Why don't you get a "real job" they say to me!
You’d think that in a city like Melbourne, being an Independent escort would be easy. Tourists visit from all over the globe, excited to get a taste of Australia’s’ ladies. Melbourne is much a moralistic city like many others. It is fine to be an exotic dancer or topless waitress, but a GFE companion? “Go get a real job. Being a sex worker is not a real career” I am always hearing.
When I hear these jabs I have a difficult time not feeling defensive. I am not lacking life skills or qualifications. I have worked corporate jobs where I cannot be myself and have to filter my levels of fabulous and I also have a degree and currently working on my second. I am more than capable and employable, just like most of my peers in this industry I have met.
And yes, I choose sex work.
There is nothing wrong with me. I am likely much like you in many ways that really matter. I am an emotionally intelligent, driven, well intentioned young lady. A deep thinker who’s preoccupied with wellness and self-development. I have overcome more challenges that my smile lets on, and I am very grateful for them. I set goals, love pinterest to release my creativity and cooking healthy meals and I move my body through exercise each day. You and I have probably passed by one another at the local supermarket, shopping centre or coffee shop.
A few years ago, my tennis coach said to me, “People are not their behaviours.” I try to live by those words. I wonder if you know what it means to see a person for who they truly are, rather than judging them for what they do? I hope that one day people will be able to see sex workers as people first; people with dreams, ambitions, emotions and all human experiences that you feel.
The truth is that sex work exists in all segments of society, and those who engage in erotic exchanges constitute as a group as diverse as the general population.
You know the skills that are required in a “real” job? Truth be told that sex work requires many of the same skills. What do lawyers, doctors, teachers, politicians, social workers, accountants etc all have in common? They perform tasks and use their mind power for a monetary reward. Sometimes that task is to share expertise; to draft a plan or deliver a product; sometimes to provide a service, sex work isn’t any different. Courtesans, escorts and companions use their bodies (as do athletes, construction workers and abalone fishermen (those who know me will know why I chose that example) and minds (such as counselors, writers and dieticians) in exchange for monetary reward and that is how capitalism works.
Yes there are risks associated with my work. There are far more risks to life for my friend who is in the Australian Navy when she is in combat zones for months on end. At least I get to screen new clientele and decide who I am willing to see. Sometimes I wonder what freedom really is, because I have more freedom now than I ever have or ever will in a 9-5.
I understand it maybe difficult to accept, given all the contradictions about sex that are so prevalent in our society, but what I do does not feel “gross” to me. I get to meet interesting and often wonderful people, many of whom I learn from and share laughs with. If it wasn’t for the stigma I’d be able to call myself lucky to be able to do what I do. I wonder if you can say the same?