A sex worker who went viral last month after she listed her profession on LinkedIn hopes the move to post her job on social media will validate the industry.
Arielle Egozi, 31, became the accidental face of the sex work industry after she took the brazen step and wants sex work to be recognised and treated as a career.
Egozi said: "Sex work allowed me to see that there were other ways of doing things.
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"It taught me that there are a million other ways to sell your body, your mind, your soul, whatever it is."
On July 13 she updated her profile to include her newfound profession and wrote an empowering message explaining her decision, saying she charged 'extortionate amounts' for her services.
"I left an in-house job with fancy benefits two weeks ago and the reason I could do that was sex work," she wrote.
"I had just enough saved from selling and engaging my image that I could ask myself if I was happy. I wasn’t."
She added: "Why is this different than any other client work? The answer I come to, again and again, is that it isn’t.
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"So it's now up on my LinkedIn."
Egozi has never been far removed from the sex industry, having worked in sex tech alongside sex workers.
She began working in the industry in 2020 after her creative agency lost clients during the pandemic.
But it isn't just for financial reasons that Egozi joined the industry – she left her role at a branding company after she "felt disempowered and objectified" and like her "creative energy was taken for granted," she told Business Insider.
"Yeah, the few grand I’d stashed up over time helped, but the biggest reason I could walk away is because sex work shows me what my power can do when I own it intentionally," she wrote in the LinkedIn post.
And Egozi stressed that while sex work may seem simple, the reality is a lot more hard graft than many realise.
"People forget that the word 'work' is attached to sex work — the work of building a brand and a company. The actual sex is so little of it," she said.
After going viral on LinkedIn last month, Egozi said she's seen the 'ugly underbelly' of the professional social media platform, having received a lot of backlash for the post.
"There were all these people posting these disgusting things.
"These are people on LinkedIn who have their full names and employers attached.
"If they think they can say these things without consequences, how can someone like me feel safe in that environment?"
But she also said she got lots of responses from people in white-collar industries who were in her exact same shoes.
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She said: "Every single person knows a sex worker.
"People just don't feel safe coming out because of the highly stigmatised and dangerous ways we've been treated in society."
Since posting the controversial statement, Egozi shared that she has received multiple job offers – but has no plans to leave the industry just yet.
"I'm not giving my agency over and I have yet to see a company that I trust giving myself over to. I'm going to keep doing it as long as it feels good and I'm going to stop the moment it doesn't."
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