Posts Tagged ‘sexualassault

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.  

IMG_20180123_140229_791

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!

1916533_1222046804541_5954264_n

…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.  

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




Blog Stats

  • 108,137 hits
February 2018
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728  
Follow Mariko Passion: From Whore Revolutionary to Tantra goddess: Sacred Whore Evolution on WordPress.com