By Hannah Blair
Dear Sex Buyer,
From the moment your eyes lock with mine, I cringe and you crave. There is an overwhelming fear that shudders through my body – the fear of not knowing what will happen or what is expected of me. I want to crawl out of my skin while you are trying to seduce your way in, and I am once again required to give my body to a man who tramples on the will of women. But you paid me, right? Money is a silencer—the reparation for unwelcome sex. And when you have been compensated, you have no right to complain.
You make small talk with me, trying to justify your rationale behind paying a young woman for sex. I put on an act. You might be the eighth person I have seen tonight, but I give you my devotion like you are the only one. For you, a night with me is nothing but a quick fix. But for me? It feels like eternity. Afterwards, I feel dirty; I should not have to scrub that feeling off my skin.
While this may be a regular occurrence for you, you need to know the truth. What you did, what you are doing, is not okay.
When you praised my appearance, my physique, or my “bedroom abilities,” you only saw that which fit in with your pre-conceived illusion of a raunchy woman with a never-ending sex drive.
When you wiped my tears, you did not acknowledge my emotion, because doing so would not support your artifice that I wanted to be there with you. You only had one objective, and that was to demonstrate your power by paying me to use my body as you saw fit.
When you thought you were doing me a courtesy by talking about the weather—that you were giving me a break from a hard night’s work—it did nothing for me but confirm that I was not worth more; that I was an instrument whose sole purpose was to please you.
How convenient it is for men like you who wish to elude the “complications” of relationships to be serviced by women who are forced to work lengthy hours for little wages. How opportune to live your life “split,” one foot in the world that everyone sees and the other in a world shrouded by darkness. Your wife believes the lie you sowed that you are working a long day at the office. What she does not know is that before you leave work for the day, you excitedly search the ads you bookmarked, ecstatic with the power and pleasure of being able to pick any woman you want. You have someone waiting for you at home who is clueless to the demons you have inside, and I have a slave master waiting in the parking lot with a dose of heroin and a knife. In the end, we both lose.
As far as your mortality goes, I look for the good. I know that somewhere inside, you have some kind of conscience; that you have silently questioned whether what you did was morally and honestly justifiable. I also know that you defend your actions and likely think you treated me well and never violated my boundaries. But you know what? That is called evading your responsibility. You are not confronting reality. You deceive yourself in believing that the women you buy are not truly bought; not forced into a life of sex work.
Now you know. You can no longer pretend that you do not. You are not the exception. You are not the “good guy” who accidentally paid a broken woman for unwanted sex. You, as a buyer of sex, are never the victim. You are satisfying your own appetite at the expense of another human being, a marauder who takes what you want with no regard to the cost of your feeding.
You think you have the right. You truly believe that you only buy sex from women who are willing, women with all the choices in the world. But reality is different and you can no longer have a clear conscience.
Trafficking exists because men like you feel you have the right to satisfy your sexual urges using other peoples’ bodies.
Trafficking exists because you and your peers feel that your sexuality requires access to sex whenever it suits you.
I was exploited – both by those who pimped me and those who bought me. But I am stronger than you know. You did not break me. I will survive this, and so will you. The difference? I will grow. I will thrive and heal and overcome the brokenness I faced at the hands of another. But you? You will have to live with what you have done. You will have to live the rest of your days knowing you contributed to the violent exploitation of a woman who had no choice. And when the moment ends, let me remind you: I still cringe as you crave your next victim.