We are excited to add a sixth installment to our #sexworkstories series. In this narrative, Lisa explores her feelings on “why sex work”?
For the past nine years I have been on a personal mission to educate as many people as I possibly can about the work that I choose to do, namely high-end, indoor, independent sex work. In 2004, after a satisfying, gratifying and lucrative 14-year-long career as a Registered Massage Therapist, I sought to make a living from sex work. There are so many reasons why I continue to choose sex work. Depending on the day, and my state of mind, those reasons may vary. I need money. I need sex. I want to know who exists in this hidden, secretive, forbidden territory. I am curious. I am angry. I am scared. I am lonely. I am frustrated with my lot in life, with my relationships, with my self. I want to touch people. I want to make a difference. I want women and girls, across the globe, to be honoured and respected and cared for. I want to earn what I am worth. I want to continue to use, and expand upon, my skills in bodywork. I am interested in human sexuality. I want to be intimate with another human being. I know that other human beings want to be intimate with me. I know that human beings have not only a desire, but also a need, for intimacy with other human beings. I have a high sex drive. I love orgasms. I love watching consensual adults have orgasms. I think that every consensual adult should experience the most satisfying orgasms that they can as frequently as they can. In the spirit of encouraging and facilitating the possibility of consensual adults realizing their orgasmic potential, I am committed to manifesting my vision of the Academy of Sexual Health and Enjoyment (ASHE), a place of learning, teaching, research, health, pleasure, and wellness. This is the work of the doctoral dissertation that I am currently pursuing at the University of Victoria, Victoria, BC.
I am a 51-year-old Metis woman, mother of two daughters, 29 and 19, big sister to two brothers, daughter to two living parents, and cousin and niece of many in a large extended family. I am the first in my immediate, and extended, family to pursue a doctoral degree. My application to ladder from my Masters in Educational Psychology and Leadership into an Interdisciplinary PhD was accepted on October 31, 2014. After a full, abdominal hysterectomy, January 8, 2015, and a colon resection, July 9, 2015, I officially began my PhD course work in September 2015. I began my post-secondary education in 2007, in the First Nations Community Studies Program at Camosun College, Victoria, BC. In 2009 I transferred to the University of Victoria to earn a Sociology Honours Undergraduate degree, with Distinction, in 2011. I began a Masters degree in Sociology that year and transferred to the department of Educational Psychology and Leadership in 2012. My doctoral dissertation combines Education, Sociology, Theatre, and Indigenous ontology and epistemology into both a written dissertation and a one-woman theatre monologue. My doctoral work explores journals that I wrote as I made my way into sex work and the devastating consequences that I lived through as members of my family and community reacted to my decision with fear and violence. This story, and its many threads of moral panic, stigma, punishments and, ultimately, triumph over the hurt and pain of the past, is braided into an eclectic mix of theorists’ voices, initiating the conversation as to the value of the Academy of Sexual Health and Enjoyment.
There is not one human being that I have spoken to who is not interested in greater sexual health and enjoyment. I am interested in the cultural messages that are created and enacted with regard to human sexuality in cultures across the world. Atrocities are committed to humans and their bodies, particularly their sexual bodies. I want to know what is at the root of this behaviour, and how this issue might be addressed in a calm and respectful manner. Laws and regulations regarding the sex work industry change with political climates and social pressure and, yet, sex work, itself, and men and women like me, we continue on, quietly, every single day.
October 31, 2016, Lisa Ordell