You don’t buy, I don’t sell.

“You don’t buy, I don’t sell,” is the international campaign currently supported by the topless sexual activists of Femen. Courageously protesting in order to change the law on prostitution in countless countries to lay the blame on the purchaser and not the women who are usually forced in to the act of selling their bodies for sex. The UK already instates this view on the trade, with it not being illegal for a woman to offer her self for sex in exchange for money.

I can firmly say that I whole heartedly agree with this campaign but can confidently say that this is not the answer. The UK has obviously proven this. We still have vulnerable women roaming our streets, searching endlessly for someone to pay for the privilege of entering their vagina. They are hungry, thirsty, cold and addicted to the life they have come accustom to. For some of these women, this is all they have. Without their sexually driven customers, where would they get their next meal, their next hit, their next cup of strong coffee? Why aren’t we helping them?

Some of these women, are different. Some of them see the longing need in these pathetic men for some form of human contact. Some see gold mines walking through the dark, dirty streets of twenty first century Britain. They make fools out of these men, because they have exactly what these men want, what these men can’t get without a quick transfer of the queen’s head.

Two WI members made a documentary a few years ago to try and raise awareness of the problems that surround prostitution. I also went to a debate about prostitution at university where one of these feisty older ladies were present. I really do think that these two birds had their heads screwed on. As women we have been through a tough few centuries, pining and scraping the bottom of the barrel to simply earn the most basic of rights. Yes, of course we have come far, but yes we have got a hell of a lot further to go. I’m sure any person could admit to the fact that the problem of prostitution is not going to go away with a few extra flashings of bare breasts.

I propose we dig deep down to that mothering, caring, warm nature that all of us women have, but have tried so hard to destroy in order to progress in this male dominated world. Grab it, reach for it, embrace it and hold out your hand to the women who have found themselves stuck in this world of sexual slavery. Being a feminist can easily make you turn your back on the women who are using their assets to please men. But these are the women who really need our help. We need to stop shaming. I propose all feminists work together and take on one of two roles. We need the fighters who are battling for an end to prostitution. More importantly, we need the care givers who are looking after these women who are living this life RIGHT NOW, not potentially in the future. Give them comfort, give them support, give them hygiene and protection so they can carry out their work with as little danger to them as possible.

The day I was asked how much I would charge.

Working in the hospitality industry, I don’t get phased by much.

I’ve thrown burly men out of my bar, when they start to become rowdy, and then get told that it must be my “time of the month”. 

I’ve had to endure countless comments on the fact that I can move a barrel even though I have a vagina and not the strength of a penis. 

I’ve been breathed on by an endless amount of beer soaked breath, while being asked for my number. 

I’ve encountered wolf, dog and pig whistles, too many to keep track of. 

Yet only one thing has stopped me in my tracks; the moment the kitchen porter asked me how much I would charge for sex. 

Rage obviously hit first, but then slowly translated to pure perplexity.

For the entire shift I tried to place a price tag on a few hours spent basking in the glory of my genitals. 

Not very familiar with the going rate of prostitute services I tried to think of a fair offer. Would I charge for each act separately? £20 for oral, £100 for anal? The whole package? £200 for whatever you like? 

Where on earth would I begin? I mean I can crack a mean joke, so would I include this in the services I offer? Surely the punter would enjoy a bit of humour, perhaps it should come as an extra to try and masquerade the fact that he has to pay for something that most women would usually do for free if you treat them with some form of respect. 

During the time of questioning, I had a few bills to pay. This threw in all sorts of different prices in to the equation. Would I forget my dignity and simply ask for the £35 I needed to pay the gas bill. I also really fancied a new pair of boots I’d seen, so there’s another £55 I added to the cost of my vagina. And let’s not forget that Glastonbury tickets were going on sale soon. What easier way to pay your way in to a dirty field than to get dirty, possibly in a field. 

Thinking back over the numerous one night stands I had encountered, there had been some that didn’t really float my boat, but through bitted tongue continued anyway and regretted later. Would it be the same when charging…Would I charge more if I didn’t find the punter remotely attractive? Would I give a cheeky discount if said punter was an insanely attractive man that was just looking for a good time?

As time went on I thought and thought, and I still had no price tag to hang from my lingerie. 

I’ve always been remotely supportive of prostitution. It’s the controlling and mistreatment of women within the industry that I disagree with. If a woman is of stable nature and is in complete control of the situation then surely she has a right, and should be supported rather than shamed and made to hate the society that most probably forced her in to the situation in the first place. However I completely understand that this is most usually 99% of the time not the case. 

If I was forced in to this world of mistreatment and abuse of women, then I know my price tag would not be my decision, and here in lies the problem;


If we women were able to decide how much we were worth then there wouldn’t be a sex industry in the first place, because no man, in his right mind could bleeding well afford us. 

I have a clitoris and I’m not afraid to use it

Crusty eyed, and still revelling in the dreams I had just escaped from, I carry out my morning facebook news feed scroll. I dread to think of being out of the loop while engaging in my necessary 8 hours. My thumb comes to a halt as I read a status from one of the lads that attended my small, rural secondary school;


“there’s nothing cool about girls being slags. End of.”


I jault up and get ready to type out an essay in the comment box, but my fingers aren’t able to type my wrath quick enough on the teeny tiny keyboard. I take a deep morning breath and stop myself.


I start reminiscing about my school days and try and remember this boy for who he was. Now i certainly never partook in any sexual activity with this sexist that’s for sure. But a few of his friends have definitely seen a few more parts of me than I’d like to detail down some dark alleyway or behind a portaloo. Would I be one of these ‘slags’ he’s referring too? Do I care? Hell no!


Why I don’t care, goes far beyond my view on the word ‘slag’, and how men deicide to interpret this word. This boy, that I call a ‘boy’ for obvious reasons, went around with a group of other ‘boys’ that were incredibly proud of their ‘slag statuses’, and how many women they had conquered. So what’s different for girls? Why am I unable to proudly wear my slag sash?


I love sex. I love booze. I love food. I love fags, and I don’t care who knows it, Apart from maybe my mother. My over consumption of the list does not make me a slag, it does not make me an alcoholic. It may make me a smoker and slightly larger than I would like to be however. In a world where consumerism is at it’s height, I feel no shame in the amount of men I sleep with compared to how I feel with going to Tesco for my weekly shop to bask in the savings.


I have been royally fucked over by more men than I care to remember. I have healed wounds that I thought would never be healed, and still nursing others. My mother warned me once, “If you keep letting men in to your heart, there won’t be any heart left for the right one”. So how is a woman in this day and age meant to feed her sexual needs and desires, if she is scared to commit to another relationship, with the overwhelming fear of being hurt, and believe me a rampant rabbit and the wide selection of porn catered for men just doesn’t cut it. I’ve tried.


I have learned that I am capable of two modes. Relationship mode, and what I previously used to call ‘slag mode’, before my inner feminist kicked in, and which I now refer to as ‘casual sex mode’.


I feel I have always been a feminist. Never once have I fallen sucker to the social construction of gender roles, my dad did the ironing in my house after all. And of course descending from a long line of strong, feisty landladies in the back end of Wales, who have covered their bellicose customers in cows shit, if things ever got out of hand, doesn’t leave much room to become a weak woman. But I started realising the severity of the sexual repression women had been forced in to while I was at University.


I remember the moment with as much clarity as the women who have suffered from FGM remember their cutting. I had never heard of the inhumane practice of FGM until I sat in one of my film lectures with my feminist male lecturer, who I believe taught me more about feminism than any woman ever has. We studied an African film called, Moolade , that told the story of a strong African woman called Collé Gallo Ardo Sy who had herself suffered from FGM as a child, and was now trying to protect the children of the village from enduring the same pain she once, and still goes through.


For those of you unaware of the brutal act of female genital mutilations, I’ll briefly explain. A strong tradition that is still very alive today, where young girls must have their entire outer genital area removed, including the clitoris with dirty blades, in order to be pure for their future husbands. It results in serious health risks and removes all prospect of sexual pleasure. All in the name of men.


Having not seen the film for over two years, two scenes will remain in my memory forever. The first is of her having sex with her husband. It is not erotic. It is not

passionate. It does not feed her sexual need. It is painful. The only shot we are shown is of her face while she is biting down on her little finger, to try and forget the pain she is receiving from her husband. It is brutal. The second scene is of her husband punishing her in front of the entire village for protecting the young girls. She is being whipped.


I most certainly have not been whipped for my promiscuous lifestyle, but words have repeatedly in the past bruised me.


I do not have sex with many men because I am a slag.


I have sex with many men because my sex life is exactly that. MINE. I have grown up in the western world and I will not let social construction and repression of women make me feel guilty for wanting to engage with people I am sexually attracted to, but don’t have time to build a stable relationship with first.


I look back at the boys status, and suddenly feel sad. I thought as a country we were forward thinking. There are 140 million women who have undergone FGM in the world. And learning of the amount of women at risk in my city of Bristol made me feel physically sick. These men that want their women circumcised, they don’t want their women to enjoy sex. They are simply there to bear their children. They do not want their women to enjoy sex, so they don’t feel the need to run off with other men. This boy’s opinion along with the millions of other BOYS that believe women who enjoy sex to be slags, carry the same pre-historic opinion that we women are simply here for their pleasure. Well I’m afraid, to all you men with this narrow minded, warped vision of female sexual desires and needs; I have a clitoris and I am not fucking scared to use it!