Calling an escort

Name: Maybelle My age: I am 59

No, hugh freeze wasn't calling an escort service because of recruiting

When I began sex work, I was 20 years old. I also felt the pull to exploit the anonymity and freedom of being away from home, the quintessential American desire to re-make myself. I knew there was more in me than people at home could recognize, and I wanted to prove it.

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I wanted to experience every glamour and success a city could offer. I wanted to know what it was like to be sexually powerful and I wanted to know what it was like to have men want me. Admitting as much feels shameful since it denies the primacy of external pressures that might have pushed me toward labor so in demand yet so reviled.

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I had no dreams of deer handbags or weekends in the Hamptons when I started sex work. I was an awkward near-virgin who had never owned a sex toy and had experienced only a few sexual partners. So: I was not driven into sex work.

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I was not destitute and desperate. But I chose webcam. I wanted to know what that work felt like, and the only way I would learn was by doing it. So one night, a few days after I auditioned by showing my boss my calling an escort, I drove back to his house, went upstairs to one of two rooms with a double mattress on the floor against a pink curtain, and logged into my newly made. In the story I tell myself about my life, this is the most important decision I ever made. I worked webcam for two years and, calling an escort first, I was awful. But I figured it out. I loved working at the massage incall though it was far from problem-free.

There were several law enforcement scares, and more than one incident of assault. But I was making even more money than I did on webcam, and I met sincerely fascinating if not always respectable people.

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Working under someone else proved too expensive, as I paid in both stress and confiscated income. I transitioned to a more fetish-oriented service on my own—sensual calling an escort with a kink twist. During this career evolution, my writing was published for the first time.

I usually, though not exclusively, wrote on the topic of sexual labor. I read, I researched, I worked, and I wrote. These were the activities that gave my life meaning; this was how I found people who gave my life meaning.

Calling my work what it is

Three of my closest friends I met through my webcam company. My best friend worked at the private viewing incall. My boyfriend was a former client. My life was saturated with sex work. It defined the only community in which I fully belonged.

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My allegiance to other sex workers, to the cause of decriminalizing and de-stigmatizing sex work, remains the strongest loyalty I know. This calling an escort part of why the language around sexual labor is so fraught. People prefer different labels, if they accept a label at all. But political engagement is not as much of a luxury as anti-prostitution agitators make it out to be.

Or, to put it another way, merely attempting to earn a living may be understood as a political act.

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It remains in the name of my TinyLetter. I like it for its plain, immediate truth. As many forces work to collapse all sex work into trafficking in both the eyes of the public and the actions of the state, the word prostitute feels increasingly defiant. You heard me.

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Taking out the passivity and asserting my agency in the matter feels powerful and important. The nitpicking around this point is just that. Others demand their emotional labor, the time spent talking and entertaining, be taken into. To claim otherwise would be to let fear speak louder than honesty. Taking euphemisms on permanently and in a political context, outside of marketing material or work-related correspondence, feels to me like ceding way too much power.

Words are personal.

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Sexual labor forged my sense of self throughout my twenties and shaped my work as a writer. Those in the work deserve to be prioritized.

Escort services & prostitution

A prostitute does one type of work, while dominatrixes, strippers, webcam performers, or porn creators do others. That differentiation matters because we who primarily sell penetrative sex matter.

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We have a higher probability for arrest, abuse, exploitation, and harassment—that matters. Selling sex is nebulous; a dominatrix may get someone off with a hand or a strap-on, a masseuse may offer oral sex as an add on, and an escort may decline to kiss while providing vaginal sex.

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We all blur the lines. Trusting non-sex workers to use the word appropriately and sensitively is, I understand, too optimistic at the moment. Even trusting sex workers to use it sensitively is a dicey proposition, thanks to that aforementioned whorearchy that incentivizes non-prostitutes to distance themselves from us in an effort to skirt the attendant stigma and criminalization. Prostitute is a word that sometimes hurts me but only to the extent it reminds me people who wish me harm have power over me because of my occupation.

In a way, identifying myself as a prostitute acts as a litmus test.

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It defangs those who want to use it as an insult against me while simultaneously revealing those who want to seize it as a weapon, and who think they finally have an excuse to. No euphemisms, no generalities, just my dignity and the plain truth.

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