Charlotte Rose: Sex Educator Spotlight
If you reside in the UK and are familiar with the faces that make up the British adult industry, there's no doubt that you would have heard of Charlotte Rose. This lady is not only extremely business minded and sex-positive, she's also determined to get sex workers the rights they deserve!
Charlotte Rose has an entrepreneurial spirit that has landed her in many management and editorial roles, including running her own businesses in adult print, entertainment and hospitality as well as sex work, advocacy and education.
Here at Burn the Night, we were very excited to feature such a prominent voice for sex-positivity awareness and support in the UK. Charlotte is without doubt, a woman after our own hearts!
Luckily, Charlotte took some time out of her busy schedule to have a quick discussion with us, so she could share with our readers her humble beginnings, all important message and just how she became one of Britain's leading ladies in sex work.
"I was born in Nottingham in the 80's. I grew up with my dad and my brother from the age of 5 onwards as my parents separated when I was young. My dad was a self-employed plumber and he worked very, very hard. I didn't have the best of things but there was always food on the table.
I was a bit of a tomboy growing up, all the way through my years; I probably still am a little bit now. I was slightly confused sexually I think, for a lot of my years I thought I was actually a lesbian and was more attracted to females than I was males, not realising that you can be attracted to both. Luckily for me, I actually lost my virginity to a male and female on the same day. I was staying at a friends house and her sister was who I 'shared time with' in the morning, and probably about 6 / 7 hours later, I had intercourse with a male. It was probably not the best of experiences with the male; I was on the floor of a concrete garage, so it wasn't particularly very nice but it was quite painful as well. I wasn't sexually turned on enough to be sufficiently lubricated for the experience but sex has progressed for me as I got older and I thoroughly enjoy it now".
"I got into the industry in 1997, a guy approached me in a nightclub and asked if I had done any modelling before, I said no and a few weeks later on I was doing my first shoot in a very, very cold January. It was so cold and I was wearing these really tiny, leather outfits. I couldn't walk properly in the shoes as they were so high (laughs) I had a guy on standby because I kept falling backwards, or forwards, I don't think it really mattered I just kept going! I think these heels were 6 - 7" so I was literally on my tip toes, I couldn't walk properly. This was for a magazine called Cruella"
After her initial shootings, Charlotte went on to produce her own print magazines called "Demeanours Diaries" and "Femdoms" before taking on projects in other sectors and finally going into escorting.
- see as pictured in gallery.
"I was quite entrepreneurial throughout my younger years. After having my children I use to be 17.5 st and I lost 6.5 st. I then brought into a franchise and became a consultant for the area for cinema world, I then grew one class to three, saw a niche in the market and opened a health and beauty clinic. I also ran a nightclub at one point"
"Unfortunately I had a relationship breakdown with the father of my kids, so I decided to move away. This came quite hard as he cheated on me after 6 years, though I didn't find out until the last year. Then I moved away. It was quite strange actually because there was a spiritualist woman who said to me "you love him but you're not in love with him and you're gonna move and when you move your gonna move away with nothing but your gonna move to everything" and I did, I moved with absolutely nothing. I put the kids in the front seat of the car. I filled up the car with as much stuff as I could and I just drove. I drove and I drove and I ended up in Torquay. It was 10 to 5 in the afternoon and I phoned up the council asking "please help, can you help me?" and that was it, I thought that was going to be my fresh start. I was in a B&B for 3 days, I was then in a holiday flat for 2 months and then I was in one of the most horrific places I've ever lived in my life. I was harassed by one of my drunk neighbours, threatening to knife me and run over my kids. She use to flick lit cigarettes at my kids and would threaten me every day. This is when I thought I gotta do something about it.
I went back to college and uni. I was working 40 hours a week, studying two days a week, studying for my BSc in Hospitality Management and then the council wouldn't help me move from all the threatening behaviour, so I sold a lot of furniture just to get enough money together for a deposit to move again. Then I decided to top up. I was working as an assistant manager at the Belgrave Hotel in Torquay at this point and it was challenging to have this woman constantly around me as she kept looking for me a year later and smashed up my car - she smashed up three of my cars! It was quite surreal. I ended up finishing off my degree and topping it up to a full BSc and then moved to Exeter to become a teacher and that's when I realised I didn't quite like kids. The hours were just incredible. I was getting up at 5 in the morning, getting the kids ready for 6, dropping them off at breakfast club, getting to work, doing the morning meetings, doing the teaching, finishing teaching at around 4, getting out to get the kids for about 5:30. By the time I got home it was around 6:30. By the time I had done dinner it was 7, by the time I had bathed the kids and got them into bed it was 8:30 and then for the next two hours I was creating the next day's lessons, so it really was a great, big struggle. I didn't really have any friends at that time because I kind of isolated myself with work and my social life was just gone."
"I remember one night just picking up a guy from a bar and we went back to mine to have sex and the minute we finished he got dressed and left and I thought do you know what? I didn't even cum! I thought 'fuck this, I can't be doing with this anymore' so I just decided now's the time that if I'm going to do something about it, I need to do something. I was thinking 'how am I going to meet guys and also have a social life?' This is when I joined an escorting agency, I had done a bit of escorting years prior but nothing really major with it. So I joined an agency and I absolutely loved it. In my first week I made £2500 and I think it was about 3 months after, that I realised that I want to do this full time. I gave up teaching; I don't really like kids anyway, I can barely just cope with my own! I gave up teaching, went into full time hooking and loved it, I absolutely loved it. The people I met were just absolutely incredible, I was earning more money, I was able to spend more time with my family and I felt free. It empowered me to be who I am today and I think that I am doing alright!"
"A typical week for me is 2 - 3 days touring, the rest of the week is admin. When I get the time to be civilian wife and homemaker, I'll try and throw that in there too; though not very often. Colin gets a little annoyed by that but I can't help that. I'm travelling all over the place. It's tiring, along with the admin work."
"The hardest thing about being a sex worker is trying to flick that switch. For me it's been a lot easier, as Charlotte Rose is such a big brand in sex work that 'me being me', it's a lot easier as I'm doing more teaching and a lot more academic talks. A lot of people are coming to me for my expertise, which is fantastic! I think the hardest thing really is the physical toll it takes on your body. I get cramp, my wrists click, my knees, lower back aches. The physical and mental drain is definitely it. "
As we can see from the frequent offences that occur and the crime rates of countries whose societies are sexually repressed, forcing sexual norms or ideologies on a public leads to a number of detrimental consequences for many and can create serious turmoil in the individuals. Not only that, but by forcing hand-picked sexual activities to be carried out underground, as they are performed illegally, will only add to unsafe practises, victimisation and little to no advice or information.
"The Digital Economy Bill is a bit of a fuck up really, isn't it? I think that this coinciding with Brexit is a perfect opportunity to be able to silence and censor the internet. I think that we are living in a draconian age where sexual pleasures aren't seen as being 'norm' and I think that anything that is consensual between adults and doesn't harm any third parties is of no concern to anyone else and is nobody else's business".
"What people should know about the industry is that we are all human beings. This is one of the biggest problems that we see, that people say "Oh God, you're normalising sex work" well, it's not normalising sex work, it's normalising the workers in it. We are all human beings at the end of the day, despite our choice of earnings and I think that this is really, really important. That is, to get this message across."
Harassment and Cyberbullying
Unfortunately, we have seen cyberbullying occur in real time towards number of industry workers, purely because they engage in sex / adult work in some format. The abuse and harassment that a number of individuals face is, frankly, abhorrent. We approached this subject in relation to our revenge porn awareness editorial pieces earlier this month and will diving into the subject in a future article in relation to industry workers. Luckily, there are a number of users, including ourselves, who report such behaviour whenever we come across it, so that social platforms and forums can intervene by blocking or banning the individual in question. Occasionally, the behaviour of some and the threats made are so serious that it requires further escalation by involving the police.
Sadly, Charlotte herself is no stranger to harassment.
"I've been threatened, I've been blackmailed. I got threatened by neighbours. I got blackmailed by a guy who, when I had my nightclub, blackmailed me that if I didn't give him free sex and money, then he was going to 'out me' into the public. I managed to find out his details and he told me that it was his mate who did it but you know, I'm not stupid and I've had this a lot. I've had another guy threaten me saying that he would have told my partner at the time.
I think people hide behind this screen, I think that people are out to get what they can get. They're never really happy if someone else is happy and I think that if anyone gets caught up with harassment or cyberbullying they need to do something about it. You need to go straight to the police. I think the issue in regards to this is that because a lot of workers aren't able to be open about their identity, this gets them caught up in a trap of fear and by the society already having the marginality of police brutality and raids dehumanising us, it gives people more fuel in thinking that they can do more damage to us. I think that this is really, really important, so one number, the first thing to do is speak to the police or speak to a support group as well. There are lots of sex worker support groups out there that you can join on Facebook."
"In order to improve the situation moving forward, decriminalisation is definitely one of the major things that we need to be able to get rid of stigma within the sex industry and you can do that by going to the English Collective of Prostitutes and vote 'decrim' #VoteDecrim. You can get all the details there of what's going on politically. I think that the general election will be a deciding factor and also who is going to supporting the decrim bill. So, watch this space."
"Viewers, stop treating us like we're objects. We are still human beings at the end of the day. Sex Workers, look after your body, look after your mental health and make sure that you are safe. Politicians, stop banning activities just because you get off on it. You guys think it's about sexual excitement when breaking the law and actually you're not seeing people as human beings and putting our safety first. It all comes down to safety at the end of the day."
We believe everyone deserves equal rights and the right to having a safe work environment without the fear of being abused, harassed or imprisoned regardless of whether it involves sex work or not. We are one and need to support one another through such hard times in order to create a better future for us all. It's time to do just that.
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