I am not always crazy about the work that I do. I mean, it gives me a chance to help people work through their sexual issues, which is great fun. I get to have all kinds of fun, new, interesting sexual experiences. That is awesome. I am independent, financially and sexually, which is amazing. Since I got into this industry, I’ve been able to do a lot of charitable work in the community, because of having more time and more money. When I was waiting tables six days a week working double shifts, I would not have had the energy. I’ve taken art classes. All in all, it’s been positive.
My conflicts come from how my work is viewed from the outside. I worry about things that seem unfair. I know I have sex for money, but the sex I have with my lovers remain deeply meaningful, perhaps even more so than before. When I am with Josh, I feel at excess of gratitude at being able to feel so much pleasure, and to connect with this wonderful person.
When it comes down to it, fast sex, like what I have at work, is easy for me. There is very little emotional risk. I am able to be giving and nurturing while being protected by a facade of glitzy outfits, bubbly persona, and even a fake name. With them, I don’t have to talk about my history, how I used to struggle with depression, how I became involved in abusive relationships, the times I used to self-mutilate, how I exhibited signs of PTSD while I was married because of the dynamics of our relationship. Being able to give to others, to see them in their flawed, human state with their pain and dysfunction, and still care for them and wish them well, does not mean that one is comfortable being viewed in that light by another. I know I am not.
After the Cabaret, when I cried in front of Josh for the first time, I was mortified. I felt like I had violated some sort of code, and made myself utterly undesirable. Of course, it didn’t seem to change anything on his end, and on mine, it made me realize how deeply I want a close, loving romantic relationship. When I am honest with myself, I know that I have always wanted that. Josh met my deep need for kindness and gentleness, as well as my need for genuine passion.
He is aware of my work, but sometimes I wonder if he is in some denial about it. Or if the work will be an impediment to my finding a serious relationship. I didn’t think I wanted one, but now, with Josh, I find that I do. Very deeply. An unconventional serious relationship where I can keep doing this work until I can transition into a different career, something more along the lines of Sexological Bodyworker or Sex Therapist. A serious relationship where he can have other lovers on the side and I can too, but we remain committed emotionally to each other. We are both holding each other at arm’s length, both shy after having been burned in past relationships. I wonder lately how much I mean to him. Does he love me, or am I just his hot sex girl that he will drop the moment he finds a more ‘serious’ partner? I sense that there is something real between us, but it is hard for me to believe that.
I know that there are sex workers out there who have successful relationships. Kitty Stryker, Souixie Q, Annie Sprinkle, Carol Queen. I know that the insights I have from being a sex worker have made me a more desirable partner in many ways. I understand the hidden vulnerabilities of men in a way that other women don’t, because men tell a sex worker things that they are unlikely to share with a lover. I know a lot about sex, which is awesome. Still, I keep wondering what makes me so special as to be worth the stigma of partnering with a whore, not to mention the potential legal issues. I get so angry that my profession is not considered just a job, like any other. Like massage therapy, or talk therapy.
At the bottom of all of this is my intense fear of being hurt, of truly committing to another person and opening up the door to all sorts of potential pain. Still, I want to be open to love, so I will continue on the path and try to keep an open mind and heart as things progress.