I recently rediscovered this piece, written by me a while back. A reminder in gratitude for being out of the sex industry and in recovery for my addiction...
Fast forward a year and I’m out, up up and away from my partner. Well, away, anyhow – I can’t say I’ve come up. I’m actually still playing the game, albeit in a different setting surrounded by different characters in a different time. I’m no longer subject to his violence, to the punishments he meted out, I am no longer made to perform for his friends to pay for the drugs and drink he uses, but I’m still trapped. I got my leg caught in the trap and it’s not coming out. I still have a little habit of my own to support, drugs and alcohol, the drugs have a price and that price is me. I’m too fucked up with men, too fucked up with the drugs and booze and the constant replays of the past violence to do a normal job. I feel shitty and worthless and so I find myself turning to the only industry where that’s more or less a prerequisite for work. I’ve become a prostitute, a hooker, a sex worker – the names may vary but the work doesn’t. I tell myself I can close my mind off, this isn’t really happening to me, I have a work name, it’s just acting again, just another role, it won’t affect me, these fuckers won’t get to me. I keep telling myself that, if I tell it to myself enough perhaps it will become true.
I work in a massage parlour, seeing up to 8 men a day. Sometimes there’s just time to go down to the poky bathroom and mop up, add a bit of lippy, have a bit of vodka and then it’s back up to the next punter. It’s quite incredible to me that it’s come to this, that my life has come to this, me who had the world at her feet, who was top of her year, could be anyone, anything, go anywhere. How on earth did I end up here, selling my body at £45 a go, with men I wouldn’t normally give the time of day to cumming on my boobs or in my face (they claim a misaim)?
It shouldn’t surprise me, not after everything that happened with my partner, not with the addiction and the mental health shit I put up with, but it still does. I had a long way to fall. Oh how the mighty have fallen! It’s kind of ironic too that I should be selling myself like this at the time when I am actually losing my looks to the booze and the drugs. I’ve got that bloated, pale look with the red cheeks worn by all alcoholics of a certain fervour. I’m the biggest I’ve ever been and yet men pay me for sex. It makes me almost gleeful in a bitter and twisted way, my ex always told me no one’d fancy me if I let myself go, we don’t want you becoming any more of a fat cow than you already are do we? I’ve proved him wrong.
Maybe not. The guys who come here aren’t exactly Richard Gere. It’s not like they’d have the pick of the women. Most are old, most are fucking ugly bastards, most hate women for rejecting them and have scores to settle. These are the worst. They act like sadists, they hurt me on purpose, to get a rise. I don’t respond, I hurt but I don’t respond, and they hate that and they hurt me some more. I resolved after my ex never to show a man that he’s hurt me, him and his friends would do stuff to me to get me to cry. The shame I feel about crying in front of them, about giving them that pleasure (my tears made them laugh) stays with me. The shame and the scars have stayed with me.
I have scars all over my body, the backs of my legs, my thighs, my belly, my arse. He glassed me on several occasions, and beat me frequently and severely, sometimes with a belt. Everytime I take a shower, everytime I look at myself, there they are, it’s like I got away from him but he’s still there, he’s left his marks on me, the blood and cum may have washed off but the feeling of dirt remains, sometimes I feel like the scars are burning into me, a sign that his malevolent presence will never be gone from my life. The punters don’t care, their gaze is fixated: boobs and holes are all they give a fuck about.
I get flashbacks, I get nauseous and shaky when that happens, I feel like I’m right back there with my ex, my chest and throat go all tight and I feel like I can’t breathe, I’m being choked, being strangled, having the life drain away from me. Sometimes, I’d pass out when it was happening for real. I still get the feelings. I feel like I’m going mad. I sleep with the light on. The booze knocks me out, I’m on a litre and a half of vodka a day plus top ups, but I awaken in the night, bed clothes soaked with sweat, heart going nineteen to the dozen. I hear voices, my ex’s voice and the voices of the other men who used me, they are so real I can’t believe there’s no one there. I sit on the floor by the toilet, vomiting my guts up and shaking.
Sometimes I ask God to get me out of this mess, I plead with him, I get down on my hands and knees and say, hey God, if you’re really up there, please help me out of this shit. I make bargains and promises – help me to stop drinking, to get sorted out and I’ll do anything you want God, anything at all, just please help me. Met by a deafening silence, I figure God hates me, which makes sense: I feel like the anthichrist.