Getting Out and Staying Out of Sex Industry, Harmony Dust

By Jocelyn Hu

"Until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change, most people prefer to stay the same." Unknown

This is one of my favorite quotes. And it perfectly describes the state I was in on the day that I left the sex industry. The scale tipped, even ever so slightly, and the pain of staying was greater than the pain of leaving.


In this episode, Crissy, Bronwen and I shared that we didn't have a master strategy for leaving the industry. We each took a leap of faith. The extent of our strategy was "to not go back".

Sometimes I think we find ourselves waiting on the ideal circumstances in order to make major changes.  We hope that one day the stars will align, we will have exactly enough money in our checking account, our bills paid off and poof, we will be ready to walk into the sunset, leaving the sex industry behind us once and for all.

In reality, often the circumstances won't shift until we begin to make the changes.

For many of us, leaving the industry is easy.  Staying out is the hard part.

Once we walk away, we are often left to face gaps in our resume, financial struggles, and feelings of loneliness as we leave behind old relationships; the list goes on and on.

I couldn't even walk into Forever 21 without hearing a song play on the radio that instantly catapulted me into memories of the life I was leaving behind.

Part of me was relieved.

Part of me missed it.

In some strange way, I hadn't just become a part of the sex industry; it had become a part of me.

If I had to pick one word to describe how I stayed out of the industry once I left, it would be "surrender".

Staying out meant surrendering...well...EVERYTHING!

  • Money
  • Old ways of thinking about myself
  • Old ways of managing money
  • A life style I had become accustomed to
  • A boyfriend I thought I couldn't live without
  • A chance to put on lingerie and feel powerful, even if it was false and fleeting
  • The desire to be desired
  • Friends who didn't understand or agree with my decision
  • Freedom in my schedule
  • My pride as I found my applications for menial jobs rejected
  • Did I mention money?

It felt like there was not one area of my life that was not affected, in one way or another, by my decision to leave.  Every day, sometimes it felt like every moment, I was presented with a new opportunity to surrender something.

Gradually, over time, surrender became more natural. I began learning new ways to think about myself, manage finances, adjust to a new lifestyle, make friends, and deal with all of the change.

It wasn't easy, but it got day at a time.

Have I thought of going back?

Yes. Most of the women I talk to do. Sometimes I still have dreams about it.  That I am back in the club, hustling somebody.  In my dream, the sense of my new life and who I am today sets in like a fog and I begin to panic and wonder how I ended up there again.

Yes, I have thought about going back.  But I have never once regretted my decision to leave.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Your dreams, aspirations and career goals are important, and I believe that God has a road map for you on how to get there. In the meantime, I encourage you to start where you are and put one foot in front of the other. You can make the entire journey that way.


Sneak Peek at Reflection Questions

  1. If you had to pick one thing that you know you need to surrender, what would it be?
  1. "The pain of staying became greater than the pain of leaving." What about staying-or, going back-is causing you the most pain right now?

© 2013 I Am Treasure Ministry  

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