“I had booked hundreds of calls for other people. I had hundreds of conversations with sex workers about what to say, what not say, how to stay out of jail and how to keep themselves safe. All that flew right out of my head, and I did everything all wrong.”
There’s no getting away from it, people even supposed educated, informed people who write fancy books think it’s okay to insult someone based on what they do for a living. You don’t know what you’re talking about and cant possibly offer anything valid because you work for Time Warner Cable, or you are just a lowly waitress slinging hash, your blue collar life, your working poor life makes you inconsequential, your profession dictates your value and makes everything you say wrong. Especially of you work in the sex business, then you are nothing but a whore and you have nothing to offer. Yes, I know this sounds harsh but this is actually how many people think. Though they wouldn’t come right out and proudly announce you’re a prostitute therefore anything you have to say is wrong. Oh wait a Ph.D and author did just that in response to a book review.
You got that right she acted out spewed spittle and bile over a book review. Betsy Prioleau’s book Swoon was reviewed on Book Forum by Charlotte Shane, editor of Tits and Sass who has contributed to Salon and other “legitimate” publications. It wasn’t a favorable review. Betsy Prioleau thought the best way to answer said bad review was to belittle and shame the reviewer for her profession. Acting more like a high school mean girl than a scholar. Betsy Prioleau proceeded with her convoluted temper tantrum implying both the site that hosted the review and the reviewer lowbrow and Illiterate because you know, prostitutes cant read so how dare they review her book!
Public Temper Tantrum
I find it hard to wrap my head around why someone would take to the comments section to personally attack a reviewer. Not only is it a huge social media no no every dry cleaning business with a Yelp review has figured out but to demean, shame and belittle the reviewer in such a hostile way calling out the reviewers profession as a reason the review was not valid. It just makes Betsy Prioleau look pathetic. The review while not favorable wasn’t personal. No one talk about how Betsy Prioleau looks like a hag who shouldn’t be telling anyone secrets in romance and how her vag allegedly shriveled up years ago. No one pointed out that a doctorate in Philosophy does not mean you’re smart, it just means you couldn’t cut in in the world outside academia. You know where us illiterate prostitutes are. None of that was mentioned.. Oops I just did, silly me. Oh well this isn’t a review of her book, this is a review of her behavior. Which was reprehensible, inexcusable and vile.
People often think and say that women working in the sex business should quit and get legitimate jobs. We hear that over and over again and when one of us branches out for example Charlotte Shane’s telling review of what appears to be a rather trite boring book for a respected website, she’s shamed, we’re shamed. Think about that next time you tell one of us to quit and get a “real” job when we do, we get discounted for having worked in the sex business at all. Just like Betsy Prioleau did with her child like temper tantrum on Book Forum
Shame on you Betsy Prioleau, clearly an education doesn’t mean you’re in the least bit smart. I’d rather take Damone’s advice to Mark Rattner on the 5 point plan in how to woo chicks then read your fantasy driven drivel but what do I know I’m just a prostitute, it’s a miracle I can even read.
I’m always starting new projects, its something I do to keep life interesting. I’m always cooking up some new idea, sometimes I give these ideas away to people I think would make a lot out of them sometimes I horde them all to myself (I have been called a digital hoarder) Recently though a series of quips and events the advent of a new collaborative blog aimed at giving no nonsense advice to sex workers or those thinking about being sex workers came to fruition. Savannah Darling a hot momma I have been acquainted with for a few years now (wow time moves fast) called me her “Fairy Whore Mother” on twitter when she needed a little reassurance in regards to a client negotiation. I was so tickled to be called this that I bought the domain. I really didn’t know what I was going to do with it (Digital hoarder!) but I did buy it. Soon after the lovely Lauren Kiley came to visit me here in the other side of the world (so nice to see my friends from CA) and we came up with how to put the Fairy Whore Mother domain to use. There’s a need for real advice from real sex workers. Add all the anonymous blogs popping up offering advice (much of it questionable) to sex workers and we really though we might be on to something. We fleshed out the basics over a couple of pitchers of margaritas and Fairy Whore Mother was born. Savannah agreed to be a part of it and Lauren headed off to fetish-con where she enlisted the help of Whitney Morgan…score!
Yes, I’ve often given my thoughts on sex work here in this blog and i will continue to do so but now you can get other smart, savvy, amazing sex workers (real ones with cred) opinions on good ways to work, good ways to stay safe, good ways to increase business, good ways to stay sane in an often insane niche of the world. Bookmark it, read it, comment on it, link it, help me get the word out. I promise it will be entertaining and informative.. it might even be useful.
I was contacted by a masters student at a very prominent British university. She let me know that she was writing her masters thesis on blogging and identities in sex work and asked if she could interview me. In the same letter she let me know she was using my blog (yes, this blog) in her research. I was intrigued. After looking her up to make sure she was legit I agreed to be interviewed. The interview was fun, I liked her right away. It was clear she had put some thought into her questions and research. She asked smart questions and made some rather interesting observations about me and my blogging and really whats more fun then talking for an hour with a smart person about what I love… Writing.
Yes, I write in real life. Yes, my work is published, no I wont tell you how to find it. It got me to thinking about why I continue to blog. I started blogging because I had something to say. Working in the sex business, the community forums were (and still are) full of he man women haters and I got tired of being bullied by keyboard warriors online because I had an opinion. I continued to blog because I got great feedback from other women in the business who said they were supportive of me because I often said what they wanted to say but were afraid to. I felt for those women I needed to keep up the good fight and I continued.
Yes, this is how i type too
But why do I continue to write in this blog? I dunno. I find I do it less and less. I dont wanna say the same things over an over. I guess I had hoped after a while that this blog would help me write about this business, my business in other ways, on other platforms and in a very small way i guess it did. I was interviewed by legitimate papers, I was quoted in national magazines. I was also poo poo’ed by the very same peers who encouraged me to fight the good fight, for being too controversial. When a group of them started a collective blog about sex work it was suggested by one of the members that I be invited in, the others dismissed me out of hand because I was too divisive. Even though I have more professional writing experience then many of them, even though I was often praised for speaking out about sex work when others were afraid to. I was too controversial, too outspoken, too divisive in their eyes. Not because they thought I was a bad writer, or because I always forget to capitalize my lower case i. It felt personal and it didn’t feel very good at all. It hurt my feelings and still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth when I see their url pop up unsolicited in my daily Internet browsing. I’ve tried to be supportive, I’ve tried to be happy for their success. But really I’m just not, I’m not happy for their success, I wanna be but I’m just not.
I’m not even sure why I’m writing this entry now. Sour grapes? Maybe. Having been an early outspoken sex worker blogger I took a lot of lumps for pulling the curtain back. I was stalked, harassed, hunted and bullied but I kept on fighting the good fight and speaking the truth as I saw it, My truth. I blazed a bit of a trail and I’m pretty sure i will never be recognised for that, for my small part in the grand scheme how ultra cool it is now to be a sex work blogger.
Its seems as if its always such an uphill battle, you’re always pushing that heavy rock up that very big hill, the war of the words, the fight for the narrative when it comes to sex work and sex workers. It’s frustrating when people who aren’t sex workers “get it wrong”even when they mean well. When you run across someone misusing the correct terminology and conflating and isolating prostitution with “sex work” it can be disheartening, frustrating and very annoying because you know when you come across that, that you are losing narrative ground in the battle of the words. I try to be understanding when i come face to face with it but lets face it, I’m outspoken and often a hot head and i have little patience that seem to get thinner and thinner as time goes by.
Sex worker isn’t just another name for prostitute. True, prostitutes are sex workers and i know that can be confusing to those not not involved in the sex worker subculture or those not paying attention but all different kinds of people (both men and women) working in the sex business are sex workers . Strippers, prostitutes, Dommes, phone sex operators, webcam girls, and adult film actors (to name a few) are all sex workers. Granted no one really expects a librarian in Ottawa Canada to know the ins and out of sex work and clearly Elaine Condos ins’t up to date on her terminology, as i noticed when reading a story by sex writer and sex community member for Sexis Magazine Liz Langley about how Ottawa is adding a prostitute to the kinds of people you can check out of the library, (you can already check out a stripper)
“Of course there are some people who have objected to the checking out of the sex worker and the stripper. But, “Books are about information and information comes in many, many formats, and a human book is a unique way of presenting information. … The role of the public library is to provide access to information,” said Elaine Condos, the city’s acting librarian”
Smart girls are sexy
…but if you’re reporting on the story you might want to point out the source of the quote you list isn’t getting it right and make the correction to inform your readers of who sex workers actually are. Seems simple right? It’s not. Let me say this real loud and proud and real clear. Strippers aresex workers. Sex worker isnt just a PC way of saying hooker, it’s an umbrella term that covers many kinds of people who do different kinds of sex work.
Sex workers need allies and often that’s sex writers but if sex writers cant get the terminology right then how in the world is the general non ally public supposed to get it. Like i said uphill battle, very very uphill.
This post is part of the Edens Fantasy sponsored post program