Melissa Petro

Melissa Petro

Bio

Melissa Petro is a former sex worker and "hooker teacher" who has written about the industry for HuffingtonPost, Salon, and others. She is also the founder of Becoming Writers, which provides free and low cost memoir-writing workshops and mentoring to writers of all backgrounds and experiences. More info at http://becomingwriters.wordpress.com. 

Melissa Petro Articles

You know you're a newlywed if... (Image credit: Thinkstock)

6 Ways You Know You're A Newlywed

If you missed my weekly column this summer all about getting engaged and planning a wedding, here’s the highlight reel: after doing

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Since when has "just don't get pregnant" been an effective promotion of reproductive health?

The Zika Virus: Why Now Is The Time For Reproductive Justice In Latin America

Use insect repellent, sleep under a mosquito net, and just don’t get pregnant — is this the best we can do for Latin American women?

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Sex Work Isn't Consensual Or Exploitative—It Can Be Both

It's time to talk substantively and honestly about how sex work isn't any one thing.

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I realized that part of the reason I was constantly partnering with “broken” people was because that's how I viewed myself. Image: Thinkstock.

Becoming Bride: 4 Things I Learned From Online Dating

I do have one advantage when it comes to meeting people online: I really like dating. I like getting dressed up and going out. I even kind of dig meeting someone new. I know these are aspects of dating other people dread, but I’ve always enjoyed these things. Perhaps this is one explanation for (or else a result of) my sex work past, I dunno. I know that, in the beginning, I thought of dating as an adventure. I didn’t take it too seriously.

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C-PTSD: PTSD's lesser-known cousin.

Years Of Abuse Have Left Me With C-PTSD: Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

C-PTSD stands for Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD) or complex trauma. It’s a diagnostic term for a set of symptoms resulting from prolonged social or interpersonal stress, especially in the context of interpersonal dependence. It’s a tricky diagnosis to land on, given the way trauma is dealt with in the mind and by society. Like Kristof, I wouldn’t have told you there was anything wrong with my childhood. It took years of therapy to catalog early life experiences that were profoundly affecting, if not necessarily severe.

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5 Things To Eat Now That We Know Instant Noodles Are Toxic

Guys, stop eating instant noodles. Seriously, they found lead in them. LEAD. Besides this, our stomachs can not digest them.

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My wedding will not be the most important day of my life. Image: Melissa Petro.

Becoming Bride: We're Getting Married (FINALLY)

For someone like me — someone with difficulty forming and maintaining relationships, who has struggled with commitment, and who’s got intimacy issues galore — surely, you can see the appeal. You don’t need to be Freud to figure out why, at a disturbingly young age, I looked forward to the day a man would commit.

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Mark wasn’t religious, but he wore a St. Francis amulet around his neck, a gift from his father. Nights when he didn’t come home, I prayed to St. Francis, too.

Becoming Bride: St. Francis, Patron Saint Of Drunks

Mark prayed to Saint Francis, a patron saint of drunks and (according to Mark) lost causes. Mark wasn’t religious, but he wore a St. Francis amulet around his neck, a gift from his father. Nights when he didn’t come home, I prayed to St. Francis, too.

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"My family is who they are, and for the most part, I’ve learned to live with that. But being engaged and planning a wedding has definitely challenged my ability to accept."

Becoming Bride: My Brother Won't Be Coming To My Wedding

So, I got an email from my brother yesterday telling me that he’s not coming to the wedding. “I want to be there,” he writes, “I really do, but the idea of being consigned to [our mother and her boyfriend’s] care for the duration of the trip is driving me mad. You know, the whole lack of autonomy and being on someone else's time and all that.”

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If you have your wedding at a restaurant, the food is the star. Image: Thinkstock.

Becoming Bride: 5 Ways To Simplify The Wedding Planning Process

Engagements being the universally stressful occasions that they are, what this has meant is that I’m constantly pushing my fiancé to make wedding-related decisions, and he is constantly having to ask me (nicely and less-nicely) to give it a rest. It all came to a head this past weekend.

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