not your rescue project

Not Your Rescue Project

Not Your Rescue Project

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As someone who has chosen to be in the sex industry, by my own accord, I too often have to defend my choices and clarify the difference between myself and someone who is in the industry against their will. For many, it’s unfathomable that anyone would want to have sex for money. They assume if sex workers were happy, had better opportunities, or were more educated, we wouldn’t dream of doing sex work as a job. Thus, begins the rescue project. The most aggressive forms of the rescue project are carried out through politics and law. Through politics, the government takes rights and opportunities away from sex- workers, asserting their opinions are best for the sex worker and society. Through the law, types of sex work is criminalized, which leads to fines, arrests, and “rehabilitation”. Some of you may be thinking that you have never tried to rescue a sex-worker. However, most rescue efforts are disguised by degrading questions which people ask thinking they are “helping”. Anyone who is a sex worker, has experienced the rescue project. The rescue project comes in many forms, and besides walking too slow in front of me, it’s one of the most irritating things a complete stranger can do to me. If you have asked, or made any of the following comments to someone in the sex industry, then you are a contributor to the rescue project.

“Are you saving your money?”
I most frequently am asked this question by taxi drivers, and I have no idea why. I could just as easily ask them this question, but I don’t because I’m not an asshole, and frankly, I don’t care if taxi drivers are saving money or not. They ask me this question because there is an existing stigma suggesting girls who provide sex work get large amounts of money, very quickly, and therefore haven’t learned the value of money and may have a habit of buying frivolous or unnecessary things. However, this entire nation is plagued by over spending on frivolous and unnecessary things. Just because someone has a nice home, a nice car, a boat in their front yard, and a summer cabin at the lake does not mean they know how to spend their money any better than the girl who lives in a 400-square foot apartment, with no car, and five Louis Vuitton bags in her closet. Yet, which one is mostly likely to be asked if they’re saving their money? What I’ve learned from this experience is if I create a comfy facade, which society accepts, then people will not mistake me for a needy, irresponsible consumer.

“What are you going to do when you’re done with porn?”
This is the most common question I get asked. It’s usually preceded by, “Wow, it’s so awesome you do porn!” Sometimes it seems as if those who ask this question think my porn career is just play time, and they want to know what I’m going to do once I get serious with my life. As much “playing” as I do in my job, I consider it a career. I’ve worked hard to get ahead and be successful just as much as any career would require. For someone to ask me what I’ll do when I’m done demeans the work I’ve put into it. Sex workers are capable of doing other work. We can do anything anyone else can do. I just don’t see it necessary to emphasize the “after sex work” conversation if you know we can do whatever we want if or when we think it’s time to step away from the sex industry.

Why can’t you be a real model or a real actress?
This question is extremely patronizing as it implies what I do is not real work. It also further enforces the idea that women would never actually CHOOSE to do this type of work. The real question being asked here is, “why don’t you do real modeling, or real acting, so you have a more respected job?” – Rather than have sex workers who want to be respected switch to REAL work, why don’t people just start to respect us?

“You’re too pretty to be in porn.”
I get this a lot from fans who think they are being complimentary, but it’s a very back-handed compliment. They have to let me know I’m pretty in case I’m not aware I don’t have to do this kind of work, and I can, and should, do other things…because I’m pretty. This is offensive because it means I don’t value myself, and I do value myself. I love myself, and I love what I do!

“You’re too smart to be in porn.”
Obviously, similar to the, “you’re too pretty” comment, they’re informing me it’s possible to do other things with my life, as if I never knew this, and once again, don’t value myself. This also perpetuates the stigma that women in sex work are not smart, because anyone who sells their vagina doesn’t have a brain. I’ve never understood how understanding your pussy is a commodity means you don’t have a brain, but this seems to be the general consensus. A big aspect of sex work is to create a persona that appeals to men, and a lot of men would rather objectify (use the product we’re offering) women who they don’t see as particularly smart, or at least smarter than they are. So, based on what I’ve noticed, smart women have succeeded at recognizing what’s in high demand and have marketed their product to meet that demand in order to maximize earnings. That takes some brains.

I know there are women who have been forced, or coerced, into sex work. It’s sad and disgusting, and rescue efforts should be made on behalf of these people. However, consensually being a sex worker is very different and should be treated differently. If people continue to think of coerced and chosen sex work as the same, they will be ineffective in making an impact on the individuals that need it most. I don’t need people to tell me that I could do other things with my life, “better” things, and I don’t need people to worry about where I’ll end up because of the choices I’ve made. I am a smart and capable person, who is fully aware of the decisions I’ve made and how they will affect my life. I am not your rescue project.



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17 thoughts on “Not Your Rescue Project

  1. Zoe says:

    Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
    25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
    Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting

    what’s your take on this excerpt. Is what you do honorable?

  2. Fabio says:

    Dear Chanel,
    i just want to confirm how i truly admire you because you are a genuine, unbiased and selfconfident person plus an open minded thinker!!!
    There should be more people who think and have such advanced convinctions like yours i think we would live in a less hypocrite and bigot society!!
    As far as concerns me i have always thought that porn is a form of art like nude photography or erotic photography!
    As you stated in porn sector there are insecure and less selfconfident performers and perhaps they could fall prey of this myopic way of thinking!!
    I truly admire you Chanel because you are a positive and genuine person but also an advanced thinker, i believe that in the future thanks to open minded people like you we will live in a more advanced society!!
    As far concerns the statement that “you are too pretty to act in porn” let me tell you that is trvial statement…you just stunningly beautiful woman and you could act in which fiels you like and modelling as well!!!
    Go ahead Chanel, keep doing whatever you like and whatever make you happy…i admire you because you are a free and advanced thinker, keep writing your ideas freely in this blog and try to free this society from stereotypes and false moralism!!
    I wish you all the luck and the success you desire in your career and private life!!!

  3. buddhaislaughing says:

    Someone needs to write a good book on the art of “kissing”…I always enjoyed “kissing” more than nookie…best kisser I had the pleasure of “french kissing” was Phyllis from Granada Hills. Girl could write her doctoral thesis on this oral pleasure…kissing became my fixation…always wanted to operate my own kissing booth, where I charge 1 dollar a kiss…only stunning ladies need wait in line…the thought of dozens of captivating latinas, Mediterranean goddesses, and smoldering blondes, standing patiently in line, bronzed and wearing high heels, waving a “buck” is the ultimate fantasy, for any man!

  4. Rick says:

    … so I go to this pornstar blog site thinking it’s mindless escapism and feel compelled to think and feel? *grumble grumble groan groan*

    Let me start by saying that as a musician and writer I still get the same questions, often from people who owe me money. C’est la vie.

    Most people are lemmings who try to validate their own attitudes and weaknesses by forcing them on everyone else, and/or sit in judgment of others who have the guts to live the life they’re too weak to contemplate. Many of the ones who aren’t lemmings still lump people into cookie cutter categories because it’s easier on so many levels than actually making the effort to understand. Another part of what you talk about is just the natural blowback from living in a culture founded by Puritans. Amazing how many so called “Christians” miss the message about who Jesus hung out with and what he had to say about the Torah thumpers. Being omnisexual and kinky myself, I’ve paid enough of a price to understand that I have no clue about the needless guff someone like you must take in stride in most every area of your life. It seems to me that to survive in your industry for any length of time must require amazing inner strength. I admire anyone who responsibly walks their own path regardless of the yammer. All the best to you.

  5. That was an excellent post. There are lots of misconceptions about people who do sex work of any kind, just like with people who engage in BDSM. Hopefully these things will change, just like there were a lot of misconceptions about being gay -if you were gay you were a paedophile and shouldn’t work with children- and now people know better. I see the internet in being instrumental in this change.

    Sex work is a career like any other. Just because somebody is selling a service or using her body doesn’t mean anything. You have people who touch your body when you go to the hair-dresser or receive a massage, so what’s the difference? In addition, most people would be okay with two adults meeting at a bar and having consensual sex afterwards. But if money changed hands all sorts of negative misconceptions come to the fore.

    I would like to see prostitution being completely regulated, legal and accepted in society. Sex workers can pay tax, become self-employed and work in safe, clean premises with security and access to health services, sex education and other resources. Sex work should be legal and in the open. These would do more to keep sex workers safe than laws that push prostitution underground.

  6. Bugs says:

    please keep getting naked and please keep putting your clear, cogent and wonderfully expressive opinions here, in this forum.


  7. J. P. Tabua says:

    I’ve never met anybody in the porn industry face to face, but the first two questions don’t seem so wrong to me. Are you saving your money? This question is asked to many people (not just porn performers). What are you going to do when you’re done with porn? This question in the wrong context can be offensive, but if this question is serious, and not making a mockery of the limited options one might face concerning work outside of the porn industry, than I don’t get the problem. The other questions seemed rude when I read them, but the first two not so much. Is it a matter of context? Perhaps an attitude?

  8. Steve says:

    “As someone who has chosen to be in the sex industry, by my own accord, I too often have to defend my choices and clarify the difference between myself and someone who is in the industry against their will. For many, it’s unfathomable that anyone would want to have sex for money.”

    Well, yes, it is unfathomable for a some of us. And the first thing that comes to mind for me reading your post is to wonder if it’s even possible for us to ever fathom it. I mean, as I understand it, sex workers like yourself focus on and attach importance to the “work” part of “sex work”, not the “sex” part. It’s a job, it’s a career, there’s that whole thing from your “getting naked” post about how you play a Porn Star Persona who’s different from the person you truly are. And I can’t relate to that. I know you don’t have my hangups about sex and don’t have my hangups about identity, and so you’re able to decide to have sex for money and keep that porn star persona separate from yourself – but I can’t imagine what it’s like not having those hangups and how it feels and how you think. And it’s not having those hangups that enables you to make that choice, so that choice is unfathomable to me.

    Does that make any sense?

    The second thing that comes to mind for me is that don’t the women who are coerced into sex work have to pretend they’re there voluntarily in order to survive and try to act the same way and say and do the same things as the women who aren’t coerced? I know that doesn’t mean the answer is “assume every woman who says she is a sex worker voluntarily is lying”, but what is the answer?

  9. Ian says:

    Just a few comments – I think your comments are universal in the entertainment industry, not just the adult industry and your oversensitive to the “adult” aspect.

    I agree that everyone should be asked the question “Are you saving…” – but anyone in the entertainment business, adult or otherwise, is especially susceptible to being on a financial roller coaster. Of registered SAG members (those who’ve actually met guild requirements), only 0.2% actually make their living exclusively from acting – so almost all actors who have been on film or tv have other jobs.

    As for “real” acting/modeling, the majority of modern porn is adult “reality” video, with similar amounts of scripting, acting, and “reality”. The problem with the adult industry is that it limits performers to future work in both non-adult entertainment and other professions – like it or not – having your face and body out for public viewing makes anonymity virtually impossible, especially in info age. In a fair world, this wouldn’t matter, however, this country has a long history of trying to legislate morality (condom laws, prohibition, abortion restrictions, marijuana laws) – the porn industry has actually prospered within this environment. It’s unrealistic to expect to have no repercussions from being in porn. It’s the performer’s choice whether to be on video versus other non-recorded adult entertainment – I think you have to take the bad with the good. The good being having your face recognized, the bad having to listen to inane comments from judgmental people.

    As for intelligence, I again don’t think this has anything to do with entertainment. Many have comment that Brad Pitt is a dolt in real life, yet I think he is an excellent actor. Sharon Stone supposedly has an IQ of 154 and she’s a horrible actress. Also, I’ve always heard that smart women are better in bed, but some of the best lays I have had is with not so bright girls (trying harder???/not over-thinking sex???). Intelligence is important for your physician, your professor, and your highway engineer, not your porn star – if they are intelligent, good for them…if not, not a big problem.

    Overall, lighten up. If you enjoy your life and your work, live with the stupid comments – and don’t forget to save!!!

  10. Chuck Lorenzetti (D.C. Chuck) says:

    As usual many intelligent and well thought out points which I agree with. Also, you know that I am a huge fan of yours, a handful of other ladies in your industry and the industry as a whole for the most part. I may have been guilty of a few of these scenarios in the past and I do and have apologized. Just want to make one point on one of the statements, the what are you going to do when your done with porn one. I have seen, known and heard of other ladies that really struggled after they got out of the business for several years and some for the rest of their lives. As a friend of some of the ladies, I do worry a little about some of them a little but I wouldn’t say that I am trying to rescue them. Many of these ladies are no where near as secure with the business as you are and have no plans for the future. Thus, I would never worry about you. Finally, I think it can be a fine line sometimes between sincerely caring about someone and a rescue. Thoughts? Thank you for your time as always. Later and Luv Chuck #Wonderwoman

    • Chanel Preston says:

      I agree that some people feel they genuinely care for someone. However, I never need a stranger that thinks they care for me to give me advice about my future. There are a lot of insecure girls in this industry (as there are in the general public), but there are also a lot more secure performers than people assume. Part of the reason some girls don’t do well after porn is because the stigma they receive from doing it. They are not able to get real jobs outside of porn because of what they’ve done. This limits their opportunities, and some end up not in a good place. The best thing is for people to change their attitudes about performers so they can lead successful lives outside of porn.

  11. John says:

    Stay strong girl!
    Regarding an earlier post of yours: Sad to hear that some people still judge others by there profession. Had hoped we had gone further.
    So I’m curious to try online dating, which websites do you recommend? Any friends as cute as you? :)

    • Carol H. says:

      John, your Q (and related “compliment” — superficial as it is) have nothing to do with Chanel’s post. Rather, both seem like a thinly veiled attempt to get Chanel to interact with you. (Good luck with that.) But just in case you really and truly have no clue whatsoever about online dating, here goes: (by far and away the “powerhouse” of online dating for men and women — but not “boys” and “girls”) (if you’re Jewish and marrying someone Jewish is important to you)

  12. Creampieguy says:

    Well said, Chanel! One of my closest and best female friends has a Master’s degree, a well paying full time job during the day and choses to engage in consensual sex work as her time permits because she’s trying to maximize her savings and wants to use every tool available to her to do so!

  13. Richard says:

    I often wish somebody would rescue me from the work I do! I, and many others like me, never really imagined where our lives would take us. If someone is happy and comfortable with their life and career choices, that is nobody’s business but their own(and maybe some overbearing parents).

    I would imagine that some of these questions are borne out of ignorance, rather than any kind of malice, or white-knight complex. While the industry seems like it’s never been bigger, it still carries a stigma of being relegated to the shady side of our society. As more people engage with personalities within the industry, and as our attitudes toward sex in general become more progressive, I would hope that a lot of that stigma would disappear.

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