Sex work is the best thing I’ve ever done. From my first very client, my eyes opened wide and I remember thinking, “Wow, this is what people make such a big deal about?” All the taboos and misconceptions society had instilled in me about sex work came crumbling down in that moment and I saw them as the load of shit they’d always been.
It’s opened so many doors of opportunities for me and changed my life for the better. I am aware of my privilege and many sex workers not having the same experiences as me, but it is important to know that there is a huge difference between consensual and non-consensual sex work. We shouldn’t be persecuted under the same laws or made to seem like we are all the same.
What I Wished I Knew More When I Started Out
Client relationships and boundaries. I was led to believe early on in my career, being a good sex worker meant doing whatever it took to keep clients happy and that boundaries were a bad thing. As I’ve gained experience, I’ve come to realize taking care of number one is actually imperative for being a good provider. The quality of experience my clients receive is correlated to how safe, comfortable and respected I feel. It is okay to have firm boundaries and take care of my needs. It is okay to say no to clients who do not and cannot understand this.
I also wish I’d taken more seriously how heavy of a burden the stigma would be. Living a double life and being in the “hooker closet”, so to speak, is incredibly taxing on the mental health and something I severely underestimated. Over the years, I’ve lost a lot of sleep living with the constant fear of being discovered by people I’m not ready to find out, and the heavy amount of precautions I must take to protect my privacy. I also feel a large disconnect with most of my relationships outside the industry, as having to hide such a big part of my life that I otherwise love leaves me feeling solemn inside.
Were You Nervous When You Started?
Absolutely! It took me about a year of dancing back and forth before I decided to finally try it out. Like I said, when I went and saw my first client, all I remember thinking was what a load of crap everything society had ever told me about sex work was. Even so, the first few months in the industry were filled with many mistakes as I navigated my way around new territory. This job has the steepest learning curve than any other job I’ve worked and even three years later, I’m still learning every day.
How You’re Unique In This Competitive Industry
The most important piece of advice I can give to all up and coming sex workers is: Be unapologetically yourself and never be afraid to speak your mind. The easiest way to be unique and stand out is to have the courage to be your unfiltered self as there is only one of you on this planet.
When you mute and quiet yourself out of fear of how others may react, you do a disservice to yourself and others as you do not give others who would love you for you, the opportunity to choose you. Speak up and never be afraid of the opinion of people who can not take it, I guarantee you there are many people out there who also feel and think what you do and will appreciate your candid honesty and bravery to be you. It is not about the numbers of your following; it is about the quality of it.
Is The Sex Work Industry Evolving?
Absolutely! I see it change every year. I am hoping with time, the societal stigma will be less and less and screening and safety for providers will become industry norms. There is absolutely nothing more important in this job than the safety and lives of the providers and it breaks my heart it’s often overlooked and that we work in a climate where it’s not prioritized.
Advice For Aspiring Sex Workers
Do your research, always screen, be prepared to deal with the stigma from society, never take business advice from clients (their advice is often self-serving and meant to benefit them, not you), and be very careful who you trust, both in and outside of this industry. The consequences can be very dire.
Stefania is an independent companion based out of Toronto, Canada. Along with working as a provider, she is a fierce advocate for improving sex work conditions and educating her colleagues on the many benefits of screening, personal boundaries, and being transparent and honest as an individual. She has written multiple guides for clients and providers on her website. She hopes to work in academic research one day.
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Images from Stefania
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