Although porn takes up, at some moments of the day, almost 1/3 of internet traffic, the narrative that we always hear and experience of the lives of the people in porn, and sex workers in general, is damagingly narrow. If a person chooses to be a sex worker, we, as a society, judge them. We make assessments on their personal character – such as, “they must be damaged to want to do porn” – or we shame them. We assume that if someone is doing sex work, they are being exploitated, and we don’t bother to listen to what these people themselves have to say.
The degradation of sex workers is rife and unending in popular culture. And worst of all, we are all hypocrits – because we all get incredible pleasure from watching sex workers in porn, and yet we judge them for doing it. So it was about time I dedicated several films, plus a documentary and a cam session to giving voices to the sex workers that make my success possible. So I asked my dear friend and wonderful performer and activist Maria Riot to write a confession for me about being a sex worker. I present to you the first installment, Sex Work is Work: Part 1!
Doing porn and owning my sexuality has changed my life forever. I am a sex worker and I am sick and tired of the hypocrisy within society that stigmatises and demoralises all those that use their sexuality for work. Sex work is real work and we are human beings, all of us different but with a lot of things in common too. We want and need decriminalisation to make our lives and working conditions better. My body is mine. And I want to have the choice to work with my sexuality, and not be discriminated or criminalised for it. My fantasy, and my goal, is to live in a world that accepts our work like any other work. To live in a society where we can enjoy our sexuality how we choose to and want to: paying for it, or not.
This has been one of my all time favourite shoots. I don’t even know where to begin in explaining it to you! First off, the atmosphere on set was so, so positive and exciting. I think Dante and Maria were really pleased to be able to share their experiences and their voices – they both have such interesting stories and genuinely, I’m not just saying this, are two of the cleverest, most articulate people I have ever met. Although I don’t want to generalise, most sex workers that I encounter are smarter than the general population – they have an understanding of themselves and their sexuality and the way society, gender and pleasure work. But these two really are special. I was over the moon to be able to bring them together for the first time and my excitement paid off! I think Dante was a little star struck to meet Maria, it was very, very cute. They were both so excited before the shoot that I could feel the sexual energy buzzing out of them. And you can see it on camera – absolute perfection. I don’t want to give anything else away! So what are you waiting for, go and watch it already!
In XConfessions, people from all over the world share their sexual stories and fantasies. Every month I pick two and turn them into cinematic short films. Still not a member of XConfessions? Register now! Or share your sexual fantasy, and it might become a short film 😉
* All photos in this post: Are by Adriana Eskenazi aside from those in the Behind-the-scenes gallery, by Christian Geymer