One of the most outrageous misconceptions about sex workers is that they can’t enjoy so called normal, healthy, exclusive relationships.
Let’s get one thing straight – sex workers have a monogamous mentality. Just because they’re sex workers doesn’t mean they don’t want love any less than anyone else.
Sex with clients is nothing like it is at home. Sex workers use words like performative, robotic and perfunctory to describe “work sex.” That’s not to say it’s bad, especially with clients they like, but it’s not real.
“I get to have orgasms,” says one escort who asked not to be named. “But they’re empty.” Intimacy with significant others is genuine, connective and, maybe most important, healing.
It’s fair to say, the longer a sex worker remains in the business, the more they tend to understand the importance of a partner. The more many of them crave some sort of relationship. Do we sense a common void here?
For a sex worker, however, coming clean with what they do for a living, will always be a challenge. The burning question – could you be intimate with a significant other who didn’t know what you did? Invariably, the answer is a resounding no.
But developing comfort levels can take time; trust needs to build. But waiting too long has pitfalls as well. It would be difficult to be one or two months in a relationship then admit you’ve lied the whole time and this is what you actually do.
How then to share this information? Again, every situation and every provider varies. According to Sara, who’s been a sex worker for nearly three years, subtlety doesn’t always work.
In an interview with Playboy writer Tim Struby, in the article “How Does an Escort Find a Boyfriend,” she says “I’ve tried everything. I’ve been blunt, I’ve been delicate. I’ve asked if they’ve seen Pretty Woman.”
With one of her exes, she described herself as a “well-compensated, low-volume companion.” Another sex worker, Maggie, prefers not to beat around the bush. “I say I’m in the sex industry,” she says. “Then guys say, ‘What does that mean?’ I try to explain the job. But I ask, ‘Look, how much do you want to know?’
“Then, I met the man who is my partner today. He knew that I was a sex worker from the very beginning, and it hasn’t ever been an issue. Sure, we’ve had our ups and downs (as any relationship does), but my job has never been a concern (nor has his).
“He truly understands and values me and my work. He accepts and loves me as an entire person. He knows that I am the person I am today, and the partner I am today, BECAUSE of sex work. He loves me for that, rather than in spite of that.
“Having experienced this love and acceptance, I find it difficult to imagine having a partner who was unaware of my work. Sex work has been my primary source of income for my entire adult life, and it has influenced many of my life decisions. Without sex work, I wouldn’t be ME.”
At London Contacts we believe everyone deserves this sort of love and acceptance. But life is complicated.
Many providers have not only found themselves in unhealthy relationships, but they’ve also stayed with those partners because they don’t think they can find somebody else who would be as accepting of their profession. “We invest so much in our partner because we know we have a special situation,” says Maggie.
Revealing the truth can be a scary proposition for a provider, especially when that information has been withheld for a long time. But it can also be liberating; it can help a relationship.
According to Amelia P, in her article “When To Disclose That You’re A Sex Worker To A Romantic Partner” it is unlikely that a person will go through life as a sex worker without experiencing some sort of discrimination or put-down because of their job.
However, Amelia P urges sex workers to learn how to accept their job as a positive, not a negative. “Remember your job is NOT embarrassing and it is NOT something to be ashamed of,” she said. “We might envy those who never have to worry about telling someone they like that they are a sex worker. It’s completely normal to dread telling someone, as we are all too familiar with the ignorance that many subscribe to about sex work; “Does that mean I can fuck other people too?” or simply pure disgust at the idea of sex exchanged for money.
Many sex workers have dated people in the past who treated them awfully because of their work, and often because they hadn’t truly accepted their job.
If this happens to you, we want you to reality check yourself. You can’t afford the consequences of a relationship with someone who doesn’t accept YOU when there’s room for beautiful relationships with people to whom your job is irrelevant.