There is this idea in our society that women who do sex work are typically desperate for money, forced into it, martyring themselves to provide for their families, or only doing it because of a drug addiction. While these situations certainly happen, they paint a skewed picture of the nature of sex work. There is a vast continuum of income from sex work and many different types of work that can be labeled as sex work. Porn stars, cam girls, nude models, phone sex operators, strippers, fetish club owners, escort agency security, topless bartenders, pro dommes, and full service escorts are all sex workers engaging in a wide range of behaviors and being compensated differently.
Like any career, there are benefits and risks associated with the job. I first chose to become a stripper because I enjoyed dancing, had a knack for turning heads, enjoyed lustful attention, and wanted a job where I could earn more money the harder I worked. I moved to escorting when I realized that I could use my sex appeal to earn a living without involving a whole establishment to make their own profit from my sex appeal and body. Paying house fees to the club when I knew their whole establishment relied on dancers participating to appeal to customers felt...unfair. Without dancers, no one would come for $15 well cocktails and mediocre wings. Yet every night I had to give a sizable portion of my income to the club for the “privilege” of working there.It felt exploitative. I have since realized the more people involved in my sex work...the more exploitative it felt.
Escorting proved to yield much higher pay for far fewer hours and I had total control over my clientele, practices, and rates. It provided the excitement and feelings of power stripping did, with so much more freedom, control, and autonomy.
As an escort, I make an hourly wage rivaling that of the top paid professionals in my country, like doctors and lawyers. When you break down the ratio of dollars earned per minutes worked, the money is absolutely unbeatable. To add, most clients choose to conclude our encounter before the end of their appointment time, meaning my income per hour is actually much higher than my actual rate for service. I can make in a day what many make in a month. I have much more free time than a full time office employee, and make much more in only a matter of hours. Even escorts with hourly rates on the “lower” end of the spectrum make a wage rivaling many professionals.
As an independent sex worker I am in total control of my business. The services I am willing to provide, my rates, my policies, my schedule… all determined by me personally. I do not answer to a manager or have to get along with coworkers. I do not ever have to meet a client in person that disrespects me over the phone. I do not have to live by the old adage: the customer is always right. Instead, whatever I feel is best always is.
I have met many interesting people through sex work, and seen many interesting places, lavish apartments, and unique personalities. These successful, established, and wealthy men choose to pay me for the privilege of my company. My self-esteem is consistently bolstered by the clear evidence I encounter daily of my beauty and desirability. At the same time, the misogynistic or bitter outbursts of some men I encounter have no power to diminish or rattle me. That is a conscious choice I make. I let the positive experiences enrich me and lift my spirits, while letting the negative and tedious roll off my back.
Sex work allows me to be whoever I want to be. As an escort I have created a persona all my own and still intimately related to my true self. I have even rebranded myself more than once, giving myself a whole new name, look, and attitude. The character I portray can give me the freedom to be a more sexual, feminine, and enthusiastic version of myself, amplifying all of my most attractive natural qualities.
Sure, there are concerns for safety and worries of arrest, but these concerns are manageable and fairly tolerable compared to the freedom and benefits of the job. Sometimes clients can be less than charming or I can find myself the target of anonymous harassment via phone or e-mail. But in the grand scheme of things, the inconveniences are dwarfed by the payoff.
I don’t currently have any plans to stop sex work in the foreseeable future. Right now it meets all my needs and provides a comfortable income. I can imagine only a few events, opportunities, or reasons why I would decide to stop. Until then, I will happily navigate the occupational hazards in order to reap the independence and comfort this work has allowed me.