I just wrote my first entry on the Yes mean Yes blog site! I am a voice in a chapter on sex workers in this amazing radical anthology called Yes Means Yes.
reposted in part below:
Taking off a condom in the middle of a sex act…it happened to me a couple of times. One of the most notable ones was one of the last of 4 sexual assaults in my early 20s which culminated in me realizng that I had survived a series of different sexual assaults between the ages of 17 and 22. This was just the last of 4 that I would allow to just roll over me like a big crashing wave that nearly drowns me and pushes me down, spitting sand and salt but told to just recover and keep surfing. I was urinating blood in the toilet. I thought it was an STD. I went to Planned Parenthood and one of their routine questions traumatized me. “Could you be at risk of being pregnant or having an STD?” The last guy I slept with that took the condom off in the middle of our sex came to mind. I had to say,”Yes.” and take the pregnancy test. It was traumatic at the time, what has become more routine for me now. Watching Jerry Springer in the clinic lobby bitterly thinking that for sure I felt violated that I had to endure pain and uncertainty because of his irresponsibility. This one was definitely his fault because he took action to violate an unspoken trust agreement between two people using a condom that that condom should stay on during the entirity of the sex act. It turned out I had kidney stones and that was why I was bleeding internally but the blood in the toilet was so traumatic that it forced me into a path of rape trauma healing of all my assaults, deal with boundary violations, go to counseling and understand PTSD. I FELT that the guy who took off the condom violated me, and I experienced it physically (through the kidney stones) and emotionally as such and so to me, it was an assault. Would the police classify it as such? Of course not. Does this guy think he sexually assaulted me? Of course not.
Fast forward eleven years, 3 of the last of those I’ve worked as an escort in LA and beyond. I have practiced boundary negotiations with hundreds of clients, customers, dates, boyfriends, and whoevers. Things still happen. Violations are part of the occupational hazards of this job. I work with the herpes virus using barriers to protect my clients and reduction of unprotected oral, when possible. Recently, the client knew that there wasn’t a condom on and continued to have sex with me. We had used a condom earlier, but the second time he put it in I didn’t realize there wasn’t a condom until about 15 minutes into it. I stopped to ask and he replied, “there isn’t one.” I was pissed. “That’s it.” I said. “We’re done.” I started packing my work bag and headed for the shower. With more body language I let him know that I was not happy. While I was in the shower, I wanted to resolve the issue so that somehow I could make it out of there on good terms. This guy had just gotten out of prison, did drugs and clearly didn’t think that not using a condom sometimes was an issue. I should be worried. I told him that. “when IS the last time you got tested?” I asked. “They test you when you go to prison.” he says. He claims that prisoner rape isn’t as common as the movies make it seem and that he never shared a needle. But you and so many too many men I’ve been with think not using a condom on every contact, every time is excusable for the sake of pleasure, or horniness. But, in this case, I believe it is also my responsibility to realize that a condom is not on, even though the penis holder is clearly in an position of power. I’ll take some responsibility for [you fucking me without a condom]. Just so I don’t have to process what you did like another sexual assault. He tipped me very well. I’m not sure if it was because he felt guilty or not. I must have made him feel bad. He gave me his phone numbers and said I could call him for anything. In the end, because I didn’t leave angry, I was able to not feel so violated. It doesn’t always resolve itself like this. Unsafe sex is an automatic ejection from the game. I think though, you should always be aware of whether or not a condom is in use. And if you are calling yourself a pro you should always be on top of that, literally.
I did feel initially violated but felt like instead of getting angry and calling him a rapist, I would try to gain an understanding about what HIS thinking, if any was….CONTINUE