Sex Worker positive songs.

I’m always intrigued when I hear a sex worker positive (or mostly positive) song that becomes widely famous.  These artists are like sex worker rights activists, but aren’t part of the larger sex worker movement, which makes me sad.  I’d love to get people like Wyclef Jean to get even more down for our cause, and change minor little issues with their music.  Take this one for example:

For mainstream music, this is unbelievable right? Except the part where Hope says:

Take me away from here, so far
Where they ride horses, no cars
No more stripping in bars
Me and you ‘Clef, against the odds

Right there, it’s the pretty woman stereotype.  Sex worker rights activists clearly have an issue with this stereotype being pushed down our collective throats.  Certainly some of us want out of the business (whatever form of sex work), but we don’t need you in a white horse to come save us.  We are empowered human beings, capable of making our own destinies, even if we had our knight on a white horse fantasies as a little girl!

Do others have sex worker positive music?  Please share!  It would be great on March 3rd to have sex worker positive music at an event!

12 Responses

  1. “Fancy” by Bobbie Gentry! Also love the Geraldine Fibbers cover!

    “Queen of Pain” by The Cramps…doesn’t specify that she’s a pro, but I always thought of her as such.

    A lot of old riot grrrl music had pro-sex worker messages in it, esp Bikini Kill and Bratmobile.

  2. Oh, and of course “Don’t Call Her No Tramp” by the great Betty Davis

    “None of your Business” by Salt n Pepa (though Salt sadly would later criticize the saong after becoming a born again Christian)

  3. Supposedly the song “Killer Queen” by Queen was about a high-class call girl they knew. I read that online so you know it must be true!

    In its own strange way, I think “Girls Girls Girls” by Motley Crue is positive. At the very least, they wanted to throw money at strippers, not rescue or date the girls (like that stupid rap song, can’t think of the name).

    XX

  4. “Cabaret” from Cabaret (best sung by Liza, of course!). Seems positive about Elsie, who was the singer’s flatmate and a prostitute in Chelsea.

  5. “Lady of the Night” by Donna Summer. “Lady Marmalade” from Moulin Rouge for sure.

    XX

  6. “Hey Big Spender” from the movie Sweet Charity. Or maybe that song is more positive FOR sex workers than ABOUT sex workers.

    XX

  7. Naked Hustle – Bizzle
    What Would You Do? – City High

  8. I totally forgot about “Lady Marmalade”, though I prefer Patti LaBelle and the Labelles version. Prince’s “Darling Nikki”, that of Tipper Gore fame, has these some lines that almost make Nikki sound like a sex worker. Like meeting her in a hotel lobby then after going back to her “castle” having the singer sign on a dotted line then they have sex. Hmmm… ymmv. Heh.

  9. If I Can’t Sell It, I’ll Keep Sittin’ On It -
    Ruth Brown

    I own a secondhand furniture store
    and I think my prices are fair,
    that is until this real cheap guy I know came in one day
    Saw this chair he wanted to buy, but he wouldn’t, claimed the price was too high.
    So I looked ‘im straight in the eye, and this was my reply…

    If I can’t sell it, I’m gonna sit down on it.
    Why should I give it away?
    Now darling if you want it,
    you got to buy it.
    And I mean just what I say.

  10. okay..a little shameless self promo here so ya’all can help me get my shit on the map..

    “Decriminalize Me” is about me, us,…you..
    “Keep On” is about being a hustler in a sexist patriarchal world

    Every Lil Kim song on “The Notorious KIM” is about making money with pussy even though Kim doesn’t outright ID as a sex worker, she is to us.

    I always thought Wyclef was not so sex worker positive. He seems like he’s a strip club regular so that’s why he might be writing about wanting to ‘save her’ because girls in clubs always talk about wanting to quit/get out to guys.

  11. The Wyclef song actually talks about the stripper-prostitute hierarchy that is soo strong. This is also in the porn industry. Strippers and porn stars do not identify with or want to be hoes or prostitutes. “just cuz she dances go go, don’t mean that she’s a hoe no..” So in a way it’s actually anti-prostitute and not sure if Wyclef would do a swop event. It’s cool to be a stripper to pay tuition but anything beyond that is below.

  12. I like
    1. Hustle Rose by Metric
    2. Ella Fitzgeralds version of Lorelei might be more a siren’s song than a working girls ballad but it’s definitely about a kick-ass femme fatale!
    3. Regina Spektor has a song called “happy hooker” on her newest CD. I haven’t heard it yet but the lyrics seem pretty sex positive.
    4. There’s also Ryan Adams: Tina Toledo’s Street Walkin’ Blues about a woman putting herself through school with money from sex work.

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