Thursday, November 12, 2009

Words of Advice and Encouragement from Other Workers and Coworkers

“Take safety precautions, maintain positive relationships in your life, follow your instincts, and teach others how to stay healthy and to be safe. Share resources, do lots of self care, and seek support if you need it.”

“Make your time there brief. Never stop working on other goals (reason for being there), it takes you over so fast. It’s not widely accepted so be prepared for repercussions socially.”

“There is lots of work out there, so if you have a shitty boss, or client, remember you can just walk. There are other clients and places to work. The working environment is almost as important as the money. Be safe and comfortable. If you are safe and comfortable, your ability to stay in the game will last a lot longer. Trust me, you’ll burn out quickly on shitty work that pushes your boundaries.”

“Always play safe and don't let anyone bully you into doing something you're not comfortable doing. Stand up for yourself, be confident and take care of your health, both physical and mental, the best that you can.”

“It is important you enjoy it. If you’re only doing it for money and it makes you miserable, you shouldn’t do it.”

“Just be as safe as you can.”

“Never forget that you are a great person.”

“Don’t be too shy or proud to ask for help.”

“You are beautiful, so take care of yourself.”

“Do whatever makes you happy.”

“Always think with your gut and always use protection. Never share or rip someone off. Then you’ll have people against you and you can’t afford to have people against you. Never take less than you’re worth.”

“Just stay true to yourself, ask for help when you need it, and go with your gut.”

“Keep your money, invest, have a plan on when and how you are going to get out. Stay away from the girls who are lost at the moment. This is not who you are, remember who you are, and don’t get lost too.”

“Love yourself. Be safe while working and know that you have options. If and when you decide to exit sex work, you can. There are many people who have and can help you to do the same as they have done.”

“If you make the choice to work, do it safely. If there are other choices, explore them first.”

“Be safe, be courteous, and be confident.”

“Be proud of who you are and what you do. Sex workers provide an invaluable and necessary service! Find someone who you can really talk to about your work and your feelings, someone who will not judge you. Don’t isolate yourself.”

“Don’t be so territorial because there is enough men to go around, and don’t take it personally when one of your clients moves on. That is his choice and his right. Keep a positive attitude about life in general.”

“Always check in with yourself and as long as you are truthfully happy at what you are doing and are not hurting yourself or others, keep on doing it. Though if one day your still small voice says it may be time for a change, listen to it and start to take small steps to exiting. Come to a place like PEERS to get that added support in a non-judgemental atmosphere. I also found that going to counselling helped me with some feelings that came up from exiting, regarding my self-worth.”

“If I feel myself becoming angry or anxious over how another dancer behaves on stage, or what she chooses to do outside of stripping, I try to look inside myself to determine why I'm so upset. Usually I find my anger and anxiety stem from my own insecurities and the social stigma I've internalized in regards to sex work.”

“If they have a family or a partner, or spouse, they’d better not work as sex worker. It will be harmful for their partner, unless they also use a condom with their partner.”

“Keep your ass off the ground, walk tall and love yourself everyday. You have good and bad days like other people but you are the only one that can make you happy. Do what you want to do. Be yourself and love yourself 365 days a year.”

“Stick together, work together, find solutions, create a positive environment, treat others with respect, work as a team; be responsible for your own actions, don’t blame others for your short-comings & personal issues; do not engage in illegal activities; fight for your rights; earn respect & always present a positive image to your community and to the public. Have confidence & be proud of what you do & who you are!”

“Keep taking courses so when you exit you have something to fall back on. It will look good on your resume.”

“Be open, be a safe place, a safe person, a safe agency, a safe worker. Don’t judge or label yourself or others. If you put out acceptance, that will make change.”

"Support other sex workers of all job descriptions. The world is hard enough on us, without us being hard on each other."

If it's slow and you're going through a streak of not making much, you can tend to think it's 'you'. Or some people that come in, come in for the sole fact of making fun of a stripper. But, it's up to you to not take it personally and realize that they are just idiots who's opinions don't really matter. It used to get to me. But now, I just slap back with a humiliating remark to put them in their place and walk away with my head held high. I choose not to allow people like that to hurt me. I know myself; they don't."

"We are all people just trying to get by in the world. We are also in a persecuted industry. We must trust each other and rely on each other and keep everything confidential within our bonded crew. We work underground. All of us can be criminalized. I can be charged for being a phone girl and “living on the avails”. None of us- workers, phones, drivers and the owner are bad or criminal. We ALL need to keep our heads held high and hope that we are all legal soon. This can be a good job for the right people, the people who really like the work and want to be here."

"I am somewhat encouraged that there has been a lessening of the stigma and an evolution of the archaic morals that have so long followed the industry. But its still there. In the end you have to really think about why you’re doing this job and be prepared to deal with those who will judge you for it. Sometimes that person is yourself."

"If you enjoy what you do, don’t care what other people in jobs they hate think about you. Because at the end of the day, the way we treat people, the jobs we choose to work, and the friends we have are what makes us ourselves."

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