The X-Girls answer your questions about the impact of the sex industry and life after sex work from the perspective of an ex-stripper, ex-pornstar, and ex-prostitute.
As the widely used marketing slogan goes, “Sex sells”. It does. And the sex industry sells sex to the tune of 13.3 billion annually in the US alone. These revenues are bigger than the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball combined (Internet Filter Review). Beyond selling sex, what the sex industry sells is fantasy. In this fantasy world, for the most part, consumers are made to feel desirable, powerful, liked, accepted, and wanted. They are offered a temporary escape the reality of their daily lives. All of this without the risk of relational pain. When I think back to my 19-year old self, in many ways, I was very naïve, yet I exhibited a pattern of behavior that I learned in the strip club that would have made most people think otherwise. I watched the older women and learned to move like them—to walk like them, laugh like them, dance like them—without giving much thought to why. All I knew was it worked because I went home with a wallet full of money. The entire persona I created was based on fantasy. In the midst of all of this, sex becomes a transaction, detached from reality, anchored in fantasy. Sex is compartmentalized from intimacy and relationship, from knowing and being known. For those of us in the industry, sex becomes about power and control, survival. For many of us, an extreme level of disconnection is required in order for us to be able to do this. We disconnect from ourselves. Some of us use dissociation, denial and hide behind the masks we made. Others use drugs and alcohol. Anything to not be present. This process causes us to disconnect from our own wants, needs and desires, because we are objects of someone else’s desire. We are the product of someone else’s fantasy. I wish I could tell you that leaving the sex industry was enough to resolve all of the issues I just mentioned. It has taken time to stop seeing men as walking wallets, to stop thinking that everyone wanted to have sex with me, to stop questioning the motives of anyone who was nice to me, and to not feel compelled to be the fantasy girl to make people like me. There has been a process of undoing. Even though I have chosen abstinence, as a human being, I still have a sexuality that I have to learn to connect to and deal with in healthy ways. While I was in the industry, I believed that I could reduce sex to a physical act, devoid of relationship and connection. I have come to believe that sex is as much spiritual as it is physical. That it was designed not simply to satiate desire alone, but to facilitate intimacy and connection to another human in a deeply spiritual way, so deep in fact, that covenants are made. That is what I believe. I also believe in a God who restores. A God who made every part of me, including my sexuality. A God whose plan for my life and my body are good. A God who forgives and makes what is broken, whole again. I left the industry feeling as though every person I had been sexual with had taken a piece of me. I felt fragmented and compartmentalized. I gave the broken pieces to this God of mine, one by one, piece by piece, He put me back together again and filled the gaps with His grace and love. My past has not been erased, but the shame and residue have been. Purity has been restored to me. I believe in this God and I believe He is able and willing to do the same for you. – See more at: http://iamatreasure.com/2013/03/sex-x-girls-episode-9/#sthash.0i0IUU2w.dpuf