For Sex Workers; How to have a great relationship.
I am a sex worker and I have had multiple deeply committed relationships with partners who knew what I did for a living. I wrote this article in response to what I would consider to be the infamous article written and published on the Christian Vega Blog titled; How To Date A Sex Worker. You can view it here;
It is the single best piece of writing I have ever come across on the matter of sex work and relationships, I have given it to every one of my partners and I greatly encourage anyone interested in help and gaining further insight on this topic to read it – many times in fact.
Creating a great relationship as a sex worker starts with you, it begins with the internal work that you do and the dialogue that you have with yourself. There are skills you can develop that will assist greatly in your ability to cultivate a deep and loving relationship with another person, while continuing in your profession as a sex worker. If you are willing to do the work, you will have the love you deserve.
- Cultivate the belief that there is nothing wrong with sex work.
Many sex workers I meet, internally feel a lot of shame about the work that they’ve chosen to do. This is the first and most important step to take. You won’t ever find a partner who accepts what you do, if you don’t first accept it yourself. Sex work is not selling yourself or your body, it’s an important service that provides men with an intimate experience they need. Just as a personal trainer, doctor, or teacher does, we exchange a valuable service for compensation to those who desire/require it. The fact that so many men and women engage in paying for this service, all over the world, for years on end, tells you that it is valuable and necessary. It is not known as the oldest profession for nothing.
Note; Accepting it and being open about it are two different things. Being open about being a sex worker is not the right choice for everyone, it’s a big undertaking that sadly carries with it a lot of external negative judgement that you can’t control. Acceptance is an internal force that occurs within and effects your self confidence, self image and happiness. Acceptance is key, openness is optional and based on circumstance.
- Don’t lie, be honest with your partner about what you do – completely honest. Half truths are still lies.
With holding the truth that you are a sex worker from your partner is more often than not, a recipe for disaster. You wind up living in fear of being found out, attract into your life a relationship based on lies and dishonesty, encourage the belief within yourself that what you are doing is wrong, and lastly, in the worst case, you get caught out and have to deal with the very very messy aftermath of what happens when your partner figures out what you’ve been doing behind their back.
Firstly, don’t allow yourself to live in a state of constant anxiety and stress. Carrying around this secret will only cause you harm, it will affect your ability to bond with your partner, as well as your effectiveness at work.
When you do tell your partner, tell them early, and tell them everything. Don’t wait till 6 months in when you’ve already met all his family, are planning holidays, and have become deeply emotionally bonded. Tell him early, when you are both less invested and have the ability to consider more rationally whether this is the right decision for you. Yes, it may mean that he decides not to continue a relationship with you. But guess what, HE WOULD HAVE DECIDED THAT ANYWAY, 6, 12, or 18 months in when you are most likely caught out. It is better for you both, to make the clear decision early on, that way, you don’t waste your time investing in someone who isn’t right for you.
When you do tell him, and he is open enough to know more, tell him everything. Don’t lie and say you don’t offer natural oral sex if you do. Don’t lie and say you have never had an orgasm with a client if you have, and don’t lie and say you’re only a stripper if you are actually offering sex work. He has the right to decide for himself if he wants to open his life up to everything that comes with dating a sex worker. He has the right to decide for himself if he wants to take whatever risk to his health may or may not exist by dating a sex worker. If you want him to respect your choice to do sex work, you need to respect his choices too. If he decides it’s not for him, HE IS NOT THE RIGHT PERSON FOR YOU, and you will meet someone else. Treat your encounter with him as a valuable learning experience and move on to meeting the next man. If you lie about some facts, and he finds out down the road that you did, you will damage the trust that you worked so hard to cultivate in the start. He may as well know everything up front, and make a decision with all the facts, than only half the picture. Yes it will be scary, but it will be worth the saved heart ache and misery that occurs when you do one or more of the above and suffer the consequences as a result.
- Talk about it. Encourage your partner to talk exactly about how they feel, and listen. Encourage them to seek external sources of support to talk to.
At first your partner might say, it’s ok let’s just not talk about it. And you will revel in that because it feels like an easy and comfortable out. Don’t stand for that, it will fester, he will build it up to be worse than what it actually is – a job – and it will surface in virtually every aspect of your relationship until it tears it apart. Encourage your partner to speak openly about the concerns that he has, if he feels he can’t talk with you at first, help him find appropriate support networks who can – an industry therapist, a partner of another worker. Most men will be too afraid at first to turn to their own loved ones for fear of judgment, of for fear that their loved ones wont like you, so help him find new support networks where he feels he can talk about it in a non threatening way. Remind your partner too, of the four golden obvious truths (as quoted from the aforementioned article in my opening paragraph);
- What other men have to pay tonnes of money for, you share with him for free.
- Not even having sex with those other men, often times pretty unpleasant, puts you off wanting to be with him.
- Work sex is a performance. With him, you get to be yourself, animated and vulnerable in a way you can never be at work, no matter who it is or how much they are paying.
- You didn’t choose your clients, but you did choose him.
The biggest issue most men face is that they think that their girlfriends having sex with other men is emasculating when what it is, is the exact opposite. In the face of the above truths, the fact that he gets to be with you when other men have to pay hundreds of dollars for time capped, choreographed, heavily mediated intimacy, is incredibly meaningful and empowering. Remind him often and passionately that he is your number one, the top guy, the most special, and that no amount of money or work experience can compare to that.
- Don’t offer to quit to solve the problem. Quit only because it is truly what you want to do for you, not because you believe it will ‘fix’ your relationship.
Many sex workers get to a point, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years even into their relationship where they feel that it’s all getting too hard and they should just ‘quit working’ to solve the problem and make their partners happy. Don’t do this, it doesn’t work and the problems you faced while working will still exist after the actual work itself has stopped. This is because the issue in the relationship isn’t the sex work, it’s your partners feelings and insecurities THAT WERE ALREADY THERE, but have surfaced more as a result of you working. Quitting your job won’t make these thoughts and fears go away, in fact what you will now have is an even larger and more complex issue. You will quite possibly have financial problems, as well as resentment and frustration for doing something you didn’t want to do, along with the continued unresolved insecurities your partner is facing, as well as your frustration at the problem not magically disappearing over night as a result of your quitting. Many sex workers quit only to find that their issues become worse because now their partners use lines like “Í can never get over the fact you did work,” ”I’m terrified someone will find out that you have worked”, “I’m worried you may begin working again.” Quitting your job is a band aid solution for a broken toe, mend the bone, don’t cover the bruise on the skin. The bone here is your partner’s insecurity and fear that your being a sex worker is a threat to their security with you and their masculinity. This is what you need to address, the internal dialogue they’ve cultivated that tells them that a) sex work is immoral, and b) sharing you physically with other people makes him less of a man and you less of a partner.
If he views sex work as immoral, quitting will not change that opinion, and will not erase the fact that you ever worked. If he feels emasculated by his partner being with other men, your quitting will not reduce that number or make him forget how it made him feel when you were doing it, and if he thinks that you can’t be a wholly invested partner because you were a sex worker, again, he will carry that around with him long after you have quit your job. Don’t kid yourself into thinking the job is the problem and you will have the perfect relationship once you stop. It isn’t and you won’t and you will be even more unhappy and hurt if you try this approach.
The reality is this, there is nothing wrong with sex work, but many people think there is. Becoming a sex worker, is a choice that carries many pros and cons, just like many other professions. Embrace the pros, and be ready for the cons. Relationships can be harder, finding a partner who can do and face all of the above is not always simple. However, you chose sex work for a reason, stand by that choice if it is what you want. As a sex worker, we get paid extremely well, we have the ability to have flexible and open schedules, we meet different people from all walks of life and have incredible experiences, we get to feel desired, we change peoples live, we prevent sex crimes, improve marriages, give love and companionship to lonely people who need it. To be a sex worker is to make a valuable and rewarding contribution to society, just look at the rates of sex crimes and abuse in societies where sex is banned and stifled (case in point, the catholic church), and you can see how important and necessary it is. Until society changes it’s views on sex, there will be stigma about sex work. But guess what, there is a benefit in that too. The more it is stigmatised, the more valuable it is and the more highly paid we are. And let’s face it, for most workers a huge attraction to the job is the financial compensation. If it were socially accepted many more people would be doing it and it would be paid far less.
Your job as a sex worker may ignite more challenges at first than a relationship without it, but ALL relationships come with challenges and problems, it’s up to you to set the standard for what you want in your life. It is completely possible to find a committed and loving relationship as a sex worker, as I said earlier, do the work, make the right decisions not the easy ones, be honest, be patient, be loving and be open. You are not the first sex worker to face this challenge, many men and women before you have faced these same trials and still cultivated happy, healthy relationships. There’s no reason why you can’t too.