Meet Arielle Egozi, a 31-year-old brand advisor and creative director. She began working in the sex work industry in 2020 when her creative agency lost all their clients during the pandemic.
Arielle recently went viral on LinkedIn when she shared her self-employment work on the app. “I left an in-house job with fancy benefits two weeks ago and the reason I could do that was sex work,” she wrote.
Arielle said she gained experience with charging “exorbitant amounts,” rejection, and boundaries in the position.
“Why is this different than any other client work? The answer I come to, again and again, is that it isn’t. So it’s now up on my LinkedIn.”
The post quickly went viral. It has over 10,000 likes and even more views, but, because it’s the internet, people had Opinions. One person wrote, “Wow, way to set back the women’s movement by a few years.”
Others felt Arielle should be ashamed of her work.
This is a very dangerous game you are playing,” someone wrote. “You get money, but is it worth looking in the mirror and crying in the shower when you still feel unfulfilled trying to fill a void?”
Most people, however, attached themselves to the idea that LinkedIn was not the kind of place to promote her work skills, given the type of work she did. Others wondered why this was permitted. “Is there any moderation team on LinkedIn? … Normalization of sex work, prostitution, sexcamming/sexchatting for money is not ok.”
For every comment attacking the post, however, others came back with gratitude for Arielle’s honesty.
Another user wrote, “Before I see another comment saying, ‘LinkedIn wasn’t the place for this,’ ask yourself: Is LinkedIn not the place to build a community by sharing your personal experiences within your career journey? Or do I just feel uncomfortable because I wasn’t expecting the topic of sex work to come up on my timeline?
“If it’s the second one, that’s fine! … But for goodness sake, stop telling her she’s using the platform wrong because, as a social media manager, I can tell you for a fact she is achieving her goal with this post. LinkedIn is for ALL professionals, not just the professions that meet your cultural [or] religious beliefs and align with your personal opinions.”
After her initial post blew up, Arielle followed up with a statement thanking supporters.
“My intention here was to bring all my pieces into the room. It was to hold myself accountable in celebration of the choices I’ve made, the decisions that make me who I am and make my work what it is. It wasn’t to inspire. It wasn’t to be radical. It wasn’t to make you upset. It was to make space for myself,” she wrote.