Why The Hell Am I Doing This?!?
I was speaking to someone who is a Conservative today, and I was explaining to her why I fight for pornography, freedom of expression, and the Sex Positive Movement. Why would I risk so much being a sex worker, though? Why would I expose myself to being called a, “whore,” a “slut,” a “cunt,” or whatever pejorative term you want to label me with? I mean, am I crazy? Am I stupid? Am I just some ignorant, un-educated, narcissistic bitch who just wants to have a good time and throws care to the wind? Am I an, “attention-seeking,” “self-serving,” irrelevant, redundant woman who is taking advantage of the politically charged, zeitgeist who is really just hiding behind her computer when I could be doing, “real” social work by following all the rules, towing the typical line, and maintaining a relative amount of security by doing work that is generally regarded as safe, above board, and would get me a comfortable retirement and the respect of my peers? I was. I did have a nice job, a fiance, a neat arrangement, and yet I still was not happy. It was not because I was with an asshole. He had his faults, but he would have made do. He is still a very impressive person, in his own right, but I felt unfulfilled. I did not know why, until, I asked myself the same questions you are asking me, now. Why? Why? Why am I not doing better? Why do I read all the news and feel powerless to do something about injustice? His answer was, it is ok to disagree with all the negative things happening, but you have to accept that sometimes, there is little we as individuals can do, and I decided, for myself that I could not accept that. So, I left him. He was not all right with me working as a Cam Girl. He was not all right with polyamory. He did approve of me writing sex fantasy but not with me doing phone sex, and after years of living like this, I made the decision to leave. I told myself that as hard as it would be, I needed to do this to stand up for the things I believe in. As a matter of fact, some of the things I believe in were things that I am grateful, he taught me, but because he could not risk his life in the same way I am, he needed to stay where he was, and I had to move on.
I had some of the best sex of my life with him, and I will never regret that, but what I began to regret was that I felt stifled by our need to present a front to the world that involved us making some tacit agreement that, I could think for myself, but I just could not tell anyone. Maybe I am being unfair in the way that you look back and realize that you could have been more agreeable, but I do not think so. I know, I had to let go of someone whom I still respect and love, but there are times in your life, when you simply need to follow your heart, even if that means you will remain alone for however long you will. I do not think I did it right. I made many mistakes, but I will never look back, and think, “you really blew it this time, girl.”
Here is what is at stake:
Human Rights, Women’s Rights, and Queer/Gay Rights. It is not acceptable to me that there are still people who do not understand what it means to be Sex Positive. It is not acceptable to me that there are still people who do not live as they want. I am frustrated that generations of Americans feel they do not like censorship, but unless they are scholars, dissidents, or attorneys, there is precious little they can do about real problems that exist in the world, today. Right, now. It matters to me that we fight Conservative thought and the antiquated beliefs that perpetuate hate and discrimination and oppression of not only women but queers and, yes, even porn stars. Did you know that even England has legalized Prostitution? They did so, because they understand that a common approach to vice and all things considered outside the norm do not work in the long run. Social issues require a modern, 21st Century approach. Our old beliefs about what works regarding social issues need re-examination.
As for me, personally, I need to show the world that you can be a free woman, enjoy sex with whomever you want, whenever you want, and that it is a beautiful experience. I give love freely, enjoy anal sex, enjoy taking my clothes off for men I cannot see, and I take pride in the work I do, and know for certain that there is nothing shameful about it. I am proud of myself for taking the plunge and doing sex work, because, in the final analysis, it does not matter if you get it wrong. It does not matter if you look stupid or like a ho, or if you make mistakes. What matters is that you learn and teach and help others (from whatever walks of life you come) that you can be whatever you want, and you do not have to be afraid of it. You can risk your life, your loves, and your paycheck, but it is wonderful to just be who you are.
Stephanie J. Golden, B.S.W., M.S.R.C.