At some point in my twenties, I got a job as a receptionist for a small escort service in the Midwest. I fucking loved that job, it was one of the many turning points in my spiritual life. Having been raised in a Southern Baptist household, adding in conservative parents, and I believed, completely, that sex work was a sin, that sex workers were either troubled or were trafficked.
I never would have considered looking at sex work in a different light, but I needed a job and it paid well.
Then I met The Women. These women were older, I believe the youngest escort was in her late twenties. The oldest was in her late sixties. They were proud, healthy, sober, mentally stable and many of them had families, including husbands or wives.
Half of them considered this their career and had been working since they were young adults, the other half were in school for various majors; business; medical; marketing; education.
None of them owed the school money, they were paying for their degrees, with each of their paychecks, all of them drove new-ish cars, owned their own homes, and they dressed in designers that I can’t pronounce.
They were, for the most part, intelligent and educated and considered their jobs to be just that, jobs.
Some had sex with their clients, offering full service illegally, and on those days, my tips equaled one paycheck that my boyfriend was making. One eight-hour shift, not the pay, but the tips alone, matched an above minimum wage for two weeks. I’ll give you a moment to wrap your head around that.
Another thing about this was that half of those women were also very spiritual, and a quarter of them were extremely faithful religious members.
It was a history major who started me on my path to change my opinion of sex workers, she asked me, while she did my makeup during a downtime,
Do you know the history of sex work? Did you know that our ancestors, our predecessors, built the world? You should research it, it’s interesting and it explains why churches, communities, society, hates us. Because they know that we will always have more power than they ever will.The History Hooker
And so it began, I started community college, used research from one topic in order to write the papers for three classes; Sociology; Psychology and Political Science, the topic of the decriminalization of sex work.
During this process, the research process and then the debate between myself and my fundamentalist Christian minister Sociology professor, I realized that I didn’t believe anymore. I did not believe what others told me that God wanted, needed, thought or said. I did not believe that God hated that The Women were sex workers for whatever reason. I believed that God hated when The Women had been violated, assaulted, abused, neglected, or when those women themselves were assholes. I knew when I sat with those women and chatted, that God loved and respected them for knowing themselves and bearing their own power.
I knew this.
I know this still and I have a much better relationship with the gods now that I don’t use a middle-man.
Now, I know that God hates sex trafficking, God hates sex abusers, God hates cruelty, but God does not hate sex workers or the work that they do.