As Sex and the City meets an episode of Black Mirror, we follow a myriad of eerie narratives throughout C.E. Hoffman’s text Sluts and Whores. Though seemingly otherwise, we are cautiously ushered to, indeed, pay close attention to the man behind the curtain.
Bleeding of nihilistic perspectives, Sluts and Whores also relays the fundamental workings of subjective experiences. We are reminded that there will always remain universal factors that are ever-present and reach across the different worlds we create. A stark and tart broadcast that examines and forefronts the lives of sex workers and the obstacles they face, as well as the bittersweet mundanity and existentialistic core that binds us all.
Though the text is teeming with situations of destructive, self-fulfilling prophecies, it also quietly pays dues to comradery and reciprocity. Hoffman still leaves us with pockets of hope within their telling;
“Connection is inevitable. Whether or not you admit it, we are one, in the heart or flesh… Maybe the more we learn to love ourselves, the more we can extend love to others, and the more we’ll act like this life actually matters. Because I really believe it does.”
Stories that are tailored with softheartedness, these vignettes humanize the subjects of labors that have been set apart from what we have established as the “norms” of society. This collection exposes us to realities of the veiled, sex worker community that so many turn a blind, assuming eye towards. Realities that act as an essential part in the backbone of the human condition and the experiences that both unite and isolate us. We join Hoffman in exploring the multiplicities of love and self-acceptance and inner demons. In an internal monologue, one of our narrators reminds themselves;
“You are the beauty and the beast…You have fucked up a bunch, and you’re sorry, and it’s okay…[you] suck but [you] do your best.” They urge us to reflect, “Will I be strong enough one day to dare a mirror and say: ‘This is good enough. I’m happy with what I see.’?”
Hoffman presents their audience with a refreshing compilation of self-doubt, resiliency, and growth. Stunning and terrifying; Sluts and Whores remind us that, “people are meant to be here for each other.”