‘I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone seeking a short fix. The damage it has done to me is irreparable.’

These #MeToo accounts of women’s experiences of the sex trade came in through our Share Your Story page. This provides a space for women to tell their stories in their own words.

Anonymous

I was at the most vulnerable point in my life, after having been in a relationship with an addict and getting hooked on party drugs and alcohol. I was so messed up emotionally at that point that I sought completely awful casual relationships and one with a man who totally exploited my vulnerability. He was so adamant that I could not make money any other way when I was on the brink of losing my job that he suggested web-camming. I had been crushed completely and my self esteem was at an all time low, so I did it and live to tell the tale.

I made money from it, but felt like I had been all used up doing something that completely went against my core values. That experience induced trauma and I ended up going through even worse trauma in the years following that. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone seeking a short fix. The damage it has done to me is irreparable.

Sophia

At 20 and 14 days old, I had a baby. My myriad of mental health problems meant I struggled. Yet the DWP signed me off as fit for work and left me to fend for ourselves, with no family to speak of.

So of course I eventually tried sex work. The decision was made with another poor young mother friend, joked about over wine and bills that needed paying. But I was the only one that went through with it.

Two clients stand out the most. One was a very fat, dirty, middle aged man who convinced me to board a train to Southampton to stay with him for a few nights. He promised me he had several bookings lined up and I would definitely make my train fare back. Turns out it was just him. He took photos of me against a wall. He made me constantly gratify him whilst promising me the other clients would arrive soon. After two days, with no pay and fearful of what was to become of me, I went home when he popped out.

The other client of note was a chap 35 years my senior, well to do, with daughters my exact age. He had several odd tastes including sitting me between his legs and brushing my hair whilst I was naked and whipping me with his belt. He’d tie me up and whip my private area with his leather work belt. He also took me back to his family home and had sex with me in his daughters bed, the one my age.

Another one raped me in my own bed, got me pregnant and came back six weeks later in the dead of the night to ask if he had got me pregnant. That time I shouted through the letter box that I was calling the police. It is of note that a policeman lived next door to me and would have heard every single thing.

I have three daughters now and live a sort of normal looking life.

I’ll die before I let these things happen to them.

Michaela

In response to a cleaning dispute where I didn’t want to pay the cleaning fee for a mess I did not make, my neo-liberal housemate created memes of the complaints I sent to our landlord. The landlord told us to settle the matter between us, and I ended up just paying the fee to avoid conflict, but voiced my dissatisfaction. The meme my housemate sent had a porn-hub font and read ‘busty blond gets fucked by landlord for money,’ describing me.

This shows how low my value as a woman is to this porn-wrecked dude, and how pornography is weaponised against women. It’s important to remember that pornography is digital prostitution and porn hub is a digital brothel.

He got away with it amongst our friends (who, needless to say, I’m no longer friends with) by saying that it was ‘just a joke.’

In response to his meme I highlighted how the simulated scenario was far from consensual on my part, and proceeded to lay out some points on why prostitution is oppressive for all women.

Today, I’m just grateful there were no actual pictures of me in that meme, just my name, and it was sent in our house group chat. I have no idea if it was sent elsewhere. But the broken faith, and the distrust in men who watch pornography (about 70% of all men) follows me everywhere now. I have gotten insight into how they actually view me and I don’t like what I see.

Anonymous

Growing up I was never a happy child. My father always yelled at me and told me I needed to lose weight all the time so when I hit my teen years I went looking for someone to ‘love’ me.

I had very little self confidence and I self harmed most of my life, so the more guys told me I was pretty or I looked good, the ‘better’ it made me feel. But then they’d start asking for sexual favours – they’d say, “If you let me see you topless, I’ll be your boyfriend.”

Then one day I met the wrong guy. I was only 15. He was 18. He told me I was pretty every day and how much he wanted to date me and I genuinely thought he was nice until one day he asked me, “Would you get drunk with me so I could have sex with you?” I told him no and that was the end of the conversation.

But then one day we went out and he asked me to go with him somewhere we wouldn’t be seen. I told him no but he egged me on until I went along and before I knew it he had me pinned to a wall forcefully kicking my legs apart so that he could get his hand down my pants. Even though I told him no, he still molested me anyway.

After that day he asked me for explicit pictures of myself – keep in mind I was only 15, about to turn 16. He said, “Come on, you know how much I love you – if you send me some pictures no one will ever know.” So I stupidly sent the pictures.

One day after that he texted me telling me how pretty I looked to him. It turned out he’d been watching me at school – he’d been stalking me. So I broke up with him and tried to move on. When he found out I was seeing someone else, he wasn’t happy at all and even though he’d sworn he’d deleted the explicit pictures of me he sent them to my father.

Since then I’ve gotten older and I’m married now but I still can’t get what he did to me out of my head. I still feel like I’m being watched or like I’m going to be molested.

Share your story

If you’ve been in the sex trade, or have been affected by it in other less direct ways, and would like to share your story anonymously, we’d love to hear from you.

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