Thriving in Sex Work Workbook Sample: Matrix Phrases

I’m happy to announce that I’ll be releasing the Thriving in Sex Work Workbook March 1st. It’s a companion guide to Thriving in Sex Work, filled with exercises, budgets, self-care guides, and business plans to keep your mind, body, and business thriving. The hand-drawn graphics by Felicia Gotthelf are especially yummy! Each week for the next 12 weeks, I’ll provide excerpts here on my blog to give you a taste.

From the "Thriving in Sex Work Workbook":

All day, every day on the job, we’re bombarded with messages telling us “This is how the sex industry is.” A major theme of this workbook is challenging your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. This requires special attention to telling them apart. All too often, we have a tendency to treat these things as if they’re all the same. They are not.

In linguistics, “I know,” “I think,” and “I feel,” are called “matrix phrases,” that “designate the central situation of a sentence.” Which sounds esoteric, but is quite straightforward: they denote how we perceive a specific reality.

To get a grip on this concept, think back to The Matrix. Neo, wakes up to realize that his apartment, city, and world he thought he was occupying aren’t the “real” world, but a virtual construct. Instead, his mind is plugged into computer program, and his flesh-and-blood body is housed in a pod to be harvested as a human battery.

Now, to the best of my knowledge, we aren’t living in pods, but that doesn’t mean we don’t all grapple with the distinctions between what we “know”, and what we feel or believe.

This graphic is designed to prompt you to consider your relationship to an idea or concept—is this something someone told you? Something you know for yourself firsthand? Is it always true, sometimes kinda true, or rarely true? Could this be a fear disguised as a fact?