Harlotry: Has Sex Work Made Me Better At Sex?

Julia Roberts Sex Work

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.

Share This Post:
    • Sean

      I’m confused. Cate, when you say “like garbage” do you mean you prefer to be submissive, or is this a kink I’m unfamiliar with?

      • Cate

        I definitely prefer to be submissive, but there are levels of submission, you know?
        I mean, one sexually submissive person might just want to be gently tied up, but spoken to lovingly, but I fall into the other camp of sexually submissive people who like to be smacked around as hard as sanely possible and verbally abused.
        This is what I mean by being treated like garbage.

      • Sean

        Ah I understand now. Kudos for your candor! I’m always impressed by the honesty and frankness (?) of your articles.

      • Cate

        I try to be as honest and frank as possible. It can be scary sometimes, but overall I think it’s worth it.

    • Jon

      Nothing to add to the convo, just wanted to drop in and say, hi:) Another great article. Definitely lots of respect for your honesty. I’m a pretty big perv and wouldn’t have the courage to talk about my fantasies in public even though I know there is nothing to be ashamed of.