Melissa Petro is a freelance writer living in New York. She has written for The Huffington Post, Salon, The Frisky, The Gloss, Reality Check,, and elsewhere. She is a regular contributor at xoJane and was a guest blogger at Bitch Magazine, where she authored a column critically analyzing representations of sex work in the media. She teaches creative writing at Gotham Writers Workshop and for Red Umbrella Project, an organization that empowers sex workers to represent themselves in the media.


Fired from her schoolteaching job after revealing she had once been a Craigslist call girl, Melissa Petro describes the world that awaits people who leave the trade.

By sanitizing the true profession of the "masseuse" hired by Craigslist killer Philip Markoff, Lifetime only reinforces the idea that sex workers can't be sympathetic victims, says Melissa Petro, a former Craigslist sex worker and New York City teacher who was removed from the classroom after her past came to light.