All of that debate was with two friends who would hear about my complaints after each and every appointment with Indian guys and they would pose the obvious solution: “Stop seeing Indian clients.” I would argue back with all the arguments I got on Twitter, plus my worry about it affecting my finances.
When I was touring a few months ago, and Carl Ferrer, the CEO of Backpage, was arrested, I had about $800 of credit in my account. I started spending and not replenishing because I knew BP wouldn’t last much longer. As of today, I have less than $200 in my account. I have no way of getting that money back, that I know of, but at least it’s still there and it’s not very much, really.
Finally, a book that features sex workers as main characters, not as main victims or main outcasts! The reviewers talk about the amazing revelation that sex workers are real people, thanks to this story. The author thanks $pread Magazine, the St. James Infirmary, Bay Area SWOP, and The Harm Reduction Coalition and Training Institute in her long list of acknowledgements. Uptown Thief by Aya de Leon is the first in a series featuring the sex workers introduced in this story.
Tiger flew out of the “budget” terminal in Singapore (yes, they differentiate their terminals that way) and the security was so cursory it was clear they didn’t give a damn if the cheap and/or poor people got blown to bits. The terminal was basically an indoor hawker stand, and boarding was a mess. You walked outside to the stairs to the plane; they weren’t going to bother with weather protection of any kind, or a climate controlled jet bridge. Not for the lower class people having the temerity to fly. At least we were all leaving the island. I’m sure that was viewed as a good thing.
This particular rant is something I’ve been wanting to say for years (and has been sitting in my Drafts folder for a while; written in 2010 in Singapore so many of the things I say here don’t apply to the US). Other than a few adjustments to reflect the passage of time, the essay is unchanged.
What sparked it was two things happening on a discussion board in one week. One was a thread where some hobbyists reacted badly to a touring escort charging $350USD/hr (the nerve! the gall! the audacity! the envy!) and another was a PM to me, an attempt by a hobbyist to “help” me navigate the Singapore scene and make sure I’m not charging too much. (Russian girls at Brix are the “cream of the crop” and I’m not so I can’t charge more than they do, which was $300SGD/hr according to him. I wonder if he knew there were two non-Russian indies charging right at $1000SGD/hr in Singapore at that time. I charged a minimum $500SGD/hr or $800SGD/2hrs, depending.)
Despite the hand-wringing and general disbelief of hobbyists, my clients are usually pretty happy with me. I’m personable, intelligent, interesting, beautiful, mentally-mature and fully focused on their needs. I don’t have a pimp hiding in the corner, I won’t phone-stalk them at 4am, I don’t try to manipulate them into becoming my “boyfriend” or desperately taking risks to make a few extra bucks to support my starving extended family in some poverty-stricken country. I don’t chase extra money or presents: clients pay my fee and that’s it. Their responsibility ends (sometimes they’re spontaneously moved to extremely kind generosity). I’m with them because I want to be — they’re with me for exactly the same reason. To me, that’s all cream. For everyone. [Insert sex joke here, if you must.]
Just because hobbyists can’t imagine something doesn’t mean it can’t exist. I’ve been fighting this stupid battle since 2002. The narrow vision and nosy desire to control a stubborn, independent cuss of a woman just keeps on keeping on. Sigh.