Now

I used to run with the boys

I was determined to prove that I had the biggest balls, that I could withstand it all

Until I couldn’t stand how near death my own ego brought me

When men bought me

I thought I was clawing my way out of poverty

But no amount of money can undo the trauma I endured

All I can do is rewire my brain

Write my story to have a happy ending

Starting with a happy now

I outran the boys and became a rich man so that I didn’t have to marry a rich man

Now I am happily married to the man of my dreams

I don’t ruffle my feathers over the penis-size competition at work- the self-stroking of egos which is habitual amongst my male colleagues

Though I am attracted to women, I’ve never had a penis

I’m ok with that- at least I’ve never raped anyone, never left anyone stressed about what they couldn’t see- STIs and pregnancy

I am happy now, as happy as can be after one has endured the smattering of battering my childhood gave me

I continued the chain of abuse on myself into adulthood, not realizing my own role in the game, not seeing how I invited abusers into my life

I’m getting off this trauma-train; I jump off the caboose, let it ride away without me

Next to the tracks, nestled in the woods, I am happy now

Hallowed

Pacing through the night, I feel the tingle of a poem coming on- I imagine this sensation is similar to the prodrome of a herpes outbreak or a migraine aura, though I have been blessed to know neither.

College in the city- classmates were falling in love as I fell into prostitution.

Are you a drug addict? One of my male customers asked me, inquiring as to why I was working in the world’s oldest profession.

No, I’m just a college student- came my honest reply. Perhaps studying is a more expensive habit than drugs, and the result just as ethereal.

My classmate’s parents supported them with a stipend and they complained to me that $600 a month was too little, as they bought booze and cigarettes, mean-mugging the clerk at the Chinatown liquor store to appear old enough, a grungy exterior disguising their trust fund privilege.

My parents sent me nothing but a too-late berating on how I should have asked for money if I needed it after they discovered my unspeakable scandal, which they have not mentioned since- nor did their unearthing of the truth result in financial assistance. I thought that my empty bank account and empty belly spoke for themselves.

On a cold winter’s night, I still hear the howl of those hallowed halls, the tunnels of avenues lined by iconic sky scrapers, indifferent to my frigid body below bent into the wind

With frostbitten feet teetering in heels, dresses so cheap they were nearly disposable, and the most threadbare of coats, I did have fun from time to time- prowling the city like a stray cat, discovering the serenity of late night corporate art as Wall Street slumbered except for a few coked-out, drunk men. Like me, they were lonely.

From time of time I still feel the unloving alcohol in my throat, the tears in my eyes from choking on cocks and the iciness of the night air, the flavorless meals and banal conversations, the false promises to pay me afterward, the faulty checks written, the wads of gritty cash I shoved into my shoes for the long subway ride home.

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

Please don’t judge me for being a sex worker in order to make ends meet
You taught me how to dissociate from my body, how to put other’s wants ahead of my needs
You were my first violator and my first pimp
Remember molesting me at night throughout my childhood and adolescence?
You opened the floodgates for countless rapes
Remember forcing me to do things I didn’t want to do my whole life?
Pimping me out to abusive children who you ‘felt sorry for’ because they did’t have any friends
The reason why they didn’t have any friends is because they weren’t good friends. Like you, they were trapped in abuse
Oscillating between abuser and abused
Remember commanding me yet never asking or listening?
I told you I was depressed, you told me I was not
The middle school guidance counselor called you to pick me up from school because I was suicidal-
All you did was yell at me
You found out I was a sex worker by violating my privacy
You yelled at me to respect myself
Yet you never respected me and actively taught me to disrespect myself
How can you expect me to fly when all you ever did was drag me down and break my wings
You raised me in poverty
Gave me no financial resources, no guidance
I was hungry, I had textbooks to buy and rent to pay
You want to take credit for my success
I became who I am in spite of you, not because of you
Though I see the crucial role you played
At the end of the day all I can say is namaste

Enlightened AF

You can never get to the end of it, you said about The Divine

Your words drew kaleidoscopic visions in my mind
I used to feel oppressed by poverty
Now I know I was only oppressed by the false beliefs within me
All the riches were always inside me
To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders
Beyond the collapsing walls, the sky is open
I am still tormented by the torrent of my thoughts
Then I think, ‘I don’t belong in anyone else’s head, nor do they belong in mine’
I try to let go of unhelpful thought-patterns
Such as my deep disappointment when I deem myself as less than perfect in every way, which happens multiple times each day
I may not be able to unthink a thought, but I can balance a negative with a positive, I can let the cloud float away without latching on all day
Today I was transported back to the time when I’d jerk off men for pennies on the dime
Now in the context of a trained medical professional providing a form of physical therapy to another doctor
Standing next to the massage table, I felt as if I hadn’t come far even after all the struggle and sacrifice to get out of poverty, to give my kids a better life
I remind myself that I have enough and I am enough
In my humble, imperfect way
I am enlightened AF sometimes

Sex, Money, Dishes

Tell me you’ve never fought with your partner about sex, money, or dishes.
Sex
I used to fight endlessly about sex, mainly because I didn’t want to have it but my partners did, so we’d fight and fuck, then I’d cry and be blinded by images of destroying my body or their body just to stop the rape and the torture of not feeling safe in my skin. Amazingly, we all survived and now I have a loving partner with whom I have gold-medal sex; you have to experience it to believe it, it’s like I’m cashing in on some sex fund which I invested in long ago. Happily I don’t fight about sex anymore- I’ve got a man I’m attracted to inside and out, and he loves me the way I want to be loved.
Money
I used to exchange sex for money. It seemed like there was always too much sex and not enough money in those transactions, or transgressions. Even those back-alley deals were more straight forward than my relationships in which sex was exchanged for the illusion of not being alone, for food, housing or ‘safety’, though I learned that the cost to my physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing which false relationships exacted was not worth the dinners, drinks, gifts of lingerie, attention or the roof over my head. You might get raped if you travel alone, but if you travel with a man you are guaranteed to get raped. Live within your means because fine dining won’t taste good if you are eating with a strange man, believe me I know. If you have to learn on your own I understand, however if my years of pain can help prevent a moment of your suffering, it will have been worth it.
Dishes
Rare is the man who finishes the dishes. Common are the men who stack the dishes artfully in the sink until there is barely room to turn on the faucet. I have noticed this pattern during my co-habitations with men. I’ve done too many dishes. It especially irks me when men drown sponges in the rinsed yet still not washed dish pile, unperturbed as the sponge decomposes into a musty mess. Men seem deaf to the silent cries of the forgotten dish sponge. Day after day, I rescue the sponge, wringing it out and restoring it to its rightful place safe on dry land, in sight. My man shows his love for me not only through our award-winning sex, but also through money (ie, responsibility for personal  finances to contribute to our future together) and dishes: ladies and gentlemen, my man did the dishes tonight, thus allowing me time to write the words you read. If a man loves you he will want to learn your love language, which you must teach him with patience, positive reinforcement, and more patience.
I grew up doing the dishes, in poverty, and sexually molested by family and friends. My sister would beat me when she got in trouble for not doing the dishes with me after we were told to do them, but the alternative would have been getting beaten by my parents for not doing the dishes, so I was going to get beat no matter what I did. I wished that someone would do the fucking dishes with me. A girl can get lonely amidst the dissolving suds.

What I Learned in College

What I learned in college:

I learned that suicide hurts forever in the hearts of those left behind.

I learned the sweetness of Spring after the darkest Winter night.

I learned, too late, not to drink too much alcohol on a date.

I learned, too late, that not using condoms can lead to more than AIDS.

I learned, the hard way, that HPV can cause cancer.

I learned that I am too generous to make a living as an exotic dancer.

I learned that even the finest meal doesn’t taste good when my body pays the bill.

I learned that slow and steady is my pace.

I learned that life is not a race.

I learned, through time, what friendship looks like.

I learned that self/spiritual love is the most important relationship in my life.

Trafficked

It was the perfect storm

I was trained to be cute, sweet, polite, considerate, generous, charming

To smile, to be physically fit yet seductively feminine,
to carry a conversation that made those around me feel at-ease, with never too long of an awkward silence and never a word to question or confront the person before me

I was trained to look fresh and smell like a flower,
to say yes

I was trained to not listen to my body, not speak my truth, not honor myself

I was trained to put the lavish wants of others before my basic needs

I learned to disassociate from my body every time it was violated

Too early and too often it was violated

Outward I smiled and said yes, while I silently I screamed within- a deafening din

Time after time, girls, boys, women and men did horrific things to my body- looked at me, touched me, prodded me, left their bodily fluids in places I couldn’t see

Though I was dying to, I didn’t say no, not out loud at least

On top of my disempowerment, I was impoverished

So of course I became a prostitute- it was the perfect storm

My childhood sexual abuse left me well-trained to be an escort, a sex worker

Pleasing others came naturally to me- it was easier to me than breathing

Even though I was disgusted

It was all I knew how to do

When an advertisement on Craigslist sought out cute, easy-going girls and promised to pay a wage that would allow me to both pay rent and buy food, of course I replied- I was the perfect candidate for that job

I reached rock bottom and crawled out when I could afford to-
I quit all my call-girl jobs: 4 different body-rub ‘happy ending’ massage parlors, and too many gigs in the houses of disturbed men

Although I still attract toxic situations into my life, my situation is infinitely better now, the skies are clearing and the future looks bright

Now when I do home visits or see male genitalia, it is in my work as a physician.
I have gathered hard-earned skills which pay my bills, and best of all-

I feel my heart blossom open after a long, harsh winter

The glow from my spirit is melting the love that was frozen within me- love for myself and for all beings

I salute the sun

I exhale

And bow in gratitude

Bra-less and Lawless

 

Bra-less and lawless
That’s what I am
I solved the problem of my poverty creatively
That’s code-speak for ‘illegally’

Because prostitution
Isn’t recognized by the institution
Ironically, it’s the same men who rule the world
Who pay money to have sex with girls

I’ve jerked off CEOs of international companies
Wildly successful ones that you might support everyday
In our inevitable, consumeristic way                                                                                           Like common street pimps, the government and corporate thugs take the money they want, leaving the rest of us just enough to stay alive so that we keep making them rich off our blood, sweat and tears all the years of our lives                                                           We break our backs while their bank accounts grow fat collecting tax

Sometimes I break the law                                                                                                        When I was a sex-worker, I limboed around the law by making a living without paying taxes on my wages, unless you count the immeasurable tax of physical and psychological trauma, which like a war within me rages

Sex work was an avenue to do what I could to improve my reality
With a heart of gold: I did it without hurting others, young or old
I even donated some of my hard-won earnings to charity
Robin Hood is a hero to me

Sometimes I let it all hang out and go bra-less
I am a woman in a man’s world (though we’re fighting for our human rights!)
Taking my bra off feels like exhaling, ‘Yes I am!’

Letting my breasts fall forward to where they naturally lay
Feels like the first time I did sex work and got paid
I could finally afford to buy food instead of scavenging through the trash,                         no more would I dine on the stale leftovers of rats
All I had to do was survive an hour behind closed doors with an asshole rapist                   it was like any other day, except that I got paid a livable wage

Poverty feels like an uncomfortable bra
That is two sizes too small
It cuts into you and suffocates you
Until there is only one thing left to do, if you can
Break free

I’m not saying that everyone with financial difficulty should find employment through illegal activity, although that seems to be the only option at times
I’m saying that feeling comfortable
In your body, your mind and your life
Is something worth striving for
I hope you feel comfortable in some way every day

Freeing myself from poverty was not quick or easy,                                                      Although the lucrativeness of sex work at first made me believe it would be.      Sustainable change takes time                                                                                                         In the long run, it took a lot of hard, unpaid effort educating myself to reach a place of true comfort; for austere years I lived without many things I wanted because most of all, I wanted to be free                                                                                                                                I wouldn’t change my journey for anything                                                                                    I am grateful for all that I learned, the profound ways that I healed spiritually and am healing still, the people I met, the goals I accomplished, the places I’ve lived and…

how good it feels to finally come home to myself, to my heart and my body                     The journey isn’t over, but I know that whatever the future brings, I am ready

…and for the moment, bra-less

Bi-Curiouser and Curiouser

I feel bi-curiouser and curiouser
Is it because of my genes that my eyes follow the curves of ladies’ jeans?
Is it because I was molested by my mother that women intrigue me?
Or is it because I suffered so many violations by men when I was younger
That I became a commercial sex worker just to profit from my skills
And now have fear and rage toward Y chromosome carriers,
That I fantasize about women more and more?

Women are beautiful
Visualizing their bodies near me,
I erupt in earth-moving orgasms

I am more bi-curious every day

To the point that bi is no longer a question- is the answer to why being with a man never felt quite right and at night I dream of they and I, the invitation of their thighs

I want to read you cover to cover, my bi-curious lover

Their eyes are bluer than any other.

Our love is pure albeit undercover.

They are not she or he

They are we

My Secrets

Here are some of my secrets:

I was abused as a child in every way                                                                                      Though my family is easily mistaken as near-perfect to this day                                                The worst repercussion is that the abuse robbed me of my voice                                              Left me without a sense of power or choice

After puberty I found that sex work fit seamlessly with my skill-set                                         It was the most livable wage I’ve earned yet                                                                                   But I didn’t feel like I was living when I only lived for money
As an adult I entered and survived a series of unhealthy relationships                                    Though it took abortions to help cut the ties                                                                                    I still fear that my exes will come after me                                                                                     And have nightmares about them at night

I feel like I’ve dodged a whole battle-field of bullets
Because I am happy at the moment and not pregnant
I am grateful that I don’t have any kids
Because I am just now learning how to take care of myself
I am stunned that I’ve never had an STD
At least that I know of, although the jury is still out after my latest round of poor decisions (unprotected sex: what is wrong with me? Oh yeah, I’m recovering from a brutal upbringing that trained me to please others in order to survive; I shut-down in silence although I want to scream ‘NO!’).

Insert compassion here, and self-observation without judgement.

I remember thinking, ‘there must be angels in my vagina’ when I tested negative for HIV
After half of America had had sex with me without condoms
I was a staunch atheist at the time
But the miracle awoke in me a sense of the divine
I feel like I swam through miles of sewage and came out clean on the other side

The secret that I am searching for
Is how to heal my mind
I wish I could forget all the traumatic memories from my life
Because they get in the way
Resurfacing at inconvenient times when I am trying to get through the day
There are so many traumas

All I can do is breathe into them when they arise
Observe them for what they are
Listen to them, and learn from them

But damn, that’s a lot of trauma for one life
Remembering it is the worst part
Because the pain perpetuates without an end in sight
And my heart goes to the races every night
I try to tell it, ‘Whoa, slow down’
But the gun goes off and there is no turning back,
thundering around the track

The secret is, there is no secret that I know of to recover from trauma
I only hope that the amount of rape I’ve endured in my life means that I’ve taken a hit for the team, so that other women experience it less, as it no secret that, ‘one out of four women will be raped in her lifetime.’  Which I believe is an under-estimate.
In my case, most of the rapes involved unspoken non-consent
Or lack of ‘enthusiastic consent’, which is a term I recently learned and want to share.

Evening is falling now
And calling me with
Smoke and fire crackers and divine secrets

Now I know that whenever I have a PTSD flashback, I must remind myself that I am safe, loved, and worthy.

My sense of being loved by the universe will outlast all my doubts and panic attacks.

Take what you no longer need and offer it to the divine.

Give back the toxic energy that people poured onto you, and take back your own beautiful, sacred energy.

Cut the ties which bind you to that which you never wanted, so that you may more fully feel that which you desire, which is within you, which has always been within you and always will be.