collecting sex workers stories

With all of the hullabaloo about sex work and craigslist lately, there has been even more media attention given to sex work than usual. And as is often the case, it seems pretty clear that most of the people taking about sex work have never actually spoken with anyone in the business, much less listened to their stories. We’ve heard all sorts of stereotypes about why people become sex workers (although mostly, those stereotypes focus on women and ignore the men and trans people who provide sex for money). And while stereotypes usually have some truth to them, I’ve never heard one that was a full and honest account.

But when it comes down to it, the sex industry is as diverse as any other. And while it’s probably safe to say that most sex workers do it for the money, that’s not significantly different from why most people become lawyers, teachers, truck drivers, or office assistants. Ask yourself- if you won the lottery today, would you keep your job? If so, then you are a truly fortunate person. And most people would quit in a heartbeat, giving the lie to the idea that getting into sex work for the money is inherently different from getting into any profession for the money.

So with that in mind, is a brand new website up for the purpose of collecting the stories of sex workers’ decisions to get into the industry. Here’s a snippet from the front page:

Here you’ll find the stories from sex workers about their decisions to enter the sex business – porn stars, prostitutes, strippers, webcam actors, phone sex operators, professional doms/dommes, and others for whom sex or sexual fantasy is a part of what they do for a living. Each person who enters this type of work goes through some kind of thought processes where they decide to engage in the work and we’ll be shedding some light on that for the average person. Many of these stories will be compelling, some may be exhilarating, and others may be sad and heartbreaking. We’re not holding anything back – you’ll see the good stories, and you’ll see the negative stories. All are equally legitimate and equally valid.

The page just went up, so there aren’t any stories yet. Feel free to pass the link along. This project is the brainchild of Alexa of I don’t know anything about her other than what’s on her site, but her writing offers an interesting and articulate take on the high-end escort experience.

Related at Good Vibrations:

Working Sex
Best Sex Writing 2009
Pink Box: Inside Japan’s Sex Clubs

Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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