by Furry Girl
I had two conversations in the last week that involved talk of memoirs. I still get asked sometimes if I'm planning to write a memoir about my experiences in sex work, and my answer is no. The reason why has changed over time, however.
I seriously thought about it several years ago, read a couple of books on getting nonfiction published, and talked to people who have written books (that weren't self-published). The conclusion I made was that the effort simply wasn't worth the money. Unless you're already famous and can secure a good advance, you write a memoir for personal satisfaction, not because you want to get paid. I was told that I would be lucky to get $5000 for a first time nonfiction book, and that was maybe 5 years ago. Even with borrowing already-written material from my blog, let's say that writing new material, doing research, and revising would be a full-time project for 6 months. (And then all the time that goes into promoting a book once it's released.) $5000 for 6 months of work? Nope, my time is worth more than that And since my end game with sex work was never to write a book about it, the bragging rights didn't offset the financial loss of taking time away from work that pays decently to do work that pays poorly.
My reason for not wanting to write a memoir is also about the pointlessness of such an endeavor. Let's get real: there are already too many sex work memoirs written by intelligent white chicks in their 20s and 30s from major cities in the English-speaking world. We are not beautiful and unique snowflakes. We as a civilization already have sufficient "I was a sex worker, but here's the big twist! I am also smart!" books. There is no stone that has been left unturned. Even though yes, I think I have my own slightly different spin on things, I'm self-aware enough to know that my views are not so unique that I could possibly truly break new ground.
As someone now working in science, there's a process one goes through before starting any project. It's called a literature review, and the point is twofold: to familiarize yourself with the existing knowledge and methods in an area so you know the norm for the field, and so that you can justify that your project will be doing something new and noteworthy that someone else hasn't done before. Otherwise, what's the point of spending years on a project if someone already published what is essentially the same thing? Science (and its limited funding) forces one to do some ruthlessly honest introspection and ask, "is my clever idea actually that special?" I wish that same level of rigor was applied by people who are considering doing anything. Few sex work books pass this test in 2016.
I remember 10-15 years ago when there were only a handful of books in the genre. I devoured memoirs, anthologies, and nonfiction excitedly back in the day when it was as easy task to read all the books written by and about sex workers. Times have changed, and for the better. Sex work is no less interesting, but holy fuck, we have enough contributions from people like me. I hope that other white middle class (former) sex workers from major cities will step back and realize their stories have already been told. Ad nauseam. I hope to read more memoirs from sex workers who don't fit the cliche of "sex work memoirist." Those are the stories that I want to see told. Not mine.
Furry Girl: legs now closed for business.
My adult sites
- Cocksexual.com: Strapons
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- TheSensualVegan.com: Store
- VegPorn.com: Herbivores
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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
Vaguely similar 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
- Laura Agustín
- Lux Nightmare [2006-2007]
- Maggie McNeill
- Our Porn, Ourselves
- Sequoia Redd
- Serpent Libertine
- Sexonomics by Brooke Magnanti
- Shit They Say to Sex Workers
- Stuff Sex Workers Eat
- Women Against Feminism