People who don’t work in the sex industry tend to have all kinds of ideas and opinions about the people who do. In fact, they seem to think they know an awful lot about the work they’ve never done, too. Those of us who actually know what we’re talking about couldn’t possibly know what we’re talking about. Seriously, some people are completely convinced that their ass backward ideas about this industry are what it’s all about.
All I can do is work on educating some of the smart ones. Here are the five most common myths or misconceptions about sex work, followed by facts.
Myth: You gotta look the part.
You know – slender, tanned, lingerie. This idea suggests that sex work is an act in entirety.
Men and women of all body types are successful in this industry. And no, you don’t have to learn to do a perfect cat eye if it’s not your thing. I wore makeup for years thinking I had to, until I finally realized that I don’t wear makeup – so why am I pretending I do. My face is so much happier since I gave up that notion.
Myth: Your career has an expiry date.
A lot of people think it’s around 24, maybe 30. A good friend of mine is 40 and still has a slew of devoted fans waiting for her to get back online. I just turned 30 and haven’t even gotten to the good part yet. It’s not even a matter of fitting into some category, like the whole 18-24 thing, MILF, GILF, whatever.
FACT: You’re always a person and you’re capable of connecting with other people on levels that many will pay for. That doesn’t expire (well, not before you do).
Myth: Extraversion is required.
I’m an introvert. In fact I have severe social anxiety. Those are two different factors, both of which would suggest by some people’s logic that I wouldn’t do well in this industry. Au contraire. I find my interactions on cam are actually the most accessible human interactions I have on a regular basis.
FACT: Your personality makes you you, and it doesn’t matter if you’re not the outgoing, bubbly type. If you are that’s cool too. It really just matters that you’re you.
Myth: It’s not okay to say NO if you’re a sex worker.
Right, because saying no is reserved for the real people (read sarcastically).
It’s very important to go into this industry with a strong grasp on your boundaries and your values. Never compromise on those. Your self-respect isn’t worth a few tokens, or even a bunch. As I’ve said before, if you compromise a little, you’ll compromise a little more. Eventually sex work will just be another job devoid of passion and eventually you’ll dread going to work.
It’s okay to try new things if you’re genuinely curious. But if you’re just doing it because you think you’ll make more by being more “open-minded”, check yourself. No means no – it doesn’t matter who you are.
Myth: Sex work is a last resort.
When I came out as a sex worker, my brother asked me if I felt I needed to be rescued. The fact is, a lot of society still doesn’t see the sex industry as a legitimate option. Rather it’s seen as a last resort, something you’d only turn to if you’re desperate and can’t do anything else.
To me, flipping burgers is a last resort. This is a matter of perspective. I won’t shame another person for their choice of employment, but I am very happy with my choice.