- A LinkedIn user made waves after listing “sex work” under work experience.
- Arielle Egozi said sex work has as much space on LinkedIn as any other job.
- For Egozi, sex work gave them financial freedom and basic job skills.
Arielle 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 featured on the site as any other career.
“Sex work showed me that there were other ways of doing things,” Egozi, who identifies as a queer femme and uses she/them pronouns, 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 she updated her LinkedIn page to include sex work and shared a post with her followers explaining the decision. In the message, Egozi wrote that sex work gave them financial freedom by allowing them “to charge exorbitant amounts” and taught them myriad professional skills.
“I left an internal job with fancy benefits two weeks ago and the reason I was able to do that was sex work,” Egozi shared on LinkedIn. “I had saved just enough from selling and hiring my image to wonder if I was happy. It was not me.”
Egozi told Insiders that they were inspired to make the change after leaving their positional branding business, where they “felt disempowered and objectified” and took their “creative energy for granted.”
“The higher I got in my career, the more I felt like I had to repress different parts of my identity,” Egozi said.
“The Ugly Underworld”
While Egozi expected to get maybe a handful of answers, they never intended to become the “face” of this issue and stressed that their experience may not be representative of others in the industry.
“I have enormous privileges,” they said. “I have the freedom to choose that this is not the primary way I make money. If it wasn’t a choice for me, I’m not sure I would feel very empowered.”
Nonetheless, the post quickly garnered thousands of reactions and hundreds of comments on LinkedIn from all quarters. Some people seemed to draw correlations between their own experiences and Egozi’s, while others criticized the post. Some even tried to hack into 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. “There were all these people posting these disgusting things. These are people on LinkedIn provided with their full names and employers. If they think they can say those things without consequences, how can someone like me feel safe in this environment?”
On the other hand, Egozi said they received dozens of messages from people with white-collar jobs in similar situations.
“Every single person knows a sex worker,” they said. “People just don’t feel safe coming out because we’re so stigmatized and treated dangerously in society.”
Egozi first entered the industry in 2020 after her creative agency lost several clients due to the economic turmoil of the pandemic. They had never been far from sex work as Egozi had worked in the sextech world and alongside sex workers in the past.
“Part of it revolved around cash, but I also felt like it was a place to confront a lot of my own personal fears and trauma,” Egozi said. “It has allowed me to take responsibility for myself and my career,” they added.
“Actual sex is so little of it”
Ultimately, Egozi said sex work has given them numerous job skills — the same types of job skills LinkedIn was designed to foster.
“People forget that the word ‘work’ is associated with sex work – the work of building a brand and a business. Actual sex is so little of that,” they said.
“I know how to engage the audience and evoke emotion. I know how to make sales, build and promote my own brand and community. I also identify and filter leads. And all of that doesn’t even take into account the creative production of all of that when you’re doing adult content,” Egozi added.
Egozi has received several job offers since they first posted on LinkedIn about the topic, and they continue to work in the tech world as consultants and consultants. Egoiz said they have no plans to leave the industry, but the popularity of their LinkedIn post has made their work more dangerous and they have already begun making plans to address security concerns.
“I’m not giving up my agency and I have yet to see a company that I trust hand me over,” they said. “I’ll keep doing it for as long as it feels good, and I’ll stop as soon as it doesn’t.”
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