Writing by a sex worker

There’s tons of writing out there by sex workers. I’ve linked to some of it. I read, and link to, Maggie McNeill, religiously. She sits in my blogroll, over there on the right.

But it’s rare that I read a sex worker who writes from what I think of as the opposite side of my coin. Most sex workers are writing about experiences that feel somewhat disconnected from the experiences of most of the sex workers I’ve known. This isn’t a knock on them. Neither is it in any way intended to suggest that their experience or writing is wrong, or even non-normative among sex workers.

It’s simply that it’s not what I think of as the flip side of the coin with which I grew familiar.

Not so this essay, by Svetlana Z.

I’m three-quarters of the way through, and I’ll have stuff to say about it, but for now, suffice it to say this: I find it compelling, and familiar. I don’t know if I ever met Svetlana – my sense is, probably not, given the timing – but I do think that I might as well have. Not to reduce her to anything other than the unique person she is, but rather, to say that she is articulating the experience that I imagined many women I knew were having.

Read her. She’s compelling.


  1. Sex workers’ thinking and experiences can’t be the same as us. Normal people see sex enjoying or as a route to enjoyment, while sex workers are doing this for a living, just pure business, nothing personal or emotional about this !

    1. I couldn’t disagree more. First, there’s no difference between “sex workers” and “us.” Second, I don’t know what a “normal” person is, or if I am one, or if you are, but I think the chances that a sex worker is “normal” (whatever that means) are at least as high as the chances you are or I am.

      Many people do see sex as a route to enjoyment. Many see it as something else. Why do you assume no sex workers do? I like my work. Might some sex workers enjoy theirs? And “personal” and “emotional” surely are not the same as “enjoyable.” And/but, don’t you think sex workers might, occasionally, get personally involved or emotionally invested?

      You have a very pat response, but I think you sell people and all our complexity and variety short in this comment.

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