Things I'm Grateful For
I recently gave a lot of thought to my beginning in this industry, and each of the hurdles that have brought me to where I am today. Like many others, sex work presented me with an opportunity to complete my studies full-time, whilst being able to maintain an independent lifestyle. Having lived at home, poorly juggling three part-time jobs with my studies, I fully understand the meaning of hard work. Interestingly, my only rewards for all of that struggling were average grades and a great deal of burnout. I must say that life on what society told me was the ‘straight and narrow’ is not nearly as liberating, nor as rewarding, as my current lifestyle, which some would deem ‘alternative’. As a result of not working so much, I have better relationships with not just my friends and family, but also myself. I am happier and am less stressed, because I have designed a business that affords me flexibility and freedom. If I could have my time again, I would have started this sooner.
Something that I had not considered about working in the sex industry, was how much I would come to value the connections I would make. In joining the online sex industry space, I have met a number of people who I can confidently call friends for life. These sex workers are incredibly driven, inspired people, and are among the most intelligent and business-savvy individuals that I have ever met. They are living proof that sex workers have evolved from archaic stereotypes, and are modern and forward-thinking people. They are worldly, passionate, and likely to be the last you’d pick as an escort in a lineup of stiletto-wearing women or suit-clad men. In a world where stereotypes and social norms force sex workers to either live quietly or risk eternal judgement, having access to these communities has been a real blessing.
What also surprises me, even now, is the impact my job often has on my clients. I recently read a story about a stripper, who had a client who would book her regularly for a VIP experience. They’d retire to a room in the back of the club, where he would swap his suit and tie for a dress and heels, before she gave him lessons on walking in stilettos. One of my own clients had never felt safe enough to disclose a foot fetish to his previous sexual partners, or even to me until halfway through our first booking. Today, he wholeheartedly embraces it. I must admit that, in the beginning, I had never really considered the impact that my role as a sex worker would have on my clients. It didn’t occur to me that we play such pivotal roles in building a person’s confidence, and encouraging their self-acceptance. I never thought that I would be the one people turned to, to explore a variety of ‘firsts’ with. To say that I am humbled, grateful or even honoured would not even begin to clarify how this has made me feel.
I won’t pretend to know the reason why every single client sees a sex worker, or why people choose to find work in the sex industry. However, I’m certain that the answers lie beyond wanting to earn money, or wanting to spend the night with someone seemingly good in bed. It’s easy for the outside world to look upon this industry with their stereotypes and derision, but if there’s anything I’ve learned so far, it is that (contrary to the stereotypes) either answer is deeply personal. I’m so grateful for the clients who place their trust in me, and for my peers who continue to prove that the industry is more than what it seems. What had initially seemed like a hub of dangerous party culture and underground dealings has proven itself to have a wealth of support, connectedness and dignity. I couldn’t be more proud of my peers for tackling their businesses in this challenging arena, or of my clients for maintaining their grace and respect as they try to navigate it.
It’s been an interesting three years, to say the least. However, I am certain that I will continue to be humbled and inspired by the people I come to meet on either side of the sheets.