Usually when someone calls me a whore, slut or bitch, they're paying $3 per minute for the privilege. So I can't help but note the irony when people who consider themselves ethically and morally superior use these same words in an attempt to insult me.

In the week since my post on phone sex and acting ran, I've been told via the Internet that I am naïve, smug, disgusting, a disgrace to womanhood, a cocky bitch, a whore ... and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

A commenter over on Digg wrote, "She looks like she was molested as a child." Really? He can tell that just by looking at my head shot? Ignorant and ludicrous. For the record, I have never been abused, molested or raped. I understand people want an easy explanation to dismiss why anyone would choose to work in the sex industry, but the assumption that all sex workers are past victims is false. Part of why I choose to be honest about my work is to dispel these misconceptions.

It is no accident that I wrote about two extreme fantasies -- the strongest sexual triggers are often rooted in those things a particular individual finds most taboo. A Journal of Sex Research article analyzed studies conducted over the past 30years and found that anywhere from 31 to 57 percent of women have had rape fantasies. Many female friends have admitted as much, yet no woman I know wants to actually be raped. I'm not going to argue feminist theory or sexual psychology here, I will simply say that people fantasize about things they do not necessarily want to happen to them in real life.



There is a very big difference between talking about something and actually doing it, between fantasy and reality. Rape and incest are heinous crimes when committed in reality, but what exists in the realm of fantasy is the product of our imaginations. Allowing a phone sex caller to voice taboo or illegal sexual scenarios is not explicit encouragement or permission to commit those acts. Anyone who would take it as such is already mentally ill or criminally minded. I do not believe that kind of person would be deterred by not having access to a legal outlet which doesn't harm either participant.

I cannot prove that phone sex will keep a man from acting upon his fantasies any more than detractors can prove it will cause him to, but at the very least I know that while someone is on the phone with me, he is not out doing _____ in the world. In the end, I believe that the service I provide causes more good than harm, and I'm willing to live with the fact that some people don't agree with me. What I will not do is live in fear of judgment and discrimination based on my profession.


I knew I was setting myself up as a target when I decided to "come out" as a phone sex operator. I accepted the consequences because I believe that the marginalization and demonization of sex workers is unjust. Fear of exposure keeps many of us quiet, but I choose to speak openly about my work. I knew this would be threatening to some, and I expected their condemnation.

What I wasn't prepared for is how much it really angers people that I am not ashamed of myself or what I do for a living. They are incensed, not that I sell sex for money on the telephone, but that I have the audacity to talk about it unapologetically. In other words, they can stomach a whore, but not one who doesn't know her place. I refuse to be intimidated or shamed into silence, and it would seem this is the worst sin of all.

Tonya Jone Miller is an actress, foodie and aural courtesan in Portland, Ore. She is still the proud owner of a filthy mouth and a clean conscience, no matter what anyone says.