There’s nothing I hate more than diving into a good book, only for it to have a dead hooker joke on the second page or eye-rollingly ridiculous stereotype of a prostitute as a character.
So, today I’m sharing some of my favourite books written by sex workers – no eye-roll worthy stereotypes here.
In My Skin: A Memoir by Kate Holden
This book will always be my favourite. There’s something about Kate’s story and writing that really clicks with me. Though our journeys as sex workers are quite different, in her writing, she captures something about the experience of being a sex worker that I can’t quite put my finger on. Her writing is raw and honest – she doesn’t hold back, nor does she pad her experiences to make you feel more comfortable—a must-read for any sex worker.
Come by Rita Therese
Rita is an Australian escort in her 20s, and Come is her memoir and debut book. She tells the story of what it is like to be a sex worker and what it is like to be herself. Come is not just a glossy story – it has real, heart-wrenching grit. I absolutely loved this book and Rita’s honesty throughout.
The Modern Whore by Andrea Werhun
Andrea, a former sex worker from Canada, tells her story in The Modern Whore. Andrea’s writing is creative, superb, and pushes boundaries. I found myself laughing throughout her memoir and felt as though it ended far too soon.
The Happy Hooker: My Own Story by Xaviera Hollander
Okay, this one is a wild ride. If you haven’t heard of Xaviera Hollander, go pick up this book IMMEDIATELY. Xavier tells her story of being an escort and brothel madame in the 70s in New York. I can’t say I relate to Xaviera, but she did make me laugh and cringe simultaneously, so that’s something. Bonus fun fact: Apparently, she now runs a bed and breakfast called “Happy House”.
Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work by Melissa Gira Grant
In Playing the Whore, Melissa dismantles many of the myths about sex work that we see in the mainstream media. She argues that sex work is work and that sex workers’ rights are human rights. My favourite quote: “Sex work can indeed be empowering. But that is not the point. Money is the fucking point.”
The Beaver Show by Jacqueline Frances
If you don’t know who Jacq the Stripper is, you need to get it together. Hilarious and absolutely relatable, Jacq’s book is full of entertaining comics and anecdotes. Highly recommend.
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