(Image courtesy of Red Umbrella Project)
Prose & Lore is a literary journal published by the New York sex workers’ rights organization Red Umbrella Project. Memoir stories about sex work are collected in two issues per year (Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer). We at Tits and Sass have been following Prose and Lore since the journal began, and the fourth issue is even more fantastic than those that preceded it. Prose & Lore Issue 4 features 20 original, true stories about experiences in the sex trades, written by sex workers who were supported in writing their stories through Red Umbrella Project’s peer-led writing workshops in NYC and by mentor editors who worked with folks from outside of NYC. Contributors include new writers we have our eye on like Ava Talley and Leigh Alanna, our very own Tits and Sass co-editor Caty Simon and longtime Tits and Sass contributors Lori Adorable and Elle Stranger, Tits and Sass interview subject and harm reduction pioneer L. Synn Stern, and veteran Desiree Alliance activist Cris Sardina. Issue 4 came out on July 15th - order ebook or print copies directly through RedUP or enter to win one of five free copies on Goodreads. Interested in writing for the next issue? Details will be posted on this page and RedUP’s tumblr.
Here we feature an excerpt of the journal, the piece “Got Milk?” by Janet, about her experience working as a pregnancy fetish and lactation fetish provider during and after her pregnancy. Janet’s wry humor and honesty about finding a way to make bank as a single mom student escort who was terrified that getting knocked up would leave her unemployed had us cracking up through just about every paragraph. Janet was born and raised in New Jersey and has been a sex worker for 18 years, half her life. She started dancing at lock doors and strip clubs, but after getting tired of the dancing scene, she went on to work at various services as an escort in New York City and Northern New Jersey. She has traveled and worked escort services up and down the East Coast. She is currently working as an independent escort wherever it tickles her fancy.
How does one really decide to be a lactation fetish provider? I would love to say I calculated the short time I had the true potential of making bank, especially with my great fucking nipples and high milk production, which I made it my mission to keep up. I was a single mom and horny as hell. Working while breastfeeding was the only sexual outlet I had and it helped pay some bills. Well, only a small part of that one is true. I was a single mom and it helped pay some bills, but the rest is what I like to call a stereotypical situation avoidance strategy.
I certainly was not out to be the next unwed single mom college dropout. I wish I could have thrown teenage in there but I had done this dumb shit before and like they say, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. I was working on baby number two and in my junior year in college, full-time status, I may add, and technically single. I was already relying strictly on sex work to pay all my living expenses, and living in Northern New Jersey was expensive even then, more than a decade ago. I never really thought it was but everyone that I met was surprised to hear I lived alone as a single mom. They would inevitably go straight to, “Oh, what do you do?” Answering with, “Full time college student” would not work. So I avoided socializing outside of work and the occasional recreational sexual escapade when working was not my cup of tea. This way everyone I spoke to already knew what I did and that I was a full time student. Once I was naked it was pretty obvious from the stretchmarks that I had kids.
My girl counting the money and taking her cut.
My name is Ruby. I’m a sex worker from Australia. Kitty name withheld, she’s a very private lady.
Sex workers, send pictures of your furballs and funds to firstname.lastname@example.org
Nobody liked Logan.
Dear Tits and Sass,
I was with my boyfriend for two years and we decided to take a break at the beginning of this year, shortly after which I began stripping. We recently got back together and I still can’t pluck up the courage to tell him about my new job, which I love. Problem is, his ex-wife was a stripper and he harbors a lot of negative attitude towards strippers and the sex industry in general, and has said some things that make me uncomfortable telling him (“I couldn’t date another stripper”) as well as the fact I’m scared he would tell my parents out of concern. The longer I keep it from him the worse it will look, and besides I think he suspects it already. Help, please!
Secret Stripper [READ MORE]
Cards handed out by the MPD in Washington, DC
In Washington, D.C., police make an effort to make sure sex workers know that condoms (in whatever quantity) are not admissible evidence.
The Network of Sex Work Projects has put together a short film about the damage anti-sex work anti-traffickers do: Collateral Damage: Sex Workers and the Anti-Trafficking Campaigns.
Very bad news about Jill Brenneman’s health problems; there’s a fundraiser up to help her.
Sex workers in the Dolly district of Surabaya, Indonesia, protested the mayor’s efforts to push them out to the very last day, whether they left sex work or left Surabaya:
Authorities are offering each of the estimated 1,400 prostitutes around 5 million rupiah ($420) and training in new professions that are expected to replace prostitution there, such as baking or handicrafts.
…“I am not going to accept the government offer because I really need this work,” said Mawar, who gave only one name, sitting on a faded old sofa inside a club in Dolly.
Sounds a lot like Kristof’s non-solution for sex workers.
Brazilian sex workers played a friendly game of football against evangelical Christians. Unsatisfyingly, this report gives no final score.
A march organized by Honduran sex workers’ rights organization RedTraSex Honduras (Photo via upsidedownworld.org)
Honduran sex workers marched for recognition and protection, protesting the murder of sixteen Honduran sex workers since September of last year.
Canadian sex workers keep it cute: “Jesus had love for Duke Ellington too!”: Tabatha Southey’s cute-but-cogent rebuttal of the current debate around the Nordic model is a must read. Vanessa D’Alessio puts Canadian Justice Minister Peter MacKay on the Bad Date list after elaborating on measures workers take to keep themselves safe and the way the proposed Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act undermines these measures.
Who needs a shelter when you can suck dick for cash? Tits and Sass contributor Tara Burns asks in this post for Vice on surviving foster care through survival sex work.
Lawyers say China’s police-run “custody and education” system for sex workers are the same as re-education labor camps and call for their abolition.
File under The Many Ways To Pole Dance. No, seriously, folks, this video made our week.
In a blow to the grand tradition of dinner dates, a Florida man was arrested after agreeing to an undercover cop’s proposed exchange of a blowjob for salad.
Republicans are casing Kansas City as a potential site for the 2016 RNC and one strip club covered up its sign in hopes of not offending their delicate sensibilities.
Clumsy rewording in Rhode Island bill 2602 does more than equate sex trafficking with sex work: it also equates carpooling with sex workers to trafficking, punishable by the same penalties.
This week in “nope:” A Long Island City strip club offers free lap dances to dads on Father’s Day.