Harlotry: I’m Going Independent As A Sex Worker And I’m Pretty Terrified

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So, I’m independent now, you guys. I started out independent, I got fed up with being independent, I went to a fetish house, I got tired of the fetish house, and now I feel like I have a new lease on life.

Initially, I wasn’t intending to be fully independent this early on; I intended to test the waters of independence, see how I liked them, and go from there. The problem: when I posted a fairly innocuous, vanilla-targeted advertisement which mentioned in passing that I welcome fetishes and fantasies, it got a lot of attention. And because the world of Chicago fetish is what it is, a lot of the attention it attracted came from the established clientele of Dolorous Delights. This would have been all well and good–until a few of those clients decided my boss needed to know about my ad.

I hadn’t been actively hiding my independent activities from Mimi, but I also didn’t see why she needed to know. I was using a different name and pictures I’d paid for on an ad that I’d also paid for. I didn’t see it as competition, but when several clients emailed her about my ad, Mimi did not agree with me.

When she asked to speak with me, I suspected it was about my advertisement. I didn’t expect her to be too upset about it; I thought she was just going to ask what was up. I was wrong. Mimi was very, very upset. Despite the fact that it seemed clear to me that my ad was targeted towards an entirely different demographic than the official ads posted for the dungeon, the fact that I mentioned being fetish friendly was sufficient for Mimi to see me as competition, if not particularly threatening competition. I was mildly upset. While I’d been considering leaving on my own terms if my independent career went well, I hadn’t tested independence out as thoroughly as I’d hoped.

Despite this, I wasn’t about to grovel. I explained that while I felt my ad was targeted to a sufficiently different demographic from the official dungeon ads as to not be competition, that was ultimately up to her to decide. I’d stay if she’d have me, I said, but if she felt it best to fire me, I wasn’t going to fight her. I’m not sure if the outcome would have been different had I begged or cried–I probably would still be at Dolorous Delights–but I guess Mimi interpreted my apathetic response to be an expression of my desire to be entirely independent.

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    • Alexis H

      It seems like every job you’ve taken ends up making you miserable. I don’t mean this as a criticism because you sound like you have a good head on your shoulders and I respect what you’re doing, but the way you described this job made it sound like The One. It sounded like you’d finally found a place to call home. I’m really surprised to hear that you were secretly miserable. Maybe you need a break from sex work for a while? I know how work burnouts feel, and the only thing that’s ever worked for me was leaving my job and going into something very different. Maybe not, it’s your life and you know what’s best for you.

      • JL

        I agree with your sentiment. I’ve been following this series since the beginning and it just seems to be on a repetitive cycle of miserable-new job-great-ok-miserable. The way the articles are continuously written I start to feel like sex work isn’t as great as the author makes it out to be (for herself). It sounds more like she’s trying to convince herself that this is her only option of work so she just needs to find different ways of dealing with it?

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

        It isn’t so much that my work eventually makes me miserable, it’s more that I have a longstanding relationship with that fun thing that is clinical depression.

        But you’re right, this job really was The One for a long time. Then something happened, I don’t really know what, and my boss started over-hiring inexperienced girls who didn’t know what they were doing, and treading over the bodies of those of us who had been there longer.
        If the strategy works for her, then good job, but from my perspective it just wasn’t the place for me anymore. Already one of my dearest friends has left, and I’m sure she won’t be the last to leave. I know, in my heart of hearts, that we’ll all be going on to do great things, whether as hookers or as something else.

      • Alexis H

        That’s good to hear. I just didn’t want you to stick with a career that you no longer love just to prove commitment to a cause. Best of luck in the new venture!

    • Casual observer

      Good luck with your new endeavors. I’ve been following this series for a while and enjoyed it quite a bit.

      On a side note, I’ve been a client at Dolorous Delights (though not one of yours) and I noticed that you weren’t on the website anymore, so I was wondering what happened to you.

      I think that leaving this establishment might be a good move for you. In spite of really enjoying the company of one of the submissive there (the tall skinny one with the dark hair is probably all the description I need to give), I have not been back to your old place of employment in a while, mostly because I think your employer is taking too many chances and her entire setup is not nearly discrete enough for me.

      I wish you the best of luck in the future, but please don’t feel that sex work is something that you need to do forever if you’re not happy. You’re clearly intelligent enough to do whatever you please.

      • lily

        I’ve been following you as well. I’m also a sex worker. I’m an erotic masseuse. I guess I’m commenting on that last note: “You’re clearly intelligent enough to do whatever you please.” Of course you are. Or.. you should be, right? I have two master’s degrees. I would prefer to find a career in my fields, but this has proven extremely difficult. I continue applying to jobs that I’m qualified for. I enjoy massage because it pays super well for limited time and my clients are great. But yeah, I’d rather have a decent job without all the strings attached. I’m here because of the state of our economy. Many of us choose to be in this field because it’s the better option, but I definitely feel depressed about the fact that I can’t find work that pays anywhere near what I make as a masseuse. I would even take a pay cut, if I could get a fulfilling job. Having a decent exit strategy is a lot harder than one might imagine in our economy.