Whether you smell good. Whether you’re freshly shaved. Whether you’ve bothered to put on a clean shirt. When you make an effort, your worker knows you’re investing more than just money into the encounter - that you see the meeting as a special occasion.
Whenever my job is mentioned in newspapers, blogs, or magazines, the same tropes tend to pop up: moral panic, drug abuse, violence. Journalists quote us selectively, so that it sounds as if we’re living out the sex-negative, whorephobic stereotypes the public are used to consuming.
Setting up business as an independent sex worker means putting a lot of information about ourselves online: our photos, our carefully-written advertising text, and our working names. This content is valuable because it brings in clients (and income).
Clinical psychologist and sex therapist Dr. David Ley has long been critical of the sex addiction framework, and wrote the book The Myth of Sex Addiction to explain why. I sat down with him to explore why sex addiction is a problematic concept, and how it contributes to whorephobia.
It’s not all about wheelchairs - chronic pain, neurodiversity, and mental health are all relevant too, and learning to talk with clients about what they need and how they experience pleasure is essential.