This section provides testimony from women who are, or have been, in prostitution.
Note: 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, we’d love to hear from you.
See also: #MeToo stories of the sex trade.
‘I remember I would often dream of something better, but deep down I always knew it was a dream’
Trying to write this is difficult. I never really thought I would but… Read More
I didn’t ‘choose’ prostitution: a mixture of the culture I lived in during the 1990s, ‘sex-positive’ feminism, and a longing to be loved by my biological papa who had abandoned my siblings, mother and me, chose it for me. Poverty chose it for me. Anger chose it for me. Wanting to be loved chose it for me. Read More
I know what it means to hide your past… a past full of mistakes.
Sometimes not even your family want to talk to you. Nobody wants to talk to someone who does drugs, who steals, who constantly tells lies, to hear about the person I was… Read More
Time heals all wounds. Time does little for scars. They permanently stick to you as a vivid reminder of your vulnerability and the time you faced some form of harm. I carry over 4300 emotional scars with me every day from each man I sold my body to during seven years of prostitution… Read More
I was born in a working-class district of Montreal. My parents divorced and I was the only child. I was in my mother’s care from when I was eight, but she didn’t give me an ounce of affection, because what she really wanted was a son. There was a lot of psychological and physical violence. She used to say, “Manon is a whore’s name.” And yet she went out to bars almost every night and often brought random men home with her. […] Read More
Michelle Mara Michelle Mara started in prostitution in New Zealand when the sex trade was illegal and she continued after it was fully decriminalised there in 2003. In the 90s I worked at quite a few brothels. The police used to take our names off a register that the brothel kept. The cops knew what… Read More
Sara Smiles: My Story in the World of Paid Rape. Sara Smiles started in prostitution in New Zealand in 1988 when she was a homeless 14-year old. She eventually escaped in 2010 when she was in her late thirties. She therefore experienced life in the sex trade in New Zealand both before and after it… Read More
Loverboy pimps: ‘I really thought he loved me’ Francine Sporenda interviews Sandra Norak, who was involved in prostitution in Germany for six years. You entered prostitution when you were still in high school, through a ‘loverboy’ pimp – in other words a trafficker. How did he first approach you? […]
Huschke Mau It was like society telling me: ‘Prostitution is not the problem, that’s all cool. You are the problem.’ This is the text of Huschke Mau’s speech at receiving a prize from the Einkraftstiftung in Mainz, Germany, at the Pfälzer Landtag (parliament) on Thursday 4 April 2019. Translation by Inge Kleine. […]
Ally-Marie Diamond Ally-Marie Diamond is of Maori/Pacific Islander heritage and now lives in Australia. She is a passionate activist against the sex trade and for the Nordic Model. This is her story of being groomed into prostitution in New Zealand. It is the (slightly edited) first part of a speech she gave last year to… Read More
Megan King The high-class escort My name is Megan King and I am a survivor of prostitution. I was advertised as a “high class escort”, pitched as a middle-class, well-educated young woman choosing this as a ‘career path’ out of my own free will. There seems to be this assumption within the world of prostitution… Read More
Anna’s Story This is an edited transcript of a podcast, in which Anna talks about being groomed into prostitution as a teenager in 1989 and pimped on the streets of Leeds over the next 11 years. She explains the insidious nature of the grooming process and how pimps use violence to maintain their control. She… Read More
Prostitution: Never young enough Kylee Gregg interviewed by Francine Sporenda. A victim of sex trafficking from the age of 10, Kylee Gregg is now an 18 year old college student. She lives in the US, identifies as a lesbian radical feminist, and runs an activist organization called Womyn Unleashed. […]
Prostitution and paedophilia are inseparable Jewell Baraka is interviewed by Francine Sporenda Jewell is a survivor, abolitionist, and writer, who speaks her story to #ChangetheStory of exploitation in our culture. She was exploited for three years in prostitution and three years in porn, from age 11 to 17, in Portland, Oregon (USA). Now she fights… Read More
Mia De Faoite Mia de Faoite is an activist and survivor of prostitution. She campaigned tirelessly for the introduction of the Nordic Model law in the Republic of Ireland. (The photo shows her holding a copy of the Act that implemented it.) On the 27th March 2017, the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 was… Read More
Roslyn Hamilton Whether on a street corner approaching men in cars, or being on call attending men’s homes/hotel rooms, there is no scenario in which a punter is safe to be with. Just because he doesn’t beat you to a pulp doesn’t mean he is less of a threat. There is an immediate power imbalance… Read More
Alice Glass “It is hard to unravel ten years of prostitution into non fictional coherence. To put all the years of confusion and compromise and cognitive dissonance and bent consent onto a page. One year (this month, as it happens) after my last ever ‘appointment’ with a ‘client’, I am trying to retrace my steps… Read More
“We must listen to Sex Worker’s Voices”
It is a rallying cry I have heard countless times in the last few years. It is one of the most prolific and popular phrases currently in use in relation to prostitution, so much so that it is approaching the status of the idiomatic. Read More
Why I defended the sex industry By Anonymous If you imagine a situation to be inescapable you do whatever you can to make that situation agreeable. Coming to accommodate misery, in this way, is an insidious process. With specific regards to prostitution, if those who enter it have for years previous been emotionally or socially… Read More
Ella Zorra “When I don’t eat I am slyly aiming for suicide. When I smoke a gram of cocaine on my own I think how nice it would be to feel high when I die. When I drink so much I hit my head and wake up with no memory, oblivion is at the back… Read More
Prostitution: Under the Grip of a Sociopath Interview with Wendy Barnes by Francine Sporenda Wendy and her daughter Latasha live in Southern California. Wendy works full time as a customer service representative. In her spare time she speaks publicly about her life while being trafficked and her journey out of trafficking and into ‘the real world’. Wendy’s hope… Read More
Wendy Barnes Two excerpts from Wendy Barnes’ brilliant book “And Life Continues: Sex Trafficking and My Journey to Freedom”, in which she tells the story of how she became a victim of human trafficking, why she was unable to leave the man who enslaved her for fifteen years, and the obstacles she overcame to heal… Read More
Prostitution: Living in the Danger Zone Interview with Laurin Crosson by Francine Sporenda Laurin Crosson is the founder of RockStarr Ministries, a US charitable organization for helping victims of human trafficking. She runs a Safe House for those who want to exit that life. She is a survivor herself, having been trafficked for over twenty years throughout the United States. […]
Cathy As told to Roseanne Downton. Identifying details have been changed to preserve privacy. “I was born in the 1950s into an ordinary working class family in a city in Yorkshire. I left school with a couple of O levels, landed a pleasant job in a nice little chocolate factory. I didn’t get on with… Read More
Chelsea Geddes Chelsea writes from New Zealand, where the sex trade is fully decriminalised. Hey you ‘If a woman CHOOSES to do sex work then she is empowered by sex work and you’re just a SWERF bigot‘ crowd! Yes you! Hi. Listen to me. I am one of those women who is said to be here by… Read More
Beth “My name is Beth, I was a prostitute for five years. I never thought it would happen to me, but debt and almost becoming homeless can drive people to do things they usually wouldn’t do. I had a good understanding with my clients but eventually I got a violent one. I was badly beaten up, raped… Read More
Rebecca Mott “I speak as a radical exited woman who cannot debate when I see and know of a constant genocide of the prostituted class being made normal. This is a genocide that is made invisible by the sex trade profiteers who will replace the dead or discarded prostituted by yet more vulnerable women and… Read More