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Monday, August 16, 2010

Success Stories

Pissing off the pimps : Local News :: Las Vegas CityLife

Dec 13, 2007 ... Pissing off the pimps. Former madam launches grass-roots group to help ...So Williams started Prostitutes Anonymous (now Sex Workers ... 

Brenda Myers-Powell found PA meetings through a homeless program.  Now in recovery, she is known for her advocacy work to help other prostitutes and her catch phrase "click it down" from her many appearances on Maury Povich.

Carla once said she had to "creep up to the Prostitutes Anonymous meetings because she didn't want anyone to know she was a prostitute".in the same article.

Kathleen Mitchell first wrote us from jail in 1989.  Look at how PA helped her, and helped her make the world a better place.

Pay-Per-View - Los Angeles Times - ProQuest Archiver - Oct 30, 1987
Rather, she says, the value of Prostitutes Anonymous is in its ability to help extricate hookers from addictive thinking. ...

Pay-Per-View - Morning Call - ProQuest Archiver - Mar 12, 1990
The third says she knows the way -- Prostitutes Anonymous... Prostitutes Anonymous has reached the East Coast and, with the help of The Program for Female ...

`Recovery Show' Makes a Comeback Talk Radio: A program for alcoholics...
Pay-Per-View - Los Angeles Times - ProQuest Archiver - Oct 13, 1989
"We had some people from Prostitutes Anonymous. It was pretty wild," Cavanaugh said, adding that there are 27 different "anonymous" programs in Los Angeles ...

$2.95 - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - NewsBank - Feb 27, 1990
However, House's attorney, Sandra Ruffalo, told Landry that House now belonged to Prostitutes Anonymous, an organization that sought to help former ..

Prostitutes Anonymous in Florida

Prostitutes Anonymous in Dallas

Language Barriers


We are not using professional writers in the publishing of this book. This is because we felt the only way to tell our story was to tell it in our own words. Sometimes the language is rough, but it is told in the language that best portrays it.

We are not using professional writers in the publishing of this book.. This is because we felt the only way to tell our story was to tell it in our own words. Sometimes the language is rough, but it is told in the language that best portrays it.

In fact, the writing of this book did pose many language problems you should be aware of. Our deepest desire was to avoid the typical sexism that accompanies many projects associated with the sex industry which seem to ignore the fact that men, and children, are as involved in the sex industry as adult women are.
Many men have not only been prostitutes, but know the pain of child abuse, rape, emotional abuse, and of sexual dysfunction related to prostitution, etc. Even worse is that men know what its like to seek help for these problems and to be turned away, simply because they are a man. A lot of information about the sex industry seems to portray men as always being the perpetrators and women as always being the victims.
We know that in a more realistic view, women and men have abused their children, women have raped (we have male and female members who have been raped by women), women have pimped, and women have also been perpetrators as well as victims. So we try to think in terms of simply, and only, as perpetrator and victim, rather than attaching any gender to these terms.

We want to actively let men know they are just as welcome as women to find help in Prostitutes Anonymous. We have attempted to remove all sexism, or reverse sexism, from this book by the avoidance, as much as possible, of pronouns like her or him. Therefore, we try to refer to ourselves as "members", "prostitutes", or in non-gender specific ways whenever possible. We also try to use the word prostitute in order to more accurately reflect our common ground. The common bond between an escort, a pimp and a porn star, is that we all are "prostitutes" at our core.

The one issue that we had to address is the concept of God as it relates to the Steps and Traditions that are the foundation of the Prostitutes Anonymous program. Some of us have suffered blows at the end of a stick called God. Some call their Higher Power by a name other than God, and some choose not to have any concept of a God, or Higher Power, at all in their program. This book and its writings are in no way to be construed as an endorsement of any one religion, spiritual belief system, type of God, or Higher Power. This is a topic that should be worked out by the individual and not dictated by this book.

The English language posed a problem for us though. We could not write literature with the phrase "God, Higher Power, or whatever your belief system is" peppered throughout it, so we have simply used the word God wherever necessary.

The editors of this book request that if this offends you to please understand we cant please everyone and to try to do so would be impossible. Also keep in mind your recovery will be ever changing. Just as a newborn can't eat steak, but first must be nursed on milk before being able to tolerate any solid food, you may find your belief and relationship with God will change over time as well. Just go at the pace that works for you.
The issue of chemical abuse is bound to come up as well. We wish to emphatically point out that nor all sex workers are coming to us out of a bottom caused by, or contributed to by, chemicals. While some of us may have quit from such a bottom, not all have. In fact, many of us in this fellowship have never touched chemicals (drugs and/or alcohol), of any kind. In order to avoid this subject clouding the real issues we are hoping to deal with, we will be taking out any references to their use in our literature except in the personal stories where we felt it was integral to the message.

Then there was the problem of addressing the different areas and levels of the sex industry. But each of us, whether we used to be hookers, call-girls, call-boys, streetwalkers, nude dancers, strippers, phone sex workers, hustlers, players, mistresses, porno actor/actresses, porno producers, pimps, madams, massage parlor owners, and others, have in common is that we are all here for the same reason.

In our disease. we find a million ways to make ourselves "different" from everyone else, to make ourselves feel "no one understands us because they haven't been in my shoes", or to push people away from us so we can isolate by telling ourselves "they are different" or convince ourselves we are "superior" to others in the industry because of the type of work we did. There is no difference between a street junkie shooting up heroin from the housewife taking too many prescription pain killers when it comes to the fact both share the same disease of addiction.

Where a lot of people have the most trouble with the first step is not recognizing that the word "We" is actually the first word of the first step. Our disease separates us from reality in order to convince us of what it wants us to believe in order to separate us from God's will. Despite the fact the step is worded clearly that "We admitted we were powerless over our disease and that our lives had become unmanageable", many people are walking around recovery rooms convinced the Step reads "I admitted I was powerless over my disease and that my life was unmanageable". You will find these are the same people having trouble getting past the first Step in their recovery.

The first step is clear that our disease is more powerful than us. This means it can take over control of our mind, body and spirit. That includes what we see, think, feel, and believe. So if we seem to be really demanding about the words we use in this program - it's because these words are the difference literally between life and death for us.

Some of you reading this may not understand how one's mind can be divided against itself in such a way as to say the disease can be truly more powerful then us. One of the best ways to illustrate this is to tell you about an experiment done by hypnotists into how the mind actually works. In this particular study, the hypnotist puts the subject "under". He then informs the subject there is a chair in the middle of the room when in fact there is no chair there at all. The subject is then woken up and asked to walk across the room. To our surprise, the subject actually walks "around" the invisible chair believing they see it there. This experiment proves our minds are very capable of "deceiving" us.

One of the first steps we can take towards our recovery is by really looking at the words of the first step and recognizing it all starts with the word "we" and not "I". Why? Because we can not recover alone. Take our "chair experiment" for example: if instead of asking the subject to walk across the room by themselves so they would make the mistake of going around the chair that isn't there we instead ask them to take the hand of someone else and walk across the room. There would come a point in the room crossing where the other person would see there is no chair there and walk right through it - taking the other person with them straight to the other side.

Our disease knows that with the help of another person it can not deceive us so easily so it has to invent all kinds of creative ways to separate you from the other members you need to survive. If we give in to it trying to separate us from each other - it survives and maintains control of us. By dropping all the differences and focusing on the "we" of this program - we recover. 

We attempted to cover as much sex work as possible in this book so that no matter what you did you know you are welcome here. But in order to maintain identification with each other which is essential to our program of recovery - we always refer to our members as prostitutes and not by job title. This reflects our policy that the sex industry itself is not the true problem we came here for. We come here for ourselves.
We are here to change ourselves - not the sex industry.


Prostitutes Anonymous is trying to provide our members with a book that shatters all of the old denials, illusions, justifications, rationalizations, excuses, lies, half-truths, and biased research studies to give you with what we feel is a truly unique and revolutionary book. We have no best seller list to get onto, no political motives, we are not basing our viewpoints on any one persons experience, we have no ego to massage, no glory to be sought, no one persons feelings to protect and no bank account to fill, as all money from this book goes into a special fund to produce more books and support our fellowship's mission of carrying our message of recovery to others.

At no time is anything written based on an outsiders viewpoint. All stories and writings are from personal experience of a wide range of sex workers and are looked at by the critical eye of another sex worker in order to ensure that denial is not clouding the writing.

We are totally free in this book to tell the whole reality of the sex business for the first time anywhere to our knowledge because we do not have an "agenda" like most other books on the sex industry include. We arent worried about losing an audience, dropping sales, affecting the laws surrounding prostitution, or offending anyone.

Let's put it another way: if you ask a drug addict in active addiction about what drug use is like you will hear one answer. However, talk to that same addict when they have a few years of complete abstinence from all drugs and you will hear them speak from a completely different perspective. So while those reading this book who are still in the sex industry may not agree or relate to what we write here - we do feel that those who are in recovery from the sex industry will.

For that reason we feel that not only is this the only book we know of in the world to talk about how to recover from the sex industry - but we feel it is also the most honest book published about what being in the sex industry was like from our experiences.

Since this book is being written from a totally fresh and innovative perspective even the most seasoned pro may need take some time to fully understand some of the concepts we present. We have tried to explain everything from square one in the hopes of making it more easily understood. However, explaining a sunset to a blind man is very difficult as is trying to help someone in the sex industry understand how life is on the "outside". Honestly, some of what is in this book may take years in recovery to truly comprehend because we are talking about not just quitting sex work here - but about learning a new way to live.

We cant stress enough that for members of Prostitutes Anonymous, the true villain is not the sex industry. Our pain does not lie in the job we perform. If it did, simply changing jobs would solve those problems. Prostitutes Anonymous has no opinion about legalization, decriminalization, structure, content, clients, or the sex industry itself. Our purpose is not to condemn, condone or even comment on the sex industry itself.

This book is our attempt to not only show what our lie was, but to share our recovery with others. Very few people who escape the sex industry even reveal their past to others - let alone share about what life is like for them now. Because we hardly see or talk to anyone who has quit - sex work seems to be a helpless and hopeless way of life. Even more so for those in denial. For those in the grips of this disease, it leaves them often feeling death is better than the pain of leaving the sex industry.

Most of society, and even some sex workers themselves, think that being in this "life" is a moral issue, or will argue that prostitutes are only in this for sex, money or drugs. But they are not responsible for these misguided and incorrect viewpoints because the truth is not as "marketable" as the sex industry itself is.

Compare it if you will to the tobacco industry some years ago before the public started insisting on the truth about smoking to be made public. Consider how tobacco executives testified in front of congress that smoking was "not addictive" and "not responsible" for the deaths of millions from diseases like lung cancer even when the discovery of internal memos proved they knew these statements to be false. They lied because they had the sales of their product and their jobs on the line. This is no different than the marketers of the sex industry are doing to encourage customers to buy their products, and to attract men and women in to produce the products and services they sell. It is also no different for the smoker who lights up and tells himself that none of these facts are going to affect him. He feels he is "different" or "immune" from the negative effects of smoking he hears about just as sex workers convince themselves.

This is no different than the prostitutes own denial which prevents them from understanding the true nature of the beast. They tell their counselors that their childhood is responsible for their actions. They tell the prisons their lack of education is what put them behind bars. Parents are pointed to the money that is made and asked to accept it as a respectable profession. Tricks are told that they love sex with strange men on a daily basis, that we just "cant get enough". Drug treatment centers hear drug addiction as being responsible for the acts of prostitution. They may even tell themselves they are truly happy in this business for quite a few years before the reality comes crashing in.

Others may convince themselves they are also "immune" from things like HIV, serial killers, rape, violence, being arrested, losing their children because of working in the sex industry, or finding themselves forced into sex trafficking against their will.

All the while, personalities and problems are blamed for being in prostitution, never the real underlying reason. This is done in an attempt to fool ourselves into thinking that once we get clean, once we find the perfect relationship, or once we get that perfect job - we will just step out of prostitution like an old skin never to return. But all these outside solutions have failed for us.

Even once we accept the risks that exist in the sex industry - it is the obsession of every prostitute that we can control and manage our disease. We all tell ourselves one more time or this time things are different, Ill never do it after tonight, "once I save enough money (or get my degree), I am quitting forever", or the famous I know what I am doing. The illusion of how things will be alright once I (fill in the blank) haunts each and every one of us, and keeps placing us in more and more unmanageable positions.

How can we call this a "disease"? Because no matter what we tell ourselves about when we do or have (fill in the blank_________) we will quit forever - we quickly find ourselves going right back into the sex industry.
We use the word "disease" the same as a person who can not control his use of alcohol calls himself a person with the disease of alcoholism. The alcohol itself is not the disease or the cause of the disease. Alcoholism is a disease that some people have which is fatal and incurable. It's only treatment is to put their disease into remission through abstinence from all alcohol and involving themselves in a recovery process for the rest of their lives.

The same is true for us. The sex industry is not our disease. What is our disease is our relationship to it, the way we go back to it thinking it is a solution to our problems when in reality it is causing the problems. The distorted thinking we have in common with any addict which causes us to lose touch with reality and go against our natural survival instinct to a path of destruction. The way it makes us think friends are enemies, enemies are friends, truth is lies, lies are truth, and the way out is only the road further down the rabbit hole. What we have is a disease of perception.

Some ask us if there is a difference between being addicted to the sex industry and being a sex addict, sex and love addict, or sexual compulsive. First of all, most sex industry addicts report they get no sexual satisfaction out of their job. That in fact they even emotionally and/or physically "disconnect" so they feel nothing. That is not what a sex addict reports as their experience in their active addiction. Sex addicts report a "high" from the act - but for us we do not receive pleasure, let alone a "high" feeling.

However, like any addict, sometimes we act out in more than one way. Just as an alcoholic may also be a compulsive gambler - there are some sex workers who do report being sex addicts. Some sex workers describe substituting into sex addiction when they quit working in the sex industry. Others may feel nothing with their clients - but go on the prowl after work to find their sexual fix. Some may not experience sexual addiction with anyone else but their pimps to whom they will jump through any hoop to be with.

Then again, some come into recovery exhibiting only one form of acting out - only to substitute into another form while trying to be abstinent from what they first came into recovery to stop. So yes, some may suffer from more than one form of this disease. We may come into recovery with only one form of acting out - only to be deceived into thinking we are doing well on one hand while developing a new form of acting out on another. Denial is a very dangerous thing - and can be experienced even during abstinence from whatever one feels their "drug of choice" is.

But to be specific about the definition of our first step - no we do not believe sex is what we are powerless over. To understand this - think of how many forms of the sex industry do not involve actual intercourse or even physical contact with another person. You could be sitting behind a webcam putting on live shows for your clients which involves no physical contact or even sexual simulations for that matter, and still be hopelessly addicted to the sex industry. With the increase in pornography - you might only be having pictures or videos taken of you by yourself where you experience no sexual feelings doing this whatsoever - and still be addicted to the sex industry and everything else that goes along with it.

Nor is this fellowship for everyone that has worked in the sex industry who decides they want to quit. Prostitutes Anonymous is a 12-Step fellowship of men and women who have become hopelessly addicted to everything about the sex industry and find that any methods they have tried in the past to quit, and to find recovery, have not been sufficient or lasting.

Why do we say you may have successfully quit sex work and still find you need help from us? Because history has shown us sex workers may get "legit" jobs - but find they are still living the life of a prostitute. There are lots of ways to feel, and be treated like, a prostitute without "turning a trick". For some of us - this is like how an alcoholic may stop drinking, but may act out as a "dry drunk" and find their lives still as, if not more, unmanageable, sober. There are those of us who quit the sex industry - but find the feelings and situations which make them feel just as bad and/or powerless as they did when they were in the sex industry is continuing, or maybe even progressing to a more acute level.

Others among us find no matter how hard they try to quit and how determined they are never to return - some crisis or opportunity keeps coming up where they feel their returning to the sex industry is the only answer. They may have quit - but find when things get "tough" they return. This is like the alcoholic who can stay sober for years on end - but can't seem to find everlasting and evolving recovery from their disease because for every step forward, there's two steps backwards.

No matter what pattern may fit our story, if you are like "us", the sex industry is like a spider web you just can't seem to find lasting release from on any level: physical, mental or spiritual.

Such is the nature of our disease.

Friday, August 6, 2010

12 Traditions

The Twelve Traditions of Prostitutes Anonymous

We keep what we have only with vigilance, and just as freedom for the individual comes from the Twelve Steps, so freedom for the group springs from our Traditions. As long as the ties that bind us together are stronger than those that would tear us apart, all will be well.

1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on PA unity.

2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

3. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using.

4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or PA as a whole.

5. Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry the message to the prostitute who still suffers.

6. A PA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the PA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property or prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

7. Every PA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

8. Prostitutes Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

9. PA, as such, ought never be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

10. Prostitutes Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the PA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.

12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

Twelve Traditions reprinted for adaptation by permission of AA World Services, Inc.

Narcotics Anonymous 5th Tradition

Tradition Five

“Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry the
message to the addict who still suffers.”

“You mean to say that our primary purpose is to carry the
message? I thought we were here to get clean. I thought that
our primary purpose was to recover from drug addiction.” For
the individual, this is certainly true; our members are here to
find freedom from addiction and a new way of life. However,
groups aren’t addicted and don’t recover. All our groups can do
is plant the seed for recovery and bring addicts together so that
the magic of empathy, honesty, caring, sharing, and service can
do their work.

The purpose of this tradition is to ensure that this
atmosphere of recovery is maintained. This can only be achieved
by keeping our groups recovery-oriented. The fact that we, each
and every group, focus on carrying the message provides consistency;
addicts can count on us. Unity of action and purpose
makes possible what seemed impossible for us—recovery.
The Twelfth Step of our personal program also says that we
carry the message to the addict who still suffers. Working with
others is a powerful tool. “The therapeutic value of one addict
helping another is without parallel.” For the newcomers, this is
how they found Narcotics Anonymous and learned to stay clean.
For the members, this reaffirms their commitment to recovery.
The group is the most powerful vehicle we have for carrying the
message. When a member carries the message, he is somewhat
bound by interpretation and personality. The problem with literature
is language. The feelings, the intensity, and the strengths
are sometimes lost. In our group, with many different personalities,
the message of recovery is a recurring theme.

What would happen if our groups had another primary purpose?
We feel our message would be diluted and then lost. If we
concentrated on making money, many might get rich. If we were
a social club, we could find many friends and lovers. If we specialized
in education, we’d end up with many smart addicts. If
our specialty was medical help, many would get healthy. If our
group purpose were anything other than to carry the message,
many would die and few would find recovery.

What is our message?

The message is that an addict, any addict,
can stop using drugs, lose the desire to use, and find a new
way to live. Our message is hope and the promise of freedom.
When all is said and done, our primary purpose can only be to
carry the message to the addict who still suffers because that is
all we have to give.

Copyright © 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 2008 by
Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc.