What is the Sex Industry?
The sex industry involves a wide range of activities including: prostitution, phone sex, stripping, pornography, mistressing, madaming, pimping, and all other forms of commercial sex work. This might include performing on live internet sex sites or placing an ad in the “Alternative” section of a newspaper and advertising for a “benefactor,” or sugar daddy.
It is easy to be in denial about our addiction, when our culture, on the surface, appears to validate our involvement. For example, if you are a stripper, it might seem as if you receive a lot of attention and money for your performances. And yet how many times, while practicing “our art” were we verbally, or even physically harassed? How many times did customers cross that line and make us feel we deserved it because after all, we were strippers?
Or, perhaps we tell ourselves we aren’t really in the sex industry at all. If we are “performers” who are paid to have sex in front of web-cameras, we may tell ourselves, “at least I’m not on the streets.” Or: “I’m only doing this until I get my first big acting role.”
The method by which our sexuality is conveyed does not change the fact that we are indeed involved with the sex industry. The sex industry is the sex industry, whether it is played out behind closed doors as an exclusive call girl, while being filmed as an internet sex site performer, or during a stage performance as an exotic dancer.
We find that focusing on our differences keeps us stuck in our addiction. We are any man or woman, of any race, religion or sexual persuasion who accepts money or goods, for sex, or sex related activity. We all have different pasts, different kinds of clients, and different prices.
We wish to de-glamorize the sex industry. There is nothing glamorous about winding up stuffed in a dumpster, raped, dehumanized, and treated like a piece of meat.
The Sex Industry violates basic human rights
We believe that it doesn’t matter how long you did it, how you earned it, how much you got paid, or how long you have been out of it. We believe that the sex industry violates basic human rights: the right to be treated with dignity and respect. We do not believe it is a victimless crime. Everyone loses, both the prostituted individual, and the perpetrator.
How can I define Sobriety?
When we use sex, in any form, in exchange for material or monetary gain, we release our addiction all over again.
Therefore, the date in which there is an absence of sex related earnings is the beginning of your sobriety. When we accept money or goods through only legitimate means, we will begin to be free from our addiction. The only way to keep from returning to active addiction is not to take that first transaction. Our sexuality is no longer for sale.
Today, we know that are bodies are sacred, and we respect who we are by placing a protective boundary around our sexual selves. Together, we will examine our beliefs, deal with our issues, and become empowered to be the person our higher power intended us to be.
We no longer feel the need to attain a sense of power through our sexuality. Instead, we are busy rebuilding our sense of self, discovering our true talents, and perhaps retraining ourselves so that we are fully contributing members of society. We are worthy, recovering sex industry survivors.
We understand that as we begin to tell our stories to other recovering sex industry survivors, we heal ourselves and each other.
Sex Work Linked to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Rather than criminalizing prostitution, we wish to dismantle the causes that lead to this addiction, such as childhood sexual exploitation, post-traumatic stress disorder, and our society's glamorous portrayal of sex work.
We will try anything to not have to address the shattering of our core personal identity. Joining together as survivors, we finally find a place where we can openly admit all our shameful secret.
Even if you have been out of the sex industry for many years there is an aftermath, a scar, or what countless studies are now calling Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD can lead us to continue to act out, and to abuse substances (drugs, alcohol, toxic relationships, ect)..
SEX WORK IS NOT LIBERATING
SEX INDUSTRY SURVIVORS ANONYMOUS
For information on getting a group started in your community, call 888-702-7273.
If you know anyone who may wish to meet and talk with other survivors, please give them this flyer. They may be still involved, but have a desire to quit. Others dealing with other survivor issues (incest) are welcome.
There are online discussion groups. A recovery textbook is in the making, as well as other pieces of literature.