You see a lot of “Advice for sex workers” posts that cover the basics of DOING sex work. Selling content, taking pictures, whatever. There are certain parts of the job I never see anyone talk about. I live by the rule that everyone should have to figure out certain things by themselves as I truly believe that you cannot develop as an individual if you don’t forge your own path without other models spoon feeding you their experiences. Some of the below tips are things I learned on my own, things that I’ve seen some models never learn.
1. Don’t be so trusting.
I know what you’re thinking; “But Ryden! He offered me $1000 and all I have to do is shave my head on cam first!” (This is not a lie, by the way. There was, in fact, a man going through the SW circuit conning women into shaving their heads on cam and not paying them afterwards.) You do not, under ANY circumstances, work before getting paid. Think about it for a second. You can’t go to the store, grab your groceries, and then say “oh, yeah, I can’t pay you guys for these delicious groceries until tomorrow! You can trust me!” Our work is no different. You cannot let the money seduce you. You’ve gotta keep a clear head. If your customer offers to pay you afterward, just say something along the lines of “I would feel much more comfortable if you paid me first.” If they’re actually interested in the content, they’ll be understanding and either pay you first or request that they cam/buy/whatever when they have money. That is what a respectful customer would do. If they can’t respect that, they probably didn’t have the best intentions anyway.
2. Be nice, but know when to stick up for yourself.
Let me tell you a little story. When I first started out, I had a really bad attitude. I was very rude to people who were just genuinely curious and didn’t know any better. I also did a lot of body shaming and said some pretty hateful things regarding other women and other models. I lost a lot of sales and dedicated customers because of this, and it’s really not cool. Many models, like I did, believe that this will show people that they are strong and will not take shit. This is not the case. It’s more likely that people will see you as intimidating and threatening (of course, this is partially acceptable for models working in certain outlets such as Dommes, but it just doesn’t work otherwise.) HOWEVER, this does not mean that you should not stick up for yourself at every given chance. If someone challenges your beliefs, you drag them right into the ground. Never EVER ignore your own personal beliefs and values to come off as nice and sweet. This is when you come off as a strong, independent babe that won’t take shit from anyone. There are times to be kind and there are times when complacency just won’t do. Know where the line is.
3. Treat other models as you’d want them to treat you.
We work in an industry that has enough stigma attached to it to cover the entirety of Canada. Seriously. We’re whores. We’re on drugs. We’re bitches. We’re poor. We’re rich. We’re lazy. We’re work-obsessed. We’re greedy. Anything you can think of. The absolute very last thing we need to do is put each other down. Sex work isn’t a ladder that you climb and step on other women as you attempt to reach the top. We all have to co-exist, even help and support each other. For the most part, none of us conform to that stigma. However, when you treat other models like crap in order to make yourself look better or be “funny”, you make us all look bad. You actively damage sex work as a whole.
4. Put your health, both mental and physical, first.
I cannot stress this point enough. I know how easy it is to get caught up in the job and let yourself get stressed. Sex work is a high-stress job, and we receive more hate than any other work force I’ve seen. Sometimes, you’ve just got to say “Is this important enough for me to stress myself out over?” The answer to that question is always no. No job is important enough to throw your mental and physical health out the window. When you feel like it gets to be a little too much, do NOT hesitate to take a day off. Run yourself a bath, read your favorite book, go on a walk, or just stay in bed and watch Netflix. You are more important and your customer base will know that and will understand. If the stress is enough where you think you can’t do the job anymore, and feel that maybe it’s time to quit, don’t feel badly if you decide to. For many, sex work isn’t a permanent job. Sometimes, you just have to know when it isn’t right for you anymore, especially when it’s affecting your health.
While a lot of us sex workers, especially those of us on social networking, may seem intimidating, we’re all really nice and mostly willing to help (assuming you’re not asking for us to hold your hand and give you the easy way out). This stuff is never easy and you can really feel helpless sometimes. As long as you follow these, do your research, and go with your gut instinct; you’ll be just fine.”