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.
It wasn’t very long ago that I wrote about taking an indefinite hiatus from the sex industry, possibly retiring completely. At the time I felt as if I was unable to handle the difficult emotional burden that comes with employment in the sex industry. Back in January I was pretty sure sex work–the work that had saved me from the pits of misery–would destroy me. I wasn’t sure I’d ever go back to any kind of sex work; though I missed it horribly, I wasn’t ready to test my newly recovered emotional strength by plunging back into an industry that (for all its excellent qualities) is capable of draining the life out of a person, taxing one’s mental strength, and leaving you tired, bitter, and brittle.
I’d taken a hiatus to get my head together. By this February, it had been nearly six months since I’d done anything that could remotely be considered sex work. I was still in the process of recovering from the aftermath of my relationship with Stanley and the abuse he’d subjected me to throughout the course of our time together. It was difficult enough to consider the possibility of a normal, unpaid sexual relationship, I knew it would be impossible to get myself into the headspace required for any paid encounter of even the slightest sexual nature.