Cathryn Berarovich is something of a renaissance sex worker; she’s currently employed as a pro-domme at a fetish house but has held numerous interesting jobs in the adult industry. Each week, she shares her stories in Harlotry.
This is a difficult essay to start. By the time it’s published, you will all have essentially seen me naked. I’m no stranger to varying degrees of public nudity, but that is completely different from the nakedness that comes with displaying one’s battered, stitched up heart on the internet.
I considered just diving right back into my sex work narrative and writing another musing about my profession or possibly sharing some amusing anecdote, but I don’t think any of us would be served well by such a piece. Instead, I’m writing about recovery again, this time in the context of community among sex workers.
I’ve been a sex worker in a community structure three times, all of which have been different, and I prefer working in a group to working independently for a number of reasons. The main reasons is, of course, that by working in an environment with other women who not only know exactly what you do, but do it themselves, you have a built-in support network.
I’ve already written about the sense of community and sisterhood at Paradox. We were a tiny, close-knit group, bound together by deadbeat partners who lived off our incomes, the bizarre behavior of the men who came to watch us spread our legs behind glass, and the kind of friendliness that can only come from sharing a 5×15 corridor with four or five other humans, their assorted possessions, and a makeup counter. We got along partly because we had to, making sure that anyone who threatened the tranquility of our tiny dressing room was summarily ejected.
At Heavenly Creatures, I found a similar sense of community.