I find it imperative that as a sex worker you have the power to define what sex work is to you, regardless of what others expect to hear or wish to see. How it works, what it does and how you manage it, are all dependant on your interpretations, not anyone else’s.
Before I even start to think about how to define sex work for me, I need to have an understanding of myself. I can’t define sex work without placing myself into it. I begin to examine my intrinsic nature and manner and how this all came to be. My character was swiftly formed and perpetually set at a very young age. At the time I was struggling to understand why I was so vulnerable and impressionable. I couldn’t figure out the why, so I worked on the how, realising that if I didn’t then I was going to be hurt. There was no doubt about it. So like any human under difficult circumstances, I did what I had to do to preserve myself. I set up a number of internal safeguards to disallow anyone from taking advantage or gaining any influence over me. The self-defence mechanism reacts to emotion, not command or thought. And it’s clearly intact today, the people closest to me know exactly how to work around it. Reverse psychology works wonders on me.
It’s designed in such a way that I move forward with ferocity rather than slink back with fright whenever I’m presented with a perceived threat. It’s understandably the reason why I won’t listen when someone tries to advise me. I push away anyone with the slightest accent of authority and leave that privilege only to a trusted few. I self-govern my mind, ridding myself of other people’s voices and opinions. I remain untouched, behind a wall of my own creation. Becoming a sex worker wasn’t such a leap, I had already disassociated myself to begin with.
When I start to define what sex work is to me, I look at other workers to compare and I find that my sex worker narrative doesn’t match sex worker friends. Nor should it, we’re all different. When I want to define my work like others do and be just like all the other girls, the automatic systematic defence mechanism comes into play and I smack into my manufactured emotional wall. I listen and I talk but our feelings aren’t relatable, they’re not parallel. I negotiate a middle ground where I understand others, have sympathy and give recognition to them. The barrier holds itself up to keep me disconnected and ultimately protected. If I ever pass the wall, then I become them, their pain becomes my pain, their values become my values, and who I am turns into who I was. This is what happens when you’re an impressionable person. If I open it, if I let someone in, then they have the ability to hurt me. This is what happens when you’re vulnerable. So the mechanism stays in place and I’m rigid in my definition of self. It clashes with others definition of self, regardless of our shared identity as sex worker.
Sex work becomes increasingly hard to define without being able to relate to some overall pertinent themes. So I begin to spot the differences, rather than the similarities, to help me understand what it means. They say you are what you do, but nothing I’ve ever done has inherently changed me. Even with all the experiences I’ve accumulated, I haven’t drastically changed how I think of men, or sex, myself or others. If anything I’ve just added more understanding to these definitions and fleshed them out. Sex work has only given me the means to be myself and add to my understanding of the world.
One of the biggest differences I’ll touch up on is how much I need orgasms and intimacy in my work. And I mean, I need it, it’s essential. Some sex workers couldn’t care less if they orgasmed. Some are totally on the other side of the coin, they don’t give orgasms out like flyers, why should they? That’s something that’s earned, not paid for. Most (I’m speculating here) but most might find orgasms unimportant during sex. It’s a bonus, but certainly not necessary. And sometimes I’d agree with that but majority of the time I’m not like that. There’s a feature to my sexuality that demands self-satisfaction, the process of sex is not always enough.
Because I have such a need for orgasms, and because the most appropriate time to orgasm is sex, it’s important for me to know how to achieve it in a booking. As a matter of fact, it’s crucial. Without this skill I see myself resenting my work. It’d be like running with no shoes. Sure you can run, but after a while those feet are going to hurt and you might find yourself hating the run. Not because you hate running but because your feet are uncomfortable. That’s how my body feels when I use it for sex, it feels sad and disappointed without an orgasm. I feel like I’ve missed out. Bummer. The insistence to usher it as fast as I can, to meet the conclusion of a booking, is immense pressure and highly difficult to achieve.
There’s so many ways I go about to achieve my orgasms. I allow intimacy to exist within my sex work and I own it. Human connections are possible even with the self-defence mechanism in place, it reacts to threats, not affection. My attitude, toys, health, and self-esteem help. These things I control post-booking so I prepare myself. The most unfavourable scenario is being with a client lacking the ability to mentally or physically arouse me. If they’re not a good fit, and obviously not everyone is, then I have no choice but to use everything around me to get that orgasm. I’ve learnt how to navigate my body during a booking, what to use, where to touch and how to do it. And I’ve learnt how to use another’s. Within seconds I fixate on my clients most physically appealing features. Their eyes, their lips, their arms, their penis, whatever they can give me. Then I gauge their personality and intelligence. I start lubing up the cage that holds the butterflies in my tummy and hope with enough stimulation, the cage will open up. I tap into their heart, figure out if they’re a good person. If they are, then I feel privileged to be in their company. I assume we’ve all had it rough so I highly admire those who retain a good heart (and if not, retaining a good heart whilst having a fortunate life is still commendable). If all else fails then I look to my beloved toys with loveheart shaped eyes.
Of course the sexuality of a woman is not constant, and these feelings that I have are not concrete. My feelings change, my moods, my sexuality, my hormones and my body. All dependant on a myriad of reasons that need no recognition. Simply put, things change but my need for intimacy doesn’t, meaning I need to pay particular attention to it.
So to deal with this complex and ever changing body of mine is I receive it as it comes. At the start of my escorting, my sexuality was of no importance. The thrill, the money and the glorification at the conclusion of a booking was enough. And then it wasn’t. From there I needed to engineer my body. I played with it, tweaked it, and treated it with special regard until I figured out what made it scream and what turned it shy. I took it from there. I couldn’t leave that responsibility to my clients because… well, it’s hard to make a girl orgasm. I have a threesome nearly every week, I know it’s no easy task.
I remember profoundly one of the most challenging points of my escorting. At 21 I was eager to travel to Europe and to be regarded as ‘one of the best escorts’ there. What I could tell from reviews in that area was that the best could do anal on demand. At that point, I couldn’t do that. So I taught myself. I watched countless anal porn videos whilst masturbating and imagined myself having anal sex during it. When I achieved orgasm, I thought anal sex. I positively reinforced myself into associating orgasms (which were good) with anal sex (which were becoming increasingly more desirable). Professional development I like to call it.
And after a few bookings that involved anal sex (and a lot of trepidation), I could suddenly orgasm anally. Physiologically it didn’t sound possible, but never underestimate the power of the mind. Today, I can do anal on demand at any time and I sure as hell can achieve an orgasm from it.
Most of the time I enter a booking with the intention of orgasming during it. I will use my client’s body to achieve this. Without it, I feel like I’ve wasted my time. With it, I leave the booking with my skin glowing. As to their orgasm, well, I don’t find that too difficult. Most of the time my clients intention is within line of my own. I feel that with this reason in mind, I have clients leaving with a sense of accomplishment. They’ve made a woman cum. That’s the real money maker. Little do they know how much work I put into the orgasm. Not theirs, but the more important one: mine. After all, it’s my body that I’m left to tend to.
It’s great to see my progress after a lifetime of reverse-engineering my automatic systematic habit. I can now allow intimacy into my work. It wasn’t always so. There was a time where I couldn’t filter people’s intentions for me, good or bad, and so I blocked off from any human connection or feeling. It’s not like that anymore. But the my fortification is still functional, I still have a hard time trusting others, I still find it difficult to connect with others without becoming them. I’m always afraid that I’ll accidentally hurt myself by not acknowledging a feeling that I should have. I fret that I might’ve accidentally doomed myself to a lifetime of dissociation in a flimsy childish attempt to protect myself. I’m scared that I might make a wrong decision and no one would ever be able to stop me. They couldn’t, I simply refute anyone’s attempt to comment on my actions. For a while I suspected sex work to be that decision. I thought that by superficially engineering my emotions (orgasms), I was tricking myself. If you asked me how to define sex work then, I might have said it was my only way to feel anything that resembled the form of love.
But I haven’t deceived myself. I’m well aware of what I’m doing. I’m constantly thinking, processing, reflecting, talking and writing. Keeping in mind how vulnerable and impressionable I am, and how the self-defence mechanism works, I wouldn’t be able to distinguish my collective experiences if I was bat-shit blind. It’d just be having a jolly good time all the time if I was truly kidding myself. By accepting the good and the bad and making the best of both experiences, I can continue to work with minimal backlash. I can orgasm without being touched. It’s second nature now.
How to define sex work for me turns out to be a terribly hard task. I know that having sex feels good because of the orgasms. I know that there’s a system in place that protects me. I know that any ill effects of my work have only been temporary. I always find my equilibrium eventually. As to the rest that comes with sex work… well… that’s just like any other business. The only exception is the stigma and that is detrimental, but that’s not inflicted upon yourself, that’s everyone else’s attitude towards you. That’s everyone else trying to define what sex work is to you, which is why it’s so important your definition comes first and foremost.
And that’s when once again the self defence mechanism functions. Special thanks is due to the once frightened little girl who stood up against all odds and demanded she be happy in this world, even though the world bellowed ‘no’.
The stigma stays outside my walls and I scoff at its attempt to touch me. Which reminds me… I should go have an orgasm with a client now.