Sex workers are humans, we have families and friends: a Q+A w/ Leda Elizabeth

Sinclair: What’s your three word bio?

Leda: Hard working slut

Sinclair: How did you get to where you are now, and who inspired you along the way?

Leda: Hard work and dedication! When I first joined the adult industry as a cam model I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, so I had to learn from trial and error. On top of that I had recently been homeless and lost all of my belongings. The only clothes I had were from a forgotten box that my mom had kept in the garage since I was in middle school. I had no lingerie, no toys. I used my old, broken iPhone for lighting on cam and my laptop was literally falling apart, but I still loved it.

I watched top models every day, I taught myself HTML coding, watched hours of makeup tutorials, learned photography, editing, and lots of other new skills. I made friends in the industry who helped to teach me new tricks, and watching other girls turn porn into art made me want to do something bigger and better than just putting out average content.

Sinclair: On Twitter you wrote: “i only grow stronger every time a male gets pissed off at me and tries to use slut as an insult” Tell us about a recent time that this occurred?

Leda: I actually said that because someone on Twitter was arguing with me and after I blocked him he tweeted, “I love fighting with sluts on the internet!”

Sinclair: How did you feel after the incident?

Leda: I’m at the point where it doesn’t affect me. I don’t give the power to those people to use it as an insult against me. They want me to feel bad but I don’t see anything wrong with being a slut. Be a slut, be a whore, be whoever you want!

Sinclair: Why do you think men have reacted this way?

Leda: To make you feel smaller than them. From the moment we are born society tries to teach us that “slut” is a bad thing to be. Something you call someone who has too much sex or dresses wrong. They teach us that if someone is a slut they are less than human.

That then carries into everyday life. If you show too much power or independence, or if you don’t go along with what they like or believe in, they call you a slut. They’re trying to put you back in your place and make you feel below them, remind you that they are human and you are not.

It’s ridiculous to me. I want to take the word slut back. What’s wrong with a powerful woman? Or a woman who dresses more revealingly? Or who enjoys multiple sexual partners or likes to show off her body on the internet? Men are praised for doing these same thing, and women should be too. Call me a slut all you want because hell yes! I am a slut and I love it!

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“When I first joined the adult industry as a cam model I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, so I had to learn from trial and error.” – Leda Elizabeth

Sinclair: What advice would you give to women wanting to advocate more for their bodies and their rights?

Leda: I believe that when a lot of people think about being an advocate for women’s rights, they’re under the impression that you have to dress super outrageously or provocatively and that you have to go to rallies and flash your tits and scream in the faces of men, but you don’t. The whole point of fighting for it is that we get to pick what WE want to do with our bodies and our lives.

Fight, but don’t feel guilty if you don’t want to get out of your comfort zone. There are a lot of us out there going to rallies and getting in the faces of perverts or going out and doing interviews on national television. They have loud voices, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be loud in your own way. Dress the way you want to. Stand up for those who want to wear skirts down to their ankles just as much as those who want to wear daisy dukes and pasties. If you hear a friend or family member talking down on someone for the way they express their sexuality or for the way they dress, pipe up and say something. We often forget that education is the key to change.

Sinclair: What’s something we often get wrong about sex work?

Leda: That it’s easy money! It’s pretty ingrained in society that sex work is the lowest of low occupations and the easiest way to make a quick buck. They don’t acknowledge all the men and women creating their own businesses — their own empires! — putting in a lot of hard work and dedication in all different areas of sex work.

Sinclair: How can we create a safer and more welcoming spaces for sex workers?

Leda: Education and decriminalization.

Everyone believes sex work is dirty work. Mainstream entertainers are encouraged when making jokes at the expense of hurting a sex worker. They’re encouraged to make us seem less than human, again. If we can educate everyone — show them that YES this is a consensual choice of mine! I’m not being forced to do it. I’m not being trafficked. If a sex worker is mentally ill that does not automatically mean they’re doing this as a cry for help because they’ve “reached rock bottom.”

We need to decriminalize it because if we treat sex work as a crime others are more likely to treat us like we’re dirty or bad people. Again, it makes us seem below human. People are more likely to hurt us or attack us and when we really need help. We don’t have options of safe spaces or people to go to when we are in danger. It also makes a sex worker less likely to reach out when they need protection or help.

Sinclair: What’s something you recently accomplished that you’re proud of?

Leda: I’ve started collabing with other people. Until recently, almost my entire career has been solo content. This is because I have bad anxiety and it’s always prevented me from going out and working with people I like and admire. But I’m forcing myself to get over that fear and try something new!

Sinclair: What are some challenges and benefits that come along with camming?

Leda: For someone like me who has mental illnesses, it’s an amazing job because you can pick your own hours and you can choose what YOU want to do. You’re completely in charge of your chatroom, your content, your shows, and you can do whatever creative thing you want without anyone stifling your imagination. It isn’t easy being your own boss, though. It’s very easy to fall into a slump and get too comfortable so you end up doing the bare minimum. You have no one pushing you to do more, no one forcing you to get up and do the things you know you need to do.

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“What’s wrong with a powerful woman?” – Leda Elizabeth

Sinclair: How would a friend describe you on your best day?

Leda: Kind and loving, friendly, fun to be around.

Sinclair: On your worst day?

Leda: Rude as all hell. Pushy, stubborn.

Sinclair: What’s something you wish you could say to your 16 year old self?

Leda: I would probably tell myself to relax about a lot of things. When I was 16 I was so focused on trying to make people like me and growing up way too fast. I wish I could let myself know that things might seem bad, but they always find a way to get better.

“I don’t give the power to those people to use it as an insult against me. They want me to feel bad but I don’t see anything wrong with being a slut. Be a slut, be a whore, be whoever you want!” – Leda Elizabeth

Sinclair: What’s something you’re working to unlearn?

Leda: Two of my biggest struggles are forgetting religion and controlling my temper. I was raised in an abusive household that was also very strictly Mormon. Now as an adult I sometimes find myself accidentally praying in my head or getting nervous over things that I had been taught in church were wrong — including swearing and drinking coffee — little things that I sometimes still feel anxious or guilty for doing to this day.

I was raised to have anger be my instinctual reaction to a lot of things, so there are times where I’ll have to walk away from a situation or else it will end in a fight. The older I get, the easier I find it to let these things go though. As a teenager I wouldn’t think, I would just react. Now if I catch myself getting irrationally angry, I’m able to talk myself down and evaluate what I’m feeling.

Sinclair: Who do you go to when you’re needing support and guidance?

Leda: Almost always my parents. While my childhood was toxic, over the years they have grown so much. They’re wonderful, loving, and supportive people. I always know when I get really stuck they will do whatever it takes to help me, or just give me good advice when I’m feeling lost.

Sinclair: What’s one challenge you face in your work that you’re still working on navigating?

Leda: You have to be pretty tech savvy when it comes to a lot of things about camming or content creation. I can pick up on basic things, but I struggle to understand some of the more complex aspects.

“It’s pretty ingrained in society that sex work is the lowest of low occupations and the easiest way to make a quick buck. They don’t acknowledge all the men and women creating their own businesses — their own empires!” – Leda Elizabeth

Sinclair: When was the last time you practiced self-care? What did you do?

Leda: I try to practice self care frequently. I find that if I don’t make time for it I end up crashing and burning really hard later on and it affects my work.

I like to be alone. Completely alone, not even my cats can be in the room. I like the quiet of an empty room. I’ll put on soft music and stretch or take a long nap. I love watching ridiculous movies that make no sense and just taking a moment to ignore the outside world.

Sinclair: What’s something that’s been bringing you joy lately?

Leda: My job, honestly! I love watching the people around me mix art and porn, letting their imagination and creativity run wildly. I adore having the option to do that as well. I love mixing my weird humor into my work, turning ridiculous things into something sexy.

“Loving everyone includes loving yourself and it’s hard to do that when you have toxic people in your life. You can love from a distance.” – Leda Elizabeth

Sinclair: What’s something that’s been pissing you off lately?

Leda: Social media. I often wish my job didn’t rely on it so much. While it does connect people and brings beautiful things into our lives that we would have never known about otherwise, it also connects you with all the assholes of the world. Every day it feels like bad news story after bad news story, people fighting over what current horrible thing we should care about or be paying attention to.

I see people tearing each other down over our own personal likes and interests. Who cares if that person doesn’t do x, y, or z well? Let people enjoy things, mind your own business if you don’t like what they’re doing. It’s the internet, you don’t have to follow them. People say things to others over the internet that they would never say to them in real life. It really can bring out the worst in people.

Sinclair: When was a time that self-doubt was at its worst for you while on your career and life journey?

Leda: My first year in the industry was a nightmare. Not only was I jumping into it completely blind, but for some reason I attracted a lot of negative attention from toxic people.

I had members threatening suicide over me, I had members proposing to me and backlashing when I rejected them, I had a model pretend to be my friend and then create a group chat with her regular members and friends dedicated to bullying me. Throughout that entire year all these people would harass me almost daily, subtweet me, and send members and friends to pass along hateful messages from them. If I blocked them they would create new account after new account just to come to my chatroom and tell me how awful I was.

They tried to convince me everything I was doing was wrong, they told me I would never last and that I should leave the industry, that I didn’t belong there. They spread rumors that I was lying about real medical procedures to scam people out of money and to this day they still stalk my pages and will subtweet me randomly.

Luckily, I stood my ground and was able to find beautiful and wonderful people who were kind and loving towards me and make friends.

“We need to decriminalize it because if we treat sex work as a crime others are more likely to treat us like we’re dirty or bad people.” – Leda Elizabeth

Sinclair: What are your unshakable values and when did you become clear on them?

Leda: Love endlessly. Probably around the time when I was a teenager is when I started really trying to apply that to my everyday life. I want to love everybody. And by that I don’t mean I keep everyone in my life and give them great things. Loving everyone includes loving yourself and it’s hard to do that when you have toxic people in your life. You can love from a distance. If you cut off a friend or family member because they’re toxic, you can still love them simply by wishing them well. “I wish that someday they learn a lesson that helps them unlearn these negative toxic traits,” for example.

Sinclair: Who are a few amazing people that we should follow?

Leda: Oh god there are so many, but a few girls I really take inspiration from and adore are:

Sinclair: What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone struggling with self-doubt and feeling like giving up on their dreams?

Leda: Failure is a part of success. Embrace it. That’s where all the lessons lie and that’s when you’ll be figuring out a new game plan to achieve your dream. Don’t give up.

Sinclair: It’s years in the future. You’re on stage to accept an award for your life’s work. What’s your five word acceptance speech?

Leda: Thank you, so much love.

Sinclair: Imagine that all your life’s work disappeared and you only had 1 minute to tell the world what you truly believe to be true. What would you say?

Leda: Sex work is real work! Sexuality is a beautiful thing and we should stop treating those who come to us baring their whole selves to the world in response to supply and demand. Humans need to learn that sex isn’t wrong. Sharing with each other consensually isn’t wrong.

Sex workers are humans, we have families and friends. We provide a safe space to explore fantasies, to explore human bodies, to give into lust and just connect on a different level. There’s nothing dirty or wrong about it.

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Leda Elizabeth is a cam girl and porn actress who has been a part of the adult industry for 3 years. She loves sharing her sexuality and showing others you can do the same, in whatever way you want to. She wants to push the boundaries between sex work and mainstream society to show that sex workers are human too and should be treated as such.

Learn more about Leda and connect: Instagram | Twitter

Featured awesomeness: Leda says, The Cupcake Girls is an organization that supports adult entertainers. They provide a safe place to access community resources such as legal advice, crisis or emergency care, career coaching and more!”