Archive for the 'sexwork' Category

02
Nov
16

To Whore or Not to Whore Part 2

Survival sex work doesn’t take thought in the same way that blocking a punch coming at your face is an instinctual move for most. Taking the time to assess whether you can meet your basic needs in other ways is comparable to the thought process of assessing why you even had to block a punch to the face in the first place.  This is the art part of martial arts. It is different from “self defense.” I was indeed a front line soldier for many years, so self defense was necessary but “it (to be in the war, to fight, to survive, to struggle)”, I learned, like everything was ALSO a choice. 

If you are doing survival sex work you are not in control of the working conditions or clients and it is often an act of desperation not empowerment.  The funny thing is when I called myself a “whore revolutionary,” I also referred to my work as a matter of survival NOT choice.  I empowered myself in my survival versus my choice, I likened myself to a suicide bomber in an occupation I inherited.  It was a slippery slope, and I predictably slipped to surrender to the greater elements constantly wearing me down, including mainly my own thinking around these issues, which I was not ready to admit until I was ready to submit.


Sex work is ONLY empowering when you WANT TO DO IT and you get to do it HOW and WHEN YOU WANT to do it.  


When I am working online looking for jobs and opportunities in Japan that I can do without a visa, I look for hours on craigslist.  Just like any metropolitan city craigslist there are ads for adult video models and escorts and various other things in the sex industry.  I shoot off emails with sexy photos to see what kind of entity i’m working with, whether or not they will actually respond and if they can tempt me further.  Every month living in Japan and paying rent is a challenge for me. I don’t go out and party much because of my limited income, i don’t get to go to a lot of basic social things in the center of the city like a Japanese or boxing class because traveling there requires $10 on the train and usually whatever cost of the event and a meal or two.  I imagine myself living under a bridge with the other homeless in Japan or trying to live in a shelter of some kind with all my huge piles of luggage and my guitar.  I wrack my brain trying to market all the different skills i have in the different sections of jobs offered. I am a freelance writer, i can teach English, i can teach Tantra to groups and individuals, i can do things in food service, I am great with children…Is it really time to pull out the goddess standards and make my money by any means necessary? I meditate on it.


One of my first Tantra clients in Tokyo paid my regular rate for a non intercourse, energy based session. I thought he would be a repeat client, we seemed to hit it off well. I kept in contact with him for a couple months while I travelled and upon returning back to Tokyo I asked him if he wanted another Tantra session. It seemed he wanted more than I was willing to offer as thegoddess.  He wanted an escort. After a long annoying conversation, he ended it with, “Give me a call if you ever decide you want to escort again. Ganbatte (good luck).”  Normally I would have instantly deleted his contact, but i kept it like it was an EMERGENCY CONTACT because I knew that maybe that day in Japan would come and I might have to call him up and give him the date I wasn’t willing to give that day. I had already been to his upscale high rise apartment and knew some of his story, so, it would be a safe person to escort with if that day ever did need to come.  

I had started a crowd fundraiser to pay rent but also entitled a VIBE RAISER so that I could RAISE THE VIBRATION of my potential, of my possibilities, to remind me of the work I was brought to do in Japan.  I sent off a quick message to him and he was less than friendly in his response. I reminded him of his escorting proposal some months ago. I was cold and detached and removed from my body. Totally opposite of thegoddess in the VIBERAISER video singing and asking a crowd of followers to help support her mission.


“Is that offer still on the table?” I messaged.

We proceeded to engage in a long detailed negotiation about what I would and wouldn’t do for how much.  These kinds of conversations I hadn’t had in years as a goddess but that I was relegating myself to for SURVIVAL. I was swallowing my pride and willing myself to take it because it wasn’t going to be so bad and all these other reasons.  He seemed surprised that I even had a right to any boundaries or respect, though I had taught him how to honor me as a goddess before, he seemed to forget it all. He even asked “So why have you decided to call me now?” These types of emotionally triggering questions, that in my past I would answer with frank fearlessness. But I knew better than to bite the hand before it fed me.  “So, you need support?” he asked. “I need a client.” I answered stoicly, trying hard to bite my tongue and stay in the safety zone. “Isn’t that the same thing?” “NO.” I said without elaboration.  My coldness of heart made even me shudder.  I knew it would be the same when I saw him, which would make me likely a terrible lover when and if the time came. i resented him so much and his line of questioning, his arrogance, his lack of Godliness. i resented that I was even asking, that I had to constrict my soul so much to have a basic negotiation conversation. I hadn’t felt like that in years.  I went lap swimming to change my energy and do some moving meditation. i asked the Universe,”Is this REALLY what I am supposed to be doing here? Is this the answer you are giving me now?” Swimming. Swimming. Meditating. Moving.

The next day said client texted after all of what I felt to be painful negotiation that my rate for escorting (seen as more than the session completed before for the same price) was too much. Ended with another Good Luck to you.

I rejoiced. DELETED his messages and number and proceeded to remove that plan from my consciousness. it was a valiant effort.  I was not sure HOW a solution would replace this, but I was 1000% sure that HE was not offering any part of it.

I did another VIBERAISER/FUNDRAISER video without alluding to any of that interaction. I was ready to trust in new solutions instead of relegate to ones that I had known before.

Later that evening, a friend who had actually “broken up” with me randomly messages thru Facebook. “Hey, Im starring in a music video tonite in Shibuya. We need an Asian woman to wear a G string and play a prostitute in a hotel room with a Yakuza gangster. It pays $275 (my fundraiser goal was $500) if you can get down here in a couple hours.”

YES. YES. YES. YES. Y.  E.  S!!!!!!

VIBERAISER SUCCESS. Intentions heard thru the world in loud, magnificent volumes.

YOU ARE NO LONGER MEANT TO BE A WHORE.

 But all your experiences in life will put you in the greatest position to capitalize where others dare not enter, because they could not even imagine where you’ve been.

THIS WAS the Real WHORE REVOLUTIONARY not ANY of that shit I was doing before.  I never again have to question if that day will come in Japan, because it already did and thegoddess levitated above it all. 

22
Aug
16

I was actually a FREE INDEPENDENT URBAN OIRAN not an urban geisha!!


For the years from the time that I started this blog, I branded myself for many years as the “Urban Geisha,” an “Educated Whore Revolutionary.”  I knew even then, that I was nothing near a “real geisha” but I was fascinated with the idea that part of the geishas art, aside from enticing men was to learn instruments, dances and traditional arts, including the art of conversation.  I prided myself at being the Urban artist of conversation because in honest reflection, I was never really that great at sexual acts during my escort years. Unless of course, I was attracted to the client or sometimes a client would surprise me with his abilities which didn’t match my usual “type.” This is what I liked about prostitution. It allowed me to experience people I wouldn’t usually allow in and, they had a 50/50 chance of doing me right despite the attraction factor.  The majority of time, I was really being the “2pac of prostitution (activist/musician)” character and many of my clients were urban homies, non violent criminals, drug users and other exiles of society, like I was. We would do a bunch of lines until the sunrise and I would entertain them with my art of conversation while making money. Sex was maybe 25% of the SEX work that I did.  Drug users were my favorites because of the fact that sex wasn’t so much a big part of it but keeping their lonely heart company while playing a facade was. And this was my definition of urban geisha. The other part that made me adopt the geisha moniker was because I was of Japanese heritage and I had the PASS TO CLAIM rights to my ancestry in America that the political activist community fights so hard to own and protect according to whichever heritage you can say you are part of. I HAD THIS PASS AND KIMONO CLAD KATIE PERRY DIDN’T as far as I was concerned.  But, I was no different than any other displaced descendant of a home country than the Black African American who tries to remember Africa by wearing an emblem around his neck and changing his name to something more African. The reasons we do this in racist America are evident but often our efforts fall short of accuracy.   I actually wasn’t any different than a disrespectfully appropriating Katy Perry who was just taking something she thought was exotic (and geisha are indeed RARE and Mysterious, even to Japanese today) and beautiful and creating a show around it for your pop culture entertainment and for you to be attracted to.  But when white American people do it on stage though…!!

An apprentice Maiko giving the EVIL SIDE EYE at a performance in a Kyoto tourist show copyright MPassion 2016

Now that I’ve spent some time in Japan, in actual observance and research of the true Japan and its culture I can see that many foreigners wear kimonos and the Japanese people are renting them to them for profit, but also to SHARE their culture correctly. Most Japanese would probabaly be happy and proud that Katy Perry  were wearing kimono on a big U.S award show, except maybe for the fact that she is mixing a Chinese brocade neckline and high cut waist of a cheongsam with a Japanese kimono in her outfit. Hey, shes mixing BOTH OF MY ETHNICITIES! I should steal that dress from her! Did Katy wear white face and try to imitate a geisha, or is that what the media called it (because all kimono clad women are geisha apparently)? She was actually just a white foreigner appropriating Asian fashions and aesthetic, something that can be super controversial and oversimplified on both sides of racist America.  Tourists rent kimono 100s if not 500 times on a good busy day throughout Japan as part of their sightseeing activities. Most of the kimono clad tourists in Japan these days are not even white folks, they are Chinese from China or Taiwan, but the point being that Japanese are happy to share and teach their kimono NOT their geisha customs.  There are dressers in tourist shops who help foreigners put kimono on and they style all the accessories so the foreigner doesn’t fuck it up. It’s not a cheap Halloween costume by any means, and its usually very authentic.  It is meant to be completely respectful sharing for tourists of Japan, as well as a profitable business to be in.

GEISHA ARE NOT PROSTITUTES and this was the biggest mistake I and other foreigners (mostly men who wish they were) make. They might get together with one wealthy client who becomes her sponsor/partner but mostly they are true entertainers, who are definitely erotic objects of desire but whose austerity around sexual partners makes her that much MORE attractive to seekers.  An Urban geisha might be similar to a true burlesque entertainer who could climb a 50 foot pole and do gymnastics tricks to entertain in a g string and feather costume but who also never really had sex with those they entertain. Certainly that was NOT what I was trying to do. i was turning TRICKS. Having quick and dirty sex for profit and I saw my HUSTLING (business street and survival savvy) also as part of MY ART.  The other part of my art came into play through writing my blog, speaking my activist truth, performing songs from the Whore Revolution.  THAT WAS ALL MY GEISHA-NESS, as I saw it then.  I only recently learned about the OIRAN, the kimono white faced entertainers that resembled the geisha in many ways except they were FLASHIER and THEY HAD SEX! Now THAT was more MARIKO PASSION for certainly. To my pleasant surprise, the Oiran traditional shoes were 8” platforms that required a male assistant to walk, which I would often recruit a random “escort” to help me not eat shit in heels on concrete. I regularly performed in 6” platforms in those days and I even had some “taka geta” (tall wooden slippers) of my own that I just threw away before I came to Japan but had owned since I was in my 20s before I even knew about Oiran (unconscious cultural memory!).  In Japan, there are regular parades celebrating the Oiran Dochu and Edo period costumes without shame around the association with prostitution because many of the Oiran and Geisha at the time were sold by poverty stricken parents who had no choice for survival. The sad truth behind these parades is that they do not reference the truth of the women who lived these lives of sexual slavery, yes I really called it that.

Real Oiran of Edo…not ideal working conditions

Movie set at Toei Kyoto studio park copyright Mpassion2016

Yoshiwara Dori Pleasure District

The Oiran lived in a gated area, and they were not allowed to leave except to view cherry blossoms once a year. The photos that I’ve seen show them behind wooden bars over the windows. Many of them died of venereal diseases and were wrapped in straw and dumped in unmarked graves at the Buddhist temple Jokan Ji. Jokanji temple has the spirits of 25,000 Edo era sex workers buried there. i have plans to visit and report on it in a future blog.  The Japanese government is known for the war crime of making Korean women into sex slaves for the Japanese soldiers, but what is also not said alongside the comfort women stories is that Karayuki San were the Japanese women who were indentured sex workers that were sent to other countries to service Japanese soldiers and other races of men overseas. I believe that karayuki san were also used for a short time to serve U.S military soldiers during their occupation in government sanctioned brothels as well. Many feminists in Korea and the U.S demanded the Japanese government apologize to the Korean comfort women, which occurred just in January of this year, 2016 but really, the Japanese should have to apologize and give reparations to the Karyukisans as well, but that would probably never happen as it was hard enough to get the apology and reparations to the Korean women. The government did actually put an end to the pleasure quarters of the Edo era, probably much in the same way that the sexual woodblock Ukiyoe prints became outlawed and banned so did the Oiran houses.  The mizu shobai, or sex industry of course never died in Japan, it just changed form.
But there is ALWAYS  MUCH BEAUTY in the darkness, darkness and light, yin and yang, just like in African slavery there were rich cultural traditions that survived and remained as a result of the struggle, oppression and captivity.  If you are not allowed to leave an area and can’t choose the amount or safety of your clients or you will be punished with death or a beat down, you are or were a sexual slave.

I owned shoes like these in my 20s!! Quickie Insta Oiran Portrait at Toiei Kyoto Park 2016

I did an Oiran portrait at a Kyoto amusement park and I was excited and am excited still about looking into getting involved in participating in the parades in April 2017 but in reading more about the truth of the lives of the women and girls I wanted to ALSO be sure not to gloss over the facts, the way the Japanese government and many people who are fans of Oiran Dochu do so often. Having lived the beautiful struggle of a FREE and INDEPENDENT URBAN OIRAN for years, you can see just by scrolling through my escort entries that my life was no parade, but it wasnt slavery, and I suffered and struggled through some of it but there was much JOY, TRIUMPHS, LESSONS AND PLEASURE TOO. Music, art, activism and community WERE the things that I loved in sex work, FUCK THE SEX.  Perhaps this was also the attitude of the Oiran and they poured their PASSION and life force into their arts in spite of it all.

What used to be the Yoshiwara Dori of the Edo Era is now Soaplands (kinda like massage parlors but soapier and mostly only for Japanese clients not foreigners). the women are free sex workers NOT and I say this too, NOT SEX SLAVES. They freely come and go to work, have families, test themselves and have safe sex so they don’t have the same UNHAPPY ENDING as the OIRAN of Edo did.

08
Jul
16

EVAPORATE like clouds over Mt.Fuji

wp-image-2119771984jpg.jpg
Rising up from za water eburi 15 minetsu!

 My family reunion has completed to my relief and I am now able to eat healthy vegetarian foods and travel Japan on my own agenda once again. My mom who seems to live to antagonize me is off on her own to visit her hometown where she has promised to get her family record showing my Japanese lineage which is required to apply for a Nikkei Heritage visa.  This is an amazing program that allows people of up to 3rd generation Japanese ancestry to stay and work in Japan with the same rights as any other Japanese citizen. An employment sponsor is not even needed to apply for this visa in contrast to other Japanese visas and if I had my own family they also would be able to move here for up to 3 years!  While the Nikkei Heritage Visa program is packaged to look like a way for people to regain knowledge of their culture and language, the true intention of the Japanese government in creating the program was to get cheaper labor from Peru and Brazil where there are many 2nd and 3rd generation Japanese children of immigrants.

The existence of this is yet another miracle that has landed in my path for me after arriving in Japan (this info discovered via meeting the right local people who have been super helpful and encouraging).  

20160707_162954.jpg
one of these girls is not a legal Japanese citizen….YET

I had planned to try to work illegally as a tourist as people often have to do to stay in the U.S. and other countries but it didn’t take much applying to some jobs and reading some wanted ads that i saw that I was up against a big obstacle not having the correct visa to work in Japan.  I had somewhat of a lead to work as a hostess in an empty and tiny karaoke bar in Roppongi Tokyo but I knew that that was never going to support my survival as every time the owner called me in to meet or work it would have no customers and 3 bored ladies sitting at the bar. A familiar scene from my stripclub working days.  I have evolved past having to do jobs that disintegrate my brain cells staring at a wall for an employer’s sake but I knew I was an undocumented worker and wasn’t in a position to be too picky.  Reverting back to a mind numbing sex work job was not something I wanted to do ever again, illegal citizen or not.  I had successfully done two Tantra sessions with two different clients in Tokyo already so I knew that there were other better options for me.The U.S greatly prospers off of the backs of the labor of undocumented citizens so it seems to be somewhat easier to jump through loopholes and get paid in cash to make your income in the states.  Even surviving off of an illegal sole proprietorship like selling CDs or food out of a shopping cart is an option that many undocumented folks have used to not only survive but prosper in the U.S. Illegal food vending is never done in Japan. Even buskers don’t get tipped in hats but can only sell CDs instead because no one gets tipped in Japan!  In my worst fears of moving to Japan, I imagined having to beg for change using my singing bowl like a monk.  Luckily, it’s not going to come to that for me but I really had no idea how I would survive here just that I had many skills, a couple college degrees, strong will and great hope for the best. Things have indeed manifested miraculously for me since I got here so naturally I am not worried at all about whether I will successfully attain my heritage visa.  It shall be done!

IMG_20160708_151012.jpg

smelled like sweat and funk in the visitation room so by day2 i came prepared

NO WEED IN JAPAN

Before leaving for Japan, friends had told me that getting weed was near impossible and that if I did eventually find it, it would be $70 per gram, over 4 times the price I pay in the U.S.  This was the source of much anxiety as I was smoking more than ever in the stressful months leading to my move to Japan. I had been a daily user of cannabis for about 20 years prior to now. I left LA and flew to Seattle where it had been recreationally legal since about 2014. I continued my habit but knew that my days of access were numbered. I had a bit of a mental breakdown and walked into a dispensary in tears and incorrigible fear of my future move only to be relieved by Mary Jane as my usual medicine when I felt this way.  I had tried to cut back to prepare my mind at this time but there was so much anxiety in coming to Japan for me that i found it so hard to be stronger than my then current dependence.  If you look back in this blog, you can see that Mary Jane has been a way for me to sooth my PTSD, depression and anxiety for years but most times admittedly its been a recreational drug not really a medicine which is often debated by pro mj advocates.  I flew to Alaska and Vancouver Canada where it was also legal. It was in Vancouver that I was held for an hour in this passage thru to Tokyo because 3 years ago in 2013, I had been caught with a small pipe driving thru the border in which the Canadian government detained me for 4 hrs, read my journal out loud to me, examined parts of my FB and this blog and searched my car and person. I was searched and held for about 3 more hours on the U.S side, my little pipe confiscated and I was again traumatized by the treatment of state authorities for doing something minor and clearly harmless to others. So I know all about the detriments of marijuana dependence and it has indeed affected my life in punitive ways. I did make it to Tokyo this time on a rescheduled flight with no charge due to their reexamination of my 2013 case in 2016 which caused me to miss my flight to Tokyo. I wasnt even planning to visit Vancouver but ironically because there were no more flights to Japan I was able to see Vancouver for the first time since I was not admitted trying to visit before. I made sure to visit a legal dispensary there and get enough edibles to knock me out on my upcoming flight.  I also snuck in a few (10?) odorless candies hidden in some real sweet smelling candies because my dependence told me despite all that I had been thru with Canadian immigration I probably wasn’t strong enough to be sober in Japan yet.  I was willing to risk it because it was such a personal amount.  Therefore, I have even identified as an addict because I have never been able to not use for longer than 2 months in 20 years and my repeated risk taking for the substance is a classic definition of an addict straight from any drug addiction pamphlet you can find.

IMG_20160708_150932

The US bombed the original castles and destroyed the Japanese economy by making the hemp crop used to make rope and parachute cords illegal and couching it into an anti drug campaign that Japanese believe is justified to this day

Today Japan has some of the strictest anti-cannabis laws in the world.  Punishment for possession is a maximum 5 years behind bars and illicit growers face 7-year sentences. Annually around 2000 people fall foul of these laws – their names splashed on the nightly news and their careers ruined forever. The same prohibition that dishes out these punishments also bans research into medical marijuana, forcing Japanese scientists overseas to conduct their studies.” 

It was actually the US that made cannabis illegal in Japan creating the Cannabis Control Act in 1948 in an attempt to further handicap the Japanese economy and military because it was in abundant use, widely grown to make sturdy rope and parchute cords for the military. I saw full of the workers who built the samurai castles in Japan and they were wearing probably hemp rope sandals and possibly using hemp rope to build the amazing castles in Japan destroyed by bombs of the US during WWII.

Our initial 20 minute visit was pretty bleak. V had been scared to think by the prosecutor that she was going to go to Japanese prison for a long long time.  It was an emotional visit so I felt an urgent need to put out a youtube video to try fo get some US politicians who would advocate for V, a CA medical marijuana patient and US citizen so she wouldn’t have to go to Japanese prison! There had to be something we could do to help, wasn’t serving 2 months punishment enough for the Japanese government, not to mention holding detainees is an expense to any government! Her friend Lady Y and I didn’t think the Japanese government would waste their money on someone who had personal cannabis not intent to sell but then I thought of Guantamo Bay and how our government has held prisoners there for almost a decade without a trial. So the worst is always possible as well as the best.

The next day she had spoken to a more upbeat prosecutor who talked about deporting her, letting her make phone calls, use her laptop and even smoke a cigarette in his car! This was a 360 change from the day before. We also drove to speak to her lawyer and he had said he thinks she will 99% be deported.

Since arriving in Japan, things have been anundant for me friendship and career wise. Ive landed some Tantra clients, made lots of friends, realized my dream of living and working in Japan, am doing better financially than I ever have in my life before because I got an overseas freelance writing gig, so somehow the need to medicate disappeared. Fears and anxiety evaporated like clouds over Mt. Fuji. I was even able to endure a family reunion without numbing myself because any of their opinions would also evaporate like clouds over Mt.Fuji and seem so minor to all the miracles Id already manifested here. I was no longer addicted and I had broken thru the fear and economic glass ceiling and opinions and judgments of my bio family that had held me down for so long in the U.S. Helping advocate for Victoria whom Id never met off of Facebook seemed like my karmic duty as a fellow sex worker and stoner. I knew that it could have easily been me in Japanese jail for something like that so any time and expense required to work on this was given easily for a fellow comrade.。。。Rising up from za water eburi 15 minetsu!

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.

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

23
May
09

Craigslist Criticism: Am I too harsh?

Check out the original article, if you have time and read the
comments.  Make your own!  I am ALWAYS NERVOUS, for some reason, even though I tell a lot on this blog about my real life, when I read what I have said and how it comes back to me…Well, by way of saying I work the way I work, I am basically telling LE that it is hard to track me and other women like me…which is why Craigs is such a thorn in their side!

Craigslist Xes out sex ads
Without the erotic services section, where will sex workers turn for
work?
http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/feature/2009/05/14/craigslist/index.html

Tracy Clark-Flory

May. 14, 2009 |

The World Wide Web’s most infamous red light district, and its array
of virtual window girls and purposefully miZspellD cuuum onZ, is being
shuttered. After relentless pressure by a team of state attorneys
general — not to mention the recent high-profile case of the
“Craigslist Killer,” who allegedly used the site to lure a woman to
her death — the classified service is eliminating its erotic services
section across all U.S. sites within one week. Its replacement will be
an “adult” area, where ads cost $10 a pop and are strictly screened
for illegal services. Until now, the site’s been the go-to advertising
channel for agencies that promote sex workers, and independent
prostitutes, especially those in the lower tiers. The question that
has to be asked is: Where will these women find johns?

“The streets,” says Robyn Few, co-director of San Francisco’s Sex
Worker Outreach Project. “The Internet took a lot of sex workers off
the street and created the entrepreneurial age of sex work. Now, it’ll
drive them right back to where they came from.” This is a terrifying
possibility for many providers: Screening clients from behind a
computer screen is inherently safer than working the corner. It also
allows workers to negotiate the “what, when, where and how much” of
the transaction without having to rush to avoid being spotted by cops.

Mariko Passion, who calls herself an “educated whore, urban geisha,”
predicts that some sex workers will take to the streets, but she
doesn’t expect a mass exodus. “Sex workers are smart” and will turn to
alternative free online services like Backpage and Redbook — but
those don’t command even a fraction of Craigslist’s audience size, not
to mention diversity. Scores of sites offer adult services
classifieds, but posting on many of them, like Eros Guide, costs a
pretty penny. In a number of ways, Craigslist was able to lessen the
class divide found in nearly every other shadowy corner of the sex
trade.

Passion, who lives in Los Angeles, advertises her services on
Craigslist and through agencies that also advertise for her on
Craigslist. (Anything to reach a larger audience and compete for
attention.) At $85, advertising in the L.A. Weekly is prohibitively
expensive, so she’s partnered with two agencies that spam the erotic
services section with ads featuring stock images of sexy girls. When a
client calls, the agency refers them to whomever is on-call and
available — no matter whether the girl in the original photo has
drastically different measurements, hair or even skin color — and
later takes a cut of the profits. As it is, she says, “you don’t have
control over how many calls you take and they throw you into dangerous
situations.” Agencies just might become increasingly reckless as they
become more desperate for business.

Workers are rattled by this seismic shift in the landscape, but there
isn’t a consensus on whether Craigslist — or, more specifically,
founder Craig Newmark — is the good guy (for resisting for so long)
or the bad guy (for ultimately buckling). Passion sneers that the
company has simply “caved once again,” while Tracy Quan, former sex
worker-turned-Salon columnist and author of “Diary of a Jetsetting
Call Girl,” is more sympathetic. “My heart goes out to the people at
CL who are being harassed by these cynical public officials. The
Craigslist witch hunt isn’t fueled by concern for the safety of sex
workers,” she wrote in an e-mail. “The way I see it, a cynical AG is
exploiting the death of a working woman to enhance his career. It’s a
cheap, easy way to add some sex to your political CV without taking
any of the risks associated with selling erotic services.” On a
similar note, Fews says that she doesn’t blame Newmark for giving up
the fight — after all, the “Craigslist Killer” coverage has “got to
be weighing heavily” on him.

Of course, there’s the irony: The campaign against the erotic services
section was buoyed by those frightening tabloid headlines — but, if
workers are forced from the virtual to the literal street corner,
it’ll only expose them to more danger.

— Tracy Clark-Flory

30
Aug
08

Keep your Mouth Shut

That was a phrase that was repeated in those lectures at the brothel. I feel that this is also true in this movement. Sex workers trashing other sex workers when they should be supporting them. Movements that are stunted from any real progress or movement because of feelings that were so wounded and re-wounded that the leaders cannot see past a contention to allow the better of the big picture to pass. I have edited my posts and assigned some friends I trust as my editors around this information. I was angry as hell and my outlet is art and writing so excuse me if it sounds or sounded like a woman with issues, as that is what I am.

Reading and digesting what kitteninfinite wrote on BoundnotGagged. I don’t even want to blog on there anymore now. But then I just went back to see what others have said. At least someone recognized her for her insensitivity. Blogs are like that. Back and forth. Negative. Positive. Feelings change in an instant. Hateration Fest. This is the medium. but you know what, I’m not really a blogger. I’m a fake blogger. I just write when I’m stressed out and spread the word when I feel pain. This is my coping mechanism and you all are invited. If someone wants to trash me and my so called privileged way of doing and feeling then I’ll use more writing to heal from that, because I will and do heal and keep fighting. To say that Legal prostitution models are the best we can do, is a crime. To simplify my blog posts and my desire to create awareness in the sex worker movement around the violations that are occurring as brothel hating is misguided and simply divisive.

I did not go in there as a researcher, or a reporter doing an expose. I was a good intentioned sex worker seeking a way to make money. I genuinely believed that it would be a good and prosperous experience for me. I think that being an ally to girls on the inside of the current system is the best way to approach this, it is an ongoing process and it just now starting to be talked about in our activist circles because of Amanda and I’s experiences. This is a good thing. I was an ally to girls in that house, they just were not and could not be to me. Wanting to do something has caused a lot of feelings in support of and critical of what I have done and I am feeling the pressure from that, but I will not keep my mouth shut.




Blog Stats

  • 106,591 hits
October 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

follow M.Passion’s twitters

INTERESTED IN A SIDE JOB? TRY SEX WORK!

[ Hot and Nasty Phone Sex at TalkSugar.com! ]

WHORE REVOLUTIONARY READING LIST