What is a Survival Sexworker ( An Essay “Opinion”)

Yesterday on Twitter a pro sex work advocate asked a question….
He asked ( from a genuine place) ” What is a survival sex worker”

I gave my short Twitter answer to that but I wanted to share and elaborate more here, in hopes  that it will open some people’s views and that they will learn to not judge or look down  on “survival” sex workers.

First my own journey ( full transparency) , I began sex work in 2001. I did not begin as a survival sex worker. I came in at the age of 31 already educated, already having worked as a realtor and in the medical field. I was out of a marriage and really only began to make money faster but in the beginning I was still working my nursing gig too. Then I got hooked on how fast the money was and how I could enjoy so many new places , people and things. It
also made me able to be home with my children. I began on Yahoo personals and Eros and Big Doggie. So yes I wasn’t a survival girl till about 8 yrs in and then I became a survival worker but still I at
that time was probably doing better than most other survival workers. I became a REAL shit has hit the proverbial fan sex worker once I relocated to Georgia ( followed family here, then fell in love with someone here) I doubt I’d of ever struggled as bad and as hard had I have not moved South.

But love, well you know….. So again however it went up and down . Some years I wasn’t a survival worker, but I feel like until recent years in the South I was. The crazy part of this story is that when alot  of ladies and other sex workers found themselves thrown into survival mode ( created by the shutdown
of so many ad sites, especially backpage) my other business Taken By Storm was about to begin year 2 of being a formal operating business and I was no longer in survival mode. ( BTW I CANNOT
THANK THE COMMUNITY ENOUGH FOR THAT)

But now you know as you read this , that I have been where all of you find yourselves at one time or another. To those reading this who have never ever been a survival sex worker.. count your blessings because you never know when and if it could happen to you. I and many others are fortunate in that
we had other skills. We have education and a good support system and people who care and love us..
Sadly that’s not everyone else’s story though.

So onto my definition of what I feel survival sex work is:

It for me ,in my opinion is when you have to take rates that you know you could do better than. Its when you have to accept 60 dollars because your kids are going to go without groceries and Food Stamps and Govt
assistance is an intrusive joke!

It’ s when you have done all you can and the bills and eviction notices keep coming and you have no one to help you or support you and finally you give up and give in and say fuck it and do what you gotta do!

Its when ( AND THIS I HOPE NO ONE HAS TO DO, BUT I KNOW IT DOES HAPPEN AND ALOT I AM SURE) you say you can’t even care about your safety anymore and stop screening and also stop using condoms and just
do anything with anyone to keep a roof, to not starve etc.

Its the people who have endured so much hell and pain that drugs mean more to them than the painful life they have left and the drug is then the pimp and they will sell their soul to get high, so what the hell
difference does it make if they sell the body too?….

Those are the stories of the TRUE survival sex workers.. and I am sure there are all kinds of scenarios and reasons.

These are the people in the shadows, or on the corners , or even on Twitter pretending to be doing well but
are really in a hell , you the reader can’t imagine.

These are the people some of you talk shit about, call beggars, tell what they should do and instead of being supportive and giving a fuck in the community as we should… we don’t offer any real help ( and it doesn’t have to be money)
we just talk , gossip, unfollow and block on social media because you know Heaven forbid you be associated or show kindness publicly to a survival worker…. ( because opinions in public mean more to you than simple human kindness)

Yeah, ponder that..
I hope I made some of you think today!!

With love to all,

Storm

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