I've been torturing myself this morning for some reason. I replied to a topic on a group in Fetlife about rape and consent issues and linked from one page to the next to sites all over the web with stories of prostitutes being left to suffer for moral reasons as if they weren't human or deserved fair protections. It bothers me on a deeply personal level as both a rape survivor and a former prostitute that so many people use bullshit morality as an excuse to justify stances against offering more safety measures and protections to women who are using their own bodies just to survive.
I am not proud of my 4 years as a sex worker but I refuse to be ashamed of it either. If I were thinner now and my wife was willing to allow it I'd probably still be doing it now to bring in extra money so we can afford to eat. As it is I rescue restaurant leftovers from dumpsters so we can eat, but I guess at least I don't have to touch men.
My original reason for prostitution was survival, same as it would be now, but with a different motivation behind the survival. If I were to resume the work now it would be solely so Fran and I can afford to eat. Back then it was so my then common-law spouse Kimmy wouldn't beat the shit out of me.
I prostituted myself to buy food and give Kimmy money to get drugs with, because if Kimmy went hungry or couldn't get high she got violently nasty. My spine is permanently crooked because of her abuse. I vomited after every client and spent a lot of time crying because I felt so disgusted by the work, but it was literally keeping me alive to do it. Every dollar I brought in prevented another beating.
I'm not Pro-Prostitution. I never will be. But I'm Pro-legalization/decriminalizing it, because keeping it criminal only hurts the women who have to do it to survive. Ideally I'd like to see a world where no woman has no other choice but selling sex to survive, where only those few who do it because they honestly enjoy the work ever have to do it, where those who don't like doing it have other options and are safe and protected from harm. But that world will never happen as long as these moral crusaders have their way.
I'd like to ask these supposedly strong moral people something. Prostitution, Marijuana, GLBT Equality.... all these things they throw so much money at to try and prevent in the name of some righteous morality...
How many wife beaters and rapists and murderers could be in jail right now if even HALF the money spent on prostitution stings was spent on real crime?
How much Crack and Meth and Cocaine could be out of circulation if you'd stop villifying a medicinal herb like Marijuana?
How many blankets and cans of food could be bought to stock homeless shelters with all the money you spend on fighting to keep gay people as subhuman under the law?
My name is Penny Sautereau-Fife. I am a former prostitute and a lesbian IS/Trans woman. I was paid good money to vomit after my clients left so I could survive. No one protected me, no one cared about my welfare or safety. There are people now who care and are fighting to give today's sex-workers the rights and safety protections that I and others like me never dared dream about. Please support these people however you can. It's about priorities. And if your priorities including ignoring real crimes to persecute non-evils because your "morality" tells you the non-evils are somehow worse than violent crime, hard drugs, or taking care of the helpless, you are nothing CLOSE to a moral person.
If you can afford a few dollars here and there, feel free to click on that button. The less I have to eat Burger King's leftovers pulled out of the garbage, the less my health suffers. No donations are obligatory, nor am I actively asking any of you to do so. I just promised some friends I'd put the damn button here so the option was there for anyone who felt like helping out.