Over the past week, there has been a lot of media attention about racial inequality. Unfortunately, inequality doesn't just stop at the skin colour of a person. Sex Workers also face frequent discrimination and because of the nature of work and the lack of progression in our society, it is also brushed under a rug. A lot of this discrimination comes from a lack of understanding about a group of people, usually due to misinformation from the media and in pop culture. In this post, my aim is to unravel some of the common myths around Sex Workers.
Sex Work is degrading
One of the most common statements I hear about my role as a Sex Worker is that it is very degrading to women. I find this incredibly contradicting, that for decades or perhaps even centuries, men have used female sex appeal to market their products, from cars to soft drinks and even cigarettes. Sex sells- then why isn't it okay to sell sex? Why is it totally fine for men to monetise off women, but as soon as the woman turns around and monetises herself- that's suddenly seen as degrading and unacceptable?
Sex workers are assumed to be an object for male 'consumption', but in reality, I'm treated like a Queen. Many of the clients who reach out for these services are undergoing some hard times in their lives, such as a divorce, a cold relationship, they're a workaholic or are struggling with shyness. They are often seeking a form of both physical and emotional connection they are lacking in their real life. I have personally found that most of my returning clients are the ones who I connect on more than just a physical level. Some bookings even have zero sex. I had one client who booked me for three weekends in a row after finding out we had so many common interests. There was almost no sex, but plenty of laughs. After all, if a client just only wanted a physical release- surely it's easier (and cheaper) to turn on his laptop and open up a box of tissues.
Sex Workers are at high risk of carrying an STD
You're gonorrhea-lly be surprised that there's no evidence that Sex Workers in Australia have a higher STD rate than the general public. Generally, Sex Workers have a heightened awareness of STDs and are much more educated in preventing them. Under Australian Law, Sex Worker's undergo screening every three months (we even receive a little certificate to hang on our wall), and it's actually illegal for us to work with a known STD. Now, compare this to the general public. When was the last time you had an STD check? A year ago? Five years ago? Never? I will personally admit that before I started Sex Work, I had never had an STD check, despite having unprotected sex with my previous boyfriends.
It’s also illegal for a Sex Worker to have sex unprotected, so guys, please don’t ask her, as it’s just offensive. Now again, compare this to the general public. What percentage of your intimate meets did you use a rubber for? I know some people are very diligent, but there are still plenty (particularly my generation) that think they are invincible and don't even bother.
Sex Workers have had a poor upbringing or 'daddy' issues
Whenever I have confided on my 'muggle' friends about my double life, their inner Freud comes out and asks 'Are you okay?', 'Do you need help?" or "Have you seen a psychologist?" I had a pretty vanilla upbringing- a loving, middle class family, a good education and grew up in a safe suburb. I'm fairly sure I used to fib when I was in school to make my life sound more dramatic than it really was. Perhaps there is an underlying childhood trauma nestled deep in my subconsciousness that has led me down this path? Or maybe I simply love both intimacy and money, and decided to kill two birds with one stone?
While I have had my fair share of adversity, I don't believe that has contributed to my choice of becoming an Escort. I have always been a bit of a black sheep. I have always paddled against the current and challenged society's norms. Like, why is it perfectly acceptable within our society to go to bars and clubs to hookup with smelly drunk dudes, then go home with a total stranger while smacked out on drugs and booze? Why isn't it okay to have an intimate moment with a gentleman, who has undergone a screening process prior to meeting in a secure environment, simply because he passes you a wad of cash at the end?
Escorts are uneducated, have no skills and have turned to Sex Work as their last resort
Prior to entering this industry, I wrongly believed that the Sex Industry is where you ended up when you need to make a living with no skills or education. With this in mind, upon walking into my first role at an agency, I assuming that I would be the only girl who had passed high school, let alone pursuing tertiary education. I was wrong. In fact, quite a large portion of the women were university students or even working professionals. I met women who were lawyers, nurses, accountants and scientists. It's actually a requirement in some agencies (mainly in Europe) for applicants to have a degree.
A lot of Sex Workers enter this industry as a student. The cost of living in Australia is so incredibly ridiculous, that it's almost impossible to support yourself with a casual or part-time job while studying full-time. It's even hard to stay on top financially as a full timer worker, which is why a lot of girls take it up as a side hustle.
Getting a dude's rocks off isn't exactly an art, but there is a whole lot happening behind the scenes: marketing, branding, advertising, web design, photography, accounting, administration, communication skills and fashion. At the end of the day, Sex Work is just a business (even though there is a lot disagreement) and a lot of knowledge and skill is actually required to successfully run it, just like any other business.
I hope this post gave you a better understanding about some of the common myths around sex workers. I will likely be writing a part 2, as there are still plenty more myths to debunk.