Gracie's Sex Work, Part 1
Being a sex worker, is it a 'dirty job?' I don't think so...
Sure there are 'connotations' to being an escort. And not everyone appreciates your work. But then, how many folks admire what you do for a living? How many times a day are you thanked for the work you do, the service you provide?
At the bottom of all this talk, is the fundamental need, for Americans anyway, to identify themselves with their job.
It seems that 'who you are' is part & parcel of 'what you do' to generate income. (And it is even worse if you do 'nothing' but stay home and raise children, but that's probably best left to another columnist.)
I have never been one to fall for this 'what you do for a living' bit. In college, it is customary upon meeting a person to ask where they are from, and what their major is. I failed at that part of conversation. It's not the first critical piece of information I need to deem a person worthy of more talk.
Author's Note: I am admittedly a bit odd anyway, as I rarely asked for a person's last name before a date either. (I know Moms everywhere are shrieking & groaning, but really, most dates were obtained via friends & if I was due to be killed by a date, well #1 I wouldn't be in any condition to tell anyone his name, #2 the police would surely ask my roommate, & #3 the last name is not going to be a clue to the 'is this guy an axe murder' question.)
You see, I just don't tie myself, or anyone else up with their jobs.
Even before life as an escort, I found the job talk a bit off the mark, if not boring ~~ and not just boring for me, but the person asked. I have met folks in jobs that most people would say translate to a 'techie' and therefore felt that person had no creativity, and found out they only did that job in order to finance their art studio or whatever their real passion was. So much for the job being the person.
While being an escort, I found most clients didn't want to talk shop. What you do for a living is not usually your passion, and if it is, no one needs to ask you about it, it gushes from your mouth at warp speed! Even then, the talk is not 'the job' or the duties performed, it is the cause, the crusade, the effort. Those who heal rave on about health, happy babies, new technology that provides gifts, & legislation that is needed to allow access, not insurance forms & smelly patients.
I never really have identified myself by my job title. So while I was an escort, I didn't think of myself only in those terms. First of all, it was providing income that allowed me to continue my art (those art sales were not exactly budgetary income!).
Introducing myself is simply me stating my first name, and then having a conversation that exposes the insides of all in the conversation. If directly asked what I did for a living, I could certainly use my 'other' job of artist. Either way, I am a self-employeed, erratically scheduled, flamboyant person!
Second of all, to me, being an escort was not just about bump & grind time.
To me, I was providing the service of my time. (This also covers the legal end for those that question the 'how' of working in the illegal sex industry.)
My time & my companionship were 'for rent' ~ Not unlike most jobs where you are paid by the hour. Sure, you are expected to provide certain duties during that time...
The duties are what seem 'dirty' to so many folks.
Dirty if you have a limited or narrow view of sex.
In my opinion, sex is, to quote Adam Ant 'emotion in motion.' I find it quite easy to find a way to connect emotionally with people. If you spend time with a person, and really listen to them, you will find someway to discover who they really are, or who they want to be. Discovering another person can be a turn on in itself.
Sure, there are some people that you just don't find appealing. Maybe their politics are 'all wrong' or they are smelly. But that is where the art of a sex worker comes into play. You may need to steer the conversation (you may need to hold your breath!).
If the client is not a 'natural' fit for you in some way, excuse the pun, you need to adapt yourself & the situation. For example, all too often, a sex worker will encounter those 'bed notch' clients who are only looking for a 'new girl.' These guys were often rude, and on the surface, not much to connect with. But with a little work, a good escort will find something. A good place to start: they are paying for company, so they must be missing something.
A bit of soft probing conversation will elicit some details of their loneliness, and then it is much easier to have that in your mind when the time comes for other probing...
In short, it is about finding the human in the being.
Now, it must be stated here that this is true of my experiences. Like any other business, there are niche markets. My market tended toward the 'lost souls' and 'convenience clients.' The Libertine, for example, has a completely different client base, so her answers may be completely different.
But for me, sex work was not completely about sex. It was about helping a person deal with their loneliness. Providing them with a real connection, if only for a little time...
My 'lost souls' were clients who either had lost partners due to death, divorce or regular breakups. They were nervous about starting over again. They lacked confidence. They needed a companion who wouldn't expect much of their social skills, or would be difficult to talk with. To them, I provided a way to feel comfortable sharing with another person again.
There were also the 'convenience clients' who most often for business reasons, don't have the time to date. When they do date, it becomes a major hassle when the girl complains of late nights at the office. One gentleman I saw several times traveled quite a bit for his job. He often went out of the country for weeks or months at a time. In foreign countries, he worked 15 hour days, and never saw much of the places he traveled to. On the few times he was able to spend an extra weekend in some new place, to see it as if on vacation, the current gal-pal would bitch for him to come home. In her opinion, those 2 or 3 days were 'hers' and he should be dying to get back to her...
For these clients, I was a relaxing, stress-free time. No explanations. No demands. Never a worry that I would whine for him to spend the night when he had an early meeting or flight. No worries about what either of us did while the other was 'gone,' no fights to come back home to.
No matter which type of client, I provided witty, yet relaxing conversation, laughter & a great set of ears!
Sure, they 'got lucky' too, but I can honestly tell you, there were plenty of times that they felt they 'owed' me that. There were other times I just went to dinner or watched a video. (An expensive date to some, but is it really if you know that you have no responsibility to call the next day? No need to worry if you might be leading someone on when you really aren't yet ready to have a relationship?)
So if putting my 'emotions in motion' with some real humans, who I would not have met if my time weren't for hire, is 'dirty' then so be it. If it were legal, would that make it clean?
With much affection,