Some time ago Una Ewing and I had harsh words over sex workers and modeling. Well, over the weekend she came to me and wanted to talk about patching things up and going forward. This, in a world where many people would rather dump their land at a loss and run, rather than be reasonable, is a major kudos thing. We had a really great chat about things, about the barriers to success, about the things we wanted to do. She's big into promoting new talent (more on this later), which you can see on her blog.
The heart of our discussion however, turned on avenues out for virtual sex work in second life. The source of the original span was when she put out a cattle call on a fashion show, and then snubbed coverage from this blog because it was, and is, a sex blog written by someone who was, and is, an escort on second life. It is still very much written from that point of view, because no matter what else I do here, it is that that opened the door for it. She was kind enough to invite me to speak today, and unfortunately rl work commitments held me in rl.
But the topic, and Una' commitment to offering exactly that: ways up and out. Is real. I think this place changes people, and their perceptions. You can't be on second life for this long, without coming to realize that young women coming into SL, who do not have a base of rl income to draw from, are drawn into escorting. If for no other reason than to raise enough funds to get the basics of beauty. Having seen that, and being a clear sighted and practical person, Una has decided to make it one of her priorities.
Coming to make peace alone is enough to set her apart. That takes courage, and grace, and those are always qualities to be applauded. But I've heard that talk is cheap, because supply greatly exceeds demand. Una is doing things and putting her weight behind giving women a way out of the esteem trap that is escorting for most of them. Yes a few of us do really well at it. Too well. (frumples lips. Sigh) But most don't, and even regular dancing can be a soul crushing experience and people come in and experience the corrosive misogyny that so much of the virtual sex industry on second life entails.
I can't tell you how grateful I am to Una for coming and talking. I know my original words were very harsh, because this is a harsh world we second live in. For that reason I am trying, though without as much success as I would like, to make my words of appreciation for what she is doing equally profound. The thing, I think, to do, is what I offered originally, and wanted to do genuinely: cover her shows from the point of view of those of us who use fashion as our working capital, and therefore have a different relationship with it than women who are consumers of fashion, or use it as an accessory to their business. We are numerous, and we are a large part of the demand for fashion. Our tastes and needs are reflected in a thousand ways in fashion. Many fashion houses advertise "escort" in their descriptions, even as they would not dare mention that actual escorts wear their fashions. Exceptions to this silence, like June Dion of Bare Rose Tokyo, generate a huge degree of loyalty from those inside the virtual sex trade.
I'm very glad, more than can easily be poured into meager writing, that Una has been clear eyed enough to realize that there is a need for fashion to both speak to the escorting community, and as importantly, maybe more, to offer a road up and out of that world for the many women who want to be treated with greater respect, and be more attached to making things of permanent value for second life.
Thank Una. Thank you in words as strong as my earlier ones were harsh.