I’m finally reading a raft of sex worker memoirs I should have years ago, but didn’t. Those that populate the current pile follow the same arc: good white girls gone wild, took clothes off for money, “explored” their “bad” sides, “learned something.” They represent four decades of personal writing about sex work. They aren’t even all that inaccurate. They’re just more representative of what editors like than what sex work is like.
The book I am waiting for is the one where the author admits that sex work didn’t actually make her “interesting,” or radical, or different. That she crossed no great line.
(image: Sydney Biddle Barrows, “The Mayflower Madam,” for New York Magazine)