Disclaimer: I’d like to prevent the emergence of further generalizations against sex workers by emphasizing that I do not represent all sex workers, this blog is only my story. Keep in mind that one does not represent the whole and I am but one drop of water in a sea of people.
Alas, I want to tell you how lucky you may be if you’ve found love. You’re lucky if you can look into someone’s eyes and not have to say anything at all, if you feel like someone understands you and will be with you through whatever life throws at you, if you’ve found someone that will still love you when you are wrinkly and gray.
I don’t have anyone like that. And, I know exactly why I’m single. First, let’s state the obvious, I’m a sex worker. I have so many secrets that I can’t even fathom having an honest conversation with a partner. Even if I was able to find someone open to my current lifestyle, my walls are built up so high, it’s going to have to take a CIA secret agent to be able to take them down. But, my lack of ability to develop attachment makes it possible for me to, ultimately, sell myself.
It wasn’t always like this for me. Once upon a time, at the age of 17, I ran away with a boyfriend to escape a psychologically damaging home where a controlling family acted as a catalyst to my distressed self-esteem and attempted suicides. I held on to my boyfriend’s hand as he led me to freedom and I saw that he cared enough for me to help me get out of a bad situation. After dating for three years and living together for only one month, I realized that my heart was not in our relationship and we went our separate ways, but this man showed me what love can do. This man offered to help me pay my rent until I got on my feet and was able to take care of myself. He even wrote a letter to my family begging them to stop their disparaging behavior, pleading for them to see that I could one day be lost forever. It was the first time I met someone who saw me as a person that could amount to something, someone who wanted me to do well in life. And, it was nice.
Since then, most of the men in my life only kept me around to serve them. I only had one other boyfriend after my first. He sent me out as his drug mule to risk my life for his sales, he forced me to have sex when I did not want to, he blamed me for his inability to keep a job, and he incessantly criticized me when I went back to school and landed a legitimate, good-paying job. Needless to say, he was quite a keeper. I dodged a bullet by never getting pregnant or married to him.
My dark past goes back to my teenage years where I was repeatedly used and abused. As a sophomore, I was date raped and videotaped by a boy from another school. He ended up making a production out of it and held his version of a premier party with several other boys at his house. Then there was the time I was conned by a self-proclaimed acting teacher to act out a scene in which the end result was him molesting me. It’s no wonder I was working as a waitress in a strip club as soon as I hit 18.
Because of the abuse I’ve endured in my life from family, bad relationships, and sexual predators, I believe that I struggle more than most do at allowing myself emotional vulnerability. With that, I’ve developed a calloused heart. I can close my eyes and do intimate things with strangers because, much like today’s hookup culture, the value that has normally been associated with these acts does not exist in my mind. I’ve been robbed of that value by the people who’ve taken advantage of my innocence, curiosity, and hope. I’ve grown desensitized to acts that usually require and result in emotional bonding. Even before I ever entered the sex industry, the act of sex was already so standard that I was more comfortable with sleeping with men than I was holding their hands. (The last thing I need right now is for a man to touch his palm to mine and steal my secrets through our interlocked fingers.)
But, just because I can do something does not mean I’m happy doing it. I am not to be confused with a sociopath. I love, I care, and I empathize with others deeply. I feel shame and guilt for being able to use my body this way. If I could figure out another way, I would take it in a heartbeat. And, if I ever met a man I could not live without, I would give up on this job and lifestyle in the blink of an eye.
For now, I’m a serial dater working in the business while I’m working on my career and learning how to love. I date men and tell them to back off when they get too attached. I repeat this cycle in hopes that one day, one man will be able to break my curse. I run away from love and conduct relationships as business transactions where I continue to see the men who help me make ends meet for myself. I’ll explain that lifestyle in further detail later but for today, I leave you with a view from another side of the love story.
If you have someone to love, cherish them. Even if you have no one but have the ability love, appreciate that ability. It alone is something you are blessed with. Some are not so lucky.
If you’re like me, unable to love, then maybe you, especially, understand how I can do what I do as a sex worker. Have faith, it isn’t over for us.
For those who are romantically challenged, I hope you find the cure you’re looking for. In the meantime, I’ll continue searching for mine.