- One LinkedIn user caused a stir after they listed “Sex Work” under their professional experience.
- Ariel Egozi said sex work has as much place on LinkedIn as any other job.
- For Egozi, sex work has given them financial freedom and basic professional skills.
Ariel Egozi, who went viral last month after listing “Sex work” as one of her professional experiences on LinkedIn, believes the sex industry deserves to be on the site as much as any other career.
“Sex work allowed me to see that there are other ways of doing things,” Egozi, who identifies as queer femme and uses she/they 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 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 gave them financial freedom, allowing them to “charge exorbitant amounts of money” and teach them countless professional skills.
“Two weeks ago I quit an in-house job with fancy benefits and the reason I could do it was because of sex work,” Egozi shared on LinkedIn. “I had saved so much from selling and engaging my image that I could ask myself if I was happy. It wasn’t me.”
Egozi told Insider that they were inspired to make a change after leaving their position at a branding firm where they “felt disempowered and objectified” and felt like their “creative energy was taken for granted.”
“The higher I went in my career, the more I felt I had to suppress different parts of my identity,” Egozi said.
“The Ugly Foot”
While Egozi expected to get some answers, they never intended to be the “face” of the issue, stressing that their experience may not be representative of others in the industry.
“I have a huge privilege,” they said. “I’m sure it’s 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 garnered thousands of reactions and hundreds of comments from all over LinkedIn. Some people seemed to make connections 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 the ugly underbelly of how we view the American work ethic,” Egozzi said. “There were all these people posting these disgusting things. These are people on LinkedIn with their full names and employers. If they think they can say these things without repercussions, how can someone like me feel safe in that environment?”
On the other hand, Egozi said they have received dozens of messages from people with white-collar jobs in similar situations.
“Everyone knows a sex worker,” they said. “People just don’t feel safe coming out because of the highly stigmatized and dangerous ways we’ve been treated in society.”
Egozi first entered the industry in 2020 after their creative agency lost several clients due to the economic shock of the pandemic. They have never been far from sex work, as Egozi has 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 like it was a place where I could face a lot of my personal fears and traumas,” Egozzi said. “It allowed me to take ownership of myself and my career,” they added.
“There is very little real sex”
After all, Egozi said, sex work has given them many professional skills — the same kind of job qualifications that were created for LinkedIn.
“People forget that the word ‘work’ is associated with sex work, the work of building a brand and a company. There is very little real sex,” they say.
“I know how to engage the audience and evoke emotions from them. I know how to make sales, build my own brand and community, and promote it. I also identify leads and filter them. And that’s not even taking into account the creative production of it all if you’re doing adult content,” Egozzi added.
Egozi has received numerous job offers since they first posted about the issue on LinkedIn, and they have continued to work in the tech world as consultants and advisors. Egoise said they have no plans to leave the industry, but the popularity of their LinkedIn posts has made their jobs more dangerous, and they have already begun developing plans to address security concerns.
“I’m not surrendering my agency and have yet to see a company I trust to commit myself to,” they said. “I’m going to keep doing it as long as it feels good, and I’m going to stop when it doesn’t.”
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