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I Need Input: Sex Work and Social Perceptions

First, let me say that I don’t want this post to subtract from any efforts anyone might be putting into my post from yesterday. I still would love to see some entries for that contest. However, today I realized that I need to ask more of my readership. I need to know what myths people are aware of or have heard about the Sex Industry. I’m well aware of many of them, of course, given my own experience in the industry. Unfortunately, though, one’s own experience is rarely representative of a whole. Thus, I must ask that people provide me with as much information about generalizations and myths that they have heard regarding the sex industry. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something that you think is a myth, if you have heard people imply something about the sex industry and you’re simply uncertain of if it is true or not, that is also helpful.

Your input will play two roles in helping me out. Firstly, it gives me input on what I need to address in future posts on the sex industry. Sex and Science was created, in part, to debunk myths about sexuality and included in that effort is the debunking of myths about the industry that I work in. Secondly, I hope to eventually create a survey to pass around communities of sex workers so that we can get a better understanding of each other and a better grasp of what information is true and what is not. This will help us debunk myths that are harmful to us and it will help us work on possible issues that we have not had the tools to work on previously.

All I want you to do to help me out is answer this post with your claim/myth/generalization. Just use the comment box below. It will ask that you verify with a CAPTCHA.

Don’t forget about the contest!

Posted in Uncategorized.

6 Responses

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  1. Kitty says

    Well, I have one.

    Myth: Johns are sexual/social undesireables with no other options.

    I wish more johns spoke up to prove how wrong this is.

  2. cliff hanger says

    I work in Las Vegas, in the Gaming Industry. As I am sure you are aware, Gaming and Sex workers often vie for the same customer base. And in the Old Days in Vegas, SW were often used as ‘bonuses’ for high rollers.
    From this experience, I have met a great many ‘working girls’ that I grew to like, and respect. There were also a great many that I had escorted off whatever property I was working at the time.
    In the old days, there was something of an unwritten rule; girls hang at the bar or lounge, not at the tables. Taking a player away from a game was a huge no no. If a lady brought a player into the house, it was OK for her to play also.
    Many Ladies would abide by these rules and even help the casinos police the policy. By that I mean if a girl saw another girl violating the no play rule, she would notify a pit boss or shift manager. It was the smart thing to do, because the house could, and often did, expel all the girls for one girls violation.
    By following the guidelines, the ladies were allowed to work, ply their trade and generally not be bothered. Though sometimes a higher executive might want a ‘freebie’ in return.
    In many conversations with Ladies of the Evening, I reached this conclusion. The vast majority disliked their clients immensely. They had zero respect for them, and looked very much down upon the men using and paying for their service.
    In a very few rare cases, especially one, the girls said they enjoyed their work. The most successful SW I knew back then told me “I love men, sex and money. What better way to combine all three than by hooking? I love the job” She and I became good friends even after she retired and became a stock broker.
    From what I have observed, and I am a trained observer, I have reached the following conclusions. 1. The lower down the ‘pecking order’ the girls are, the more they disrespect the client. 2. Too large of a percentage have pimps or habits or both. 3. Ladies that are higher up in the ‘pecking order’ tend to feel better about themselves and their clients.
    4. Brothel workers, for some reason, tend to fall into either group.
    5. The more respect the lady has for herself, the more she will have for her client, and this will show both in direct income and in repeat clientele. This I have seen many many times over the years.
    I could go on, but better stop here, and gather my thoughts. I probably will post again soon, if that is allowed.
    Thank you for this opportunity.

  3. echase says

    Here’s a few for you:

    There is/is not sex in the VIP room.

    BBBJ’s are/are not dangerous.

    Prostitutes don’t like sex.

    Porn leads to deviant behavior.

    Which reminds me: Do you know the difference between “kinky” and “perverted”?

    Kinky is using a feather during foreplay. Perverted is when you use the whole chicken!

    Oh, this joke reminded me of another myth: Did you hear the one about the girl who was 8 before she was 7?

    Well, now she prefers men to liquor!
    (lick her)

    The myth: Sex workers were all abused as children.

  4. Thomas says

    I don’t claim all sex workers were abused as children but I do know one personally, who was. She is now 32 and in so many ways a delightful woman. She is also very confused and angry and hurt. She is not in a good healthy place, and it is a real shame, and in my view, her past (and possible present) sex industry works hurts her way more than helps anyone. We became involved in an intimate relationship. We are lovers. At one point she called me up to say she needed money because her credit cards and cash were stolen from her at her new job away from the sex industry. She asked if I would I lend her some money so she didn’t have to dance/strip to replace her stolen money and credit cards. She seemed very timid and uncomfortable when talking to me about this. I lent her money in an instant, as I really cared about her and didn’t think dancing was good for her. Later in a dissagreent between us, the subject of her stripping again came up. She just flat out denied that the reason she asked me to lend her money, was so she didn’t have to dance/strip again. The rage that flew out of her on the subject, and the denial of our previous interaction, of me lending her money so she would not have to do it, were way way out of proportion to the discussion going on, and are not signs of a healthy relationship this fine young woman has with so called sex work. From what I see, it is her unresolved issues with family abuse, that led her to sex work in the first place, and has her still very confused and angry and hurt and not in a place of control of these issues in her life. It has/is contributing to great difficulty in our relationship.

  5. SophieMonster says

    From the sound of your description, it does not sound like sex work is to blame for her problems. Furthermore, the only person who can decide if being in the sex industry is bad for her is probably not you. You, being the one she is in a relationship with, are unlikely to have an objective opinion of the situation. She is an adult and can make her own decisions; they are hers to own. Lastly, just because you know someone who you *think* is in the sex industry because of abuse doesn’t mean that is true. Likewise, if you knew someone who was a tax auditor who happened to be abused as a child, it is not necessarily the case that the abuse led to the job.

    It does sound like you and your girlfriend have bigger issues to deal with than her job. Your post reads like someone who resents a situation, not like someone who is concerned. You make claims about her without offering reasonable support. Perhaps you should rethink your own sentiments toward her work and recognize that perhaps there is something else to address. If what you say is true about abuse affecting her now, getting rid of her job is not going to fix her problem. Instead, you should suggest she get counseling for the abuse, perhaps give her the number to a crisis line.

    Here is the National Domestic Violence Hotline number:

  6. Thomas says

    First off I never said her sex industry work was to blame for her problems. I said, direct quote, ” and in my view, her past (and possible present) sex industry works hurts her way more than helps anyone.” Furthermore I agree that the ONLY person who can decide if being in the sex industry is bad for her is (not) me. She absolutly needs help beyond me. Do you honestly think she is the one who can decide, just because she is now an adult, who was abused as a young girl, and never got the therapy she needed to resolve that abuse in a healthy way, to be in an industry like the sex industry? If you do, then I think you hurt both the legitimacy of your industry and contribute to the continuing damage of girls and women, who are in the industry. There are women who are in the industry because of psychological or financial vulnerability. The numbers I or you honestly are not sure of. To deny this is just irresponsible. I am not without my issues and problems, and I do not deny them. Neither you nor I can honestly know for sure about her situation, however I am in a much better position to have a reasonble idea about this, in her case, than you are. . She many times in talking to me, talks about her vulnerability and her need for me to be gentle with her emotionally, and I hear a hurt, damaged little girl talking and asking for help. In my view, in a perfect world. if there is going to be a sex industry, there should be a strictly enforced requirement for any girl/woman entering it, to be somehow screened to see if abuse was in her background, and not let her into the industry until, and if, she is counseled and healed of the abuse by a licensed professional in the abuse field, and that the person doing the counseling be outside of the sex industry. That Sophie would give your industry a lot of legitimacy. Why don’t you work hard to see that this happens? Are you going to tell me there is no preying on women who are vulnerable due to abuse and or financial demands? IT HAPPENS… and if you don’t know or see this you are either in a great deal of denial and or a state of ignorance about your own industry. You fail to address what I said about her timidly, shyly, and with embarrassment approaching me to borrow money after hers was stolen, so she didn’t have to reenter the sex industry to dance again to recover her financial losses. Then later she flew into a rage and denial she ever said that. Then still later she danced around having said it, but still couldn’t straight up admit that she said it. I have no reason to lie about this and it is your choice to believe me or not. However this is not a sign of a healthy relationship to her work in the sex industry.

    You come off sounding like your some kind of expert on the subject, who can judge and counsel me, and access my girl’s situation, because I offered my honest accessment of the situation. Yes I do resent women being preyed on in the sex industry. Also for you to say I am not concerned is the height of an inappropriate response from you. Such a snap judgement could not be any worse or wrong. You sound like some kind of Macdonlads fast food psychologist in some tripe rag that people use for base titilation when they are bored and don’t know what to do with themselves, when you make judgements like that. Are you really like this? Just because you work in the field, does not make you an expert by a long shot. It is more likely you are very predjudiced and defensive of your profession, for obvious reasons on the surface, and only the universe knows the deeper reasons for your defensiveness. I naievely thought your original question was to get an honest accessment of the situation, and that maybe you wanted to honestly learn from your responses and help your industry. Your response shows me you are far from that, though it is possible for you to open up and learn, really learn and be honest about the subject.

    I can only hope this happens…

    The domestic violence hot line suggestion, though a good one, is about 20 or 25 years too late in her case. She was abused as a young girl by family members and her parents did noting to stop the abuse, though they knew about it. She told me this much. However, whenever I try to approach the subject, though my approach may not be perfect, of her getting help, the rage flying out of her is usually instantaneous and massive and way out of proportion, and the subject cannot be touched. She is damaged goods, and if we stay in a relationshp, I can only gently tread, and hope I can be of some help. And yes I think her work in the sex industry damaged her, and would do more damage if she reenters it, in her current unhealed abused state, from her abuse as a young girl. And yes i think her abuse contributed to her entering the industry in the first plae and it never should have happened…


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