Anonymous asked: How do you feel about pics from SW displaying all their cash moneys and other luxury tributes? Gross capitalistic display or empowering SW imagery?
[My brain is fried right now, so I’m sorry if these words make little-to-no-sense the way I’ve strung them together]
Ooooh this is a really good question. It’s actually something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and I’m still not sure I have a definitive answer.
As of right now, I’m inclined to say that it really depends on the particular sex worker who’s taking + posting the picture. If you come from a background of poverty, or if you’re not privileged in a lot of the ways that most high-earning sex workers are (young, thin, white, cis, educated, etc.) then posting a picture of your earnings has connotations of hard-won celebration + defiance. If, however, you’re from a middle-class background and/or happen to look a lot like the very particular beauty ideal in our society (like me), the context changes. That picture is going to come across more like rubbing your privilege in people’s faces. And that’s not cool. It’s often hard to tell what someone’s background is and what their particular privileges are, though, so don’t go around shaming anyone for posting these photos. Just maybe don’t post them yourself if you’re a young, white “elite companion” making $800/hr or whatever.
I also feel like saying a few words about why sex workers in particular are so likely to do this literal money shot thing. 1. Sex work is one of very few occupations in which income is usually cash 2. Sex work is one of very few occupations in which income is often large sums of cash 3. Sex work is one of very few occupations in which income is so inconsistent. When you make $200 one week, you’re more likely to want to shout to the world about making $1000 the following Tuesday. 4. The level of risk most sex workers take (in terms of stigma if not also criminalization) makes the money feel particularly hard earned, and, therefore, more worthy of bragging about.
If more people worked under these sorts of conditions, more people would be posting these kinds of photos. So it’s not that sex workers are particularly greedy or status-obsessed; it’s that no one is giving us a steady paycheck with a firm handshake of approval. (Not that you were implying that that was the case. Just throwing it out there.)
In all, it’s a phenomenon that is very understandable to me, if not necessarily something I approve of across the board.