Jane Way is a queer, non-binary sex worker with a disability who lives in Toronto, Canada. They got their start with dancing, camming and amateur queer porn and are now working as a higher end escort and porn performer. ‘Filthy luxury’ is their tag-line, and from their popularity online and positive reviews Jane seems to be doing very well for themselves.
Editor-in-Chief Amanda Van Slyke caught up with Jane over email to talk about what it’s like to be a sex worker with a disability, how to become successful in this industry and how there’s room for everyone in sex work.
Amanda: Can you explain to those who don’t know what an escort is?
Jane: I provide a service of sex, intimacy and freedom.
A: How long have you been working as an escort and what made you decide to make it your career?
J: I’ve been doing sex work since I was 18, but my escort career is still a mere two years old at this point. I was already doing porn and cam work, I was heavy in my addiction and I needed money. I started turning tricks as a way to support myself, especially after my Ehlers-Danlos diagnosis. I never looked back – I knew I had found my path in life. Especially after I got sober and started taking care of myself more, I knew that sex work was an integral part of my healing process.
A: You’re unapologetically a queer, non-binary punk rocker. Has this been an obstacle in your career or given you a unique brand?
J: It’s definitely turned off a lot of potential business. I’ve made a lot of compromises, especially in my early days when I was often faced with the choice of shrinking myself in order to make the money I needed to survive. I’m privileged enough now that I can be unapologetic about who I am and still support myself financially. But I want to take that privilege and fight back with it, now that I’m in a position to do so. My stubbornness and unwillingness to give up integral parts of myself and my identity have turned my brand into a force of nature.
“Sex work is pure magic.”
A: Can you talk a bit about your experience as a sex worker with a disability? Has it hindered you on the job or has the job empowered you?
J: Disability reaches even the darkest corners of my life. I’m a fighter, and doing sex work allows me to fight for myself. I’m allowed the time off enough to rest and take care of myself, the money to afford life-changing medications and mobility devices and the confidence and skills to cope mentally. I believe this job, and the clients I’ve met along the way, have saved me.
A: You were renowned as a top provider in 2016. What steps should other independent escorts take who aspire to become successful?
J: Work at it. Work as hard as you can. You’re going to have slow days, slow months, even a slow year. You’re going to bomb, you’re going to get nothing but time-wasters, you’re going to get turned down because you’re not ‘pretty’ enough or you’re too ‘outspoken’ or you aren’t ‘enough,’ but you’ll find your niche if you work at it. And don’t let the ‘success’ of cis white women speak to your self worth. There is a big part of sex work that is privilege. I recognize that my white privilege grants me a lot of opportunities. But you can do it, and you aren’t less than if you have to make compromises to survive.
A: For those who still look at sex work as shameful, what words do you have to help break the stigma?
J: Stop worrying about what I do with my body, and what my clients and I consent to do with each others’. Sex work is pure magic.
Follow Jane on Twitter @janewayxyz
Published in the Fall 2017 issue. Read the rest of the issue and buy a print copy here.