I am in my early thirties.
I have been inside the sex industry in Scotland for around 16 years. I was groomed from the age of 16 and I have been involved in different parts, both on the street and indoors.
I am in the process of exiting and reducing my involvement. I really want to fully exit.
I enjoy spending time with my wee one and family. I am building up my skills and volun-teering with a charity. I hope to become involved in support work.
Everything was just normal until about the end of primary seven. I had a pretty rough childhood, very chaotic with issues around alcohol at home. Our house was just fucked up.
My mum left my dad at that point, We'd always be in hostels. My da used to pure chase me aroond the streets. Whatever he was thinking with my mum, it was like echoed, it was taken out on me. If I seen him in the street, he would start chasing me and calling me everything, "You slut, look at you, you're like your fucking mother". It was just really bad.
I started going about with an older girl. She was about 4 years older than me. I sort of looked up to her. She wasnae doing heavy drugs but she was drinking and stuff and at that age, it's a big jump. You think you're fucking grown up but you're no, you're still a bairn. I was only 10. I stopped going to school. I remember no going to my primary seven party. I just ended up just getting drunk with her instead.
That's where it started going wrong.
I never ever thought about what I wanted to be when I grew up. That's truth, no, I dunnae think I ever did. No-one ever took an interest in me. There was no-one. Fuck, nobody was ever there.
I was at court one day for shop lifting. I was always up at court at the time, I'm not now but I used to be. This guy Marty came up to me and said, "I'll gee ya a lift" so I took the lift. I ended up seeing him, well, I thought I was seeing him. I sort of was but he must have knew what he was doin', now that I'm looking back. I must have had a big light going “ding ding ding” above my head.
He must have watched out for me around the court. I think it's only now I'm able to look back and think, honestly what a fucking clown. That's grooming, he just groomed us. He definitely did. I was only just sixteen and a half. Fuck, he was no far off my dad's age. Late thirties.
One night he just said, "Do you want to do this? I've got other lassies doing it". And I was like, "What do you need to do like?" He went "It's fine. You just go in the car, just wait a car will come." And I done it.
I was off my head with that first punter. I remember I had red boots on... he's asked us to put them on the dashboard. I remember that. It's funny what sticks in your mind isn't it?
After that first night, well, we were up there all the time in Aberdeen. All we done was bang up speed. So the whole time it was like... I was away with it. When I think back it was quite scary but then, I was so fucking flying. I canny really remember all that time 'cos my heid, my heid was boggled. I wasn't prepared for what I was getting involved in. I knew fucking nothing. Not at all. Nothing. Naive, fuck knows what I was like back then. I'd do two punters a night and then I would go back and give Marty his money.
I had to run away from him. That's how I ended up in Glasgow. I was shit scared of him. He wasn't violent – he didnae need to be wi' me. He had this control by just what he used to say. A look. He was the only guy that I was ever really scared of. You know, he reminds me of my dad in ways. My dad was happy I was seeing Marty but I always think my dad's happy when somebody's controlling me – it's like he thinks I'm controlled and I'm under control.
I ended up alone and in a hostel in Glasgow. So here's me, wee fucking country bumpkin right? No kenning any'hing aboot it. I remember being told, "If you go, as soon as you go to a hostel, you'll be out on the street working." I was like, "No I willnae, no I willnae.” And then I was.
I started seeing one lassie coming into the hostel at night time. She wasnae bonnie or that but I ken, she kept coming in with fast food and I was like, “She's fucking working. Fuck it, I'm gonna ask her." I says to her, "Are you working on the street? Gonna tak' me wi' ya?" She knew all that street – I should have listened to her a lot fucking more but there's me thinking I ken e'thing cos I was sixteen and I thought I knew what it was fucking like, "Oh, I'll fucking do what I want."
In Glasgow there were a lot more chancey punters than in Aberdeen. Up there, cars would come past and they'd go past for a few minutes and then they'd stop. Glasgow was like you were oot in the middle of everyone. You're right in the toon, you've got them coming oot the pubs and they're maybe staggering along the road. I didn't like that bit cos you've got other drunk men. That's a lot of your clients was aw them coming oot.
Well it was mine. I was young. I don't have to wait long for a punter to pick me up.
Back then I probably would've just went with anybody. I probably would have just went. Now I'd be a lot more wary and watching where I'm going. You know there’s a sense – you ken? You can feel it. I canny tell you how but you do. Something just tells you. If you've been working a lot you get this. It's pure repetitive shit you're doin' so you must get used to it. Experience maybe will tell you, "Mmm... something dodgy.”
Looking back – at that age it seemed to me like a canter, it was too easy. It actually wasn't too easy but I felt at the time it was. You're still got all the men, aw the men, aw the guys. You've still got to deal wi' all the mental shit and that.
I remember coming back home on the train to Dundee and aw that was going through my heid on the way hame was "Canny work in Dundee, cannot work in Dundee." And I wasnae back fucking a week before I was out there.
There was one punter who lived close to the street where we worked. One night he shouted out of his window to me to come up to his place. I should have thought, "Well I've stood here every night and you've never wanted me before, why now." I should have fucking ken by that.
He had like a settee in his kitchen. It was a green fucking horrible leather couch thing. It's funny the things that stay in your mind, right? We were just going to do it but he's just pinned us on the settee. He's on me like, he's sorta got his arm around my throat, choking me. My phone rings, and I managed to get it. I just shouted to my pal “I'm up the stairs from where I said." Soon as I done that, the guy jumped and went, "What? What you doin', what the fuck are you doin'? I wasnae meaning it like that." I says, "Well then what the fuck were you doin' then mate?”
Another night, I'm standing in the street and a guy came up. He kept pestering. He wouldnae leave, he was just going aroond aw night and he wasnae just giving me time to get a car or nothing. He was constantly stopping at me. He said, "I can get you working on the Internet. I just need these photies." and I had nae money at this point, right?
He has other lassies on that Adult Works. He always stops aw the lassies on the street, he pays them to take pictures of them and then he makes the money off their gallery. But it's aw the vulnerable lassies he gets, right? All off the street that are fucked. He's that kinda pushy – he's pushy as fuck – he just doesnae leave you alone. Pressure, pressure, pressure. He fucking goes on and goes on at you til you do it. Yeah. He's really bad. He used to make us do fucked up pictures for him. Real horrible pictures.
I didnae even ken how much he was making at that point but I ken he was making money off me. He's still got all my pictures on there under other lassies names and e'hing, still making money off me.
He got us on the Internet and I sees how naive I was to that as well.
I'm getting these clients coming and I just thought they would appear. Fuck knows how I thought I was getting the clients then, right?
Punters were coming to me. They would just come. I didnae ken any'hing aboot them. Not a lot, just how long, what is it they wanted. "Hi what are you after? Half an hour or an hour?” I never checked them out using postcodes or anything. I never ever done that. I wouldn't know how to. I don't feel safe with a new one.
He used to go and write shit up aboot me on punternet when I was arguing wi' him, that's what he used to do. Every time we had a big argument, a horrible picture would go up of me, right. It was shit. I felt like greeting, I probably did greet.
I've always said I've been pretty lucky. I do believe that I've been quite lucky. Most of the punters are married and they've got like kids and they're your normal working man. One I've got at the moment, it's no sex or that. It's like, whipping him and that. He's really high up. A powerful man.
Some are just sleazy – sleazy as fuck. Asking for more. They're just, ugh, they're all over you, their hands are all over you. They're wanting more. There's them that speaks to ya like a piece of shite and it's just wanting every'hing and... all over you and just asking for aw the 'hings that you ken you dunnae really want to be doin' and they ken it.
Some days my phone, it was going constantly and you dunnae get a minute. You could have client, client, client. Constantly.
I'm in the shower before they've even left the hoose sometimes. I'm jumping in the shower and pure scrubbing. A bit like getting rid of them. I leave my bathroom windaes open 'cos that windae goes right wide open, my bedroom's just sort of opposite.
I leave the windae open 'cos it's, I feel I can smell them. Even though they've no been smelly, I can still smell them. I do, It's horrible.
They know nothing about me. Nothing. No.
I was always lifted for it. I was convicted. Sometimes I would start to pay the fines but I was always in fucking district for it. I 'member when you were in the cells somebody used to come in the cell and talk to you about support. I think that was when I met services for the first.
I 'hink counseling should be available. I think lassies need to speak aboot it, 'cos I dunnae really speak aboot it. Now that I'm getting older, I'm 'hinking you do need to cos it does scar you in ways you didnae realise. You might no' even see it but you're just so used to acting and doin' things a certain way to hide it all.
It's had a huge impact on me. I don't know exactly what but I do believe it has, it makes a difference in you. It's like you're numb, it's like I'm just numb in numb oot. Maybe I look better on the ootside but you're still feeling that disgusted. Yeah disgust.
It's really affected my relationships. My man says to me that I never smile. It makes a difference to when you're wi' boyfriends. It was only a couple of months ago that I realised this. See every time my man and me had done any'hing, I would jump right into the shower right? Get a shower and then come out and go to bed. Didnnae matter if it was three o'clock in the morning, whatever time I would dae that. After I had done that for fucking aboot a year and a half, my man went, "What do you keep doin' that for? Could you no just fucking just lie here?" I was greeting but then it made me realise that's because you're so used to fucking doin' that wi' punters. You feel, you must feel dirty so you're going in the shower but when you're wi' somebody you're meant to love you're no' meant to jump right into the shower.
I’ve been using drugs so I've been numbed oot to it but when I've no got a lot of stuff in my body – drugs in my body, I suppose that's how I find it hard getting straight. 'Cos I canny deal with a'hing that I have done. That's when you think aboot it.
I didnae realise how much the drugs do numb us. I had to leave a punter recently. I was just lying there and I thought, "Fuck this." I had the money and a'hing – and I just got up and went, "Look I'm sorry I need to go." And he was like, "What?" and that was 'cos I'd never had enough drugs in us. I'd been trying to stop working, so obviously I'm no using as much drugs 'cos I've no got as much money. I've realised, "Fuck I canny stop my drugs and still work." So it's like fuck, the two of them come together. Took me years to notice that the two of them come hand in hand. I canny do one without the other.
People say about legalising it. If that did happen, that's okay for aw the fucking students but what aboot the people that are on drugs and that? We're no going to get into them brothels and so it's still going to be like for the high class and the low class. Making it all legal won't change that.
If I could go back when I was sixteen what would I like to tell me? Oh definitely not to go and any'hing that I've done. I would tell her to go back fucking hame. If she was able to, to go back hame and fucking go back to be a fucking bairn and do what you're meant to do. Get a job and do normal things.
I would never want any wee girl to have to do this. Oh no. No. It's just people abusing you that's aw it is. There's no'hing fuckin good about it. I have just about been surviving. I now 'hink I just got used to hiding. I think I was putting mask on to make other people think, "Eh look she's fine she's looking fine she's doing good." But inside I really wasnae fine. Far fae fine. Crumbling underneath.
I think it would get to any woman doing it. It's alright doin' it maybe once but doin' it and doin' it and doin' it and then the longer it goes on, the more different it is. The harder it gets. You would need to be someone that canny feel anything 'cos you need to no be able to feel fuck all. A robot. A fucking robot, there you go, that's what you need to not feel anything.
There's got to only be a fucking handful of women who actually want to do this.
Where will I be in five years? Five years, oh God! I'm hoping I'm going to be working. In a normal job. I've started volunteering so I do that twice a week. I'm hopefully working and got my bairn a lot more.
I want to be able to look back and say that I went through all that shit but then I ended up out of it, I worked it oot in the end. I just want my life to be stable. Whatever that may be.