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surviving the sex industry

by john bellamy


Get a cuppa and a ciggie ready, as this is long.....


I believe that society desperately needs to learn some truths in order to find an enlightened path forward.


This can start with our attitudes surrounding sex and the sex workers, as only when we find truth within ourselves and forgiveness towards those who aim their weapons of destruction in your direction with the weapons of ignorance, intolerance, denial, indifference, and often complete hatred;- can any progress be made, and too many people are ignorant as to the value of a healthy emotional & sexual life.


We cannot blame society for being the way it is around sexuality, but we can help enlighten it further, and we can only do so when we find enlightenment within ourselves.


Truth, like anything else, has to start with you personally, and when you find your own worth,- and your own power, - can you then share that with others. Once you have found yourself, others will listen, and some may even follow.  Only then can you truly be strong within your self.








I believe that sex workers ( or for those who ask me what a sex worker is --- a prostitute , a rent boy, a whore, ) are SOCIAL WORKERS and without them there would be a whole new mess for society to sort out. Sexual frustration is a powerful, dangerous and deadly physical and emotional tool,  and in the hands of a small minded society,  kept in ignorance of the truth - this can,  and does,  create havoc.


Just look at the billions of $ being paid in compensation by the Catholic Church in the USA because of priests who need to express themselves sexually, and sadly,  do so with the choir boys and girls, as well as sexually abusing adult parishioners. And before you crucify the priests,  be aware that many are inexperienced and unsupported by the church who has fostered sexual depravity by outlawing sex for its workforce. As a God given and natural bodily function, the church itself  MUST take responsibility for what these priests have been doing.  The very institution itself and their celibacy rule, fosters an unhealthy chaos within these sexually inexperienced priests,  who are offered little support or guidance. This is in no way an excuse, as sadly, many have suffered at the hands of priests and nuns,  but all parties involved are victims of abuse, and all are worthy of our prayers, our sympathies, and counseling.  It is the boss and his guidebook - or the Pope and the Bible - who are to blame for being so absolute - so rigid in their dealings with protecting the church and damning those at the receiving end of the abuse and it is the hierarchy that is to blame.


The sex worker helps alleviate societies frustrations - by taking it off the boil before it erupts, and this helps create a calmness in humanities loins.


Society appears to be a sick and irresponsible child and sex workers,  I believe,  are the nannies


Many within society, viciously attack the sex worker with hatred and bile while remaining totally ignorant to the true value and meaning of their work, and ignorant as to the person themselves and their lifestyle. It seems that some are content to remain that way - maybe out of resentment, jealousy or envy, or maybe - as especially - out of fear. 


This was made very clear to me when making a TV programme recently (November 2009 - Channel 4 - '3 in a BED' ) when one of the other B&B owners being interviewed showed a level of ignorance when it was revealed that I had once been a sex worker, that stunned everyone, even the film crew.  He claimed to know all about the sex industry but through a brief discussion he proved that he knew bugger all.    He voiced his opinions loud and clear and was totally unwilling to listen to someone who could answer his mass of questions and statements.  He was blocked. He was afraid to hear some truths that might just alter his viewpoint and he adamantly assumed himself  to be right,  while actually showing us all how ignorant and uneducated he was on the subject.  He was totally into denial and unwilling to listen. 


It's a bit like the politicians,   who when faced with scandals over money and expenses, deny any wrong doing when the whole country knows they are thieves.  Or the bankers who screwed up the economy and then claim to be doing 'God's work' and then claim huge bonuses.



Men,  in their often child like manner, compared to the wise woman, seem to bully and dominate the very thing that they fear the most  - women - and an independent sexually active female may often be some men's ultimate fantasy, but men are all too often scared and intimidated by a strong women, especially one in control of her sexuality. They then damn her as being a whore or a lesbian and say she's butch, when the truth all too often is that they cannot cope with a women with a free mind of her own.


The original wife to Adam in the Garden of Eden was Lilleth, who was a dominant women made from one SIDE of Adam and not just a rib, and who took control of her sexuality and would sit on top of Adam. The church in its fear of sexuality and of women, turned her into the Satan - the snake - and most have never heard of Lilleth, for she was banished from the story books and banished from our consciousness.  Biblical writings and how they have been mis translated and used - have messed up the lives of millions with mistruths and bullshit - aimed at controlling humanity through damning sexuality as wrong, and this rhetoric goes back almost 2,000 years.


My sister was a sex worker - an escort - in London, and sadly, because of the attitude of society towards sex workers, she never accepted her role. It caused her a great deal of emotional, physical and psychological turmoil. It tore her apart. After years as a top dancer ( a Bluebell Girl ) and fashion model, thinking she knew nothing else, and needing to earn some money - she turned to the oldest profession.


I was also a full time sex worker for almost 2 decades  and was the longest and most established gay male sex worker in the UK, until I retired in November 1999 in preperation to buying Hamilton Hall.


Originally, in 1985 when I was 30,   I was broke and in debt. I was out of work having just returned to the UK from  living in the  USA and this was just going to put a few bob in the bank and enable me to look for a 'proper job,'   but as the money rolled in and I got busier,  I realized I had found my true vocation,  and I loved it.


This was a job I was born to do.


Oh, I would get the inevitable 'John - why don't you get a proper job, you are very intelligent and clever and handsome so surely there must be something better you can do....'   and my response would be to tell them how much money I had earned that year, AFTER TAX ( yes, I always claimed my income and paid tax) and that would shut them up as I was earning 3 times as much as my accountant,   and besides, many gay men would just LOVE to be good enough,- hung enough,- sexy enough,- emotionally stable enough,- etc. to be a sex worker;   and denying that fact is naive.


I suppose I took to it like a duck to water while my sister, bless her, splashed around and kept being sucked under,  only to erupt to the surface and be flailing around in all directions, causing herself to get sucked under yet again. Her inner panic would always overtake her and down she would go again.   Sadly, one day never to surface. She died aged 36 - a slow suicide from vodka.


Society had won.   Another dead whore.   Good enough to fuck, but not good enough for sympathy, friendship, understanding, acceptance - - - - or love.    Another person less to resent  and all because she was using her sexuality, not only for her own enjoyment, but as a tool in order to manipulate men, ( as these little boys see it ) and to make a good income for herself, independent of any man.


And that just pisses most straight men off.


Having a strong personality and spiritual beliefs ( not religious ) gave me something that enabled me to get a grip on the industry,- while she was unable or unwilling to accept any help from me. But with a little self realization and self work  she could have survived intact,- but working on the self was far too scary for her, too introspective and too deep, and so she swam out against the tide, into deep uncharted water and allowed more and more of the problem to overcome her, and she was beyond my help. Beyond anyone's help. The tide of despair and self loathing brought on largely by the problems of being a sex worker,   swallowed her up.


And why ? Because society lives in fear of the one thing that can help it overcome many of its problems .




As a sex worker who enjoyed his work, a great deal of what  I  did was non sexual.  Listening. Being sympathetic and understanding, helping guide where I could and helping so many  people with their problems,  and it was always wonderful when someone returned a changed man simply from our shared conversation.


Do not assume all sex workers are dumb or unintelligent,   for many attend university and many have high powered and well paid jobs, they just enjoy the sex and the company.


For we live in a very sex negative society where anyone enjoying themselves, is frowned upon and damned, and the smoke-screen of denial is dangerous and destructive and even to be found in the sexually active gay world.  Just compare the burbs with - say - London.


But why is society such a sick child when it comes to sexuality ? Why have we had so much negative input concerning what is a completely natural act ?  Where does this come from in our conditioning ?

The Original Sin was Eve having to have children through sexuality as a punishment for leading poor defenseless little Adam astray with the apple in the Garden of Eden. This was said to be God's punishment, but is pure man made nonsense. Poor little Adam, seduced by little old Eve... he was defenseless against her sexual charms ( oh spare me the clap trap...)


Mary Magdelene in the Bible was called a whore, when she was no such thing, and in fact, evidence shows she was more probably a black priestess and healer from Ethiopia, damned by the woman hating men of her generation that surrounded Jesus and who saw her as a threat - and that misogynistic attitude has come through the ages and has caused untold harm, death and destruction of the human soul and psyche.


Screwed up men edited the original biblical documents into this 'collection of books - library ' (Bible) and when it came to sex, they realized they needed to control sexuality in order to control the people, and biblical documents were edited to strengthen their case.

We have now had almost 2,000 years of screwed up rhetorical clap trap which we have believed for generations, believing it as gospel because it was this way for Granny and her Granny before her;- so it must be right. When the truth is, we have all been lied to from the very beginning and we have believed it to be true.  ( A bit like the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq...)


But the guide book society is largely based on, is flawed,  badly flawed, and preached from, in the pulpits, on Sundays,:- and society has suffered the consequences.


You see:-

Sex, is one of the most powerful tools and the most powerful drives we have. Sex is good. Sex is beautiful. Sex brings harmony to your soul and peace to your world. Sex, whether it is between loving partners or complete strangers, can - if done through love and care - be part of your enlightened journey and can bring a wealth of happiness. Only when denied and manipulated;- only when damned and turned ugly, is sex a harmful thing, as it states in the Bible, abusive sex is bad.


We need to teach the truth to our children, educate them correctly and watch as they become balanced human beings with less attitude, less fucked-up weirdness and less problems than previous generations. Society needs to have firm foundations and the best way to achieve this - is to have a happy and contented society. Sexuality is not the only thing that makes for stable people, but it is - for sure - a major force.












Sexual abuse is wrong. Period.  Not just with children but between adults as well.  But what about the abuse aimed at society once the social workers, police and courts get involved... the unseen abuse... so often hidden while screaming even more abuse at the man in the anorak, the gay man, the black lesbian, the unmarried mother  or the single parent,, aimed at them by the bully at school, the boss at work, the church leaders or incompetant policemen and doctors who apologise for killing patients with lack of professionalism.  What about the abuse of the legal system by the governing bodies who should know better or councils who abuse their powers and use terrorism legislation to monitor local families ?


Metering out abuse at others who abuse, is the same thing. Two wrongs do not make a right, (as my Mother use to say), and many who scream abuse, are the very people abusing.

We need to lighten up as a society concerning sexuality and stop it being 'X Rated' and rude, as just see how prolific the internet is with pornography  and we need to realize that we have been lied to.


The sexual sin in the Bible, is of abusive sexuality in any form, and this does need looking at in society. Abuse is wrong, but we need desperately to recognise where it is coming from, who it is aimed at, and the truth behind the truth, for much of what we think we know, is wrong.  The sex worker IS or alt least CAN BE - doing vital and important work and it is about time the police, courts and people at large realized that every time the court fines a street walker... she has to go back onto the streets to earn the fine...  so it is just tax in a different guise.




©John Bellamy 1998

© John Bellamy - re worked 2010




Most of the rhetoric you hear about sex workers selling their bodies on the streets, being drug takers and working to pay off their dealers - or that they all have violent pimps and are infected with HIV and goodness knows what,- is untrue. It can be the case, sometimes, BUT GENERALLY IS NOT. Most women are simply trying to raise their children with a roof over their heads, food in their bellies and clothes on their backs.


Generally, sex workers are MUCH more aware of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases than Joe Public and MUCH more aware of being health conscious, despite what the media may pretend. It's a tough place out there - and not everyone is as privileged, as educated or have parents that care, let alone support. It can be a cruel world and many men and women who sell sex, do so for the financial support it offers and NOT to purchase drugs, pay a pimp or anything else. Some even do it because they enjoy it, and the money is good and the lifestyle that goes with it, so what's the problem... they are doing a job they enjoy.. much as I did.


PLEASE: Don't believe half the clap trap you hear about prostitution, as most is just so untrue and a manipulation to sell more papers.   How do you think the street girls pay their fines when 'rounded up' - taken to court and prosecuted ?


If a prostitute pays someone a percentage of their income, that person is then called a Pimp. What would you call the tax man who knew EXACTLY what I did for a living and taxed me accordingly ??? What does that make the tax man and what does that make the government ?




The GDP of the UK includes the illegal drug trade and the sex trade, so what does that tell you ?


Writing about my sister was painful for me to do and this article first appeared in 'The Pink Path' magazine in 1998. Having reviewed and reworked it for you here, it was interesting to see how the emotions were equally as passionate and equally and teary,   while from a different perspective today than a few years ago.


Writing in this manner is great therapy and great for getting those hidden emotions out there. It certainly made me feel sad, yet I realized how I had changed since originally writing about her, and I have put her to rest a long time ago, kind of.... What was, can never be changed and she lived her own karmic journey, and I am living mine. I miss her still, but know that life goes on and despite her pain, many have learned through her experiences since her death, for I have continued to speak of her to many of the men and women I have known in the sex industry, as a way of warning. I am glad to say, more have survived because of this that I can tell you about.


Even in the gay world there is an attitude surrounding Sex Workers, and although a lot different to how it was when I started in the 1980's, there are still many who remain ignorant and seem to enjoy and revel in their ignorance, and I find this - in the new century, a worry. For if people are prepared to remain ignorant on a subject as powerful and emotive as sexuality is for many, what are they going to be like when it comes to politics, religion or any of the powerfully motivated reasons we kill and destroy others over ? How are we ever going to grow and evolve as people, as a community and as a global family if some are content to damn and destroy the very people who are here to HELP SOCIETY... this sick and troubled child we call humanity.


When we see the USA blatantly lie to its people and keep them in ignorance as to the world truth, and when Blair lies to the UK about weapons of mass destruction and seemed to be the last person alive to realize he was wrong - and when we have politicians and church people lying through their teeth and putting spin on absolutely everything,  and when big business lies and steals from its customers - how can we as people grow and evolve with such role models ?


How can we expect people to know the truth when they hear it through the bullshit lies ?


How can we expect the next generations to be good citizens when our government takes us into an illegal and immoral war where thousands of innocent men women and children are horribly murdered by our soldiers - and all in the name of fighting terrorism - when I ask you... Who is the biggest terrorist ?  Who are the biggest whores ?


I am aware that some will have an attitude concerning this article and about my lifestyle and to state that the problem is really not mine... is true. I am SO PROUD of what I have achieved and if you have a problem with it, ask yourself --- WHY ?


Why are you offended by another person who chose sex as a career ?


Why are you so annoyed / angry / resentful / jealous ?


Believe me, I have heard it all a thousand times and even if you don't know the answers, I sure as hell do. Never underestimate the sex worker, - never assume anything in life.




e mails from people concernig this lengthy article.


Bloody well done on yu John. What an amazing write up about the sex biz - sorry tho bout your sis - you certainly shine  avery different lite on the sex industry. I was  a prozzy for some time back in Oz to pay my way thru college and I met some great guys, had some good sex and earned more than enough to set myself up in a biz after I finnished my degree.  many gave me attitude bout it bt fuck um - I did what I did and loved it and warm wishes to you and thanks for a laugh, as your article made me laugh and cry.  Well done mate.  Benny ( Sydney Oz.)



John:  I was a sex worker in the 80's and 90's and although I have been out of the business for over a decade - I am just so bored with sex.  It's the same old thing, everyone wants to worship my dick all the time, which is fine, but I do not get to ever meet guys who i can worship.  Dos that make a lot of sense.  I also want to get on my knees to a superb dick and worship - i also want someone else to be brave enough to make sexual demands of me - and not me doing all the work all the time.  Is this because I am just so experienced - because I am use to taking sexual control - because I am less shy etc. or is this because I am not meeting the right guys for sex - that most men are absolutely crap at sex or because most men are scared of sex and scared - like little boys - in case their fucking precious little ego is hurt and they do not perform adequately.  I can have a gaggle of guys around me in a fuck bar all grabbing at me and I can get sex anywhere, but never the sex I want, where someone is brave enough to just enjoy it being both ways and allowing me to have some fun enjoying what they have to offer as well as it always being about my dick all the time.  Sure I am hung a huge 10inches and I want to meet a guy hung like me, who enjoys having it worshipped by me ... Is that too much to expect.  Chuck.


Dear Chuck - Well you have really answered your own question and yes, I agree, Most men are crap at sex and many are scared lttle boys - assuming they are good at it but actually many are intimidated by sex and the sex worker who is more experinced... and that scares them.  Being confident in your own abilities without it becoming arrogantly overbearing is a good thing but does in timidate others.

I am with you on the bored with sex p[art, totally,  as I rarely have sex myself these days because I am not prepared to have boring sex that is just that - boring - and while I am actually very easy these days - I also do not seem to meet those who are brave enough or those who simply are not intimidated...





I believe that through Freedom of Sexual Expression, society will become a lot less violent and dysfunctional.

Through Freedom of Speech, people will feel they have a voice and a valid part to play in society.

Through Freedom of Movement society will feel trusted in order to be the best they can be.

And through Freedom of Belief, everyone can be encouraged to follow their journey, their path,

and not feel damned and judged at every turn.


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