Updated: Apr 25
Ft: Sasha Raee
What words do you use to describe art? How do you speak on something so beautifully open to interpretation? I suppose you don’t.. Rather you let it speak for itself. When I met Sasha Raee for the first time at Exxxotica NJ in October of 2019, she struck me as exactly that. Beautiful, kind, and drowning in her own depths. Someone so pure of intention, while having learned to be strong out of survival. Sasha Rae was complex, but in the most breathtaking kind of way. She was the kind of person that left you inspired, aware, and speechless. She is at her very core, simply, a creative. Wether that be made evident through her content as an adult performer, or her elaborate paintings offered through, Femme Fatale Artistry, her art company, I will leave you to decide.
When Sasha Raee was 18, her boyfriend at the time had a friend who did webcam modeling online. He thought Sasha might be able to do well online also, so he suggested the career path to her and the rest was history. While Sasha initially viewed the webcam hustle as “these girls just sit there, look pretty and make all this money” she quickly realized it wasn’t as easy as it appeared. As a result, Sasha had to fine-tune every business skill sex work demands, from how to market yourself online, to self create and produce content. Leading her to discover her love for photography and videography, which resonated so deeply with her as a creative.
When I asked Sasha to tell me how Femme Fatale Artistry was born out of this creativity, she replied that “I was having a metal breakdown amongst the pandemic, and simply decided to paint. I have always had some sort of art supplies in the house because I love making people cute homemade cards for special occasions. This time was different though - I had all my materials spread out on my bed and just allowed myself to escape into the paint.”
I can certainly relate to how creative outlets can positively affect mental health. In fact, there is actual research and data to support this. What a great way to cope with the difficult period of lockdowns, quarantine, and isolation. “I found myself learning how to cope with something more productive than alcohol or narcos. I felt like I had a voice that needed to be heard, and wanted more people of color like myself to not feel alone. I wanted them to know that even if the world may not appreciate their creative space, that I did and that they can do the same, '' Sasha told SWCEO. What a profoundly poetic perspective.
Considering how disproportionately marginalized communities were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no wonder creators like Sasha felt so overwhelmed. While Art certainly has a healing quality, I saw other creators experiment with coping mechanisms as well, like launching podcasts, producing music, starting YouTube channels and more. However, not all of these influencers decided to turn these hobbies into businesses the way Sasha has.
Do you keep your Femme Fatale Artistry business separate from your career as a performer? And if not, do they ever overlap? Sasha explained that “In the beginning I tried to keep them seperate because I felt like they didn’t go hand in hand, then I realized that they actually really do. Art has no meaning - and by this I mean that art has every meaning. It’s up to the person that’s viewing the art to decide it’s interpretation. Art can be sexual, beautiful, emotional, and enticing. Just like how I am as a performer. The reason why I chose the name Femme Fatale Artistry is because I am a strong, sexual, fierce form of art. So why not express the two together?”
I couldn’t agree more, in fact I would go so far as to say all adult content is art in one form or another. It’s an expression of one universal truth we all experience in one facet or another within sexuality. With all of this said, what do you think will be next for Femme Fatale Artistry Sasha?
“Well my ultimate longterm goal with Femme Fatale Artistry is owning my own art gallery one day. With a very sexy twist that I won’t say too much about now, but I think it’ll be a badass art gallery for sure! My current goal is to simply be featured in an art show, despite how much my anxiety makes me not want to be showcased like that - it would be such a dream come true!”
I could certainly see your pieces taking center stage at an art show! But I am curious, as a creative myself I’m constantly struggling to stay inspired, where do you pull inspiration and motivation for both your adult business and art businesses? “One of my major motivations is because a girl needs to make money haha! I mean that’s an obvious motivator-but I am at a place in life right now where I am only doing things I am passionate about and truly enjoy so that certainly plays a role. My inspiration ultimately stems from my desire to know I made an impact on the world with my life, but I have many sources. I draw inspiration from other art, because there is beauty in something so pure, and when I say art I mean music, poetry, sculptures, etc. I also get inspired a lot by friends, I have many successful friends that I admire, and that gives me the push to want to do better myself. I also tend to daydream a lot and have a vivid imagination which is also a plus!”
Do you ever find difficulty balancing both businesses? I know that’s a juggling act I personally have yet to master. Sasha explained “No, because both worlds are who I am. The only thing I struggle with at times is that there aren't enough hours in a day to get everything done that I want to.”
Now this is a Sex Work CEO spotlight, so I do have to ask, when did you first begin to categorize and embody the title of a CEO? “When I was seven, I started my own babysitting company. I remember my mom telling me that I was a real young CEO. Granted I didn’t know anything then as I do now” Sasha continued, “As a CEO, you have to be prepared to be in the red at first. You’ll likely have more losses and failures than wins in the beginning, but if you put in the work and stay driven, it’ll all be worth it. Just remember to always stay true to yourself and your brand, and why you started in the first place. OH! And have a lot of kleenex because you’ll have a few breakdowns along the way haha”.
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