In the past year, I spent a lot of time thinking about my relationship with sex work.
I have to confess that sex work has brought a lot of beauty to my life. I don't think I would have been able to reach financial stability if it weren't for it. The ability to learn without interference. Strength and resilience. Business and interpersonal skills. friend forever. My partner.
But it would be a lie to say that sex work did not bring anything less beautiful to my life.
Narratives about sex work are usually either black or white, good or bad, ethical or immoral. The stereotypes of the media conceal the complexity of sex work and the stories of sex workers. If sex workers say bad things about sex work, it will be hijacked and used as fuel. It is used as evidence that sex work is actually abhorrent. Therefore, we shut up and did not tell our story.
As an escort, most of my customers are elder or married men. Yes, that is my targeting market. Personally, I always like these clients because I find that getting married and having a certain place in life means that they can better maintain boundaries-they want an arrangement without any strings attached, and so do I.
Of course, the reasons why married men look for escorts are complicated. In fact, the fact that anyone sees an escort is complicated. We can all be categorised, but we'll never truly comprehend a person's circumstance. I have always tried to psychologically sympathize with those who are trapped in unhappy or dissatisfied relationships. But over time, the fact that many men live these secret lives away from their wives began to bother me. I had nothing to do with their wrongdoing; it was totally their fault. But I do start to wonder if all men are like this.
Some of my clients look cute. They seem to be kind, kind people. Achieving, clever, good father, and loyal husband. However, they are here, stealing money from their joint account to book sex workers, and their wives think they are attending a long business lunch. Their kindness disturbed me. If good-looking people lie and deceive, how do we pick bad people? If there is no obvious signal, how do you know who should be trusted and who should not be trusted?
But it goes further than that. Yes, they seem to be good customers. But there are also annoying customers. Clients who disrespect sex workers, clients who are aggressive, clients who take advantage of my time and money. Many of these people look cute until they are no longer cute. They don't hate it. Sometimes I have seen these customers for months or years, and then they will do something to destroy my trust. Scared me. These people, they walk among us. They look like ordinary, kind, everyday people. But when no one pays attention, they treat sex workers as rubbish. They treat sex workers as second-class citizens, garbage, and waste. But unless you peek from behind the curtains, you won't know this. This scares me.
All this sounds trivial, but it has deeply affected me. It's quite hard to tell who is good and who is bad. As a result, I was becoming cynical.
I began to assume that everyone is a bad person. I think if there is a chance, everyone will lie or cheat behind closed doors. I guess if no one sees it, everyone will treat sex workers as rubbish. Everyone treats me like trash.
Sex work makes me cynical about the world, people, and especially men.
I'm not immune to irony, though, and I dislike it when people categorise sex work as "good" or "bad" without taking into account its complexities. But I'm here to sort them into good and negative categories although most of people think it's bad.
I don't believe this means that sex work is "bad". I think this means that sex work, like all work, is dangerous. Coupled with my personal vulnerability, these dangers make me cynical.
As my therapist said, “It’s no different from being a policeman or a firefighter—if you see the same trauma day after day, of course you will be affected.” I was affected, but I am trying to resolve it.