As asked by my dear online friend @Lyhvarn and answered by myself.
“This is a short Interview with a very dear, open minded friend who has helped me understand sex workers, the adult industry and also been gracious enough to help clear my own misconceptions. So A big thank you to you Melissa Honey for taking the time to read through my thoughts and be informative.
The following are my questions and comments which I shared with a friend of mine who is an escort. A really friendly, open minded, helpful person who graciously accepted to help with this piece so a humble thank you before I continue.
I personally feel that people have several misconceptions and false ideas about being an escort, what it entails and what it requires of an individual in that field of work. So, my first question is more of a presentation’s of what I feel are misconceptions to be criticised as I’d like to know right from wrong and true from false.
To me an escort is one you hire as a companion for a period of time for any particular reason. It comes from the definition of the word “escort” as per https://www.thefreedictionary.com/escort . Pay attention at definition 1c. While it may or may not involve sex, working as an escort brings people to a host of social settings meaning you need to learn to quickly adapt so as to not just be a companion but not make oneself or the other person seem out of place. These can be corporate gatherings, parties, weddings, vacations etc. So, this means you need to be working right upstairs to be able to not just blend into different social settings but also be able to converse in different matters quite well. In essence a person for all seasons. My question here is
L: how accurate is this idea and what are other pre – conceived or ill-conceived perspectives people have about escorts or sex workers in general?
MH: “Although this is an accurate definition of escort activity, as per dictionary, many people have a completely different and rather ill-conceived approach to this. It certainly derives from a suppressed society with a hypocritical political correctness.”
Moving on, I think people also hold one’s ability to dress well and their appearance quite an important aspect yet ironically don’t realise the countless hours needed to keep oneself in physical shape and maintain yourself. Many of your posts involve exercise. My question here is simple,
L: is the effort needed to maintain oneself under – appreciated?
MH: “Yes, it certainly is under-appreciated. May I say that even myself, before I entered this world, I was not putting a lot effort to keep myself in shape. Then when I tasted first-hand what it means to do proper exercise accompanied by healthy nutrition, then I realised how wrong I was. It takes a lot of time, effort, preparation and sweat to achieve and maintain an above average visually pleasant appearance.”
Sex workers are frequent victims of slander and character degradation. I feel that simply spouting back to people that “you’re the ones paying for it” and other such things is not enough. I feel that sex workers are getting the short end of the stick at times for others peoples poor experiences and misdeeds for example, someone has a wild ‘fling before the ring’ spouse to be finds out and ends up marrying anyway but places blame on the woman the guy was with. In such cases if someone had such an intention to begin with he or she would simply find another way to act upon it. In such cases for all we know the other person could have been lied to. I simply feel that people need to realise that there are too many taboo’s regarding sex and proper more open and socially suitable education about sex. People have placed too much focus on the physical aspect and use the social aspect as an exploitative crutch to slander people in this industry.
L: Essentially if you meet someone, take them to dinner, go to a club or bar and afterwards decide to spend the night with each other, each step is a transaction how different is it to making a phone call to have a companion for the evening?
MH: “You tell me!!! It is the misconception that the phone call will lead to sex. How many times have I heard blokes’s small talk: “I met this girl at the pub/bar/club, bought her few drinks/dinner. Shag??? It cost me 100 quid, but I couldn’t even kiss her, the bitch…”
This next question is short and meant for you to elaborate
L: I find that sex workers fall prey to a phrase I like to use “people prefer to blame the tool rather than the hand it’s in.” In essence, they won’t spout insults and slander at people they know for partaking of the trade but will insult those making a living. What are your views on this?
MH: “This happens, because it is easy to do so. Those partaking at the trade are usually powerful or have support and are difficult to deal with. Whereas the people who make a living of it, they are the “little people”, easy targets.”
In several statistics studies and even the SESTA FOSTA counter arguments for decriminalisation of sex work it was found that where it was regulated, sexual based offences and attacks on men and women decreased including the use of narcotics. I read other blogs which stated that this also reduced the efficiency of trafficking rings as legalisation of services and meant that legitimate channels allowed people to use the service of sex workers without fear of prosecution.
L: Will an act which decriminalises sex work make safer conditions for both clients and service providers and what other possible benefits beside the above do you see?
MH: “I am giving you a big fat YES. It will help enormously and will give the opportunity to everybody to consider this activity as a healthy, happy and prosperous career. I can see people frowning upon my statement, but if we all sit and think: at the end of the day it is a different type of acting. Do we all love horror films or musical theatre? No. So what’s the problem here? Whoever does not like it, don’t watch it then! But you do, all of you, like sex…no? Melissa laughs
L: From personal experience is it better to book clients personally or work via an agency and why?
MH: “This depends on personal circumstances and how much this activity is the primary or secondary occupation. It is like any other job: some prefer to be permanent employees and work in one place, whereas others prefer to be self-employed and travel more. There are pros and cons on both options. It’s all about flexibility and freedom. And I love my freedom!”
As mentioned above, sexually based offences showed a decline in the prevalence of the sex industry. I personally feel it’s better for people to have an outlet rather than let their hormones control their actions. Being able to transact and release those tensions is better than not controlling yourself and assaulting someone and being locked up, having a criminal record and permanently affecting your life. Aside from this being a part of an industry that deals with one of if not the most sensitive topics on the planet, I believe presents you with a more open, patient perspective towards people.
L: Has your work helped improve your views or you as a person and how?
MH: “Yes, it certainly has. I am broad-minded now and do not judge people. The more I think of it, the more Jesus Christ’s “Do not judge or you shall be judged” gets more and more meaning for me.”
Out of curiosity I looked at the UKAP awards. I noticed something wonderful, the performers, producers, and other workers seem to be an exceptionally fun loving, open supportive, close knit group.
L: Is my observation accurate and if so how important are such qualities in the work environment? How comfortable are you or were you during a photo or video shoot and how did meet your expectations?
MH: “It is like any other business. Once you get to know more and more, then you have your preferences. You get along with some people, but maybe you don’t with others. If this is not your main activity, then you are more relaxed about everything. But then again, this applies to all businesses! Personally I feed relaxed and comfortable with shoots and filming, once I know what the theme/scenario is. It is not just the sexual activity. To get there, you need to act your role first and make your audience believe that this is real. Maybe it is because I am a natural, as people I worked with have commented.”
Do you feel that there are people out there who, simply because they ‘pay’ for someone, see it as a valid reason to neglect the quality of that person’s sexual encounter or experience?
I personally am of the belief that you’re with a person, no matter the circumstance be human and do all you can to make sure you both leave with a pleasant experience. L: What would you say to this?
MH: “It does happen, like in any job, some people think that they can do anything they like, treat one any way they like, just because they pay money. I cannot teach people manners. These are the “clients” to avoid.”
Finally an open platform, what do you believe needs to be done to improve the industry for sex workers?
I think that sex workers offer unique perspective because of the sensitive barriers people have about sex not just as a transaction but as an enjoyable recreational activity it is one of the most pivotal aspects of our development as people and one of the most intimate ways we share an experience. This doesn’t mean that casual sex is entirely meaningless, rather you devote time to sharing a positive experience with someone even if it’s just once.
L: I feel their (sex workers) experience could prove to be an invaluable educational library; what would you say to this? Experience after all is an excellent teacher (this coming from a teacher).
MH: “This is very controversial, as we all know very well. Experience is great, but expertise is what we need. Experiences can be good or bad. Subsequently they lead us to react rather than act to anything and everything.
What we need is to learn how to convert everything we “experience” to a learning process, that makes us understand what we do and why we do it, in order to make it more enjoyable and may I say less traumatic. Then we can pass it on to our “students” in the best way. Good communication of knowledge is key. This is expertise. And as it happens in every job, there are the expert ones and the “just experienced” ones.”
L: Finally, a return. You have been kind enough to take these questions, I think it only fair you get to ask me something, so please feel free
MH: “OK, then…*
Have a read at https://melissahoney.co.uk/blog/sex-worker-spotlight
That explains it all. Some of my answers above may create fury and anger, but that is because society has taught us to re-act to stimuli rather than act after proper processing of information and analysing all aspects and it takes longer than 1sec to do that; but a quick judgment is just that and takes a split of the second to do…easy life for a laziness where we are “forced”
Sex work is not cheating; whereas this https://melissahoney.co.uk/blog/two-years-already most definitely IS!
Society has taught us to think within stereotyped boxes; that makes us hardly innovative, progressive…or winners. Society’s myopic stereotypes want us to be followers in a lose-lose situation (for us); do what everybody else does… Some say we got to think out of the box to win…yes, it works. I say “There is no box” for the winners.
Thank you Lyhvarn for giving me the opportunity to express some of my views; please note these are not exhaustive and it will need a full booklet to expand and analyse. This is unfortunately beyond the scope of this taster-interview.”
After this interview was submitted to her, I engaged many people regarding what I found both controversial and fascinating as an industry. I personally was quite dissatisfied with the STILL taboo poor communication about sex and the poor and victimized conditions of sex workers. These misconceptions… if I put them mildy are now being more debated but policy is far from practically efficient. Furthermore global laws are still heavily entrenched in antiquated ideals and playing to masses for political manipulation.
Here are some additional reading links I think need to be more readily available and opened for discussion
There are several others and I will search for them however, to close I would like to say that after several conversations, especially with people working in the adult industry I can honestly say that I believe decriminalisation if the most efficient first step and more work is needed to find critical support systems to make the lives of workers safer. While this does not fully line up with my interview above fully I believe in not waiting for a better platform and sharing the information and experiences I have been made aware of.