Hi, I’m Tara…

I'm a whore revolutionary and a wilderbabe. I'm pretty much in love with this little river I live on and myself and if you stick around you'll read (and see) all about it.

Desiree Alliance Awesomeness

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For the last few days I’ve been in Vegas at the Desiree Alliance conference, and it was amazing. I feel like it will definitely change my activism and maybe my life.

The best part of Desiree, for me, was being surrounded by so many other sex workers. I know that I’m isolated in Alaska and that I pretty much lie about my life 99% of the time to avoid stigma and violence, but I never think about what that really means. No matter how proud I am of who I am and what I’ve done, acting like I’m ashamed all the time takes a toll after a few years.

The whores at Desiree were strong, courageous, compassionate, super smart, down to earth amazing real human beings. Yes, all of them. At first, I was proud to be one of them and grateful to share space with them. Then I listened and heard so much of my life and my self repeated over and over and over. I realized that I’m not just part of this amazing group, but the things that I’m always hiding about myself are things that I admire greatly in others and that have made them (and me) the awesome people we are.

Then I met about a million super grown up activists who’ve already done so much of what I want to do! They gave me advice!

There were workshops and classes about activism, academics, staying safe, marketing, business, and harm reduction. There was yoga every morning and the conference was totally on stripper time. Then it all ended up with a great pool party.

(I have to go get on an airplane right now, but there will be more posts about awesome Desiree-related things that deserve their own posts.)

1 comment to Desiree Alliance Awesomeness

  • john

    I’ve wanted to post for a long time. There are things i’ve always wanted to say, not just to you, but to all sex workers.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.
    There are many reasons sex workers should be thanked, but this is my reason.
    25 years ago after a very abusive childhood i developed a serious social impairment. It’s crippling. I only leave my home a few times a month, when i find the right day where i feel able to it’s a matter of drugging myself (legal rx’s) into numbness so i can shop and pay bills. I’ve seen many therapists and doctors, it is better or worse at times, but never goes away forever.
    As you can imagine it precludes any hope one may have for a normal relationship, and the loneliness feels terminal at times. Without the kindness of women who understand there are needs every human being has, i may have had a short, horrible life.
    Sex is a very small part of what i pay for, don’t get me wrong that’s nice! but more important to me are the times i simply want someone to hold me, to lay on a couch and watch a movie, or in bed just being held…it makes me feel like a human being worthy of comfort. I have no illusions as to personal feelings or attachment from these women, they simply make me feel better for a time, like a normal man.
    There are a lot of people in this world who need sex, or comfort from other people but for some reason can’t go about it in a ‘normal’ way, perhaps they are shut in’s like me, or may have a physical disability that keeps them from attending to their desires either physical or emotional. These ‘broken’ people have needs that cannot be met in ways that most find more acceptable. For us the world is a cruel place with judgement from others restricting the fulfilment of our needs. I see this as no more than a home visit from a nurse, or a healer who cares for the needs of a patient. It requires a selfless, kind, giving person who has the same empathy for human beings as a doctor or a nurse. It saves lives, ends suffering, and is a very humane thing to be involved in.
    At the beginning of each visit this is explained to me very clearly; “You know the rules, but lets go over them again. We are not in a personal relationship, we are not a couple, we are not in love, this will never change, if at some point either of us feel an attachment that is unrealistic or unhealthy my visits will end, another girl will replace me.” It’s a mantra we know well, we say it together each time. I am a simple man who makes mistakes and have had a change in companion over becoming too attached, i understand the risks involved of becoming emotionally attached to these women for both of us…it was a hard lesson for me to learn, but i am both more understanding, and careful now, not with only my feelings but with theirs as well.
    Life can be quite cruel to many of us, blindly judging people is cruel and stupid. Making bodily functions illegal is cruel, bizarre, and stupid. Socially stigmatizing women and men who work in the sex industry is cruel and stupid. Religion has done more damage to people than it has comforted, it is used as a tool to punish, humiliate, and bully human beings into acting a certain way, a way that is not always benign or good…people are better off seeing to the state of their own souls, we ‘feel’ what is right or wrong and it’s much more accurate than religious mores.
    People without disabilities deserve the right to visit a sex worker as well, sex is very therapeutic. It could go a long way in ending assaults, and many other crimes. It needs to be monitored to prevent it from being used as a reason for crimes like human trafficking and slavery, but it’s illegal now and it is the sole reason those crimes exist. Making it legal would shine a light on those truly criminal side effects, effectively ending them.
    In my eyes there are two types of people who enjoy paid sex, the thrill seekers who are turned on by the illicitness of it as it exists now, and those in need who are lonely, who don’t have time or the ability to go about finding a partner in the traditional way. Many of those who enjoy the illicit sex are outwardly and openly against legalizing the sex trade…it’s a strange and secret fetish for them. The sex workers who service those clients are doing much harm to their own profession and coworkers.
    The sex industry should be seen as a service similar to being a nurse, or a companion to the disabled or elderly…it should be seen as a service no different from a massage parlor who relax and sooth simply by using their talents to do so in a non sexual way…though here i say a massage is as sensual as intercourse…Americans are so wrong it so many ways it’s silly we don’t all see it. A visit to a brothel should be no more stigmatizing than a trip to a spa, or a salon, we can’t seem to accept that sex is simply a bodily function as innocent as any other, not something to hide, to feel shame about, or as wrong.

    Sorry it went long…i get carried away.
    Again, my most sincere thanks go out to you and all sex workers, hang in there and help us all fight to change peoples views and to make this right.

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