Who is Phoenix Chase?
Often times I'm asked why I don't blog, it's clear from my Twitter account I've never got a shortage of things to say however I struggle to find one subject I imagine there is mass appeal in. Do I want to keep it sexy? Is too many words unappealing? Do I want to write something for the interest of my fellow ho's or do I keep it intriguing for the men I've met and the men I wish to in the future?
Fuck knows. I've literally struggled with these internal arguments for so long I've missed golden opportunities to strike when the proverbial iron is hot and material is coursing through my brain.
But many people have asked me to write about my decision to change my name and show my face, I still receive the most beautiful private messages on social media, emails, texts and face to face compliments about how brave a decision it was for me to make, how empowering it was for other women and how strong it came across.
Let me tell you, it wasn't an easy decision to make. To paint a backstory for you I need to start off by telling you that I've been in this industry since I was about 21. I've taken a few years hiatus at one point but I always come back to it. At first when I started, I was extremely private. I worked in different fields and wanted a complete separation from what I enjoyed behind closed doors, what work I'd chosen to enter and my 'civilian life'. I even chose to Photoshop my freckles out of my pictures. As I've grown up and into my own skin, I've noticed how beautiful and individual that they make me but as a reserved nubile I thought of them like a map. They were so obviously me, the patterns like a galaxy were unmistakably identifiable and that terrified me. I never, at that point, would've imagined lightening the heavy blur of my face in my work photos, I would never have shown a tattoo, I would never even consider speaking my own truth on social media platforms in case it dare out me to friends, family or even strangers. I didn't even like saying that I'd been at a restaurant I'd enjoyed in case someone put two and two together.
Why did I care so much? I don't know. Years ago, when I was starting some nasty (jealous) girls decided to lurk deeper into my life to figure out why I could afford certain luxuries or to travel but seemingly not work and they found out. They outed me publicly at my other place of work in such a cruel manner and it stuck with me for a long time. It stained the way I assumed others would react to my truth.
Over the years though, my choices to hide or separate my life had an effect that grew like moss on a rolling stone. You see, what started off as a method of self preservation eventually became the most toxic relationship I could have within myself. I closed off myself to everyone, I was only comfortable alone and so I began to stay alone, I became a recluse. I didn't let myself get close to other working girls and social circles. I didn't allow who I am to mix with who Phoenix Chase is. But the truth is over all these years, those identities are one in the same and my choice to separate them made me feel so alone.
I've always been unabashedly honest. I preach self acceptance and constantly support anyone finding their confidence. But over time I found it hard to open up to people because I found it hard to lie to them, to be dishonest about what I did or where I was going so I shut myself off to any situations where I might need to talk about work (this is a subject that comes up often in general conversation so you can imagine the madness it created internally), and my confidence and self acceptance went south - fast. Over time it all ate away at me and the only time I was able to be confident was as Phoenix, when I wasn't needing to hide any truth. I wasn't always Phoenix though, so when I removed the lingerie and neatly folded my suspenders or staked back up my high heels - I was alone and felt it. I felt weak. Not because I was ashamed of my chosen career but because I'd created a life in which I felt as though I couldn't be myself and be able to speak about it.
Many girls have a plethora of reasons as to why showing their face would damage the way they live their lives, it's not a choice for everyone. Some of these women have children, families who won't understand or accept their decisions, other careers - it's endless and I understand my empowerment wouldn't realistically lend to every situation. However, I don't have these ties. I don't have children, my family know, my friends that were close to me knew as well but because of an age old decision I made starting out I stuck to my guns and stayed in the shadows. Coming out and showing my face allowed me to be myself, I never have created a secondary work persona when I'm alone with clients I am who I really am - but online, in my social media, I finally got the chance to open up and blossom as a person and allow you, whoever you are, to look me in my eyes. To see glimpses of what I enjoy and who I am.
There's no real way to know if coming out is for you, you just have to consider it and reconsider it for some time til you're ready enough to leap off the deep end and find out how it affects you later. You just hope for the best. I know it was the right decision for me because I love this industry and I have done it long enough now that I would struggle to identify with anything else for sometime. Accepting myself and loving myself now whilst I do it though was crucial for me to keep doing it.
Having a network of other girls (and guys) who also live this life is an absolute saving grace as well. To be able to sit down and talk openly about what we do makes us collectively saner, gives us an opportunity to download that not many people can relate to. How it feels to constantly lend fragments of yourself to others is unique. Sex work is a niche market and it requires iron clad support.
I'd really like to thank everyone who supported me in my decision, my family were instrumental in this. My cousin telling me to own it and be proud was one of the most beautiful moments in my life. Something I never could've expected gave me the courage I needed to change my life for the better. The constant messages from people who noticed the positive change in me from the moment I made the choice has also moved me.
I can't say if it's for you, only you can. But if you feel like you're living two lives - one character who comes out of the shadows when they are booked by the hour or evening and the other side of you merely comes out when it's just you alone - then you may need to open up your support system and let people in. You don't need to show your face or tell the world screaming it from the rafters "I give blow jobs* for cash!!!", but lean on your fellow co-ho's, lean into those support systems, hold onto things that allow you to feel like it's okay to be whoever you are with both hands and hold them tight. Mostly though, just fucking love yourself... because it's impossible to be able to function in this industry, where we do lend ourselves to people - if we aren't able to lend ourselves a bit of love first.
*great blow jobs.