Journey into a world of happy hookings and bad bookings via Rita Therese’s memoir, COME.
Rita Therese is a 25 year old sex worker, photographer, philosopher and writer who entered the sex industry at age 18 and has worked as a stripper, porn performer and escort.
Nimble, flexible and informed, COME revels in revealing some tricks are treats, others not so sweet, as Rita shares the vulnerabilities, techniques of the trade, encounters with good and not so good clients, and anxieties suffered in the profession of her choice.
In a chapter titled Whore Beauty she is explicit about bum pimples, haemorrhoids, thrush and coping with man cum during fellatio. There is a disarming honesty that threads through this volume of vice that provides a counter intuitive virtue.
She speaks passionately about the rights and agency of sex workers, shame, body image and sexuality and the delights in being a someone society deems a ‘deviant’.
Delighting in the designation, deviant, has a down side, however, as friends and lovers suffer from delusions of adequacy. Their lack of understanding is a damaging disappointment.
Rita confides that silence about her life, both professional and personal, was an open, festering wound, that could only be healed by using her voice.
With sex work, the obvious health risk is STD but COME sheds light on practitioners suffering PTSD. Rita grapples guilt at the PTSD diagnosis as popular opinion designates the disorder to participants of war. Hers is attributed to the suicides of her siblings, brothers, James and Peter.
There remains a stigma, a social distancing, ironically, about sex work, and COME seeks to deconstruct it with a brisk informality of style that is both self deprecating and totally self aware.
A celebration of the smutty, slutty, and salacious, COME is also a powerful story of loss, love and reclamation. Indecently entertaining.
COME by Rita Therese is published by Allen & Unwin