Posts Tagged ‘sexwork

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)

 

02
Nov
16

To Whore or Not to Whore Part 2

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

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


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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

YES. YES. YES. YES. Y.  E.  S!!!!!!

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

YOU ARE NO LONGER MEANT TO BE A WHORE.

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

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

02
Jul
11

Whatever the work may be@the LA MOCA today

This.neon piece was up at the LA MOCA levis filmmaking studio.  fitting.for.my last post!  LEVIS has been doing labor related billboard and ad campaigns and I have totally taken notice.  SEX WORK IS WORK!  But not only that, it’s that the WORK of sex work most of the time doesn’t even involve SEX!  It involves mostly sitting in front of a computer posting ads and answering ads, answering the phone and screening out idiots.  30% of the time is spent driving to bum and prank dates and the other 20% is spent doing the sex work.  This is why when a provider charges $x00 per HOUR, it really boils down to about $15-20/hr for most of us, considering the work that goes into getting the actual gig.  This is ALSO true of art, performing and acting gigs.  That’s why when someone books me or my show, I charge them $1000 because it’s not just about the hour or two that I am performing and doing a Q&A, you are paying for all the time, research, practice, development and production that goes into making the final piece that you see or just saw.

After Sex Worker Cabaret in Toronto

06
Aug
08

Cambodian Sex Worker Liberation (APNSW video)

depressed because of criminalization not trafficking

depressed because of criminalization not trafficking

Pisey Ly and Kao Tha are AMAZING activist for Cambodian sex worker liberation!!

PI Say and Kao Ta (sp?) are AMAZING activist for Cambodian sex worker liberation!!

Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) Honored at AIDS Conference (where I am at right now!)

(Mexico City, August 6, 2008) – The Asia Pacific Network of Sex
Workers (APNSW) is the recipient of the 2008 international Award
for Action on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, the Canadian HIV/AIDS
Legal Network and Human Rights Watch announced today. The award,
which recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations that
protect the rights and dignity of people living with or affected by
HIV/AIDS, was presented in Mexico City on August 6, 2008, at the
XVII International AIDS Conference.

“Sex workers routinely face human rights abuses, including the
discriminatory denial of health services, arbitrary detention by
police, harassment, and sexual and physical violence,” said Richard
Elliott, executive director of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
(www.aidslaw.ca ). “This award recognizes
the extraordinary contribution of the Asia Pacific Network of Sex
Workers in the struggle for sex workers’ rights.”

Since 1994, APNSW has represented sex workers in various policy and
educational forums, promoting the participation of sex workers in
HIV/AIDS programs and supporting dialogue between nongovernmental
organizations, governments, and activists. The group has challenged
the increasing criminalization of all forms of sex work and
unethical drug trials with sex workers as subjects.

APNSW has shaped policy at the global and regional levels, and
built the capacity of local grassroots sex worker organizations,
including by creating a network of transgender activists.
Throughout Asia, the network has been challenging gender-based
violence, promoting access to health care for sex workers, and
advocating for the decriminalization of sex work.

“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of the Asia Pacific
Network for Sex Workers,” said Andrew Hunter, the network’s policy
director. “International recognition of sex workers’ human rights
is vital to curb the HIV pandemic. Governments and UN agencies need
to promote sustainable, comprehensive HIV prevention and care
initiatives for sex workers that are community-led and protect
their human rights.”

The stigmatization, social exclusion, and legal marginalization of
sex workers contribute to human rights violations, and can
exacerbate their risk of HIV infection. Increasingly, according to
APNSW, anti-trafficking efforts and laws criminalizing
transactional sex have resulted in violence and human rights abuses
against sex workers at the hands of police. The organization
pointed to new anti-trafficking legislation in Cambodia, where sex
workers have been sent to “rehabilitation” centers and subjected to
sexual violence and beatings, and had little access to health care
or food.

“Being a part of APNSW – working in solidarity with tens of
thousands of sex workers in the region – has allowed us to
challenge the way the authorities have applied this law in
Cambodia, and to gain strength to bring this issue to international
attention,” said Kao Tha of the Women’s Network for Unity, a sex
worker rights organization in Cambodia.

“The International AIDS Conference presents a forum to focus
worldwide attention on the epidemic and our global response,” said
Joe Amon, director of the HIV/AIDS program at Human Rights Watch
(www.hrw.org/hivaids). “Unfortunately, too often that response has
been tainted by prejudice and misinformation. Only by ensuring the
health and human rights of sex workers will governments, UN
agencies, donors and nongovernmental groups be effective at
reducing the vulnerability of sex workers to HIV infection. The
Asia Pacific Network’s work epitomizes this.”

The Awards for Action on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights were established
in 2002 by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and Human Rights
Watch. An award is presented annually to one Canadian and one
international recipient. This year’s Canadian recipient was Peter
Collins, a prisoner and health activist in Ontario, Canada.

It’s been a honor to be collaborating with Andrew, Dale and APNSW. PLEASE CHECK OUT THEIR VIDEO and learn more about the situation in Cambodia! WordPress doesn’t let you embed anything from Blip.tv for some dumb reason. Star Whores 2 show tomorrow at 2:45pm!

* APNSW website: http://apnsw.org/apnsw.htm
* APNSW video on HIV/AIDS and sex workers’ human rights: http://
sexworkerspresent.blip.tv/#9772333




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