Lola Davina Press Kit
Contact information; product information; product images; author headshots; 50-word, 200-word, and full-length author bios; interview resources, including notable excerpts and sample questions; links to selected articles and blog postings; media mentions, reviews, and testimonials.
My name is pronounced LO-la Dah-VEE-nah; she/her pronouns.
Contact me at: loladavina1 at gmail dot com
Interested in interviewing me or writing for you or helping with your project?
I'm happy to participate, but please read over my guidelines before contacting me.
TITLE: Thriving in Sex Work: Heartfelt Advice for Staying Sane in the Sex Industry
AUTHOR: Lola Davina
PUBLISHER: The Erotic as Power Press
248 3rd St. #646
Oakland, CA 94607
DATE OF PUBLISHING: May 15, 2017
RETAIL PRICE: $9.99
TITLE: Thriving in Sex Work Workbook
AUTHOR: Lola Davina
ILLUSTRATOR: Felicia Gotthelf
PUBLISHER: The Erotic as Power Press
DATE OF PUBLISHING: March 1, 2018
RETAIL PRICE: $11.99
SIZE: 8" X 10"
Learn more about the Thriving in Sex Work Workbook here!
Large file images of Thriving in Sex Work here.
My name is pronounced LO-la Dah-VEE-nah; she/her pronouns.
50 word bio:
Lola Davina has spent more than 25 years in and around the sex industry, working as a stripper, dominatrix, porn actress, and escort over a fifteen-year period. She has earned an M.A. in Human Sexuality and an M.S. in Nonprofit Fundraising, and writes a self-care and wellness column for YNOTcam.com.
200 Word Bio:
Born in 1968 to a family of European descent. Although I’ve been retired more than a decade, I identify as a bi/queer/cisgender female sex worker.
In 1990, I auditioned at the Lusty Lady in San Francisco, a live peep show theater. Working there for two years taught me sex workers are kickass rule-breakers, making the world a better place; several remain my closest friends today.
My fellow Lusties introduced me to professional domination, porn, and prostitution. I worked as a call girl in my early twenties, and again in my thirties. I threw sex parties, wrote erotica, and worked briefly for a madam, whiling away a couple of stupendously boring afternoons in a brothel.
Escorting gave me a life I loved, travelling to Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, and Timbuktu. The down payment for my first house came from my ill-gotten gains. Along the way, I earned two Masters degrees, and when I hung up my phone the final time, I’d put six figures in the bank towards retirement.
Finally, in my post-sex work career, I’m a writer, educator, and fundraiser.
Full Bio here.
A SELF-HELP BOOK FOR SEX WORKERS
They say sex work is “easy money?” Hardly. The adult industry is riddled with pitfalls and dangers. Erotic labor is often emotionally demanding, draining, and complex. It can be hard to know who to turn to for advice on keeping yourself safe and sane. Thriving in Sex Work provides the life skills you need to prosper, including:
- Cultivating friendships, community, and romance
- Mastering money
- Debunking sex industry myths such as you have to be flawless, or clients hate to hear “no”
- Avoiding trigger states, like loneliness, fatigue, boredom, anxiety and depression, that lead to bad decision-making and burnout
- Surviving bad calls, shifts, and shoots — and so much more
Thriving in sex work means having a healthy body, mind, heart, and bank account. No matter your job title or gender, whether you’re independent or work for someone else, if you want to succeed in sex work, then this book is for you.
Notable Excerpts from Thriving in Sex Work
"There is no shame in being a sexual person. Sex is what got us here; sex is how we are made. Our species needs to dance and to shimmy and to hum and to flirt and to fuck. The sexy fuels health, beauty, music, joy, creativity, inspiration, and curiosity — who’d want to live without those things? Every single person alive on this earth today is a product of the erotic. Even test-tube baby-daddies need dirty magazines."
"Sex work is often lonely. Please don’t tell me your plan is to go it alone. Sex work warps your mind about money. Please don’t tell me your financial plan is to stuff bills in your mattress. The biz is filled with bogus information about the law and taxes. Please don’t tell me you get your advice online. Sex work changes as we get older. Please don’t tell me your plan is to remain young and gorgeous forever."
"I’ve never seen any self-employed sex worker age out of the business. But I saw plenty drift from making good money, to just getting by, to quiet desperation, to eventually dropping out. Along the way, they stopped doing the little things right. They didn't want to flat out quit the life; instead, they slowly fired themselves."
"Whatever that one thing about sex work that makes you miserable, it’s telling you it’s time to make a change. Because if you don’t, one day you’ll wake up, and you will be done. It will not be pleasant. It will not be convenient. At the very least, it will bring chaos and pain."
"You can afford to raise your rates when you can afford to turn business away. When you have enough work lined up so that at the first sign of haggling, you can cheerfully hang up the phone. When you can say, “These days I only have a handful of slots available, and this is what I charge to connect with new friends.” This is only possible from a position of strength."
"It’s astonishing that most of us aren’t taught how money shapes our self-esteem. Especially for those of us selling our sexuality, it’s worth taking the time to think about what we’re working so hard for. Not until we turn and face money can we see it clearly."
"The worst disaster is achieving early success and not knowing why. For many, sex work starts out as easy money, and then gets harder. Or, to be more exact, something that resembles reality."
" It can be mortifying to tell other people we’re in trouble. It might feel like we should be able to handle everything on our own. We might be afraid they’ll blame us for bringing it on ourselves. But the fact is we all need help sometimes. If you’re hesitant to tell someone, ask yourself: If a friend were in your shoes, wouldn’t you want to know? Remember:
· You are not bothering the people who love you by telling them you’re frightened for your safety.
· Talking about it is not what makes it real.
· Telling other people does not make the problem bigger than it already is.
· Talking about it does not make it your fault.
· You do not have to solve all of your problems yourself.
· Telling other people does not mean you’ll have to stop working.
Taking care of one another is what love is for."
“'Shame' is defined many ways, but I find Brené Brown’s description of how it feels to be most helpful: “The extremely painful belief or experience of being unloveable, unworthy of connection or belonging.” In the case of sex workers, I’d add “unworthy of protection, dignity, or humanity” for good measure."
"You might well agree with me that sex work is noble, or at least honest work – that doesn’t mean you can’t still feel lousy on the job. That’s because all of us, at times, cross a line and do something we shouldn’t. We say “yes” when we should say “no.” We forget to count the money. We get caught in a lie. Because the work is so personal, it’s easy to sink into a shame spiral: I messed up. I sold myself cheap. I let myself down. This can trigger terrible doubt: Am I bad? Am I stupid? Am I damaged goods? No matter what, the answer is no. Not once. Not ever. Never forget: Sex work is hard! We’re under all kinds of crazy pressures, we juggle all kinds of extremes. Doing the right thing isn’t always obvious. We try our best, but sometimes we fail. However, we learn from our mistakes. Most importantly, we are fundamentally and indisputably lovable."
Sample Interview Questions
- What inspired you to write Thriving in Sex Work?
- "Sex work" can be a broad term. How would you define it?
- Who would benefit from this book? Is your book targeted to all kinds of sex workers?
- Why is self-care necessary in sex work? What are some of the unique emotional challenges of the job?
- What is emotional labor?
- You talk about five "demons" or negative emotions encountered in sex work. Briefly, what are they and how do you recommend sex workers cope with them?
- What are some of the emotional dimensions of money in the sex industry? What is "whoo-hoo thinking?" What is "the shit stack?"
- What are some of the unique challenges of romantic relationships when working in the sex industry? Of relating to family and friends?
- Is self-care different when sexuality is your job?
- Why is burnout such an occupational hazard in sex work?
- What are your thoughts on the mind-body connection for sex workers?
- Why do you recommend mindfulness practice for sex workers?
- How do you advise managing the stigma that is frequently associated with sex work?
- You discuss the motivations of clients extensively in your book. How does that relate to self-care?
- What is "emotional hygiene?"
- The general public perception of the sex industry is that it's a dangerous profession. What's your opinion?
- Do you believe sex work in its various forms is good work? Would you recommend it? Why or why not?
- What do you say to people who think sex work is wrong or bad?
- What sort of mistakes did you make as a sex worker?
Articles and Featured Blog Posts
Media Mentions, Reviews, & Testimonials
“I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH!
Lola Davina brings the insight, advice and compassion that only a centered, wise, experienced sex work veteran can cultivate and gather: her insider knowledge makes this book a powerful ally to any sex worker who wants a better life. Fierce, smart, pragmatic and loving — I can’t recommend it highly enough.”
—Carol Queen, PhD Author, founding director of the Center for Sex & Culture, and 99% retired sex worker
"CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH HOW DEADLY AMAZING THIS BOOK IS.
I laughed, I cried, I said 'Aha' and 'Oh good god, I'm not the only one!' I highly recommend it to all sex workers." —Miss Kate The Goddess
"I have so many highlighted passages, and as someone who’s been in the Biz for a long time, it hits home on so many levels.
"I cry every time I read your book...
It just makes me feel SO MUCH LESS ALONE."
—Mx. Praxis Phanes
"An honest book reflecting on what sex work really feels and can be like.
Answers questions workers REALLY WANT TO KNOW."
"Your writing made me feel normal in this crazy life. It was reassuring and comforting.
You made the world a little less lonely. THANK YOU."
"So much of it was relatable. I often feel alone in this bubble, and you made me realize I'm not the only one who has certain thoughts regarding this work.
IT REALLY WAS A RELEASE TO READ."
My copy is covered with notes on every page. And, as a longtime Friend of Bill, much of the emotional advice really resonated."
"THANK YOU, LOLA!!
This book sets a new standard of understanding for both those inside and outside the sex working industries. It’s going to mean the world to many, many sex workers and the people who support and love them. Brava!!"
"LOLA DAVINA'S BOOK NAILS IT FOR NON-SEX WORKERS TOO.
It is heart-felt, thought-provoking, and revelatory. As a member of the LGBTQ community, Ms. Davina taught me a lot about the stigma, shame, etc. I carry. Thank you, Ms. Davina, for your amazing work and effort. It has helped me understand myself and others more." —Nunya
"LOLA, YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!!
Just got “Thriving in Sex Work” today and have been face-planted in it ever since-- I've never met you, but I wanna!" —Ernestine Pasterello
"THIS SHOULD BE THE BIBLE FOR ALL SEX WORKERS.
Helped me put a lot of thoughts into perspective. Thank you so much!"
"THIS BOOK BLEW ME AWAY!
The experienced author eloquently took the words out of my mouth. I can hear her voice in her writing, very comforting and reassuring and REAL. I was expecting it to be rather sassy, but it was so loving, compassionate, meaningful, deep layers.... Just like a book specializing in sex and disabilities, this book specializes in self-care for sex workers, but it can easily be applied to larger groups of people who seek balance, health and happiness. Recommending as much as I can!" —Kendra Holliday
"IT'S GOING TO HELP A LOT OF PEOPLE.
Highly recommended. Insightful and warm and practical and inclusive." —Natalie Blackwood
"THIS IS SUCH A WONDERFUL BOOK.
Thank you for the hard work, energy and goodness you put into it."
"REALLY GREAT. VERY POSITIVE WITHOUT SUGAR-COATING THINGS.
Lots of real sex work advice from someone who lived it." —Rikochan!
"Lola, you've inspired me to continue reading, growing & KILLING IT AS A SEX WORKER."
"BEST READ EVER & COMPLETELY HELPFUL!!
This book was amazing!! EXTREMELY helpful, incredibly informative, and really changed the course of my business. Thanks, Lola, for being open and honest about your life, and sharing your knowledge and advice."
"I DEVOURED THIS BOOK.
You can feel the author's kindness throughout, and I continued to read even the parts that didn't pertain to me because of that caring attention. It's funny that when you sell companionship for a living it can be a lonely life, but that is the truth of it. This book is like having an older sister who's got their sh** together so their advice means alot.
There is something about the way Lola normalizes this job - one that is largely misunderstood - that feels real. Being a sole proprietor is hard, no matter what service you are selling. Every job has industry specific challenges. Acknowledging that sexwork isn't easy money and is emotional not just physcial labor is incredibly validating. And that frankness... somehow it helps me "get over myself" when I get too "woe is me" to pick up the phone.
Lola is clearly the real deal, not just a 'tourist' who escorts for a year then writes a book to be shocking and edgy. This book feels like it's written by someone who's spent real time as a provider and came out the other end sane and happy (and presumably financially sound). I'm looking forward to the physical book so I don't have to read it on my phone.
I highly recommend this book to women who have been escorting as their main occupation for several years, but I REALLY WISH I HAD ACCESS TO IT IN THE BEGINNING OF MY CAREER!"
—Sophie Christina, 20-year veteran
"I CAN RELATE TO YOUR EXPERIENCE ON SO MANY LEVELS...
...and wish I had a website like this one you've created when I was just starting out because I would definitely do things differently and practice more self care! I truly believe that you have a gift to share and that your words and wisdom will help so many others out there in the field of sex work." —M.H.
"A MUST-HAVE SELF-CARE BOOK.
It applies to everyone. If you been looking for a non-fluffy self-help book, THIS IS THE BOOK TO BUY!"
—Angelique Luna, Host of "Living a Sex Positive Life" Podcast