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What's your body count?

Have you ever been sat at a table filled with laughter then someone asks that dreaded question ... "what’s your body count?". Everyone around you is buzzing with curiosity and laughter and you just freeze … what do I say? Are you asking about who I've allowed to touch me? Who I've enjoyed touching me? Who forcibly touched me? Or who paid to touch me?

I’ve never known how to approach this. I feel like majority of my life I’ve lived a double life, on one hand I am so open but also I hold many dark secrets I hold in fear that you may never look at me the same again … you may not see the person I am now but yet the many people I’ve been.

Storm, Tayla, Ally, Elly, Cheyenne, Britney are just some of the many aliases I have gone under as a sex worker...

Intrigued or disgusted?

Either way today I’m taking my power back and owning my story.

I've rewritten this blog three times now, each time just hasn't felt right. I actually thought the whole purpose of this was to tell my story as a working girl, a whore, a prostitute but then it hit me like a ton of bricks ... none of the details matter, what matters is the why. Why did I really do it? What lead me there? The stories of Storm, Tayla, Ally and all the others don't matter for now ... what matters for now is the story of Melissa.

I think later on down the track I may dive more into an experience blog surrounding sex work but if I was to do that now, in this moment I know I would still be avoiding my why so for now I'll leave out these details.

Sex work was a cover, there was more beneath the surface than the money there was the inner child popping through again. The little girl who had her innocence stolen from her at just the age of 5. I know for some this will be really hard and triggering to read and I ask before you go any further to make sure you are ready.

I've had multiple sexual encounters that were not given by consent, they were taken, at very crucial ages I've been told by counsellors, the many counsellors I've had for as long as I can remember. But what is a crucial age? What does that mean? Isn't no at any age important? Shouldn't my body be sacred at all stages of my life?

The sexual abuse lead on to a turmoil of disaster and destruction, although I kept that bubbly child exterior I was destroyed inside and after my second non consensual encounter at 9 that's when my insomnia kicked in. With Mum being in the depths of her deep depression around this age, I never went to her so I turned to books or TV. The reason I mention this random fact (I plan to cover my insomnia in another blog because she is a whole talk on her own!) I'm sure 80s and 90s kids remember the creepy crap that used to play back when TV was free, all the sex ads that would roll through until about 5-6am, the movies that would play would be extremely sexualized, so much sex, by such a young age all I seen around me was sex and these are the moments that I lost all value for love and sex. My body was not a temple, my body was not sacred and the woman's body was just to be objectified. I was seeing and experiencing it so surely that must be right.

I've heard children of abuse go one way or the other they are either completely shut off from sexual encounters all together or they are promiscuous. Well I was definitely promiscuous, like I said my body was not a temple, I had no care for it why should I when so many people had access to it already, why not just let anyone who showed any interest in it access. Maybe I would find the one that would turn me back on, fix me, love me? Maybe I was never meant to feel anything and this was just the purpose of my body.

During my teen years I slept around but I don't have many memories of enjoyable sex, I was so careless with my body, I hated it. I hated the way she looked, the way she felt, I was completely revolted by sex but yet I just gave it out so freely. I had still yet to experience an orgasm but I wouldn't allow myself to at the same time, I made all the right noises, I pretended I loved it because I thought I was meant too because thats what was drilled into me with all the movies and my surroundings. I even talked about my sex life with joy to my friends, this fake persona of this powerful girl having amazing mind blowing sex when in reality every time someone touched me that little abused girl on the inside cried.

When I began sex work, it wasn't a hard choice for me. For some I bet they thought long and hard, cried after their first shift, never to return but not me because the pride associated with my body, with my most intimate areas, that dignity had left years ago. It made sense to me, it was an easy transition I mean the drug addiction I had by this stage also helped but overall I didn't give a fuck. I thought I was taking my power back haha wow the fucked upness of that! I wanted to monetize on what people had taken from me, I literally wanted control, I wanted power, I wanted choice, I wanted confidence and I never thought about it again.

I can't give you a number, I won't give you details but I will say it would shock everyone. I'm sure you can take a random guess, I wouldn't know but it killed whatever control I had left of my sacral area, my womb, my vagina, my self esteem, me.

Once word got out about this, I knew the shame, I didn't want my family to know, my childhood friends, my boyfriend at the time but I was blackmailed by one and outed by many. So many people were gossiping about me, this was the go to insult about me and I'm sure years on this is still discussed behind closed doors, all these actions just ate away at my worth and I ended up in this pit of self destruction of sex work and drugs disconnected from everyone. I stopped caring, on the outside I held my head high but on the inside I felt that shame and confusion that I had felt so many times before in my life.

Sexual abuse is not a one time event, this is a domino effect to how the rest of your life will play out, how you see yourself, how you interact with the world and even if you don't replay the event I can guarantee you your energetic body replays it over and over. These events literally paved a path of disrespect, how could I respect myself, know how special my body was when no one had ever shown me that she was worth more, she was a diamond and her value couldn't be counted, there was no price worthy of her.

I've really just scraped the surface here today, there's many more events that coexist with this story but for now I'll leave her here, she may feel unfinished and untold. She is, this is just the tip of the iceberg but the main thing for me is regaining my power, owning this chapter, it happened, I can't erase it but this doesn't make me less of a woman, a sacred goddess.

When I think of my body count I honestly would only count them on one hand. The ones I wholeheartedly wanted too, although sad, I'm not defined by my physical number and I will spend the rest of my life nurturing my body and knowing her undeniable value inside and out.

For all who have used this to try and write the story of who you think I am ... the slutty villain, I forgive you, you had no idea and still don't even know the full story of me, but I forgive you, you weren't too know what I had endured.

To everyone else thank you for reading, next time you find yourself thinking about someone and who they sleep with I ask you to come from your heart space and ask the question what lead them to that bed.

Mel xx

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