Why Lawyers Shouldn’t Judge Sex Workers

Tonight, I had a startling conversation involving two very prominent criminal lawyers in New South Wales which lead to a couple of things. First was the accusation by one lawyer that by defending sex worker rights, I was morally inadequate and “disturbed”. The second claim was the most astounding. It was stated that their disdain for the sex industry was a moral matter rather than a legal one. The other lawyer chimed in to argue that not all things legal are “right”.

When I was admitted onto the Solicitors Roll of New South Wales, back in 2003, I never envisaged that I would become a sex work advocate. My views about sex work had not yet formed. However, I was taught in law school that if I were to be a legal professional, I would always have to act in the best interests of my clients, I would need to put aside any preconceived ideas about what I consider to be right or wrong.

Today, in my sex work advocacy, I work on the following bases:

1. I Don’t Actually Think Sex Work Is Wrong

I have made it clear in my advocacy that I believe sex work is not wrong and that the industry needs to be decriminalised. This makes many people (including lawyers who like to make laws about things) very uncomfortable. I believe decriminalisation makes life better for sex workers and it leads to better health outcomes, safer and more open work environments, and less discrimination. For every argument that is sent my way that attacks the sex industry, I feel comfortable in defending its right to exist. Yes, there are drugs, yes there is violence, but all of these problems are far better dealt with by making the environment decriminalised rather than subjecting the industry to heavy regulation and criminal sanctions (unless they fall under the provisions of the Crimes Act).

We also need to remember that for every person who has suffered in the sex industry, we have a large body of men, women and transgender people who are willingly participating in it. Whether they love or hate their job, whether they are doing it just for the money, these are all things which are entirely separate from the baseline concept of agency.  As I have always stated very clearly in my practice, I am happy to help sex workers stay in the industry when they make the choice to do so, but I am more than happy to help a sex worker get out of the industry if that choice is taken away from them.

2. Even If I Did Think Sex Work Was Wrong, I’d Still Defend You

My job as a lawyer is to advocate for the interests of individuals before a court of law and at times, that means I need to act for individuals that society does not consider worthy of legal representation. The key to being a good advocate is to remain of the view that, despite your clients being in the minority, they are just as deserving of a life free from discrimination as everyone else, regardless of the choices they have made in their lives. This is fundamental to being a good human rights lawyer.

Thankfully, I was taught that everyone was deserving of the right to come before a judge and have that judge determine their fate. Any judgement prior to court day leads to a even greater miscarriage of justice. If lawyers picked and chose who their clients were based on morality, then those individuals who fall on the wayside of public opinion would be completely without assistance by our legal system. The irony of tonight’s conversation was that I was essentially being called morally bankrupt by two men who have acted for some of the most notorious criminals this state has come across. They have also acted on behalf of alleged criminals who have been found not guilty. If these men had subjected their clients to the same moral rigour as they have with sex workers, those clients may not have had the benefit of their legal services to begin with, and may have subsequently found erroneously guilty.

We lawyers cop a significant amount of criticism both from the media and society in general – we get called ambulance chasers, and people who have problems managing their own morals. It’s safe to say we lawyers have a bit of an image problem, so to speak. Some of that comes from the fact that sometimes, we need to act for people that general society would rather we not. So when lawyers cast their OWN moral aspersions on parts of society, something we are specifically trained not to do in ethics class, that does not leave much hope for the minority that are subject to those aspersions. It is likely that they will feel that they won’t be treated fairly by the law as a whole if and when they need it. This has a flow on affect to the way that minority class treats police enforcement, as well as officers of the court.

I may be criticised by a small portion of the sex work community for some stances I have taken but my overall stance regarding the industry remains the same. It disappoints me greatly that I was confronted by such attitudes from members of my own profession. We don’t like to publicly criticise each other for our behaviour because we are a proud profession. However, this behaviour was something I could not ignore. This has not only led me to have a deeper think about my role in the sex industry, but even moreso, my role as a lawyer.

KVA

Advertisements
Standard

Sex Worker Lives – Touching Base

Today’s Sex Worker Lives interview is with Saul, President of Touching Base. Touching Base Inc is a charitable organisation, based in Sydney NSW Australia, that has been active since October 2000. Touching Base was developed out of the need to assist people with disability and sex workers to connect with each other, focusing on access, discrimination, human rights and legal issues and the attitudinal barriers that these two marginalised communities can face.

I asked Saul a few questions about what he does at Touching Base and what Touching Base does in the community.

1. Tell us about Touching Base and the role it plays in the sex industry?

The work of Touching Base – bringing together sex workers and people with disability – emerged under the umbrella of a decriminalised sex industry in New South Wales. Since we began in 2000 we have observed a remarkable change in the way many people now look at sex workers, especially those connected with the vast disability sector. Our involvement in the documentary Scarlet Road, featuring our inaugural member Rachel Wotton, has given Touching Base an international profile that brings awareness of this area of sex work to audiences around the world.

2. As President, how did you come to be involved with Touching Base?

Touching Base started from a small group of interested sex workers, people with disability and some allies in sexual health. We called a meeting to build bridges between sex workers and people with disability and to identify what each group needed from each other. As a sex worker my primary interest was to get training on how to better meet the needs of my clients with disability. Over the last 15 years volunteering with Touching Base has been a wonderful learning journey in many other ways, and as a sex worker activist I draw strength from working closely with a wide variety of awesome people who fully support the rights and aspirations of sex workers’.

3. Why is it so necessary for a service such as yours to exist?

In the past the sexuality of people with disability was invisible – unless it was raised as a problem. So Touching Base stands up for the rights of adults with disability to express their sexuality, including being supported to access to the services of sex workers if that is what they want to do. Because negative community attitudes towards sex workers can be a barrier we also address stigma and discrimination directed towards sex workers. Practical ways we do this is by producing information resources, delivering training, providing policy advice and engaging in research.

The most important ongoing service we provide is meeting the ever increasing demand from clients and support staff for referrals to disability-friendly sex workers and accessible brothels across Australia.

4. What does a sex worker have to do to be placed on the Touching Base Referral List?

Firstly a sex worker needs to apply for membership using the form available on our website and follow the instructions for sending it to our Secretary. Sex workers can choose to join up using their working name. Once membership is approved the annual fee is only $20 for 1 year or $50 for 3 years. Then the worker can provide details about themselves and their services via an online portal. A sex worker who helps maintain the referral list database will then call to welcome them as a new member and activate their listing on the database. Find more info about membership and our Referral List on our website.

5. What is some advice you can give to a sex worker who would like to work with men and/or women with a disability in this way?

Firstly, have a good look over the information available on our website – especially in the Sex Worker and Client sections. To increase your confidence come along to one of our Professional Disability Awareness Training workshops (PDAT). These workshops also offer a unique opportunity to network with other sex workers, to share tips and upskill together in a class that is strictly restricted to sex workers.

6. As a member of the sex industry, and as President of Touching Base, how would you define sexuality?

To my mind sexuality is a combination of: gender identity, sexual orientation and the expression of personal preferences – in relation to intimacy, and/or sensuality, and/or sexual activities; with one’s self and/or with others – within private or public arenas.

7. What advice would you give to someone in the disabled community who is a little apprehensive about using Touching Base’s services?

Many clients feel nervous before seeing a sex worker for the first time, for a range of reasons. Sex workers are used to helping new clients to relax in their company – it’s all part of the service. Curiosity is a great antidote to anxiety. On the Touching Base website you can read short stories from other men and women with disability telling their experiences of seeing a sex worker, and check out the Frequently Asked Questions pages.

8. As President of Touching Base, what would you say to the overall community about overcoming discrimination and the attitudinal barriers that exist about sex and disability?

One of the easiest ways to influence prejudiced minds is by sharing genuine insights and personal stories. If you want to become a part of the positive changes we are making why not join up as a member of Touching Base. You can create change within your ‘circles of influence’ by getting hold of a copy of the documentary Scarlet Road to share with friends, work colleagues and family members – and you’re sure to have an interesting chat about it afterwards.

9. Finish this sentence….”In a perfect world…. the sexual and relationship needs of people with disability would be given equal focus to their other personal support needs – and all sectors of the sex industry would be fully decriminalised in all jurisdictions across the planet”

You can learn more about Touching Base at http://www.touchingbase.org/.

Thanks to Saul for taking the time out to talk with me.

KVA

Standard

The Life of a Sex Toy Reviewer – My Interview With Eva Sless

Today I interviewed Eva Sless, freelance writer and all around Australian sexpert who has written for a number of magazines such as Birdee and Australian People. She regularly provides us with reviews of the latest sex toys so I thought I would sit down with her and ask her some tough questions about her job as a sex toy reviewer. Here is what happened:

11018307_10154010535805190_7164519512046667240_n

KVA: Welcome Eva and thank you for participating in my blog interview!

ES: No worries. Glad to be here!

KVA: So, I have it on good authority that you are Australia’s best sex toy reviewer. How on earth did this happen?

ES: Haha. Well to be honest I kind of fell into it. I was writing a sex column for Australian People magazine and, through that, met a whole bunch of contacts. One of them was the good folk at AMM and they asked if I would be interested in writing for them – which I was. And one of the first pieces they asked me to do was a sex toy review. It went down really well (pardon the pun) and so they asked me to do more. And suddenly I had a box of toys under my bed and a reputation growing….and from there i had all sorts of people sending me stuff and asking me to review it.

I think the reason people like what I have to say, is that I’m very, very, honest. I’m not necessarily rude… Haha… but I’m honest. I don’t do cash for comment. I never have.

It has been known to piss some people off… but I couldn’t be happy within myself if I just bullshitted good things about a product because I’m getting paid.

So people know if I give something a good review I truly believe it – because I’ve given some pretty shitty ones too.

KVA: Ah-ha! That leads me to my next point. I am very turned off by sex toy packaging. Is this common?

ES: Haha. Yes! I absolutely agree! Actually in a lot of my reviews I mention the packaging because I really think it’s important.

I think, especially if you’re spending a lot of money… and let’s face it, sex toys are not cheap, you want a nice box and a classy looking package. It’s definitely improving – but there are a few that still don’t seem to get it.

KVA: What are some of the hallmarks of a cheap toy, as opposed to that of a more expensive toy? Besides price obviously!

ES: Usually the functions and effectiveness of the motor and longevity of the toy’s life. But sometimes the el cheapo twist bottom single battery vibe is precisely what the user wants. Price doesn’t always necessarily mean quality unfortunately.

Some of the worst toys I’ve ever reviewed have been ones priced at over $200 and my most favourite toy ever, the one I go back to, is priced under $100.

KVA: How can you guarantee that what worked on you during your review will work on the purchaser, or do you put a disclaimer in your review?

ES: I can’t. And I never guarantee anything like that. Every woman, every vagina, every clitoris is different. There’s no way i could make a blanket statement like that and feel okay.

My reviews are very personalised. I talk about my body, my experience, my enjoyment or lack of.

I often will point out that this is my opinion. I cannot speak for others. That would be silly.

KVA: What should people know about looking after sex toys?

ES: (1) Only use cheap batteries. Anything too powerful like rechargeable or lithium will damage the motor and burn it out. Those little motors can only go as fast as they go. Putting too much power into them will burn it out and it won’t last.

(2) Never clean a toy with soap. Always use an antibacterial toy cleaner. Soap will damage toys and never fully washes off properly and can screw up your internal Ph balances and make your vagina sick with thrush and other imbalances.

(3) Never use silicone lubes with a toy that has silicone components. it will damage it and void any warranties etc.

KVA: Do you remember what your first sex toy was and how old were you when you bought it? Do you remember how much it cost you?

Hahaha. Oh I remember it all very, very, clearly.

I even have a blog on it I originally wrote for the Australian Sex Party blog on how much adult shops etc had changed over the years. Here’s the link: http://deliciouslybad.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/then-and-now-of-sex-shops.html?m=1

I was around 17 and it cost me about $30 I think. It was one of those penis looking twist bottom buzzers. A blue jelly type material.

It was pretty rad.

KVA: I’ve gone from a rickety old Doc Johnson motorised clitoral stimulator to an expensive Lelo. I’ve never looked back. Have you had the same experience? What is the most expensive sex toy you’ve purchased?

Well… That’s hard because I actually have not purchased a toy in years. I have thousands of dollars-worth in my house, but I have not paid for them. They get sent to me by various companies.

Probably the most expensive one would be this one called the Jopen Intensity which is actually more a medical device designed by doctors to help stimulate vaginal muscles in instances of prolapse etc but many users reported it as not only helping to stimulate the muscles but was stimulating intense orgasms too..

It runs an electrical charge through it. It’s becoming very popular as a pleasure toy.

Personally i couldn’t use it. I tried. I really really tried. But I’m not a huge fan of electro stim and i just couldn’t bring myself to try it. So there’s no Eva Review on that one unfortunately. The company who sent it to me were really good about it actually.

They totally got why i ended up not reviewing it.

I still have it. Maybe one day I’ll work up the courage!

KVA: Finally, what was the most ridiculous sex toy you’ve ever used?

Hahaha. It’s called the Lelo Ida and Ida just… Well… It does not do what it claims it will do. When i get a new toy i avoid everything I can about it. Other reviews and write ups etc so I can go in blind. Then, once I’ve finished testing and write up my stuff I go searching to see what others thought. we’re all (other reviewers) usually all pretty spot on.

I found this toy was so bad, and yet i love Lelo so much, that I was super curious to see if maybe i was way off this time…

I wasn’t. I’ve never seen so many bad reviews on a product before.

It was a relief at the same time as it was a bit sad. Haha.I have discovered, though, that if you sell it as a solo anal toy, rather than a couples intercourse toy as designed, it’s amazing and people love it.

So sometimes it’s a matter of stepping outside the box to see if it has a positive side.

Oh. I don’t particularly like ones with animals on them. Dolphins and rabbits and critters.

I used to have a green worm one I’d call Cedric. He was cute and worked well…

But overall I’d prefer it not to have a face. Haha.

KVA: YES! LIKE THOSE DUCK VIBRATORS!!!!

ES: Hahaha. I see the point of them though in a way. They are easy to hide in plain sight…

KVA: Thank you so much for sitting down with me.

ES: No worries. Was my pleasure.

You can catch Eva at her blog on: http://deliciouslybad.blogspot.com.au/?m=1

And this:
http://www.adultmatchmaker.com.au/author/8/eva-sless

Standard

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things Part Two

Last week, I decided to get out amongst the sex and adult entertainment industry and ask them one question in relation to the work that they do. I asked them:

“What is the one thing you cannot live without/what is the most important work related item?”

Continuing with this series, I will bring you some of the answers that I received.

The important thing about this series is that there is no wrong answer!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

I spoke with Karly from Scarlet Blue, and it comes as no surprise that she gave me the following photo:

Scarlet Blue - coffee

Karly says that “A good coffee is one of the simple pleasures in life. Life wouldn’t be the same without it”

We can all agree on that, Karly!

You can follow ScarletBlue on @ScarletBlue or visit them at http://www.scarletblue.com.au.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

I then spoke with Mistress Penelope, who lists “bondage, disciple, sadism, masochism, fetish and fantasy” as some of her interests, hails from Sydney and gives us the following picture:

2015-04-16 15.50.15

Mistress Penelope explains: “I’ve attached a photo of the work items that I just can’t live without – lubes and gloves.

The right kind of lube can make all of the difference in a session, and My absolute favourite (water-based) is Wet Stuff Gold. With a thick and smooth consistency and long lasting moisture, it’s perfect for heavy play up to fisting and just about everything else ever!

Silicone lube keeps My latex looking pretty glossy and often helps Me get in without the white residue left by talc.

I also use My hands a lot and cannot stand the sensation of things under My nails so good quality latex and nitrile gloves form a core component of My arsenal.

I get to play with an incredible array of fun things as I commit horrible deeds to wonderful people, but at the end of the day, it comes down to imagination and what you can do with your hands 😉

You can find Mistress Penelope on @Mz_Penelope or visit her wesbite at http://www.mistresspenelope.com.au

________________________________________________________________________________________________Kimmy, Kimmy is a sex worker from Sydney, Australia, wrote in and told me that she cannot do without Karmasutra Lube. She says “its sooooo amazing and doesn’t have that wet sticky feeling like other lubes. Most guys can’t even tell I’m using lube at all.” She adds “this is my magic potion that enables me to take really big sizes anally, or if i am not naturally lubricated enough.”

yimg-1129447640-1--1447147717

You can talk to Kimmy on Twitter at @misskimmyxoxo and you can visit her website at http://www.misskimmyxoxo.com.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Paige Thomas, a sex worker from Melbourne, Australia gave us the following picture:

zzzz

She simply says ” Its my guarantee of an orgasm.” (I think many of us can relate!)

You can contact Paige at @PaigeThomasMelb or you can visit her website at http://www.paigethomas.com.au/.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To finish up today, I asked Jordan Tyler, a male porn performer who hails from New Jersey, in the US what his most important item is and he gave me the following pic:

IMG_0731-1Now, this required some explanation – so Jordan was kind enough to write a blog entry for us, so here it is:

So Kate has asked me to write about one item I can’t live without as a sex worker. Most of my dealings with sex work are related to porn, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know a thing or two 🙂 Sex toys are mostly the domain of the women, and while it’s easy for me, as a male to say it’s my tongue or my penis, isn’t that a little tacky?? Besides, I would say it’s my hands that are more important than the others. If you want to get a woman in the mood, what is the first thing that’s going to touch her?? Maybe your lips if you kiss her?? Sure. But when you kiss, 99% of the time your hands are involved. Maybe you put them on her hips or waist…on her back…on her head/face…or maybe even her ass 🙂 But you are almost always putting them somewhere on her body. And I have yet to find a woman who doesn’t melt when my hands are running all over her body. It’s my way of getting her in the mood for my tongue, and yes, even my penis lol. It’s the foreplay and the seduction that is the key to open up everything else. And I find that my hands are the most important “tool” to make that happen.

Thanks for that, Jordan!

You can catch Jordan at @jordantylerxxx and you can catch some of his performance on Porn Hub at http://www.pornhub.com/users/jordantyler. He also has a Tumblr account at modeljordantyler.tumblr.com.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you want to send in your picture for the next edition of These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things, please contact me at kva@kvalegal.com.au or get in touch with me on Twitter. Thank you to all of the participants who have shared their favourite things so far!

KVA

Standard

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things Part One

This week, I decided to get out amongst the sex and adult entertainment industry and ask them one question in relation to the work that they do. I asked them:

“What is the one thing you cannot live without/what is the most important work related item?”

Over the next few blog posts of this series, I will bring you some of the answers that I received.

The important thing about this series is that there is no wrong answer!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

I spoke with Lexie Mannion, a sex worker from Adelaide, Australia who automatically said that she could not live without her family. When it comes to work, however, she couldn’t decide on one thing. She went with “having intimacy & closeness of a gent, passionate kissing, sex, orgasms & being paid”.

IMG_4124-1

You can follow Lexie Mannion on @LexieMannion or visit her on http://about.me/lexiemannion.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

I then spoken with Laura Lee, from Glasgow Scotland. Laura is a sex workers’ rights campaigner and recently launched a legal challenge to anti-sex work legislation in Northern Ireland. When asked what her most important work item was, her answer was “I can’t imagine life without my Filofax ‘cos I’m an old fashioned call girl, stuck in the 90’s. Not even sorry.”

image1

You can find Laura on @GlasgaeLauralee and you can visit her website at http://www.laura-lee.com. You can also read about her legal action at http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/mar/22/sex-worker-to-launch-legal-challenge-against-ni-prostitution-ban.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Skylar, a sex worker from Melbourne, Australia, wrote in and told me that she cannot do without her stay up stockings. She says “I wear them to every booking.” She opts for stay ups because “suspenders and hold up stockings look the part but add considerable time in a) Getting ready for a booking b) getting dressed to leave a booking.”

FullSizeRender

You can talk to Skylar on Twitter at @skylar_escort and you can visit her website at http://www.skylar-escort.com.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

I was delighted to speak to the next woman. Ms Naughty is one of Australia’s leading feminist porn creators and is up for a number of awards at the Feminist Porn Awards 2015 in Toronto, Canada. When I asked her what the one thing she cannot live without in her day, without hesitation, she said “I decided to take a pic of my mouse because, while the computer itself does the work, the mouse is what helps me to do my job. I need this ergonomic mouse and don’t work as well without it because I’ve had RSI for 16 years. It’s really old and grotty and I love it. Also not sure I can even replace it anymore. This mouse helps me to write erotic fiction, to edit my films, to contact performers, to promote my work.”

mymouse

If you want to wish Ms. Naughty luck in the Feminist Porn Awards, you can contact her at @MsNaughty, or you can visit her blog at http://msnaughty.com/blog/, or you can search for her content on http://brightdesire.com/.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dominique Diaz,from Randwick in Sydney, Australia was asked what the most important work item was to her and she said “my stripper heels”.

image1

You can visit Divine Dominique at @sublime_dom or visit her website at http://www.divinedominique.com

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

When I approached Inga Nord a touring Australian escort, I asked her what the most important work related item is, she said “knowing the following quote”.

IMG_0488

You can have a chat with Inga Nord at @NordIngaLove.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

When I approached Corinne, a sex worker from down in Hobart, Tasmania, she provided me a picture of the following:

IMG_0489

Corrine said “I need the do not disturb setting on my phone. I am human. I like to sleep. And I have no idea why people think calling at 2am is going to get them anywhere.”

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To wrap up today’s edition of These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things, we have the fabulous Holly In Albury, from Griffith, New South Wales, who said “condoms”.

IMG_0487

You can meet Holly on Twitter at @HollyInAlbury or see her website at http://hollyingriffith.com.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you want to send in your picture for the next edition of These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things, please contact me at kva@kvalegal.com.au or get in touch with me on Twitter. Thank you to all of the participants who have shared their favourite things so far!

KVA

Standard

X Rated – Canberra Museum and Gallery

IMG_5835

When I heard that Canberra was holding “X-Rated: The Sex Industry in the ACT” at the Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMAG), I thought I would head down – and take with me the best porn star to have originated from ACT itself…Lucie Bee.

The exhibition explores the history of the sex industry in the ACT. In an article about the exhibition, the ABC correctly stated that sex work was legalised in Canberra in 1992, “a move that was considered ground-breaking at the time because it focused on harm-minimisation instead of criminalisation.”

Here are some photos of Lucie Bee and I enjoying the exhibition.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

IMG_5899

Pic 1: The unmistakable sign as you walk in the door.

IMG_5896

Pic 2: Lucie Bee watching a documentary about the work done by Touching Base.

IMG_5895

Pic 3: See above.

IMG_5893

Pic 5: The oft-used phrase by Scarlet Alliance – “No Bad Whores Just Bad Laws”

IMG_5890

Pic 6: Lucie Bee being cheeky in front of the very cheeky sign protesting sex laws in ACT.

IMG_5884Pic 7: Reels from the adult film industry that ACT is well known for in this country. The X Rated Exhibition looks at this industry in great detail, with a lot of paraphernalia from the early days of the porn industry.

IMG_5882Pic 8: This is an example of the sex education posters from the ACT’s safe sex campaigns, using the Australian Parliament House as a phallus to put a condom on!

IMG_5872Pic 9: More safe sex information that was used in the ACT over the years.

IMG_5870

Pic 10: I love this. This is an old telephone book from the 1980’s when sex was advertised on paper and not on the internet. Remember those days?

IMG_5864Pic 11: This is a campaign that Fred Nile ran in the mid-80’s against the laws in ACT regarding the porn industry.

IMG_5860Pic 12: A campaign counteracting Fred Nile who fought so heavily against sex work and porn in the 1990’s and 2000’s.

         IMG_5854Pic 13: Prominent adult content providers, the AXIS Group, and an example of some of their work in the ACT in the 2000s.

    IMG_5842    Pic 14: Lucie Bee comparing the porn she shoots today to the porn shot “back in the day”

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The exhibition is curated by Rowan Henderson and is at CMAG until 20 September 2015. Its free of charge……

IMG_0394

But you might end up bringing someone home.

KVA

@KVALEGAL

Standard

Sex Worker Lives Interview With Katie – Professional Submissive and Fetish Model

Welcome to this week’s Sex Worker Lives. Today I bring you Katie, all the way from London. I was interested in Katie when I spoke with her on Twitter at @subbykatie. She identified herself as a “Professional Submissive”, something which I had not come across before. So I asked her some questions….

MeTJN235

1. A month ago, I spoke with Mistress Jadis, a Professional Domme. I became instantly became attracted to your story because you categorise yourself as a Professional Submissive. How would you describe your “job description”?

Well, I think that, just like a Domme or, really, anyone in the sex work industry, I provide my clients with a safe, non-judgmental space in which they can be themselves as well as who they fantasize being. I also provide intimacy and affection. I think people hear “pro sub” and assume that it is all me being tied up, spanked, etc but it is so much more then that. I suppose it is a tricky question to answer as every client is different.

I think that men today are brought up thinking violence against women is wrong, and please don’t get me wrong, I think that that is a very good thing. The thing with that is some people, men and women, have a very Dominate side and don’t then know what to do with that and feel they can never express it as it might come off as them wanting to be abusive, which, anyone in the BDSM world will tell you, it isn’t. I suppose I allow my clients to freely express and act upon those desires. They know that not only are they enjoying it but, generally, so am I. BDSM might be more mainstream now but it still has a stigma, I think especially for Dominant men, and perhaps submissive women. I take that stigma away.

2. Were you a sex worker by profession who then chose to specialise as a Professional Submissive or did you enter the  profession with the intent of being a Professional Submissive?

I actually started working as a switch at a Dungeon in New York but I have always been extremely submissive by nature and the Domme role always felt forced. I  think that if you are uncomfortable doing something it comes across to the client and I don’t think that is fair to the worker or the client. I think enjoying what you do in this line of work is very important so I stopped switching and started doing strictly submissive sessions. Best decision ever.

3. How would you define sexuality?

Sexuality is being human. Whether we choose to admit it or not we all are driven, at least in some part by our own base desires. It is a part of all of us. Some of us decide that is evil, some of us embrace it, some are in between but it is there, always.

I suppose I find it fascinating as it is something different to everyone. For me it is life. I have always been (or I suppose since puberty) a very sexual person and I thankfullly grew up in a home where sex wasn’t thought of as evil or dirty so I was able to learn about and enjoy my own sexuality without shame. I am so thankful for that.

4. How do you assist your clients in developing their sexuality?

Well I suppose I touched on this in the first question. Most of my clients are very uncomfortable, if not with their sexuality, then with admitting to the Dom aspect of it. I allow them the chance to be comfortable with that. I have some clients who are very experienced yet have no outlet. I also have some that want to explore their Dom side but they want to do it safely and somewhere they know they can ask questions. I also have clients that want me to teach them the proper way to use certain items they are curious about like canes or floggers. I suppose I give my clients the opportunity to explore anything while staying safe. (well, almost anything. Everyone has their hard limits. hehehe)

5. If I asked you to pack ten items into a bag before a booking, what would those items be?

Only 10!? Oh goodness, let’s see…flogger, paddle, cane, rope or bondage tape, ball gag, condoms, lube, cleansing face wipes, make-up, brush.

6. If you could say one thing to fellow Professional Submissives, what would it be?

I would say, stand up!!!! Don’t be afraid or ashamed. I used to work in an all submissive…brothel, for lack of a better term, and none of those girls, outside of there, referred to themselves as “pro-sub”. I think there is a bit of a stigma to it, even in the sex work world and that needs to stop. We might not be a huge or outspoken group but we are here and we need to let our presence be known. Also, if you would allow me, I think there are two very important things I would like to say to people starting out.

The first would be don’t do it if you don’t enjoy being submissive, I saw so many girls think that because they did escort work they could do pro-sub work and they were miserable. One can act in role-play or even in bondage but when you’re bent over taking a caning or even a hard spanking the pain is very real and if you don’t want or like that please don’t put yourself in that siguation. It certainly isn’t good for you nor is it fair to your clients. The clients never want to cause pain to someone who isn’t enjoying it.

The second would be to trust your instincts. This job does, at times, mean you are tied up, means you are very vulnerable, basically you are allowing yourself, obviously, to be dominated. Meet your clients ahead of time, even if just 30 minutes before your session actually starts for coffee or a glass of wine. Get a feel for them, if something feels off, even if it is just a gut feeling, say you’re sorry and leave.

7. If you, on behalf of Professional Submissives, could say one thing to the greater sex work industry, what would it be?

I guess this sort of goes back to the last question. I think because we are few or, at least, not outspoken, we are sort of overlooked. I also have personally experienced a kind of, how would you say, contempt, well that might be to strong a word, amongst other sex workers. I was actually asked once, by a fellow sex worker, if I didn’t think that what I did made her job riskier as clients would assume everyone would be willing to be tied up and have clamps put on their nipples.  So I guess to answer your question, I would say, please, give us just as much respect as you would give anyone in the industry. I promise you that professional submissives are strong women. Please never overlook or underestimate us.

8. Who are you outside of your Professional Submissive “persona”? How would you describe yourself when outside of your professional role?

It’s an odd question to answer I suppose as my professional life blends into my personal life. I am very much into the BDSM/fetish scene in my personal life as well, as are a large group of my friends. I go out to a lot of fetish clubs, some of which I occasionally perform at, and crunches/munches (silly drunken meet ups for people in the fetish community).

I guess outside of that I am just….me. I’m an artist so I spend a lot of time sketching and drawing. I spend a lot of time with friends. I have healthy and happy relationships, which many people not in the sex work industry find hard to believe but it is a very true and real thing. I’m a massive geek so I spend a lot of time reading graphic novels, obsessing about Dr. Who, playing video games and figuring out great cosplay outfits.

I am in the process of starting my own business and am thinking of buying a flat in the next few years. Neither of which I could ever think of doing if it wasn’t for my job.

I think that I am very lucky in that almost all of my friends and family know what I do and are very supportive which means I can blend the two worlds a bit. I can meet a friend after seeing a client and tell them about my day (keeping names and such out of it, of course), or call my mom in the states and tell her about how my life is going, not having to lie about my job.

9. What would you say to a person if a person would like to explore their “dominant” sexuality but don’t know how to begin?

Can I say “hire me.”? lol No but seriously, I suppose I would tell them to embrace it, don’t ever be ashamed of it. We live in a fabulous time where the internet can give us anything so watch vidoes, research, but more then anything find like minded people or a like minded person, talking about it with others removes any stigma and let’s people be more open. There are great sites out there, such as fetlife.com that are basically Facebook for kinky people. Join (most can be joined anonymously), have fun, get comfortable and then when you feel like you want to explore it physically, make sure to do it with someone you trust (or a professional). Make sure, if you’re doing anything that involves any item that could cause serious damage (ropes, canes, floggers, clamps, the list goes on and on) you are playing with someone who knows how to handle these things. Many places give classes as well. For that type of thing I would say that the Internet can’t show you how, it needs to be physically taught.

I guess more then anything I would say that every Dom/me needs to respect their sub. We may be the submissives but we are allowing you to dominate us. We are giving ourselves to you and that is a massive thing and something that should always be respected. What would Dom/mes be without subs allowing themselves to be dominated?

10. Finish this sentence – “in a perfect world….”

Well that has a billion and one answers but I suppose I shall answer it in the context of this interview. hehehe

I guess in a perfect world the sex work industry would be looked at as any other service industry job so no one ever had to hide or be ashamed of what they do. In a perfect world the women, men and transgender people that work in the industry would never have to fear for their lives or be afraid. In a perfect world all humans no matter their sexual preferences, their job, their beliefs or their ways of seeing the world or living within the world would  not be judged or persecuted. I don’t want to get all hippie or anything but I suppose in a prefect world, no matter what, there would be respect for all.

Thank you to Katie for participating in this interview – you can chat to Katie at @subbykatie.

KVA

@KVA

Standard