There it sits, in many an ad or listing posted by Sex Workers. It is just four letters, but it can create quite a lot of drama. These four letters have been a topic of great debate on several different forums over the years. It has led to arguments and lost friendships within the community. Four letters, but so much meaning.
I’ve been being asked to address this topic for almost a year now, but this is the first time I’ve done so. It is a heavy topic, one that can create a lot of intense feelings for many within our community. I will admit, I’ve avoided it purposely because I feel like it could easily be something that creates more drama that I’d like for my blog. But the time has come.
What Does It Mean?
While I doubt there are many who don’t understand the meaning of “No AA”, I have to assume the there are a few who remain blissfully ignorant of this issue. I’m about to strip away your innocence.
When a Sex Worker posts “No AA” it means that she (or he) will not see any client who is of African American descent. This can include those of mixed race heritage as well, especially if they have darker skin.
Not only does it mean that the provider will not see them as a client, but that they do not wish to be connected by anyone meeting that description. Anyone who lies or misrepresents themselves in order to meet a Sex Worker who posts this will usually find themselves being blacklisted and publicly scorned on social media by the provider.
Is This Common?
Yes. I don’t know if anyone has ever compiled any reliable statistical data on how prevalent it is for providers to post “No AA”, but it is a very common sight on many websites where Sex Workers advertise.
I did a little bit of unscientific research across 3 different sites, randomly looking at the ads/listings/posts of 20 providers on each site. Out of a total of 60 providers I found 21 who had included “No AA” in their postings. That’s 35%. I cannot in any way demonstrate if this is an accurate figure or if it is in any way representative of the entire community. As I said, these were just some random selections and I did not use any standard methodology for my research.
But I do feel that it is consistent with much of what I have seen over the years on various websites.
Is This Racism?
That is really the big question. Does posting “No AA” signify racism.
Many feel that it does. And it is very obvious why they feel this way. To have an entire group of men singled out and rejected based on their race can hardly be called anything but racism. On face value it is utterly racist to see this being posted. “No AA” must be an inherently racist statement.
But is it? One element that puts a serious question into that assessment is the fact that many of the Sex Workers who post “No AA” are, in fact, African American themselves. Can a person be racist against their own race? That is a question of logic and sociology that I don’t even want to thing about (and it is certainly outside the scope of this website).
While on the surface it is easy to say that it is racist to post “No AA”, I thin we have a responsibility to look deeper than just the surface. And to truly answer the question of whether it is racist, we have to ask another question:
Why Do Sex Workers Post “No AA”?
This is the real question. The question that leads to real answers. The answers that I feel really matter.
Why do some Sex Workers refuse to see African American clients? What has led them to a place where they would exclude an entire race of potential business clients?
Here lies the problem with discussing this issue. There is no single answer to the question. And there aren’t two answers either. Or three, or four, or ten.
The truth is, there are more answers to this question of “why” then can be examined in a simple blog post. It would take a dissertation to examine them.
Over the years I’ve heard from a multitude of Sex Workers about this issue, both those who won’t see African American clients and those who will. Their opinions are as varied as their personalities and experiences.
For some it is about past experiences that they do not wish to repeat. For others it is about the reputation that African American clients have received in their area. For others it is about physical attraction. For others it is because their pimps will not allow it. The list goes on and on. And the list of reasons does include racism. Sometimes very blunt and vicious racism.
This is no simple issue. There are no simple answers. Many Sex Workers have expressed to me that they have agonized over their choice to say “No AA”. For others it was an easy choice.
One provider told me of being raped by an African American client. Since that time she has never felt comfortable with seeing any African American men.
Another has two sons whom she had with her now deceased African American husband. She doesn’t wish to see any African American clients because it reminds her too much f the man she loved and lost.
But another told me straight forward: “I don’t fuck niggers!” [her exact words].
What Should Be Done?
So, how should our community handle this situation? Since many feel this is racist in nature, should such language be banned from websites? Or should it be allowed? Is it harmful to our community?
These are not easy questions, and my opinion on this matter is just that—my opinion.
But I do not think that we should ban the term “No AA” from our sites. I say this for two principle reasons:
1—It is not clear that it is always meant as an act of racism. True racism is based on unjustified hate or distrust. That is not always the case when when providers refuse to see clients of a particular race.
2—Sex Workers have the right to choose who they wish to have as clients. And if there are any types of people they do not wish to see, it is actually in the best interest of potential clients to know this up front. If a provider does not see women, overweight men, younger men, older men, etc., then she should feel fully safe in saying so online. This should also include race if she chooses to be selective in that way.
I am not saying that it is always right that Sex Workers choose not to see African American clients (or any other clients for that matter). Many of their reasons are simply not socially acceptable. Racism is an awful thing.
But we are talking about sex here, and no one should ever feel compelled to have sex with someone they don’t want to.
This is a deep, serious, and uncomfortable topic. I am sure that some of you will disagree with things I’ve said here. That is good. Disagree with me. This issue needs discussion and debate. But please keep the debate civilized. If you have an opinion on it, please comment below—but please take the time to explain your opinion in a way that adds to this conversation. No racist or hateful comments will be allowed. Let’s talk about this issue in a productive manner.