|HOW THE INTERNET HELPS SEX WORKERS STAY SAFE||
|Written by Norma Jean Almodovar|
| UPDATED September 15,
WHAT THE GOVERNMENT AND THE MEDIA DOESN'T REALIZE ABOUT THE INTERNET
AND HOW IT HAS CHANGED THE LIVES OF SEX WORKERS AROUND THE WORLD FOR THE BETTER
Let me be upfront with everyone. I retired from sex work
years before there were any online forums for advertising
for clients. Not only that, even if there had been such a
forum, I wouldn’t have used it. I only worked through
madams, I wouldn’t know how to advertise or screen for
clients if my life depended on it.
The following comments are from actual sex workers who have used the internet/ backpage to find clients. I cannot use their real names, because that would jeopardize their safety and put them at risk of “being rescued” by law enforcement. Are they using fake names because they are ashamed of what they do? Hardly! Society has deemed them victims and given cops carte blanche in their enforcement of the laws, even when the work is legal.
1, 2017: IT HAS BEEN VERY DIFFICULT TO CONVINCE MY
CURRENTLY WORKING COLLEAGUES TO PROVIDE A QUOTE FOR
THIS PAGE, AS THEY ARE TERRIFIED OF BEING UNCOVERED BY
THE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES IN THEIR AREA (CITY,
STATE, COUNTRY). WE KNOW THAT LAW
ENFORCEMENT MONITORS THIS WEBSITE, AND TRACKING
THE INDIVIDUALS WHO WOULD POST A COMMENT HERE IS VERY
EASY FOR GOVERNMENT AGENTS. EVEN THOUGH THE FOLLOWING
INDIVIDUALS USED FAKE NAMES, IF THE COPS WANT TO FIND
OUT WHO THEY ARE, THEY WILL DO SO. THESE ARE SEX WORKERS
- NOT SEX TRAFFICKING VICTIMS- YET THEY WILL BE
TREATED AS VICTIMS AND 'RESCUED' AGAINST THEIR WILL.
Please listen to our voices and stop treating us like ignorant children.
Media: to contact any of the listed
organizations on this statement, please contact
Desiree Alliance or SWOP USA
you may also contact Norma Jean
Almodovar at ISWFACE regarding this page [ normajeanalmodovar
(at) gmail.com] (police officers DO NOT EMAIL ME)
Here are some blog articles from
sex worker activists and research from academics:
"Powerplay" Maggie McNeill The Honest Courtesan
"Crying for Nanny" Maggie McNeill The Honest Courtesan
"Backpage" Maggie McNeill The Honest Courtesan
"It Will Never Stop- Sex Workers Respond to the Backpage Raid" Broadly Vice.com
"Sex work ads move underground to 'unregulated and often unmoderated' sites" Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform
"Decriminalizing Indoor Prostitution- Implications for Sexual Violence and Public Health"- Professor Scott Cunningham Baylor Univ.
Criminologist KIMBERLY MEHLMAN-OROZCO
From Bella Robinson:
"I started doing sex work in over 30 years ago.
Back in the day a sex worker could work for a escort
agency in the yellow pages, who screened their clients
and took 40% of their earnings, or they could work the
street or in a massage parlor.
"How else would I find clients? I could not imagine walking up and down the street in heels and a short skirt waiting for guys pull up and ask about my services. What a nightmare. I advertise almost exclusively with Backpage. I judge their attitude on the phone first thing. I can usually tell within 10 seconds if they are a good client or not. I like being able to hang up on rude guys. I mark their number in my phone so I never answer for them again. Before I meet with a new guy, I run the phone number through a screening service. I am able to tell if the phone is a contract phone of if it's just a disposable, untraceable phone number. I can tell if they have had the phone many years or if they just got it recently. Many times I can get their full name and address just by running their phone number. Also, I can see if they have been put on the blacklist by other girls. I have been saved from dangerous clients by checking their number on the blacklist. I could not imagine doing business without internet advertising. Thank you ...Carrie"
From Julie B:
"I have been a sex worker on and off for over 30 years and luckily work in the state of New South Wales in Australia where good sense prevailed in 1995 to decriminalise sex work on the basis of improving our health and safety and removing opportunities for third party abuse including police corruption. Under decriminalisation there is no need for 'pimps' or third parties as you are not in need of 'middle men or women'' to protect you or pay police to turn a blind eye. Having worked under a criminalised regime I can compare the benefits of decriminalisation including my safety and improvements to services and stigma and discrimination. On line advertising has enabled myself and other sex workers to work indoors and create safer spaces for our work, be self employed and not reliant on third parties. It also provides a safety net where one can check the credential of a potential client, get to know them a little first, record their phone numbers and give the numbers to a trusted friend in case of the worse case scenario. None of this of course is possible when working from the street or other location where you have little opportunity to establish boundaries. My work over the years and more recently has included providing services for people with a disability whose socio/sexual lives are often dependent on access to online sites such as Backpage. They are unable to just turn up at a brothel or massage parlour and are reliant on connections made through on line advertising and to take this life enhancing opportunity away from them would be as devastating as it would be to us who also rely upon it to maintain our safety and dignity."
From Mistress R:
"I use Backpage to find clients. It allows me to vet potential clients before agreeing to see them. I check to see if they have a google footprint and if they have a police record. I've been a sex worker for over 2 years and have never had a problem with a client. I have never used or needed a pimp. I work for myself. I have chosen this work of my own accord and enjoy it about as much as every job I have ever held - but I make much more money and work less hours. This allows me to pursue my passion - writing. I am not a victim. I am in charge of my own life, and I am not at the mercy of a minimum wage job."
"The ability to post ads and review customer profiles through various websites has given me the safeguards to adequately screen and protect myself physically. Negotiating rates beforehand means that I am not at risk of experiencing violence when I meet up for a date, as the price and expectations have been clearly stated. In addition, there is an online trail and digital fingerprint of sorts that could be tied back to a customer should I ever experience violence and wish to report a crime to law enforcement."
From Magda, migrant sex worker, UK.
"Backpage is my main source of clients. I advertise on a hundred other directories, but Backpage is the most efficient one. Some of the other directories I advertise on are also paid (and I feel like some of them are out there to just rip me off) but even among the paid ones Backpage is the most efficient while also the cheapest. And because they have had to move to bitcoin payments recently, it's now also the most anonymous to advertise on (and for me as a migrant sex worker this is a major factor) so it's a total boon. I will still be able to work if Backpage isn't there anymore, but my work will not be this easy and I'll have to shell out more cash to reach the same amount of clients."
From Sally S.
"This online forum gives me the freedom a pimp refuses me. Thanks to backpage I'm totally independent, no one is profiting off my body."
|Last Updated on Sunday, 01 January 2017 11:01 RETURN TO INDEX PAGE|