit Strategies and Sex Worker Outplacement in whore college and SWOU. Otherwise sex workers can become trapped in poverty, addiction and a closet of shame.
    – Heterogeneity: Sex workers come from all traits of life and often have very few in common. Some have very low level of education or knowledge of the local culture due to poor social background… Many fall to the mechanism to degrade others in order to not feel their own precariousness (escorts v whores, porn actors v whores, local whores v migrants…). Inclusion among ourselves becomes a hard task.
    – Negative energies: These can come form shy, negative customers, from the media and public discourse, from drained out old sex worker fellows and social workers… To develop an invigorating community spirit is key. Inclusion of young successful new sex workers in functions of the movement is important (human resources).
    – Trapped between voice and exit: Preventive Self-Outing and Legalisation becomes the root qualification of modern sex workers (registration, taxation). Hence peer education in Stigma-Management and business coaching is so vital to develop a sustainable sex biz model.
    – Insecurity: Ever faster changing life and working conditions in a globalized over-poppulated resource restricted world governed by corporatocracy does not stay away from the oldest profession. We have to master many contradictions and transitions and then maybe become mature enlightened avant-garde role model of modern flexible worker, independent entrepreneur and sole proprietor of one-self.
    A real avant-garde revolutionary worker and sex worker has to have no fear !!!

  2. Pingback: Please Read: To My Fellow Sex Workers | Jessica Land

  3. Anger is a legitimate emotion, one that needs to be expressed in order to process and move on to other emotions. Some people (whores or not) only communicate through anger and high emotion. The problem is, it’s a difficult way to actually get heard in *some* conversations when operating from a place of high emotion. There is a time and place for anger to be expressed, but it can be counterproductive also. Sometimes heightened emotional states keep others from hearing and understanding what others are saying back in response. In these instances, communication breaks down, in part due to the person in the escalated emotional state, but the blame is placed elsewhere. For me, I would like to see better conversations about when and where that anger can be harnessed, and when it should be checked. Checking anger is not about denying someone else’s emotional state or legitimate feelings, but rather understanding that there are times that anger actually works against the message trying to be conveyed.

  4. Pingback: Sex Work Snobbery | Tits and Sass

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