I was speaking with a close friend of mine yesterday, this friend works with victims of political torture.
I was speaking, and I slightly broke down. I said I needed and want specialist counselling/therapy for exited women from the sex trade – a place that can hear without assumptions or judgement that we were severely tortured.
I can write that here, I can speak that out at meetings – but saying it to a close friend who may have access to somewhere like that, made me break down.
I broke down to know in every cell of my mind and body is was more than constant rape – it was sexual torture in many and varied ways.
To be embedded inside the sex trade is not just being made into sexual goods – but to used like an experiment to see how much pain the body can bare, to find that every inch of your body, skin, nerves and even breath is just there to be sexually used and thrashed.
What can you call that but torture.
It is the mental torture that is unbearable. It is the knowledge that most women and girls embedded in the sex trade have been intensively brainwashed, until it the only world that we think we can fit into, until to survive we must believe we are either happy, or it is just the only role we can be.
The greatest pain of exiting is breaking that mental torture.
Know or many of the world outside the sex trade can seem unreal to so many of us, we often have no concept of how to exist in this strange new world.
We are used to acting out roles – when inside the non-sex trade world we learn to mimic, we learn to act strong, to show our progress – we learn to silence our confusion, our terror of how we want to retreat back to the known world of the sex trade, we hide our pain.
We are used to hiding our true selves – many of us have done for so long that we have no idea who we really are.
That is why we demand specialist and intensive therapy to force our selves back into us.
The brainwashing taught us to accept the unacceptable done to us until we became sub-humans. It taught us to smile as physical and sexual torture was our norm.
The brainwashing told us to praise the punters and consumers who use our bodies, as they spew out their rage and hate of women and girls – we fake orgasms for them, we made them believe that they were sex gods.
We find it hard to forgive ourselves for that – fearing as we act out that role in order to survive, that we have given permission for male violence and hate.
That was torture that we had somehow to learn to live with.
So call it torture – don’t re-name as sexual exploitation, an expression that has no focus, can mean everything and anything, and in the end means nothing.
Call it torture – don’t debate choice or not, don’t try to find signs of empowerment.
Name it as torture – and see who is to blame, see the punter, the profiteer, the consumer of porn and those who turn a blind eye all feed into our tortures. See the woman and girl inside the sex trade has no control on the levels of tortures used on her – or whether she lived or not – as the tortured, all she could do was somehow to remember to breathe.
That is living inside torture.
If you choose not to name as torture – look deep into yourself why you choose to abandoned those screaming for you to see them, to hear them without assumptions or judgement, and to feel their pain and grief.
That is the less you can do.