I love when people use a word they clearly don’t know the definition of, but that is actually far more apropos than the one they intended.
Apathy ≠ Ambivalence.
Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
I love when people use a word they clearly don’t know the definition of, but that is actually far more apropos than the one they intended.
Apathy ≠ Ambivalence.
Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
I get messages like this all the time on Okcupid, and they never fail to annoy the everliving shit out of me.
For those of you who aren’t in the sex worker community, who wonder what could possibly be wrong with this approach, let me explain:
It’s a wonderful thing to want to have an eclectic group of people in your circle. It’s a wonderful thing to invite different perspectives and want to have a diverse social group to draw from to improve yourself and your world. After all, that’s how you learn and generally how you become a better person, right?
My problem with this is that I don’t want to be your token sex worker buddy. I don’t want to be introduced as “your friend, the sex worker,” just as I also wouldn’t want to be introduced as, “your friend, the queer,” or “your friend, the woman” or “your friend, the [insert misc. marginalized title]”. Being a sex worker is one component of my many facets (in the words of my friend Slim: I contain multitudes). I do not want myself as an individual, nor my friendships, to be solely defined by one of my many jobs.
“But you write about sex work! But you openly define yourself as a sex worker and it is an integral part of your online presence!”*
-People Who Don’t Get It
*Not a direct quote
Sure it is. I am an advocate for sex worker rights/community, and being that I have many, many privileges, I feel it is important to keep dispelling stereotypes and falsities that are perpetuated by the media (and misogyny!) about sex workers. It means that I can speak (with the authority that only firsthand experience offers) on things that most people are encouraged to stay silent about. It has re-defined my perspectives on sexuality, relationships, and humanity as a whole in incredible ways.
Everything from that paragraph above is also applicable to my experience as a domestic violence counselor. It doesn’t mean now, nor did it mean then, that I want that to be my Primary Definition. It doesn’t mean that I want friendships based on the fact that they find this rather small part of myself outside of their realm and therefore so very titillating.
I want people to desire a friendship with me because they appreciate my personality. I want them to be attracted to me because they think I am intelligent, admirable, funny, interesting. A perspective they are unfamiliar with may add interest to what I have to say, but I also want to know that I can talk to them about my silly cat, express my frustrations with my mundane admin job, or tell them how excited I am about recent adventures that have nothing to do with sex work.
I don’t want everything I say to be filtered through the sex worker perspective. We don’t need to conclude that all sex workers really love cats because I (your friend, the sex worker!) really loves cats.
What do I have to gain from a friendship based purely on the fact that you, random stranger, want to be friends with me because I have a taboo profession? What exactly are you offering me here, short of a multitude of obnoxious conversations that probably involve creepy comments and misguided assumptions? I want to talk to people who have their own interesting worldviews. I want people in my life who aren’t only looking to jump on my carousel and go for a ride for the “intrigue” alone.
I am not your pet project.
I am not your experiment.
I am not your sample subject.
I am not your friendly sex worker representative.
Stop trying to use me to sate your voyeurism.
This is something that happened to a friend of mine in her own words.
“So, on Friday night my friend and I were at her house and wanted to get out and do something for the evening. We brainstormed ideas and she brought up the idea of seeing a show at the Laugh Factory. I’d never been, I thought…
MAJOR TRIGGER WARNING for rape, sexual assault, misogyny.
I don’t have any words for how terrifying and horrifying this situation
would be is. Rape jokes are not funny. They are never funny. Fuck you if you disagree.
|Wanker Email:||I'm not wasting your time , i have a real job, and i wouldn't even think of giving you my hard, earn, educated money to a disrespectful. low self esteem women !!!!!! Grow up, get out of bed and walk !!! Do something!!!!|
|My response:||Sex work is real work. You're a wanker. All emails hereforth will be sent to the trash folder. By the way, your mother tastes great. xoxox|
|My thoughts:||Based on his inability to construct a complete sentence without grammatical or punctuation errors, sounds like the cash dropped on his "education" was well-spent. Good show.|
This week’s column on PPR: WANKERS. A sex worker’s nightmare! Featuring the ultimate wanker of all time, too. Give it a read. Contribute with your stories of wankerdom, sex workers. Let’s make it clear that this is not as unusual as folks may think.
Let me clarify that: When I had some non-sex workers who help me edit my writing (shout out to my partner and the ever amazing Amanda), they really didn’t understand exactly why I was so offended at the ultimate wanker’s behavior. Yeah, they thought he was a dick, but they don’t get that we encounter this shit all the time. That maybe there isn’t evidence that he went through with what he says he did, but it doesn’t seem that implausible to me based on my experience.
Also feel free to tell me if you think that’s wrong or if your experience has been different. Point is: Let’s talk about this.
I’m a man of self respect. I want woman to have the same self respect. Flaunting your tits so that they are almost falling out of your shirt is not attractive. You know what’s attractive? Intelligence. Self Respect. True beauty. Not any of this whore shit.
I’m a woman of self…
I was all annoyed with the douchebaggery here, and then I realized this kid is seventeen. Literal LOL @ “I am a man of self-respect.” Little boy, please.
Everyone’s heard of friendzoning – even if they don’t know the word, they sure as hell know the concept. It’s what happens time and again to unfortunate Nice Guys who, despite being nothing but sugar and spice to the girls they love, are nonetheless denied the sexual relationships they so…
WHY THE “FRIENDZONE” IS BULL SHIT.
Readit readit readit!!!
The last few days have felt overwhelming. I worked two double shift days between the dungeon and the theatre, as well as indulged in some time with my sweetie, and tried to get as much writing/personal stuff done as possible. Most of the work stuff, though, has been an attempt to push through, leaving me feel as though I am merely going through the motions. The other night I had what seems like, in my mind, it should be a minority annoying but generally insignificant incident. Despite this, I recognize that it triggered the hell out of me, and I have been battling with those feelings flaring up over the past few days. Major anxiety is gnawing at me, this time manifested as sudden, seemingly inexplicable nausea and trembling hands.
I wrote what is listed below the night of the incident. There’s more to say, but I am going to leave this here on its own for now. For me, I have found that writing out and sharing my experiences helps me heal. So here it is.
I came home tonight to find a strange man in my building.
I live in a small building with less than ten apartments, and we all have a fairly comfortable rapport with one another. I know most of my neighbors, and those that I don’t know by name, I recognize and greet every time I see them. This man was no one I recognized.
I came in the door and the minute he made eye contact with me, alarm bells went off in my head. I asked him if I could help him. He replied that he knew a woman in the building, but it became clear that he did not. I told him that he needed to step outside the building and call her. Clearly affronted, he started to argue with me. I stood my ground, telling him that it was inappropriate for someone to let him in the building, and that he needed to go outside.
After he went out on the stoop, he yelled through the secure door that his phone was dead so he couldn’t call the person he knew to let him in. I apologized, acknowledging the difficulty of that situation, but told him that he still needed to stay outside. Other neighbors started coming out of their apartments; apparently this man had knocked on every door in the building to supposedly find his friend. Another neighbor was on the phone with our landlord, who said that no one by the name he was giving lives here. My neighbor, Matt, stepped outside with him to talk to him and assess the situation. I watched from the porch, waiting with my mace in hand. Just in case. Alarm bells.
Have you ever had a guy come up to you — on the street, in a bar, whatever — and just straight-up say, “hey, I wanna talk to you?” Happens all the time, right? Happens to women, all the time. But have you ever just straight-up said, “no?” Not “no, I have a boyfriend,” or “no, I’m busy,” or “no, I have to race to save the city from the Joker’s diabolical machinations, for I am the Batman,” or any other excuse: Just the word “no,” by itself?
Yeah. So you know what happens next, after you say “no.” The guy always keeps talking. He tries wheedling, or begging, sometimes. But if you say “no” firmly enough, or often enough that he gets the point, the dude just starts yelling. He tells you that you’re not that hot. He tells you what a bitch you are. (“You bitch, I have a Rolls Royce,” was my favorite of these.) Sometimes he follows you down the street, yelling at you; sometimes, he follows you in his car. These dudes are always so fucking certain that they’re entitled to your time and attention that they will harass you until you give it, or at least until you’re scared and sorry for not giving it. You do not have the right not to interact, as far as these guys are concerned.”
i say “no” all the time, and yes, then i end up getting followed/harassed/screamed at/physically intimidated, etc. vile. rage.
For the scumbags who think that just because I work in a strip club and walk around in my underwear, it’s okay to grab my ass, and then pretend to know nothing about it when I call them out on it.
And don’t even get me started on the managers who take half my income.
I am on the fucking warpath tonight. If I ever go on a homicidal rampage, I’m starting in North Beach.
See, it upsets me less when this kind of thing happens at work. It is absolutely annoying, but seems less offensive because it’s not really surprising. Although most of my clients are pretty respectful, cool people, I walk in with the expectation that they are going to be grabby and push my boundaries. Maybe I am more resigned to the expectation that it will happen there, so I’m less startled (and therefore less rankled) by it. I find it infinitely more infuriating when these things happen on the street. For example: I was assaulted the other day in the motherfucking Tenderloin. I was walking down the street, IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, smoking a cigarette, and managed to get physically/verbally aggressed on (including one groping! joy!).
Either way, what the fuck? Who the fuck are these people? Why do they think this is okay?
NEWSFLASH, WORLD: Women’s bodies are not public property.
But in other ways the problem is blindingly obvious. This girl has nothing in common with your high-school crush except for her social security number. Everything you loved about her is gone.
We loved the sweet, shy, freckly girl. We still remember her name, and after all these years she lives close to our heart. Seeing her in lipstick and stiletto heels dancing on a pole is like watching Winnie the Pooh do heroin and then glass someone in a bar fight.
Fuck this concept *so hard*. I had to move from twitter over to tumblr, and I’m probably posting the url wrong, but I’m deeply offended by this shit. You know what I am? I’m a girl who was shy and awkward and extremely nerdy in high school. Maybe some people had crushes on me - I know my first girlfriend did, way back in 8th grade, though we didn’t date until after I’d graduated. I don’t know. I was too busy reading books and not liking myself to date other humans.
Now sometimes I wear bright red lipstick and fuck-me heels and I can pull off a pornstar look if I want to. Hell, I worked in a peep show. I AM STILL AWKWARD AND NERDY. Finding myself sexually and owning my sex doesn’t TAKE AWAY MY FRECKLES or ERASE THE BOOKS I READ.
So fuck you, Pat Rothfuss.
Also, please examine how fucking offensive it is to compare a human being to a movie adaptation of a book. I wasn’t selling myself off the shelf to you in high school, and I’m not selling myself to you now in my thirties. Fuck you fuck you fuck you.
If my tumblr-savvy friends could add some little “fuck you” pictures to this, I’d sure appreciate it.
yeah, these things are not mutually exclusive. fuck this indeed.
My queue posts pretty regularly (and y’all, please bear with me—I know there have been a lot of updates today), but I had to get this one out.
I have been thinking a lot lately about transparency, and the effect of it on my life. While I have generally been known for being blunt and honest to a fault (I believe my friend Matthew once referred to me as “an unedited woman”), I have always viewed it as a liability. It was something I felt like I had to apologize for, or otherwise tone down. Even with that quality, I felt pressure to conceal certain aspects of my life. It was hard to reconcile this natural openness with what I learned in my childhood; I grew up in a family that has some archaic, superficial perspectives on sexuality, femininity, and perfectionism, and it impacted my ability to commit to who I wanted to be.
Part of my goals for this year (or really, since I left last job as a domestic violence shelter advocate/counselor) have been to commit myself to the weird. It seemed that trying to commit myself to a life of normalcy was not only ill-fitting, but also making me miserable. Fuck that. So I decided to own it: Queer; sex-worker; roller derby rookie; writer; domestic violence/rape survivor; poetry nerd; burgeoning ukulele player (lulz); college drop out; fat-positive; kinky; feminist; silly, smart lady. I decided I wanted to stop apologizing for those things, for all of my things, and actually own that I am an out and out freak (and I like it that way).
Being transparent and unapologetic about these things has been, for the most part, an uplifting development. My life feels more fulfilled, my confidence has exploded, and it has given me the ability to develop an exceedingly phenomenal community. While I was expecting blowback, particularly about the queer/sex-work bits, I was primarily met with unconditional love and support. Some folks had questions and concerns about safety (ok, my mother initially lost her shit, which I wrote about here), but for the most part, it was accepted. Plus, I have had the fortunate opportunity of dispelling myths and misconceptions about sex work/professional BDSM to the folks around me. Ultimately, what it came down to is that the people in my life feel confident that I am the same dazzling person I have always been, regardless of what I do job-wise.
Jiz Lee wrote a fantastic post called “How to Come Out like a Porn Star,” and while I’m not doing porn, I found it all too relevant to coming out as a sex worker in general. What I am struggling with now is number two on their list, which is “You don’t just come out once.” I had been lulled into a sense of security by the supportive, sex-positive, progressive people in my life, and by the fact that I generally don’t give a fuck what people outside of that think about who I am or what I do.
But here I am, facing a situation in my personal life where my transparency has caused someone who feels strangely pitted against me to use the information to be hurtful and unfair. While I could have anticipated the results of this, I still suppose the naive, optimistic part of me (sidenote: it’s nice to know that, as cynical as I am, this part of me still exists) expects folks to be generally less cruel than they are. Again, these are the benefits of being surrounded by communicative, intelligent, compassionate folk: I have massive faith in humanity, and I am disappointed and appalled when someone only a few social degrees away could behave callously based on little to no information.
Fortunately, during these times, my community comes forward like none other, serving as staunch sounding boards, reaffirming that things are going to be okay, and reminding me that I need to let these things roll off my back. One of my dearest friends told me, “Tizz, I don’t give a flying fuck what the fuck you do for a living. You’re legit one of the goofiest, smartest, well read, well spoken, caring people I know. I don’t care if you were a garbage man, a receptionist, a McDonald’s cook, or a legit prostitute—nothing would change that, so fuck [their] ignorance with a shiny strap on dildo, k?” As much as she said things that I already feel confident in, it is good to be reminded. Sometimes, outside reassurance can calm the little voice that seeks to destroy from the inside out, especially when it has been encouraged by unwelcome external forces.
Transparency is still absolutely vital to my emotional and mental well-being, not to mention any success in accomplishing my goals. I knew that there would be negative feedback, although it came later than I expected, and I anticipate that in the future, as I come out again, and again (and again) as a sex worker, there will be more. That is part of how this works, isn’t it? Either way, I remain committed to crumbling the harsh stereotypes, with six inch heels, whips, and words. Folks can talk all they like, but this is the reality: I am not going anywhere. I am going to continue doing the work that I like doing, and along the way, advocating for the wonderful people that I feel honored to call my peers. Deal with it.
I’m not terribly familiar with her acting work (I personally could not be paid to watch Twilight, and I missed [the Runaways, wasn’t it?]) but I’ve have seen her pictures on the front of magazines and online. I have always thought “what odd expressions she makes!” (Admittedly, some of them are- no one can take a perfect picture 100% of the time.)
I’m not saying I’ll never laugh again at some of the faces she makes or at any of the ones that other people make during photoshoots, etc….
But after reading this, I admit, I kind of want to buy the lady a cupcake or something. Good for her. Seriously.
I think that article is a pretty interesting read.
“Stewart is often a target of a specific kind of body policing: the “smile, baby” requirement. When she appears on the red carpet and does not assure us with her teeth that she is simply thrilled to be reduced to a presence, a dress, a posture, she is often the target of harassment for her expression”
“Despite the fact that this attention is often negative and always demanded, despite the fact that it drives her to tears, appreciation of this harassment is demanded. Graciousness is an obligation on Stewart’s part because people are looking at her. The implication for women is that attention is a sign of our value; if we are not attracting it, particularly from men, we are worthless. If we’re harassed and ordered to smile, we’re lucky. We must be grateful for all attention, even that which we find unpleasant. Or we are bitches.”
“People order each other to smile because they feel uncomfortable around people who are not smiling, especially when those people are women (or are read as such). Women are expected to be nice and sweet, to make other people feel comfortable. A woman who says ‘hey, I think there’s a problem here’ is being ‘negative.’ A woman who doesn’t smile while she’s being harassed is ‘humourless.’ A woman who prefers to stay focused on tasks is a ‘cold bitch.’ Significant gendering is involved here; women have an obligation to look and act a certain way and when they don’t, they need to be hassled until they do.”