My original title for this post was “What I Am Not,” but I my self-help gurus would frown on that title. Focus on the affirmative “I am’s,” they repeatedly tell me.
Psychiatric and economic circumstances pushed me into mainstream sex work many years ago; I found a vocation that I enjoyed, connecting with humans on innumerable levels, the sex becoming incidental if necessary for most of the patrons.
I came to deeply love many of these men, and have learned extraordinarily from them.
When I started by myself as a lone classified advertiser in The Nation too long ago, after working in the mainstream for about a year, I had two thoughts: 1) to serve, for what I heard over and over was loneliness and pain; 2) pursuing my education, or, more precisely, pursuing knowledge, for its own sake.
Please notice the order I laid these out in, first service; second, learning.
No person — male or female — should enter sex work thinking that it is a get rich quick scheme, even if one goes independent and eventually caters to an educated and affluent clientele. They bind themselves to personal failing, if they do. For more than likely the only thing that will transpire is mutual objectification, the stereotypes of this kind of transaction loom large and ugly.
There’s a better way. Negotiating many realities while providing a service requiring listening skills, people skills, business skills, compassion, and non-judgement, no matter the venue.
Ultimately, whether the clients recognize it or not, what I provide is solace and with time, deeper spiritual and personal meaning than most would have found otherwise. Most recognize a more fundamental need than sex, eventually, depending on where they are in their development.
I have counseled, consoled, and helped heal hundreds of men through some of their most difficult times. While doing so, I earned an extraordinary education, traveled, and lived autonomously while pursuing my idiosyncratic spiritual and creative path. My money has been my own, and the number of other women’s children that I have feed, clothed, educated, and supported would make your jaws drop; I went beyond “tithing” and into philanthropy, a service which deeply resonates with me.
Some of the more high minded might look at my life and see me as a victim, or an amoral sex worker. In fact, I am the hero of my own narrative, a narrative I am currently writing, that will give men and women the opportunity to rethink their own stories, and create better ones for themselves. I am a woman who has overcome near insurmountable obstacles, some of which will make it to the pages here, and in my book. I have survived myself, learned to thrive, and I continue pushing on and beyond, because this is as good as it gets: to love, listen, learn, heal, create, and give while living this precious life we’ve been given.
If you are enjoying these entries, please consider sharing this blog with your friends and family.
One Reply to “What I Am”
The grammatically correct version of this title would be “Who I Am,” but I deliberately opted for the “what” — as an echo of sex work’s many objectifications.
I don’t think it was an effective choice, and failed in its attempt. “Who” is better.