MY INTRODUCTION TO BECOMING A SEX WORKER
A few months ago, I met up with a friend to catch up over lunch. I was airing some financial woes, when they half-jokingly asked if I’d ever considered sex work, and offered to put me in contact with a friend of theirs who worked in the industry. I must have read every single word on the agency website at least twice before I filled out the job application. I took my time to thoughtfully feel out my answers to the questions openly and honestly.
One of them was:
“Why are you interested in becoming a sex worker?”
This is how I responded…
“Yesterday I had a long conversation with a new friend in the industry about the work she does, and I left feeling so inspired and excited with realizing that this work sounds like a very fulfilling and natural fit for me. I thrive on human connection and intimacy in all forms, and on helping other people achieve ecstatic experiences of all kinds. I’m also very sex-positive in my personal life, and love few things more than breaking unfair stigmas. I’m often told I have a naturally grounding and calming presence about me, am very attentive to and intuitive with people’s needs and emotional states, and genuinely love making people feel good, whatever that means for them. Touch and connection are basic human needs, and providing that service to people from all walks of life is an incredible thing that should be celebrated.”
Reading that again just now, I’m grinning ear-to-ear with a full heart knowing how true those words still ring for me, maybe even more so now that I’ve been working as a full-service sex worker for a few months. It’s truly surreal to realize that was a mere three months ago. A week after submitting my application I had my first mentoring session, and who should show up for training with me but the new friend I had spoken to on the phone a few days before! Thank you again, Holly Darken!
On the day of my first shift, I spent about three hours getting excessively ready and studying all of the notes I took in my mentoring session. When I commit to doing something, I really fixate on doing it to the very best of my human capabilities. I’m so grateful to Ms.Harvi for putting all of that material together. It helped me feel so much more confident and reaffirmed that sex work is a vocation I’m truly passionate about. To have access to that kind of industry experience and knowledge alone is priceless. The strength, fierce loyalty, and obscenely hard-working attitude that constitute her character make her exactly the person I want in my corner advocating for me in this line of work and in life in general. Her practices in ethics and transparency make it easy to feel safe, respected, and excited to help us grow and thrive together.
Now, I must tell you, I have been experiencing some serious
and unexpected side effects from doing this work.
The first of these side effects I’ll tell you about is a drastic increase in confidence and positive self-image. As I move through my day-to-day world, I carry myself a bit higher with a visibly augmented sense of self-worth. Body image is something I’ve struggled with and felt tormented by all of my life, starting at quite a young age, and while I’ve very intentionally been working on that mentality over the years, I don’t remember the last time loving my body took this little effort and felt this easy to sustain consistently.
Another of these side effects has been a heightened sense of personal autonomy. Financial autonomy as well, yes, but I specifically mean the feeling of being fully in control of one’s own life. Being the architect of my world with full artistic liberties, as opposed to feeling like life is just something that is happening to me. It’s seriously amazing what escaping the 9-5 can do for a girl!
I was diagnosed with ADHD and endometriosis in my adult years, which the archaic and rigid 40-hour work week is simply not capable of or willing to accommodate. This pathologically flawed but societally accepted schedule was not made for anyone who is different. The ability to set my own work schedule has been profound for symptom management. My symptoms, both mental and physical, have already been dramatically eased since becoming a sex worker and having the freedom to take care of myself fully, without fear of jeopardizing my job stability or not being able to make rent. Not having to work 40+ hours a week not to just make ends meet but to thrive would drastically improve anyone’s quality of life!
Being able to comfortably afford therapies, medications, massages, gym memberships, etc. has allowed me the financial freedom to take my health care into my own hands, and that’s a BIG deal.
Autonomy is fundamental to how Miss Harvi runs SweetVIPs. I am reminded frequently that I’m the pilot of the experiences I offer and that I never have to do anything I’m not completely comfortable with. Never just grin and bear it. That’s just not worth it for anyone involved, including our patrons. There’s an increased sense of autonomy over my own body that comes with that, as well as over my boundaries. Making a regular practice of being in touch with what my boundaries and preferences are is an important part of the job.
An especially delicious side effect is that it’s just so much fun walking around on any average afternoon feeling like I’ve got this sexy little secret (who doesn’t love a sexy little secret?!), this superhero alter ego who’s hot as hell, knows exactly what she’s doing and how to take charge, and is radically confident in her own skin.
Sex work gives many of us born outside of socioeconomic advantage a fighting chance to break the cycle and start building real, generational wealth. To build and look forward to futures of thriving, not just making do within a biased system.Mischa
Before my shifts and throughout the week, I find myself hyper-aware of every little detail of my body. Every scar, every hair out of place, every minute “imperfection”, the way I’m perceived, and the way I perceive myself in general. One might think that would actually have a negative effect on body image and self-esteem, but I’ve experienced quite the opposite. I’m able to look at all those little things, perhaps for the first time in my life, without wincing or looking away, and instead recognizing them as perfectly, preciously human.
The airbrushed image of the perfect body and face perpetuated by modern media simply doesn’t exist in reality, and the things we perceive as “imperfections” in our own image are generally things that only we notice because we are told on a daily basis to equate a lack of “flaws” with value and worthiness. These are the fabricated notions of a sick and greedy beauty industry.
Everyone—every single person—has insecurities, just as
every single person has a distinct sparkle about them, something uniquely
theirs that makes them unequivocally and irreplaceably beautiful.
I believe it’s part of my job and perhaps part of my unique skillset to be able to see that sparkle both in myself and in the people I work with. I’ve found myself taking better care of my body and taking pride in doing so. I’ve been going back to the gym, luxuriating in my skin-care routines, cooking more, and making more time in my schedule for self-care rituals like meditation and journaling. I take showing up for my clients at my best very seriously, and the biggest part of that is showing up at my best for myself. I feel a sense of responsibility but also more enjoyment in taking the time regularly, even on days that I’m not working, to take pride in the way I present myself to the world and that feels so, so good. Therapeutic, really.
All of these things are important to me and things I strive to do anyway, but looking at taking care of myself as part of my work has made it significantly easier for me to stick with, and I’m enjoying every second of that. I find that the more energy I dedicate to self-care, the more I realize how much I enjoy taking care myself, and the more I realize just how goddamn much I love myself.
Innately, being a sex worker is a politically charged position. Sex workers have long been used as scapegoats for much larger systemic issues of morality. For me, sex work is also a way of breaking the cycle of poverty I was born into. A way of literally f*cking the system that has so grossly failed me by design. I intimately know how real the cycle of poverty is, and how difficult it is to escape. Sex work gives many of us born outside of socioeconomic advantage a fighting chance to break the cycle and start building real, generational wealth. To build and look forward to futures of thriving, not just making do within a biased system. This perspective vehemently fuels my drive to loudly, and proudly help break the stigma around sex work and to advocate at every opportunity for the decriminalization of our essential industry. The sex work industry and I are going to do great things together.