Archive for the 'stripclub' 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.

04
Jan
10

Happy New Year! 21 year old ExCons and Snowboarding Bliss xoxo

if you’ve been reading, you know it’s been a fucking hard year…

thanks for reading…it really helps me cope to write and know that you are reading…

I got all dressed up and went to a dancing party downtown with adult raver DJs.  A very hetero mainstreamy event, but I did NOT want to go very far from my house nor deal with traffic or too many abnoxious crowds.  I was fixing to go snowboarding at Bear Valley with my 21 year old BFE (boyfriend experience) for a couple of days so I was actually turning down guys for one nite stands so I could roll out of bed on time to kidnap this boy I met (as his escort) so I could turn him into MY escort for a few more days.  (we’d already seen each other once after our initial date and confirmed that there was some magic worth spending time to explore…)

I invited my actor neighbor for a drink before I left for the party in this outfit and he did NOT understand why I didn’t just want to suck his dick right then and there!  Too funny.  “I’m sorry,” I thought,”I’m a WHORE, not a slut!”  ha.  If I don’t want to fuck you, it’s really hard to fuck me without paying me first.  Sorry.  That’s just the way it is.  And I especially can’t get down and fuck in the first 15 minutes of talking unless there’s money involved.  Jesus, what do you think this is?

For some reason of all these guy that wanted me and have wanted me lately, I chose the least likely candidate to spend my time with.  One that just got out of prison, 21 years too young for me, white trashy, tooth missing, drug addict history and likely future, nothing to brag about except that he gave me amazing love and care and attention everytime I held him close.  And when we kissed our lips and tongues fit together without worrying about whether or not he had a tooth missing or not.  I didn’t even care about it.  All I knew was that his skin was super soft and that I had missed kissing and making out with someone..He had a couple really key things more than my ex-boyfriend though, a G.E.D and a good construction job and most of our escapades didn’t come out of my pocket, even if he was 12 years younger than me.  Well, if my ex boyfriend didn’t set my standards down to the ankles, this one surely takes his place at the soles of my feet supposedly, except it was me at the soles of HIS feet in my memories.

I know that it is wrong and it is going nowhere…but I chase after it like a drug.

Our worlds were so far apart from each yet they could conventiently be drawn together for a few moments, a few days…and I have been experimenting with this A LOT in my last few partners.  Because they’ve all been taboo and “wrong” for me in every way…but I’ve exchanged amazing non judgmental, apolitical love energy with them and it’s been amazing.  rejuvinating.  but how could you get that from someone that is supposed to be a society throw-away?  or a couple of Asiaphile white guys with a long string of ALL Asian ex girlfriends? what the fuck have I been thinking?  But I fucked these white devils and they made me cum really really hard!  Hah.  But also, and most importantly they made me feel *genuine love energy* which is that thing that I seek, that I chase that I try to hold in my essence and breath it in continuously for as long as possible.  If we don’t have discussions about race, privilege, age, gender, homophobia or transgender politics then I can just make you a fantasy and all of the wrong will be right in my mind. I can tell you after bedding these ‘terrible’ guys that I proved that love really can be blind.  It is true what liberals and Michael Jackson have sung about for YEARS!  You can bond and exchange love energy if both are open to it regardless of age, gender, race, politico, class…for at least a little while til you get bored of having sex all day and nite and have to go out into the world.

My 21 year old ex con has this magnetic cock that can make a safe sex slut want to take it deep inside her without a condom or an STD test and impregnate her with a baby that would make his 3rd child…before 22..in case you didn’t understand WHY people who shouldn’t have kids end up having kids…(it’s something in the fucking semen).  I didn’t do it without a condom, but he tried to push the issue into me and was so almost convincing I almost came imagining the consequences.

It was a running joke between us..”My lifelong ambition in life is to get a hotel room with you tonight and make sure to get you to parole officer on time tomorrow.  You can even use my hand to do your piss test in..”  This after he had made me finally have 3 orgasms in a 2 our morning session that was long overdue after he had fallen asleep on me at 8pm in our $125 hotel room suite..I was kicking myself for not bringing my laptop because I thought we were going to be too busy fucking for me to blog.  But I wished I had brought my computer or something to read cuz now I was actually ‘bored’ and i try to make sure that never happens to me…I forced myself to sleep at 12am.  i watched TV about Cougars.  About Madonna being 53 and her lover being 23.  Ha.  I wasn’t so bad.  I am only 33.  but I feel like I could be any age from 22-33.  The show said that it was a good thing that older women were with such younger men and that they weren’t demeaning themselves because when a young guy chooses an older woman over his peers, it is a great confidence booster for the older woman (who is supposed to wish that she was his age).  I have loved 20-21 year olds since I was 25.  sexual energy combined with naive romanticism and adoration.  that’s what i look for in a young buck.

Don’t ask me why.  I reflect and blog, I am not really seeking answers.

I think I kidnapped him from a girlfriend.  Since I’ve been talking to him, some wifey character out of the Raising Arizona movie has been blowing up my PHONES with crazy tweaker messages about him being her man, i’m a whore,  etc etc.  I turn my phone off when I am with him, too bad for her.  Too bad for her too that I make a living out of being with other people’s men and that it doesn’t make me feel guilty obviously to do this…especially when I have the better half of the deal.  I’ll drop him off when I am done with him, don’t worry.  (and I literally dropped him off to her and she had NOTHING to say to me). I am not trying to be his girlfriend.  You take him to see his parole officer.  I just want a BFE (a boyfriend experience) not a real boyfriend!

Just for the record, the last taboo “white devil” was a law firm lawyer and an ex-mormon, just to lend some contrast to the guys I’ve been sharing pillows with.  they’re probably polar [bear] opposites but equally deemed “bad” for me.  (P.S I know my “reverse racist” humor, may not be funny to some but it’s pretty amusing to me. LOL.   For this piece, “white devil” refers to any white guy that you would tell who he is to your p.o.c friends and be embarassed of some of the facts that you are explaining..) i.e “Well, he has this nazi memorabilia plate, but its his step father’s..”

Another girl had 3 DUIs and multiple other alcohol related arrests.  I met her online… All I can say is that what we truly need is very simple.  What people think they are after when they hire an escort, is sometimes called a GFE or a BFE, but what they want is an “experience” of a relationship without the drama and the work of a relationship.  Sex workers, especially single ones, need that too and clients can be converted into “reverse-escorts” pretty easily if you are not ashamed of this idea to begin with.  I had a 2 year relationship with a stripper customer when I was 22.  This guy reminded me of him I think mostly, which may be what I was chasing..but in general,  I don’t usually get “this” from my clients as I am not open to it.  It is a rarity actually because I am so mechanical with some of my work to defend myself.  I LOVE BEING SINGLE.  My last relationship just ended in July and I am now finally getting myself back…The ex did not call or leave sentimental messages this Christmas.

It was the day after doing ecstasy and there’s nothing a girl wants to do than lay around, smoke weed, cuddle, be adored and get fucked!  LOL.  That’s how he became my BFE…

I hear in general,  in fact, that client/provider real relationships are actually pretty common.   Former clients became  a few of my friend’s boyfriends or girlfriends…It’s not what I was after here, but i know it’s possible.  In fact, I HOPED that this would be able to just be a casual fling without turning into something obsessive and over my head but knew that that is not something that I could control..

I need love too, even if it isn’t real L*O*V*E.  And this boy was willing to pour it onto to me, in just the right amount and way that I needed.  and i opened my mouth and took it in.  It was not pure sexual and I’m not sure why I was drawn to it.  It’s just something that he had to give.  But not from anyone!  It doesn’t work with anyone.  My neighbor is a handsome Black actor with his own aparment and a good job too, but pure sex is not what I am after.  I guess  It helps if you have addictions or are codependent identified! Ack.  but i wish it didn’t.  I recently had a lover who was one of the original Broadway cast members from the musical RENT in New York.  That was a winner, right?  He was a self proclaimed Asia phile (the 2nd one in a row) and when he asked me,”Do you like sex?” all I could say, even though I ended up sleeping with him and liked it, was,”That’s a really weighted question.”  because I don’t just like sex.

I figured it out.  It’s not shallow and empty NSA sex.  Although he was a “good catch” I knew he would be on his way any minute and that any bond created could be special but was transient.   I do that for a living.  I crave something more, something different, love that isn’t for sale but that leans towards the impossible abyss of real love, whatever that is.   The more wrong and impossible the connection, the better for the gravitational pull of it, it seems.  It is that pull that makes me LOVE sex.  Which i do.  with someone that I am EMOTIONALLY ATTRACTED TO.  That someone who makes me pull over and start to go down on them on the side of the road just because I want to be that amazing girl in their life, that pull that makes me want to risk my future, my life, my health..that pull which makes you an exhibitionists just cuz you don’t care who the fuck sees… for if I never get my logic glasses back on..THAT pull, combined with hot sex, I love.  All other sex is either just work or a utilitarian activity.  (just because you NEED to cum, which believe me, I have THAT kind of get laid sex hunt streak too, don’t get me wrong, but..)

His one hour turned into five hours and I drove all the way back to this middle of nowhere LA suburb for more the next week.  and it wasn’t just for the sex.  The sex alone could not have that power.  It is some crazy combination of phermones, affection, genetics..I don’t fucking know.  But he wasn’t too good looking, was missing a front tooth and had no real esteeming qualities, except that he was extremely loving and willing to give and receive pretty fully without the fear that men usually have.  He was pretty good loving for someone who had a crazy irritating wifey and many other glaring issues that I chose to ignore.  We made each other feel special and loved in ways that NO ONE in our regular lives was willing or able to do at this time.  This is why we were drawn to each other I think.

[HIS TEXT MESSAGE:] WE HAVE SOMETHING SPECIAL.

[ME: No, It’s not something WE have…it’s something that YOU have.”

I told him he could be a male escort because he was so sensually seductive at times.  You just have this power, I would say, to make a girl strip off her clothes and start riding your cock within 15 minutes of meeting you, if you wanted.”

Can you imagine that ex-cons would be great at using manipulation, seduction, emotional attraction to get things out of women as a survival mechanism?  It’s almost the perfect pairing for a sex worker actually, now that I think about it.  Wandering, searching, traumatized souls connecting…needing to believe in something…

I draped my naked body over his lap, exposing my pussy from behind in a very deliberate way as he sits on the edge of the bed waking up, drinking hotel coffee, smoking a cigarette in a non smoking room.  He puts down his coffee to finally give me what I want and need.  He fingerbangs deep in my g spot with my face down at his feet, ass up, fucking my pussy and spanking my ass as I cum in less than 60 seconds.  My pussy reaches the orgasmic frenzy that it has patiently waited all night for all while he is still smoking his cigarette…A pile of good weed gets knocked on the ground because I am wildly whipping my hair in thrusting ecstasy..”i’ll get it later..”i said.  “is this what you want?” he says to me, becoming my ultimate dominant, confident White trash molesting uncle asshole fantasy.  He thrusts his fingers to finish me off and I gush liquid all over his hand,” Good girl, is that what you wanted..?”  even my weed is inconsequential to this…”Yes.  It is.” i utter breathlessly from his feet.  Why i get off on being so demeaned is beyond me..he talks to me and makes me beg very specifically for it, which is a rare and powerful skillset for someone his age…(we even made a joke that he could have been talking to his girlfriend on the phone while fucking me and I would have liked it more..)

I’m writing in past tense, because I want to wrap this chapter up and hope that it will just neatly end.  I got what I wanted (past tense!!), it was filled with red flags and bad news if it were to continue but as I am doing edits on this entry I still want him to come over and fuck me and make me beg for his dick.  sex and snowboarding in the sun…So glad I went back to agency work and I can afford to even do anything for the last week.  I could have had a lot more sex and someone better looking and who wasn’t coming down off drugs but hey, we can’t all have what we ask for..

My facebook ID: mariko pasion

i’m far more open and spontaneous on there…it’s real and it’s not.  join me?

28
Apr
09

addicted to survivalism-H.U.S.T.L.E.R

I never liked this song until I realized that it was sung by an Indian female MC and it went with the great film Slumdog Millionaire!  (Gotta support one of the only South Asian singer/MCs and  the 3rd world democracy..) it sort of makes what I’m complaining about seem so trivial…but its all relative folks.  1st world oppression (gangster government and corporate entitites stealing and lying and killing its own for profit) looks like this below…Most Americans except the Eminem white kids, the triple beam lyrical dream rappers, and my full time erotic service revolutionaries don’t have to hustle from hand to mouth…

What is that keeps you on the edge of your chair as you check your online bank account, unsurprised if yesterday your checking account balance was some $142.12 for example and this morning as the screen logs you on for about 2 seconds it stops like a Russian Roulette wheel on an overdrawn balance of $121.88 because $35 overdraft fees x 7 WILL chomp an easy $150-200 like the shark did Samuel L Jackson in Deep Blue Sea(these numbers are made up, i didn’t want to do the math nor blog my real bank balance but it’s something that’s happened to me on average about 10x ($350) a year.  Multiply that by 30 million customers.

…And now you have to beg customer service at your bank for them to pleease do a courtesy reduction of at least half of them.  So they bargain with you, and take off 3 of them (which they can only do ONCE a year and after that you basically are screwed. 

imagesNow you only owe them some $105.  And all you did was use your debit card for some shitty fucking $2 purchases, and it cost you nearly $200.  It’s the biggest predatory lending practice, and it is why the banks are so rich and why I don’t feel sorry for them hurting.   They make sooo much money off of this.  And they get people to use their cards more by giving them “points” and “rewards.”  You spend about $3000 and they’ll give you a $20 gift card to Barnes and Nobles.  And they always have these stupid stock photos of families painting their homes, getting the loans they need, smiling in convertibles.  We’re here to help you realize your dreams…After we tax you more than an agency escort with a drug habit and a pimp driver outside…

Such a great analogy, because I learn that in America, it seems the only way to get rich is to exploit the working class and the working poor with constant parking tickets and overdraft fees that pile up and double, while their paycheck to paycheck living forces the late fees to pile on top of those fees and then suddenly, well, if they happen to be sex workers, they SCORE and the bills are paid.  Phew.  Survival.  I’m not sure if it feels that way in the drug game, but in the employee working world, the term “paycheck to paycheck” is supposed to mean, just barely making the bills while feeding yourself until the next pay cycle.  Some of us on the edge live from client to client, trick to trick…waiting for that phone to ring.  Some of us live from hand to mouth to hand to mouth to cock…!  Waiting for that car to pass with someone decent.  someone that you’ve seen before.  Here comes your regular.  survival.

It’s like, you either HAVE to bank there, or be the banker.  Or, there’s the CHECK CASHING place with the dirty floors and the dickhead cashier in the cage who won’t let you receive your money unless you have 3 forms of government issued picture ID (which everyone carries on them, go ahead..check if you do, I’ll wait).  

I’ve taken money from clients that were barely consensual, totally fucked up on massive amounts of drugs, alcohol, ego, testosterone, manic depression; and I’ve upsold and cashed in on their impulsiveness, their self destruction and their weaknesses because in this game, if you don’t make this money, someone else will come up right behind and gladly make it.  And even selective morality like I have leads me to not be as prosperous as I could be say if I had the attitude of Wells Fargo or Bank of America all year.

Such is the life of the working on the cusp of lower middle class and broke, straddling the fence of the next day, the next client, the next rush of a good night, an easy client, a big easy tip.  Make it rain on me playa!…One of the strippers that came to a support group I led told me about how much she loved to roll around in all of the money she made on good nights.

Making money is payback to them. To all of them that told you that you were not supposed to make it.  (I know of at least 2 adult male/TG sex workers who were brutally raped as teenage prostitutes by cops).  To all those of the gender that you might be attracted to who told you that you would never be .  to all those men who fucked you and never called you the the next week.  to all those people who abused you, assaulted you, used you and made you feel like shit.  to your mom that kicked you out of the house, to your stepdad that molested you..and on and on and on.  (this is not my personal autobiography btw, its a mixture of all of us..)  This rain falls on me like redemption and I count my money with more satisfaction than you or sometimes I can even understand..I’m a survivor, I’m gonna make it, I’m not gon’ give up, I’m gon’ work harder…(Destiny’s Child)…

But this concept is simplified by the Melissa Farley and Norma Hotalings acting out our trauma.  The money is not true acceptance.  The money is a false enabler to your addiction…but I remember clearly seeing distraught and sobbing Paris crawling on her hands and knees in frustration after another bad night at the club.  Because in sex work, making no money usually means standing or sitting in the same place for 12 hours in a row or more, and enduring rejection and verbal abuse from every dumb ass cheap ass rude dirty dick fuck that thinks he is too good for you.  Or simply the phone just does not ring.  Are you charging too much?  Has there been a big sting?  you ask yourself.. And then finally, just as you are about to drive to the airport back home after having lost money travelling, wasted money on that internet travel ad, your phone rings…Are you still in xyx city?? he says..survival..should I turn the car around and head back?

It’s not a secret as to why it is that sex workers seem “addicted to the money” as some outsiders may see it.  Well, addictions are stigmatized.  Once I realized that I wasn’t addicted to sex work or addicted to smoking weed my life became worlds more free.  One person will look at our lives as perpetuating risk behaviors and some of us may look at it as merely surviving.  For many of us, sex work has been the only way that we have been able to attain some of those minimum conveniences (like a major Bank account or credit card) or an apartment without 5 roommates for instance, that most people take for granted.

I’ve been watching more reality TV than I like to admit for some reason, and the last one I saw was this Tough Love show where this frat boy handsome hetero asshole was asking one of his suitors “why she only thought about the money all the time?” and she burst into tears and talked about how she was left with nothing and a daughter to feed and that people did not understand that she has been left with nothing…”  Such is the plight of many women and some, like the contestants on GoldDiggers or I love money 2 or Tough Love thought it was too shame ful to actually sell (or rent) your body outright, so you did like the Marilyn Monroe club in “How to marry a Millionaire” date and marry rich is ok, being humiliated on reality TV, yes; being an escort, no.  I see them all as whores just like me.  As a joke, I applied to be P.Diddy’s assistant on actors access. They didn’t require you make a video and post it on you tube like the actual contest did.  I wondered if a billionaire rapper could understand that I wanna be like Biggie and go from ashy to classy!  Except instead of using just my body and sex alone, I seem to be very fascinated with the business aspect of it.  How can I be my clientele instead of just my clientele’s whore?

I love to make more money than the last time.   It’s like a high score I try to beat.  I am proud of myself when I make a big chunk of money.  It buys me time.  But lately, there is still fear.  Because there have proven to be too many times when after a “heavy rain” there has been drought and struggle and near starvation of the stomach and the soul..

I have learned in more than 10 years of working like this that it doesn’t matter how much you make in a night or a week, it’s safer to do it by the month because you could be starving and living off that one chunk for the entire month, and by the end, it’s just like gnawing off moldy crumbs from a hard piece of mousetrap cheese.

Why are you always broke?  Why can’t you ever save money? Hmmm.  I think it might have to do with a plan of some powers that be to keep us, and not just us sex workers, or people or color, something as colorblind as “everyone who has a bank account” which is class based for sure, but pretty generalized.  Parking tickets is another example.  In LA, there is no way for you to do any sort of community service for parking tickets like in San Francisco, and in 21 days your $35.00 ticket will efficiently turn into $70.00 right before your eyes as you log on 30 days later, or perhaps 60 days later, when you finally have $70 extra dollars to spare…I pay $1000s of dollars for street cleaning and yet, my streets aren’t even really clean!

01
Sep
08

Activist Flashbacks circa 1999

I came into sex work activism as an undergrad planning a conference. One of the first people I met were the founders and fire behind the Exotic Dancer’s Alliance and the San Francisco “stripclub liberation movement.” One of the most important things that the EDA did was get A.B. 2509 passed. When AB 2509 became effective. Owners who require the payment of “stage fees,” “commissions,” or “quotas” from any portion of dancers’ tips were in violation of California State labor laws. This effectively set the precedent for any exotic dancer who was ready to exit out of the industry and file a labor claim against any of the clubs that she worked at in SF. Most cases, once filed and processed are awarded in the favor of the dancer/worker.

I came into stripping with previous knowledge on stage fees and fines, as I was mentored by some women who were either retired or about to retire and had already collected their renumerations from previous stripclubs. During my baby stripper days, there was a lot of drama and bickering between the groups of women involved and EDA soon became inactive, and the original founders of EDA became the founders of St. James Infirmary clinic, which is still open now. The EDA and many of the members made a lot of amazing strides for sex workers in SF, but stopped short of a stripper revolution, I believe because of the craziness that ensued between the members of the community. One of the women, whose personal suffering is always made known by herself, spent approximately 5 years showing up at meetings, throwing fits at everyone who didn’t agree with her, and really made it quite difficult for stripclub rights to go anywhere. Most of the women, burnt out on the drama exited the activist scene and are still supportive at heart but haven’t been seen actively involved in over ten years. Occasionally, waves of this inherited drama between the original stripper liberation movement in SF is still visible. One the most groundbreaking moves to unionize the Lusty Lady and then move it into a worker owned cooperative was also filled with horizontal hostility and drama that stunted its development into something that could have been much greater than it is now (I believe it is struggling?) I was burnt out on activism before I truly started! I and many other younger sex worker activists in SF inherited the drama of these women and would occasionally receive email diatribes between them on list servs that we were part of. One day, an email from Stacey, co-founder of Desiree Alliance asserted that “we [then] younger activists didn’t want to be a part of your drama” in so many words and that was a big turning point for sex worker activism in SF. Or, at least, it was a memorable point of entry for me to feel safe to enter with a clean, energetic state free from the baggage collected from all the fighting that had been going on between women that we didn’t even know that well.

I met Carol Leigh around this time and she introduced me to the prostitutes movement. Around this time, I also met Robyn Few and she and Carol and some others were just in the founding stages of Sex Workers Outreach Project. I remember thinking, wow, the prostitutes sure have more energy and direction than the strippers have had in years…

I guess with all of the issues that have ensued around the brothel issues, and other issues around social justice, class and privilege-I have gained some very visible opponents of my own and am starting to learn that taking the heat from any position that you are trying to organize, is part of organizing. Right now, in San Francisco all the sex worker activists have sort of unified around Measure K, the proposition to Decriminalize Prostitution in SF. Women who have sworn to never work together, women who are uncomfortable being in the same room together, have all somehow gotten together to be able to work together, but separately on this very important campaign even if they still don’t really like or trust each other. They know that they must unify their expertise to fight for decriminalization.  I am happy to see this happen, as many of us left San Francisco out of frustration so that we could actually make changes without inherited drama.

I know what my intentions are in the work that I am doing. I didn’t let some bitches’ at the brothel pouring tabasco on my computer stop me, and I shouldn’t let the voice of a hater silence me either, even if and especially if, she is part of the same organizations as I am.

The brothel issue is an interesting intersection between stripclub politics and prostitution politics. I feel, since I have experienced both that a lot of the issues are the same. There are many issues that are hotly debated that all of us from either side are not going to agree on, but enforcing labor rights was the right start that the EDA needed, and I feel that it’s the same tactic that can be enforced in Nevada too. If it is truly legal selling of sex, then we should be able to have recourse for injustice. When we speak of decriminalization, often folks will state legalization as their only understanding. Most of us knew that the brothel wasn’t the ideal model, but we had avoided talking about it in too much detail because we didn’t have representation from the brothels. Former brothel workers who have become leaders in our movement have confirmed that the way that management and girls try to break you down so you can get your stripes and then make your money existed then and as I confirmed, still exist. They have also pointed out to me, however that this is where they and other girls were at and I cannot harp on them for being brainwashed or damaged for doing so.  My words against the workers have been edited to be less critical, I am not apologizing to them for my blogs, but I was angry at every single one of them from the top down and blogging was the only fightback that I had.  No one admitted it, but they were all guilty to me. Management admitted her involvement by kicking me out after it happened, and I was guilty too because I was talking shit about their workplace which I had deemed was bootcamp and jail.  I was losing my mind from the inside out and writing is sometimes all I have to express my pain.  Later, I might write a song about it, but until then…

There is talk of getting current workers involved in any actions or recommendations that we make. I strongly believe that it is impossible to get more current workers than Amanda and I to the table, because you cannot be inside a house and critical of the master at the same time. Didn’t I find that out? Luckily for me, being kicked out and sent home didn’t have the same weight as it does for others who are given the same treatment, but it definitely wasn’t NOT a big deal. The same issue of current stripclub strippers speaking as the mouthpiece of management exists whenever there is some motion to close down the private booths that most of the dancers make their money in comes up. Some dancers have been assaulted in the private booths, and many dancers do full service sex work in these booths so there is a lot of divided camps of anti-prostitution, violence against women, current stripper, former stripper, and more which stops any progress on the issue. Current workers cannot speak their own minds about working conditions and still have a job.  So, no agreements are made and no changes occur.  There are still stagefees upwards of $400/shift and the private booths and full service sex work still thrive and prosper in many SF stripclubs.  Defacto legalization means no rights, and the stripper-prostitute hierarchy is still reinforced by the failure to address the issues in the stripclubs, but I don’t even think they are talking about this issue in their campaigning of measure K, because it might complicate the issue!

Since most sex workers are not protected by union laws, organizing against their employers (and blogging about them) usually means not having a job. And that is much scarier to many than having to deal with any of the things that I blogged about.  These days I am feeling on a strange tipping point with the sex worker rights movement in the U.S.  (I was so happy in Mexico!) Will we see the same shying away from clear cut labor violations because we are afraid of threatening the jobs of those currently working under those conditions?  We clearly don’t have as much power as them, but the EDA didn’t either and they got their resolution passed all the way to the state level!  I would just like to see the same precendent set for the workers in the brothel system.  This way,if workers felt that they could someday muster up the courage to fight for their rights, they had a method to do so.  It took me almost 2 years from the point I picked up paperwork at the Labor Commission to actually do something about it.  (and it took me over a year to get paid).  It is an extremely scary step, and many sex workers who do this are in fear and isolation of exiting the industry.  Sex worker activists agree that the brothel system is not ideal, but are not really working to change this.  But changing this is very very difficult indeed, and I’m sure has been tried by some before.  I feel that it is my duty to at least find out what has been done and if anything can be done in the future.  I have nothing more to lose in the brothel system. I am the perfect candidate.  This reminds me of the case I filed against the former Boys Toys club in SF.  I had only worked there for about 3 or 4 days and I was recompensated $1000 in backwages and illegal fees.  Never underestimate what the power of one and former precedents by others before you can do..




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