in a lonely little vacuum. But I first realized I might be able to actually get published when I read Eileen Myles’ Chelsea Girls. Because I was writing about such similar things, living a life so similar it was almost creepy, I thought. I mean our dads were both alcoholics who worked in the Post Office in Massachusetts. I thought it was weird, and so cool. And I thought that maybe if I kept at it someone would publish me too.
You recently traveled with the Sex Workers Art Show Tour, which featured a collective of artists who’ve also worked in the sex industry. What were the highlights of that experience for you?
I’ve been on it twice now. The highlight of the first tour was really getting to be friends with the woman who created it, Annie Oakley. She’s my hero. It took two people to get Sister Spit on the road and Annie does it all by herself! AND people stay in hotels, AND we get paid. Sister Spit didn’t pay anyone and you slept on a floor and were happy about it. Plus, with Sister Spit we were all mostly friends with each other, and on the Sex Work tour it’s a lot of strangers with conflicting personalities and endless needs squished into a van. It was challenging, but Annie did an incredible job.The other amazing part was being part of history. It’s the first tour of its kind, and I felt like it was serving a serious political purpose — demystifying sex work and challenging assumptions and stereotypes about the people who work in the industry.
Speaking of sex work, do you think online personals - and the easier access to sexual partners - have had an impact on the business of prostitution?
I don’t know. I haven’t done any real sex work in like ten years. I think there will always be a market for prostitution, though. It’s not a mutual sex exchange, so personals can’t replace it. In personals, the woman wants sex, too. In sex work, the woman wants money.
In what way do you think attitudes surrounding sexuality in general have changed most in the last ten years?
Well, it’s so hard to say because I live in San Francisco and it’s so different from the rest of the world. I mean obviously there is more queer stuff out in the media, though I still don’t feel