Next week it's back to sexy. This week, and in particular today, I'm sticking with social change, especially if you're at all involved in sexy-time work. You can consider me your political dominatrix for the day. (If you're here, you obviously want it, so sit down, shut up, and suck it, bitchez.)
It has come to my attention that a certain amount of horizontal... I won't say oppression, but hostility exists among and between some people in the adult industries. I have seen on industry boards how PSOs distance themselves from street workers; I have heard how dancers in "top-shelf" gentlemen's clubs don't see any connection between themselves and the girls dancing in your basic "trashy strip club"; I have heard burlesque dancers--not many, but a few--say they don't want to work the crowd for tips because then they'd be "just strippers".
Here's the thing, folks: If you can pick the work you do, great. If you can do your work in a comfy chair or a warm club with a bouncer watching your back, awesome. If you're only posing a couple times a month to buy those shiny new shoes, hey, it's your dough. If you get your money from the box office or the clean checks that come twice a month from the home office, or if you have some stage kitten coming around and picking up your clothes and those sweaty ones, swell. But if your work is designed to get someone hard and/or wet, you are a sex worker. You may not believe it now, you may never believe it. That doesn't make it less objectively true. You don't have to believe in gravity to crushed to death by a falling piano.
Moving on: all the mental juggling you do to justify your game without picking up the name isn't going to protect you from the stigma that comes from working with sex. If you are open about your profession, the hate comes thick and fast. If you keep it on the DL, well, think about why you're doing that. And you can't keep it quiet forever. Eventually you'll have to tell your girlfriend or roomie or partner or best friend, or someone will find you out, and when they do, there will be some people who make assumptions about your availability outside of work, your intellect, your spirituality, your self-respect, your politics.
One way or another, we all get slapped with the broad brushstroke; the effects of that mark depends on the nature of your work. If it's legal, it's still considered skeezy and leaves you open to personal attack. If you're working in a gray area, like pro-domme work in Massachusetts or prostitution in Canada, for example, there's a fear component (no one wants to be a legal test case). If your work is outright illegal, well, whatever happens to you, the police and the legal system don't usually give two shits about you and your rights as a human being, even more so if you are poor, transgendered, and/or a person of color.
Here's my thesis. It's not original, but I'm feeling it strongly, today of all days: if you're doing work in the sex industry, the adult industry, whatever you want to call it... get your head on straight and get in fucking line. Do it. Start today. Don't diss other sex workers, or tell abusive jokes, or let your friends tell such jokes. Come out to someone in your life who didn't know what you do. Attend events around International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.
Busy? Okay, here's something real easy to do: get the fuck over the idea that you're better than that girl in the suburban strip joint, or that "crack whore" on the corner, or that masseuse on craigslist, just because you don't and wouldn't do that work. We're all sluts, in the minds of those who would see us disappear or die or otherwise learn our lesson and get what's coming to us. Slut solidarity is the only way out.