When We’re Not Hustling is an interview series by Jessie Sage that features sex workers talking about what they do when they’re not working.
Lena Cristina is a Barcelona based escort who specializes in the Girlfriend Experience. When she’s not hustling, she writes poetry about her experiences.
How long have you been writing poetry and how did you get into it?
I have been writing poetry since my first year of college. Before then, I wrote only prose. One day, and I still don’t understand why, I started writing poetry and there was no turning back. I have written three poetry books, the one I am working on now will be the first to be published.
What would you say your poetry style is? Who has influenced your work? What language do you write in?
Like in all aspects of life my life, I don’t like to categorize my work because I feel like I confine myself when I do it. However, I can say that while I don’t pay attention to rhyme, rhythm is very important in my writing.
When I was little I was fascinated by Alejandra Pizarnik. Nowadays, my taste is more contemporary and eclectic. The only thing that is consistent is my predilection for women’s voices.
I write mainly in Spanish, my mother tongue, however I have poems in other official languages of my country, and in English.
Do you have writing routines or rituals?
Not really. I am an early bird so I am more active and write more in the morning; I prefer to edit in the afternoon. Nights are for reading, sleeping, and making love.
Tell me a little about the book you are working on now.
Actually the book is already finished! It’s self-published so now I’m working on the legal aspects of it (it’s never-ending and a really boring story). In essence, it’s a compilation of experiences, feelings and thoughts about my life as an escort.
Jessie Sage is a sex worker and writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. She’s also the co-founder of Peepshow Magazine and the co-host of the Peepshow Podcast. Her words can be found in the Washington Post, VICE’s Motherboard, Hustler Magazine, Men’s Health, BuzzFeed, and more. She’s currently writing a book on sex work, motherhood, and illness called An Unexpected Place (forthcoming on West Virginia University Press).