Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Law School Updates!

This post is just going to be quick and messy, but totally and utterly necessary for me to function.


Last week I received the acceptance letter from Golden Gate University Law not only announcing my acceptance as a full-time student for this coming Fall semester, but they also want to give me a $35,000 scholarship for the year, which can be renewed the subsequent two years if I keep my grades up. They want to give me money to go to their school! It won't quite be a full ride (tuition is *wait for it* $42,000/year), but I won't be up to my ears in debt by the time I get out, which is more than I ever dreamed when I started making my law school plans.

I feel so fortunate. Lucky, even. I knew going in being open about sex work and my activist intentions in my application would be a risk, possibly, if not probably, something that could teeter admissions officers biases against me on a number of levels. I am taking my acceptance to mean that not only am I, a sex worker, being taken legitimately and seriously, but that they also see room for improvement in our legal system regarding sex worker rights. 

Maybe I am reading too much into my acceptance, naively stapling major intention onto the pages of the letters sent by GGU, but damnit, I feel the wind in my sails and I am so excited for what's to come this coming August!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Coming Out: Sex Work

When asked the seemingly innocuous question "So, what do you do?" with my mouth open in the dentist chair or sopping wet in front of my hair stylist I tend to respond boldly, yet vaguely with "I'm a sex worker." This all-encompassing word is plastered all over my blog, in which I say time and time again that I am proud and rooted in what I do, while at the same time hiding it, or at least part of it.

Y'all know that for almost 3 years I have been a peepshow dancer, a sometimes porn performer and fetish model and a now-and-again stripper and cam model. What I've been most hesitant to disclose is that I am also (insert your alternative term of choice: escort, call girl, ho) a prostitute.

Before I go into more details about why and how I decided to become a professional sex-er, what my partners think/feel about it and how we interact around my job, or my unique intersectional experiences (I promise I will go into them in other posts), I want to make some blanket statements about myself, my work and what it means to be out.

-I am a sex worker by choice. No one and nothing coerced or forced me into doing anything ever. My job is my own because I want it to be and it affords me the time to work on academics, activism and personal projects and allows me to sustain a lifestyle of my liking.

-I am not ashamed of my actions and projections because I am in full control of what I do and who I meet. The only shame I can ever feel is that which others betroth upon me. If you feel shame of what I do I am more than happy and willing to help you to get passed your feelings. If there is no end to your feelings of shame then we have a problem.

-Being out about my work is also a choice I am consciously making and I hold no prejudice against sex-workers who cannot or choose not to be. I hold our sex/female bashing society in judgement for pushing people (all people) in the closet and know that activism isn't something all sex workers are into.

-"Sandy Bottoms" is a sex work name I use, but not for ho-ing. Anyone messaging me about those kinds of services through that name will not get a positive response. Treat it like my pen name. Or, better yet, my real name. (If you spotted "birth name" me in a restaurant you wouldn't ask "Sandy" for a lapdance, would you?)

-All my old public agreements are true: I will never out another sex-worker or customer and I will never sensationalize or share stories for shock value. I can only honestly attest for my experiences.

-Lastly and most importantly, I am normal. I am still the same friend, ex-lover, acquaintance, classmate, coworker, daughter, granddaughter I was before you knew. (Inspired by Robyn Few's video statements which can be seen here.)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Coming Out. Again.

To return to the original purpose of this blog I needed to take a hiatus. At first just a month, then two, this break was meant to get me back on the track of writing for me, for my own self-reflection. The last 6 months or so I found I needed to censure everything I wrote in one way or another to keep myself from giving away parts of my identity I hadn't and didn't know how to come out about. Part of my hesitation to come out while my new personal and professional developments occurred was to protect the thoughts and feelings of others, and in short, to protect myself from having to deal with them. Alas, my attempts at self preservation were ill inclined and I ended up enacting some serious self-destruction. Giving some things away and not others, I ultimately burned myself out on self-reflection as a whole, but with both time and private writings under my belt I do believe I am back for good.

So hello again dearest diary (and friends, family, strangers, patrons, and acquaintances).

Get ready for some serious coming out.