Vanessa D’Alessio wrote a great piece over at TitsandSass around the issue of showing your face in conjunction with your online escort work. My response got eaten by the Intertubes, I think. Instead of reposting, I decided to expand on it a little here.
This article has been at the back of my mind since I read it last week. My arc has been slightly different than hers. When I started stripping, I was fairly out and allowed myself to be photographed, topless, for one of my club’s websites (back when the Internet was indeed tubes that connected computers using gerbils and string). They never removed the picture despite repeated requests, even after I left stripping and began escorting. (It was later removed only because they redid their site.)
One thing sex workers have going for us is that we get paid on time. Smart ones get paid upfront (this is standard for most, but not all, of the world). While I’ve often compared mentally freelance writing work with sex work, they’re only now catching up to the pay-upon-completion model. Not the same as pay-upfront, more like pay-as-you-go but for a legal occupation, it’s a huge step forward.
Yes, that guy I mentioned in the first section did indeed make another one of his damned “authentic” posts. I cursed at the monitor for subjecting me to it, then unsubscribed. I’ve added a couple new non-sex-work blog subscriptions and am much happier. Thank you, non-authentic bloggers, for writing more of what I like reading.
A porn actress found Jesus and now finds Jesus for others. She provides helpful hints for parents as to why their little girls might become a porn actress. She and I agree that bad parenting (especially abuse), contributes to problems. She almost gets it in #4, except she decides to define prostitution vs pornography (in order to let everyone know she’s not a prostitute), instead of focusing on the fact that juvenile prostitution is nearly always caused by abusive parents or parents who have kicked their children out of their home. I’ve said it for years: underage prostitution could be eradicated almost entirely by focusing the law on abusive parents and having more readily available resources for abused or homeless children. (This would also remove underage trafficking and lots of people would be out of well-paying jobs and grant money.)
Some of you are aware that I appeared on a National Geographic documentary that first aired in February. Now the rest of you are aware. Once again, my brush with mainstream media is generally negative. Eventually I’ll learn.
NatGeo spoke to me in April 2009 about appearing on their Taboo series. One of their episodes was going to cover sex work. Though I spoke for 90 minutes on the phone with Kate Witchard and emailed with her, they decided not to use me. This was right before I was beginning my travels and I pitched the idea to her, but she told me National Geographic wasn’t interested in following a working escort around the world.
Utter waste of time. I don’t take kindly to having my brain picked for free. (Shortly after, someone whom I suspect was producing the Belle de Jour series wanted to do that too so I quoted a price and never heard back.)
Last summer I was approached by NatGeo again. I was not interested. Daniele Anastasion, the producer, assured me this was a stand-alone documentary focusing on the US and the legal issues surrounding prostitution. After back and forth emails, I agreed to a 5 minute phone call that turned into 45. It seemed okay and I agreed to it. Of course they weren’t going to pay me a dime. (It’s a documentary! They wouldn’t do something so icky as pay for interviews!) No makeup provided either. But it seemed like it would be intelligent. It’s National Geographic, after all.
We settled on a shooting date. They weren’t thrilled about having to come to Dallas but since they weren’t paying me to show up anywhere else, Dallas was it. They wanted to shoot an interview — which was the point. They also wanted to shoot “B-roll,” which is silent footage that shows up in the background with interviewed voiceovers. This is where it started getting to be a bit much.
Someone (possibly a retired escort?) has finally figured it out. You can have the best pen-pal of all, for a fee, of course. Just like the guys who constantly write escorts without ever setting up an appointment, you will never meet your fake Internet girlfriend. Plans start at $250/month and go up depending on amount of contact required (sounds familiar). Seems to be the real deal, though I do wonder just how many different people are actually in the talent pool and if they are all actually females (it’s pretty easy to fool guys online).
Personally, I’m waiting for FakeHooker.com to debut. Oh wait, nevermind.