A novel called Fishnet and other musings
By Elizabeth Swan onI am reading “Fishnet” at the moment by Kirsten Innes. It was a present from a client. When he gave it to me I gave him the look I gave an ex client when he brought up human trafficking in a conversation. He is an ex client for a reason. In fact we had a stonking huge row about how the amendment to the modern slavery bill (put forward by Fiona Mactaggart in 2014 to criminalise the purchase of sex) was NOT going to make things safer for sex workers. I don’t mind arguing with my personal trainer about it as his only experience of the sex industry is making me do squats on a weekly basis (and not in a fun way) but clients really should know better. So when my client presented me with “Fishnet” I thought oh no. Another person writing about an industry they have no idea about. However I am so glad to say I was wrong. I am only halfway through at the moment but I am happy to say that the author has actually taken the time to talk to and listen to sex workers. So thank you for this Kirsten Innes. We all have friends and family members who disapprove of the sex industry. Most of the time it hovers beneath the surface with the odd look flashed in our direction (if there is an escort on a TV programme) or the odd comment (talking about a boy that I liked) “does he know what you do for a job” but occasionally it does develop into a full blown argument because sometimes I just don’t have the patience. Friends are easy to get rid of in this manner. In the book there is the line “I don’t know who you are anymore” and invariably that is the last line that is said before the implosion of the friendship. And that’s fine by me. The friends I have made from the sex industry, not just escorts, dommes and clients but also healthcare providers, social workers, outreach workers etc are all wonderful people and I am glad to know them. You know who you are. But alas family members are not so easily dealt with. Two weeks ago I had an argument that crescendoed to this, “Your job disgusts me. I can’t think of anything I would less rather do” and my response was (and it was not my finest moment) “well you slept with that disgusting man for ten years and now you are going to get a payout so I know what I would rather do” The reason I am sharing such a personal argument is because some peoples viewpoints will never change. It is upsetting but true. But some peoples will. The author said in an interview that before she researched the book she held the opinion of prostitution being violence against women. But after meeting people like Laura Lee she changed her mind. So if you think there is a chance that someone you know could be open to a different viewpoint then give them the book to read. It's worth a try.