Israel Oka was 22 years old when he started doing sex work—a mixture of professional domination, erotic massage, and escorting. He’d been “working a minimum wage job at a movie theater” at the height of the Great Recession. Eventually, a dominatrix friend inspired him to consider sex work as a way to make ends meet. “It started off as supplementary income,” about a $100 a week, Oka said. Sometimes, this gave him the financial resources to pursue other interests, like political activism. Other times, it was survival sex work, helping him get by when he was homeless.
At various points she's been a clown, a juggler, and a freak; nowadays she's the slack-rope-walking, stilt-striding, shit-stirring ringleader of the free, mostly-annual political spectacle known as Circus Amok,