A Brooklyn-based sex worker has stirred debate about mainstream acceptance of the role, by posting on LinkedIn about her profession and the “exorbitant” amounts of money she charges.
Arielle Egozi’s post went viral through July 2022 on the work-focused social media platform, which is normally populated with profile pictures of people dressed in stiff formal garb and posts about the corporate world. They (Egozi uses the pronouns she/they) wrote that they wanted to earn respect through sharing their experience as a sex worker.
Many social media platforms, including LinkedIn, do not allow explicit sexual content, so have limited use for sex workers for promotion. Many sex workers promote themselves on Twitter, which allows porn images. Using LinkedIn to actively promote sex work is rare, if not pretty much unheard of until this year.
Egozi wrote that they were able to leave their in-house job with “fancy benefits” due to money made through sex work, adding: “I charge exorbitant amounts”.
“Why is this different than any other client work?” they wrote. “The answer I come to, again and again, is that it isn’t. So it’s now up on my LinkedIn. Because not only is my new standard for incoming creative clients that they be at least half as respectful, generous, and grateful as the John Does online – but that anyone who I partner with celebrates and accepts every experience as one I will inevitably bring with me into a project.”
Egozi’s post blew up online, garnering thousands of comments. Many supported Egozi for promoting sex work openly on LinkedIn. Others said the post portrayed a false image of most sex workers, who may have been forced into the often dangerous profession.
“I have enormous privilege,” Egozi told Business Insider, responding to the criticism. “I have the agency of this not being the main way I make money. If it wasn’t a choice for me, I’m not sure that I would feel very empowered.”
In a later LinkedIn post Egozi wrote that they did not want to be a “face” of sex work. She wrote: “My intention here was to bring all my pieces into the room. It was to hold myself accountable in celebration of the choices I’ve made, the decisions that make me who I am and make my work what it is.”
They added: “It wasn’t to inspire. It wasn’t to be radical. It wasn’t to make you upset. It was to make space for myself.”