My name is Perla and I am a licensed courtesan at Sheri’s Ranch. I have been a sex worker legally through the Nevada system for three years, and I have serviced a considerable number of male clients.

This month, a study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence comparing sex buyers with men who do not buy sex was heavily publicized. The study concluded that men who pay for prostitutes were more likely to commit acts of sexual violence.

While it is not my intention to criticize the research that lead to the study’s results (the Huffington Post did an excellent job of that), I would like to talk about my perception of sex buyers and explain why my personal experiences as a sex worker are in direct opposition to the study’s findings.

When I mention what I do for a living, I’m often surprised by the reactions I receive. How can you have sex with all of those strange men? Aren’t you afraid something horrible will happen to you? It still amazes me how conditioned many people are by the stereotypes surrounding sex workers and our clients. Often, the perception is that I must be disgusted by my clients, and that I endure this disgust because it’s “worth the money.” Also, with the perceived sexual assault around every corner, I must be risking my life day in and day out because I’m a reckless, uneducated, desperate whore.

Well, at the risk of disappointing those who buy into these stereotypes, I’m here to say that my clients are some of the most fascinating, wonderful, amazing, kind, and genuinely good people I have ever encountered. I tremendously enjoy spending time with them. I love my job and I have never felt that I have been in danger or in any way not in control of my situation while working.

Perla from Sheri's Ranch

How can you have sex with all of those strange men?

I will never forget a time when a gentleman came in to see me, standing 6’ 4” tall, built tough, dark hair slicked back with a scruffy beard that covered the sides of his face and large hands that felt rough to the touch. He was broad, deep-voiced, and had a very imposing appearance.

As I guided him to my bedroom, it became clear to me that this was about to be his first time having sex. He was completely unaware of what to expect or how he should act, not sure if there were any “rules” he needed to abide by or what limits I may have. In time, as we conversed at length and I tenderly comforted him, we developed a genuine, sincere connection. The view he had of me in the nude standing there in front of him as he sat on the edge of my bed with his hands on my hips gazing over each and every one of my curves with his big eyes just blew his mind. He was very warm with his words and very sweet with his compliments as we drifted into his first sexual experience. Many would probably be very intimidated, not aware that this giant was simply a gentle soul longing for a compassionate embrace from someone willing to take the time to understand him and his needs.

My beautiful giant is like many of the clients that I see regularly: people looking for an experience that they only trust a sex worker to give them. They may be adult virgins seeking an understanding person to take their virginity, a disabled individual who has difficulty finding a regular sexual partner, a couple looking for a sexually experienced third party to spice up their love life, or a fetishist embarrassed to share his peculiar desires with his loved ones. For these reasons, and many more, I have had clients visit me from around the world, and it continues to be a pleasure to spend time with all of them. In the years I have been a sex worker, I have never encountered a customer with an intention to do me harm.

Aren’t you afraid something horrible will happen to you?

Let’s be realistic. There are violent crimes committed against prostitutes. I’m not so naive as to believe that nothing negative ever happens to a percentage of women working in my profession, which is one reason I choose to practice sex work in a secure, legal establishment (another is that I don’t want to go to jail.) As a woman, I certainly feel that we should do everything we possibly can as a society to alleviate rape and violent crime against members of my sex.

However, those who are responsible for this recent study suggest that the sex work profession, by simply existing, attracts violent, sexually aggressive people. This conclusion is an insult to the men and women who visit not only me, but the hundreds of other working girls currently plying their trade in licensed brothels throughout Nevada. Nevada brothels service over 400,000 clients annually and have been operating legally for over forty years. If violence was so prevalent in this profession, wouldn’t we see more reports about such crimes occurring in Nevada over the last four decades?

I am not a victim. I am a woman who is doing the best she can to make her way in a difficult world. I’m proud of what I do and I’m appreciative that certain counties in Nevada allow me to practice sex work legally and without shame. My customers also deserve to visit me without shame or stigma. All this study really accomplishes is to label the vast majority of sex buyers as sexually deranged predators. I’m here to tell you that they are not.

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3 Responses to Sex Buyer Study: A Sex Worker’s Response

  1. Bravo!!! Trying to say that prostitution in and of itself causes men to be more violent is like saying playing violent video games causes teens to kill people. If prostitution or video games ceased to exist…do you really think mankind would cease to be violent?! Mankind has been harming and killing each other since the beginning of time for one reason or another. How about we abolish religion?! Hasn’t mankind been killing each other for centuries over religion?? If we abolish religion then ISIS and other terrorist groups will just go away…right?? Legal..safe..regulated brothels weren’t even mentioned in the article because it would have totally lowered the violence coefficient to the point where the article would have been a moot point. Oh….and what about fans at football games and baseball games beating opposing teams fans to death….we should do away with sports altogether!! So..no prostitution( God forbid a woman is trying to feed her family the only way she knows how and wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth)…no video games…no religion…no sports….oh and no schools either because they are breeding grounds for kids to build home made bombs and weapons because of what they learned in Physics and Chemistry.

    The point is….prostitution isn’t the problem….Neanderthalic human beings who kill because it is in our very human core to do so and will never change as long as we are all still inhabiting this planet!!! We are all born with that core desire to hunt…eat..and kill. Our environment will never change that basic instinct. The people that write these articles honestly don’t have a clue what goes on in the real world because if they did they wouldn’t vomit out such stupid assinine shit.

    You want to stop violence…..go up to that man or woman or teen who is struggling with life and look them in the eye and tell them that you love them and you have their back and that they are not alone in this world.

    Guns don’t kill people…people kill people….prostitution doesn’t make a person prone to more violence…humans…are born violent….it is just that fine line between sanity and insanity that makes you act out your violence or not.

    The world could afford more wonderful people like Perla instead of these nitwits who spew shit out of their mouths about topics they have no real world experience speaking to because they didn’t do their homework and skew stories to make them fit their agenda.

    Speaking of which…I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and researched Google so I think I will perform open heart surgery tomorrow!!

    Sometimes I am ashamed to be a part of this “human race”……thank God for people like Perla and those wonderful people like her to help me keep the faith to go on every day!

    SMFH!!!

    Peace Out….

  2. TheCatTribe says:

    This is an excellent, thoughtful article. I went and read the original study. http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/pdfs/Farleyetal2011ComparingSexBuyers.pdf

    It has many questionable aspects. The study sample is small at 101 sex buyers who answered an ad to participate in the research. It was conducted by members of, and funded, by two groups who are vehemently opposed to prostitution. The study states that prostitution is inherently like slavery and being raped. Most importantly, it almost exclusively focused on buyers of illegal prostitution, primarily that of sex workers on the street. About 40% of these "buys" involved a payment of drugs. 58% involved trading shelter, food, or clothes for sex. In addition, most of the buyers were aware they paid for sex from someone who was being coerced into prostitution — including children who were trafficked. Still only 3% of sex buyers wanted to feel in control or abuse a sex worker. The sex buyers in the study had bought sex an average of 54 times. The sex buyers had been arrested an average of 12 arrests and 22% had a felony conviction. Despite all this the conclusion that sex buyers are more likely to commit sexual assault is based on an alleged correlation among sexual violence and "non-relational sexuality, a high number of sex partners, pornography use, [and] a range of criminal activity in addition to prostitution." In sum, the study is biased, questionable, and at best focuses on buyers of ILLEGAL, USUALLY COERCED prostitution.

    As someone who was once sexually assault, a male feminist, someone who was worked with sexual assault victims, and someone who has worked as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, I cannot see any logical connection between sexual assault and LEGAL prostitution. The link between video games and violence at least has the evidence of desensitization behind it, but a customer of a legal courtesan doesn't assault anyone — to the contrary, he/she negotiates a specific party.

    I am also someone who is disabled and has trouble finding sexual partners. I am going to visit Sheri's because it is a safe, comforting environment where I know I can get empathetic treatment and a sensual connection. I am the last person that would sexually assault someone. Thank you, Perla, for your defense of us customers.

    • Perla says:

      I must admit that during the reading of your reply in addition to the one above, I was very moved.. Comments and Support like this is what keeps me grounded and humbled.
      It is people like you who make me love what I do even more. The sheer happiness that one knows they can bring to someone’s life is truly a blessing in itself…
      I truly, genuinely cherish the understanding, the respect and most of all the support provided to women like me in my profession from the men and women like you that are out there…

      I would like to thank you for taking not only the time to read my blog but also the time it takes to write a comment on here as well.

      Again, know that the support you have provided is greatly appreciated by me and the women with whom I work beside… =)

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