So here we are. Another week and time for another blog. This week I want to talk about one of the biggest struggles that I personally face as a sex worker. I know that I’m not alone in this, but I can really only speak from my perspective. I mentioned it briefly last week but one of the biggest challenges that I have to deal with in my line of work is the disassociation that exists between work and personal life. I am an escort, I have been for a while now, but very few people in my “normal” life actually know this.
To most people I work from home as a make-up artist. This is not entirely untrue, I do have a little studio and I do sometimes have people visit me for these services. It’s mostly weddings or school formal type events and mostly referrals from my friends and family. We do the hair and the makeup and the false lashes and all of those little things that help to bring some glitz and glam to whatever special occasion is happening in their lives. And I love this part, I truly do. It’s what I used to do from a salon and it gives me a chance to express my creative side in a way that I wouldn’t normally (because let’s be honest, there is no way I’m putting that much time and effort into my makeup every day).
But as you can probably imagine, most of the clients that come to visit me are not visiting for those particular services and that little studio is not the room that I lead them into. Most of my visitors end up in another room, one with a bed, some soft music playing and a little bit of mood lighting. And I also love this part of my life. This is the career that I chose after all. Sometimes it’s good sex, sometimes it’s bad (and sometimes it’s very bad). Sometimes there is not even any sex at all. Young, old, male, female, no two bookings are ever really the same and this allows me to express a somewhat different creative side of me. Sometimes I even get surprised by that “Mr Right” type that I used to chase all that time ago (although probably not as often as I’d like).
The reason I point all of this out is to highlight the two very different sides of me. and like I said, it’s not just me that experiences this. This is something that almost every sex worker I have encountered has to deal with. But in this case, it’s me telling the story. Now most people don’t think about this unless it’s something that they themselves have experienced. Most people don’t realise that, sometimes, I it’s hard to keep track of which is the “real” me.
I’m not ashamed or embarrassed by who I am or what I do. In fact, I’m empowered by it. But I also know that society as a whole is not exactly accepting of sex workers. I definitely know that my strait-laced family and friends would not be. And so, as a result, I keep the two completely separate.
I’ll be honest, this is not always easy and has led to many a slip up over the years. Perhaps I’m just a little bit unlucky but I have dealt with everything from people dropping in for an unannounced coffee whilst I’m with a client (not the makeup kind) to responding to the wrong name at social events. Then of course there is any conversation that involves the question “Did you do anything exciting over the weekend?” Somehow, I don’t think that my family would be particularly appreciative of me responding to this question over a coffee by saying “Actually Dad, I ‘did’ 3 guys, but I didn’t think any of them were particularly exciting”.
On top of that, there is also the constant questioning as to why I never socialise with anyone anymore. I used to get asked by friends to go out on the weekends that I didn’t have kids. I have turned down so many invitations to parties and social events over the years that most people don’t even bother asking anymore. I’m just seen as this reclusive woman who doesn’t like being in the company of others. In actual fact, I would love nothing more but I just don’t make many plans on kid-free weekends because that’s when I get most of my bookings.
That then, of course, brings me to my lovely children. I have shared custody of them with their father, so I have them one week and not the next. This leaves me with plenty of flexibility on my “off” week and very little when they’re living with me. it goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway, obviously I don’t do anything when my children are at home and neither of them have any idea of what it is that I really do. I am extremely close with both of them and it is something that I would like to share one day. I have to be honest though, the thought of that scares the shit out of me. But that is a bit of a rabbit hole and probably a topic of its own for some other time.
As you can probably imagine at this point, all of this is super confusing sometimes and leads to a double life that is hard for most people to understand. Unfortunately leading a double life is nowhere near as glamorous as our favourite superheroes make it out to be. It’s exhausting and a constant balancing act. I cannot express enough how thankful and grateful that I am to have a couple of amazing friends that know me and accept me for who I am. Without their support and encouragement I highly doubt that I would have been able to keep doing this for all these years.
So if you’re another sex worker reading this then just know that my thoughts are with you. And if you’re someone who has seen, wants to see or is thinking about seeing a sex worker then be nice. Just know that we all have our separate lives and whatever issues and challenges that they bring. We’re not likely to talk about this because that’s our shit to deal with. But if you could just focus on being polite, conscientious and treating us like the real people that we are, we’d all be extremely grateful.
Yours in body only,