Four years ago, I quit my full-time teaching job to be a whore—to travel the world and to make art. […] These days I continue to work as an escort in LA, but I am at the tail-end of my sex work career. Burnt out and jaded, I have seen and done it all. In the past, whenever I wanted to get out of the sex work profession, I wasn’t able to. So often you make a choice but then for different reasons you have to continue doing the work, so it isn’t a choice at all. Without sex work I was mostly doing shit minimum wage jobs like hustling for donations for the environment outside of grocery stores. Because I feast and famine quite frequently I find myself doing survival sex, and this can be very traumatic. I can’t go back to teaching because I have a criminal record. I was banned from the district for five years.
Prominent activist and artist Mariko talked to Melissa Petro about her experiences in the sex industry. This bit beautifully highlights how much criminalization sucks and does no good for sex workers, ever.