Hello Sensual Souls!
This is Lady L here and today I have story number two of my sex worker series (here is part 1 in case you missed it: LadyL411Series). This is Carmen Sunderland’s brave and powerful story about how the recent passing of the SESTA/FOSTA law has affected her and so many other sex workers. So let me turn things over to my guest contributor for the month of October:
My name is Carmen and I have been a sex worker on and off for six years. I’ve done a little bit of everything in the industry. I’ve been a phone actress, a cam model, an erotic/fetish model, a dominatrix, a sugar baby, a stripper, a rub girl, and an escort. I’m also a waitress, a University student and a programmer.
I speak from a place of privilege when I say that I am a sex worker by choice. I speak from a place of privilege when I say that at the time I started sex work I had full access to all of the tools of the internet, every resource and publication to learn to keep myself safe both from dangerous clients and sexually transmitted infections. I had other sex workers to ask advice from, online databases of dangerous clients, tips on how to know when you’re being targeted, how to screen clients, access to clients through the internet instead of at parties/on the street, how to protect yourself from being doxxed and stalked, which clinics were sex worker friendly for testing.
Since the passing of SESTA/FOSTA, these resources are being thinned and culled. I and every other sex worker I know are horrified and repulsed by sex trafficking. SESTA(Stop Enabling Sex Trafficker’s Act) and FOSTA(Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act) are more harmful to sex workers than helpful in the fight against sex trafficking. I believe that these laws actually have very little to do with protecting people and are more about moral policing. The first validation of this theory is the shutting down of Backpage, a site that was often used by Law Enforcement to track down pimps and help liberate sex trafficked victims.
Since the passing of SESTA/FOSTA and the subsequent shut down of Backpage, many sex workers including myself and the people closest to me in the community have been negatively impacted.
For me personally the following events have occurred:
The primary place where I found submissives for my Dominatrix work (Backpage) has been shut down. I have not found a client since. This has added extra stress to my ability to pay my rent.
Exoticspot has been shut down, impacting my ability to advertise on a safe platform my schedule for dancing. I have lost the ability to screen clients easily by comparing notes with other dancers. This has affected my income and my safety.
My Google Drive for which I pay a premium amount per month was purged without warning. I’ve lost both nude/erotic photos and videos. I didn’t get a notice and so did not have the opportunity to download my content to a hard drive. I lost years of work.
My account on Seeking Arrangements has been inundated with low paying and aggressive clients who feel entitled to my time and body. These men are often time wasters who try to set prices for encounters and are livid at being told no. Men who try to manipulate me into meeting them on private property for a first date then threaten me when I say no with reporting me to the police or tracking me down and assaulting me. This was something that did not happen before Sesta/Fosfa.
My Instagram has been flooded with men trying to hire me as an escort, which is not the place for it and my page gives no mention of being available in that way. How many women are being sexually harassed by men looking to pay for sex who no longer have platforms?
My client base has changed. I have conversed with men that are more violent, more demanding, and also those that are more frightened.
Men on the street have gotten more violent in catcalling me, in approaching me, and in following me.
*The most frightening event was a text as a bleak reminder from my past. I met a charming and handsome man named “M” off of Tinder one night. We had sex in a hotel room as he was visiting from out of town, and spent the entire night talking like strangers who have just made love do. He laid the romance on thick that night that stretched into the morning, told me he was lonely, talked about his past and his plans for the future. We talked about work, I told him I had done sex work before and had interest in doing it in the future. As soon as I mentioned my experience as a dancer, he quickly sprung into a well rehearsed speech about how great we would be making money together. He didn’t know that I had any experience in full service sex work but still he tried to talk me into becoming his escort.
He explained that we would run away together to California, and live in his RV. He would handle all of the money and select clients for me at $150 a pop. I refused to agree to anything but I foolishly gave him my number. He sent me two weeks’ worth of at first sweet, then disparaging, then coercive texts. Trying to make me meet up with him again. Telling me how good he would treat me if I agreed to be his whore. Finally I told him, “I don’t let men make money off of me ever, especially not when I’m laying on my back.” He called me a stuck up bitch- I figured I’d heard the last of it.
A few months later I got a message from a 20 year old woman on my first Instagram page. “I’m thinking about working with “M”. He said you would be a good reference. I’m disabled and I really need the money,” my heart did a shuddering thump.
“He’s unsafe. I’ve never worked with him but I would strongly suggest you stay away from him, whatever he says he’s manipulating you.” She never replied and later deleted her account. I thought I had heard the last of “M”, but I kept his number saved in my phone just in case. In early April a text from him popped up in my inbox. “You going to turn me down now, whore?” I ignored it.
For other sex workers… They won’t be able to ignore that text. They’ll have to respond out of desperation and for survival.
Pushing sex workers further to the fringes of our society will not help combat sex trafficking, it will simply murder more of us. There are many sex workers that exist at the intersectional margins of our society who are being more impacted than I am by the passing of Sesta and Fosta and their voices are being silenced by a whorephobic society. People I consider family are pushed into the arms of pimps and onto the street where the job they depend on to survive is becoming more and more dangerous. Their experiences must be listened to as these bills are affecting them the most.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story, now back to Lady L.
Wow, this is some scary stuff that sex workers are being faced with. One of the many reasons I came up with this series was because I kept on reading blurbs here and there from guys, about how sex workers are not even people! Well we are not animals, we are not robots and we do indeed have souls, there for we are people. I felt the need to bring these situations to light so others will know what we are up against and to also bring a bit of humanity to what we do. No matter what we do for a living or what we choose to do with our own body, we are living flesh and blood and we deserve to be respected, just like everybody else on this planet.
Until next time!
see the original post at: http://ladyl411.com/sw-series-part-2-lets-talk-about-sesta-fosta/?fbclid=IwAR1B28Q2xxQSBbyq9OD3pbyVBB3NH-JK6ynqhU6ETp3VMaF0hhHQsppBXCU