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Lavanya Bahuguna


This Trans Sex-worker Has Made Some Bone-chilling Revelations

  • JWB Post
  •  October 13, 2016


43-year-old Indian sex worker, Nitai Giri, along with her friend Sangita Manoji recently became a part of the Association for Women’s Rights In Development forum.

During which, she opened about her experiences of both happiness and abuse while working as a sex-worker.

One of Nitai’s clients asked her to dress up as an Indian goddess before urinating on him.

“The day has arrived that we are standing up for ourselves and keeping our heads high. We want to have fun amongst ourselves.

“Don’t forget, we are doing sex work by choice. And everyone has the right to access pleasure.”

In 2013, these women started working with researcher Debolina Dutta and illustrator Anirban Ghosh to let the world know more about their world. 15 short stories have been collected in a book called The Rule of Laughter that will release next year.

Anirban Ghosh illustrated Sangita Manoji’s story of how she and a client bickered over who had eaten all their fried chicken, before realizing a stray cat was the culprit.

Anirban said, “Stories of pleasure, of laughter and camaraderie, of sex workers making choices for themselves, these stories are often lost in the popular narratives of victimhood and rehabilitation.”

Below are the excerpts from the talk Nitai had with Refinery29 recently:

“I was 15. I used to work at a bag factory, and one youth at the bag factory forced himself on me. After that, I left the job and went to Bihar to dance. But dancing over there, I found people forced themselves upon me for free sex. At that time, I worried about it. Then I decided that I would treat this as a 9-to-5 job, that I would do sex work and take money for it.”

“I had a lot of troubles at the beginning. Number one, no one used to listen to us. Number two, I couldn’t initially tell anyone that I was a sex worker, because at that time, the police were oppressing us, goons were oppressing us, landlords were oppressing us, and even the people who lived nearby continually oppressed us.”

“Different types of customers come to us. They want to do different types of sex acts. And everything depends on them as to how they can satisfy their mind’s joy. Today, in their homes, they cannot find that happiness. For that reason, we are collecting all of the various happy stories, too, so that they will stay as a sort of history about what kind of clients visit sex workers, and what kind of sex they like to have. My favorite client has been with me for approximately 20 years. He is beautiful to look at, and he really loves me.”

“…the biggest problem is that I have no place of my own to take my customers. I don’t have a brothel area where I can take them, like other female sex workers do. What we do is — at bus stops, below cinema halls, or at some beautiful place — we stand there for clients so that they can make out who is there [to be picked up]. After that, they take us to a hotel, or a house or apartment, or to one of our own places. Sometimes, we take the client to another didi’s [sister’s] place. Most of the time, I take clients to another didi’s place because it’s a safe place.”

“Another problem is that if we stay in one area, then the local boys there call the cops, who extort us. Or the boys themselves, they commit atrocities. They forcefully take money from the clients or from us. Or they force us to have sex with them, without paying for it, and without using condoms. Right now, I hope that I don’t become HIV-positive, because many others have. That is the biggest risk.”

“If customers don’t want to take a condom, then we explain to them that – Behind you is a world, a family. For a moment of happiness, you will be ruined, and I will be ruined. In my body, you don’t know what diseases exist or not; in your body, I don’t know what diseases exist or not. Therefore, it is better that we use a condom, so that both of our families will live well.”

“I will work as long as my body is willing and clients still request me, I will keep working. I want to work until I am old, because this is not evil work, this is not dirty work, this is work that gives humans happiness.”

Read the full story here.

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