idn’t think I would write about this, but after speaking to some regulars to get their perspective, I thought it’d be best to clarify things here before people develop further misunderstandings about my opinion.
I was recently interviewed for an article on Vice, you can see it here: https://www.vice.com/en/article/5dp5kx/independent-escort-service-singapore-online-coronavirus-pandemic
The interview went well (A was really sweet and kind), but upon reading it I felt like the context of one quote was not very well shown, so here is my clarification of it, and the context it which it was said it’s a story about the first time I left the industry, read on if you’re curious.
Of sex workers who charge per act, Villanelle said, “they call themselves escorts too. I guess my definition of ‘escort’ is different. I would consider that prostitution.”
Reading this was somewhat horrifying because I sound like an absolute prick (clarifying with regulars I am close to helped to affirm that thought). I’m sure that was not the intention, but it still feels that way haha. To clarify, there is nothing wrong with calling oneself and escort or prostitute, at the end of the day all are under the same umbrella of sex work- at least, that is my belief. The reason why I would say they differ is because of the definitions https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/escort-or-prostitute-what-is-the-difference-50226 , which really are just differences haha. Few if any would call themselves a prostitute due to the stigma and discrimination faced, and escort is pretty much the term used now. But this quote was also said in the context of a personal experience, so please scroll down to read more.
Finally, as Vanessa mentioned in the article:
“People impose this hierarchy upon the industry. However, the reality is that sex workers across the spectrum lack access to justice because of criminalization, a vulnerability exploited by unscrupulous people. The fact is that if someone were to pick up the phone and call the police, anyone is susceptible to being arrested.”
In this industry, the concept of privilege is also very prevalent, perhaps even more so with SWs overseas. More on that in another post.
With that out of the way, let me move onto the story of how I re-entered the industry for the second time, and how the difference in definitions came out during the interview:
I was once in the industry a few years back. Doing it independently on top of being an SB (sugarbaby), not being firm on my boundaries, and not taking necessary precautions all made for a recipe for disaster. I encountered the worst clients who had no concept of respect, tried to manipulate me e.g. photos and my boundaries, and were threatening. Of course there were wonderful ones who remained when I recently entered this industry again, but the nasty ones took enough toll on my mental health to make me leave.
When I left, I had created a reputation for my pseudonym in a circle of clients. To my utmost horror, another SW- let’s call her S- thought it would be a good idea to take my name and make it hers. I’m not sure how S planned or executed it so perfectly, but she obtained reviews and pictures I published on various platforms. Even though she differed in how she charged based on acts while I charged based on time, she managed to twist it in a way that leveraged on whatever reputation I had.
I wouldn’t say I had much reputation to begin with, but knowing that someone did this was a slap to my face. To say that I was pissed is an understatement. It felt like whatever I worked hard for had been stolen, and it was hard to leave the industry in peace. Honestly, I’m not quite sure what she was thinking of when she did that, since clients I have seen would obviously check with me upon seeing her socials and advertisements? S, if you happen to read this, I hope you realise that it did not help you gain my clientele and that it would just have been better to reach out to me to help you personally as another SW. The name I created for myself was now tarnished and even if regulars knew what had happened, the outside world and people who viewed it didn’t. I could not reenter the industry using the same name without confusion or complications, as a result of S’ different business methods.
So yes, this is the story of the first time entering and leaving the industry and the story of a fellow SW’s leveraging on my past identity. I hope this story explains how the earlier quote on definitions came about- her using my pseudonym despite differences in how she charged based on act while I charged based on time affected my image and inability to potentially reenter under the same name.
That being said, I apologise if my quote offended anyone. I do not intend to come off sounding superior to others. At the end of the day, we are all the same. If you’re a client, know that SWs need your respect and care more than anything else, no matter how they go about their business. Thank you to all the wonderful people who have loved and showered me with your kindness! Manners maketh man.