Melissa Petro, The Nation

Melissa Petro

The Nation

New York, NY, United States

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Past articles by Melissa:

Bloomberg Forced Me From My Teaching Job After He Learned I’d Been a Sex Worker

Elizabeth Warren’s devastating confrontation with the former mayor over allegations of sexual harassment made “billionaire” the dirty word—and made me feel respected. → Read More

12 things pregnant people need to survive summer

Products to help pregnant women stay cool during the summer, from a maternity bikini to epsom salts to help fight nausea. → Read More

My Husband Paid Me to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom

It was a ludicrous arrangement—but no more ludicrous than this country's appalling lack of subsidized child care. → Read More

Exactly How I Threw a Wedding That Cost Me Less than $10,000

My husband and I threw the budget wedding of our dreams in New York for less than $10,000—that's from start to finish, including the rehearsal dinner and honeymoon. → Read More

What Being a Sex Worker Taught Me About Men

On top of intimacy, emotional labor, and ethical sex. → Read More

Anti-Trafficking Legislation Shouldn't Come at a Cost to Victims, Sex Workers

Widely supported companion bills in Congress designed to fight online sex trafficking would do more harm than good, advocates say. The bills undermine the rights and safety of sex workers and trafficking victims, and in supporting them Democratic politicians are voting against their constituents' core values. → Read More

My Boyfriend Tried a “Miracle Cure” For Heroin Addiction

We were both in recovery when he started talking about getting clean with ibogaine. But we both should have known there is no such thing as a quick fix. → Read More

So You're Dating a Sex Worker? Here's What Not to Do

When it comes to changing our culture around this issue, it’s up to all of us to address our own biases, which can have harmful consequences if left unchecked. → Read More

What It's Really Like to Date When You've Done Sex Work

Melissa Petro opens up about the difficulties of dating with a sex work past — and how she knew her husband was different from other men she'd dated. → Read More

I grew up believing that women put their partners before themselves. It was a recipe for disaster

Women tend to imagine that they can fix all their partner's problems—precisely because the world tells them that’s the case. → Read More

4 Women Get Really Honest About Becoming Moms After Working In the Sex Industry

"I'm not afraid I'll be a bad mother — but I'm terrified that I'll be perceived that way." → Read More

Can meditation get you through a health scare?

Bright lights, big needles. → Read More

I've Made a Career Writing About My Sexcapades — and Now I'm Pregnant

What this means for my child discovering my controversial past. → Read More

Our Dog Would Eat Anything. This Time the Takeout Fought Back. –

When my boyfriend left for an overseas trip, I had no clue about the pet-sitter’s nightmare that awaited me. → Read More

6 Things I Learned From My Time Working As a Stripper

One woman shares the dark and harrowing reality about working in the industry. → Read More

Former Sex Worker Seeks Happy Ending

A few months ago, during one Sunday brunch, my boyfriend of nearly two years and I had a difficult conversation. I expressed my desire to get married, and he admitted his reluctance to propose. “It’s not that I don’t love you and want us to spend the rest of our lives together,” Arran gently began—in fact, some months earlier, he reminded me, he’d suggested that maybe it was time for us to start… → Read More

Becoming Bride: How Much Does A Wedding Cost? (A Lot.)

t looks like our wedding will cost us more like $10,000. That is a hell of a lot of money. Still, it’s our one and only wedding. And for a wedding in Manhattan that includes most of the typical expenditures [...] that’s not too bad. Here’s what I’ve learned about how to make your big day (relatively) less expensive. → Read More

How I came to embrace my past as a sex worker

In 2010, after it became headline news that I had previously worked as a stripper and a prostitute, I fought for and ultimately lost my career as a public school teacher. In essays and op-eds, I had argued that sex work was my past. It wasn’t something I was necessarily proud of, but I wasn’t ashamed either. It was simply a fact of my life I refused to deny. I could have had a fresh start,… → Read More

How I Learned That Doing 'Good' Work Didn't Make Me a 'Good' Person

I worked in the social service sector because I wanted to be seen as good, so it’s pretty ironic that I started working in the sex industry to pay for it. → Read More

Politics is ruining Facebook

Can't we all just get along? → Read More