- A LinkedIn user made waves after listing “Sex Work” under professional experience.
- Ariel Egozi said that sex work has as much place on LinkedIn as any other job.
- For Egozi sex work gave them financial freedom and basic professional skills.
Ariel Egozi, who went viral last month after listing “Sex Work” as one of her professional experiences on LinkedIn, believes the sex industry is just as worthy of being on the site as any other career.
“Sex work allowed me to see that there are other ways of doing things,” Egozi, who identifies as a queer woman and uses the pronouns she/them, told Insider. “It taught me that there are a million other ways to sell your body, your mind, your soul, whatever it is.”
The 31-year-old first made waves on July 13 after he updated his LinkedIn page to include sex work and shared a post with his followers explaining the decision. In the release, Egozi wrote that sex work gave them financial freedom, allowed them to “charge exorbitant amounts” and taught them a myriad of professional skills.
“I left an internal job with fantastic benefits two weeks ago and the reason I was able to do it was sex work,” Egozi shared on LinkedIn. “I had enough savings from selling and committing to my image that I could ask myself if I was happy. I was not.”
Egozi told Insider that they were inspired to make the change after leaving their branding company in positions where they “felt disempowered and objectified” and like their “creative energy was taken for granted.”
“The higher I got in my career, the more I felt like I had to suppress different parts of my identity,” Egozi said.
“The Ugly Belly”
While the Egozis expected to receive perhaps a handful of responses, they never intended to become the “face” of the issue, stressing that their experience may not be representative of others in the industry.
“I have a tremendous privilege,” they said. “My agency is that it’s not the main way I make money. If it wasn’t a choice for me, I’m not sure I would feel very empowered.”
However, the post quickly garnered thousands of reactions and hundreds of comments on LinkedIn from all over. Some people seemed to draw correlations between their own experiences and Egozi’s, while others criticized the post. Some even tried to hack Egozi’s social media and bank accounts, Egozi said.
“It really showed me the ugly underbelly of how we view the American work ethic,” Egozi said. “All these people posted these disgusting things. These are people on LinkedIn who have their full names and employers. If they think they can say these things without repercussions, how can someone like me feel safe in this environment?’
On the other hand, Egozi said they have received dozens of messages from white-collar workers in similar situations.
“Everybody knows a sex worker,” they said. “People just don’t feel safe coming out because of the highly stigmatized and dangerous ways we’ve been treated in society.”
Egozi first entered the industry in 2020 after their creative agency lost several clients due to the economic turmoil of the pandemic. They have never been far from sex work, as Egozi has worked in the world of sex technology and alongside sex workers in the past.
“Part of it was about money, but I also felt like it was a place where I could face a lot of my personal fears and traumas,” Egozi said. “It allowed me to take ownership of myself and my career,” they added.
“Real sex is so little”
Ultimately, Egozi said, sex work gave them numerous professional skills — the same kinds of job qualifications that LinkedIn is designed to promote.
“People forget that the word ‘work’ is about sex work – the work of building a brand and a company. Real sex is so little of that,” they said.
“I know how to engage the audience and evoke emotions from them. I know how to make sales, build my own brand and community and promote it. I also identify potential customers and filter them. And all of that doesn’t even take into account the creative production of all of that if you’re making adult content,” Egozi added.
Egozi has received numerous job offers since first posting about the issue on LinkedIn and has continued to work in the tech world as an advisor and consultant. Egoiz said they have no plans to leave the industry, but the popularity of their LinkedIn post has made their job more dangerous and they have already begun making plans to address safety concerns.
“I will not surrender my agency and I have yet to see a company I trust surrender,” they said. “I’ll keep doing it as long as I feel good and stop the moment I don’t.”
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