I have a lot of thoughts about my experience leaving the service industry and becoming a sex worker. Warning, this will be a long read
I began my career as a bartender at a very young age. I was 19 I brought a fierce work ethic and a deep sense of loyalty. I was told at the various places I worked that we were a family, and I believed them
I remember the first time I got felt up by a manager, it was innocent at first, a misplaced hand on a busy night, but these incidents always became common place, and I came to expect them
Time after time, place after place, I would politely decline the advances of a manager or owner, and I would suddenly become the focus of their wrath
It was weird because I always rang the highest numbers. And customers loved me, they still treated me like shit, and I put up with it, because I thought 200-500 a night was good money. I suppose at the time it was.
So I didn’t understand how I would go from the owner/managers good graces, and being their absolute favorite, to being their worst employee the second I declined to sit in their lap in the middle of one of their coke benders
I was never able to invest in myself. I was a full time student, I was starving. I knew what was being asked of me, the unofficial writing on the wall, I’d show up in short shorts and crop tops. Even in lingerie.
When I would dress like this customers would sometimes treat me even worse. They’d stiff me more often, and call me a slut. But management always loved it, and I was too young to know the difference between loyalty and exploitation
I ran myself ragged for years. I got puked on, tipped in pennies, I’d scald my hands in hot water washing peoples dirty dishes. I’d run my ass off ringing between 6-10k a night sometimes. I’d tweak my back moving kegs and hurt my feet working long hours
And at every single place, I was treated like I was lucky to be there. I was treated like I was disposable. The second it became clear I was uninterested in sexual advances, or I’d shrink away from a “misplaced”hand trying to grope my chest or the small of my back, I was treated
terribly. And all of these places paid me the smallest amount they legally had to. But I was so fortunate to be there, that was the idea.
And since I’d been brainwashed into thinking it was a family, I’d try to seek help for the constant, rampant sexual harassment. And when I did, I was ignored and suddenly I was difficult, suddenly I was drama. If the manager said he wanted to eat my pussy and I spoke up
the following week I’d be scheduled for the worst shifts. I actually did sue one of these bars for sexual harassment, and they settled out of court, but not before they sent my lawyers pictures of me as a lingerie model, as if that proved I’d deserved it
The transition to sex work seemed like a no brainer. I was so used to harassment and exploitation that I figured it was time to be paid accordingly. I didn’t think it would be any better. I held my breath and dove into these unknown waters and I was shocked
It was wonderful. I have never for a second felt even an iota of the exploitation and disrespect that I experienced in the service industry. I have never even come close to feeling as demoralized and used as I did by a bar or restaurant
And I wish I could say this was a fluke. But there were varying degrees of this in every place I worked. Looking back now, it was a nightmare.
People can say what they want about sex work, but I make my own rules, I set my own rates, and I am finally working for me instead of breaking my back for someone else’s dream
The business of “selling ones body” is broad and general. People are fond of throwing it around like it’s an insult while blind to the fact that they sell their bodies too. Labor is subjective. I do what I love and I never feel I work a day in my life
There are those who will say that I’m a victim. But after a lifetime of being sexually harassed and exploited for 8-10 dollars an hour I decided to take matter into my own hands. And business is booming. You see, in all of these places, I was the product
And people bemoan sex trafficking and pimps, I agree with them, but they never want to see how absolutely parallel the service industry it. Ladies nights? We’re the product. Show a little skin? We’re the goods because if someone thinks they have a chance, they’ll spend more $
So I effectively removed the middle man who was profiting heavily off of my exploitation, and I sold myself. I can make thousands of dollars a day but somehow I’m more of a victim making this choice, as an adult, than I would be if I was still a bartender
I’ve never felt happier, more confident or more secure. Instead of constantly being negged by an unruly employer, I am worshiped by some of the kindest and sweetest people
And I’m not saying this job doesn’t come without risks and stress. It does. Privilege plays a big role as well. But why did I experience 100x’s the harassment and exploitation when I worked a “good honest job”?
It’s also worth noting that as a sex worker I can say no, and I can and do ALL THE TIME. You know what happens when you say no if you’re getting paid minimum wage? You get fired
No livelihood, no roof over your head or food in your belly. If you have healthy boundaries in the service industry well boy I tell ya, you’ll be homeless fast. But somehow I’m the disadvantaged one
All of this to say that workers rights are human rights. It’s time for us to unite, and the more the proletariat draws a line in the sand and says NO, the closer we edge to a better world for all of us

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