Friday, November 13, 2009

How We Feel About Our Jobs

“Satisfied. I only take one or two calls a week. This way I can eat well and not worry about money. Student loans don’t give enough to live on.”

“Overall, I'm very satisfied with my job. I love dancing on stage, doing my makeup and wearing beautiful costumes. The freedom to take time off work whenever I want is another fantastic aspect of the job. Stripping has done wonders for my personal development. It's made me far more assertive, more adept at thinking on my feet, and more efficient at deflecting criticism. Developing the athleticism and strength to dance and do pole work, and seeing my body become more lean and toned as a result, has also done a lot to boost my self-confidence.”

“I love my job. I love the costumes. The high pay. The freedom of time. I do have to worry about my appearance a lot, and keep in great shape. When I feel bloated, or I am having an off day, this affects my self-esteem just like with anyone else.”

“It wasn’t until after 10 years of working that I became dissatisfied for I then wanted to form a relationship with just one man. So I quit and went back to school.”

"I feel like I am providing a very healthy and helpful service to people. It can be hard when I get the clients who don’t appreciate that, but I try to focus on the ones that do. Usually when the clients are disrespectful, it’s a reflection of how they feel about themselves, not me."

Adult entertainers, for the most part, consider their work creative and empowering. Other benefits include freedom of time, increased confidence, and becoming more open-minded sexually.

However, this work is not always beneficial for our souls. It’s easy to become dependent on the praise and love given by our customers. Then when we are away from the work, we feel inadequate and invisible. Then there is the added complexity of having lovers. (Explored more in Chapter 7 – Our Relationships.)

This business enables us to fend for ourselves financially, work flexible hours, and support our families. But, like any job, it can sometimes be bad.

“Sometimes it feels disgusting. I think I’m as lonely as they are.”

“It depends if I have money or not. It changes from day to day.”

“Unsatisfied. I got raped and I quit. It was too dangerous. I was really scared. Before that though, I always had good food and nice clothes.”

“At the time I was doing sex work, I was not sexually functional due to childhood abuse issues. Sex work (having sex when I wasn’t sexually aroused and faking arousal) was no different than sex in an intimate relationship was for me. I had my first orgasm with another human being at the age of 40, nine months after exiting the sex industry.”

“I feel like because I am a part of the sex worker rights movement that there isn’t a lot of room for me to talk about how shitty it sometimes was. That I have to maintain a strong face, and never appear to be the victim.”

“I know today that I used my body to get what I wanted. I believe that the work contributed to my low self-esteem and sense of worthlessness. I still feel a lot of this now that I am no longer in the trade. I found participating in degrading acts has left me with this sense of emptiness, this disconnect, guilt, shame, and remorse.”

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