The Internet Escort’s Handbook

Safe, Sane, Successful Escort Work is Possible!

Sex Workers and PSTD

A recent Canadian article details how street prostitution caused post-traumatic stress disorder in prostitutes. I feel a large part of the stress and trauma the sex workers feel come from their legal status. In the US, many sex workers are constantly stressed from the fear of arrest and many become quite paranoid (I had my paranoid moments as well). Lifting the threat of arrest and giving sex workers the power to pursue legal action against harmful clients might go a very long way in reducing PSTD. Another major factor contributing to PSTD seems to have been childhood abuse. While I certainly don’t believe that all sex workers were abused as children, it seems (according to this article) that those who were abused as children are pre-disposed to PSTD. In this case, while their job — and its legal status — may be causing stress, the root cause is from those who harmed them years before. I don’t believe prostitution itself causes PSTD. I do believe that everything surrounding the job can contribute to PSTD: fear of arrest, fear of violence without legal recourse, social stigmatization, self-medication with drugs or alcohol (in an effort to deal with the stress), inability to easily find other work, lack of social resources and support, lack of understanding or support from the social services that are available. Changing the legal status of prostitution would be a very big step in easing the mental stress of sex workers. It certainly couldn’t hurt. The current system doesn’t seem to be helping. Why not try a different...

Weekly Papers Dropping Adult Ads

Over the past few years more and more “alternative” weeklies have been dropping adult ads, mostly due to discomfort with the ads and what they imply. Another round of ad-dropping occurred this summer in New York (when a paper decided to “fumigate” itself). This is interesting because papers — large and small — are citing declining readership and loss of ad revenue. They hope to cut a major source of revenue (adult ads) which should encourage mainstream advertisers to advertise again. Yet if they drop adult ads, aren’t some of their readers going to go away too? And even if they have a squeaky-clean paper, does that mean their readership is going to increase? A much longer piece from Ft. Worth details the decision process. The ironic thing about the Ft. Worth article (published 2002; quote from page 4) is: The Observer toned down its ads last year and is planning more restrictions, Draper said. “Back in November, I made a decision that we’d gone too far and we needed to scale it back,” she said. “This is a business we don’t pursue — they come to us. Obviously we want to keep the door open to all kinds of businesses and new advertisers, but it was too heavy.” I know from my own experience that wasn’t true. In 2002, I got a phone call from an advertising rep at The Observer attempting to sell adspace to me. They e-mailed me with weekly rates and tried really hard to get my advertising dollars. It was too expensive and, besides, I didn’t want to advertise in a newspaper. Why would...