by Furry Girl
Like many loudmouth sluts, I am contacted by people who want to get quotes from me for their school newspaper, class assignment, or an article they're hoping to have published. The following is a guide mostly for college kids, but it also applies to freelancers and writers from small publications/web sites. It's culled from my personal experiences, and I'd like to think it's useful reading for anyone interested in interviewing sex workers.
* The primary rule to remember is that you are asking me to do you a favor by being your interview subject, and you must treat my time and my expertise with respect. You get paid, get a good grade, or sell ads based on generating pageviews. In return, I get a small altruistic glow of hoping that more people will think about the politics of sex work. I'm not trying to be snobby and belabor this point, but often, the more obscure and tiny the intended audience, the more a writer has a chip on their shoulder about how I'm supposed to be grateful to them.
* (As an aside: If you're inquiring from an established media outlet with a significant following, it's different. I have something to gain from reaching large numbers of people. If more people see my blog every day than will ever see your project, it's clearly you who's the one benefitting from our exchange.)
* Be honest (with yourself) about the size and importance of your audience. Don't cop an attitude as though I should be thanking you profusely for this very special opportunity to be in your sociology term paper. On the personal side, I already am getting my opinions out there on my own terms without someone else shaping my words to suit a moral agenda, so "being able to tell my story" isn't a big motivator for me. On the business side, a blurb in your women's studies thesis is the last place on earth where I think I'll make a lot of pornography sales. I once had a guy huffily tell me I was flushing away untold amounts of money by declining to be in his college newspaper. I run specialty adult web sites with niche audiences, and if I thought that The Tinytown Junior Tech Journal was the best place to find customers, I'd already be advertising there.
* If you're coming at me breathless about having just gotten interested in the topic, I have to disabuse you of the notion that you are a unique snowflake for wanting to write about "alternative porn". Not having the money or the debt-lust to attend university myself, I can't know for certain, but I'm pretty sure that colleges these days require all students to write at least one essay on "alternative porn" to obtain degrees.
* While the idea that intelligent, politically-aware people opt to sell sexual services might be news to you, it is not actually a new thing, and it's patronizing if you treat it like a fad. Think of it this way: would you interview a black person and ask, "Now that Obama is our president, what do you think of this trend where people of color say smart stuff and achieve things with their lives?" Clever people have been amongst the ranks of sex workers since the dawn of time, so please don't assume that we began existing three months ago when you first discovered Suicide Girls. The non-newness doesn't make smart sex workers any less compelling - far form it - I'm just not into being treated as an amusing novelty.
* Never, ever tell me that you'll only "let" me be interviewed by you if I tell you my real name. I've had several people do this. It's like walking up to a stranger and saying in a smarmy voice, "I'll let you give me $20, but only if you buy me an iPhone, too." It's all fail.
* Do not contact me at the last minute because you have been procrastinating and need an interview done in a day or two. I'd say a week is the minimum notice you should provide. Nothing makes an interview subject fell less special than being treated as your half-assed last-ditch effort at cranking out a quick essay.
* Do tell me the deadline for your project. It's incredibly assholey if, after I answer your questions in a week, you reply back and tell me your project was already due and you can't use my quotes any more.
* Do some basic background research and familiarize yourself with what I do. Make your questions count. Ask me things that show you've actually put more than 2 minutes of thought into the topic. Read the public pages on my web site(s) that you are interviewing me about. It's rude to expect me to fill in every single blank for you when it's obvious that you've never really looked at any of my work. For example, one of the questions I've been asked in almost every interview request about VegPorn.com is how many models the site has. Seriously- you can't go to the model page and count them yourself? Or even notice that the site repeatedly states how many models appear on it?
* Search for interviews that other people have conducted with me so you can get a feel for what I think about things. Or read my blog. You can then tailor your own questions more specifically to me so I don't feel like I got a form letter that you sent to dozens of other indie porn webmasters.
If you're a socially inept person who cannot follow these rules, you are still welcome to conduct an interview with me live on my web cam at the rate of $4 a minute. You'll get to see my tits and have an anecdote to repeat to your straight friends for years to come.
Furry Girl: a good time not yet had by all.
- I operate SWAAY.org, an accessible sex workers' rights site that educates the general public about our lives and our issues.
- I've been vegan for 13 years because it's the easiest way for an individual to contribute to less violence, suffering, and exploitation.
My adult sites
- Cocksexual.com: Strapons
- EroticRed.com: Menstruation
- FurryGirl.com: Unshaved
- TheSensualVegan.com: Store
- VegPorn.com: Herbivores
More of me online
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New to my blog? Some favorite posts
- "You have no right to dislike feminism after all it's done for you!"
- "You misrepresent true feminism by focusing on the bad feminists. They're not real feminists anyway!"
- An argument for more sex workers to be out?
- Degrading, violent desires
- Do you have what it takes to be an empowered sex worker?
- Feminism is the shitty relationship you had in your early 20s
- Feminist porn isn't a branch of sex workers' rights, it's an obstacle
- How are we branding sex workers rights in the US? (Let's focus more on *worker*, less on *sex*!)
- How to do your homework on trafficking, "rescue", and the affected communities
- Let's stop pretending that "objectification" is a thing that exists
- Musings on ethical porn and the red herrings of "feminist porn" and "violent porn"
- My call for a "working" class uprising against inaccessible discourse and the over-representation of dabblers
- Sex trafficking is the new crack: manufactured "epidemics" as political tools
- The common logical fallacies deployed by anti-sex worker activists
- Things I've gained from being a sex worker: an anti-paternalistic perspective
- Vigilantism and 'crushing bastards': in praise of anger, hatred, and taking joy in the smiting of one's enemies
- Want to play BINGO with the antis?
- Watch out for psuedoscience: my long-time nemeses of concern trolling and "teaching the controversy"
- What do I mean when I say "sex worker"? Why I'm against an overly-broad definition
- Why I call them "anti-sex worker" rather than "anti-porn" or "anti-prostitution," and why you should too
Favorite sex/ho blogs
- Amanda Brooks
- Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers
- Belle de Jour
- Born Whore
- Bound, Not Gagged
- Dan Savage on SLOG
- Danny Wylde
- Jiz Lee
- Kat's Stories
- Laura Agustín
- Lux Nightmare [2006-2007]
- Maggie McNeill
- Our Porn, Ourselves
- Sequoia Redd
- Serpent Libertine
- Sex Worker Pie Charts
- Sexonomics by Brooke Magnanti
- Shit They Say to Sex Workers
- Stuff Sex Workers Eat
- Whore Madonna