A LinkedIn user went viral after listing ‘sex work’ as a job

  • A LinkedIn user caused a stir after listing “sex work” under professional experiences.
  • Arielle 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.

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 on the site as any other career.

“Sex work allowed me to see that there were other ways of doing things,” Egozi, who identifies as queer femme and uses the pronouns she/they, 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 headlines on July 13 after updating their LinkedIn page to include sex work and sharing a post with their followers explaining the decision. In the message, Egozi wrote that sex work has given them financial freedom, allowing them to “pay exorbitant amounts” and taught them countless professional skills.

“I quit a work at home job with great benefits two weeks ago and the reason I was able to do that was because of the sex work,” Egozi shared on LinkedIn. “I had saved enough from selling and committing to my image that I could ask myself if I was happy. I wasn’t.”

Egozi told Insider that they were inspired to make the change after leaving their branding company, where they “felt powerless and objectified” and like their “creative energy was taken for granted.”

“The higher I’ve gone in my career, the more I’ve felt that I’ve had to suppress different parts of my identity,” Egozi said.

‘Ugly Underbelly’

While Egozi 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 great privilege,” they said. “I have the rationale that this is not the main way to make money. If it wasn’t a choice for me, I’m not sure I would feel very empowered.”

However, the post quickly received thousands of reactions and hundreds of comments on LinkedIn from all over. Some people seemed to make 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 how we see the American work ethic,” Egozi said. “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 consequence, how can someone like me feel safe in that environment?”

On the other hand, Egozi said that they have received dozens of messages from white-collar workers in similar situations.

“Every person knows a sex worker,” they said. “People just don’t feel safe because of the very stigmatized and dangerous ways we’ve been treated in society.”

Egozi first entered the industry in 2020 after their creative agency lost some clients due to the economic turmoil of the pandemic. They would never have left sex work as Egozi had worked in the world of sex technology and alongside sex workers in the past.

“Part of it was about the cash, but I also felt 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 very little of that’

After all, Egozi said sex work has given them numerous professional skills — the same kinds of job qualifications that LinkedIn was designed to promote.

“People forget that the word ‘work’ is attached to sex work – the work of building a brand and a company. Actual sex is very little of that,” they said.

“I know how to engage audiences and get them excited. I know how to make sales, build my brand and community, and promote it. I also identify leads and filter them. And all of this doesn’t even take into account creative production of everyone if you make adult content,” added Egozi.

Egozi has received multiple job offers since they first posted about the matter on LinkedIn, and they have continued to work in the tech world as advisors and consultants. Egoiz said they don’t plan to leave the industry, but the popularity of their LinkedIn post has made their job more dangerous, and they’ve already begun making plans to address safety concerns.

“I am not surrendering my agency and I have yet to see a company I trust to surrender to,” they said. “I’ll keep doing it as long as it feels good and I’ll stop the moment it doesn’t.”

Do you have a similar story? Contact the reporter from a non-work email at [email protected]

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