How did I become a sexworker?
You might be surprised but I didn't wake up one morning in a flimsy outfit and high heels, a sextoy in my hand, ready to ride the first client that would want me. No, it took me a long process to arrive to the conclusion that sexwork was acceptable for me. And that process started pretty early.
When you think about the character of the prostitute, what do you see? Take your time to observe your mental images, put some adjectives on them if you're a word person, or use your senses if you're more kinesthetic. We probably all have a personal blend of all the times we got confronted to the idea of a prostitute, in films, books, television, conversations that we interpreted according to the values we defend consciously or unconsciously. From my side, since I'm a child prostitutes have always been among the coolest characters side to side with writers and witches in my imaginative repertoire. Do you picture prostitutes in fantasy worlds? The elegant Madam of the brothels? The dancers in the saloons or the cabarets? The courtesans? Maybe we have very different representations but what I see is independent, strong, smart, beautiful women leaving in their trail the sweet perfume of freedom in worlds yet dominated by men. I let you guess which value has always been one of my dearest.
With no surprise, being a teenager, I was a nightmare for my mum because of my desire for freedom and independence. However I was at the same time an extremely good student and serious in my behaviors. I didn't break rules just for the sake to break them, it wasn't of interest to me. I'm a rebel, not because I don't like rules per se but because I only want to follow rules I agree with, that I fully understand and accept. I rebel against rules I don't agree with on a deep level. I don't care that I can't steal or kill because I see these actions as not respecting my values.
For the sexual part, I masturbated for the first time when I was thirteen. I had my period the next morning, I guess I was already well connected to my body. I had my first time with my boyfriend when I was fifteen and had several boyfriends in exclusive relationships until I reached twenty-one. Casual sex was not a part of my world, I had a happy sex life with my boyfriends, learning to love my body, exploring in a safe environment. I'm aware of the privilege it was. More generally I've always been very curious about sex and loved to talk about it, too much for some people, but the more they would complain the more I would get curious. Why are they so shy about it? What is it about sex that make people feel uncomfortable?
Some years later, after hitchhiking alone across South America and some not very pleasant experiences with men, I viscerally understood what it means to be a woman in this world. It awakened a deep anger in me, not against men, against society as a whole. I became a feminist, not just agreeing with the feminist ideas like before but wanting the world to evolve for us to be free to travel, live, have sex, or just cross the street not feeling more in danger than a man. But also for the men to be free to express their emotions and their masculinity the way they want without hurting themselves or people around them.
At the same period, my sexual exploration was going further, my first time with a woman, my first threesomes, I was joyfully dancing in the sexual realm. I had sex with many people but comparatively not that many one night stands. I've never really made the dissociation between physical interaction and personal interaction, still haven't today. I care a lot about people I fuck. Sex was actually a way to get personally intimate with people. Sex was easy, nice, I was feeling confident, it was a great tool for me to feel loved.
When I was twenty-six, I came back to France after a year and a half working as a teacher in French Guiana and I was disgusted from my job. My sister gave me King Kong Théorie by Virginie Despentes and this book changed my life. In her essay, she writes about her life, her rape, her years of prostitution, and her experience as a woman in this world. It allowed me to think about episodes of my past travels more deeply, put words on my trauma hidden by a guilt inherited from the patriarchy. And more importantly for this subject it made me consciously acknowledge that sexwork is acceptable and that I was really curious about it.
Some months later, then totally lost about my professional future, at a conference in Berlin, a sentence caught my attention: "what is calling you?", "Sex". The answer appeared clearly in my mind. Usually I would have filtered it and sent it to the dock of non politically correct ideas but that day, I didn’t. I accepted it, explored it, made some research and let the little seed becoming a plant. This is when I finally accepted the idea of me being a sexworker. Me, coming from the countryside from a family where everybody have nice degrees, nice jobs, nice spouses, and nice children. Me, having a Master's degree and all the qualities to success in life, I could be a sexworker. Because that's what I want to do, and that's the only reason I need. That's when everything started.