Daughter, sister, animal lover, scotch and gin enthusiast, student, health professional, lover of laughter, confidante, best friend and keeper of the deepest of secrets… these are me; or at least the me that everyone in my life is allowed access to. Then there’s the hidden me … prostitute, whore, sex worker, hooker. How ironic that the part of me that only a select few have been allowed viewing privileges to is also the part of me that I’m both the most proud of and the most ashamed of at the same time. It’s also ironic that the most people that I share the most personal side of my life with is total strangers; that I trust them more with my deepest secret than my nearest and dearest. These are people that I share a mutual trust with, a trust that stems from the elephant in the room… that feeling that our working relationship is something to be frowned upon by society and hidden, and hence we have a mutual understanding to keep each others’ sexual relationship hush hush.
I started working with my body a year ago, and like almost all other escorts it stemmed from a need for money. I could not get a job involving my first degree that paid enough to support me and my furbabies through my second degree. So I paid a visit to a suburban brothel, tried it, left not feeling any different a person, and have not looked back.
Don’t get me wrong… I love my job. Not for the physicality, but for the intimate connections that I make with other human beings and the stories of their lives. I am and forever will be a people watcher, always looking for side of stage tickets to view others’ lives playing out. I love the trust that clients place in me, that they feel that they can tell me anything. After all, the most powerful role that anyone can play in life to another person is confidante. Giving someone the potential to destroy your life with the secret that you entrust to them, but wholeheartedly believing that they won’t abuse that power, is the ultimate bond. The role of confidante in my job does run in both directions; I put my total trust in them just as they do with me. But what I hate about my job is the fact that society makes me feel like I’m the dirty secret in the corner that no one wants to discuss. I hate the judgment, the disdain, the misconceptions, the urge to lie about myself…. And I hate it more because I know that the misconceptions stemmed at some point from some sad and bleak realities for some girls. I hate that others’ battles have created this stigma that I am trapped within, and I hate that there are people with those exact same demons in all walks of life but the world ignores this and slaps an extra big label onto me and my fellow working girls.
When I first started working, I decided to tell my friends. I decided on a 10 year rule; if I had known them for a decade then surely our friendship would be strong enough for them to support me. Out of 7 people, the majority accepted me with open arms and ears. One friend said, ‘I support you, but not your job and I don’t want to know about it’. Not the best reaction but not unconscionable; after all, it is a very different job and none of my friends saw it coming. With a private school girl background and a head on my shoulders, plus a loving family, I did not fit the stereotype. Then came the first total rejection from one of my oldest friends. ‘I don’t support this’. Full stop. From the day I told her, our relationship changed. She no longer talks to me with that breezy ease that comes of a long time friend. Conversation is now impersonal and disjointed; I can see the judgment in her eyes, I can hear the lack of understanding on her lips.
Over time I also noticed that the friends that were supportive never asked questions about anything in relation to work. Whether they don’t think to out of respect, or don’t want to out of fear of response, the result is that I feel like I am living with this bubble that is pressing on my every being, that I am aching for them to burst, because I can’t. Because if I burst that bubble, I may make them feel uncomfortable. If I mention things that they are not ready to hear, I may see their eyes change the way I saw that friend’s eyes change; feel the slow, weighted trickle of isolation and contempt pool at the feet of our friendship.
The plan for a long time has been to start a blog, but I feel that this week it is more so important for me after my industry lost a beautiful voice, taken as a result of a lack of support for the demons that girls often encounter in this job. It prompted a lot of self reflection in myself, and I decided that although I love my job, I want to make it my priority that I am also coping with my job. I want to surround myself with support and be able to sound my objections; I want to have a voice about the issues that we encounter and I want to be confidante not just to clients but to other working girls. I want to immerse myself in the psyche that comes with the construction of these very intimate friendships that I am creating.
So I am going to burst my bubble with you, and my hope is that over time, as the people in my life become ready to cope with more information, they will come to this blog and learn the information that I couldn’t bring myself to tell them earlier. That I absolutely love being an escort; I love the empowerment that comes from total mutual trust, I love the deep connections that I am able to establish, and I wouldn’t turn back time for a second.
- See more at: http://www.charlieforde.com.au/blog