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A Whore’s Manifesto: An Anthology of Writing and Artwork by Sex Workers

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Sex work was once thought to be anathema to women’s liberation. Now, to some, we represent the tenacity of women’s struggles under patriarchy and capitalism—that is, at least, the white, straight, cis, able-bodied sex workers who don’t engage in actual sex with clients. These are the workers who get the glossy media profiles and get touted as feminist icons. But the red um Sex work was once thought to be anathema to women’s liberation. Now, to some, we represent the tenacity of women’s struggles under patriarchy and capitalism—that is, at least, the white, straight, cis, able-bodied sex workers who don’t engage in actual sex with clients. These are the workers who get the glossy media profiles and get touted as feminist icons. But the red umbrella is wide and covers so many: escorts, sugar babies, strippers, session wrestlers, cam performers, fetish models, DIY queer porn stars, and the full range of gender, race, and ability. Our work and our identities are as vast and variable as the spectrum of sexuality itself. We do the work. In the streets, in the clubs, in hotel rooms, and in play party dungeons. We make dreams come true so we can afford a place to sleep. We do business in a marketplace that politicians and police are constantly burning down for our “own safety and dignity.” We have high heels and higher anxiety. This isn’t a collection of sob stories of heartbroken whores. This is a testament of life at ground zero of sexual discourse, the songs of canaries in the coal mines of sex, gender, class, race, and disability. We may dance on the table, but we still demand our seat at it. Sex workers of the world unite. This is A Whore’s Manifesto.


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Sex work was once thought to be anathema to women’s liberation. Now, to some, we represent the tenacity of women’s struggles under patriarchy and capitalism—that is, at least, the white, straight, cis, able-bodied sex workers who don’t engage in actual sex with clients. These are the workers who get the glossy media profiles and get touted as feminist icons. But the red um Sex work was once thought to be anathema to women’s liberation. Now, to some, we represent the tenacity of women’s struggles under patriarchy and capitalism—that is, at least, the white, straight, cis, able-bodied sex workers who don’t engage in actual sex with clients. These are the workers who get the glossy media profiles and get touted as feminist icons. But the red umbrella is wide and covers so many: escorts, sugar babies, strippers, session wrestlers, cam performers, fetish models, DIY queer porn stars, and the full range of gender, race, and ability. Our work and our identities are as vast and variable as the spectrum of sexuality itself. We do the work. In the streets, in the clubs, in hotel rooms, and in play party dungeons. We make dreams come true so we can afford a place to sleep. We do business in a marketplace that politicians and police are constantly burning down for our “own safety and dignity.” We have high heels and higher anxiety. This isn’t a collection of sob stories of heartbroken whores. This is a testament of life at ground zero of sexual discourse, the songs of canaries in the coal mines of sex, gender, class, race, and disability. We may dance on the table, but we still demand our seat at it. Sex workers of the world unite. This is A Whore’s Manifesto.

40 review for A Whore’s Manifesto: An Anthology of Writing and Artwork by Sex Workers

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    This book was simply amazing. It was emotional, uplifting, unnerving, and inspiring.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Content warnings: sex, sexual abuse, anti-sex worker comments, graphic sexual language and scenes, sexual trauma, nude images and illustrations of feminine-presenting bodies, strong language This was a powerful read. It took a lot out of me to read. I really connected to the poems surprisingly, more than I thought I would. It is not just a commentary on the lives of sex workers, the anthology discusses society and patriarchy’s view of bodies and sexuality. There is an absolute double Content warnings: sex, sexual abuse, anti-sex worker comments, graphic sexual language and scenes, sexual trauma, nude images and illustrations of feminine-presenting bodies, strong language This was a powerful read. It took a lot out of me to read. I really connected to the poems surprisingly, more than I thought I would. It is not just a commentary on the lives of sex workers, the anthology discusses society and patriarchy’s view of bodies and sexuality. There is an absolute double standard when it comes to sex, society’s view of sex and sexuality is very black and white. And I think this anthology talks about this very well. I applaud the writers who contributed to the anthology because that wouldn’t have been easy to do. It was intriguing to see the correlation of experiences of different sex workers. It is sad that sex workers are scorned so much, even by so-called feminists.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lucsbooks

    Trigger warnings: sexual harassment, homophobia, transphobia, sex work... More than the theme of this book, I ended up requesting it because I was already familiar with Clementine’s work. Clementine does not contribute with any poems of her own but her introduction completely sets the mood and pace for the rest of the book. Every poem, photo, drawing demand respect rather than asking for it. The title itself has the perfect balance between political and eye-catching and the Trigger warnings: sexual harassment, homophobia, transphobia, sex work... More than the theme of this book, I ended up requesting it because I was already familiar with Clementine’s work. Clementine does not contribute with any poems of her own but her introduction completely sets the mood and pace for the rest of the book. Every poem, photo, drawing demand respect rather than asking for it. The title itself has the perfect balance between political and eye-catching and the first thing you get to read is Clementine’s introduction, setting the rules and the tone for the rest of the poets as well as what the reader should look for in each poem. This book promises honesty from the start and sometimes that can be uncomfortable or even unpleasant to read. Sex work has traditionally been looked down by “polite” society even though practically everyone is a consumer in various degrees. The reality that a lot of the people working in the industry belong to minorities and disenfranchised groups while most of the clients are white cis men that make the rules is felt throughout every page with different results. While sometimes that leads to a feeling of power over the “johns”, a lot of the times sex workers, not being protected by law or recognized as meaningfully employed are an easy target for violence and discrimination in addition to the abuse they already face thanks to their race, gender, sexual orientation and so many more.. I was looking forward to learning and see the world through a different perspective but I was wholly unprepared for how much I loved this collection. Of course, books with different contributors are always a gamble, because you will not connect with every one of them but there were only a couple of poems that I found more difficult to understand. And let me tell you, I don’t think I ever enjoyed an anthology more than this. At the very end, there is a small blurb for every one of the poets which I found genius because not only it helped disband some of the preconceived ideas we might have about the authors, it also provided some of the poems with context and allowed me to look for more of their works. All in all, this is a very short book with a pretty heavy theme and pretty heavy poems but I find that works like this are more and more necessary in a society that is obsessed with sex but embarrassed by sexuality. Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Thorntree for this ARC.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amelia

    I received an ARC via Edelweiss. I hadn't realised before starting this collection by sex workers that it was poetry not essays or prose, so was well out of my comfort zone but ended up really delighted to be there. I found this anthology moving, elucidating, and enjoyable, and I'd definitely recommend it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    CR

    This one was very good. It was a collection poems and short stories. It contained women's feels and insight to their lifestyle and I loved every second of it. This is one of those titles where you read a few pages put it down and come back to it later to read a few more. It's a book to take your time with it and enjoy each story.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

  7. 5 out of 5

    Peyton Hammond

  8. 4 out of 5

    Abradon Williams

  9. 4 out of 5

    Salome

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jen

  11. 5 out of 5

    -RadioactiveBookworm-

  12. 4 out of 5

    Leigh

  13. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Martin

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Forrester

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stuti Agrawal

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  17. 5 out of 5

    Riley Brubaker)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Kleeberger

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kristy Lin Billuni

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stacy Lucas

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chantel Katharina

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mona

  25. 5 out of 5

    Connie

  26. 5 out of 5

    Helen Geng

  27. 5 out of 5

    SA

  28. 5 out of 5

    Court

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  30. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  31. 5 out of 5

    Drin

  32. 5 out of 5

    Kevix Mark

  33. 4 out of 5

    Teamama

  34. 4 out of 5

    Hayley

  35. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

  36. 4 out of 5

    Jess

  37. 4 out of 5

    Julianna Keyes

  38. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  39. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

  40. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

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