…the idea that sex workers cannot love/have intimate relationships because of their personal issues, generally implied to have been brought about by work. Let me share what has been affected by my work-
-I suspect my lovers tend to consider me the girl you have fun kinky sex with, but not someone you get emotionally attached to, because I’m a sex worker (and also polyamorous, but that’s another blog).
Hmm. I think this is true for me, although not necessarily because I’m a sex worker. There are so many reasons I am “not someone you get emotionally attached to”, I couldn’t even try to isolate one.
-sometimes I get selfish about what I want sexually because my work is about focusing on other people getting off… or sometimes I don’t want sex at all because I’m starved for other intimacies.
-sometimes work gets me crazy turned on and I want a lot more sex! Sometimes I want a followup session to my work sessions.
It’s work, yo, but it’s also sex.
-often I want more head petting and affection. I’ve found myself also drawn a lot more to the submissive play I do with G- I think the catharsis is helpful, somehow.
-I end up needing to date people who are happy to hear about other relationships, otherwise, I can’t bitch about work!
They’re work relationships, but they’re still relationships.
-I’ve found I enjoy keeping a few types of kinky play just between me and my lovers, not with clients, so there are some “special”, “just us” stuff.
I don’t tend to reserve activities — in fact, I usually seek out the same activities through sex work that I seek with my lovers — but it is a common way to keep boundaries. (For a more nuanced discussion of boundaries in porn, I recommend this excellent interview with Lorelei Lee.)
While I have never had sex with a man on camera, I dislike all my reasons (mostly, the objections of my male partners) not to have sex with men on camera. Sample conversation from last time I was in San Francisco:
Lochai: You don’t do boy/girl, right? Why not?
Me, half-jokingly: Because no one will ever love me.
Him: So don’t!
Me: That is not what I was hoping you would say.
-I’ve more vocal in bed about what I like and don’t like, and negotiate better in general- if I’m not having my needs acknowledged, I expect to at least be getting paid.
Oh, yes. I think I often unfairly call this selfishness in myself, because it takes my partners aback. But I think it is SO HOT and so necessary when people — especially women — give it to me! If we don’t expect women to be vocal, this causes no end of problems, not least the passive construction of consent. Whatever happened to active desire? Let’s change this.
That’s some of it. I’m sure there’s more, maybe I’ll add to it as I go along. But no, being a sex worker doesn’t mean you have to be less emotionally intimate with lovers. Maybe it does if you want monogamous partnership. Not been my experience though! We’re people, not exclusively fantasy objects, and as such we have our own needs and lives. Why wouldn’t we just due to our jobs?
I tried to write this article about a year ago, but didn’t post because I got bogged down in defensiveness. Sex work has very few (if any) truly unique evils. It is a little microcosm that fosters and concentrates what is icky about sexuality and gender in the world at large. I’m OK with any changes that awareness might bring me. It’s not “damage”; it’s knowledge, and ignorance couldn’t be farther from bliss.
Sex workers, would you add anything to this list? How has sex work changed you?