You don’t know me but I’m just the same as you and most of the people you know. I have a job. Sometimes I struggle to make ends meet. I spend time with family when I can. Hell, I have even participated in a few PhD studies. And just like you, I have good days and bad days. What you don’t know about me, in fact very few people do, is that I’m a sex worker. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that that defines me as a person. It’s just a job and, in a lot of ways, it’s no different than any other.
I used to have a 9 to 5 job working in an office. I was in a serious relationship and we had all of the traditional financial responsibilities that go along with, well, living. But then, as they do, things changed and life threw me a curve ball. My relationship ended and I found myself on my own, in a job that I didn’t enjoy and with my share of the debt from the previously mentioned relationship. That is, until one day, I stood up, walked away from my desk at work and resigned.
That was the day that I decided to start living for me. That was the day that I decided to become a sex worker. I have been working in the sex industry for the better part of 12 years now. For the next 9 months I worked in a brothel but, ever since then, have I worked independently as a private escort.
Make no mistake. I’m not telling you this story so that you will take pity on or feel sorry for me. I’m proud of who I am and what I have accomplished. Working as a sex worker doesn’t define me as a person. As far as I’m concerned, it is just a job. Yes, it is something that I fell into but it empowers me and I enjoy what I do.
Now, before you go thinking that I’m some sex-starved maniac, let me assure you that I’m not. I enjoy what I do and yes, physical intimacy is a part of that. But there is so much more to it than just sex.
You see, I love the company of men. I enjoy talking to them, spending time with them and making meaningful connections. Of course, there are always those clients that show up with one (and only one) thing on their mind, but a lot of my clients have become regulars. They’re people, just like me, who want nothing more than to be and feel accepted for who and what they are. Some are in relationships, some are not. Some have high-paying jobs, some are at the other end of the economic scale. Some have seen other sex workers, some have not. Some have been the most physically attractive people that I have ever seen, some have not been so lucky. Although the circumstances are almost always different with each individual, the drive is usually the same. The vast majority of my clients come to me looking for a connection.
I cannot count the number of times that I have had clients in tears in my arms. Telling me about the things that they are struggling with. Talking about how alone they feel. Opening up about challenges they are facing at home or work. Like I said, the specifics vary but the one thing that doesn’t is that I get to be there to help them. That is why I love my job.
Don’t get me wrong though, like every job, mine has its own drawbacks. I love what I do but unfortunately my job has a certain stigma attached to it that most don’t. I deal with discrimination and people’s judgement on a daily basis. I struggle to get loans or rentals or anything else that requires me to disclose my occupation. I live a secluded life with few close friends. Not because I prefer to live this way, but because most people feel ashamed of me when they find out what I do for work. Because of this I have to lie in most social situations and live something of a double life.
This probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to you. Hell, you may even be thinking that I deserve those things for working in the profession that I do. But why is that I wonder? Why do I deserve less as a person just because I’m a sex worker?
Ask yourself, do you enjoy sex? Are you ok with paying for other things that you enjoy (a massage, a tattoo, a meal out at a restaurant)? In almost every case, the answer to both of these questions is yes. So if we, as a society, are ok with the concept of paying for things that we enjoy then why is sex any different. And more specifically, why should sex workers be treated any different than the people that provide those other services. I don’t want to rant or turn this into a social agenda piece, but perhaps this is something to bear in mind there for the future.
So that’s it. That’s me. Chances are pretty good that I’m just you with a different job. And that job has empowered me, provided me with financial security and independence, given me confidence and shown me that I can be and do whatever I want. I don’t feel ashamed or have regrets about what I do for work, so why should you. So please, keep my story in mind. Share it with others and help them to see that sex workers are just regular people with, what should be, regular jobs.
*** personal details have been altered in the above post in order to preserve the anonymity of the subject ***