by Furry Girl

06.24.09

Sex workers and sluts are catnip for those who fancy themselves amateur psychologists.  "What awful things happened to her to make her turn out like that?", they wonder, disgustedly and excitedly, scratching their heads and seeking to unravel what titillating damage has been inflicted upon the presumed victim.  Apparently, one must have been raped by their father and beaten by their partners to turn out so deeply fucked up that they would be like me and happily embrace many facets of their sexuality and body.

Well, fuck you to anyone who thinks that accusing sex workers of being rape/violence survivors is a clever zinger of a debate point.  I have seen self-proclaimed feminists do this more times than I care to count.  They paternalize up their argument a bit, but at the core is a self-satisfied, "Haha!  I bet you've been raped!  You're a victim with no power to make your own decisions, ever!  I totally win the porn debate!"

It's with this history of strangers projecting their scandalous ideas of my past upon me that I've always been hesitant to mention the bad things that have happened.  When accusations of being a rape/violence survivor get turned into a way to attack someone else's credibility and choices, (but only of that someone else is a sex worker, of course), sex workers aren't as likely to speak up about actual, non-imagined abuse.  It's giving cannon-fodder to the enemy.

Before I ever got naked on the internet, I had two partners physically assault me (one repeatedly, another just once), and another choke me once.  Do the actions of these men define me for the rest of my life?  Should "we" give abusers that power?  Must I now wear the scarlet V for "victim" around my neck so that others know to treat me delicately and make "good" decisions for me?  Am I a perfectly-packaged imaginary cliche of a helpless battered woman who "turned to porn"?

Again, fuck you to anyone who thinks so.

All things considered, I feel like I've run through the gauntlet of life thus far relatively unscathed.  But, why do some people assume, or even insist, that I must have had it worse?  Why do so many "progressive"/"feminist" outsiders have a need to believe that all sex workers have been raped and attacked?

It makes me want to go all amateur psychologist and ask, "What awful things happened to this person to make them fantasize so much about sexual women being assaulted and raped?"





12 Comments

  1. When I was in college, I bought into the idea that maybe something was wrong with me/had happened in childhood that I had repressed. Why else would I enjoy the horrible things I enjoyed? Why did I fantasize about the things I thought while I masturbated? It took me a long time and a few Women's Studies classes to embrace my sexuality.

    Comment by jholliday — June 25, 2009 @ 5:10 pm

  2. It makes me want to go all amateur psychologist and ask, “What awful things happened to this person to make them fantasize so much about sexual women being assaulted and raped?”

    I *love* that. I'm going to have to remember it and use it when I encounter those kinds of dimwits. :lol:

    Comment by Alexa — June 25, 2009 @ 6:37 pm

  3. thanks for your honesty in posting this, I've often been hesitant to share my own experiences sexual abuse because I didn't want to add anymore fodder to the anti-sex work propaganda campaign and also because so many sex workers use the fact that they've never been sexually abused as a rebuttal in the anti-sex work debate.

    Comment by SequoiaRedd — June 26, 2009 @ 9:34 am

  4. Sequoia: I hear you, it is a shitty rebuttal. Mine's two-fold:

    "No, complete stranger, I am not a sex worker because I was raped as a child, but fuck you very much for assuming that it's any of your business to ask in the first place. And even if I had been raped, how exactly does that invalidate my career choice?"

    It reminds me of the "unpacking your gender privilege" list where one of the items is like, "You're privileged if you've never had a stranger ask you out of nowhere what your genitals look like and how you have sex."

    Same thing for sex workers: strangers think it's their right to demand to know our histories of sexual abuse or assault, but you wouldn't see them do that to non-sex workers.

    Comment by Furry Girl — June 26, 2009 @ 5:08 pm

  5. I know this is an old post, but I've been asked by 2 different customers in my 2 yrs of stripping "what did your dad do to you when you were a little girl to make you wanna do this/turn out like this??"

    Of all the things customers have said and done to me, NOTHING makes me more angry or hurt than being asked this by a fucking stranger... who is himself IN A STRIP CLUB.

    These guys interpreted by anger as an "admission" that their presumptions about me were correct, and that my protests were due to me "being in denial".

    What they couldn't (or didn't want to) understand was that it wasn't that my father ever "did" anything to me (he didn't; we're not very close but we don't dislike each other either), but that the question itself is so loaded, presumptuous and absurdly invasive that there's just no way to answer it in such a way that would alter the customer's pre-determined ideas about your past. It's framed as a question, but it's not actually a REAL question. It's a statement- "you are an abused, fucked-up slut and nothing you say will change my mind about that, so either validate my presumptions or shut up and let me keep humiliating you."

    Additionally, if these guys actually cared, why would they choose to patronize an establishment populated by supposed products of horrible sexual abuses (who presumably only do this job BECAUSE they were sexually abused)? There's something about this idea that really turns my stomach.

    Comment by Luna — March 14, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

  6. Luna: I think it's a pet peeve we all have, folks WANTING something bad to have happened to us, so desperate to hear us confess tawdry molestation tales. It's not sympathetic at all, it's sensationalistic and speaks more about them than it does about us. There's a good episode of The Red Umbrella Diaries called "Soul Fuckers", by Goldschwanz, which I adore:

    http://www.redumbrellaproject.com/soul-fuckers-goldschwanz-podcast-episode-22/

    Just 7 minutes, really worth a listen!

    Comment by Furry Girl — March 21, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

  7. If I had a second chance,when I was first(?)approached in a bar for sex for money, I would have shared my desperation and asked for help, ie maybe just advice. Now I know that what prevented me from just talking more to the first man who offered me money for sex, was the LIMITED belief that people, especially men, were not decent and did not want to help others. Instead I thought poorly of others, especially men, and I thought they only wanted to further degrade women, even more than their "second sex" relegated them to in the first place! There is a conspiracy of sorts, where there seems to be a need to keep especially, but not only, those in poverty thinking, consciously or subconsciously, that all of humankind is evil, mean and low. Once all people, but especially the poorest, the most oppressed, overcome this negativity, we all will be able to escape the sexual, etc., pornification of force and be limitless in the "secret" of love.

    Comment by Barbara Todish — April 5, 2011 @ 12:07 pm

  8. Ohhhh, this would be interesting.

    Have a bunch of sex workers confront a legislator and DEMAND to know how they had been abused, that they have adopted a career of lashing out at sex-workers. Insist on answers and dismiss ones not in accord as "denial".

    Comment by Roy Kay — April 15, 2011 @ 11:26 am

  9. From the statistics I've seen, if abuse as a child drove women (Do they ever ask the men this?) into sex work, there would be a hell of a lot more sex workers!

    Back in my days, especially when I was young, I admit, I was a bit of a rebel, and liked to shock people. I tended to see myself as more of an athlete than a performer, and sometimes liked to see how far I could take my body. I'd take on challenges, to see if I could do them. I'm not sorry.

    To assume I did any of that because I am somehow damaged is assuming a lot.

    Comment by Comixchik — May 20, 2011 @ 5:04 am

  10. I was just directed to your blog after reading an article about No Man's Land and i must say I am impressed and exceedingly glad that I found it! Your writing is fantastic, memorable and relatable, and i feel you embody several views I hold myself. Thanks and keep it up! Xoxo

    Comment by Bekah — August 2, 2011 @ 7:49 am

  11. Comment by Trackbacks — October 20, 2017 @ 8:01 pm

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