I watch Harry's Law. I happen to like legal shows and I like the actress, Kathy Bates. I even like the character she portrays despite her character being a Republican. At least, she's a Republican I can understand and respect. The last episode I watched caught my attention because it deals with a woman who was terminated unfairly because she once considered sex entertainment as a way to make extra money in a financial crisis. The character portrayed on the show did some research, made an audition 'tape' and ultimately, decided against submitting that tape to a website. However, she is still investigated by the police by use of a camera drone. How the police came to investigate her is never clarified. I believe the plot point was 'anonymous tip'. She is terminated from her position as an elementary school teacher and takes the school district to court. This work of fiction is loosely based on the experiences of a real person, I believe. A schoolteacher was removed from her position for revealing in a response to an op-ed piece that she had been a prostitute in the past. The worst part of her story is this; I read about that schoolteacher in a slideshow article on teacher/student scandals. Her story of being a former sex worker was lumped together with women who had sex with underage partners. In the mind of the author, the crime of being a sex worker was as heinous as being an adult who sexually exploited children.
The message seems to be if a woman markets her sexuality (or even thinks about doing so) to survive, she is forever tainted. Not just tainted, corrupted, and no longer safe to be around. I find that belief a frightening concept. Being a phone sex operator, actress, performer, whatever, has changed me. For one thing, I am much more comfortable talking about sex and using language most people would find shocking. I will admit that the shocking part wasn't exactly a huge leap for me. I have made a point of being verbally aggressive since I was a teenager and I discovered that using explicit language was one way of doing so. I have also become much more aware of what men find sexually exciting and boy, do women's magazine get it wrong. No wonder men look at them, befuddled, and wonder what the hell is going on. At the same time, it is men who think that a woman who markets her sexuality is somehow fundamentally different from a 'normal' woman. That's why Mr. Gross-and-Boring called me a 'sexy bitch' to get me involved in his fantasy. A compliment I am sure he would not use with a woman he knows in his day to day life and would not consider appropriate under those circumstances. The other way it has changed me? I have become even more circumspect concerning the people I allow into my personal life. I am acutely aware of the stigma attached to my profession (and the fetish) and I choose not to deal with it when I am not working.
As a culture, America doesn't seem to believe in giving people second chances. We appear to enjoy judging people at the worst possible moment in their lives and wrapping that moment around them like a shroud. This really hit home with my last customer service job. The interviewer made a point of telling me that the business was 'felony friendly'. Having only just heard the term a few days before, I was a little slow on the uptake in my response. I shrugged and said that whether or not they hired felons wasn't an issue for me. I thought she was asking if I was okay with the idea of working with felons. Wrong. She was asking if I had failed to fill out the application completely. There was an office manager at that company who was a former felon and loved to remind employees how difficult it was for former felons to find employment. She used that line on me once, I reminded her that I wasn't, she responded with "Then, what the hell are you doing here?" Most of my co-workers constantly complained of not being able to find jobs because so many doors were closed to them as felons. These are people who have paid their debt to society. Officially, they are done. Yet, our culture will not give them the clean slate the law allows.
For women who work in the sex entertainment industry, it seems to be worse. There are people who think that I am fundamentally different from them because of what I do for a living. Whether they believe that I possess some innate character flaw that is the reason that I ended up a PSO or the taint is something that happened to me because of my job is not clear. I just wish that people would please keep in mind that the most I ever do with a caller is talk. To be honest, most of what I actually do with a caller is listen. In any other circumstances, these would be considered admirable traits and they are the reason I am a good PSO. I perform, using my voice and my imagination. A web cam performer, a porn actress, an adult model, an adult dancer, a sex worker; they are all performing too. Even if they enjoy what they do, they are performing as part of their job. Real sex does not look or sound like performance sex. Sorry to disappoint, guys. It seems to me that men really want to believe that there are women somewhere in the world who will fuck any man at any time any way the man (or men) in question want with no thought to her own health, safety, or happiness. Sort of a secret league of international nymphomaniacs who get together periodically to decide on which handful of poor schmucks they all agree NOT TO FUCK and every straight man on the planet fears his name is at the top of the list.
Guess what, boys? There actually is a list and being an asshole is the fastest way to get on it and stay there.