If you have read any women’s magazines, you know that there is no shortage of heteronormative relationship advice articles available to women. If you happen to be LGBT/Queer, or a sex worker, however, your perspective is tacitly excluded from the mainstream media. Gay and lesbian magazines exist, although they have not yet become mainstream. Articles aimed at sex workers are practically nonexistent.
In our monogamy-centric heterocentric culture, anyone who falls outside that idealized ‘norm’ is typically portrayed via unflattering stereotypes. The idea of sex workers actually dating and having relationships outside of their work is hardly ever discussed in mainstream media. When it is discussed, the sex worker inevitably gives up her job for love.
When I entered sex work, I had absorbed those messages pretty thoroughly. I was convinced that no one would want me as long as I was an escort, and that I would have to give up my search for love in favour of financial freedom and the time to pursue my art and writing. My friend Drew kept telling me that just because I was now an escort did not mean that I would have to give up on romance and love. I was skeptical. Then I met Chris, who was not only ok with it, but turned on by it. During her visit over Christmas, she described my work as ‘heroic’, which felt really great to hear.
On New Year’s Eve, I met a wonderful man, and I have been seeing him regularly ever since. He met Chris and I at a party at my Tantric teacher’s house. Josh and I have been getting together at least once a week since then to have mind-blowing earth shattering sex that leaves us both blissful and open to the divine. He knew that I was in a relationship with Chris and had no intention of getting in between Chris and I. At first, I thought that we would just be friends with benefits, and the sexual chemistry was so strong that it did not take us long to get to bed.
Now, we are spending more time talking (usually after a couple hours of kinky, sweaty, sacred sex), and I find that we connect on many other levels. I have not fully disclosed to him my work. We had the sexual health talk, and I told him that I often get tested and that I always play safe, but I didn’t mention the part about it being my job. As I feel more bonded to him, and we spend more time together, I would like to tell him what I do.
He came over for dinner last week, and we had a conversation about sex, and about sexual healers. We talked about patriarchy, and how inheritance being passed through the male line led to a culture of controlling women’s sexuality. I mentioned that I’ve been around the block, and that it is dehumanizing to associate my value with my sexual ‘purity’ or lack thereof. He was on the same page with me all the way. I feel almost safe enough to tell him, but I am also lost. I really care for him, and I don’t want him to reject me when he finds out. I take a lot of pride in my work, but it is work that the dominant culture treats with derision at best. I know it will take a strong person to stand by me in what I do. I believe he is strong and confident enough to handle this, but I am scared. I wish I had a guidebook on how to navigate romance while whoring.