"We sex workers, we can't afford to love" ::cue dramatic music::

First of all- I don't know how I lived my life without a Hookers For Jesus teeshirt, especially as it's pink and black. Not that I completely agree with their mission, but I respect it, considering they try to be non-judgmental in their assistance. I also like the fact that it reaches out to people who could really use it- there's a number of sex workers who DO struggle with their faith and being a sex worker, and it seems like it'd be a good resource for them. Plus, Hookers for Jesus- BEST NAME EVAR.

But what I had here was an actual post about something that always gets to me, over and over again in depictions of sex workers in the media. This belief that sex workers can't afford to love. A belief usually spoken dramatically with much wistful looking into the distance and heaving sighs.

Says who? On my budget, I can afford to do the love boogie more than most! Romancin' costs $$, whatever the propaganda says, and with every tongue-licked boot and reddened ass I'm earning myself a couple of nice dinners, some good wine, and skirts that make my chickadee look embarrassed in that incredibly cute, sexy way (you know the look- halfway pleading, "PLEASE don't make me wear that..." while secretly begging you to force her). Yeah, ok, so we could do the budget holding-hands-by-the-river, but that's made endlessly nicer with some tasty food in our tummies, for sure.

Ah, but that's not the sort of "affording" they mean. They mean emotionally. Anyone who has sexually charged encounters for money, especially if they involve that deified thing called intercourse, must not be emotionally available for anyone else. At least, that's what is implied- if your body is for sale, you can't afford to "lose your heart".

But see, my heart isn't something I lose. I don't misplace it, like I do my keys or occasionally my wallet. It's also not something I give away. Love is something I enter into with hope and a contract, with stated boundaries and a certain amount of sense. Sometimes I wonder if I'm losing out by not being as giddy and starry eyed, but I have enough experience to suspect that starry eyed tends to end badly when not tempered with discussing how to deal with the hard and serious stuff. I adore my partner, and my girlies- but I also filter extensively the people I date. He and I sat down after 2 days and we discussed our budding relationship as if it was a work contract- something that lacks romance but so far has stood up to difficulty and hardship. The girls I date I met through a carefully worded Gumtree ad that was quite effective in stating what I wanted and what I was looking for- and I got just that, to my delight.

Just as my heart isn't something I lose, as my body isn't something I sell. I rent myself out as a service provider. No one suggests that masseuses can't afford to love, or acupuncturists, or therapists, and what they're offering is intimate in nature as well, in different ways. I'm offering my skills as a Top, along with my creativity and my undivided attention. I'm offering a hand job from a girl who empathizes with wanting to get off with someone else and yet not wanting to go through the dating dance steps. I'm offering someone who will talk about sex with you, and communicate clearly and effectively, and with any luck will have rubbed some of that off on you.

Just because you cum on my hands and you pay me for it doesn't mean I'm suddenly unable to love people.

I'd almost think that in my experience of being a sex worker I'm better prepared for relationships and love than I was before I did sex work. I'm better at separating love and sex- I'm better at stating what I want and what is and isn't ok- I'm more likely to experiment sexually. I hypothesize that this is, in part, because I'm out to my lovers and can say that I had a hard Domme scene and need something a little more chill for the evening if that happened. Not all sex workers have that luxury. Additionally, the men I see are not so inclined towards penis-in-vagina sex, so I don't feel sore (sometimes, dare I say, more's the pity).

Many people don't learn emotional boundaries or how to stick up for themselves when something is uncomfortable. I'm fantastic with that usually, which is why I can be open and honest with my punters as well as with my lovers. So to that myth of sex workers being unable to afford falling or otherwise being in love? I say phooey.

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