"I want to advocate for legalization of sex work, because without the demonetization, sex workers can actually set forth a lot more standards and fair practices."
Ivy Jones ~ Sexter and Cam Model
Ivy Jones is a 23 year old, bi-racial webcam model who, in the real world, is a pansexual who identifies as a male. He is an anarchist, avid activist, and openly admits that he would make the world’s worst "Suzie Homemaker." In the cam world, he plays up the "girly girl" aspect for some quick cash. He also does sexting and online role play for the same reasons, whether it is to have extra money on hand, pay off some bills, or even buy a new toy for his cat. The thing with camming, it’s a great way to just work when you have time, and make money when you want to.
Ivy started camming at a very young age of about 13, mostly being a submissive for a few guys for free. At this point, I am sure there are a few readers shaking their heads in disapproval at his young age. But think about it. One in four children age 11-16 report having sex. Not just quenching their curiosity online, but actually out there, having impulsive, ignorant sex. And what is worse, 30% of that group end up getting knocked up by the age of 15. So if you were shaking your head, I'm sure you are done now. Moving on. Eventually, he stopped for some time in his upper teens and only rejoined the camming world not too long ago when money got tight. Though he, modeling as a "she," occasionally does Domme some men, he wouldn't call himself a professional. Really? The way I see it, if some dude wants to pay you cold hard cash to make him your bitch, whether it is a Domme/sub relationship or otherwise, I say you got that shit on lock. Professional? Hell, you’re a fuckin' rock star.
Now it's time to pinpoint the beginning of Ivy's camworking career. This portion is hard to not shake your head at. In fact, it kind of made me want to go on a pedo castrating spree. Ivy explained that he honestly thinks that the reason he ended up working in the sex industry stemmed from abuse. My question to him was, "What do you think was the beginning or background to you becoming a sex worker?" In his own words he answered, “Honestly? Running into abusers when I was young. Granted, I probably would have been doing sex work regardless at this age now for cash. However, the fact that it's just like riding a bicycle for me is probably from my experience as a minor.” Scary thought right? But it is typically a major factor in becoming a sex worker. Not for everyone. But statistics show that the majority of sex workers have been in an abusive relationship in their formative years. Here is some research and statistics that might give you some chills as well:
• It is estimated that there are 60 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in America today.
• Approximately 95% of teenage prostitutes have been sexually abused.
• Long term effects of child abuse include fear, anxiety, depression, anger, hostility, inappropriate sexual behavior, poor self-esteem, tendency toward substance abuse and difficulty with close relationships.
• Sexuality is regarded not simply as a part of the self-limited to genitals, discrete behaviors, or biological aspects of reproduction, but is more properly understood as one component of the total personality that affects one's concept of personal identity and self-esteem.
• If the child victim does not resolve the trauma, sexuality may become an area of adult conflict.
Working in the sex industry does not guarantee that a person was abused; there are plenty of people in the industry that have simply found it to be a lucrative career path. But everyone has their history, and they are not always full of sunshine and butterflies.
The Best and the Worst
To Ivy, there are a lot of ups and downs to the sex industry, as there is with life, in general. Some days, he likes what he does; mostly it depends on the "John." The customer can really make or break your whole work day. Other days, he explains that he can feel somewhat disgusted by his job and stops working for a week or more. But the best part is that he can create a whole different identity for himself. The persona of Ivy Jones helps separate his job from his lifestyle. Though his normal life isn't by any means mundane, it’s nice to have the working girl separated from the man that he is. And though his work consists of many different scenarios, he likes that sometimes he can just be an open ear for someone who has had a hard day at work or simply a bad day.
On the flip side, there are a lot of down sides to working in the sex industry. For Ivy, one of the worst is the fetishizers who genuinely feel that women are just toys in real life. The ones that seem like they are probably abusers, or want to be. He tends to run into them a lot in this job. Other times it's guys who claim they have never seen a camgirl before and just wanted to check it out. Another aspect he hates about sex work as whole, not just in camming, is the murder of transgender women of color. Because they are of color and transgender, it’s doubly hard to get an office job or any other "regular" work. Though he does find privilege with being light skinned and female-to-male (no operations), he has had a few sisters contract HIV and even has had one go missing. It's why he wants, from the bottom of his heart, to advocate for legalization of sex work. Because without the demonetization, sex workers can actually set forth a lot more standards and fair practices. He says that means no more pimps, no more cops that do not give a shit when someone turns up dead, and no more people thinking that they can get away with it because no one cares.
After working in the sex industry and seeing the benefits incorporated into his life, Ivy doesn't think he would ever quit completely, even if some day he decided to stop camming. He would still stand tall as an advocate for sex workers and what he believes is right.
What Would Ivy Say?
When asked to choose 3 words to explain his feelings about his job and its effects on him, he chose: mysterious, self-reflective and sometimes empowering. He goes on to explain it in his own words. (I swear I chose the title of this section before I received his full response!) "Mysterious because as I mentioned before I can put on a completely different persona. No one knows who I really am, and it feels a bit safer that way too. Self-reflective because some things always come up about what I am willing or not willing to do, and so it always makes me examine myself in terms of what are my boundaries, etc. Sometimes I even reflect on things like 'What Would Ivy Do?' and sometimes it's the complete opposite of what I would really do! Because she does things I wouldn't normally do, it's empowering. The mystery is also empowering too, because I don't have to worry about other folks or relatives finding me because I set up such a completely different identity that isn't traceable back to me."
When asked what he would say to all the people who think that his work is shameful or taboo, Ivy answered, “I’d probably remind them that Mary Magdalene was an alleged prostitute. I say alleged because I don't think there was an actual trial before her stoning. Anyway, I'd tell them Mary was a prostitute and it didn't exactly say in the bible that she magically stopped turning ticks when she was hanging with Jesus. For non-Christian bigots, I tend to tell them that sex work is not for everyone, and any taboo on it is because the majority of the problem comes from the person seeking a sex worker, not the other way around. I mean, the would-be murderer is looking for a sex worker, right? Why are we to blame? It's victim blaming; it's an easy write off excuse that we're just sex workers."
I agree on a few of the points that Ivy made. Mostly that sex work is not for everyone. And I don't mean because some people just aren't talented enough, but because some people either can't get over the fact that sex doesn't always have to be some special thing between two people. Yes, I got the same “when two people really love each other" speech when I was a child as well, but come on now. At least half of the women, or men for that matter, use sex as a tool, or even as a weapon, whether in a relationship or not. So if one girl can shake her ass and cleavage on stage while they are singing to the world, selling their records with sex appeal, why can't I sell my fake orgasms for cash?
It does take a certain level of boldness and guts to get started. But even if you decided to just get online to work in a fully clothed, friends only part of a camming site, eventually you are going to realize that you can make a little more if you just took your top off. And then even more with the bottom off. And then after you talk yourself into doing those, why not go a little further and double those earnings by having a little mutual masturbation. That’s usually how it goes. Girls decide to give it a try and then within a few months they talk themselves into popping that coochy with a banana, just once, for that little extra money. Before you know it, you're doing EFRO vids on the side quadrupling your bank roll, though that is something I wouldn't be able to do. I simply made the mistake of Googling the word EFRO just so I could know what the hell everyone was talking about and...just don't do it. Don't ever, ever do it. Though it could have simply been explained by telling me what EFRO stood for (Erotic Female Relieving Observance), I ended up clicking on the wrong damn thing and before I knew it there was a video pop up of some chick sharing her already digested lunch with another naked female. I remember when people thought golden showers were an outrageously rare and far out fantasy. Hell, now it is just the beginning of a world that I personally will never understand.
When asked what he would say if he could say something to all the other sex workers in the world, he kept it simple, but said it all. “Organize together. Make a union. There's more power in numbers." That is exactly why I have started a series where sex workers can speak out. I want people to know that regardless of what they think of people in the sex industry, we are not just a few low class people that lost our morals and credibility in life. There are more sex workers than anyone could ever believe. Industry wide, there are millions. So why do people assume that we are nobodies? In reality, we are everybody. Everyone has their hand in the sex industry. Whether you are a sex worker, a "John," or a porn lover, even someone that reads articles that explain sex work or writes public reviews of sex toys and their experiences with them for everyone to read. We all have our hand in it.
Even Ivy recalls a funny situation he found himself in on a trip to Washington, D.C. He was on a trip to a conference about green energy and environmentalism. At the time he was just getting back into cam work and online roleplaying jobs. He got to the conference and was enjoying meeting big name elected officials. However, one intern or lobbyist or whatever was acting afraid of him. I thought, oh hell, this guy is some Republican, right? So he honed in on him and started asking him some hard hitting questions about mountain top removal in his home state, etc. The man was dodging all his questions when all of a sudden he blurts out that he is not sure he should be seen with him because he knows he is Ivy. Of course the real side of Ivy was slightly taken aback and could only respond with "excuse me?” Apparently, even without the wig and make-up, he could tell it was the infamous Ivy Jones. The he realized it was because of his distinctive freckle on his eyelid and the tattoo on his chest that was creeping out from his shirt. At the time, all he could do was laugh, really, really hard. He went back to his room with his friends who came along and told them about the slightly uncomfortable event and they all had a good laugh. I must say, imagining myself in this scenario, I probably would have had to laugh as well. Especially if the "John" was the one that was most unsettled by the impromptu meeting. It also proves my theory; everyone has their hand in the sex industry.
Look for more articles in this new Sex Worker Appreciation series coming soon from sex workers in all sectors. Ranging from Cam Girls, to Escorts, and more!