Open Letter to Lisa Ann – Porn Star

Edit: Before you read this, please read my “Aftermath Blog” at https://wordpress.com/post/80586619/46/ which states the following:

About 72 hours ago, I wrote a “Open Letter” to Lisa Ann, the US Porn Star, who a few days prior, decided to produce a You Tube clip consisting of rather offensive statements about sex workers. I did state in that “Open Letter” that I hoped that the letter would go viral so that Lisa Ann could actually hear what I had to say, but I actually didn’t expect it to go THAT viral. Over 10,000 people visited this blog in under 72 hours and people are still clicking on it to read it.

Do I like attracting attention and creating controversy? No. This blog was never about writing provocative material for people to use as a weapon or create drama with. This was going to be a blog designed to provide sex workers with basic legal information to inform them of their rights. However, I do not regret writing that blog entry because I can say that 10,000 people are now aware that what was said was wrong on so many levels and I hope that I at least changed some people’s views about whorearchy and sex work. If I did, then I am immensely proud. If I didn’t, then so be it.

The amazing thing is that so many people read the blog, and so little people criticised it. Rather, I received so much feedback – from porn stars, sex workers, and non sex workers – thanking me for having the courage to speak out about the issue. But I am no hero. The only thing I managed to do was get angry enough to write a very passionate response in an articulate manner that people could relate to.

One thing I want to make clear is that my blog post was NOT an attack on the US porn industry, and I thank those in the US porn industry who were able to see that it wasn’t about the industry as a whole – it was about one person, who used her voice and image to perpetuate stigma about those she feels are below her in the whorearchy.

Am I some big sex worker activist in Australia? No. I don’t regard myself in the same league as Scarlet Alliance, the Australian Sex Party or organisations like SWOPnsw or SIN, who I respect greatly for the work that they are doing for the Australian sex work industry. However, I have spent the last two or so years meeting and speaking with sex workers, learning about their experiences and their challenges and I am informed enough to know that the words that were spoken by Lisa Ann were a stain on the rights of the very sex workers that I have been meeting since involving myself in the industry.

Do I think that I will ever have 10,000 people coming through my blog doors again? I doubt it. It was never about raising my own profile or generating business (I have been accused by some people lately of only being involved in the industry to make money off it). This blog will continue to provide legal advice to those who choose to read this blog and if I can throw in the odd “opinion piece” here and there, then hey, lets make it happen.

Dear Lisa Ann,

I just listened to your Webcam You Tube clip. I must say, you look absolutely fabulous. But that is your job, right? To look fabulous, for all of your “masses”. You need to look fabulous because you are not only generating immense wealth for yourself, but you are making huge money for all of those big corporations that you work for. You found the need to “rant” five days ago because “it is like a daily paper cut to [your] eye”.

You felt the need to tell us all the difference between a “hooker” and a “porn star”.

Let me begin from the start.

1. Firstly, sex work happens to be legal in many many countries. I hate to break it to you but in my country, Australia, sex work doesn’t happen on some “weird ranch on mattresses” where you catch “staph infections”. It happens in legal brothels, it happens on streets, it happens in hotel rooms, it happens in people’s houses, it happens even in illegal brothels. Last time I checked, being in a brothel, on a street, in a hotel room or in a house doesn’t automatically lead to a “staph infection” but thank you for drawing attention to the fact that ranches in USA should be stayed well clear of due to possible health risks.

2. Apparently, Lisa Ann believes that doing escorting is “not the makings of a porn star”. Incorrect. Factually incorrect. I know MANY porn stars who started off escorting and they turned into fantastic porn stars. I know many porn stars who concurrently work as porn stars and escorts. So, Lisa Ann, you are wrong. Escorts can be porn stars, porn stars can be escorts, sex workers can do the fuck they want in any order. Who are you to dictate the path a sex worker needs to take in order to be successful?

3. I think it so so honourable of you to rate yourself well above anyone who chooses any form of sex work other than porn, because you are providing society with a PRODUCT FOR THE MASSES! People get to see you in clubs, people get your signature, people THANK YOU for turning up to their clubs because OH MY GOODNESS THE MONEY! You know what? Sometimes, sex work isn’t about money. Sometimes, it is. But the point is, the way in which you MAKE your money does not make you any better or worse than the person who is making their money elsewhere, through other means.

4. WOW! You feature dance! I am so glad that you take time out from being a highly paid porn star to hang around with lowly sex workers that dance for cash. It must do wonders for your soul to be able to lower yourself further down the whorearchy chain to see how OTHER PEOPLE survive.

5. You keep your sex life private. Wonderful. That’s your choice. That is not the choice of others. You should respect the rights of fellow sex workers to have a different view on how they conduct themselves sexually. What is your “boundary” may not be the “boundary” of another, but you felt it necessary to promote your “boundary” to 800,000 of your followers as if it is the only way to live your life.

6. You seem to explain yourself out of being just a “lowly sex worker” because you are making money FOR people, and not just yourself. Are you suggesting that sex workers who transact on a personal level with their clients are selfish, have no desire to provide benefit for others? What if that sex worker was using the money from the sex work to feed children. I call that honourable. I call that providing benefit to others. I find that more honourable than being a cash cow for a massive production company.

7. You think that by showing up to a club and bringing in a crowd “elevates girls attitudes”. Are you suggesting than a sex worker who chooses to transact sex to a client have poor self esteem? That they are worthless? That they cannot be “elevated” by spending an enjoyable night with a man or woman who has paid for their company? Be it an hour, three hours, or overnight? Your argument is that you get to interact with really cool people. Hold it, escorts don’t? Help me here.

8. Apparently, being a “prostitute” is a very self centered, non career building way to earn a living. Well, frankly, that attitude stinks, and I find it offensive. I know many escorts who are over the age of 25 and are still actively working in the sex industry. I know women who have bought houses from the income they have earnt. I know woman who have paid for their university education through sex work. How dare you think that (1) sex work has an expiry date; (2) woman are only “prostitutes” for selfish reasons (I reiterate my comment that money from sex work often feeds FAMILIES; and (3) stop using the word “prostitute”!!!!!

9. Annnnnnnd sex workers past the age of 25 are actually looking for a john? Say what? I find this offensive as a basic female. You honestly think women solely exist to find a male to fund them for the rest of their lives? If a sex worker is successful, why would she (unless she found a man who was accepting of her lifestyle) walk away from earning a living IN HER OWN RIGHT to go and be funded by a man? Not once, in my entire career as a lawyer have I ever thought that I would need to find a man in order to survive on this planet past the age of 25. I do not think that this attitude would differ if I were a sex worker.

10. You then proceed to tell me that had I had taken YOUR PATH, I could have gone on and changed the world. Lisa, you are not discovering the cure for cancer. You are sucking cock. You are no better or worse than any other woman who is transacting sex, whether it is on camera or in the privacy of a hotel room, brothel or home.

So Lisa Ann, what you have done is:

(1) participated in whorearchy;

(2) offended fellow sex workers;

(3) offended non-sex workers with your gender based comments;

(4) marginalise the industry; and

(5) pissed a whole lot of people off.

So, Lisa Ann, remain in your Porn Star Ivory Tower if you wish to, but right now, I am concerned than 800,000 people will develop the same disgusting attitude that you have displayed by posting that You Tube clip. No woman is better off or any less that what they are worth – to themselves. They wake up with themselves every morning and go to bed every night as sex workers. How they feel about themselves doing what they CHOOSE to do (in most circumstances), is THEIR business, no one else’s. Sex workers should not have to justify to ANYONE why or how they make a living. I am a lawyer. I don’t need to explain why I chose my career, why should sex workers? How dare you create a ladder where sex workers must seek to “fit in”, and thus have their worth determined on this basis.

Sex workers have to live with this stigma that you are perpetuating in that clip and my guess is that you simply do not care about how damaging it is to the industry to make the comments that you have.

There. I’ve said enough. I hope this letter goes viral and you get to read it.

Hugs and kisses,

KVA

@kvalegal

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