This guy knew I was a sex worker. It says so, right in my Bumble profile: retired media whore, current actual whore. He'd even commented onto it, using the language every woman longs to know from the romantic interest:'Haha, nice ;) '. And yet I watched as his face contorted into an expression of disgust, his upper lip curling as the truth of my profession came crashing down around him such as a tonne of bricks.
"That is a lot," he explained, and he then rolled onto 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 all sorts of normal people activities, like working other jobs, studying, taking the bins out. We exist in real life after our shifts end and the red light is flicked
off; we have dinner with your families and shop at K-Mart and wait on hold with your internet service providers for what feels like hours.
It's not common that the physical and emotional experiences we have at work would be enough to make up for a potential lack of intimate connection in our lives outside work; so most of us also date, with varied levels of success.
A few 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 did actually change. He would introduce me, but hesitate in describing our relationship; when he said, "That is Kate..." the silence that hung in the space where, "...my girlfriend," should have now been weighed a tonne.
I don't believe that he personally had a trouble with me being a sex worker, but I actually do feel that the chance of others judging me – and then judging him if you are with me – was enough to make 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 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 by which I clarify my job, re-explain my profession just in case my date didn't read my Bumble bio, forgot what it said, or – worse – thought it absolutely was a joke. Do I tell him as soon as we meet, or before we say goodnight? Or do I throw it out at random within the length 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 like and supports me financially. Unfortunately, this has only happened once – once! – so these days, I find that many responses fall approximately abject fascination and outright objectification.
Sometimes I end up on the receiving end of a lot of rapid-fire questions ("What's the weirdest thing you've ever done at work? Have you ever had a celebrity client? Are the people all old and ugly? They're not, like, normal guys like me, are they?") which is preferable to 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 over again about how precisely frequently I get my sexual health checks done and if I'm sure I'm not really a carrier of some mutant strain of gonorrhoea.
"That's all well and good," one man said, over coffee, "But obviously if you sought out with me, you'd have to acquire a real job. And you couldn't tell anyone we realize that you used to work." You ought to probably Google me before you נערות ליווי באילת
obtain too attached compared to that idea, I desired to sneer.
Obviously, even the crudest נערות ליווי באילת
type of questioning is a better case scenario compared to the very real threat of violence that many sex workers face when speaking about their job. I've friends who have been followed home and stalked by men who couldn't realize why their date with a sex worker didn't end with a romp, and others who've had partners appear at their work in a spontaneous fit of jealousy, viciously demanding they empty their locker and return home using them immediately.
And even that's preferable to the likelihood of physical violence from an intimate partner. I once proceeded a date with a man who invited me around his bedroom, held me down as he initiated sex with out a condom, and then read certainly one of my own articles, about sex work, out loud if you ask me as I lay silently next to him.
Dating isn't possible for anyone. Even the act of getting to distil your complete person in to a short and snappy paragraph fit for a dating app is sufficient to produce anyone wish to purge their hands and surrender to a life of solitude.
Still, I rely on love, and I know 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 express a fond goodbye until next time: if perhaps finding love was as simple.
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