Cathryn Berarovich is something of a renaissance sex worker; she was until recently employed as a stripper but has held numerous interesting jobs in the industry (and she’s currently an excellent columnist on this very website). Each week, she shares her stories in Harlotry.
One of the most common questions people ask–especially when they find out I used to be a whore–is whether my experience in the sex industry has made me better at sex. They generally assume it has; people who visit prostitutes can’t just be paying for the opportunity to have sex with someone who normally would be out of their league, right? They must also be paying for some hyper-flexible nymph with no gag reflex, a set of pelvic floor muscles that could crush diamonds, and an appetite for sex that at least seems to be endless.
This is kind of true. I’m pretty sure most customers wouldn’t pay three hundred dollars an hour to engage in lie down kisses with a girl who sprawled there like a dead fish or commenced gagging if a penis so much as entered the vicinity of her mouth, but while I may have shared a profession with Manet’s Olympia, I’m pretty sure I’m no sexual Olympian. I’ve certainly never received any complaints about my technique, and I’ve received plenty of compliments, but I’m not sure that’s so unusual.
The main things sex work have done for me are to give me greater control over my gag reflex and weaken almost all of my inhibitions to the breaking point. As long as it doesn’t involve children, animals, or shit, I’m up for trying almost anything. Sex work has also made me completely unafraid of the human body and all the weird stuff it does. There was a time when I would have been pretty distressed if a guy, say, asked me to stick my finger up his butt during a blowjob. But in the almost five years I’ve been a sex worker, I’ve seen people who are into things so much weirder that such a request doesn’t even register.