A true story about sex work
PROS BEFORE BROS is a 114-page erotic memoir by Seattle author and publisher Ariel Meadow Stallings. A true story about sex work and grabbing your own healing by the balls, the narrative explores identity, feminism, shame, surrender, gender roles, bdsm, empowerment, embodiment, and trying to get out of your own damn head.
The book is intended as a talismanic object, designed to be held and felt deeply. A compact 4"x6" luxe hardback, it fits in your back pocket (in part because it really wants to touch your butt). The gold-embossed canvas cover feels good under your fingers, and the cover illustration by Seatac artist Stasia Burrington stands on its own as a work of art.
This is not a book to be hidden in a drawer, or slid into a stack. It wants to be out and proud, inviting the eyes and hands of beloveds. It's a book to be whispered into your partners' ears, a book to invite contemplation, a book to open conversations.
As seen in The Stranger
"In the beginning, when the pain was most acute, Stallings dove into therapies of all kinds. Some of them were effective, some of them not, but Stallings says there were two things that really helped. The first was dance, which makes sense: Exercise is a standard get-out-of-depression tactic.
The second thing Stallings did was less common and a lot more radical: This divorced, fortysomething mom hired a sex worker..."
One-of-a-kind hand-stamped raw brass wearable art
Each copy of PROS BEFORE BROS is sold as a pairing with one of two jewelry options, exclusive wearable art pieces designed by the author in collaboration with Tacoma, WA-based wearable art and jewelry designer, Squirrel vs Coyote.
Ariel and artist Alexis Devine worked closely to design the two pieces of jewelry: a gender-neutral wrist cuff, and a quartz crystal lariat that convert to handcuffs. Alexis handcrafted the jewelry, free-hand stamping the raw brass of each piece of wearable art with the book's title, letter by letter. Each is truly one of a kind.
This jewelry acts as an invitation to carry the book's themes on your body. The impact of the book's work is meant to be felt against your skin, bringing the book's ideas into your daily experience. Allow the metal, stone, and letters to combine with your body and create its own kind of magic… if you want, it's a form of spell-casting and intention setting. Or it's just gorgeous, uniquely raw jewelry. Up to you.
Each book is numbered and signed by the author, and then loving assembled into a luxe package. The jewelry is wrapped with intent, topped with a green gift from the season, and then slid into a matte black foil-embossed gift box that stands as art in its own right.
A note from the author
Yeah, hey. I'm Ariel. I'm an author best known for writing about weddings, so the fact that I wrote a first-person memoir about hiring a sex worker to help me recover from my divorce might seem like, uh, a little bit of a departure. But that's just one of the ways that PROS BEFORE BROS is unlike anything I've ever done before...
Is this fiction or how-to or what?
Why didn't you use a pen name?
Are you worried about stigma?
How's shipping work?
Do you accept returns?
Is there an ebook?
Are the book & jewelry sold separately?
Why would you publish this?!
What readers are saying
Kirsten J. Sollee
As a lover of magical objects, kink-as-healing modality, and panty-soaking, one-handed reads that traverse psychic and physical transformation I am just so smitten with #ProsBeforeBros. This mini-grimoire of sorts comes complete with a velvety soft keepsake box and jewelry, but it's Stallings' writing about her own experiences with what she calls "play therapy" and engaging the services of an SF dom who helps her undress post-divorce trauma and re-train her to embody her personal power in new ways that is so rewarding to read about.
It’s been years since I purchased a physical book, but I knew that I had to make an exception for PROS BEFORE BROS. Ariel’s decision to create something tangible definitely paid off – opening the package was a tiny ritual, with the untying of strings and each small piece demanding to be touched and admired like literary foreplay. I was left feeling inspired to be more present in my body and to make a more conscious effort to understand the underlying factors that drive my desires and impulses – so, the book is both one-handed read and personal development.
Order your PROS BEFORE BROS pairing now
The first print run was 100 copies and less than 40 books remain. If you'd prefer to buy the book in person, sets are sold exclusively at Ghost Gallery in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood.