Feminist sometimes claim that working as a prostitute can be empowering, and that sex work is a legitimate profession.
Well, this former prostitute begs to differ.
In a sobering open letter to all her former clients, 35-year-old Tanja Rahm recounts her feelings during her time in the sex industry.
Rahm, who hails from Denmark, spent three years of her early 20’s working as an escort.
She starts off by telling all her clients:
“If you think that I ever felt attracted to you, you are terribly mistaken. I have never had any desire to go to work, not once.”
Rahm’s letter was written in a book titled Prostitution Narratives, which includes accounts from women from all over the world about their time in the sex industry.
Throughout the letter, Rahm describes in detail the hollowness she felt towards the men who praised her, writing:
“If you thought you were doing me a favour by paying me for 30 minutes or an hour, you were wrong. I would rather have had you in and out as fast as possible.
When you thought yourself my holy saviour, asking what a pretty girl like me was doing in a place like that, you lost your halo when you proceeded to ask me to lie down on my back, and then put all your efforts into feeling my body as much as possible with your hands.”
“If you thought you paid for loyalty or small talk, you need to think again. I had zero interest in your excuses. I did not care that your wife had pelvic pain, and that you just could not go without sex.”
Rahm explained that it was all a lie:
“When you thought I understood you and had sympathy for you, it was all a lie. I had nothing but contempt for you, and at the same time you destroyed something inside of me.”
Eventually, her encounters destroyed her faith in men:
“You sowed the seeds of doubt in me. Doubt as to whether all men were just as cynical and unfaithful as you were.
When you praised my appearance, my body, or my sexual abilities, you could just as well have vomited on me. You did not see the person behind the mask.”
I onsdags var jeg i Norge og tale på Stavanger Universitet…. Aftenposten har i dag bragt min tale i deres… http://t.co/F7EY52kKpD
— Tanja Rahm (@TanjaRahm) May 24, 2015
A once beaten down Rahm explained how she only fueled unrealistic fantasies men have towards women:
“You only saw that which confirmed your illusion of a raunchy woman with an unstoppable sex drive.
In fact, you never said what you thought I wanted to hear. Instead, you said what you yourself wanted to hear.
Because you had one goal only, and that was to show off your power by paying to use my body as it pleased you.”
Ultimately, she blames men for the existence of prostitution:
“They are only prostitutes because men like you stand in the way of healthy and respectful relationships between men and women.
Prostitutes exist only because men like you feel you have the right to satisfy your sexual urges using the orifices of other people’s bodies.
Prostitutes exist because you and your peers feel that your sexuality requires access to sex whenever it suits you.
Prostitutes exist because you are a misogynist, and because you are more concerned with your own sexual needs than relationships in which your sexuality could actually flourish.”
She does not, however, explain how she entered the sex industry in the first place, or why she chose to stay.
Still, she is receiving almost nothing but support and praise from readers:Image Credit: Facebook
While Rahm’s story is just one of many, it seems to be waking people up to the reality of sex work.