These powerful and moving pieces were sent to us through our Share Your Story page, which provides a space for women to tell of their experiences of the sex trade in their own words.
Anonymous woman A
I’m in the US. I have been prostituting for years off and on. I’ve been arrested four times. I have no job skills.
I’m now married and having trouble being the wife that I should be.
I have no friends, no job skills, and I feel like getting men to give me money is the ONLY thing I’m really good at.
I’m 50 years old now. It feels too late to do anything else and honestly, I still can see men at my age and make money.
I WANT to have a real job and feel like a real person NOT a used rag.
Anonymous woman B
I worked in a “legal” brothel at a really young age. I was advertised and got clients quickly because “I looked underage” even though I wasn’t underaged.
These men were still paedophiles and would comment on how young I looked and I would be forced to act like a little girl. Each time it got more and more intense.
I ended up leaving, the mental trauma wasn’t worth the money. Now I’m still battling with my own self-image and self-worth.
Anonymous woman C
I was raised in a cult and had no schooling. I ended up in prostitution for 10 years.
Anonymous woman D
After working in the sex trade for three years, I have PTSD, major sexual disfunction, and crippling anxiety.
I was walking home from a club through an industrial part of town with my boyfriend who needed to pee, so he nipped behind a wall.
Whilst I was stood on my own a man approached me and asked if I was open for business.
If I had been on my own, I think I would have been extremely frightened but the fact that my boyfriend was just behind the wall meant that I didn’t have to feel scared – what I felt instead was complete and utter rage. How dare this man approach me and ask me such a thing? How dare I live in a society where this is acceptable? I absolutely let rip at the man who ran off.
It makes me think of all the other times in my life where I have been flashed or assaulted or just intimidated by men and I’ve only been able to feel fear. Not having to feel scared in the face of that was incredibly powerful and makes me sad for all the untapped anger that women like me have lost to fear.
If we didn’t have to feel scared just think of how we could channel that anger.
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, please see our Share Your Story page.