Archive for the 'trauma' Category

23
Jan
18

Being Grace Fully

I have been Grace at 22 years old.  I think it was exactly 22 years old when my sexual assault avoidance came crashing down with yet another gross violation of my verbal and non verbal cues.  My whole life changed at 22, and I started to go to trauma therapy for all that happened before this time at 22 and I would continue to progress through 15 more years of more sexual violence and deal with it other ways that you may or may not agree with it.  Nothing is black and white.  And sometimes it isn’t enthusiastic yes or hell no.  Eventually for most people who have experienced sexual violence it does get there, but it takes a few worst nights of your life before that can happen.  Sometimes we do drugs during or after, violence, payback, slutty behavior, denial, acting out, prostitution or long careers of sex work and activism as a result.  And it can ALL BE CONFUSING to us and our perpetrators and the ears of society.  Nothing in a book or workshop can help you when your body and mind decides to do something to survive.   I took years of Krav Maga self defense and I was still sexually violated by one of my instructors in class. Healing ends when life ends is what one of my mentors taught me, I know well that age makes us better at it.  Grace had the worst date of her life, I’ve had dates exactly like that at 22 AND I’ve even had dates with 22 year olds at my age now who pouted and whined because they didn’t get to orgasm and continued to persist even after my verbal and non verbal cues were communicated.  But I didn’t do anything with him at 41 like I might have at 22. It took decades of trauma and healing to become this clear and this strong through “learning the hard way.” 

What I did learn over time, in my getting better at dealing with being assaulted was how to soothe myself through my wounds, how to take better self care, how to recognize trauma symptoms and not avoid them, how to not seek violent or monetary payback or sexual cumback, and mostly how to speak out better than the last time, each time I got better. 

That krav maga instructor knows he violated me, because I filed charges with the school (not the police, fuck the police) and all his managers were called into a meeting with me and he was forced to face and apologize to me.  I didn’t want to ruin his career but I did stop taking his classes, and I learned to take back power a different way, I continued training in the same school for 2 more years never seeing him again.  And still I’m not naming him on social media here because I didn’t and still don’t think it is necessary and it bars him from actual remediation of his behavior, which might happen to Ansari.   This has clearly happened as a backlash to Grace for  “(paraphrased) trying to ruin Ansari’s career and her voice may become weaker and not stronger as a result, but I doubt it.  Life begins not ends at 22.  Hell, it doesn’t even end at 40 like I previously thought.  

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The tattoo of the magic wand with barbed wire is about the beginning of my sexual trauma awakening, painful and full of drama as being 22 is.  The magic wand symbolizes my inner light and magic and the barbed wire symbolizes the protection of its beauty and shine.  Barbed Wire also because at this time around 1999, Pamela Anderson’s Barb Wire was the hot movie and she the stripper protagonist was my role model who kicked ass and shot weapons in a PVC catsuit and seemingly never gave in to the desires of any of the men in the film.  Later on the arm I tattooed the goddess Kwan Yin, and the character for Agape LOVE, all of this is related to my hero’s journey and the pain that I have endured to get to peace that I feel now.

Mr. Ansari, in a statement responding to the account, said that “by all indications” the encounter was “completely consensual.”  

When I read this, I’m not triggered, I understand.  But I have decades of incidents over both of these people possibly because of I worked as a sex worker for 15 years.  I almost don’t want to use that as a qualifier because half of the sexual violence I experienced happened outside of sex work environments, but 15 years of sex work was the way that I learned how to come to grips with the world I lived in and the bed I made for myself (radical responsibility not blame).  I started to take radical responsibility for some of the situations I put myself in.  I had to because although I tried to make death and addiction an option, the Universe just wouldn’t let me go out so easy.  My first date rape at age 17 and almost all of the violations after that, I’d bet 5 million dollars that all of these men thought what we did was TOTALLY consensual.  The drunken 17 year I was did not consent to being led to a darkened empty beach in Hawaii and laid down on the sand, but my reaction at that time was to hop on top of the dick that non consensually penetrated me and try to take back the power that was just taken from me by maybe trying to “get an orgasm” because at least I would have gotten something, anything.   So, I know too well why Grace might have sucked his dick even if she felt violated, however, I wasn’t there so maybe she didn’t do what I did, we are all projecting into both of these or any of the characters.   But, if it was then this is a behavior I know well.   It grew to be the way that I would deal with healing from sexual violence for 15 years, like an addict chasing their first high, those of us (men, women and in between) that chase power (payback, fame, money) in the world realize that it is a slippery snake if not an illusive and deceptive one that is not even real.  It makes consent look unclear because of the illusion of seduction or enjoyment that you created out of desperation, immaturity, ignorance or insecurity.  

The conversation about sexual violence, rape, assault and ALL the words in between definitely needs to include abuse of power, social justice, dating protocol, conversations and nuances, it needs to include sex work, drugs, spiritual abuse and BDSM ethics, ALL THE 50 SHADES OF GRAY need to come out of the closet and not be judged.  (to be con’t)

 

12
Nov
17

The R word, The N Word and the V word: Verbal Ammunition hurts people, people don’t hurt people! Hurt People Hurt People!

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…The thing that has stood out to me most, the thing that I was also guilty of was that self determined sex workers HATE being called victims, unless it is them doing the victim name calling on their own situations.  It is really hard to think straight when you are recovering from trauma.  In fact, I know that PTSD is rearing its ugly head out of my wounds when my memory freezes in the same way my body does.  My sense of direction is worse than usual (which is normally not the best) and sometimes I find it hard to find the words and names of familiar places, I find it hard to find my keys or even the keyhole which the key fits in the door of my apartment.  This usually goes on for a few days after the incident and I thank my body for being the harbinger of consciousness around sexual violence in my life again and again so that my brain catches up to what my body knows as the truth.  

What I mean by the first statement is that once we are clear that sex work in and of itself is not a victimizing situation then we can explore the further depths of the trauma that occurs when one is doing work that is criminalized, stigmatized and often residing at many of the darker alleys of the sexual activities of the majority of men and women who participate in it.  Once you are not using the rescuing paradigm then we can talk about the lack of rights that people in the sex industry are afforded in both the legal and illegal sectors.  But it gets more complicated than that IF YOU ALLOW YOURSELF (and are ready) TO GO THERE.  It is easier to go with simple sound bites and hashtags and mantras such as “It’s not your fault” “theft of services equals rape” “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” and my personal non favorite “MEN ARE TRASH” and so on that on the surface seem to be the solution, but the solution has a long trajectory.  The sex worker movement, like any other oppressed identity movement also has its own sound bites which I knew very well having been in the forefront of it on a global level for multiple years.  Soundbites and PR crafted responses are designed to take the emotion out of the incident,  but as Uma Thurman expressed so eloquently regarding the recent Harvey Weinstein allegations,”I don’t have a tidy soundbite for you…because… when I have spoken out of anger, I usually regret the way I express myself, so I’ve been waiting to feel less angry, and when I am ready, I will say what I have to say.”  

The whore revolutionary (the old me) often and fearless spoke out of anger and rage against the machine and rage against my perpetrators that I knew that I probably wouldn’t press charges against because there was no institutionalized structure in place to support such allegations.  We can witness how hard it is for established wealthy celebrity females to go up against a more established male counterpart in an industry as mainstream and accepted as Hollywood.  I used this blog as my bullhorn and way to heal and process out loud during and immediately after I’d faced sexual violence.  The more years that were removed from traumatic incidents and the way that I did my work allowed me to see that in sex work, when there is violence or non consensual sexual activity (such as stealthing removal of a condom or theft of services) it is always violence but whether or not it is RAPE is something I often did not take the time to ask myself.  And when my body is screaming the answer, when I am dropping my change clumsily on the floor at the cashier counter, I KNOW THE FUCKING ANSWER! Or…I know one answer, the one answer that helps me feel safe and soothed in my times of seemingly death defying moments of anxiety and anguish.

When the brain is settled, one’s decision to use the word RAPE has the same verbal ammunition potential as using the word N**GER in many situations so we must assess its use carefully.  I started to use the word sexual violence instead.  “I have experienced a continuum of sexual violence both in, out and before sex work.”  (my sound bite which has been consciously crafted to deliberately not sound like “I was raped continuously when I was doing prostitution.’ for various reasons mostly political but also encompassing my desire to NOT CHOOSE personally disempowering language.  And the DIFFERENT choices that I have made since then are what I want my current writings to focus on.  Does our verbal ammunition do more damage than was done in the original incident in question?  Are we or can we even be conscious of the effects our words have?  I thought calling any theft of service a RAPE was my path to empowerment, but personally it was my path to insanity and an endless cycle of violence mostly to myself; and unsurprisingly because Aileen Wuornos was indeed the mother of prostitute insanity and violence who died without ever getting any of her needs met.  

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.

17
Dec
10

2010 Notes on Sex Worker Violence in LA for December 17th day

LA has a history of serial killers that have preyed on prostitutes because they were easy targets.  No one would notice they were missing, likely the killer thought police would not act upon their murders because just like the Green River Killer in Washington who killed some 48 victims.   Maybe it wasn’t as bad as the pig farmer in Vancouver, Canada who literally put he says near 50 or more mostly prostitute women’s bodies from the Downtown Eastside area in the meat grinder so that their identities and numbers are still unknown but we have a few notable cases to remember on December 17th 2010:

The Hillside Strangler is the media epithet for two men, Kenneth Bianchiand Angelo Buono, cousins, who were convicted of kidnapping, raping,torturing, and killing girls and women ranging in age from 12 to 28 years old during a four-month period from late 1977 to early 1978. They committed their crimes in the hills above Los Angeles, California.  Many, but not all of their victims were prostitutes.

The Grim Sleeper preyed on young Black women who lived and worked (not all were prostitutes, but many victims WERE) in the Figueroa Corridor in South Central Los Angeles, shooting them in the chest and leaving their bodies in vacant buildings or parks.  He was at large for since 1985, making him tricky to track because he had not killed in 13 years.  There was a large community effort with the families to find the killer, injunctions on the corridor and lots of arrests on any and every Black man who solicited prostitutes or did any other crime was done in order to gain the DNA evidence of the killer at large whom they knew was a Black male in his 40s or 50s.

On July 7, 2010, Los Angeles police arrested Lonnie David Franklin Jr., a 57-year old black man, at his home in South Los Angeles, a location they described as being “right in the heart of it all.” Authorities said the landmark use of familial DNA led them to Franklin.

http://projects.latimes.com/homicide/list/grim-sleeper-killings/

PAULINA IBARRA

Police believe 24-year-old Jesus Catalan stabbed 27-year-old Paulina Ibarra to death inside her apartment on Mariposa Ave. on August 28, 2009.

The Los Angeles Police Department planned to hold a news conference Friday to share details of the arrest.

Officer Sara Faden says the slaying was investigated as a hate crime against transgender women.  The community and the police refused to acknowlege the fact that Paulina worked as a sex worker.  This was a strategic move to make her sex work a non issue in the investigation of the case, as having the police move forward with a transgender hate crime was enough of a challenge.

Police identified Catalan as a possible suspect shortly after the killing with the help of gay, lesbian and transgender residents and he has been arrested and his serving time without bail awaiting trail in LA County right now.

As a sex worker activist, I have always been irked that the acknowledgement of the fact that many of the victims were sex workers was a silence and an injustice to the systematic targeting that sex workers face when they are seen as easy targets by murderers, robbers and serial killers.

As an anti-police state and prison abolitiionist I have been against police injunctions on Figueroa Corridor and the systematic arrest of johns and forced DNA samples of any Black male suspect that fit the bill.  I am happy and relieved for the communities and families that at least the killer of their loved one is no longer roaming the streets.

When Paulina was murdered, I was upset that the community was silent about her life as a sex worker and upset that they did not want to think that perhaps she was not only a target because she was a transgender woman but ALSO a sex worker.

2010 saw the arrest and imprisonment of two at large killers in Los Angeles.  I am supposed to rejoince that they are “behind bars” but the current choices of behind bars or not behind bars doesn’t constitute a fair choice.  Like the “choice” of working or not working?  Working is not a choice. Navigating as a sexual being in a rape culture is not a choice.  When murderers are locked up it is a good thing for sex workers, but not when sex workers are also getting locked up in similar concrete holding cells as their killers.  Keeping prostitutes and their killers off the streets is the current model of keeping everyone safe and it is NOT WORKING.  As long as sex workers are seen as disposable and underground they will be targets of serial killers.  The police will not protect them until AFTER they are hurt or killed because the police are not allowed to protect the best interest of criminals.

In January of 2010, I was robbed for the second time in my sex work career when I did an incall at my apartment which I rarely do, but I was feeling good that day, pressed for time, had googled this guys numbers which revealed he had something for sale in a (made up) dentist newsletter and assessed that his energy was polite and good (enough). Your “gutt feeling” only goes so far..

He rose up in the middle of his massage and demanded his money back.  His sudden change of mood and demands felt threatening to me in my own home so I reached for the PEPPER SPRAY I carried in my bag and sprayed him in the face 3 times.  He did not scream, flinch, cough or blink.  he did walk backwards down the stairs and out the door and I stayed inside for many hours facebooking, traumatized and in shock. When I went to use my car later that night, I realized that he had come back to my house and slashed open one of my tires.  I was scared that he would return.  I filed a police report that night and took with me (upon the suggestion of a FB friend) to take witnesses with me to make sure that my claim was treated with dignity and seriousness.  The reporting officer did not disrespect me, but he did tell me that because the man did not actually threaten me with words or a weapon and the amount stolen was less than $500 that it was “petty theft” and not robbery.  It didn’t matter to me what the police call it, this was nothing new to me.  The first time I was robbed, I had sex with the perpetrator first and watched him empty out my bag and take the money back.  He said he had a gun but I never saw it.  The police would call that, because of the threat of a weapon robbery, but they would never call it rape or even sexual assault, they would call it “theft of services” but it seems to me if I had the guts to press charges the first time, I might have a good case.

In my cynical anti-government radical whore revolutionary paradigm, it is really hard for me to say good things about the LAPD and the justice system, but it seems to be with the way that the police moved on the Grim Sleeper and Paulina Ibarra’s case, as well as my own police report that indeed if you are a victim and a sex worker, they do not hold your crime of prostitution as an excuse to NOT take your crime or report seriously and that indeed you should attempt to make a police report and not be afraid that you were engaging in illegal prostitution at the time of the crime.  This is great news for sex workers in Los Angeles, not a guarantee of any sorts but a better track record than many other parts of the U.S.

I took action the second time immediately to change my life for the safer.  I was not going to enter my apartment through the back door and live in fear to come home.  I was not going to search for a man to cohabitate with me so that I could feel safer.  I went to the self defense store and bought a high voltage stun gun in addition to my pepper spray and I enrolled in Israeli martial arts in West LA: Krav Maga.  The training required a huge finnancial investment ($500) to start up but I decided it was absolutely necessary and long overdue because no driver outside, no police report, no restraining order was going to protect you inside the room with the person who wants to harm you.

Krav maga has honed my human weapons both mentally and physically.  The PTSD and traumatization from the second attack was entirely minimized because of my immediate start in a rigorous training program that I have been been consistently advancing in for 11 months since the incident.  I now have complete confidence that I can especially escape a strangle hold and have practiced repeatedly how to kick, defend and attack the attacker.  3-4x a week I train and on those same nights I go home take a shower and head to calls within a few hours.  The techniques are fresh in my head, not from a one day workshop months ago.

Most importantly, I am NO LONGER AFRAID to show him that I am not an easy target.  I think about the fact that I “only” pepper sprayed the attacker in January and that he had slashed my tire and maybe he was going to slash my throat instead.  If he attacked me today would i make him pay and beat him senseless for trying to harm me and sex workers before and after me?  Sometimes I fantasize that I am that superwhore.  I have to think like this or I will not survive.  To me, at times, it IS that serious.  I DO NOT CHOOSE THE VIOLENCE.  I may choose the work but these two things need NOT be mutually exclusive. I never saw or heard from him again.  In fact, since January, my escort life has been relatively smooth and without much incident.  I once fired my stun gun to warn a guy that I felt threatened with and the sound and presence alone of you being ready to defend yourself may be all that is necessary to save your life.

Soon, I will be advanced in my practice enough to share my skills with other sex workers and teach them how to not be victims in the best way that I know.  If I haven’t already emphasized the need to constantly train as warriors in this war that is literally waging against us, though it is easy to forget because we in LA and beyond gloss over sex work and the violence that occurs against us like it doesn’t exist, but sex workers like me and others who have seen and survived it first hand NEVER FORGET.

Sex workers survive individual and community violence by reaching out to each other, by being here tonight, by saying something on their Facebook about a sex worker they love, they know, they look up to tonight, because as long as we are underground, dehumanized, not allowed to be part of mainstream society through stigma and criminalization WE ARE ALWAYS AT RISK.  By attending a December 17th event you are helping to destigmatize the lives of sex workers in Los Angeles.  You help protect us by saying that you are unafraid to acknowledge our safety and our fallen who could be your sister, brother, cousin or partner.  LA is so fucking ass backwards about its thinking around sex workers and sex worker rights.  The more people we can get to even talk about sex work as work and not child trafficking in Hollywood or even South Central the better all the sex workers in the closet can be.

As I am closing out 2010, a year that was still difficult for me but was characterized by my development as a warrior, stronger and more confident than ever and ready to defend myself, my community and all the fallen victims that no one hears or thinks about whenever I can.  SWOP-LA was started in 2006, with just 3 people in Venice Beach CA.   Jesse Nicole is the new director and this December 17th is her first major SWOP-LA event.  It is our 4 year anniversary.   This year we are decorating a 10′ UHaul with a mural that was made by a young artist Brian Lombera and I and we will be driving around projecting movies about sex worker violence and rememberance starting at 6pm in West HOllywood by Matthew Shepard triangle.  If you do ONE THING for sex worker rights this year, in Los Angeles, please join us and many others in the U.S and the world on Dec 17th 2010.  Bring a red umbrella if you have, a donation if you feel so moved and a warm coat.  The sex workers in LA need your support and love tonight!  If someone you love and respect (me perhaps?) is a sex worker, then please come out and follow our truck on our caravan through LA. 

6:00pm

LocationMatthew Shepard Triangle

8300 Santa Monica Boulevard

West Hollywood, CA

follow us around LA for a few miles as we stop and show sex worker rights films at spontaneous locations and educate Angelenos about Dec 17th…

13
Nov
10

You look Familiar…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Anger Bitter Overweight Discount Hoe”

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

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

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

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

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

(Inspired by the one who had the nerve to say

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With feminists like them, who needs patriarchy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19
Aug
10

But that’s alright because I LOVE the way you LIE

Rihanna has become one of my heroes of late. Eminem has always represented all the guys I’ve ever dated, so it’s fucking brilliant that they decided to do this video together. He’s a great artist. Amazing lyricist. A known abuser and now recovered drug addict. Always the image of a great and loving father. A crazy alter ego that has violent and misogynistic thoughts on every album. On this song Eminem forces Rihanna to sing the role of her victimhood in a way that soon may become more of a verb more than her own name. The archetype of a triumphant and Glamorous Survivor. “Tougher than a lion.. no pain is forever, Yep you know this.” The one we all want to be once the bruises (if there are physical bruises) heal. “She Rihannaed through that situation..” I just heard one of my ex boyfriends’ names being used as a verb by way of another boyfriend I am attempting to ex out…”I Jimmyed that relationship so I could stay at her house another week.” he said. (which means he freeloaded rent and board off of a girl he was dating in exchange for mediocre relationship moments). Ah, the oh so familiar financial abuser that too many “independent women” seem to pair up with. I think Ne-Yo wrote that song for those guys, rather than as a fucking compliment to any women. It was dedicated to all the free loading men that Beyonce and Destiny’s Child in Pay My Bills talk about..

I’m not sure why the boyfriends that I started to get after 22 became tumultuous. (GREEK CHORUS: Because you became a sex worker, LOL! LOL!)  I’m not sure why after being single for 9 years did I fall in love with someone who was so similar in both beautiful and fucked up ways as this other first love of mine who was a closet heroin user who i spent 10 months with in the Mission District of San Francisco trying to heal, love and mentor when I was 23. Different illnesses and issues, different people, same manic cycle, similar beautful lies… I hear myself in Rihanna’s voice as she talks so lovingly about Chris Brown and his future. She wants him to just “grow up and learn from this experience.” She still loves him. Love doesn’t go away right away. she says and I know this so well. An abuser is often the adult victim of child abuse or assault and the other partner often feels sorry for that little boy inside the man that lashes out at her while she tries to mother him. Repeating the cycle of the abuse between the childs parents and the tension between the abused mother and son.

I wasn’t beat up and left in a car before I was supposed to attend the Grammy’s but I’ve been deeply entrenched in other forms of relationship violence almost all of the relationships that I’ve had for the last 10 years. I would throw ‘benign’ objects (like a bag of fast food, a large soda; separate occasions) at one of my ex boyfriends to get his attention and wipe the stupid blank look off his face when I told him to get a job and pay some rent, for instance.  I’ve had another someone I was in love with threaten by text message to do a drive by on my house and set my kar on fire…I told him if he was going to do that he should be the one to pull the trigger [so I could look in his eyes while I died for “love.”] but I knew it wasn’t a serious threat, it was a twisted thought from a very lost person.

I never thought he would do it, but the fact that I have, like Rihanna heard what it sounds like when this person that you think that you are in love with tells you that they are going to kill you [if you stop loving them].

*   *  *   *  *  *   *   *   *  *

I was the one who demanded that Jimmy and I go to counseling together but soon realized that because I was the one instigated physical violence, I was therefore the ‘abuser’ and they wouldn’t see us together as a couple while ‘physical abuse’ was occurring in the relationship. So I quickly learned to control my physical reactions and started to use my voice and just scream my frustrations at him, which did not come out as words but aimed to be a vocal assault of some sort to get him to stop his behavior and see that I was becoming enraged. One time I remember gesturing punches towards his face that were controlled enough to not touch his face but show that I wanted to physically assault him because I was so angry. Things got better over time. We learned how to work better with each other. But I was unhappy for 8 months having this roomate that I didn’t want and couldn’t seem to get rid of before I finally called the cops on him. One day, he decided to get something and he wouldn’t stop calling and knocking on the front door when he arrived uninvited. I was trying to create a new space boundary since he had finally left my house. He had finally packed up his stuff to move out after pleading with him for months to leave. but he was back on a day that we weren’t scheduled to hang out and I didn’t feel like letting him in or answering his phone calls. I have 3 phones and a front door and he was blowing up all of them. In a panic I called 911 and they arrived after almost 40 minutes and 2 calls. I didn’t really feel that he would hurt me, but I had just been pushed to the point of police intervention by this guy after months of warning him that I would do exactly what I ended up doing.  I asked his parents for help with the situation and they shook their heads and told me to call the cops and that I allowed this to continue and they couldn’t help him because he was an adult.

I firmly believed that if someone is knocking on your front door and they won’t go away that you have a right to call the police to ask them to go away. “Are you still in a relationship with this guy?” officer 1 asked.
“yes.” I said, “but he is not supposed to be here right now. I want him to leave and he won’t.”  I had told him that we would stay together in a relationship but he would agree to move out, and I believed that we really were going to be able to do this.
“We don’t police people’s relationships ma’am.” officer 2 said. “someone has to go to jail nowadays, people’s lives are changed because of these calls.” It was a hard call because it wasn’t exactly a DV related 911 call, but it was. I don’t remember how I finished my conversation with them to close the door, but I remember seeing him in the back of the car in cuffs while they searched his car and crying at the sight of what I had just done. I was on the phone with my therapist while looking out the window. That was the last time I saw him. He didn’t return to my house, nor did he return a suitcase and laptop that I had basically let him use during the duration of our relationship just to add insult to injury. He was pissed I called the cops on him so he decided to keep $600 worth of my stuff.

It all occured when i was brand new to Facebook last year. The open ended “What’s on your mind?” was too much of an open space for me to not pour out what was happening from my desktop to reality. I Facebooked it while it was happening without caring about other people’s triggers or discomfort. “If you call the cops on your man, does that mean the relationship is over?” and someone’s response was,” no because when he gets out its gonna be the best sex you ever had and then some!” it made me laugh. you somehow have to find light with these things, and there’s no one better than the victims themselves to make a joke out of a serious matter. I’m just going to call the abusers the victims too because even punching the drywall beside someone’s face is a sign of your victimhood. It is abusive. It is a sign that you are unable to control your anger. You are a victim of your rage and your demons. Your lust when you end up having that make up sex. Your weaknesses when you go back to them. But I have learned so much with every fight that I have endured, and I can truly say that I can fight stronger and better and not allow myself to retaliate and stoop to the level that would lead us into that raging bullfight that is in the video which ends up in unprotected drunk sex spawning a devil unplanned retarded baby. At some point you learn not to take it there, and for some people, they NEVER LEARN. “If he EVER lays a hand on me,” the high school girl feminist proclaims,”I’M LEAVING.” But may she learn that it is never that clean and easy and more often than not, they DON’T hit you with their hands to cause the most abuse.

Eminem’s recent video truly reveals the complexity of relationship violence from what seems like a young addicts perspective. It is a paradigm I am too familiar with having fallen in love with people with addictions OR who might as well be drug addicts because they act that way anyway without drugs. Yes, we still live in a sexist patriarchal world but the reality of domestic violence has changed since the Battered wife image of the 80’s and 90s that Barbara Walters is still polishing the framework for. Eminem’s video and lyrics reveal that complexity. He has a phone number on his hand that she sees. She gets so raging mad that she SPITS in his face while he holds her down. I realize mostly that in these situation that there is ALWAYS a back and forth. He says something. She says something worse. He does something to spite her. She does something manipulative and vindictive to spite him. Sleeps with a co-worker or best friend. Texting a working girl in front of your girlfriend because you know that they will call back or text to get you into the fight that you secretly ask for.  This is how Rihanna and Chris started brawling.  Over another woman’s text message.   Psychological WARFARE. Another woman’s voice, even if she is no real threat but a created threat by a manipulative and demented lover.  This is how the 21 year olds girlfriend found out about me and I about her.  I called his phone and she answered.  this is how she got my phone number to harass me.  Dirty, grimy immature antics made only from the insane minds of people so enraptured in the madness of their own NON LOVE that they can’t stop to think about what they are actually doing.  Some of them, who were born and raised in abuse need to be told better.

“You DON’T say those things to someone that you JUST SAID that you LOVE.”

“SPEAK TO ME LIKE SOMEONE YOU LOVE.” (I just saw a book with this title on this topic at the bookstore)

and this really IS  a new concept to them.  One that they can learn if you can teach them fast enough (and they are willing to learn).

I don’t let lovers or friends make a joke out of me as a regular habit.  Hard love and cruel jokes= humiliation to me.  I grew up as the youngest child and black sheep and am still treated like a 2nd class citizen in some ways by some of my family so I will not tolerate a relationship where I feel like someone’s little sister.  A little humor is healthy, but constant and subtle degradation through mockery, passive agressive comments, passive aggressive jealousy,  is NOT healthy for your lovers, partners or children, it adds up and spills over like a symbollic cup of violence disguised as a slow poison like the syrup of sweet Coca Cola.

I love the scene in the Eminem video where the two are sitting in the aftermath of their own destruction bonding on the light energy of their broken and dysfunctional love. I’ve felt that glowing energy between myself and the most beautiful and worst liars that I have ever loved. I believed that our love was the only true thing about the mess we were in. “Love is blind.” Rihanna says.”FUCK LOVE. Look at your situation from the 3rd person and see it for what it really is.” Great advice. Now applying it to your own life is the harder part. Only someone whose experienced a violent love like hers could even understand that love energy can exist and glow even in the ugliest and most brutal relationships sometimes. Everyone else is probably so judgmental. The abusers that I have known (physical, verbal, finnancial, chemical) have all had a magical romantic gift, charming and endearing a promise of a perfect love that lasts for a few days, a few sweet emails, until BOOM. explosion. and it always repeats.  The 21 year old that I had blogged about before that was cheating on his girlfriend to have an affair with me was an abuser.  I could sense it.  I was part of his abuse, I was the other woman, and at first I was laughing about it.  She was psycho and irritating and perhaps I have gained such a hard skin about insults via text message because I ignored so many of hers.  This 21 year olds cock WAS magical and magnetic though.  I do remember the magnetic power I had to turn away from with all my might.  This is coming from someone who is totally not dick centered, not entirely attracted to genitalia but I knew a good thing when I felt it.  It was quite possibly the best dick I’ve could remember having, but I BROKE LOOSE FROM IT without much damage!

EVERYONE has a QUICK solution to it and an opinion. No one understands but those that are in it that it is a longer process than we would often like it to be, but “just getting up and leaving” is sometimes just not a reality for most of us. Rihanna said she went back 8 or 9 times.  The abused and hurt child desperately needs to have the abuser apologize and caress their wounds and tell them that they did not mean to do the things that they did.

What are your boundaries and how long will YOU let someone go before you pull out the stops on your relationship?

Has anyone ever stolen money from you? Spit in your face? Punched a wall beside your head? Crashed or smashed your car? Used a traumatic part of your past as a verbal assault during a fight? threaten to call your probation officer with lies about you? “joked” about cutting off your dick if you cheat?

Snoop Dogg has a song about the manipulation that goes on with the new DV laws called, “First one gets to the phone, the other one’s going to jail..” The urban reality of relationship violence, hip hop, people of color and probation officers is sung about in a humorous way..A LOT of the Black and Brown community is on probation or in jail or prison so this form of institutionalized racism helps to use domestic violence to further tear families and relationships apart.  Or does it help to protect the victims by giving them ammunition to shoot back at their abusers?

Eminem’s video reveals well the cycle of violence told through the push and pull and the back and forth of the whole thing. I know for some reason that I am a red hot magnet for men and women with major trauma issues because I have my own and that often leads to the kind of relationships where people have to work out through acting out until they understand how to communicate in all the ways that they lacked as a child. I am better now because I’ve burned in those bedrooms. I think I know how to walk away. I just wonder why no matter how far I walk I seem to keep encountering these classic romantic turned abusive characters that are out of these pop stars music videos. Is it because I am so fucked up and labeled a wreck myself that I just can’t stay away from them, or could it be that relationship violence is more common that those of us that are so judgmental would like to admit. Are YOU guilty?

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




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