It’s such a touchy subject, ‘adult entertainment’ – more specifically, prostitution. In my personal experiences I’ve encountered people who were either completely for and supportive of the sex industry, or completely and adamantly opposed to it, with very few being apathetic. I know it will be pretty hard for me to speak dispassionately on this subject, so keep in mind that these views are my opinions. You may or may not agree with them, all I ask is that you do your best to remain non-judgmental.
I’ve been in the adult entertainment industry for the better part of 10 years now. I was working at massage parlors, and I even tried stripping, before I more recently decided to start making porn. I didn’t venture into escorting until a couple of years after I’d begun performing on film. Now with that said, even before escorting, what I did/do is considered by many to be prostitution. The very notion of prostitution itself carries such a heavy stigma: ‘fallen women’, abused, uneducated, drug addicts, disease carriers, etc. I definitely don’t fit the stereotype!
I come from a middle-class family and my parents are still happily married to this day. We didn’t live extravagantly by any means, but we did go on a yearly vacation, and as well, we had an in-ground pool put in our backyard. My parents might not have driven flashy BMW’s but we lived comfortably. I began schooling at an institution for the performing arts when I was 10, and continued those studies through high-school in addition to my regular classes. I went to college and I graduated from 3 different programs. I previously co-owned a graphic design company with an ex, and I could always find “normal” work if I wanted it. I drink only socially, I don’t use drugs, and I don’t have anyone influencing my life decisions, or pressuring me into the adult industry. Not then, and certainly not now.
I’ve heard people, in defense of their position against stripping/escorting/porn say that no little girl dreams of growing up to be these things, and while it may be true in a lot of cases, it wasn’t in mine! I discussed my reasons for getting into the adult industry in a 3-part blog beginning with THIS ONE. Now, because I have already covered that at length, I wont get into it any more here, just to say that working in the adult entertainment industry was *enthusiastically* my decision, and mine alone. I don’t do it for the money, and I love what I do.
I have always gone about this in the most law-abiding way possible. I only worked for licensed massage parlors, and I always abided by the licensing rules; never once did it cross my mind to offer sex or blowjobs while working there. I pay my taxes, I perform in adult movies under the performance art laws of California, and now that I am also offering courtesan services, I will only do so when I’m in Toronto, Canada, where it’s legal. I’m not trying to come off as a goody-two-shoes or anything, I’m just respectful of my legal rights and restrictions, and do my best to not break any Canadian or American laws, thus jeopardizing my ability to continue to do what I so completely love doing!
Yes, prostitution is legal in Canada. In 1949, members of the international community signed the United Nations (UN) Convention for the Suppression of Traffic in Persons and Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. It covered trafficking persons for the purpose of prostitution, procurement, measures for the prevention of prostitution and even rehabilitation for the ‘victims’ of prostitution. Basically, this Convention brought to attention the international issue of prostitution as a human rights concern. It also represented a strong statement in favor of protecting women exploited by prostitution. However, while the Convention outlaws trafficking, it also strongly condemns all forms of prostitution as a violation of individual dignity and welfare, whether that prostitution is voluntary or not. While I do agree that most of the issues raised in the 1949 Convention are valid concerns, I cannot reconcile the condemnation of those who freely and understandingly choose prostitution as a career. For that same reason, neither could the Canadian government, and they never signed the 1949 Convention.
There have been other Conventions since then, including the 1979 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which is complemented by the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, as well in 1995 the Fourth World Conference on Women resulted in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in which the goal was to protect women from violence, and to eradicate child prostitution. Prostitution as a whole was not the object of these and Canada ratified these Conventions as well as committed itself to the Beijing Platform.
Again: among these important conventions, Canada refused to ratify the 1949 Convention because that document condemned all forms of prostitution, while prostitution itself was, and still is, legal in Canada.
Keep in mind, that while prostitution, the exchange of sexual favors for money, is not illegal, a lot of the activities surrounding it are. Soliciting, communicating in a public place for the purposes of, owning, operating, or being found in a common bawdy house (any location that is used regularly as a place for prostitutes to perform the act – including her own home, even if she is it’s sole tenant!), procuring/pimping, living off the avails, etc. Now if a man calls up a local escort and asks her to come visit him in his home, or hotel room, and she does, there is nothing illegal being done here.
Anyway, enough about legality – it’s not in question here. What I would like to discuss now is the social implication of someone who partakes in these services. Since I’ve already explained my side, and how I don’t fit into the stereotype (and while the stereotype exists, there are also a lot of women I’ve met who are strippers, escorts and porn actresses because they enjoy it!), I will address some misconceptions about the kinds of men who hire women for sex. So far in all of my experiences as an escort, the types of men I’ve met can all fit into 4 categories.
1.) The often younger, inexperienced guy. These are the guys who have had little to no experience with women. They typically are under 30, and before they take on, or return to, the dating scene, they want to gain and improve their skills both socially and sexually. There is no pretense here, and I *so* admire these men for having the courage to come forward and confide in me that they would like my help. Sometimes these are men who are fresh out of an exclusive long-term relationship or marriage, and since their most recent experience is with one woman, they’d just like a “refresher” course. I’ve always been happy to give pointers and help these men out in the best way I can, and not for a second do I ever think of them as sad or pathetic, or anything other than amazing. I wish *more* guys would put this much effort into their sexual skill!
2.) The executive type, who doesn’t have time for traditional dating. These are the men who work long hours, some are executives, some are company owners, and they simply need to devote a lot of their time and attention on their work, leaving them very little time for recreation. Sometimes I see these men while they are visiting Toronto on a business trip, sometimes they are locals, but in any case, I happily provide some much needed stress relief, and the certainty of a great time, without the headache and hassle of having to go through the rigors of traditional dating.
3.) The happily attached man. These are the men who are in long-term committed relationships or marriages. Maybe their sex life has completely died after time, and while they are still crazy in love with their partners, and still best friends, the relationship has turned to a more platonic one. They have no interest in ending the relationship, but they do have sexual needs, so they seek these elsewhere. When a man hires an escort for this purpose, I’m not uncomfortable with it. He certainly isn’t going to leave his wife for her, and she’s not looking for a boyfriend, so there will not be any strings attached. I am not here to judge, and if this is what they choose, I completely respect that. I have no intention nor desire to interfere with anyone’s personal life.
4.) The Fantasy man. This is the man who’s looking for a special encounter, a fantasy experience, maybe to try out a new fetish or cater to an existing one. In my case, obviously, it is most often to meet and be with a porn star. While I am more of a trophy-girlfriend type (who also happens to make porn!) than a wild and crazy fuck-fest, I can cater to the fantasy porn star experience if that’s what he’s after. I do love dressing up in tiny little outfits, wearing stockings and my 7-inch platform stilettos, and I am damn good at what I do! I sometimes get requests for BDSM play or other specific fetishes, (and again, I am not here to judge anyone), and sometimes I am able to cater to their fantasy, other times I have to turn them down.
Any and all of these men have nothing to feel ashamed of. There is nothing embarrassing about hiring an escort, and it’s unfortunate that there are a lot of really opinionated people out there who feel the need to force their opinions on others, and judge them based on their own life choices. I have always been a bit of a social outcast, so I never really cared what other people think of me, but to some men, I know that their reputation and their social status is extremely important to them. To all the people out there who think that these men are sad, or stupid or anything else derogatory, I ask: what does it matter? These men (who hire women for whatever reason!) are the ones who have to live with their decisions, not you. I’ve always believed that what goes on behind closed doors between consenting adults is none of anyone’s business. Of course I’m not referring to pimped streetwalkers, child prostitutes, or any other sexual slaves; but genuinely independent women must be free to choose any line of work they wish!