When I embedded in prostitution, I refused emotions.
I refused to know grief, I refused celebrations, I refused crying from pain, I refused loneliness, I refused needing love.
But I still could dance.
Not the manic dance of the lost, but the ordered dance of wanting to be invisible.
I never lost my love of music, never lost desire to be be free.
But, even in the dance, the sex trade and punters found many ways to trap me.
Punters would laugh at my passion for music, making me small enough for to be back in their control.
The sex trade set up my love of dancing to get punters in.
I was made to dance with old men who could take me away and do whatever their money could buy.
I was slowly growing to hate music, hate dancing, and hate myself for imaging I could be that free.
I could have nothing private, only the brief moments of cutting and dreaming of death.
I write to this place, not for pity, not to shock – I write to say why we must destroy the sex trade, not replace it with yet more ways to destroy the prostituted.
Let me speak to the revolution that I believe in, the revolution which could mean I could dance in real freedom.
I see the Nordic Approach as a wonderful beginning, but not an end.
To start, we need to take the Nordic Approach more seriously, and fully implement what it appears to be saying.
We must take seriously the criminisaling of punters.
This means a fine of the minimum of 10% of their income, imprisonment for repeated consuming of the prostituted, and long sentence for violence to the prostituted.
We must take seriously that is a grievous crime to profiteer from the sex trade.
Sex trade profiteers must go to prison for a long time, must have all their criminal earnings stripped from them.
Finally, we must make exiting a priority.
This means not the harm reduction model, or short-term non- focused counselling – but a long-long holistic approachs.
This involves multi-disapline approach – with safe housing, access to education and jobs, childcare, long-term specialist counselling, and whatever individual needs of the exited women.
Alongside that we need to educate why prostitution need to go, and do training with police, medical services, social workers, teachers and parents on how we can build up changes to make that happen.
That is a start of a revolution that would make me remember how to dance.