Cate 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.
Hookerpobia is an ugly, insidious thing. You only have to read the comments of some of these columns to see the social attitudes towards sex workers.
According to society we are diseased, we are nymphomaniacs, or we are unable to enjoy sex. We are lazy, we are stupid, and perhaps worst of all–we are unlovable and not even worthy of love. Of course none of this is true. Sex workers are actually more likely than civilians to practice safe sex, and while many of us do have slightly higher sex drives than most people, we certainly aren’t all nymphomaniacs or sex addicts. Just because some of us frequently have sex for money, it doesn’t mean we’re unable to enjoy unpaid sex. We are neither stupid nor lazy, as those qualities are not the things that allow us to succeed in our field. To suggest that someone is unlovable based on his or her profession is ridiculous.
But this last idea—that a woman is unworthy of love because of her profession—is the one that most effectively worms itself into my head. It’s easy for me to disprove all the other assumptions made about me. I know they aren’t true and I have concrete, logical evidence to prove their falsehood, but I don’t have concrete, logical evidence to disprove the last one. Sure, I’m in a wonderful relationship with a wonderful man who legitimately doesn’t seem to care what I do for money, but there’s a constant nagging doubt that if he were to see what goes on in a session or even if he saw the genuine care I have for many of my clients, his apathy towards my profession would vanish pretty quickly.
It’s not that I’m unable to tell the difference between work and play. I know very well that what I do at work and what I do privately are very, very different, at least mentally and emotionally. However, I also know that most civilians are completely unable to understand the difference. They see that the actions performed as basically the same, and assume the mentality that goes along with those actions are the same as well.