Sex Work and Me…the Short Version

This is the part of my sworn testimony that the Justice Committee in Stormont not only ignored in early March 2014 but also went to great lengths to conceal, so it must have some importance.  

I hated sex work and desperately wanted a way out but sex work was, literally, the only way I had to survive at the time and that would still be the case in a similar position now. I have spent decades learning this truth from experience.

Those responsible for my reality deserve to be punished and eradicated from our society for the common good. They are as follows:

  • The abusive family I was issued with at birth
  • The social services who ground my childhood and young adulthood remorselessly between the wheels of their personal dysfunction and corrupt internal politics.
  • The NGOs who added insult to injury by distorting and exploiting my desperation to further their own agenda while offering me nothing but exploitation, misrepresentation, intimidation and revictimisation over the past 20 years.
  • Everyone who ever stood by and watched me suffer, in any context, without attempting to protect or help me.

Similar factors are forcing women and girls into sex work all the time. They are the real criminals here and most of their victims meet far worse fates than having to use sex work to recover.

My clients as a sex worker gave me, not only survival, but a decent living, independence and self respect. I found that helpful and supportive and was thankful for it.

Sex work is never the problem, it is always part of the solution.

The Nordic Model serves as the indirect persecution of sex workers by striving to destroy the market their livelihoods depend upon made worse by openly acknowledging the fact that many have no realistic alternative means available. The Nordic Model is promoted, proposed and reinforced by a strategy of misrepresenting sex workers lives, motivation and needs while restricting all support and resources to those who comply with this misrepresentation and striving to penalise those who do not.

The Nordic Model is deemed politically desirable because it indirectly denies the true impact of austerity and pays lip service to counterbalancing the elements of forced labour that are creeping into welfare provision.

The Nordic Model is popular with NGOs because it has the potential to maintain and increase their funding.

Once I truly believed that if anyone told people the truth about sex worker’s lives they would understand and feel remorse and, at least, leave us in peace, now I have seen, with my own eyes, that if anyone tries to tell the truth they are silenced, gagged, intimidated and shouted down while everything they have tried to say is pasted over with other people’s self serving and destructive lies.

The conduct of the “Turn Off the Red Light” campaign, and the resulting consultations, has left me finally incapable of faith in any aspect of the society in which I live.


7 thoughts on “Sex Work and Me…the Short Version

  1. I’m not sure I understand why you ever made contact with the ‘authorities.’ I do understand what you are saying. It’s best to ignore the ‘authorities’ in so far as you can because they are locked into certain agendas and structures and programmes. Why did you ever have any contact with them? Could you move to England?

  2. Very complex story behind me Nuala that straddled England and Ireland all the way through, and the worst of it happened in England. The gist of it is here . I did my best to avoid the authorities all the way, but I was not given much choice too often. I live here because England is worse again in a different way, in general, but particularly for me. Besides this is my home of 25 years and the only home I have. I would never survive a move at all I do not have the inner or material resources to make the move and adapt. When Stormont put my contact details on line for 10 months out of spite they were doing the closest thing anyone could to killing me without facing charges, and I feel quite sure they knew that.

  3. It’s a very long document and I have a low attention span late in life. One or two points you mentioned stuck in my mind. You said you never want any prostitute to ever exist in the future.
    But that can’t be. It’s a survivalist thing. The male must have a powerful urge to copulate; otherwise the species will become extinct. As a society, we should take a sane approach to accommodating this powerful urge in the male.
    You seem to be saying every moment of being a prostitute was hell. It doesn’t have to be that way. I vaguely recall reports that in some parts of Australia it’s done in a decent way and prostitutes are respected and they say they find their work fulfilling as their custsomers go away healthier and happier than before they came, and the sex workers are treated as genuine therapists, on a par with more conventional therapists, which is the correct attitude to prostitutes in a half sane society.

  4. Nuala, what I *personally* feel and the best way for society to go are two separate things….doesn’t make a lot of difference anyway because we will never, ever have a society in which no woman is so desperate that she needs to sell sex and no man is so equally desperate that he runs out of all honest options.

    Sex workers need decriminalisation that protects them in the freedom to define themselves and make their own free choice, what they always get instead is legislation that could be tailor made to feed them into exploitation by the ruthless whether in NGOs, state services, or organised crime.

    • Never is a long time. The Garden of Eden / Golden Age civilisation was a reality. The tribal memory persists so emphatically on every continent that it must be grounded in fact. The indications are that the Garden of Eden / Golden Age civilisation was destroyed in a major ecological catastrophe eleven thousand years ago, shown in the geological record. Humanity longs to return to that mode of civilisation and we may get there at some time in the distant future.

      I’m not opposing you in any sense. But it’s possible to widen the horizon. For example, male prostitutes with male customers are very numerous, and the same variations are there. Some male prostitutes are treated with great respect and find their work fulfilling, and have no reason ever to encounter ‘the authorities,’ but most are despised and exploited.

      Then many women, who have enough money, hire ‘male escorts’ to give them the caring attention that they never had from fathers and husbands. Women have been known to embezzle huge amounts of money from their employers to pay the fees of male escorts.
      This activity can take many forms. Apart from the obvious supplying of the respect and admiration and sexual pleasure the female customer never got from the men in her past…. the female customer might wish to fulfil a fantasy, for example breastfeeding an adult male ‘baby’ or spanking her male escort (gently) on his buttocks while screaming her chosen words, at him, fantasising that he is someone else, to release the repressed rage the woman customer feels toward the men in her past. Whilst this is not ideal, I regard it as a healthy form of therapy in an imperfect civilisation.

      • Oh dear, this is awkward…you see I do not believe in about 80% of the things you have said there and have them filed in the same drawer as creationism…

        ….and I cannot relate to the rest at all…I am sorry…

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