What I Mean When I Say I’m Sex Negative
- that sex positive feminism has little room for survivors of assault
- that sex positive feminism has little interest in helping people who don’t want their sex-life to be a coping mechanism from trauma
9/10 sex workers in Scotland say that if they COULD leave sex work immediately then they would. They’re not having orgasms at work.
I have lots of problems with sex positive feminism and this post has been dead good at summing up all my discomforts that i’ve been unable to articulate. I think it’s a stupid concept to say you’re all on one side or all on another. In fact, i’m really suspicious of anyone who subscribes to any named branch of feminism, cause then it’s not coming from you and your community, you’re just following a rhetoric that someone else created.
Sex positivity is fine in your own life and if you feel happy to be the way you are then that’s fine, but don’t try and tell me sex work is some haven of liberal feminism. The only sex workers i see in Scotland are people who are on the lowest rung of society. They’re people with severe addiction problems who, in my opinion, are being exploited by the general public (men) because of that addiction, that need.
If someone is having sex for money to pay for their heroin habit, are they really doing it cause they WANT to? Or are they doing it because the consequences of not doing it are so unfathomably bad that it’s not even an option not to.
I’m increasingly aware of the differences in situation between people who subscribing to the Sex Positive doctrine. Their descriptions of sex work really don’t match up with what you would see in the actual real world.
It’s important to emphasise that while no single person should ever be shamed, judged or chastised for engaging in sex work - you also can’t just deflect criticism on the grounds of sex positivity.
I’m sure women who have had to do sex work out of desperation would feel pretty pissed off about how flippantly people refer to sex work. Cause the way i see it, where i live, it’s isn’t a laugh-a-minute knees-up Diary Of A Call Girl style adventure - it’s standing under a motor way bridge all night until someone picks you up and does whatever with you for £20.
If you are the type of person who can pick up their clients in a swanky hotel, i’m happy for you. But recognise your privilege and vet your commentary appropriately please.
I volunteer with a crisis shelter once a week and I would invite those sex-poz people to come with me, any given Tuesday, to see what the reality of life as a sex worker is.
And let me tell you, it’s not Billie Piper in Belle du Jour.
It’s a nameless woman with oozing sores around her mouth, because she caught something from a john and her pimp won’t let her go to the hospital to check it out.
It’s a nameless woman showing up with a split lip so deep I can see the white of fat under the skin, and the beginnings of a raging infection. She’s not an abused wife—she didn’t walk into a door.
She caught me looking at it with horror, and shrugged.
"I said I wouldn’t let him do ass to mouth. He punched me, did it anyways."
It’s a nameless woman whose ID says eighteen, but who looks fifteen at most, but she won’t talk to us so we can’t do a thing. She just sits in a corner and cries sometimes.
It’s a nameless woman…
It’s always a nameless woman who comes in sick, or sad, or hungry or cold, who has a haunted look in her eye every time she heads for the door. It’s a nameless woman who suffers.
So if you’re a sex-poz stripper, good for you. But remember, even if they’re calling you “Candy” or “Ginger” or “Good God, What a Gape McGee”, at least they’re dignifying you with a name.
You’re indescribably lucky.
But if you ever want to see how the nameless live, feel free to drop by any winter-weather crisis or homeless shelter in your town.
At the very least, they can use the extra hand, and it’s not like Slutwalk will miss one person.