Today, like most days lately, I saw conversations about NFT’s, Crypto and blockchain – the crowd I interact with is largely against NFT’s and Crypto so the conversations are usually quite short. But one of those conversations caught me off guard.
My Mum was asking if my sister (who’s an artistic individual) could make her an NFT. I immediately jump in and explain how bad NFT’s and Crypto are for the environment and send some links to articles with more information. My Mum says she’ll look into it and that she had no idea. Job done. Planet saved. Return to scrolling, right?
Well not exactly.
Despite knowing how bad crypto and NFT’s are I understand why some people are still using them. And I know that I’m a hypocrite because I do also own a small amount of crypto. Part of my journey of learning about cryptocurrency involved me buying some to see how easy it was to interact with. So can I really be so against something I’m taking part in?
And that’s where I spiralled off into a tangent that made me want to write this blog.
If you follow me then you’ll already know (and likely be sick of hearing me talk about) that I’m a Sex Worker. As part of being a Sex Worker, I’ve had to deal with financial discrimination, find different payment methods and figure out where I can actually make money from the content I make. It’s tricky and it just keeps getting more difficult the more moral panic and SWERF lead campaigns grow in strength.
One of the ways that Sex Workers have found to get around banking discrimination is to use cryptocurrency. Some Sex Workers have had great success selling their content as NFT’s. So on that occasion, I’m glad that NFT’s and crypto exist and are (mostly) accessible to the general public.
But that doesn’t change my mind about them being bad for the planet.
So then I’m faced with a moral quandary. Do I – as a Sex Worker – choose to engage with something that I know is harmful to the planet on the off chance that it will create profit for me?
Something that could easily, in the next 10 years, become the only way I can be paid for my online content is hard to ignore. After all, I’m already in a situation where the only payment method available to me on PornHub is cryptocurrency. Of course, the fact that engaging with it will be directly engaging with something that is extremely harmful to our already damaged planet is also hard to ignore.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had to decide whether I choose morals or profit and I’ll bet there are plenty of self-employed people that have faced similar. Even as a consumer you’re always facing that problem. Just change “morality vs profit” to “morality vs affordability” and boom! Those clothes you bought from a fast-fashion outlet? Made in a sweatshop? Contributing to more material waste? Made from unethically sourced materials? A rip off of a design made by a small creator that can’t fight back against a big name corporation? I’m sure you get my point.
Usually my response – as a consumer – is to say that there is no ethical consumption under capitalism. But even then I try to shop local, buy from small shops or independent sellers, buy second hand and do what I can to make informed shopping choices.
I’m constantly learning and doing what I can to improve my personal habits but it’s not easy and not everyone can afford to take that time or spend that extra money. So we’re back to the part where of course we make exceptions for those that need them.
You’ll likely have noticed that we’re going around this thought in a circle. I’m sorry to say I don’t really have an answer or a way to break this loop. My reasoning behind writing and sharing this blog is to remind people to think and to be understanding that other people might be in a situation where they have to choose profits over morals.
There will always be people that genuinely don’t care and would burn the world to make a quick profit. There will always be people that see the hype of something but don’t know the reality of it and maybe don’t have the time to sit and research all the ins and outs of a thing. There will always be people trying to do the “right” thing but unable to afford to do it 100% of the time. At the end of the day, we’re all doing the best we can to keep our heads above water and keep up to date with whatever the latest trend is.
So although there is no ethical consumption under capitalism and most big companies/the 1% will happily make profits at the cost of lives we still have to try and do our part to make things better.
That being said, join a union, support community groups, grassroots organisations, mutual aid groups, don’t cross picket lines and listen to the people that will be affected by policies that are being pushed through by anyone that takes on a “saviour” role.
Sorry, this got a bit heavy and a bit long but I feel like the title gave you a clear idea of what to expect.
Stay Safe & Be Happy x
Like Blue’s work and want to show your support? Why not send her a tip or subscribe to her Patreon or OnlyFans*?
Content Note / Trigger Warning: This blog will discuss sexual health, interacting with medicalprofessionals, relationships (good and bad), teenage pregnancy, abortion, sex work and stigma. (this is also quite a long blog)
Today I went for a sexual health check-up, as I do pretty much every month (as long as I can get an appointment). It was a perfect example of how well these appointments can go but also how much they can bring up that you might not think about. So I wanted to write this blog to talk you through my experience and what it’s brought up for me.
Let’s start at the beginning, to get my appointment I had to phone my local council’s sexual health appointment line and inform them that I am a Sex Worker and need a sexual health check-up. Why do I need to tell them that I’m a Sex Worker? Because right now the NHS is running at reduced capacity due to a combination of COVID19 and lack of funding. So walk-in clinics are not currently running and to try and get a “regular” appointment you have to call at 8 am to maybe get through to a receptionist in time to book an appointment that day – the same system that GP’s use here in the UK which cause’s thousands of people stress and upset every morning. So rather than stress me out and potentially not get an appointment I out myself to the NHS so I can be sure that I’m being safe and aware of my sexual health status.
So even before I’ve gotten to the clinic to get my check up I’ve had to deal with what it means to tell someone that I am a Sex Worker and to acknowledge that being a Sex Worker puts me in the high-risk category which means that I will be given an appointment as quickly as they are able. I have to deal with the fact that it is now recorded on my medical records that I am a Sex Worker. Luckily for me, I’m already out and have come to terms with the idea of being known as a Sex Worker but not every Sex Worker will be prepared to deal with that. It can be a lot to work through. There is so much stigma around being a Sex Worker, I mean let’s be honest, there’s so much stigma around going for a sexual health test, to begin with so being categorised as high risk doesn’t feel great on top of that. But it’s ok, I’ve done it before and I’m ok.
Skip ahead to today, walking to my appointment and trying to drink enough water to make getting blood taken easy but not so much that I’ll be bursting for a pee before I arrive. Get to the clinic, get called in and sit in the waiting room, then on to see the nurse. All very quick, friendly and totally normal. It turns out there’s a second nurse shadowing today so I get double the chat whilst we go through the usual questions, swabs and blood test options. The lead nurse is a lovely woman that I had seen many times before (pre-covid) at the regular walk-in clinics and she is delightful to chat to and catch up with. She’s also checked my file before I’ve arrived and has noticed that I’m due my booster for my Hepatitis B vaccine, which is great because I have no way of checking that, so she gets that organised. We even get to have a funny moment where the first injection malfunctions and spills the contents down my arm – surprising everyone in the room. Then after the booster is successfully injected she informs me that my Mirena coil (my birth control) will expire in February 2022 and asks if she should add me to the waiting list for an appointment to get a replacement – I say yes and that’s all taken care of. She let me know that I’ll likely not get an appointment by February but that I can go onto the pill (a different type of birth control) from February until I get the replacement. We then move on to the usual questions: how many sexual partners, when did I last have sex, any unprotected sex, have I been forced to have sex or experienced any sexual abuse – all the routine questions I get asked at every check-up. That’s all fine, I get given my swabs and sent to the bathroom to take them myself – no problems there. Hand the tubes back and present my arms to see if any of my veins will be suitable for taking blood – I have tiny thin veins so it’s quite common that I end up having blood taken from the veins on the back of my hands. No luck with arms so it’s a hand vein for my blood today. As the second nurse is taking my blood (with help from the lead nurse since it’s my hand and that’s fiddly) we’re making small talk – she’s asking after my partner and asking how we’ve been through COVID19, the usual sort of COVID19 chat and then she asks a little about my sex work and my charity work – all perfectly happy and polite whilst they’re both taking my blood. It’s quite a funny image now that I’m describing it haha. She asks if I’m safe and is clearly concerned and empathetic but I reassure her I’m as safe as I can be and manage to stop myself from diving into my usual rant about how decriminalisation of sex work would make me safer but it’s so nice to see her caring and not judging or trying to tell me that I need to stop. I ask if there have been any updates on the possibility of getting PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis is a daily pill that can help prevent a person from contracting HIV) and she informs me that there have been no changes and that I still wouldn’t be eligible to be prescribed it but she says that it can be purchased online. Then they finish up taking my blood, all the vials are labelled and packaged up, I get some free condoms and my patient card that has my patient number and the results line phone number on it and sent on my way.
Easy peasy. In and out in around 20 minutes. So why did I feel the need to write a blog about this?
Well, there are a few reasons. First of all, to highlight how straightforward going for a sexual health checkup can be. It doesn’t have to be some terrifying thing that you endure. Especially if you get to see well-trained staff that know how to be friendly and professional.
Secondly, I wanted to highlight that getting an appointment (in parts of Scotland at least) right now is needlessly complicated and has meant having to out myself to be seen in a reasonable amount of time. The UK Government has pledged to end new transmissions of HIV by 2030* and likely has made similar pledges to reduce numbers of people testing positive for other sexually transmitted infections and blood born viruses but if people are struggling to access testing then how are we ever going to meet those goals? Some people might be able to pay to get an STI test privately but that can cost up to £99.95** depending on what test you buy. Realistically more needs to be done to provide free sexual health testing and that starts by funding the NHS.
Thirdly, I wanted to highlight that there are nurses and medical professionals that do excellent work and really make me feel safe interacting with the NHS as a Sex Worker. Both of the nurses that I interacted with were lovely, neither of them was judgemental and I left feeling positive about the entire experience. Especially since she had been proactive in mentioning my Hep B booster and my Mirena coil expiring.
However, the last thing I wanted to talk about is the unexpected consequence of my check-up today. This is the point where I discuss things that are not so cheerful so feel free to stop reading now.
This was primarily brought on by the mention that my Mirena coil*** is due to be replaced. Which means having to go in and get the old one removed and a new one put in. For those that don’t know, the Mirena coil is inserted into the womb and then left for 5 years/until removal to prevent pregnancy (amongst other things). It’s a very simple procedure and done whilst your awake, usually you won’t be given any numbing or painkillers – it’s very similar to a smear test in many ways. The procedure itself isn’t absolutely awful, it’s uncomfortable and so far I’ve had horrible cramps after it’s been done but it’s bearable. What makes this a talking point is the memory of why I first got the Mirena coil. When I was seventeen I had a boyfriend, the relationship was very toxic and I faced a lot of mental abuse but then I got pregnant. So I was faced with the dilemma that all teenage pregnancies face, do I keep the child or do I get an abortion? My boyfriend very much wanted to keep the child, he definitely saw this as his golden ticket to keeping me forever. I had a bit of mental breakdown over what this would mean for me either way and eventually decided that I would get an abortion. My Mum, school nurse, head teacher (probably most of the teachers, let’s be honest) and my boyfriend were the only people that knew. When I went to get the termination (as they called it) I was alone, my Mum dropped me off but then had to go to work. I was left in a room by myself after the nurses inserted the medication to wait for everything to pass. It was painful and lonely. I paced the room trying to take my mind off of everything. I’d be doubled over in pain from cramps and then hear footsteps so I’d stand up straight and smile as a nurse appeared at the door’s window to check in on me. I told myself that I deserved any pain that I got because I’d been stupid enough to get myself into this situation. I was bleeding and passing clumps of blood/lining all day but by the end of the day I hadn’t passed enough so I was kept overnight. After I was released the next day I went back to school. Still bleeding and feeling as if parts of my womb were falling out of me every few hours. After that I went for a check up to make sure everything had gone smoothly and it turned out there was still a lot of lining stuck so I would have to be put under local anaesthetic to have everything cleaned out properly. So that was another day off school, alone, in pain and spiralling into some pretty horrible thoughts. But the one thing that always gets me is that when the nurse gave me my gown she didn’t help me with it or offer any kind small talk. I’d never had an operation or worn a hospital gown before so I had no idea how to tie it – when my Mum saw it she immediately said it was done wrong and I explained I’d done it myself, she seemed quite surprised. I don’t know why that always sticks out so much but I guess it’s just one of those things. But the procedure went smoothly, everything was fine and they’d inserted the Mirena coil for me as well whilst I was asleep. So life went back to normal. Back at school, the headteacher asked to chat with me to check-in, so I put on a brave face and tried to make light of the situation not wanting to admit how awful I felt. He then got upset with me for the way I chose to speak about what I had just gone through, saying his wife had had to have a similar procedure and that I should be more considerate…Me, the seventeen-year-old that’s just faced a termination on her own and was having a horrible time mental health-wise, should be more considerate of his feelings about his wife’s procedure. But I didn’t say anything, just apologised and went back to class. You’ll be horrified to know that I stayed with that boyfriend for nearly a year after that. But eventually, I moved on, met the person that became my current partner – granted I dated a few more idiots in between. However, over all that time I told only a small handful of people that I had been pregnant and had gotten an abortion. It was still so upsetting to talk about. It is still so upsetting to talk about, I’ve cried whilst I’ve written the majority of this section. And all of this has been brought up by the simple mentioning of needing to schedule an appointment to get the Mirena coil changed. And that’s me leaving out the horrible relationship stuff. It’s a lot.
It’s also something I had no idea that I would be thinking about today or having to deal with all of the complicated emotions attached to it. So it’s completely thrown me off from whatever I had planned for the rest of my day.
Isn’t it funny that you can have a very pleasant experience but still be in tears because of something that was brought up during it?
So you might be wondering why I’m sharing this publicly when I’d been so private about it before, in all honesty, I think it’s just another thing that I have to let myself be open about to be able to really heal. Sometimes to move on from something properly you have to actually face it head-on again years later. Plus it’s good to let people know that they aren’t the only ones to have faced things like this. And to highlight where we need to try harder to make people feel cared for. Because of the fact that I was allowed to go through all of that entirely on my own, with no counselling being offered after, with a horribly manipulative boyfriend making me feel even worse and no empathy/understanding from the one teacher that did check in on me has been the most difficult part of the entire experience.
So let’s take this story as a reminder that no matter how brave a face someone is putting on, let’s not leave people alone to deal with their problems and let’s actually check in on them and ask them how they are.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you have any questions about sexual health please contact your local sexual health practice or consult official medical resources.
Until next time,
Stay Safe & Be Happy x
If you enjoy Blue’s blogs and want to support her then consider subscribing to her Patreon or sending her a tip on Ko-Fi or TipJar.
Let’s talk about the impact that the COP26 conference is having on sex work & Sex Workers in Glasgow.
Some journalists are already looking to stir up some sensationalist headlines by implying that during COP26 we’ll see an increase in Sex Workers flooding to Glasgow. However, the reality is that most Sex Workers that usually work in Glasgow (or that would travel to Glasgow to work) can’t afford to get accommodation during COP26 and so are having to work elsewhere, only work out calls (where they go to the client), work on the street or are just not working at all during COP26 due to the increased difficulty of getting around.
Whenever there are large events that bring in lot’s of people from other countries/areas (the Superbowl in America, the Olympics, etc.), there will often be stories that pop up in the news about increased sex trafficking or stories about Sex Workers in the area of the event. This is usually just another tactic to bring on moral panic during a time of high emotions and to attack Sex Workers whilst they try and make a living.
What’s more likely to be happening is that there is an increase in the number of people seeking Sex Workers in the event area, so in this case it’s Glasgow. After all, with so many people visiting and sitting through long meetings, it’s no wonder a number of them will be looking for some more hands-on entertainment.
However, due to COP26, most hotels are fully booked and many Airbnb’s have upped their prices or are fully booked. This means that Sex Workers are struggling to find anywhere to work in Glasgow during COP26. Not to mention the road closures, transport services strikes and other ongoing issues will mean getting around Glasgow City Centre is likely to be really difficult, so even if a Sex Worker were to offer outcalls (where they go to the client), they’d likely be struggling to get around. It’s also not very likely that Sex Workers from outside of Glasgow will travel in as they would face the same problems as the locals but with the added cost of their travel into Glasgow.
Many Sex Workers are also still very concerned about COVID19 and the increase in people visiting Glasgow is too much of a concern for them to consider working during COP26. Especially as rules are relaxed and testing becomes less common among the general public. People being double vaccinated is helping ease anxiety but many Sex Workers can’t afford to risk getting sick for extended periods of time and so would rather not risk getting COVID19 at all.
All in all, COP26 may see some Sex Workers being busy and making a profit but a large group of Glasgow based Sex Workers will likely be avoiding Glasgow and either working elsewhere or taking the time off if they can afford to.
Want to be a supportive ally to Sex Workers during COP26? Support Sex Worker led organisations, pay for your porn, send tips to local Sex Workers and call out your friends/acquaintances if they say something prejudiced/stigmatising about Sex Workers. Don’t blindly follow groups or people that talk about “saving” Sex Workers and call people out when they refer to sex work as “violence against women” – there are plenty of male Sex Workers and more often than not those groups are campaigning for things that would cause great harm to the Sex Worker community.
Whatever you’re doing during COP26, stay safe & be happy x
If you enjoy the work that Blue shares consider showing your support by sharing her work or sending her a tip (tips can be made on TipJar & Ko-Fi using the buttons below).
I’ve decided now that I’ve been running my own D&D campaign for a while, that I’m ready to try running a one shot for some other people.
Plus it’s my favourite time of year and that deserves to be celebrated!
So if you like D&D or if you fancy trying it with me as the GM (Game Master) now is your chance!
Priority will be given to people I know personally, then to my Subscribers and then my followers. I’ll be looking to run in groups of 4 or 5 players and I think I can maybe handle 3 of 4 runs. So if you’re interested then click HERE and fill in my short interest form.
I look forward to having a spooktacular time with everyone!
On Thursday (19.8.21) news outlets started saying OnlyFans (OF) was getting rid of explicit content, to which OF told creators they weren’t and then on Friday (21.8.21) OF sent out a mass email to all creators to confirm that they were getting rid of explicit content.
Over the weekend adult content creators have been scrambling to find new platforms and to figure out how they can convince their subscribers to switch to a new platform.
Now we’ve gotten a vague tweet from the OF official Twitter account saying that the ban of explicit content is going to be paused…
This has also been followed up by an official email which feels as if it’s just their way of saying “ok, you’re making too much noise, so we take it back now please leave us alone”. It feels like they’ll just as soon switch back to telling us they are banning explicit content.
Some are seeing this as a victory. Saying that the pressure and public outrage have meant that OF has changed its mind, or that they found a payment processor that’s willing to work with them…
Forgive me for being cynical, but I get the feeling this is a knee jerk and temporary reaction to seeing how many people are mad about the change. I don’t believe that OF is at all trustworthy after this. Remember, they told news outlets before creators and denied the changes the day before the mass email. They have only once referred to Sex Workers on their tweets and it was in a half baked not even apology.
They have done nothing to support Sex Workers through the chaos that they caused and now they are desperately trying to convince us to stay with them so that they can continue to profit from our insecurity and lack of options.
But we have options. There are so many other sites and so many of us have already started switching to them so there’s no point in turning back now.
So What Now?
In my opinion, we should all carry on as if nothing has changed.
OF is not a safe platform for Sex Workers and it will likely never be. So we as Sex Workers need to move on and find platforms that will be safe for us to use long term.
Some are calling for Sex Workers to unionise and fight these policies and as much as I agree and support this call to action, I’m also trying to be practical and keep a roof over my head. We don’t all have the time/energy/money to get into a long-drawn-out political fight for our right to earn a living. Some of us need to find new income and fast, so unionising is something we have to put on the back burner and leave to our more (financially) stable peers.
Don’t get me wrong, if I can find the spare cash, I will join the United Voices of the World union (the only union in the UK actively supporting Sex Workers, check out their Twitter or go straight to their website). I’ll happily go to any marches or events that I can afford to go to. I’ll share information, make videos/blogs and infographics and generally be as much of an activist as I’m able to be.
But the bottom line is that I need to earn enough money to be able to do all of those things without fear of becoming destitute. So right now my priority – like many other Sex Workers – is finding a new platform and moving as many of my subscribers as I can to it.
Where Are You Moving To?
Right now I’m looking at seven different platforms. It’s a lot of work. I’m slowly uploading years worth of content to each of these platforms and beginning to put together advertising for each of them. Whilst also trying to maintain my OF to avoid losing too much income in the interim.
The seven platforms I’m currently looking into are (cost to subscribe is in the brackets):
MyFet (£10/month, they don’t seem to have an easy way to link to your profile though…)
At this point, I feel like my best option is to maintain as many accounts as I can and see which one ends up being the most popular with my subscribers.
It’s a mountain of admin and so frustrating but it seems like my smartest move at this point.
If you’re a Sex Worker and wanting to join any of these platforms consider using my referral link when you sign up. This would mean a lot to me and be a great way to show your support without having to send me anything directly.
If you are looking to support me through this crazy period but you’re not interested in my NSFW/explicit content then please consider supporting me on Patreon or sending me a tip. I always leave my SFW support options at the bottom of my blog posts so they’re easy to find.
How Can I Support Sex Workers?
The short answer would be to send them money.
The immediate impact all of this has had on Sex Workers is a risk to their income, so if you are in a position to help financially that’s a great way to start.
Can’t afford to send financial support? Don’t worry you’re not the only one. Try and help boost the information that Sex Workers are posting/sharing.
The long term is a bit more complicated.
Money isn’t everything and eventually, it will be about more than just keeping a roof over our heads. Tackling the prejudice and misinformation surrounding sex work is incredibly important and, for the most part, completely free to do.
Take some time to educate yourself and by that, I mean that you should personally go and do your own research and not ask a Sex Worker to explain everything to you. We have enough on our plates and there’s already so much information and so many different resources available (for free as well as behind paywalls). So take the time and do the work and then come back to start sharing all of that information you’ve learnt.
Follow (and donate to if you can) Sex Worker lead charities and organisations. Not sure what organisations/charities you should support? Here is a very short and not by any means complete, list of groups to check out:
Try to be a visible ally if you can be. Supporting Sex Workers privately and from anonymous accounts is good but if you’re able to show support for Sex Workers publicly that’s amazing and will mean so much to the Sex Workers in your life (there’s likely more of them than you realise). Talk to your local politicians about Sex Worker rights, use your vote to try and bring in better policies for Sex Workers and just generally listen to Sex Workers when they call out for support.
This isn’t an exhaustive list and there will be things I’ve missed but it’s a starting point. If you treat it as a starting point you’ll be fine.
Remember sex work is work and workers deserve rights.