Dear every day person,
This letter is for you the general population that I’ve been raised in, a fellow community member whose walked along side you as I have grown to be a female adult, raising a family, owning property, had successful careers, paid taxes and contributed to the wellbeing of others in ways that you also have. I walk along side you every day, engage in life with you, share the highs and lows of what it’s like to be an adult… which no one really ever prepared us for. We’ve become adults navigating a world that’s beautiful and turbulent all at the same time.
Sometimes we’re in survival mode, while other times things are sailing smoothly. You share your life with me, and in turn I share mine….. but not all of it….. I lie every….. single…. day….. and it’s painful. I shudder everytime I have to lie because it’s not in my nature. Until a few years ago, I lived a life which I would describe as genuinely authentic as I possibly could. There was nothing I felt the need to hide in my life for the most part…. Other than the odd trivial thing as I’m sure most people do on occasion. When i’m connecting with friends and family, there’s always one thing I yearn to share, in a way that is just a passing comment, that doesn’t evoke any emotion, response or judgement, that is out of the ordinary. Just like if you were to share the same information back to me about your own circumstances. But instead, I stumble, I lie, and make sure my lie is always well thought out to ensure any questions I get can be responded too confidently enough that you would believe me. Then I hope the subject is quickly changed while my hands are clammy, heart racing a million miles an hour because I value the connection we have, as either a current or new friend, family member or friendly passer by and lying creates a dreaded physical response in my body.
The information I’m choosing to keep from you is that I’m a Sex Worker….. and a Sex Worker who is so in love with my job that i get excited every day I work. I love it so much that sometimes I feel slight unease at the thought of ever loosing my capacity to keep my career because I can’t begin to think of anything else I would like to peruse as a career. Why do I keep this a secret? Well it’s because of the everyday person, and the stigma attached to the industry….. and the rapid wild fire spreading implications that this information has on mine and my families life if it ever leaves my lips. The horrifying outcomes of this information being shared by others (well meaning or not) could put myself and my children at risk. So this is why I keep my secret. I sense that many would say “so why are you doing this job if it’s putting you and your children at risk? I ask you, have you EVER found a job that you feel aligns with you so very much that you couldn’t imagine doing anything else? That also provides you and your family as a single parent with stability you’ve always dreamt of? If you have…. Congratulations! But just imagine that being ripped away from you. If you haven’t been lucky enough to land the job of your dreams yet….. if you ever did….. then all of a sudden you had to sacrifice the job, happiness and stability (financially and emotionally) the job gave you. The implications that would have? I have been lucky and blessed enough to find a career that I love deeply. It just happens to be in an industry that is so deeply stigmatised society and it’s people are almost hard wired at birth to feel so negatively towards it. Now I know some people are not wired to care too much about “what” they do for a job. They are satisfied just turning up. Earning their income and going home each night. And that’s a blessing for them. But I’m wired to persue a career that I’m passionate about. Where purpose, creativity and connection need to play a strong part in what I do. And it’s taken me two decades to find it. To have that taken away from me because the nature of my job is “taboo” and not seen as a career just as valid and important as some other careers out there. Makes me feel very uneasy. So I write this with love and kindness, to ask that you please sit with my words from my own personal experience and try and reframe who you perceive sex workers to be, what we do, why we do it, and consider this line of work to be just as important as your job,
I desperately want to “come out of the closet” so to speak….. one day hopefully I will…. And when I do, my hope is that you’ll be kindly curious, just as I would be about your job. be judgement free, have an open mind and heart when hearing the words “oh I’m a sex worker”. I will lovingly welcome your questions, knowing that my industry is unique, but I beg you to still see me as an equal, a valid contributing member of society, as you are. That I can maintain eye contact with you and share the connection two people create when casually having a chat about “what they do for work”. My heart beating the same rate as you, my hands not clammy, or visibly shaking as we share a coffee together. It’s likely been a couple of decades of information fed to you from various sources that has moulded your opinion, which I acknowledge is hard to dodge. And I can’t write this without firmly and empathetically acknowledging the darker side of this industry that I, and I’m sure my colleagues in the sex work industry wished didn’t exist. And the broader media attention this receives is validly shining a light on some of the poor industry practices that seek to exploit the vulnerable….. and I feel even following that sentence with a “but” dismisses the importance of continuing to try and fight for the rights of people working In the industry who are vulnerable, with poor working conditions and regularly feel unsafe. My message here is not to detract from the hard work that needs to be done there; my message is to shine a light on the side of the industry that is beautiful. the industry I absolutely adore and hope to one day be proud enough to disclose to anyone who wishes to enquire about. I am a mother, a daughter, an auntie, a sister, a friend. An educated female who CHOOSES every day with passion and enthusiasm to go to work with her head firmly on and held high. I support my family just like you, I support my friends just like you, I live with integrity, just like you. I and my colleagues deserve respect….. in the exact same way you deserve respect.
I can’t write this without touching on the people who make this industry alive…. The oldest industry in the world. The MEN. Since starting in this industry, I always had respect for men….. I am a mother of a boy after all, I have several respectful loving men in my life, father, brothers uncles, friends etc. so I have always had a healthy relationship with the opposite sex. But since working in this industry I have developed a deeper understanding of men. Why? Because intimacy is vulnerable, and I have the pleasure of sharing this with men continuously. What I see is men who desire connection. Men who have the same roles in society as men who are close to me in my life. And for the most part and I can wholeheartedly say well over 90% of those men. Are delightful, respectful and caring humans. The men you judge, they are fathers, brothers, sons, uncles, grandfathers, great grandfathers are hard working people who are just as worthy of respect as anyone else in this world. Yes there are also men who fit this description who are not respectful, but as with every industry there are customers who are less than desirable. I am lucky enough and grateful that I work in an environment that responds quickly to these people and gives me the support I need if it ever arises, which quite honestly is few and far between. So I please ask you to reserve your judgement until you understand. Opinions and judgements formulated and cast out into the community are only going to continue to deepen the stigma attached to sex work, which in turn generates more opportunities for danger, lack of support from authorities/ governments and other decision makers. Why? Because your opinion stigmatises not only me and my colleagues, But many of the beautiful men that I get to spend time with. Yes, you read right. The beautiful men…. Often not referred to that way. Normally referred to as men who cheat on their partners/wives. Or men that disrespect women and want to objectify them. Yes those men do exist. But what about these men. The man who is a virgin and is too scared to date. Who lacks so much self confidence that the idea of going to a bar or on a dating app to seek human connection, paralyses him…. That’s right. Causes so much anxiety that he is Stuttering, avoiding eye contact. Getting so frustrated with himself that he can’t put forward his best self due to his crippling anxiety. Perhaps he’s working with me to build his confidence, learn new skills? I kindly guide him on different ways to communicate. How to touch a women, how to develop consent conversations with a women. How to build his confidence to own his sexuality. The man who recently acquired a spinal injury. He can’t get an erection with his partner. He’s come in to see if it’s actually possible, because his doctors have told him they are unsure if it is. His relationship is crumbling due to the recent family trauma. The man who’s wife died 5 years ago today. Or is the wedding anniversary of his deceased other half. And he’s so lonely he’s looking at a bottle of bourbon and sleeping pills…….. until he makes the call to book in and connect with a sensual female just for a few hours of connection, physical touch. Until that point he was so committed to his long lost partner that the idea of touching another woman was beyond him. Until now…. I nurture him, remind him of what intimacy feels like. He’s respectful and considerate as we explore together. Now he walks with a spring in his step, hopeful of the future. The man who has a specific desire but has so much shame attached to it…. He’s never been given the tools or language to express this desire. It’s been internalised for years. I create a space where he feels safe; He verbalises he needs… he may or may not act on this, but having the space to express it has brought a sense of safety to his sexuality. The man who has been told he has 6 months to live. On his list of dying wishes is to experience a certain sexual act….. one of which his partner does not want to do…. And with full permission he visits me. The man with a physical disability….. who only gets touched by another human when he is receiving personal care. Embarrassingly he gets aroused…… because he is deprived of physical touch. Until he makes that call for a personal visit from a professional. All he’s looking for is skin on skin contact…… which is a basic human right. The man who visits on Father’s Day…… because he’s not allowed to see his children and he feels so sad……. He doesn’t even want sex. He cries. The man who’s wife hasn’t touched him intimately for 15 years. He’s pretty confident she only married him for his assets…. He’s tried to communicate and work through it with her. But has faced a wall in response. He lets out a burst of huge emotion before he’s even left my body…… actually he sobs….. and sobs….. and sobs…… he hasn’t finished with a women for a decade and a half. He doesn’t quite know how to handle that. He’s riddled with guilt. But relieved he has been seen. The man who’s neurodivergent. Who needs his communication to be clear, and instructional to feel safe enough to express himself sexually. However doesn’t fill in the silence with words of affirmation towards a women, as a result, he lacks the feeling of connection he so desperately yearns for. The man who has significant pressure in his job. A job he does to keep his family happy, however comes home every night and feels empty, because no matter how hard he’s worked for the day, or how much pressure he has been under, no one in his family makes a loving enquiry into how he is. Imagine being in the the shoes of anyone of those men and living your life without intimacy. The impact this has on the wider community if the beautiful men of this world don’t get their needs met….. or do; by visiting a sex work establishment however shame is woven into their experience because of the taboo nature of it.
I carry this perspective with respect every-time I introduce myself to a new potential customer and while I walk a new or existing customer to a room, my enquires about their day, their feelings, their lives are asked with genuine enquiry, because I respect who they are regardless of their story. Also imagine my shoes. Completely in love with my career, and want so badly to be open with my inner circle, especially my children when they are old enough, unfortunately however, I am raising children where the strong message is that their mother is a disgusting deceitful whore….. who lures men away from their families and that the men in their lives can’t be trusted and can’t control themselves. When the truth couldn’t be any more different. The mixed messages the media and society portray of this beautiful industry keep me in silence and will continue to do so until I feel safe enough to be at ease with the information I have to share. And this is why I write this….. so you can read my personal experience and hopefully one day your perception changes…. So that if by chance we ever meet. A mutually respectful bond can be created….. if one was ever meant to bloom.
Thank you for reading. The fact you made it this far let’s me know your half way there to playing a part in the changes that need to happen to keep shining a light on the bright side of the industry…… which will hopefully one day eliminate the dark side of the industry……normalise payment for intimacy and connection for those who need it.