He knew I was a sex worker. It says so, right within my Bumble profile: retired media whore, current actual whore. He’d even commented about it, using what every woman longs to hear from a romantic interest:’Haha, nice 😉 ‘. And yet I watched as his face contorted in to an expression of disgust, his upper lip curling as the fact of my profession came crashing down around him like a tonne of bricks.
“That’s a lot,” he said, and he then rolled on to his back and stared at the ceiling. I didn’t hear from him again.
It sometimes surprises people to listen to that sex workers do a number of normal people activities, like working other jobs, דירות דיסקרטיות studying, taking the bins out. We exist in real life after our shifts end and the red light is flicked off; we’ve dinner with your families and shop at K-Mart and wait on hold with this internet service providers for what is like hours.
It’s not common that the physical and emotional experiences we have at the job could be enough to replace a potential lack of intimate connection in our lives beyond work; so most of us also date, with varied levels of success.
A couple of months ago, I ended a connection with a person I had been seeing for almost two years. In private, he was a huge supporter of me working, but around his colleagues and friends his tune seemed to change. He would introduce me, but hesitate in describing our relationship; when he said, “That is Kate…” the silence that hung in the area where, “…my girlfriend,” should have already been weighed a tonne.
I don’t believe that he personally had a problem with me being fully a sex worker, but I do feel that the chance of others judging me – and דירות דיסקרטיות then judging him for being with me – was enough to create him want to keep me a secret.
So I’ve recently downloaded some dating apps and put myself back on the proverbial market, but it’s tough. Along with all the usual questions one ponders before a romantic date (What do I wear? Where shall we go?) I find myself asking things such as, “At what point do we have the talk?”
The talk in which I clarify my job, re-explain my profession in the event my date didn’t read my Bumble bio, forgot what it said, or – worse – thought it had been a joke. Do I tell him when we meet, or before we say goodnight? Or do I throw it out at random within the course of the evening: “Wow, this wine is delicious. By the way, I’m a hooker. Pass the salt?”
The best dream scenario is that my date is supportive, and happy that I’ve found a type of work that I love and supports me financially. Unfortunately, this has only happened once – once! – so today, I find that many responses fall somewhere within abject fascination and outright objectification.
Sometimes I end up on the receiving end of a thousand rapid-fire questions (“What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done at the office? Have you ever had a celebrity client? Are the inventors all old and ugly? They’re not, like, normal guys like me, are they?”) which surpasses horrified silence, but leaves me feeling like I’ve just been interviewed for an hour.
Other times, my date can barely contain their disgust, quizzing me over and once again about how frequently I get my sexual health checks done and if I’m sure I’m not a carrier of some mutant strain of gonorrhoea.
“That’s all perfectly and good,” one man said, over coffee, “But obviously in the event that you went with me, you’d have to get a real job. And you couldn’t tell anyone we realize that you used to work.” You ought to probably Google me before you receive too attached to that particular idea, I desired to sneer.
Obviously, even the crudest distinct questioning is really a better case scenario compared to very real threat of violence that many sex workers face when speaking about their job. I’ve friends who’ve been followed home and stalked by men who couldn’t understand why their date with a sex worker didn’t end with a romp, and others who’ve had partners show up at their work in a spontaneous fit of jealousy, viciously demanding they empty their locker and return home together immediately.
And even that’s preferable to the chance of physical violence from an intimate partner. I once went on a date with a person who invited me around his bedroom, held me down as he initiated sex without a condom, and then read among my very own articles, about sex work, aloud to me as I lay silently next to him.
Dating isn’t easy for anyone. Even the act of having to distil your complete person directly into a short and snappy paragraph fit for a dating app is enough to produce anyone desire to purge their hands and surrender to a life of solitude.
Still, I rely on love, and דירות דיסקרטיות I understand from past experiences that relationships – when they’re good – are worth every struggle.
On the times when it’s all a lot of, I find myself thankful for the simple, stress-free nature of transactional sex. An hour on the clock and a peck on the cheek to state a fond goodbye until the next time: if perhaps finding love was as simple.
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