What Do You Want Me To Be?

This is the question that destroys all those inside prostitution. It is the question that keeps us non-human – we are nothing but the role that society, punters and sex trade profiteers make us.

We are made into a role – but we are never given the right or permission to be fully human.

We are made into property, made into an object, made to be living porn, made to sister/nurse/therapist/little girl/mother/dirty whore/teacher/living dead – all the porn-dreams that men can imagine. But we are never given the right or permission to be fully human.

We are to be just holes, just mouths, and just hands, to be or to fuck men – but we are never given the right or permission to be fully human.

No wonder most prostituted women and girls lose any sense of self – and become “who do you want me to be”.

Their essence has been ripped out of their bodies, and stamped on as the others laugh – saying, “now, perform for me.”

It is the living dead that performs the role of the prostitute – all that matters to being fully human has thrown onto the trash heap.

I look back at my time inside prostitution, and I know – know with deep grief, know with a fireball of hidden rage, know as fear still send body memories into me – know I became dead so fast, and being dead I became very good at being the role of the prostitute.

In my sickness, I found I had a skill – the skill to self-harm without actually physically dying. The skill to not show terror, the skill to ignore extreme pain – and the deep skill to not to care that I was becoming nothing.

In this deadness, I was ready to be whatever punters demanded.

Being dead, I give them what they wanted, with the desired smile painted on me, with the well-timed and right sex noises, with the lies that they always were brilliant. It meant nothing – being dead.

I was dead the first time I was prostituted – if I had been alive or had any memory of self-respect, I would not survived, or I would have ended it there and then.

I was dead from many years of incest, I was dead from many years of mental abuse from my mum, I was dead from knowing too much hard-core porn.

I was 14, and I was already dead.

I was typical of the vast majority of girls that enter prostitution – they are so dead, that they don’t know hope, can’t imagine a future, are too old at so young.

They are the girls that society throws away – and then give them the role of being fuck-machines.

Once inside the sex trade – these girls have no childhood, no-one shows them compassion – no, once they are labelled as a whore, it became all their own fault.

It is forgotten they have come into prostitution out the fear of poverty, it is forgotten they may have been rape/mentally abused/beaten before entering prostitution, it is forgotten they were lied to in order to be a prostitute.

None of that can exist – for once it decided a girl or woman is the role of the prostitute – she has no past, and any future is unimportant – all she is the present of being a sex object for punters to fuck and throw away.

She is not allowed to be a full human – a human who has dreams and private thoughts, a human who has interests and loves, a human who sleep properly, a human who is not afraid of caring about herself – she has the basic existence that makes her fully human stolen from her.

But she must stay alive and awake enough to be the performer that punters demand.

To pretend to be alive when really dead – it is no surprise that most prostitutes become addicts. I was addicted to drink – and to not sleeping, to self-harming and smoking.

I don’t how to survive long-term prostitution without being out of it as much as possible. To be inside the reality of what punters are wanting is too unbearable.

Back to my first time – the time I was broken – not to start repairing to nearly 20 years later.

I see then, and I wish I could weep – I want to hold the hand of my 14-year-self, I want to hug it all better – I want to say it was never your fault, you really had no idea. I want her to know I love her so much.

But I always see as my 14-year-old eyes are so fast becoming hard, how quickly the terror is her stomach is getting ignored, and how easily my 14-year-old is becoming the role.

She was gang-raped the first time. She was gang-raped for hours, she was gang-raped until she lost count of how men were torturing her.

She had gone in and out of consciousness, always waking into yet more pain.

She had every centimetre of her body made their property. Every hole had a penis, had a fist, had some objects, had mouths possessing them.

She was hit, pulled at, and made always to smile.

It may of even been filmed – it was other times – time and place get confused when you are surviving torture.

The first time taught everything I need to know to be a “good” prostitute.

I was taught that most punters want to put extreme pain into the body of the prostitute – but the good prostitute does not react, except to make out it gives her an orgasm or anything else that may make him stop coz he can pretend he so sexy.

I learn prostitution is nothing to do with sex – it about owning another human, making her into property – elsewhere, in any other environment except the sex trade, that would named as slavery.

It is about having complete power and control over the prostitute, stealing all her human rights – and then saying, look, see she has chosen this, it is her freedom.

That is nothing to do with sex – that is sadism and slavery.

I learnt to survive prostitution you must be at good reading the punter’s body language – it will not stop the violence, but it may make it less.

I learn very quickly to smile, to fake orgasms, to learn the language of how punters are all sex gods – I learnt to please men who were threatening my life, men who were making “jokes” about killing whores, men who raped me until my body was falling apart, men who dug into what I try to keep private. I became their sex doll – I was desperate to stay alive enough to leave.

I was the good prostitute only by destroying everything that made me fully human.

Please fight for the future of those still trapped inside prostitution.

Please give them a future where they can be fully human. Where they can find sex is without terror, without pain and without it being a form of suicide.

Give them a future where they can be fully human. A future where they are not a role or those who just want to destroy their life-force, a future where they never again has to please in order to have the right to live.

Give them the right to have private dreams that are never stamped on.

Please fight and never abandoned the prostituted.


12 responses to “What Do You Want Me To Be?

  1. Thank you for writing this, it is so important to hear about your experience and your story and it means a lot to have the opportunity to read it.


  2. I think it is very important to say I do not just because of my personal “story” – that is the past, and cannot be changed. It is written because my experiences are common, and that is the reason to fight for abolition, not liberal tinkering at the edges.


  3. Now on a ‘real’ computer 🙂 This is a vital post and I hope anyone reading this really takes the words on board. Women who have been prostituted, has had her individuality and her essence taken away from her. Your posts have shown this so clearly and I have heard other women talking about ‘splitting’ themselves off, in order to survive.
    After reading your post, I can only imagine the fear an exited woman faces… when her real self returns. And while she is struggling to process her raw experiences, there are people who are supposed to be supportive, want her back in a ‘role’. Most feminists would not dream of expecting a victim of domestic violence or of rape to behave in a particular way but there are feminists who expect prostituted women to fit a stereotype. This is unfair because an exited woman has nothing to account for; it is the johns, it is the porn industry, it is the pimps and in some cases, governments who have to be accountable for the damage done to a class of women, who they and they alone have deemed to be goods. Sorry for yet another long comment but this is a very important post.


  4. Kitty – Thanks so much. If you want to help a prostituted woman, for me the most important thing is to listen and really hear. By that I mean, do not allow preconceived stereotypes of the prostitute lead how you view her, for that often men you are appearing to listen but are bloke to hearing the individual and unique circumstances that she has. It is about helping her to find self-love and dignity – that is very hard when she has had her essence stolen. By hearing her – she can slowly and with great pain start to re-build herself. Knowing that even one person believes in you – when the rest of the views you as trash – is a life-saver.


  5. Thanks, Rebecca.
    I appreciate hearing from someone who has been through it, that even prostitution (vs HST) damages people psychological to such degree (not to mention other aspects).

    I am pretty sure I saw parts of the “objectification” quoted elsewhere.
    oh, Aaron Cohen mentioned how he could tell when a girl still have dreams; but in his experience as a spy/journalist, most of their souls were already crushed fairly early. It’s those that were young and new in the trade that may still have hope of getting out/ having a future (from the victims’ perspectives). Is that true?

    I don’t think it would have been practical in your circumstances, but is it possible for someone else to question the punters as to their understanding of what’s going on? To force them to double check what is it that they believe in, and what’s happening. And if that’s still what they want to do.

    I would like to help investigate medical treatments associated with PTSD or addiction in my research career.

    P.S. While I think that some sex work supporting groups are doing what they can to NOT abandon prostitutes, do you think they pose any threats to this journey by legitimizing prostitution as a career option?


  6. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I spent around 16 years in the sex industry and various parts of the industry. I have never know anyone to be supportive of the pain and self hate that I experienced, all I have been met with is judgement. They don’t judge the men they just judge the women.


  7. Hey, have only just gotten around to reading this now, sorry it’s taken so long.

    God, so much I can relate to in this post. I’d been abused a lot too before I started working, but the level of violence was a shock even then. You’re so right, it’s amazing how quickly you learn to make out like you like it all. What else are you supposed to do, cry and beg someone to stop? I didn’t want to get beaten any worse than I already was, or raped any worse either.

    I remember walking (with difficulty) home after working, laughing at first because so many fucking idiotic punters were so far up their own arses that they really believed I liked being fucked with a bottle then gang-raped. Halfway home, and well out of sight of anyone that might’ve been involved, I realised I was having to hold back tears. But hey, at least I never cried in front of them. That made me smile again. And so it goes on. And then i feel guilty, looking back, because I was so proud of being ‘unrapeable’ and ‘liking everything’.

    It’s so true, it really is about power and less about sex. Sex is just the way that power is exercised. Punters could do whatever they liked to me, as long as my pimp agreed. The power trip these guys were on was sickening to watch. And they’re the same guys who’d be out there with placards and pitchforks if ‘paedos’ lived in their street – yet here they were raping a 13-year-old, because I was ‘different’ and ‘you want it’ (no-one ever asked if I did, mind). It’s always different when it’s us. We’re not real people. Real children should be protected from sexual predators, real women are treated with more respect (though given the sexist society we live in, not that much, sadly). Us? We’re just nothing. It’s like we’re in some sort of limbo, non-humans that are invisible to everyone but people who want to fuck us.

    And to think the EU and various international bodies don’t regard prostituted women as slaves, only those that’ve been trafficked. It makes me so, so angry. And so full of grief for all we lose, and how much we’re ignored 😦


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