By Raven Bowen
In Case You Missed It…Hannah*
Q: So Hannah, what do you do?
A: I’m an escort and I have been since I was 19. I enjoy it most of the time. I learn a lot off my clients and I hate some of them (laughter). I travel about to people’s houses and some of them I allow them to come to my house.
Q: Favourite Colour?
A: To wear is black because it makes you look slim all of the time but yellow just makes me feel really good it’s that bright, bright colour. Q: Never together to go for the bumble bee look? A: No (laughter) I never put them together actually!
Q: One thing you’re most proud of?
A: I’m proud of getting off drugs and proud of being self-employed. I’m competent at managing myself and obviously I can work when I want and when I don’t want. I don’t have to obey anybody, I obey myself and make my own choices.
Q: Why the sex industry?
A: When I got off drugs, which was hard drugs, I had a desire for money I suppose, earning money because I’d been shoplifting. And I moved out of an area and it was something that was suggesting to me and I started doing the escorting and I was addicted there and then. I never did escorting when I was on drugs, it was when I got clean I had a big hole and a gap in my life and it was suggested about escorting and I did it.
I was instantly addicted because I straight away came out with that money and I felt incredible and I continued and maybe it was a control thing or maybe I swapped my addiction for drugs for money and it empowered me and it blends with my entrepreneurial desire.
Q: The last thing you laughed about?
A: Yesterday when I was in the voting ballot box [Brexit Vote June 23, 2016) and somebody brought their dog in and said that it was called Boris! Q: Was it a wild haired dog? A: It did have wild hair and we said he could come in and vote!
Q: Your favourite food?
A: My favourite food is prawns and seafood, although I’m trying to come off it because of the cruelty aspect. So big dilemma. I’m a pescatarian at the moment. I do love fish, particularly prawns.
Q: Current project of pursuit?
A: A new business venture [not disclosed to protect Hannah’s privacy].
Q: Biggest regret?
A: Biggest regret is not saving money and banking it into the system earlier on in my life and that came from the fear of being a sex worker and banking my money. Q: Because you feared that it would get seized? A: Yeah, you don’t want to go in to the bank…you don’t know what to say. Eventually I learned but if I had done that in my 20’s I would be a multi-millionairess!
Q: Facebook of Twitter?
A: Neither, I don’t like any of it but for my new business it will be both. Personally no, and I think Facebook’s actually very damaging. A friend just got off of it and she was just saying that she was so addicted to putting pictures of herself up every day and it controlled her life. Luckily I haven’t been able to be on it because of being a sex worker. People could see you on it and try to create trouble for you.
Q: What challenges you the most about your sex work-related activities?
A: I want to please each client and the biggest challenge for me is shy clients and quiet ones. Everything else is easy, getting apartments to work from, getting my clothes, managing my diary, that’s all easy. I love clients who are very responsive and the counselling and everything else I do but the ones who are shy, who I want to reach out to but they have so many barriers, that’s hard for me. They can be so distrusting and I want to help them and I want to connect with them.
Q: Favourite movie?
A: Midnight Express where the guy gets caught with weed in Turkey. It’s a true story and it’s awful and it’s about him in prison in Turkey and he gets put in this mental institution and there’s a scene where his wife comes to visit him after 3 years and it’s done very raw…
Q: Last time you cried?
A: Not long ago because I just had a baby and it was about animal cruelty.
Q: Dog or cat person?
A: Dog, I don’t trust cats! And they’re scratchy!
Q: Who understands you?
A: I suppose my husband and academics and that’s about it…strangers. You know when you smile at a stranger and you know that they understand that smile and they’ve appreciated it and they give you one back or they’ve given you one first. I would say that more than sometimes, my family or friends. Just in that moment, it’s so bloody powerful and it’s an amazing connection. Apart from if it’s a guy and he comes running backward going ‘can I have your number?’ and you’re like for ‘fuck sakes mate I was just being fucking nice now… do one!’
Q: Last book or article you read?
A: ‘Ask and it is Given: learning to manifest your desires’ by Esther and Jerry Hicks
Q: Childhood fear?
A: That a crocodile was going to bite my bum in bed! I had to wear pants because I was convinced that I would get bitten. And death, I contemplated it a lot when I was a kid.
Q: What did your last text say?
A: ‘I’m sorry for being a twat’ because I shouted at my partner today.
Q: One thing that your work is aimed to do for the sex industry?
A: Just to help other workers to realize how they can do this as a business, not to feel shame about it, and not to listen to other people. Listen to yourself and to be strong with it.
Q: Meaning of life in one word?
Q: The last thing you Googled?
A: Esther Hicks
Q: What did/do you want to be when you grow up?
A: When I was a kid I wanted to be a vet
*The original interview with ‘Hannah’ was conducted June 24th 2016.
Next week, Prof. Teela Sanders.
Please Note: The Goal of the ’21 Questions’ series is to get to know sex industry professionals, other parties, and researchers in our network. The series will alternate profiling interesting people who support the human and labour rights, dignity and respect of those involved in sex industries.