So If It Was Bad – How Come You’re Alive Then?

This is an unanswerable question which is always asked of those of us somehow survived the sex trade.

It is unanswerable for we do not know.

Do not know when so many strong and vibrant friends, and folks we did not know were destroyed by the sex trade.

Do not know how we survived many near-death experiences.

Do not know how we woke each morning after many hours of mental, sexual and physical torture.

Do not know how we survived our many suicide attempts.

All we know it against all that was thrown at us we lived.

That should be seen as heroic – there should parades, fireworks, a day of memorial and celebration for all the prostituted.

But our survival is greeted with silence, with embarrassment, with a conscious turning away from any message we bring with us.

For we should have never survived – never of lived, never of remember what it was to be prostituted, never been alive with a voice and the will to make others listen to learn.

The harsh fact of the silencing, ignorance and closing of those of us who have exited the sex trade is we cannot be allowed to be alive enough have a voice.

This is shown on so many levels – whether by the usual suspects of those who benefit in the continence of sex trade, but also by folks who say they are allies of us.

It is shown every time there are records of murders of females – where there is no mentions of the many murdered prostituted women and girls, no mention of those murdered in the porn industry.

These deaths are made invisible, made unimportant – if mentioned mostly as an afterthought to “normal” domestic violence murders.

But – the murders of the prostituted class is happening everywhere, every day, maybe every half hour of every day.

It is considered that women inside the sex trade are at the minimum 12 times more likely to die a violent death that women of similar age and background – it may as much as 20 times more likely.

If it considered that women may dies at least 2 a week from domestic violence – then try to imagine 12-20 times that number.

But this genocide goes on, for the prostituted are never alone to be human enough for their lives to matter.

That means to murder a prostitute is made into a non-event – it becomes just the throwing away of the trash.

The deaths of the prostituted are mostly unreported. If reported, all too often she is made nameless.

If the murdered prostitute is allowed to have a name, her life is narrow down to “just another dead whore”.

The message is clear – we should not mourn the murdered prostituted, that grief should be for “real” women.

Death was the norm when we were inside prostitution.

We learnt that our lives meant nothing – so most of the prostituted grow hardened to the idea of death.

Sometimes the only reminder that we were alive, was finding we could still feel pain or get moments of grief – or even some connection to what it was to be happy.

To have emotions was terrifying – but they were vital to send signals that there more to life than being buried in the sex trade.

Emotions needed to be controlled – for all too often, sex trade profiteers and punters used any sign that we were still human against us.

To show fear encourage more violence.

To cry was to be laughed at, was to made to cry by yet more violence.

To laugh at the ridiculousness of it all was to be punished.

To be quiet was not to put the punter at the centre of everything.

To show anger was placed yourself in grave danger.

To want to protect yourself would make a danger to the sex trade, so you will be thrown away.

I always laugh with bitter tears remembering that deadening all emotions became the way I survived how bad it was.

Often the real meaning of “if it was so bad, how come you’re alive then?” is – why did you do nothing to run away, or report the violence.

Again this very hard to answer, yes there is a surface of easy answers of not knowing how to report, being taught to trust no-one outside the sex trade, not knowing anywhere was safe to run to – but the real answers are deeper and far more tragic.

Most of us who were trapped inside the sex trade have no clear answers is why we did not run – for to be honest, many of us did run away only to find we landed straight back into the hell of the sex trade.

Running away is very hard if you don’t where or who you are running – sometimes going back to what you think you might understand seems the only solution.

It must be been seen that the vast majority of those inside the sex trade comes from backgrounds or experiences that have taught them that they are less than human – and the skill of the sex trade and its profiteers to keep them as sub-human.

Look at the prostituted class and what do you see.

You will see the majority have experienced childhood abuse.

You will see that indigenous and ethnic minorities women overwhelm who is made into the prostituted.

You will see all man-made disasters – wars, famine, poverty etc – are used to recruit the prostituted.

You will see that the sex trade market is about young flesh – under-aged prostitution is the norm not some perversion.

And you will see that the sex trade will prey on all women and girls – for there a market for everything from posh white schoolgirl to Asians in saunas, from high-class escort to street-based prostitute.

The sex trade never will get tired of exploiting and oppressing the prostituted – and by ignoring their violence, you become part of the problem.


8 responses to “So If It Was Bad – How Come You’re Alive Then?

  1. Arguments I have heard are:
    (from johns): “why don’t they leave, then?”
    (from other prostituted women) “my rape wasn’t THAT traumatic for me, feminists should stop making it look so tragic”
    (from men) “rape isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a woman” (see previous)

    “how come you’re alive?” is a new one on me. wow. just wow.


  2. The Merseyside model of treating the murder of prostituted women as a hate crime has been bandied about – what do you think of it?


  3. Rootinbeing – I do not believe it should be a polarising subject for feminists – mainly because I cannot understand how you can be a feminist and support the sex trade. It is a throwing away of a mass groups of women and girls, the prostituted class. Feminism should be about women and girls, not just the ones we like or admire. Feminism is about stopping violence to all women and girls – not throwing women and girls that are not like us.

    Heretic – I do not think much of the Merseyside Model for many reasons. First it fully backed by those who want to keep the sex trade going – the only small change they may consider is taking off the streets into the “safer” indoors. Therefore it only interested in the murders of street-based prostituted women, not in ending the violence and hate which is founding stone of all aspects of prostitution. Also the Merseyside Model is reliant on the prostituted self-reporting violence – which is highly unrealistic in an environment where you told to trust no-one outside the sex trade.


  4. I don’t know if you have read the amazing book by Kajsa Ekis Ekman called Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self but I highly recommend it to anyone concerned about these growing concerns.

    Someone asked here how to unite feminists on this more and more polarizing topics, I recommend to read this book and you will be on a good away to that goal I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sundazed – I am buying the book, not online,

    Amazon online (normally reliable) will not accept my order, despite several painstaking and time consuming attempts.

    I will try other sources. Thanks for the recommendation.

    The title alone is giving me weirdo light bulb flash back recalls of conversations over 40 years ago when my firstborn was 3 years old, my second born was less than a year old. Surrogacy? – I never thought further about it and those conversations until recent years, and this book title alone awakens further disturbing thoughts.

    The split self? I never knew anything about it until stuff came up about 20 years ago about multiple personality in others around me. Aaagh awful stuff. I hope it wont freak me out too much. It feels a bit scary after the calm (thank goodness) of recent years, I don’t want to freak out again. I guess I’ll be ok, tho – I hope

    I will post again when I have read the book. Thank you so much for this, even though I do not want it if you know what I mean. I am sure you do.


  6. Well, why aren’t you dead then? Or my sister? Or others I have known – more below etc.

    Rebecca, I think you and your postings are wonderful and I am moving on because of them which is –

    well – scary, never been able to build on this stuff before, just building/living on a bombsite, making love behind the barricades, that kind of thing is all I have known.

    I have nothing relating directly to prostitution experiences, so maybe you will dismiss my blog response, but please don’t because I am alongside the prostitute experience but not in the middle of it.

    More to say when I post a response to your next blog about contradictions.

    Meanwhile – why aren’t you dead, then?

    I can only think of two things or maybe three. (Who wants to think of two things about this – one is awful enough?_

    Please understand that I may not link my stuff direc tly to your postings. hope you understand the links.

    Which is first? in no particular order –

    1. Back in 1996 or thereabouts people all around me were inviting me to participate in identity blurring, all becoming one, that kind of thing. Very lovely, all peace and love (60s hippies stuff, I just loved it aroun1967-1970, then it went sour – – – )

    And sexy swinging stuff mixed in which I picked up on late, around 1992. Why not just mix peace and love and sex so you fucked/made love to everyone and so you would not know if you fucked your father, mother, sister, brother, child blurring together, all becoming one. So it didn’t matter?

    But, But, what if sexual abusers were penetrating this stuff, introducing vulnerable children and others into this wild world where identity blurred/disappeared. So what if sexual abusers picked off victims (the vulnerable newcomers?) to provide to criminals/perverts for snuff movies, for snuff experiences? Nobody would know.

    The disappeared. The missing children and adults, every year. The murdered prostitutes that Rebecca rails about. Yes Rebecca, please keep railing, you are the only person I have come across who is angry, strong, railing, wailing, and recording this stuff. You are so strong, so wonderful – see my posting to your next blog about contracictions.

    So, when people were showing me back in 1996 or thereabouts, that this stuff could be happening, I sat in a pub in Stokes Croft, Bristol, and said to my bloke at the time, Patrick:

    “So my sister that I knew and grew up with has been into all this stuff and could be dead, and nobody would “know”?

    And Patrick, to his credit, said “Yes”.

    2. Dead. Why are they dead? Why are there a number of fathers (and some mothers) killing their young children and then killing themselves? Have they been seduced and then blackmailed and locked into a pattern of sexual abuse (them with their children and / or others with their children) that they could no longer live with? Were the children starting to talk? Or did the adults find themselves locked into a system of an horrific warped lifestyle with their children and others that they could no longer live with?

    3. Forgotten any third point – Maybe I will post later. Whoops. Just remembered the third thing.

    A couple of years after the conversation with Patrick, I was still getting lots of hints about this stuff, from Patrick and John mainly. Maybe I imagined it? Maybe I was paranoid.

    Well, there was stuff that linked to the royal family, to rich aristocrats,, people fucking behind the scenes at the Coronation, were they the real royal family members? Were they stand-ins, prostitutes, having it off with the royal family?. Nothing specific that I can recall , except, well – – –

    a) – John, my on-off bloke for the last 23 years like Patrick had been in the Navy. John had been born around 1934 and so been a child during WW2 (1939 – 1945) – so I asked him – “What do you remember of the VE (Victory in Europe) Celebrations in 1945. He said “I was given [aged 11 or 12) a packet of fags”. Fags? Gays? A young boy offered around? That seemed possible.

    b) John hinted enough at this stuff of child abuse including gay/lesbian child abuse) that I thought he was hinting at the above in a).

    Both he and Patrick had been in the Royal Navy and used to hint about Royal Family/Aristocracy involvement in the worst king of snuff/torture related abuse (or just the young Royal Couple and others assuming they had individually or together, the pick of the fit and handsome hand picked sailors in scrubbed whites on board the Royal Yacht Britannia, at night, after dinner.

    Well, all those possibilities (or paranoid fantasies) rolled around my head and at the time I was working for a company of surveyors in Bristol. So with this stuff rolling around in my head, I was printing out reports on properties, but, well, they didn’t always print out right.

    “The last page is missing”. I regularly heard this cry. “The last page is missing”. And all I could hear was someone lamenting the disappearance of a young boy on Coronation day, and/or other dressing up state occasions. Was I just imagining this? OR were there people ready to hint but not be explicit about horrific abuse, and murders. The kind of murders that Rebecca is wonderfully shouting about on this blog.

    _ ‘So if it was bad, how come you’re alive then?’

    Because we are the “lucky” survivors.


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