woensdag 20 augustus 2014

Dutch Model - Introduction

I am Zondares, a blogging independent prostitute from the Netherlands. The name "Zondares" is a pseudonym meaning "female sinner." I have been in this line of work since many years. I write my blog about my experiences in prostitution, and I have become more and more involved in the politics governing my profession. I am trying to get people to look through the untruths the media keeps pushing on the general public by giving people a peek inside my daily life, and by patiently explaining things I feel should be obvious.

My blog is a channel for my personal opinion, even though I take pains to always be factually correct. Since I am Dutch, and my target audience is as well, I write in my mother language. I write in my own style, and with an idiom that is too close to spoken language to be properly translated by online automatic translation algorithms. As a result I do not reach many people outside the Dutch language area. Therefore I write this series in English.

The state of affairs in the Netherlands as regards prostitution worries me. I have written on the subject many times, in depth and both from a factual, objective as well as from a personal standpoint. Especially worrying is the complete lack of coverage by the mass media of the many errors and willful omissions in the stories told about Dutch prostitution, and the governments role in it.

I usually link inside my articles to further explanations of details from my stories, to offer as much insight as I can. In these articles I can't do so, because the linked explanations would all be in Dutch. I will try to be as complete as I can without making the articles too unwieldy, but the depths to which I can explain will be limited. I regret that, but that's the way it is.

This rapid-fire series of articles on the state of affairs in the Netherlands will be started off with this introduction article, where I will explain my own position in the prostitution business, so that you'll know what my perspective is. Articles on the historical and juridical background of Dutch prostitution will follow, and the series will end with an overview of the current situation.

I am a mid-thirties woman. I started sex work in my university days. I've been moving around since then. I started in amateur escort, quickly switched to Amsterdam window brothels, then went to inhouse brothel clubs. I stuck around in there for too long, before starting professionally escorting and receiving clients at home. I have whored part-time before making prostitution my career.

Apart from prostitution, I have had regular jobs. They were mostly in human resources positions, but I have held smaller jobs, and I have supported myself with selling my sculptures. I've had a number of regular jobs considered "good" by most people, but no job has ever given me as much satisfaction as my little one-woman operation. I chose this job because of clear reasoning, like most of my colleagues.

Now I work professionally. I am licensed, I keep my records, I pay taxes. I pay very much tax. I do my own acquisition, my own client control, my own planning, my own back office. I run a real one-person company, with all the trouble that involves. In fact only all the trouble it involves, because all the exemptions and advantages small companies usually enjoy are not applicable to prostitution businesses. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I've seen several types of prostitution from the inside. I've explored some that I decided not to work in. I've had good friends inside the whore houses I worked in, I've had good friendships with clients and hangers-on. That gave me a pretty good view of the business. I've been very involved in the ups and downs of every type of company I've been in, and as a result I've experienced a lot of the troubles whores in the Netherlands are put through.

During my wanderings before settling on my current method of working I've sampled many ways to do business. I've "been" many "types of whore." This isn't rare for career sex workers. I've also seen most ways that sex workers get treated by government and society. I've been left alone, helped, exploited, pitied, despised, persecuted, prosecuted and chased away. I'm still paying the price for that. Literally.

Since I took up blogging almost six years ago, my views of the business have expanded further. Not only because I had to investigate more thoroughly if I wanted to explain without false authority, but also because I've been contacted by very many readers, many of which from within the prostitution community. I've been corrected on many points. Sometimes harshly, but it was always welcome.

I was never really interested in politics until I got confronted with what politicians were doing to us. I still find it hard to follow where every move takes place, and how the complexities of the civil service work. Luckily, I have a lot of help from a juridically schooled friend who worked for the justice department. She escorts part-time, so she knows both sides of the story.

Before I took up writing about prostitution, I had a very simplistic idea of pimps and human trafficking. That has changed because writing my blog forced me to find out how these things work. There was a depth to these areas that I had never imagined, and I'm happy I learned about them. Different people have different motivations, and it makes no sense to judge how somebody else values the choices they make for themselves.

There's no way I can ever come to fully know everything there is to know about prostitution. I can't pretend I can answer every question. But I will say I've seen more than most people, and even more than most other whores. I'm definite where I can be, but I never pretend to have more confidence than I can back up. I've been criticised over this issue, but I refuse to sink as low as the know-it-alls who spread untruths about my line of work, speaking from ignorance.

Despite my activism, and all the complaints about injustices that I'm voicing all the time as a result, I am actually very happy in my job. I'm an entrepreneur, doing well, and I take great satisfaction from that. Whoring is a very interesting line of work. I learn much about human sexuality, about clients, about myself. I may have gotten in lots of trouble over my job, but it has been worth it.

As I write this, I realize that I'll never be able to prove my credentials in a single post. In nearly six years of blogging I've shown my way of working, my way of thinking, and my experiences. And without false modesty, I've proven my insight in the business. So far I have never been proven wrong when I predicted things. I've built up a clean record, and I'm proud of that.

Series on the Dutch Model:
Legal history
Legal developments
Daily reality
War on sex work

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