I Thought Sex Work Would Be Empowering and Feminist. I Was Dead Wrong.
My modern version of prostitution was fun, easy and body-positive—until it wasn’t.
Illustrations by Jia Sung
I woke up, still drunk, on a thrifted couch in a punk-house living room. Aaron and I shook off the sleep in the shower and when he touched me, I felt like vomiting. He always wanted sex. I always had sex, but rarely wanted it.
“Aaron, cut it out.”
“Come on, Emily. It’s been a week.”
I submitted and fell to my knees, praying for him to finish before my jaw locked. It was a workday and, as usual, Aaron was robbing me of the sexual energy I was saving for my johns.
I finally swallowed and stood up, bruised from kneeling in the empty tub. I dried myself with someone’s damp, mildew-y towel and brushed my teeth with a spare toothbrush. Aaron’s five-year-old son, Leo, tapped on the door. He was something out of a fairytale – a radiant woodland creature whose innocence disturbed me.
“Papa, I’m hungry.”
Aaron left the bathroom to fry thick-cut bacon for Leo. I locked the door and spit blood in the sink. My reflection disturbed me. There were silver-dollar pockets beneath my …