My name is Rick Pettit, and I am a client of sex workers. I am in my 60s, divorced, and unattached. I run my own one-person moderately-unsuccessful service business in a small town in New England. I’m just an ordinary person – not exceptionally “beautiful” or “ugly”, not particularly well-off financially, and certainly not a hub of criminal activity. I am not a “pervert”. I do not “eye little girls with bad intent” like Aqualung. I do not abuse the women I spend time with. Most importantly, I do not “buy” anyone’s body. (There’s not enough room in my closet) I am in favor of total decriminalization of sex work. I try to actively engage the general public in discussion about the facts of sex work, and try to actively dispel the misinformation put forth by those who want to prohibit it for various reasons, some well-meaning but misdirected, some just for profit. The image portrayed in various media of drooling, sleazy “perverts” taking advantage of damaged, drug-ridden providers is meant to herd and de-humanize both sex workers and clients. We are ALL people with lives and feelings, and, yes, bills to pay. In America, money = a level of security = a level of empowerment. The money I give a sex worker makes her life easier, and the time she spends with me has more value than any material wealth to me. My life would be much poorer spiritually without the encounters I’ve shared with the women I have had the great privilege of meeting. I have made many friends in the sex work community, and I will support them however I can. I will continue to do my part by speaking out against the criminalization and stigma sex workers face. I am not afraid to show my face. I am not afraid to use my real name. I am an adult, and how I choose to spend my time and money is MY FUCKING BUSINESS. If I can share a moment or two of pleasure in exchange for a little financial support for a friend, it makes my pleasure all the more complete. I do not speak as a representative for any group – this is my voice only. Let’s recap. My name is Rick Pettit and I support safe, consensual sex work and those who practice it, because you’re supposed to support your friends. Thanks!