Archive for the 'sexism/misogyny/male privilege' Category

03
Sep
11

What Goes Around Comes Around

In the last month or more since I wrote my last blog, I am finally blessed with a come up of my previous luck of the summer.  I don’t love the work like I used to as times are a changing, but at least I am not hating every single thing that I have to do for it and there are steadier calls and some better clientele who aren’t trying to fuck me over at every turn.  I know when it is down down down that the pendulum swings and it will soon come back up, but it had been a long summer of bad, economic recession and vultures flying low and clicking their teeth in anticipation of me slipping. I am still working on transition, but I am not naive to think that this is going to be a quick process.  I have made steps toward re-integrating myself into the working world, paid for my own criminal background check so that I could make sure that my misdemeanor charge was showing as dismissed as I had fought for.  The funny thing about expunging your record is that even though you may have gotten any of your previous charges dismissed, the person reading your background check still gets to read what the original charges were alongside the original sentences which are usually set extreme to scare you out of thinking you have any chance of getting off easy.  My original charges read  “7 days of jail, 18 months of probation, HIV test report and stay off Craigslist erotic services section.”  WOW.  Try applying for a teaching job with that even though the final lines say clearly “probation terminated on good behavior and case dismissed.”  Starting this process indeed made me teary eyed, but I feel similar to the process of representing myself pro per (as my own lawyer) in court and fighting for the dismissal would be an interesting exercise in seeing exactly how hard re-integration can be for someone like me who is supposed to have a wealth of so called choices.

I hate the word CHOICE.  Hate it. Fuck choices when it comes to work.  Choice is a continuum.  And for me, so is sexual assault.  I have been violated so many times I stopped counting because it would just be disturbing.  I have been violated so many times that I have accepted that I am a permanent warrior enlisted in the gender violence war.  And that is not my choice. But ‘Choice’ is the dominant paradigm that sits in opposition to FORCE.  forced sex work.  forced prostitution.  sex trafficking.  slavery.  Choice is also a word thrown around in the PRO-CHOICE movement.  This same pro-choice camp also so often fails to notice the lack of choices available to poor, marginalized women of color in regards to reproductive options and sex work is a part of that.   They are all for women being pro-choice with their bodies except when it comes to “choosing” to do sex work.  We sex worker rights folks are aware of the FALSE DICHOTOMY between force and choice.  But still sex workers talk about choosing sex work because it sounds good.  Connecting sexual abuse, drug use/addiction and sexual assault to prostitution sounds awful, pathological, typical.  How can we make these connections without these attributes?  Those sex workers may believe that they have the choice to do sex work just as simply as they choose to eat candy in the morning (or not) or fast food at night (or not).  Perhaps I feel like it is not a choice because so many times I have had to go to WORK and suck up my feelings time and time again and it was far from what I would have chosen to do with my time.  The nature of the SERVICE INDUSTRY particularly ones with BOSSES or SUPERIORS is that when you don’t want to do it, it will always feel like slavery.  This is true of housekeeping, childcare, farmwork, garment work, office work or anything that has a naturally submissive aspect to it in order to earn gratuity above minimum wage.  For me, it started when I was a stripper hating the repetetive monotony of my job.  I had just gone through my first major breakup of my 20s with a guy I was in love with and going to work to be chipper and sexually entertaining to the world and other men was the most difficult thing ever.  It was at this point when I started to medicate with marijuana on a daily basis in order to create a positive facade over the hatred I had for the job.  In the beginning of the healing I would dance on stage and go in the private rooms to cry.  13 years later I still medicate depression and anxiety with marijuana on the daily but now I don’t feel so bad about it.  Using weed is not just a result of being a sex worker, nor is my depression or anxiety but I definitely can be fond of eating a half of a pot cookie, smoking a bong (in the past, I vaporize now) or heating up a vaporizer to deal with anything in my life that I have to go out and do that takes strength.  This included going to grad school, student teaching and regular teaching.  Marijuana allows me to reach a level of seratonin balance that life doesn’t.  I have a deep and intimate relationship with MaryJane.  She is my mothers nipple to nurture my cries in an empty apartment at times when I am bawling hopelessly on the floor.  She is also just a way for me to push out the negative voices and replace them with positive affirmations about the big picture: the beautiful sunny Los Angeles day, the awesome music, the delicious food, the fact that I have many talents, that I am an intelligent analytical being, a writer, a singer, a funny joking child like spirit that deserves to live life to the fullest.  Maybe I choose weed over heroin, alcohol or speed or other substances that close down emotions and thought or maybe I am just choosing to live.  Is that a choice?  I don’t even know anymore.  I think so.  I mean, I know I have potential that is greater than being a junkie or commiting suicide or even relegating myself to a full time “normal” job.   The word has been used in so many negative connotations (mostly in my choosing to do sex work) that I don’t even use it anymore except as a necessary part of sentences.  Let’s just say I don’t use it fervently.  I don’t believe that work is a choice in America or anywhere in the world.

Mostly because I truly believe that I have been attracted to sex work and have stayed in sex work for as long as I have to unravel and discover my power struggle with sexism, rape culture and patriarchy that was NEVER my CHOICE.

My first sexual assault was a date rape on the beach at 17.  A naive teenager is getting drunk at a youth hostel with backpackers in the their 20s.  One of them asks me to go to the liquor store to get more drinks for the rest but instead I found myself laying in the dark at a secluded beach in Honolulu, Hawaii the sight of my first taste of what it meant to not understand the intentions of men.  As Tribe Called Quest would sing,”Classic example of..a date rape.” It wasn’t physically violent so [all my]  perpetrator[s] probably thought it was consensual.  I don’t remember who he was, only that he was some white surfer dude and that I knew exactly at the moment of penetration that this was not my choice.  There were many more after that.  The worst was from the first boy I ever fell in love with at 16, my best friends brother.  This assault would tear my best friend and I apart for many years and create a rift in our relationship that was only fully healed when at his funeral when he died (heart disease at only 26)  I had to face his brother again for the first time since the assault and be cordial. It worked out. We hugged and I was able to forgive him. David helped me from heaven or wherever he was. Then, another backpacking incident in Northern Australia, a vulture asks me to come to his room to get a massage and naive 21 year old adventurous me thinks that he has innocent and therapeutic intentions. NOT.  Because of that incident is the reason I attribute to why I feel I get so much out of the sensual massages that I give men.  Sensual and consensual they come so easily in my hands.  It is more than them ejaculating.  It is like the power blood gives vampires.  A refill of my power supply that had been depleted by trauma.  A refill of my power supply that had been depleted from the sexism of that day walking down the street before I came into my power or dealing with the privilege of men of that given time in my school, in my dating life, etc etc.  Melissa Farley and her clan love to hear stories like this.  It makes them hard, gets them funded, makes them look smart, makes them feel that I fit the stereotype.  The big difference is that I am empowered in the end.  More so than not.  Otherwise I would not be in it for as long as I have.

“Everytime a client comes an angel [hooker] gets her wings…”

Some sex workers are in denial of this connection.  I’m not.  I see it everywhere I turn.  I saw it especially when I was working with street workers in Skid Row.  So many of those girls find street work and prostitution satisfying because it is a gritty hustle.  Because their Uncle used to take for free continuously now they can not only not be around that abuse but get paid for the same desires that their pervy Uncle once had. And yes, it IS more empowering than being returned home or going back to a foster home at times.  I get it.  Do you?  I like craigslist/LA Weekly/Backpage clients for the same reason.  I attain high class clients occasionally through these outlets, but mostly I deal with working class, younger, drug using guys that I can yell at (if they act up) and never see again.  And they call me for the same reason and I DARE them to try to disrespect me.   Workers can be mean and strict with their tricks and get paid for it.  We prey on their shame of what they are doing.  We get paid for their racism.  PAYBACK in the short term, but in the long term perhaps more damaging.

NOT ALL MY CLIENTS ARE DICKHEADS THAT WANT TO RAPE ME.  Lots of them, most of them are great and fine, average guys that I heal myself and them simultaneously by surviving our transaction with ease and bliss.

In my acknowledgement that I am in the tail end of my sex work career, I acknowledge that I have attained enough of the positive and the negative to move on.  I have pissed in the mouths of men and slapped them around with their own dicks (practically).  I have watched them destroy themselves with drugs throw their money at me in effort to seem manly and as a result their manliness has disintegrated before me.  They’re not nearly as strong as I thought they were before I first started dancing at 22.  From my first day at the stripclub, I wore my 4″ stilettos and was suddenly able to look them in their eyes and see them for what they really were: vulnerable.  lonely.  compassionate.

It was the prostitution world that really helped me see this, as well as being a dominant.  I didn’t finish the journey in the stripclub, as all the stripclubs in America are ruled by pimps that exploit their workers at least to some degree and in the worst case scenarios they mirror the sexism that the mafia has with their harem of girls that one has become familiar seeing in movies.  (“Tell her to go upstairs and see the boss if she doesn’t have her stage fee..”) I have defiantly held my ground in verbal altercations and watched them back down.  Sometimes I have lost and a screaming cussing dude has chased me into my car after I have refunded him his money back.  So,  I have also lost and retraumatized myself in this effort.  Prostitution was the only thing that could have done this.  Stripclub stripping is legal, somewhat safer.  I could have not gotten arrested in a Craigslist sting, nor robbed or ripped off in ways that I had as an escort by staying the stripclub.  It was all a part of my beautiful struggle, my journey that I am still on.

Today is the first week of my 2011 marijuana cleanse.  I try to do it once a year.  Last year it was because my asthma had gotten so bad that I could barely breath without coughing like an old man every morning.  I abandoned my bong for 50 days and then broke down and went back to it without condemning myself.  I have since switched from smoking to vaporizing and have eliminated smoking anything from my life.  This also eliminates most of the social rituals of being a stoner because most people don’t vaporize.  I can’t believe it’s been a year already.  I used to love my bongs so much, now the taste of smoke sickens me.  I caught a cold Occupying LA and going to rallies in front of city hall.  It was the first major rainstorm of LA’s autumn/winter cold.  This rally was also the first activist event that I had really believed could make a difference somehow.  I hadn’t been to a march or rally in over a year, maybe two.  I thought often about supporting Oscar Grant’s case, but I just knew what the outcome would be whether I took the time to wake up in the morning to support his cause or not.  I was right.

Whenever I am sick, I don’t feel like using marijuana because clouding my head with what would normally be euphoria just ends up feeling like I’m just clouding my brain with smog.  So sickness often is a blessing in disguise for me to take a break from a medicine that I am usually mentally dependent on.  I have since kicked my dependence on asthma steroids.  I weaned myself off of them slowly using a herb called Lobelia which I would drop into water and drink to help relieve some of the symptoms.  It was working.  This was a relief to me as the ashtma medication that seemed to work on me the best cost $200 for a months supply.  I knew that this was just a sham from big pharma.  The doctors prescription said I NEEDED it twice a day everyday when because of finanncial constraints I started to use it once a day and then once every 3 days and then..only as really needed. (in addition to Lobelia tinctures).  I was proud of kicking this dependence.  Medical expenses are no fun.  I still owe my asthma doctor $350.  A visit to that clinic was the same cost to me as I charged my clients ($300/hr) yet, it never seemed to even out, it was never easy to pay the bills and buy the needed medicine and I still have a tab with them.  Today I am proud of the fact that I have found St.Johns Wort to help with my depression, Passion Flower extract to deal with my anxiety and I have only used marijuana ONCE in 7 days.  The cold allowed me to not crave and the herbs help to alleviate the symptoms that I often use marijuana for.  I use marijuana as a pain reliever for chemical imbalances AND emotional pain.  When I face difficult situations with people I am often running to my weed supply, driving straight to a dispensary to feel better and be cradled by my familiar nurturer who sings an internal lullaby and tells me softly “Do not worry about what they are saying.  Do not worry about what they do.  This, too shall pass.”  It is like an herbal teddy bear, I cuddle it and it helps me sleep better at night.  Judge me if you will but you aren’t the one who is holding me or offering to come over when I am depressed, you are the one who doesn’t want to hear my bullshit, who can’t hear my bullshit because it inconveniences you, because it triggers you.  So keep on talking your shit, and I will keep using my weed.  I want to have a baby in the next five years and join the ranks of all the wonderful sex working mamas that I know who have succeeded in defying society’s stigma.  This year’s cleanse is not for the asthma, its for the future baby.  Twice already this week tough times have come and gone, I have cried in depression without crawling to my usual supply of painkiller and survived.  I am super proud of myself for this.  Every little obstacle that I overcome I give myself a gold star because you won’t.  and it’s quite alright.

13
Nov
10

You look Familiar…

Greetings to all my readers, my lovers, my former lovers, and most of all taking a moment to acknowlege ALL MY FUCKING HATERS. FUCK YOU AGAIN but THANKS FOR READING MY BLOG.  Hope it teaches you a little something or two.

I’m not going to post all or even most of your comments, I’m at best going to paraphrase them for my own purposes but I am definitely not to glorify your abuse.

I know the internet and text message technology allows you to spew hatred very disconnectedly and without feeling much consequence.  All I can say to you from inside of me, if you are hating and thinking abusive thoughts about me understand that I spend many evening preparing for our next meeting in person.  3-4x a week I train to defend, punch, kick, eye gouge, headbutt, take painful blows and dance circles around the average unassuming DICK like yourself.   There is an inner MONSTER that all sex workers have.  She is the spirit of Aileen Wuornos that has been wronged too many fucking times and YOU might just happen to be the final trigger, the final tipping point into that 5150 land of no quick return…Do you REALLY want to trigger my inner Aileen?  REALLY?  You call me a crazy bitch (or some variation of that phrase) to try to break me down, but it’s you that made me this crazy bitch.  (Men who argue with me ALWAYS call me crazy.  Why?  Because rising up against masculinity to them IS crazy.  You as a BITCH thinking that you can DO SHIT, IS CRAZY, according to them).

I was fearless before I even knew I could fight.  Now I am even more ready for you if you ever decide to act up in person.

I just imagine me biting and tasting your blood in my mouth and not stopping because you are screaming…

You think it’s fucking bad to deal with a bitch who has PMS? try a bitch who has PTSD…

Who am I talking to?  A few different MEN actually.  Its scary that there’s so many people who actually wish bad things on me for telling my truth.  For showing my belly and thighs with a short tight skirt, for being a size 11 and not size 7 or 3.  For demanding that I HATE MYSELF.

No, I’m not pregnant.  I’ve never had a child, but I stand ready to have endless baby making sessions with the next person that comes to me bearing true partnership and love.   (You think I’m joking?  I’m not!  Wall to wall unprotected sex with my future baby daddy in some beachfront Condo please please please…) *ps. this does not declare my heterosexuality but I’m sure I want to make a fuck/love child not a turkey baster one 🙂

Am I FAT? I'm sure that's not what she is thinking...

When I was a teacher, I was 7 lbs lighter than I am now and students would always ask if I was pregnant!  Everyday!  Girls would ask it so often, that I had to make it a CLASS RULE that I included in a handout!  4 years older and looking back, I only WISH I had the body I had then!  I just figure that the Renaissance figure that was popular back in the day that allowed women’s thighs, hips and bellies to express themselves in any direction they wanted were all en vogue.  I have a pear shaped figure even when I am the ideal body weight.  This is why students would ask me if I was pregnant back then, even that I was thinner.

It is truly a sad state of things, the amount of FAT OPPRESSION I am enduring by these misogynist abusers.  I am FIFTEEN pounds overweight (according to current Beauty Standards as defined by the mainstream) and I get name called every obese vocabulary word combined with the derogatory for prostitute as if I were THREE HUNDRED pounds overweight.  FAT OPPRESSION is a tool of the SEXIST PIG to keep you silent about who you really are when they are usually the ones out of shape and sloth like.  I actually don’t care that much about being overweight.  Okay, sometimes I do.  It’s pretty hard not too isn’t it  But not enough to get a lap band or go on a crystal meth diet or even a Raw Food Molasses Lemon concoction diet!   But,  it’s really the OTHER PEOPLE that care way more than I do.   I don’t like being out of shape when I am.  I often can see my body change when I go out of town away from my martial arts training for 1-2 weeks.  I’ve seen my arms and legs seem bigger after doing Krav Maga for 10 months.  It is the other people that MAKE me care.  It is the other men that DEMAND that I know that I am NOT HOT, not fuckable, not worth their money.  And if I were fifty pounds heavier, then the rape jokes would come I’m sure.  “You’d be lucky if someone raped you.” (there is a great chapter on this in the Yes means yes anthology)

“Of course you fuck fat guys!  You are fat!”

“Anger Bitter Overweight Discount Hoe”

comments from 2 different assholes, I said I wasn’t going to glorify their abuse* but I’ll just keep it brief.

I have a body like my mother did at my age.  Look to your parents to see how you will age.  She was a hot hostess with a rocking body in Japan in her 20s.  I was a smoking hot 125lb stripper who graced the cover of 2 national San Francisco magazines in my 20s and my dad still says,”You were gorgeous? When?”  (My dad is great with sex worker rights, but horrible with how to talk to the ladies, which is why he has never dated (or gotten laid) after my parents divorced.  My dad also thinks that I am fat.

All I know is that in ten years I am going to hate that I didn’t enjoy my body more when I was 34, just like I hate that I didn’t enjoy my body more at 30 because all my students kept asking if I was pregnant.

I wonder..(really, I really DO wonder) HOW MANY hits of mine you could actually TAKE of mine before you hit the fucking ground?  Then will you say that I am weak?  Have you EVER had your face stomped on by a PREGNANT LADY?

Would you like to volunteer to be my human punching bag in an upcoming performance?  I fantasize about having you stand there and just take my hits while laughing and taunting me.  It would be the ultimate belt test…and a true test of your MANHOOD Don’t you think?  I do, tough guy.  If you want me to set up a cage match and even take BETS on how long you can remain standing as I attempt to lay you out in 5 hits through facebook, EMAIL ME NOW (mariko.passion at gmail).  Let’s take this to a performance art/youtube level motherfucker, I’m ready.  I’m obviously not afraid to put my vulnerabilities out there for the public to consume, ARE YOU?

(Inspired by the one who had the nerve to say

I take “WANNA BE martial arts and yoga” LOL)

A former Wells Fargo Bank robber was one of my clients the other night and he took me to eat a seafood plate at Denny’s  (that’s how GFE I really am, take NOTES).  He let me SHOCK HIM with my stun gun!  I didn’t do it for too long and I didn’t hold the gun at his throat like I would to a perpetrator trying to rush me and follow up the shock with several groin kicks and punches just like we train in class.

“It feels like you just stabbed me in the chest.” He confirmed.  He was a crazy man indeed.  Entertaining clientele as always.  I hate banks and especially have a bone to pick with Wells Overdraft Up the ASS Fargo.  I was glad to hear that he had gotten away with robbing them 3 times without even using a gun.   We talked about our Bonnie and Clyde fantasies.  He could have been dangerous.  Convicted felon.  Former bank robber?!  I wasn’t scared, fascinated.  I like meeting people of all walks of life.  I like my job.

He was massaging my back when he told me he robbed banks.  I had to turn around and face him so I could read his eyes and his energy.  His intentions…my safety.  I read that he was cool.  He was so happy to be with me, I felt safe.  “But that can all change,” I said snapping my fingers and looking in his eyes,”Just like THAT.” I said recalling the two times I had been robbed by male clients.  He told me he didn’t even use a gun when he robbed them, so I figured he wasn’t going to pull a gun out on me.  We were at his mom’s house and she was pattering around in the kitchen getting ready for work, so I just felt like he wasn’t going to flip on me at his mama’s house.  The two men that robbed me did not use guns.  One said he had a gun and I just believed him.  The next person who tries to rob me is going to be attacked by me NO DOUBT.  I pepper sprayed my 2nd perpetrator 3x while he stared without blinking at me walking backwards out of my house.  His reaction was psychotic or drug induced indeed and I didn’t think to kick his ass in my own house, I just wanted him out.  I am pretty sure today if that happened things would end much more violently.  I WILL NOT ALLOW MYSELF TO BE VICTIMIZED AGAIN IF I CAN HELP IT.  The 2nd time I reacted better.  The 3rd time is the charm!  (Well, not for them).  I don’t even care if it isn’t in the context of sex work.  It may very well NOT be.  I feel the same way.  FUCK YOU FOR THINKING I AM EASY PREY.  I WILL DIE TRYING TO SURVIVE THE NEXT ATTACK I SWEAR.

DO NOT TRY TO USE THE CONTENTS OF THIS BLOG AGAINST ME.  If I have posted it here, I am already aware of it and you aren’t telling anyone anything they couldn’t read for themselves.  (I know I suck dick for money, I know I have herpes, thanks anyway). I’ve processed it through writing and posting and so throwing it back at me is pretty fucking stupid of you.  I’m not even going to give you an E for effort.  I’m not TRYING to sell a sexual fantasy.  I don’t put my best photos up here on purpose.  I know about the imperfections.  I’m putting them up there so readers can understand the reality of a sex worker.  This is not an escort blog for the boys.  I have one of those on my work website and it pains me to try to write in such a way that holds back so much of who I truly am.  This is a skill that comes naturally to most people.

Lots more people are reading this than I originally thought.  I had an escort call through my agency and met a man waiting for me outside his apartment building.  He was extremely cordial.  He recognized me immediately.  “You have a blog, don’t you?” he asked.  I felt a tad reluctant to admit at first because I wasn’t sure if this was going to HELP or HURT my business as an agency girl.  LOL.

LOTS of issues here.  In escorting, I try to stay as neutral as possible so I can appeal to everyone potentially.  “Can I get my donation and then I’ll talk about my blog.” I wink.  It turns out he’s a huge fan.  He thinks I am awesome and super hot and he respects me for my writing and all this great stuff!  I am laughing while we are rolling around on his bed because I have arrived there under the guise of another fake picture which rings the agency that I work for on most nights.  Here is some random internet developer who I do an outcall in Los Angeles to, who is already familiar with me and my blog (which is based on my real life events) before we EVEN have sex!  “You went to New York right? You had a threesome for your birthday?” he said!  I was laughing my ass off (LMFAO)! Tooo many things like that have happened during my agency work in LA lately.  It’s become a small small city to me lately based on this and other coincidences.

This blog is NOT really made for most clients (he was the exception).  This blog is anti-patriarchy, anti-sexist, anti-racist, radical feminist shit and the average escort client in LA is simply not that demographic, go figure.  Some dickheads have a PROBLEM with me for telling my truth but this blog isn’t made for THEM.  Hobbyists haaate me.  Submissives want me to dominate them and spit in their mouths but get angry when I say I need a donation for that kind of treatment!

This blog is made for ME first and foremost, so I can get my issues and pain off my chest through writing it out because I have to FAKE IT TO TAKE THE MONEY TOO MUCH SOMETIMES(I played a board game for tips with a diehard Glen Beck fan for hours!) so I gotta put the words on this blog so I don’t go crazy from keeping all my good stories to myself.

I arrived at another escort agency client’s house.  I climb the stairs to his bedroom, the guy says, “You look familiar.” Here we go, I think as I smile.  “Do you go to the Standard Hotel? In Hollywood?” he asked.  There was only a very limited times that I actually get to go out and enjoy club nites for just me so it’s easy to remember.  “Ah, yes, I said. I know you.  How are you?”  I had taken his drunk ass home when he sat in my booth as I was eating at the diner at 3am.  “Yeah, you never called me back.” I said.” Too bad for you, $300 please.”  PAYBACK TAX.  Of COURSE you have to pay me!  But if you had not been an asshole you might have gotten a few free lays out of it and maybe some good company, but oh well.  I decided not to hit him up for the $200 tip at the time of this call since we had been together before.  A pity fuck indeed.  I did not have to be so nice.  The sex was mediocre as I remembered it the first time.  We exchanged numbers, but I haven’t called him again for a freebie.  No thanks.  LA: smaller and smaller every day.

I wonder if people recognize me when I walk through the city…I have very distinct hair colors and tattoos and style of dress…They may have been an agency client and are embarrased cuz they paid $500 to have sex with me for 20 minutes but most of them have actually great memories of our time together once they get over the money part.  I don’t rob them of their money.  They give it to me with a desperate smile on their face very willingly.  They paypal me from their computers, I drive them to the ATM (sometimes), they write me checks with the drivers license and work phone # on it…they are consenting tippers accepting of the agency fee that they got hustled into paying.  “It’s a tax on both of us really,” I say,”But if you call me again, you won’t have to pay it!” I smile.  I wouldn’t get repeat clients from my agency work if they were all dissatisfied and disgruntled.

This blog is for others like me, sex workers and similar souls who I may be speaking about, educating, coming out and marching for.  I speak my words and music for you.  This blog is not intended to get me escort clients, I don’t escort or dominate under this name at all.  I work for 2 agencies and I work for myself so it would be really really difficult for you to try to hurt my business in such a way that would be crippling as I have multiple names and identities I use at any given time.  What does it matter anyway?  Half the time I try to not even exchange names.  Unless I decide to pull them into my reality.  Then they get the personal phone number and my “real name.”  (Priceless).  Suprisingly with usually a 2 sentence recap, I can remember everyone who I’ve been with, even if I don’t know their names anymore.

Mariko means CHILD OF PURE TRUTH.  It’s really my Japanese name.  I speak the truth using this name as a blogger, a writer, a poet a singer and an artist.  I created a name where I COULD candidly talk about being a sex worker without fear of losing credentials in the “real world” or have anything I say as an activist affect my profits as a sex worker.

You cannot be so candid in ANY business and expect to gain business.  It’s just a numbers game.  Staying neutral is obviously to your advantage.  Trying to agree with everyone.  Having something to talk about with former meth factory manufacturers, gangsters, bank robbers and other criminals as well as hold your own with the Glen Beck/Tea Partiers, hedgefund bankers, and litigators of the world.

I realize also in putting my video on the change.org petitition with its 1,869 views that there are a lot of WOMEN with a lot of strong viewpoints about me.  I have created myself as a target of judgment and criticism for the anti-prostitution movement through the petition I created to make advertisers verify that the escorts are over 18 and not being forced or held against their will.  Many SEX WORKERS who are well known in the twittersphere and in the sex worker literati circles were VERY OPPOSED to my petition.  The amount of opposition surprised me.  For some reason, I didn’t expect it!  It was exciting to see which sex worker rights advocates were actually unafraid to endorse and which ones (Scarlot Harlot, my whore mother and mentor) were afraid to outwardly sign it.  “If some sex workers strongly oppose,”that could be a good reason to look it over very closely,”Scarlot said but I realized something that I knew already.  With policy, it is really rare that you would be able to PLEASE everyone so in order to be effective it is a strategy of picking battles.  We saw this happen with Proposition K in San Francisco.  Not nearly did all the sex workers agree with the wording but we all came out to help pass it anyway.  It was drafted by a woman that many sex workers don’t really always agree with online and in person.   There were some labor disagreements between the people that actually acquired the signatures to get the measure on the ballot and actually 2 separate sex worker parties endorsing the measure.  We managed to look like a somewhat unified whole and achieved 41.3% of San Francisco’s yes vote that year even though there is usually sever infighting in SF sex worker politics and very little real policy ever gets passed as a result.

I did the petition to start a better dialogue at change.org about sex work and sex workers rights.  I made myself the sacrificial lamb so they would stop being so ridiculous on that site.  I did hope that it would be a good enough idea to be implemented by at least the local LA Weekly paper of which I am a weekly adult classifieds client.  Craigslist adult section shut down in the U.S.  Backpage in the U.S and Craigslist in Canada were soon to be shut down as I write this.  I felt a true urgency to do something to SAVE my source of revenue.  I felt threatened and unwilling to let the LA Weekly cave in to anti-prostitution campaigners without an outspoken sex worker like myself advocating for herself!  That was the goal of the petition, but people still find reasons to HATE.  And that has taken a toll on me for sure.  SOME Sex workers on bound not gagged love to jump down my throat like a big dick every time I write something, and that is pretty disturbing and disheartening to me as I feel that I would and almost have died fighting in the whore revolution for the rights and lives of bitches who could give a flying fuck about my advocacy or efforts.

Get a real job! I don’t feel sorry for people like Mariko Passion.  They take the easy money route (of sex work????!!) by using their body to make a “quick buck” and don’t want to work like the rest of us!  And even some religious anti-porn crusaders hitting my youtube with very strange comments about repenting and finding salvation through new jobs…? Retail?  Restaurant work?  I felt like I was listening to a witch hunter from the Crucible movie.  anyone who thinks sex work is easy money, has obviously NEVER done it.  It was pretty insane.  Keeping up with micromanaging their comments and non sequidors has been overwhelming and I’ve just given up in the last two weeks and just left their last words up there without a rebuttal.  I didn’t start this campaign so I could argue and micro manage people’s skewed moralities.  The petition quite likely will have no impact on the sources that I aimed it at, but it did get my face and the sex worker rights agenda front and center into their website which is what it so DESPERATELY needed if it were really a site about creating CHANGE.

What pains me to DEATH almost about the “real job” comments is that I have worked 60 hours or more a week as a high school teacher and as the founder and director of SWOP-LA which I ran and ran and ran for 3 years with very very little pay.  What constititutes the real of the real job?  Running SWOP as a harm reduction/HIV program was very very real to me.  It was so real looking that people that I sat on panels and committees with probably had NO CLUE that I afforded MYSELF a place at their tables BECAUSE I drove around LA all night long “sucking dick for money.”  I’ve had lots of jobs.  None of them EVER paid me what I was worth until sex work.  Now, if I was in Canada, I would have gotten $20-30/hr for running an organization like SWOP-LA but we are in the U.S.  Harm Reduction work usually pays $10-14/hr to start, part time with no benefits, and just like teaching, if you are directing or leading a non profit yourself, you will likely volunteer 20-40 hours of unpaid time to the cause.

With feminists like them, who needs patriarchy?

One sex worker activist local to LA but whom I have never met said that my petition didn’t speak to the “average sex worker.”  This confused me.  Did she believe that I was above average or below average?  I can’t really think of a sex worker who is more average than me.  I call myself “upper” working class!  My clients are UPS drivers and warehousers, gaffers and tweakers from all over LA who happen to be awake between 10pm and 6am.  I don’t have any race based restrictions (i.e no black guys) no weight restrictions, I take crack heads, coke heads, drunks (within reason)!  Massages start at $175.  I’ll smoke weed with you and let you buy me a fish dinner at Denny’s (if you let me practice stun gunning you in the parking lot!).  I was a craigslist, am an LA Weekly and backpage escort and virtually stay away from review boards unless I have to use them.  I am not sure what is not average about me?

This MAY be because I am an artist and I make people suck on my tampons on stage?  That’s certainly not the average sex worker’s routine, true.  Confusion.  The vocal opposition is about not wanting to trust the media outlets with our age verification information.  This is the kind of verification that outlets like That Mall and Eros.com have in place.  These women advertise at these outlets but are screaming online their opposition, urging other sex workers to NOT sign my petition blindly.   My petition was even mocked on her twitter.  “Guess who is NOT going into any advertising office and giving them my ID?” she tweeted.  She also has NEVER made her presence known in any sex worker activist events that I had ever been to, including December 17th in LA where she lives and works or anywhere else for that matter so I’m not really sure if her opinion of my work is all that valid anyway.  So much for sex worker solidarity.  It pretty much goes along with the rest of the Angeleno attitude of “It has nothing to do with me directly so why should I give a fuck” attitude.  I knew that sex workers were an impossible group to gather in this city unless they were gathering around eating carrots and ranch and talking about nothing during a review board mixer aimed to get them more hobbyist clients.

Another leader for SWOP-LA the chapter of SWOP that I founded and ran for 3 years has finally emerged after leaving the organization dormant for almost a year!  I am grateful to pass the torch as always.  We tried to do this with SWOP-LA’s second leader Ofelia Corazon, but she was unable to take on all that running a SWOP chapter in the big apathetic city of LA requires.  I feel no disappointment.  I was dying to step down.  And when she said that she wasn’t going to run it, I certainly knew I was not going to take it back from her.  It was out of my hands and would lay dormant for up to a year, I indeed focused all my energy, as promised on sex worker rights channeled through my art and music and have never felt sad about not being on a 3 hour conference call since.

“You look familiar…” they say.  Maybe you’ve had sex with me, I immediately think, but I really honestly don’t have sex with that many people.  I tell the HIV counselor 10 a month just to make the “counseling” session that happens before the test easier for both of us to process through.  That 10 includes all client sexual interactions in total which are not all intercourse, so in reality it’s not that many partners.  7-10  sex partners a month for a prostitute aint much ( I don’t think).  Gay men have that many partners during a dry spell.  Internet connection must have been down at their house or something to warrant only 10 guys a month!  If I worked at a brothel it would be 5 a week or more but most of my job is driving driving driving and hustling, negotiating, making nice, defense defense defense.

I’ve actually spoken in front of and educated farrrr more people in LA and beyond than I’ve EVER had sex with in my lifetime.  Just in 3 years I may have interacted with 500 students who are all over 18 now and roaming the world and Facebook trying to say hi to me when I least expect it.  (I’m friends with a ton of them and yes, they know).

My face and body are the subject matter of my entire breadth of artwork, which now has spanned 11 years since 2000 when I started doing self identity pieces after college for  my first exhibitions.   How can I not yet be used to people putting me up and down and making comments about what they believe that they see in me?  I feel like Obama must feel right now.  I know I am good.  I know I am talented.  If I weren’t, I would not have gotten this far, but damn the amount of people’s criticism is hard to stay on top of.  Plus, I have JUST survived a majorly verbal, emotional and finanncially abusive relationship with a crazy person.  My self esteem is slowly coming back after being shook up and taken for a ride.

Do I look familiar because of my art?  Have you seen any of it around anywhere?  Are you one of the 1,874 viewers that has seen my youtube channel?  Maybe you have and my confidence won’t believe that my art is really going anywhere because in my isolated world I don’t feel the pull of anyone’s encouragement from all those views and hits.

36B-28-38, 34 years old. that's not what I tell clients who are buying a fantasy but thats the body i've learned to LOVE so fuck you. LOL

What I realized after meeting my blog fan/agency client was that there are a LOT of people that I don’t know reading my words and hearing my voice that don’t comment.  I spend many many more hours brewing a blog entry before I publish it nowadays.  More careful indeed. There is at least ONE ASSHOLE who has the time to read 7 entries and leave 200 word verbal abuse tirade because his partner is passed out cuz he already abused the shit out of her (or him?) and now he’s fucked up pouring over the internet and hasn’t had enough feeling like a pseudo dominant shithead.

Thank you again, for those that support and inspire my words, my art, my hard work and what I’ve stood for tirelessly for over 12 years now.  Whore Revolutionary since 1998.

07
Mar
10

whore revolutionary soldier training

WHY DO YOU FIGHT?

Because I live, thrive and survive in a RAPE culture and I will not allow myself to be relegated to an inferior status.  I was born into this battle unknowingly.  I CHOOSE TO FIGHT BACK.

HAVE THEY ATTACKED YOU?

Yes, Many Times

WILL THEY ATTACK YOU AGAIN?

Yes, because we are still divided.  But I have made my mind and now, my body stronger EACH and every time they have attacked.  And the next time, I will be ready to defend, attack and destroy without hesitation.

CAN ANYONE PROTECT YOU?

NO. Ultimately, at the point of attack I will be the only one who can protect me.

WHAT IS THE WHORE REVOLUTION?

A constant RESISTANCE of reversing the roles which dictate that the prostitute must remain the disempowered victim of social control.

I have been holding out on sharing with you all, my blog audience a huge occurence that has influenced my life in the last two months.  I know you think that all I talk about is herpes, but it’s NOT!  ;0

I wrote something on Bound Not Gagged and I’m going to write something on the Yes Means Yes blog too.  check it out!

You know it’s really like being a drug dealer or a gang member in a lot of ways.  you know that you are doing something illegal and that you are in outlaw in the Wild Wild West.  There is cash money involved, risks, violence and drama.   Ask one of your friends who is holding a lot of money and drugs, if they also have a gun in their house and if they’ve ever been robbed.  It comes with the territory of being an outlaw.

That IS the job if you are not an elite VIP escort that only deals with politician clientele and never has to deal with the violence and drama I deal with.  For some reason, my story PLAYS itself out in the type of work that I have found a living doing.  If I was meant to be an Emperors VIP type of escort, surely I would be by now but I’m not.  I decided that I was UPPER working class.  The class between the streetworker without an email address and the high class call girl who looks down on me for doing drugs or taking calls at 4am.

I’ve met “the King of Bel Air” and driven up a windy road to his driveway with the Ferrari and the Mercedes in it.  He wanted me to suck his cock BEFORE payment hoping I’d take care of him afterwards.  “I don’t even take off my clothes without getting paid first.” I said.  “Whose rules are those?”he said,”I’m the fucking King of Bel Air.” and I was like,”sorry King, that’s the way it goes with this game.  Money first, promises later.”  I’m so fucking cocky even with millionaires.  He turned me away because I was an agency girl and didn’t look like the girl in the photo, etc.

Maybe I see myself as sort of teaching these guys something about respecting sex workers.  Maybe I’m just fooling myself too.  What is karma?  I am an agency girl!  Karma is so distorted in this game, but ultimately I feel good when they pay the agency fee, tip me my fee AND have a good time.

Upper Working Class call girls work calls from the weekly papers and Craigslist and make $2-300/hr.  We drive leased cars and rent apartments, live off of credit cards and in massive debt.  We can afford to spend money on Krav Maga training, even though it is something that I wouldn’t have dreamed of spending that much money per month on had I not gotten robbed.  The types of clientele is mostly middle and other upper working class.  Many are also outlaws, fresh out of prison or jail.  the danger is present with all, even the King of Bel Air.

Maybe I like the class struggle I am in in some “sick” way.  I do know that if I could make money with less risks, I surely would but I don’t feel that I can at this time.

I enter the realm of rape culture and I dare them to treat me right.  I don’t attack or provoke them.  Unless you call asking for my tips provoking them.  They do get angry at this point and ask me to leave half the time.  Why do I put myself through this?  Because half the time they just tip me and everyone is happy.  At the end of the week, I’ve made a decent upper working class income and can pay my rent, my car payment and for my self defense training without hurting.

Both men who robbed me in a “classic” way were not from the agency.  I did not provoke them.  they preyed on me.  There have been others who have tried to fraud their way into getting free services.  I fought a credit card reversal for about 4 months with as much energy as I would fighting off an attacker who was physically on top of me.  It traumatized me equally as much…

I’m not sure I CHOOSE it, like everyone seems to think because if I had my CHOICE I’d be living the life of Rihanna or Beyonce right now singing and touring and not doing sex work directly til 6am.  If I had my CHOICE I would work for an agency that gave me $1000/hr as MY CUT.  But I don’t have these CHOICES.  So this is the life I live for now.

21
Jan
10

Teaching You a Lesson or Sexually Assaulting You?

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

31
Aug
09

ANYTHING LESS THAN THE PERFECT VICTIM

is absolutely unacceptable..

“Why are you sitting there drinking Naked Juice?“she said.

Don’t one of those cost like $4?”

I was sitting on the floor, trying to get SUPPORTED.  This woman really doesn’t care about what I put in my stomach.  I had been coming to this anger management group which has been politically retitled “Rage Resolution” because anger, they think can be not managed but resolved.  This Black woman was about 10 years or so older than me, had done sex work, drugs and more but of course, because in my report back to the group that I was still broke..she erupted into her criticism on what I chose to eat for dinner that nite: a Cliff Bar and a Naked Juice.  $3 drink, $2 bar=$5 total.  “Yuppie” nutrition and meal replacements that are NOT available for consumption in a good HALF of Los Angeles grocery and convenience stores and most definitely not available in stores in East AND South Central LA.  No one would spend $5 on a bottle of protein and a chunk of calories that looked like a piece of turd but filled you up.  They would rather spend $6 on a Carl’s Jr meal with fries and a big drink.  (Cuz it makes you feel FOOL!)

But it wasn’t about the implied yuppie foods it was the fact that I was even EATING at all and daring to call myself BROKE.  Because if I was truly broke, I wouldn’t have food to eat at all.  (You could live in Aaaafrica! or Innnndia! or Skid Row! they say, but even if you came from those places or lived there now, they would NOT care about you more or less).

I shouldn’t have $10 to pay for a group full of mostly court mandated clowns who would use the 2 hour group to put their 2 cents towards strangers on how they should think and live their lives.  I was there voluntarily.  In fact, including the group I have clocked in 5 hours of therapy THIS WEEK.   I am soooo privileged.  I am eating.  I am soooo privileged.  I have money to medicate with marijuana.  Even if I don’t spend a lot of money on it, but rather sell it off to other friends so I can get mine for free.  Even if I trade sex or companionship with lovers who grow or growers who love so I can stay medicated on my transitioning sex worker budget.  Nope, that’s not good enough for THEM.  Because then you are a drug addict and they can put you into a little box and throw you and your ideas out.  Even if you have a medical prescription people will still say “medicate” as if it is a joke.  And this is also partly a joke in the medical marijuana community because our “medicating” sometimes looks like it’s fun, but that’s only if you are looking at half of the pictures.

351_5194

They wan’t you starving, bleeding, and DEAD.  But as you walk in zombie form around the world, dying they look at you and don’t feel anything different.  They don’t give you money, love, blankets, shelter.  They won’t get a gun so you can shoot yourself.  Just leave him!  Just get off your medication!  and then once you do and you are feeling the pain from that  They will just look blankly at you as if you are not their problem.  And then they go on with their miserable pathetic lives.  But they’ll probably say some ignorant comment first and call your suffering melodramatic.

The same woman who had her comment about my dinner also burst into laughter after I talked about my car/rape symbolism.  and she was a sex worker and a woman of color who used drugs all her life.  Did that make her an ally?  Hell no.

I should have kicked her ass.

My therapist knows that I medicate with marijuana.  It was one of the main interview questions that I ask them when I decide whether I can pour my guts out to them safely.  Don’t try to stop me from doing sex work.  Don’t try to stop me from smoking weed.  Those things are immutable and inflexible until I decide that they are.  I am not here to work on abstaining from any of those things…(I have already gone through a cycle of therapy trying to do that “unsuccessfully.”  I am a harm reductionist, not a 12 stepper).  One time the last 3 whiteboy roomates that I had at this “bohemian” warehouse tried to pull a marijuana intervention on me.  To appease them, I attempted to stop smoking for 3 weeks.  At the end of 3 weeks, when I broke down and told them I was going to start smoking again, one of them said,”Oh, You weren’t doing that for us.  I thought you wanted to do that.” or something…I don’t even remember but I’ve been high everyday since then AND if I see those fuckfaces in this city I don’t even acknowledge their presence.  If you want me to live my life without my medication, then WHAT do you propose you will provide me to replace it?  Oh, right, that’s not your problem.  Deep breathing and meditation? Yoga?  Walking?  Journal writing? Singing? Dancing? Art?  Activism?  Yes, yes, drug counselor..thank you.  I do all those things while medicated.  If I weren’t medicated, at times, I doubt I would be so profilic and functional.  I’ve cut back on alcohol almost “as a drug” because it makes me black-out after too many.  My first date rape at 17 was under the influence of alcohol and let’s just say that I have not really gained the trust back in how “people” will act towards “drunk girls.”  (You can even go to your free internet porn channel and it’s actually a genre of porn that you can watch (rough sex with a ‘drunk and stupid’ girl), and I have to confess because the way that I was raped was nothing as sexy as that, the clips actually turns me on while it disturbs me as a whole but I’m not on a crusade to ban its distribution or existence.  They also have Japanese Hentai porn which is the same as it’s always been Japanese schoolgirls getting raped and forced to LOVE it: also designed to stimulate and if you watch it long enough, the sounds alone will turn you on!).  Those directors are like, hey, who said Rape was about power?  We want to put the SEX back into rape!  And they and their all male video crew give each other high fives, and they slap about $600 cash in the hands of their consensual victim and she is happy too.  Because she was probably a survivor and needed to re-enact her shit too and that’s why she enjoys scenes like that…

There was a time that I used to only be able to hit the stage WASTED.  I would down a few shots before stumbling on, and then I would wake up throwing up and miserable..crawling to my bong to ease my alcohol poisoning.  But of course, if you don’t drink or smoke weed all of this might as well be in Korean.  It’s why I love Amy Winehouse.  She’s a beautifully talented trainwreck that everyone criticizes.  I probably love pot as much as she loves alcohol.  But we are raw like Billy Holiday, going through our pain and singing our pain away on and off stage.  This is not JUST a music video, this is our lives…So don’t tell us NOT to get wasted because you are not the director and producer of OUR LIVES.  But, sometimes the drugs and escape mechanisms can kill us too…that’s why I picked marijuana as well.  Maybe I’m not as suicidal and self destructive as I think I am.

When I was a student teacher at one of the most rough at-risk school in LA, and I would come home and cry every nite and then some nights had to be strong enough to go to class at night to complete my Masters Degree.  I did it all with the help of Mary Jane…She held my hand and walked me to class and kissed me on my forehead before I went in.  That’s when I was living with the aforementioned roommates…sneaking a bong hit out the window of my own room!  Even though, some would easily say prostitution or sex work is the REASON I medicate, I would say that teaching high school was also a continuation with that dance with men, misogyny and male violence.  I wrote my Masters Inquiry on it actually based on a teenage student who insisted on calling me “sexy” instead of my name.   I was challenged in different but sometimes equally or more violent ways as a teacher, I witnessed a “race riot” or fight of about 20-30 students and about 10 riot pepper spraying school police first hand so I’m not sure sometimes, if people say that teaching is safer than sex work.

I did do a 3 week VOLUNTARY cleanse for ME once last year.  I have done it recently.  But,  I believe I am highly functioning train wreck.  marijuana allows me to medicate the pain but be highly functional.  It is better than alcohol, heroin, other prescription anti-depressents, vicodin makes you itchy, valium makes you forget…(which many people in pain will float to as an option..)

Everyone wants you to leave your bad relationship but they will not be there when you are alone.  They do not even attempt to suggest a replacement for what you cling to that crutch for.   And sometimes, the pain, like the pain I feel from my mother rejecting me doesn’t go away for years.  And once you are a survivor of trauma, the world doesn’t stop being traumatic or get any safer,  so if you have PTSD from previous trauma there is A LOT that can trigger you.  But most of the time the freak outs are few and far between as I have worked very steadily on my healing and nursing my fears.  I usually reserved those outbursts of anger, shouting, and shoving with someone that I loved.  My[ex] boyfriend.  The article in Salon.com talks about the passion and intimacy that fighting really is, and why, to me Fight club is such a gay [homo-erotic] movie.  When I said that in Rage Resolution, the Black man across from me flew into a rage about it! [because that would mean that he was mandated to this group because HE was gay]  I find out later that the GUY that he talks about knocking out cold in a Del Taco was actually a FEMALE TRANSGENDERED woman.

Also on my list, is “do not try to convert me to your religion or ideology” which is what a number of people would like to do with people like me.  But I reflected last night, that I haven’t had anyone try to convert me to any organized religion since my undergrad college days.  I must give off the untouchable sinner vibe that the Mormons don’t even want to approach.  I’m sure people think that “I am as bad as the mormons.”  But I don’t knock door to door, people come to me usually.  They come to hear me speak or ask me questions, and sometimes they violently try to convert me with their rudeness,  or their “interventions of love” but that never works.  The system tried to convert me, but I am still working albeit very little but I believe if your religion is America and American “Freedom” then once you read about and experience who the laws are designed to protect, and once you realize that it isn’t you then you can easier change religions.

I was talking about how the CAR was an extension of your BODY, and your LIFE which is encased inside of it as you drive it.  When I had a Toyota SUV, my car was broken into 5 times.  The 5th time it was completely stolen and gone for almost 2 weeks before it was recovered.  That year was extremely traumatic for me.  I even walked up on a transient guy going through my truck, scavenging around.  I caught him in the act of this, but didn’t kick the door closed on his torso which was halfway inside the scene of the crime.   We had a verbal confrontation and he ran away.  He said he wasn’t the one who broke the window.

I should have kicked his ass.

If I were a “real” man, I would have.  Instead I drove to the class I was going to be teaching and shared my anger with my students.  That was almost 4 years ago.  That poor car was totally cursed.  Three years later, after I got the car back from the impound, I slid on black ice in the Bear Valley of California, crashed into a sideroad boulder and then another truck crashed into me from behind so hard that the back glass window shattered.  Have you ever been in a car that was hit by a car?  It hurts.  Marijuana (eating not smoking) and massage nursed me back to health again.  Considering all of the car accidents I have survived (one time, I hit the center divide of a freeway at 80 mph and walked away) I guess it would seem like a sort of a slap in God’s face to say that I feel so hopeless I want to die sometimes.  I know that I do not have PTSD from just sexual violence.  And suprisingly I was NOT high or drunk on anything when I looked death in the face behind the wheel that one near fatal day (and I’ve been in about 5 other not as major car accidents in 16 years, is that better than the average truck driver?)

ss-485040-carBrokenWindowI felt raped every time I would come back to a large puddle of broken glass, my clothng and CDs strewn all over, amputated stereo wires and receiver guts spilling out of the dashboard.  File a police report.  Are they going to investigate and attempt to catch the perpetrator? No.  They are not even going to pretend to care.  I paid out of pocket everytime.  Just under the $500 deductible but way over my income disposable at any given time.  I suffered finnancially and felt that this act of invasion was out of my control and one of my family members shook their heads and implied me somehow at fault.  It’s hard to distinguish between the car accidents, parking and speeding tickets (which are my fault BUT also the very profitable industry of policing and fining drivers as part of the state revenue that plays a huge role) and the car jack and break ins (which are not my fault and San Francisco is known for). This has been a symbol of all the many times I have been sexually violated and have not used the police to help me “catch the guy” or help me to heal.

I know, I am NOT the perfect victim.  I smoke weed everyday.  I eat.  I don’t have enough of a drug problem for you to discount me.  I am a sex worker.  I have a car. I still have food to eat. I have a laptop that I got from a sugar daddy but that I could sell if I needed to pay my rent.  But then if I sold my laptop, it might make me feel more hopeless, even if it helped me stay housed.  It would be a sad day indeed.  My computer symbolizes any hope I have for the future.  And once I give that to some hustler for half of what it’s worth because I am really that desperate it will be the end.  So I guess, to the critics credit, since I haven’t yet stooped that low, then perhaps I did have an option that I hadn’t yet considered.  But a miserable one to wish on someone.  I chose to forfeit something less tangible.  I dropped my car insurance until I can get more income.  I am driving illegally.  I still have things.  Services on the verge of being disconnected but nevertheless you have services.  VOICE OF JUDGMENT AND CRITICISM: “You need to appreciate your life and all that you have.  You are just an ungrateful selfish piece of shit and you need to shut your mouth everytime you think you want to share your feelings with the world.  Because unless you are the perfect victim, no one cares.  And even if you are, they are just pretending to care, by making comments about your life or maybe they’ll suddenly start caring during your funeral, but unless you are Robert Kennedy or michael Jackson, no one will even know that you are gone.”

I am parked in the parking lot of my PO Box.  A small unconventionally dangerous to squeeze in lot with a rent a cop Korean security guy with sunglasses and a nitestick.  There are a TON of parking lots like this in LA.  I’ve been hit in one parking lot (her fault) and been in one other collision which was another her fault while driving this car that I currenly drive which is OWNED mostly by Chase Bank, not me.  I recently got into a smash up that was my fault but because of car insurance, I was covered.  They were covered.  I am very very familiar with filing claims with insurance companies and how long the whole process takes.  I am very aware of how insurance companies create a barrier between the rage that occurs between the two drivers that have collided.  Like lawyers act as a mouthpiece for the convicted so they don’t tear out the eyes of the cop that arrested or beat them up.

We start to exchange information and I have to reveal to this guy, who I’ll call Kumar (cuz he looks like and his about the age of the Indian actor who played Kumar in Harold and Kumar stoner films) that I don’t currently have insurance.  He reveals to me that he WORKS for an insurance company and that he and 3 other clowns were out on lunch.  “Wow.  How hilarious.” I say sarcastically.

“And what are you doing parked in a loading zone?  Did you pull in AFTER I was already backing up?” he said.

“NO.  I was sitting here trying to have a nice day, checking my messages when you BACKED INTO me.”

“Well look, I’ll help you out here.” he said looking at the shark bite in my left fender.  “I can give you $200 cash for the damage then and then we’ll just say it’s even.”

“You mean to tell me that you work in insurance claims all day long as your day job and you’re going to estimate that damage at $200 knowing that NOTHING on a vehicle costs $200 when it’s been hit” I said. One of my mirrors is missing half of the plastic cover cuz I hit it off someone’s fence.  “Replacing the driver side mirror in it’s entirity is like $250.00 from the dealer, I said, that’s why I haven’t done it.  There’s no way that repair of that is going to be $200.  You are totally exploiting my situation.” I said. “But, hey, there’s nothing keeping you here.  You CAN just walk away and screw me if you wanted.”

“How do you know it was me who did that? Maybe you already had that damage? You’re car is pretty banged up”he said.”Like in the same accident that broke your mirror.  And this is a loading zone, you aren’t supposed to be parked there!”

“But you STILL would have hit me, if I was a truck or a car.  So your logic is not a good enough answer for you to not be at fault.” I argued.

“But then if you were a truck, I would have saw you.” he said not getting nearly as angry as me, mocking me..

“Look, I gotta get back to work, so you can either take it or leave it.” he said.

“Are you trying to deny that you FUCKING hit me??” I yelled and I could feel myself boiling up.  “I can’t even talk to you right now.  Just write your name and info here.” I said and sat in my car to cool down else I might try to knock this guy out in front of his stupid clown insurance friends.

I was already unstable and depressed about my finnancial situation, my loss of trust in so called friends and lately because so many people have questioned my right to call myself a survivor, I have been remembering and rethinking about all of the sexual trauma that I have survived in my life throughout the week.  I couldn’t believe this guy was trying to blame me!  It was all so symbollic of male privilege and power that my trigger was flicked and now I was full of rage at all the rapists and men with male privilege in the world.

I wanted to kick his ass.  To knock him out in one fell swoop and jump on his 5’8, 160 lbs body and start punching him and screaming,”What the FUCK do you mean it’s not YOUR fault???” I would start hitting him and not stop…

but I didn’t. On Facebook, I posted an article on the West Virginia rapist, “The father of five children and midget football coach did not testify. But jurors watched a taped interview in which he confessed to picking up at least 15-20 prostitutes and holding a knife to their throats or choking them while he had sex with them.”  He is a handsome Polynesian looking guy who picks up street workers with baby seat in his car.  He is a family man, community member, misogynist and violent rapist and even though he is in West Virginia I feel that he is living in my neighborhood too…

When I watched “Boys Don’t Cry” with my then boyfriend and he didn’t feel moved, and every time he insisted on calling a transgender person by the wrong pronoun, I felt like he could be even sleeping in my bed.

“We take shoving to be a provocation after which one is justified in committing violence. But kids shove. Brothers shove each other. We can shove each other. A shove is nothing. It is just a shove. There is no logical reason why it should lead to violence. It is perhaps technically battery. But the rules and laws around battery and assault, I would argue, are also formed around our the cultural assumptions of a fundamentally violent culture. We all know the dance. Why could not two men simply have a harmless shoving contest? It would be funny. Consider what the shove actually says. What the shove says is, I love you and I want to feel the violence of my love for you by having some contact. The shove says, I want some pain inflicted, will you please engage in some mutual infliction of pain? I need some pain. The shoving says, here, look at what I am willing to do: I am offering myself to you, to be beaten. Will you please attack me so I feel whole again? Here, look, I will shove you again. That is my request. The shove says, “I want you. I want you to beat me.” I beat up a guy and now I feel guilty (Salon) (via melissa)

The dance of violence between men and men is one that men who grow up are very familiar with.  Most men have gotten into at least one fight.  most men fear violence as much as women do but express it through posturing, homophobia, rape, pre-emptive ass kickings..

But women have that desire in them too.  We are raised in a violent culture, where fighting and war are the ultimate symbol of triumph, conquer and revenge: power.  I always move to want to fight with men.   My ex and I got into some screaming raging public fights, and I have even thrown lite objects at him and punched his chest like the powerless little girl that I am.  I loved him, so I trusted him enough to have further outbursts of rage like I had never done with anyone else before…this is the secret language of Domestic Violence that they don’t teach you and that the survivors aren’t allowed to really express.  But when we went to couples counseling once, and the counselor asked me if I had ever hit him and I said yes, then I became the batterer and HE was the victim and we were not allowed to receive services because we did not match their criteria.  Neither he nor I were the perfect enough victim.

but i never have done more than really close posturing and running away from angry gorillas.

My last 3 years as an agency escort was about my dance with sexual violence and misogyny.  I would act and re-enact scenes which begged the collaboration of the dance of violence and gang rape, male privilege and power.  I was literally asking for it or the system in place set us up to have to fight our way our of some ugly negotiations.  I WANTED to have the LAURA CROFT BARB WIRE ending to my next attempted rape.  Whatever it was that they were going to give me was going to be given to me in a clear cut blow.  I would feel their fist connect with my face.  I would fall to the ground.  I would be the perfect victim.  Except that i was a whore and my “friend” had just stolen $300 from him.  I thought for some reason, that I would be okay in a houseful of 5 guys who had just gotten ripped off.  I even told her she could go!  Older brother started screaming through the house like an ape banging on his chest.  He came for me.  “YOU ARE NOT LEAVING THIS HOUSE UNTIL YOU GIVE US THAT MONEY.”  I handed my stack of cash out of my purse and headed straight for the door.  He chased me out the house, yelling at me the whole time to continue his little war dance over me as I drove away..

I survived that.  I drove back home from Chatsworth, shook up.  Sat at my desk while the sun came up, while I watched the Latin workers start their rounds on Metro to start their work shift…smoking my post traumatic stress disorder into a soothing enough calm that I will be able to go to sleep for at least 6 hours during the day.

I have worked very long and hard hours on my recovery and wellness from sexual trauma, and for years before I identified as a prostitute I was very focused on sexual assault awareness activism as a platform for my mission to leverage male privilege once and for all!  I did not plan to engage in this dance for 3 years, nor do I regret some of the amazing experiences that I did recreate.  I did educate and empower men, I did provide and satisfy for them and they did tip me excessively on top of the agency fee MOST of the time, and that was why I did it for so long.  I met my sugar daddy by stealing him from my agency, they don’t expect repeat business of course, and that is how the system is designed.  So if I am able to appease their egos enough so they don’t chase me out of the house yelling then we have a great time and everyone is happy for a while..

When people pretend to care or understand it urks me.  I ran from Candy the elderly Skid Row sex worker that I mentored to save my sanity.  I am too unstable to deal so closely with someone else that is more unstable and self destructive than me.  When people say “You aren’t suffering, if you were REALLY suffering you would be like THIS, or THIS or live HERE or look like THIS.  And Candy was all of those things and more.  And also she wasn’t.  She was more capable than most people thought.  She had an apartment and disability income.  Streetwork was her “side job.”  She used drugs to escape the pain and sex work to recreate and seek safety through the validation that sex work provides sometimes.  I don’t think it was about the money.  When I walked side by side with her, I would notice that people either cared for her or they looked at her with disdain and wanted her out of their business.  She was the worker that the rapist in West Virginia would prey on.  She looks “expendible” because her face and body show signs of drug abuse and self destruction, so therefore it would be fine to just off her.  We would be doing her a favor..I came to know why she used drugs to escape and I felt scared of her.  I felt like she was a reflection of who I could be if I changed from marijuana to crystal meth like her.  And if I started to escape with meth for 30 years like her…but without blaming her, I blame others first.  And I think of her when people say I don’t have it so bad because I know her and people don’t rush to help her either, and that was how she came to me, and because she was too engulfed in her pain and her addiction, I couldn’t hang on..Or else soon, we’d be sitting on the sidewalk scantily clad and fucked up, smoking crack out of the same lightbulb and spitting insults at passerbys in the park…

I got the other driver to pay $340 cash on the spot.  I didn’t lose my drivers license.  I didn’t fight him.  I didn’t go to jail with an assault charge.  I came out ahead.  Unfortunately, the money has to go towards the rent instead of the repair of the car or even the acquisition of insurance but I am usually stressing about rent at this time of the month.  Frantic and desperately waiting for the next call to come through.  If I had dealt with it any other way, I would not have gotten paid.  I had thought that money and emotional confrontations with strange men only happened in sex work, but apparently it happens in other situations too.  I am thinking a lot about survival lately.  People are confused with me because I am confused with me.  I have survived a lot.  But not as much as HER or HIM OR HER OR HER!!!!!! Everyone wants to play trauma Olympics or Oppression olympics because they are so wounded…but believe me my pain is as valid in my world as their is in their world.  I pulled over after I pulled out of the parking lot and freaked out in tears.  It was very difficult to keep my cool in that situation even though I felt like he was instigating me to lose it, even though he was completely oblivious.  He was never admitting fault  Even after he paid me, he was saying some “Next time you should…” sentence and I told him to stop talking and go back into his car.  “Even as your paying me, you are not admitting fault.”I said,”that alone can make me want to kill you!”  I’m sure they thought I was crazy.

51PLBjD2QVLI am working on touring and doing some events specifically around sex work and sexual violence.  My story is very common for a lot of workers and I find that it is so challenging to not want to talk about the glaring negatives in our profession while we push towards decriminalization.  I also find it interesting that I have never painted my work as all happy hooker or all victim of rape and serial murder but that both are simultanously true.  This blog is part of the way that I survive the violence that I am asked to hold and not speak about.  People do NOT want to hear about your pain.  And if your pain is not as bad as their pain, then they will be sure to let you know and cause you more pain.

My self esteem is very low and I am having trouble believing that anything matters or that I will live to see any major changes in how sex workers are treated, or how many sexual assaults occur.

I am also interested in the emotional finnancial connection that many women and sex workers have around money and men.  Most people have a very intimate relationship with money and ideology but many women who gained economic empowerment and perhaps surviving violence (from home or relationships) because they were able to not only survive against the odds, but also acquire above their projected or expected means can feel like they are going to DIE when it is SLOW.

I am in this book with 2 other sex workers..It’s exciting to have something to tour with and it was fortunate that Susan invited me to be a part of this proejct without me actually submitting.  And now I am peddling it wherever I perform as part of my SURVIVAL INCOME.  And would you believe that if I dare use that word like that people are all up in my Facebook!

21
Oct
08

San Francisco PROP K action report

What an amazing experience this has been so far.  It has been really really interesting to be involved with this proposition with all the sex worker activists that I came into this work with during the MEASURE Q initiative in the City of Berkeley that Robyn Few spearheaded in 2004. So much has changed in 4 years with me, my work, my other work, and where I stand in the work.

REgistered to vote in SF, for the first time in 8 years, I initially got excited about this election because I wanted a person of color to be president.  But I think I’ve stepped back from the media machines that both of the two sides are pumping out from the ears at full speed ahead that I’m not listening anymore.  I’m all about PROP K, all the way.

The first time I did this in Berkeley with them, I was pretty negative about sex work, just quitting stripclub stripping and facing that transition which would lead to some difficult times, but then just meeting Carol Leigh and Robyn Few as they started SWOP with Measure Q.  I couldn’t really talk about issues or argue points like I can now.  I was completely inexperienced and not nearly as passionate about things as I am now.

When I am tabling or talking to the people about sex worker rights or SWOP it seems easier in some ways than talking about PROP K because guys will ask,”Are you a prostitute?” and I say,”Yes.” then they say,”No way.  Get out of here.”  and I say yeah, and PROP K is about decriminalizing sex work simply by voting yes.  Then as if following a predictable script comes them hitting on me for sex!

I hate it.

It is far less powerful than sex work itself.

Why? Because on the street, in most normal interactions, I realize that men and patriarchy in general have more power, when talking about sex or sex work because for some reason, they seem to be better at offending women not the other way around.  However, most of the volunteers have reported being criticized to their face about the issue, their perceived gender or sexual orientation I’m sure and it hasn’t really phased them.

dressing like a hooker for activism has always been my specialty..

dressing like a hooker for activism has always been my specialty..

Every article I’m reading about Carol Leigh quotes that she’s been raped when she was a sex worker in SF.  What a horrible line to have to read and have googled about you over and over over.  This campaign makes all of the sex workers involved feel especially vulnerable!  More vulnerable than if we were campaigning in lingerie like [I] usually do.  In fact,perhaps sometimes the shock value of porn and prostitution and post porn modernism are what make them powerful.

We are deliberately de-sexualizing the issue to appeal to the masses!  (And i just called Obama a sell out, but in similar ways, we are doing the same thing).  Politics is like that,isn’t it.  It’s an interesting thing for me, because most of my activism is in your face, raw stripper aggression removed from the darkened club for post modern effect, but most days I am in jeans, a t-shirt and “pretty” face (make up/contact lenses) awaiting potential client calls for work so I can afford to stay on in SF working on this issue.  But, if there is anything that has been driven home with me getting *detained* for passing out flyers on a college campus about PROP K, and about getting arrested by undercover cops who were milling around the BDSM convention that we were doing outreach at, is that LE and their henchmen are everywhere, and therefore, even if prostitution is decriminalized, it will still be for the most part, done discreetly because sex for most people is a private issue (which is our qualm with the laws in the first place).

Remember that scene in Pretty Woman where she walks through the hotel lobby in her thigh high boots and her buddy the concierge gives her some pointers about how to fit into the straight world?  Well, the reason why dressing like a streetwalker makes good art is because in the real lives of sex workers, you CAN’T and DON’T dress like that in the places that you most often do your work..Keeping it ambiguous is the name of the game, and the reason why you can’t tell how many sex workers there are or how much is actually going down (although I can spot the hos in the hotel lobby right away).  This incognito is not only because of the laws against us.  There are times when you want attention around your sex and times when you do not.

I think the magic of being a sex worker is that it is a form of drag that I can put on and off by choice, and although when I perform I dress in sexy clothing, I am removed from people in that they understand that it is a performance, so most of them keep their distance. In talking to people face to face, they don’t.  You seem to have to find a way to fend off people seemingly sexually harassing you.  The stigma of prostitution is far from removed, and that is what you are dealing with when you are doing these talks.  When I was talking about my fundraiser and telling everyone I got arrested, boy that was wayyy vulnerable times. (Some people felt sorry for me!) I hated that too.  If I was in victim mode, I wouldn’t be going around town hustling donations for my legal fund.

I used to reflect on this when I worked as a stripper at a stripclub (and at Burningman).  I missed the freedom and power of dressing sexy like that so I kept performing sex work through my art and music so I could keep shopping at stripper stores and wear 6 inch heels!

And even though, I am seemingly telling the world through this blog and my music and art that I am a whore, I’m really NOT even telling my neighbors, or the person driving in the car next to me..They might know, or maybe they’ve seen an ad of mine on the internet, but don’t want to say. (because then the vulnerability is on them!)  I don’t always look like a stereotypical whore and when I do, most people wouldn’t even assume that I am sex worker for real because they just don’t go there, especially with people who seem to have self esteem, confidence and ownership of their sexuality..

Tomorrow we are going to talk to people visiting and coming out of jail.  If more people of color were mobilized around this issue..Obama’s not outreaching to the pocs but I am going to!

Dialogue about PROP K is all over the radio and TV.  Having to hear the ignorance that they are spewing is very difficult.  I don’t know where we stand on our fight but we are doing as much as we can.  We could stand to have more people working on this issue and we are definitely hurting for funding, but considering that we are a small, self funded team, I think that we are winning!

26
Mar
08

KEEP ON-dedicated to Ashley Alexander Dupree

Hey, I wrote this song soooo long ago. I just watched the video. LIsten to the words. How many of us are in this life to fuel our dreams? Do you think that being hounded by every man on the block since we were 13, was A CHOICE?




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