Scream of Consciousness

Dedicated to the women who have stood by me as I arise from my personal hell.


This post is written from a deep place, a place that I am afraid of, a place where human language is inadequate – the place of the depth of what it was to be tortured as a prostitute.

I want to speak to that torture – for torture is the norm for the vast majority of the prostituted everywhere and throughout all human history.

My individual torturing was just a grain of sand inside the sex trade – as each and every day millions of the prostituted are living with torture now, and will do so in the future, if we do not fully wake up to this human rights crime.

It is torture, it is a genocide – to make it any less, is to betrayed the prostituted class and allow the sex trade to thrive.

I want to enter what my mind can remember, I want to use my tortures as an example. use my past to shout no more.

I was very triggered last week, by someone telling me that if the prostituted was stronger and learnt self-defence, then it would put off pimps and punters from treating us like trash.

This is so wrong, and had no understanding of what it is to be living inside extreme mental, physical and sexual torture as your norm.

It trigger the screaming in my head, a scream that remember thinking I should have or could have defended myself from all the male hate and violence that was my every day.

With hindsight, the hindsight of being inside a stable, secure and safe life now – I can imagine or dream that self-defence would have made some difference.

But the screaming of my heart, the sickness inside of my stomach and tears that will not come – tell me hindsight is a liar.

When I can hardly breathe, I remember what self-defence meant in reality.

First, I want you to be very clear it almost impossible to defend yourself if you have no Self to defend.

To be a prostitute, is to have no Self – it is to lose being a human, and becoming a commodity that is used over and over till it is thrown away.

To survive prostitution, is to learn not to care for your Self, to be as detached from being human as possible.

To be a prostitute is to become nothing – so there is nothing to defend.

In all human torturing, the purpose is to make other human into nothing, with no will left.

Do you imagine self-defence would have stop Pol Pot, or save the majority inside concentration camps, or helps women much in domestic violence, or children being sexually abused?

But it is ok to “advice” the prostituted to learn self-defence, and ignore that the sex trade is structured to keep the prostituted without access to their own power or routes to full safety.

In the reality of being inside the sex trade, self-defence can be highly dangerous.

It is dangerous because it reminds the pimps and punters that the prostitute has not been utterly broken down – that she still has glimpses of what it is to be human left.

Being human whilst still prostituted is to be in constant danger – there should no light in your eye, no thoughts that cannot be controlled, and certainly no desire to defend yourself.

To defend yourself is to say it is rape, is say it is battery, to say it is torture, to say it could be murder – that is unacceptable for a prostitute to know.

All I know, I had to learn the most unnatural feelings – not to defend myself when in pain, when in fear of being killed.

I learnt that to be a prostitute – I had no right to fear, no right to know pain, and no right to have a Self.

Like the vast majority of the prostituted, I learnt to stop caring the hard way – for it human instinct to defend yourself by all means when death is near.

But you cannot defend yourself when there is no hope, and violence only increases if you are too human.

I remember when I first defended myself.

I was just entering the sex trade, I thought I knew everything, thought I was strong enough for this world, thought I knew what sexual violence was after years of my stepdad abusing me.

I had no idea of the coldness and violence that punters did to the prostituted.

In those early days/nights, a punter wanted to do things that hurt so bad, that i throw him off. I think I kicked him, and expected help.

I was so naive.

That punter did leave – and for a small i was allowed to think I had defended myself.

Only for the pimps to send in several sadistic punters to gang-rape me back into my place.

That is the lesson that too many of the prostituted learn – that to defend yourself is to forced into more violence and made more isolated.

To be prostituted is to never rise your head above the parapet.

I will end for now, as my heart is breaking.

4 responses to “Scream of Consciousness

  1. Wow, thank you so much for this, it is such a huge learning piece and I’m so sorry it comes at such a painful emotional price. Ignorance hurts people. This is so important for people to know, that there IS no self-defense when The Self is terrorized & beaten & raped out of women, and that NOT self-defending, & deadening oneself to all that is going on, saves prostituted women’s lives (in the absence of the REAL life saving that is abolition). Seems that in prostitution, the real self-defense is not to self-defend. Thank you so much for your screams of consciousness; hearing them loud and clear & spreading the message. ❤


  2. I’m so sorry for the pain you’ve suffered. And full of gratitude and so much admiration that you write about it. The person who said that women in prostitution would be fine if they had self-defense skills was very ignorant. I hope they read this and learn.


  3. Fight, flight, or hide. The first thing I learned was how to cry without fucking up my mascara… I know exactly what you mean ❤ ❤ that hollow place, the one that's left behind that we used to occupy. Gouged myself out and hid myself – someplace safe, and I don't even know where. I can't. If I know where, I could be used against me, made to betray myself. Trust is like china. Betraying myself would make it very hard to live with me; we have to be able to trust ourselves.

    So I hid me. Now there's nothing there, nothing on the inside to give me shape. I feel like I'm constantly an instant from collapsing in a pile of disjointed body parts. Broken pieces of me. There's a jagged part of me left behind. It's basically numb, except for a hot raw edge. I wanted to take all of me but that part had to stay behind and cover us.

    And then I remember the ocean, even though it was several years later before I actually saw it anywhere but my mind's eye.

    To be prostituted is somebody putting something inside you that you don't want there. Economic coercion is the same as violent intimidation; starvation is being beaten to death in slo mo.

    It's a hard thing to settle: the time I got back from a horrible call, so numb I was unaware I was black and blue from the backs of my knees to the small of my back. Bleeding under the surface of the skin, it looked horrifying. My boyfriend told me they were there. He told me to go look in the bathroom.

    I was delighted. There was no way I could "work" with those huge nasty marks. Or so I told the agency, anyway – I'd had to go get rent despite having just had surgery for an ectopic pregnancy – 40 stitches in my abdomen. Those bruises were actually more cosmetically offensive – by far.

    Seeing myself in the mirror and realizing I wouldn't have to go out again for days, at least – was like birthday cake. With candles.


    I sit at work, hyper-focused to the exclusion of all else. This was my exit plan. What I do now is inextricably wired to Getting Out. And I am working myself to death. But my plan worked. I escaped. It's not now.

    Not for me.

    I realize I'm sort of oscillating back and forth in the general direction of normalcy. The torn pieces – each pass across the real world puts another coat of paint over the top of me.

    I don't know what to do next. Instinct tells me to keep working, keep running. Instinct is usually pretty legit.


  4. Pingback: On Warriors, Wisdom, Fearlessness & Not Self-Defending as Self-Defense | The Feminist Rag

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