Tuesday, October 11, 2011


There is, in second wave feminism, all of this language about objectification, self-objectification, gender performance, cultural conditioning...

And then there's the lipstick feminist backlash against this language...

There is discussion of gender as a biological mechanism and as a social construct.

And academic language, whether by Levitt or Venkateesh or Vohs or Regnerus, which reduces female sexuality to a commodity - actually, a double commodity - both sexual access and sexual purity are commodified.

Sex Work, was for me, a decision that the former commodification was better than the later - certainly more liberating and lucrative. It was, night after night, demolishing that commodification of sexual naivity and passivity and purity.

It was stabbing romance - the type of exaggerated, disney romance, that waiting-to-be-saved-by-my-prince-charming romance women learn in film and literature - in the very heart. The Girl Friend Experience performs fairy-tale romance as fungible, reproducible, camp.

It was also, night after night, performing femininity. A slightly exaggerated, more complementary femininity, a more accommodating femininity, a more cheerful and motherly and slutty and submissive and compliant and eager femininity, to be sure, than in real life, but a derivative of it none-the-less.

Sex work was quarantining every aspect of my gender and sexual identity into a magnified, amplified performance. Prostitution is fantasy, it is a performance, an intimate performance.

It was a kind of quarantine, a pergatory, a holding cell for stereotypes and media representations of what I should be and what I had learned through interactions with men, of clothing and style taste I had learned through magazines. It was a quarantine, a pergatory, a holding cell of a certain paradigm of gendered interactions, and as a performance, one in which I was detached from and not complicit in.

Performing sexuality and gender alienates ones sexuality and gender. My sexuality and gender were performances, instances of gender performance which my mind recorded and played over and over and over again as I laid in my own bed and walked in my own shoes and watched my classmates interact and talk.

It was only through this alienation of gender and sexuality, detached observation of it, and reclaiming of the aspects I liked and did not like, that the way in which I interact with men, my affects, my body language and the tone of my voice, my clothing, my grooming, that all of these things, in my real life became choice.

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