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  • Violet Vixxx

Call Girls, Lot Lizards...and Every Whore in Between

**DISCLAIMER: In this article I use the word "prostitute" to describe full service sex workers. The word does not offend me, although I know it does have connotations to others. Full service sex worker (FSSW) seems too dehumanized, clinical, and sanitized. I have no problem referring to myself as a prostitute or even as a hooker. Using these words ourselves when we refer to our occupations can help us gain a sense of power, an ability to maintain self respect in a world where many don't respect us. When I use that word, I mean it in the most matter-of-fact way possible. Words only have power to harm you if you let them. Let us take back the word PROSTITUTE for ourselves!

The internet has the power to connect and unite people all over the world that once belonged to subcultures and groups plagued by isolation, shunned by their peers, or stigmatized into silence. Especially in the case of sex work, fear of rejection, violence, or arrest makes the work done by already vulnerable women even more dangerous . Sex worker communities on the internet have fostered unity and provided a way to share information about dangerous clients, learn critical lessons, and seek advice from more experienced peers. The larger sex worker community (containing everyone from strippers, porn stars, nude models, cam girls, dommes, ect.) has provided a diverse and multifaceted peer network where we can all relate to one another and engage in discussions we otherwise would not have the opportunity to initiate. Because of the obstacles sex workers face as individuals living in communities that dismiss their humanity and safety, having a community of peers to turn to for support and validation is essential to maintaining self-esteem and combating loneliness. In a job that can be at best objectifying and at worst dehumanizing, keeping social connections with others is an important defense against internalizing the negative messages we constantly encounter..

Sex workers, particularly prostitutes (I use this word in the most matter-of-fact way possible, FSSW feels too clinical), face inescapable stigma, discrimination, shame, and prejudice in societies all around the world. Sex workers are considered more acceptable targets for violence, doomed to absorb the misogynistic rage of rapists and murderers in droves while police and communities show little concern. Sex workers are not considered sympathetic victims and if we are the target of violence it is likely the popular opinion that we are in fact to blame for being so prone to it. We face ridicule throughout popular culture in media portrayals ranging from humorous to malicious. Offensive speech targeted toward women suddenly becomes widely palatable when the target is refined to just sex workers. Reprehensible male behaviors may go without investigation or attention if men divert that abuse exclusively to sex workers. Many serial killers have been able to kill large numbers of women before they are caught, or even noticed, because they target sex workers.Police are content to use participation in sex work as an excuse to either ignore the concerns of families, give up pursuit of an unsolved homicide, or refuse to investigate a reported sex crime. The passionate motivation to seek justice is only sparked when the victims of violence are “real” women (mothers, students, daughters, waitresses, nurses). The ironic thing is, sex workers can be all these things. But no matter what other roles we fill, our identity as a sex worker precedes any other description. If a missing college student is later found to be a sex worker as well, she is no longer a student, daughter, and priority. She is just another missing prostitute.


All of these factors intensify our need for solidarity with one another. Sex workers that may need to hide their occupation from the communities where they live for fear of arrest or being ostracized. When the real world cannot provide an accepting, supportive environment where we can discuss the stresses of the job and solicit advice, the internet does. Sex workers as a group have created their own culture that includes widely held beliefs, assumptions, wisdom, information, and styles of communication. We have our own inside jokes, terminology, and specialized knowledge. Having our own culture creates continuity, camaraderie, and an excellent opportunity to communicate with others that intimately understand and thoroughly empathize with our personal struggles.In an ideal world all these sex workers would unite to increase their strength as a group, focusing on their similarities to combat their common concerns. However, like any culture, we perpetuate our own set of stereotypes and misconceptions about one another that can serve as a barrier to solidarity and mutual support.


Separate from the stigma applied to them from outsiders, sex workers can have their own biases against others within their subculture. Biases pit sex workers against each other and perpetuate an “us vs. them” mentality. This creates division where unity would better serve the causes at hand.Within our own community, sex workers fall victim to the same sex negative and slut shaming prejudice that larger society applies to them. Misogyny and objectification are so pervasive they can become unconsciously internalized, where they erode self-esteem and confidence. This internalized misogyny is often projected on to other women. Some sex workers engage in a type of classism within their subculture. More physical, directly stimulating, and risky work is considered less desirable and inferior. For instance, a bikini model at a car show may defend her pride by comparing herself to topless or nude dancers in a gentlemen’s club. In the same way, exotic dancers may look down on cam show girls or porn actresses that engage in real sex acts during their performances. The cam girls may, in turn, point to full service escorts as their inferiors. All of this passing judgement boils down to a desire to escape the stigma of sex work and avoid the labels misogynists and prudes assign to “dirty girls”.


When we consider the group made up of only full service escorts, categorizing and labeling one another can become confusing, arbitrary, and redundant. There is a kind of hierarchy (whorerachy as I have heard it called) among women that trade money for sex, and the categories can apply to a population as large as every sex worker on the planet and as small as every sex worker in a neighborhood. There are a few factors that women consider when ranking one another.


One variable is the limits and boundaries a particular girl enforces during her bookings. The more limited her service menu or narrow the range of activities, the higher up she ranks. The stricter, firmer, and more restrictive her personal physical boundaries, the more virtue and modesty she appears to have. The more she can point to as evidence to distinguish her from other sex workers, those “dirty” girls, the less she identifies with the stigmatized subculture at hand. As the number of holes she is willing to have penetrated increases, her place in the whorerarchy falls. The sex workers that see their work as more aligned with entertainment than physical pleasure may see being touched by their clients as the boundary between them and their inferiors. With strippers, they may see the boundary set at direct genital penetration. Full body sensual massages with a happy ending are perceived by those that offer that service as more acceptable than oral sex or intercourse.


Another very important variable we use to judge each other is hourly rate. Rather, not just hourly rate, but also minimum session length. The truth is, girls that are only doing sex work as a side gig in addition to their full time career tend to set their rates higher because they can afford to wait to book the rare clients that can/will donate higher amounts. They set minimum booking times of an hour or more. It does not matter to them if the majority of their client pool refuses to pay $1,000/hr. Their lives are financed by their day job, so bookings are not necessary for their survival. Different amounts are considered “high” rates depending on the city and the target client demographic. On the other hand, sex workers that depend on their income to survive cannot afford the luxury of waiting for the market to come to them. They have to price themselves competitively in order to attract a volume high enough to support themselves. For this same reason, they may allow shorter sessions. Starting from sessions 15 minutes in length means although her bookings won’t necessarily be huge payouts, she can at least maintain a steady schedule with enough income to get by. All other variables the same, an escort offering 15 minute sessions (like I do) would be judged inferior to another demanding minimum bookings of an hour. (Actually, though, when I do 3 QV sessions I make more between those 30-45 minutes than I do booking an hour.)

The final variable affecting how girls judge each other is venue. Some escorts fly to clients that purchase their plane ticket for them and spend a week or more at a time on a booking. Some do only outcalls, only incalls, or both. Some see clients in their home, others rent a hotel room. Context and quality of each space matters. Environments most commonly associated with the street walking, drug addicted, survival sex workers are stereotypically portrayed in media with her standing on a corner and leaning in the windows of strangers’ cars. With so many escorts creating and posting ads online and connecting with clients from the safety of their own homes, it is tempting to pass judgement or look down on the women that take to the streets, exposing themselves to danger by advertising with their presence alone. They often see their tricks ($10-$50) in some secluded outdoor area, a stairwell, public bathroom, or their client’s car. “Car dates” as they are called, are business as usual for the girls working the streets, but inquiring about them to a traditional incall/outcall escort is met with striking offense. Many escorts consider asking for a car date rude and disrespectful, as well as insulting. That is not something the “classy” providers do. “Car dates” are for street walkers, according to the prejudices we use to categorize each other.



Now, I am not saying all sex workers engage in these kind of peer evaluations to begin with, let alone engage in them as a malicious bullying technique. Often, there is no malicious intent behind these judgments and they are only expressed as inner thoughts.The general idea behind escorts participating in this kind of categorizing is that it provides assurance and validation to soothe the insecurities brought on by the stigma we suffer at the hands of larger society. Well, yeah I do ABC, but at least I don’t do XYZ! The stigma against sex workers is so deeply ingrained into their psyche that, against their own self interests, they seek to justify and rationalize their decision to do sex work by pointing the finger at others with arrogance and pretension. Arbitrary variables are used to justify their own decision to be a sex worker while simultaneously invalidating the decisions of another for not being compelling enough reasons. I make $500 an hour staying in a hotel. I would never stand on the corner and jump in cars for $20!



Without the original stigma and shame surrounding sexuality and sex work, there would be no need for sex workers to label each other as superior or inferior to one another. I am a strong believer in solidarity among women as a whole. That being said, solidarity among sex workers as a subset of women is even more crucial and helpful. Unity and support among one another is an important factor contributing to mental health and safety. Solidarity is a weapon against exploitation of all types. To the general population, we are all just whores. Seeking ways to divide and reject one another only further isolates and stigmatizes us as a group. When we seek to separate ourselves from other sex workers we label as inferior, less valuable, desperate, unprofessional, or dirty, we further degrade and reject the subgroups of sex workers that need unity, support, help, and safety the most. The forces that motivate the comparison, judgement, categorization, and exclusion of certain groups of sex workers from the community as a whole are the same forces that create the stigma and embarrassment aimed at us by the general population.



Relating to the world is challenging enough as a woman. From the perspective of a sex worker, the quest for community, acceptance, and freedom to be yourself is a journey peppered with obstacles and setbacks. There is so much hypocrisy and irony in the disdain directed at women that choose to harness their own objectification and use that power to profit. America’s relationship with sexuality has been complex and multifaceted since the days of the Puritans. Shame and stigma have been used as weapons to protect patriarchy and capitalism from those of us that would otherwise disregard and defy all the social rules and morals instilled in us to promote compliance. I dare anyone to declare with certainty what expectation they would be willing to rebel against the day they find themselves at the intersection of honor, desire, and survival.

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