• Mon, Jun 17 - 9:30 am ET

Harlotry: On The Clients I Actually Like

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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. 

I write a lot about the nightmare clients, the guys who I absolutely cannot stand, and I suspect my stories so far have given the wrong impression. It isn’t that I hate my clients, I just write a lot about the bad ones because they make better stories. It isn’t really fun to read about a guy with whom I had fun. It’s a lot more fun to read about a man who gets so drunk he is barely coherent, or a man who is so lonely he has moved into creepy territory and tracked me down, called my home number, and talked to my mother.

The thing is, most of my clients aren’t like that. Most of my clients are either boring or genuinely wonderful and it’s these wonderful men who make my job so worthwhile. The thing is, there are two kinds of clients, the men who pay because they want to–whether because they can’t or don’t want to come out as submissives to their wives or girlfriends or because they simply don’t have time for a romantic relationship–and the men who pay because they have to. The majority of clients I see are of the first variety, and I love them as much as I hate the second variety.

I’ve mentioned before that part of the reason why I love sex work so much is the way it allows me to help people. I like to think I help all my clients in one way or another. Sex is right smack in the middle of the hierarchy of needs, and while some of my clients do have sex with their wives or girlfriends, very few of them get the kind of sex they need.

Probably the most common argument against what I do is the old, “It’s not even natural–can’t these sick fucks just have normal sex with their wives? Why do they have to go to you?” and yeah, I get how someone might think that. It’s really easy to rationalize away the need for something a bit more involved than middle of the road vanilla sex if that’s where your interests lie, but if it isn’t (and it certainly isn’t where my interests lie) the idea of my clients giving up kink in order to honor a commitment they made to a woman they don’t even feel safe sharing their perversions with is absurd.

Deciding not to have pervert sex for whatever reason–whether because it freaks your partner out or because you think it’s wrong–is really, really fucking rough. It’s like drinking black coffee every day for years when you prefer lots of sugar and hazelnut creamer. It’s still coffee, which is better than no coffee, but it gets really depressing after not very long.

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  • Jurassic_Babe

    I feel weird taking an anti-sympathy stance here, but I have little sympathy for individuals who say their partners “don’t understand them” or “can’t fulfill their needs” and therefore they have “no choice” but to seek professional services. There is always a choice. These people chose to mimic a monogamous relationship and are choosing to lie about that fidelity. Granted, some of your clients might be open with their partners about going outside of the relationship to meet their sexual needs, but that doesn’t sound like the majority situation.

    • Fabel

      Yeah, I had thoughts about that too, while reading this? I’m sure in ~some~ circumstances the partner IS completely opposed to kink, & really WOULD react extremely negatively to being asked to fulfill certain fantasies, but I also have to assume in other cases, the dude (just gonna say “dude” to simplify things, since the clients Cathryn is talking about are male…) is just too afraid to speak up, or is bad at communicating to the degree that seeking outside fulfillment is almost the lazy way out? Or else there’s a madonna/whore complex thing going on, where it’s more comfortable for them to ask a sex worker than to ask their wife.

      (P.S. these are just the thoughts floating around in my head, I’m not trying to lessen the services you provide, Cathryn, in case it comes off that way? I know you get weird-ass comments sometimes, so I’m just being cautious—overly so, I’m sure—in separating mine from those.)

  • OhOk

    Every cheating man in the world has a partner who is cold, mean, unsympathetic, or just doesn’t understand his needs. Every “other woman” in the world uses those sob stories to justify the man’s lies, infidelity, and risk to their partners’ sexual health.. You seem to think you’re an exception to the cliche because they’re paying you in cash instead of fancy dinners and jewelry.

    • http://toyboxkiller.tumblr.com/ Cate

      I am the exception to the cliché, just as most sex workers are. These men can step outside their marriages, be unfaithful, and go back to their lives. We are generally much more conscientious about sexual health (the rates of STDs among sex workers are actually lower than those among civilians) and we have no significant emotional investment in the relationship, and so are much less likely to expose our clients to their families than a civilian mistress is.
      In a lot of cases, infidelity is what is saving an otherwise strong, but sexually dead marriage. Better a professional who won’t ruin a man’s life than a civilian.

  • Andrea

    I know I’ll get slammed for saying this, but whatever. Your stories make me sad. I don’t know why I read them (I know, I should stop).

    But this one didn’t make me sad, it made me angry. I don’t have anything against prostitution and I think it should be legal (but still..sad), but you just basically justified blatant cheating. And the reason? Because a partner cannot or will not satisfy sexual “needs”? Just as there are plenty of men into sub/dom and shades in between, so there are women. There is no need to cheat and I find it pretty shitty that you would justify it.

    • http://toyboxkiller.tumblr.com/ Cate

      I have a lot of feelings about cheating, but mostly I believe that every situation should be considered on a case-by-case basis. It’s very likely that stepping outside the marriage for their sexual needs is exactly what is saving these men’s marriages. It’s better that these men go to sex workers like me, who are generally more conscientious about safety and significantly less likely to out a client than a civilian woman.

      I’m sorry my stories make you sad, but honestly I’m not entirely sure what makes you so sad about them. Yes, I see a lot of unfortunate people, but I provide a valuable service and I am happy in my career.

    • Andrea

      I’m sure that’s great comfort to their wives.

    • Andrea

      And also, personally, I am not sure that I would care for my marriage to be “saved” by having my spouse go satisfy his needs somewhere else. And I really cannot imagine that there are too many women out there that wouldn’t be horrified to know that their marriages are being “saved” by their husband getting spanked by a non-civilian woman.

    • Luci Bloom

      Moral of the story…don’t get married, because believe me…they are ALL doing it! There have only been one or two exceptions that I’ve personally seen while on the job, of A man deciding he couldn’t go through with it because he loved his girlfriend, or just single men who have no wife and therefore aren’t cheating…the rest…pffft…getting married is for suckers!

      Maybe if the women made it safer and easier for their men to communicate their needs instead of treating them like they are just perverts…but I doubt it.

      I’ve had a client tell me that going to see a sex worker makes him appreciate his wife all the more when he goes home afterwards. You’d be truly surprised if you only knew how many of them would go to a sex worker without a blink of the eye at any given moment of the day, and consider it something they are entitled to.

      Wouldn’t you prefer that if your man is going to cheat, that he do it with a professional, for money, and not become emotionally involved with her? Don’t all the surveys say that women care more that their men don’t get emotionally involved with another woman?

    • Andrea

      This is a pretty old discussion.

      But to answer your question: I rather he would leave me than spend our hard earned money on a prostitute.

      And for the rest of it, I am pretty sure it’s attitudes like yours that account for a lot of the misgivings and judgyness that a lot of people (women?) have towards the sex industry.

      I am pretty sure you just set the progress back a few decades.

    • Luci Bloom

      You’re entitled to your opinion of course, that doesn’t mean it is anything more than just an opinion. I don’t see where my attitude is causing misgivings and judgyness. I just call it like i see it. If you don’t like hearing that maybe women might be partially responsable for why their husbands go to prostitutes, then that’s too bad. That doesn’t mean what I said doesn’t hold some merit…it just means you don’t want to hear it and certainly wives don’t want to hear it. I can understand why they don’t, but hey.