- Anti-Porn and Anti-Prostitution Writer, Speaker, and Activist. AntiPornography.org Volunteer
"Prostitution isn't so bad." "It's not prostitution, it's escorting!" "You get to be wined and dined, have sex and get paid! It's the easiest money you'll ever make!"
These are just some of the many lies that I've heard over and over again about prostitution and "escorting." Yes, prostitution is different in some ways compared to working in the porn industry or stripping. But no, it's not any less harmful or damaging. As someone who used to do it, and as someone that still has friends that do it, I can attest to this. Sure, you're not on camera, so it's harder to be found out by loved ones. But even if no one finds out about it, you will still be scarred emotionally, and likely mentally and physically too. You will still have to live with the unavoidable destructive consequences.
I was in that part of the sex industry called "escorting" for about two years. For most of that time, I lived with another woman that did the same thing. We both worked at strip clubs and regularly engaged in paid sex with men outside of the clubs. Out of all of the "work" that I did in the sex industry, prostitution was by far the worst. I hated every minute of it. The men were demanding and annoying, and even the "nice" ones were awful. I had one john that always talked about how much he wanted to "pleasure" me and "make me feel good." His idea of "pleasuring" me was slobbering all over me like a dog and shoving his fingers roughly into me. Yeah, not so pleasurable.
I would say about 95% of the johns that my friends and I saw were married or had girlfriends, and almost every one of them openly talked about their wives or girlfriends. I was always surprised to get a john that was single. (Or at least claimed to be!) One of these married johns always showed me pictures of his wife and children. It made me feel terrible and I couldn't believe that this man thought that I wanted to see pictures of the family that he was betraying. It made my opinion of men even lower than it already was. I often wondered if there were any men out there that actually loved their wives and stayed faithful.
My roommate and I, (and our other friends in the business), literally spent hours complaining about our johns. They all thought that we "really liked them," and that we really enjoyed having sex with them, when nothing could be farther from the truth! You know what our idea of a "perfect customer" was? A guy that gave us the money, lasted two seconds in bed, and then left immediately. The less time spent with the "losers" -- as we often referred to them -- the better.
I drank every single time I saw a john, because I simply couldn't do it while sober. My roommate had a pill problem, and was always high on painkillers when she saw johns. In fact, every single "escort" that I knew had to be on something to see these men! That alone should make anyone think twice before entering the sex industry, or think twice before choosing to become a john or to continue to be one, for that matter. The johns are so delusional. They truly have themselves fooled into thinking that the women that they pay for sex are just horny "sluts" that are getting paid to do something they love.
Please. Every woman in the industry that I knew derived no pleasure whatsoever from having sex with johns. Hell, they don't even like being in the same room as them. If anything, the sex industry tends to kill the sex drives of the people working in it. It turns sex into just another way to pay the bills.
The truth is that having sex for money will destroy any meaning or intimacy sex has, and that makes personal relationships difficult. Not to mention, many people are not going to want to have a relationship with someone who is in the sex industry, and I can't blame them. Who wants to be with someone that sleeps with other people on a regular basis, even if it is just for money?
Sure, there are some men out there that will deal with it, but the vast majority of them are wannabe pimps, damaged in their own way, or are guys who will eventually insist that you quit the business. And when you do quit? They hold it against you for the rest of the relationship. It's nearly impossible to have a healthy relationship while working in this industry, even when both parties work in the sex industry. (I will elaborate on this in a future article).
"But the money is great, right? I saw a movie about 'escorting,' and the women made like $1000 an hour!" I've heard that before, and I've seen those movies. That's yet another lie. Depending on the area, most women only charge about $300 an hour for sex. There are a few that can command more, but that is the average. Most women I've encountered charged less than the average. The industry is extremely competitive, and the johns know that if one woman won't drop her price for them, the next one will. I knew so many beautiful young women, (some that were fairly well-known porn performers), that had trouble getting anything over $200 for an hour.
Many of these johns go on "escort" review sites and compare notes, so to speak. They give low ratings and bad reviews to women that don't want to have unprotected oral sex, French kiss, or basically do whatever the john wants. This makes it very hard for a woman that doesn't want to do certain things. You either do it, or you risk getting bad reviews and losing money.
This also serves to give the johns power over the women they pay for sex. With the advent of the online review boards and forums, they can trash the "reputation" of a woman in prostitution easily, and "warn" other johns about a woman that doesn't do all of the things they demand. On the "escort only" forum I used to be on, many of the women expressed concern about getting bad reviews. They often talked about how they felt uncomfortable with (insert sex act here), but allowed it because they couldn't afford to get a bad review. Does that sound empowering? Yeah, not so much.
Many johns think that they only see women that aren't pimped. The truth is, they have NO idea what is going on with these women's personal lives. It's all lies! The fact is that pimps, "boyfriends" or "managers" are very common in all aspects of the sex industry, including "escorting." They take a cut of a woman's income and are sometimes very controlling and abusive.
In "escorting," the stereotypical "pimp" wasn't super common, so it was generally "boyfriends" that didn't work and who were mentally (and physically, in some cases), abusive. In fact, this arrangement was so common that whenever I heard a girl talking about her "boyfriend," my first thought was, "Oh, she means her pimp." Usually it started out as a normal relationship, and once the woman was "hooked," the boyfriend would start asking her to pay for things, tell her to "work" more, and then quit his job. (If he had even had one to begin with.)
These guys are worse than traditional pimps in some ways, because they really get into the woman's head and make her think that no one else will ever want her because she's in the sex industry, and that they're the best that she can do. It's next to impossible to get a woman to leave a man like this. I tried countless times over the years, and they either went back to the "boyfriend," or they found another guy that was just like the last one.
Another downside of prostitution is how physically sick you often become as a result of doing it. I wrote about this issue in my article on how unsafe the sex in the porn industry is, and the sex industry on the whole, and I will share an excerpt here specifically concerning my experiences in "escorting":
"Condoms were used, although for a little extra cash, some escorts will allow non-condom sex. So that prevented most STDs. That still didn't protect me, or any escort I knew, from getting sick. Almost every woman I knew got sick all of the time. Even with a good immune system, it's nearly impossible to not get sick when you're swapping bodily fluids and rubbing up on strangers every day while naked. Add to this the fact that many people in the sex industry do drugs, drink too much, and don't take care of themselves, and you've got a recipe for disaster.
Oral sex is almost always unprotected. It's just a fact that the majority of "clients" expect it, so if you want to make money, you do it. On escort review sites, these Johns will often leave a bad review or complain on the forums if an escort makes them use a condom for oral sex. This leaves escorts at risk for diseases like gonorrhea or chlamydia of the throat, and herpes. It also puts the purchasers of sex at risk for those diseases, and let's not forget the unsuspecting wives and girlfriends of these men."
As far as the sex acts that are required in prostitution, anal sex is rare among "average escorts," but "pornstar escorts" are often expected to engage in anal sex with clients, (probably because they see the pornstars doing it in the porn they've watched of these women), and many of the women comply.
In regards to physical safety and privacy, you are always at risk of johns stalking you and invading your real life and your home. For instance, my roommate and I had two incidents where johns just showed up at our door unannounced. One was high on meth and it took forever to get him to leave. Thankfully neither of them were dangerous, they just seemed to think that we were "friends," and that they could just drop by whenever. Ugh! I also had that happen with a john when I lived alone and first started "escorting." He wasn't dangerous either, but it was still a very unpleasant surprise. Additionally I had a friend that was being stalked by a john. He followed her for months, but thank God he never did much more then that.
Sadly things can often get much worse than the above, because the unpleasant truth is that the sex industry can truly be very dangerous and you are always at risk of serious violence and abuse. For example, I once was drugged and raped by a john who was supposed to be paying me just to "hang out" with him. (I will share the full story of this in a future article and video.) This same guy drugged my friend, and she wasn't sure if he did anything to her while she was out cold or not. I knew one woman that did "topless maid service," and she had a "client" that locked her in his house and assaulted her. I knew another woman that was kept in a john's house for almost the whole night, and was beaten up and raped.
These sort of assaults, abuses and crimes are unfortunately a common occurrence in the sex industry. Even "screening" the johns doesn't always work, since not every crazy guy has a criminal record or bad references. Once you're alone in the room with a john, you never know what they might do.
Movies, TV shows and the media can glamorize the sex industry all they want, but the financially rewarding and exciting picture that they portray is just not the reality. Shame on all of them that make the sex industry look easy, fun and harmless. I'm against censorship, but they really need to re-consider the message that they're putting out. I'm seeing way too many shows and movies that, even when including negative aspects of the sex industry, still manage to make it look "cool."
This is why I will continue to write and talk about the truths of this destructive industry. I want everyone to know what the sex industry is really like, rather than buy into the lies of Hollywood's glossed-over version of it. Take it from me, the cold hard fact is that the sex industry is dangerous, demoralizing and depressing. Everyone deserves better than that, both the people working in it and the "customers." Think before you become one of those people. It will only lead to regret and sadness, if not something much worse.
Read more of Vanessa's powerful and informative writing! Click HERE.
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