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I would like to introduce Sally Anne to Harlots. She is a sex worker based in Florida, USA. She has a very interesting story to tell about her life as a sex worker and the issues she faces living effectively as a non person in her home country. Sally Ann refers to her life as a “paperless life” because she has no paper record of being a citizen of the USA, or any other country.
I am sure Sally Ann will welcome comments and perhaps advice. It is certainly an interesting story and I think illustrates that sex work is one of the few professions that allows a person to live regardless of their legal status. If sex work did not exist how would someone in Sally Anne’s situation survive? It is a question to ponder.
My name is Sally Anne. I am a foreign adoptee, originally from south Asia. I have lived in the USA since the age of 18 months. I have no memories of my native land whatsoever. My earliest memories are of myself on the beach in Hawaii. Hawaii is the state I first lived in upon arriving in America. English is my first language. My adoptive mother and father were European and Asian respectively, so I think of my self as “Eurasian” or “Euro-asian,” even though I don’t have any European blood per se. I didn’t have the best childhood, though I suppose it wasnt altogether the worse. I did experience some sexual and emotional abuse in my new home which has left an indelible mark upon me, even to this very day. Life has always been challenging for me on so many levels !!
Although i didnt know it growing up, I actually have a mild form of autism known as *asperger’s syndrome.* Autism is described as a < spectrum > disorder, with severity existing along a continuum. Asperger’s syndrome is a high-functioning variant, on the upper end of the autism scale. i was not diagnosed with this until after coming of age, previously, i had simply been labeled as having “OCD” ( obsessive-compulsive disorder ) and severe anxiety.
As far as “sex work” I should start out by saying i’ve mixed feelings about the term in general. I prefer to identify as a “erotic services provider.” Essentially I offer sexual favors in exchange for monetary compensation …..but its not “sex-sexwork” if that makes any sense.
just like autism itself……sexwork exists on a broad spectrum and the range is very diverse. many individuals outside of the erotic labor market equate the term “sex work” with the provision of actual intercourse / penetration….but anyone in the industry knows thats not the case. along the wide continuum of “sex work” you will find everything from nude modelling and topless dancing, to actual lovemaking and everything in between, such as sensual massages, masturbation shows, porn, simulated sex performances, etc etc
For my part I have always been on the more “conservative” end of the sexwork scale, choosing to perform services such as “live” topless / lingerie / nude modelling, sensual massages and dancing in gentlemen’s clubs. While I did occasionally provide “full service,” such instances were a rarity and definitely the exception more than the rule
Like many other sexworkers/ erotic service providers I drifted in and out of the industry as needed and as I desired. As a grown woman you morph in & out of stages of life that may often not be compatible with the industry, for example, pregnancy or being in a serious romantic relationship or getting married are all barriers to remaining active in the field. Often, its a “either/or” proposition and sometimes choices must be made.
I for one chose to leave the adult entertainment industry no less than fifteen different times for reasons including – but not limited to, pregnancy / childrearing / two different marriages, that both ended in divorce etc and just to keep it real…sometimes I just wanted out, Igrew weary of it, but somehow i always found my way back……of my own volition.
I have never been trafficked or “pimped out.” I’ve been in situations where I have felt exploited, yes ….very much so ~ for example, working for escort services that had a unfair split or at gent’s clubs where their payout was excessively high, but still and all / at the end of the day…though I didnt always appreciate some of the conditions of the work environment…….I was free to quit at any time. I cannot in good conscience say I was ever forced to enter or remain in sex work, at a particular agency or club.
The one thing I really cherished & valued about being in the industry was if it got “too hot in the kitchen” I could always leave. I could vacation for a week or a month. if I had had a particularly good season, I could even take several months off of work. In what other field of work can you do that ? not too many that I know !
The other factor that kept drawing me back to the sex industry was the feeling of power and accomplishment that came with men remunerating me for, lets face it …… not very much output on my part. As stated above, I’ve never really been a “fullservice / GFE” type provider and the services I DID render were rather minimal compared with the monies I was compensated, so yes, it elevated me emotionally and psychologically and did wonders for my self-esteem.
At one time I even operated and co-owned an escort service, though I voluntarily left that later, the reason being that in the USA operating an escort service falls under the umbrella of ” pimping and pandering” at best and
” racketeering ” at worst. While commercial sex acts for hire is a misdemeanor in every state, running an organized operation will catch you a felony case and in the end it just wasnt worth the potential drama…..
I then discovered a lucrative opportunity in the form of having a “private spa.” A private spa is essentially like a commercial massage parlor but instead of being run by a pimp or madam, its an individual woman acting as “sole proprietor” as well as the sole provider of services. its as easy as renting a commercial location like a office in a business park and offering massages out of that locale. The explosion of the internet and easy access to free / low-cost advertising via sites like craigslist and backpage gave entrepeneurial women an avenue to control their flow of income without turning over large chunks of their profits to the operator of a business.
So thats what I did for a number of years after getting burned out working in establishments like lingerie modelling shops, jackshacks, peep shows and strip clubs. I continued in this manner and had no intention of stopping until my life changed very drastically a few years ago, forcing me into a inconceivable dilemma that I refer to as my “USCIS nightmare.”
As previously stated I was adopted and brought to the USA as a toddler. My adoptive parents filed all the appropriate paperwork to have me lawfully admitted & naturalized but somewhere along the line, the agency tasked with maintaining files and records of every immigrant, The United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS ) appears to have lost my file altogether. This is by no means unheard of but it is rare enough, I am not the first person its happened to and I doubt I will not be the last.
The USA changed dramatically in the latter part of the past decade, due to something called the “REAL ID act,” details about this act can be found on my blog In essence, the act states that in order to renew one’s identification one must provide proof of legal presence in the USA if one’s birth certificate indicates that they are foreign born.
When I sought to comply with this directive and requested my immigration records from the federal authorities they told me that no such records exists in their database. As you might assume, the government is required by law to keep hardcopy paper files of every immigrant in addition to their electronic database, known as the “centralized index system.” While the government rely’s mostly on their computerized system of warehousing / organizing files, they are also mandated to retain the physical paperwork, so somewhere, someplace, my actual physical file should exist on paper, but they refuse to make the effort to research it. The result is that I have been unable to renew my driver’s license or even my state ID. I can’t even get my social security card replaced, which is mandatory to be able to work in any conventional, legitimate job. This has affected my life beyond the scope of what anyone can even begin to conceive. I have no means of transportation. I have no way to work in the licensed, legitimate arena of the adult entertainment market / sex industry or in any non-sex industry work. Effectively I can’t find employment in the public or private sector due to not having a valid ID and social security card.
I explain in my blog how this situation has pushed me into the “netherworld” of the sex industry. I am now relegated to being a “hotel escort,” where basically I troll in high-end resorts and gaming establishments looking for patrons and offering my services. I don’t work on the streets and never have. I pray this is something I never have to resort to because its certainly the most perilous strata of the sex industry.
In my current circumstance I am fearful because I’m subject to arrest by the authorities, never mind the possibiltiy of assault or violence from a client. Living a paperless existence has also affected my life adversely in just about every manner you could think of. I cannot drive, obtain government benefits, such as wellfare or unemployment, cannot vote or even procure a library card. In short this is a hellishly difficult way to live. I am working diligently to try and rectify the situation but until I get the justice to which im entitled in the form of my proof of naturalization, I cannot get any relief from this present state of affairs.
I am a christian and my faith in the Saviour is what keeps me hanging on, its my survival mechanism. I pray and praise GOD for keeping me safe and healthy through these very trying times. Sometimes the adversity seems too much to bear, but through faith I somehow find the strength and willpower to keep fighting for my rights and for that which is due to me.
I must admit that if it werent for this travesty I would not have learned about suffering first-hand. This life experience has given me the benefit of becoming a more compassionate and sympathetic person and the hardships of others resonate very deeply with me. I also have formed a new and profoundly deep convictions about my life’s direction. I believe that I was put on this earth and placed in a position where I must suffer through the journey of life in order to become an advocate for those in the sex industry. I would like to champion the cause of women who are marginalized and stigmatized by virtue of their involvement in the sex trade and I see myself as a future crusader who will fight for decriminalization of consensual sex work. My ideal vision is to be able to bring about understanding and acceptance of sex work and for it to be sanctioned and recognized as a legitimate means of earning a living. I believe that those choosing to engage in the provision of commercial sexual services for hire should be able to do so without fear of the law and that those who opt to be in the sex trade should be allowed to take pride in their chosen craft and deserve the right to collectively band together, to unionize and to advocate for their own interest.
These are the things i hope to assist in accomplishing, once my own situation is succesfully resolved.
It would be interesting to hear from others who have experienced similar problems.