Cate is something of a renaissance sex worker and has held numerous interesting jobs in the adult industry. Each week, she shares her stories in Harlotry.
About a month ago, my boyfriend and I broke up. Breakups are never fun, but I guess it was as chill as any breakup ever can be. I spent a few days being super bummed about the whole situation, and then decided to throw myself into my work, the very work that I’m sure was a contributing factor in the gradual crumbling of my relationship with Daniel. Now that I was single, I had an official pass to return to escorting without worrying about telling lies or feeling guilty feelings. It was a breath of fresh air, I could now do whatever the hell I wanted without any annoying restrictions!
I’ve written about relationships and sex work a couple of times, and I do firmly believe that it’s totally possible for all sex workers, even full service sex workers, to have beautiful, healthy relationships. There are plenty of whores out there who are in committed, loving relationships and whose partners know exactly what they do. There are plenty of women who ended up marrying clients and still continuing to work during the early stages of the relationship. That’s awesome, I’m happy for all those people, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it just isn’t for me.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been burned by the fact that my first serious relationship as a sex worker, and actually my first serious relationship in general, was deeply abusive and chock full of not-even-latent whorephobia, but even if that’s a contributing factor I don’t think it’s everything.
I haven’t talked a lot about my dating habits here, mostly because it was only recently that I realized how relevant they are to my work. My profession informs my dating habits far more than I’d really like to admit. Like many sex workers, I’m some kind of queer, though my queerness changes in extremity from day to day and even hour to hour. I’m a firm believer in the sexuality as a spectrum idea because the whole neat system of gay/bi/straight boxes really, really does not apply to me or most of the people I know. That said, I primarily date cisgendered men partly because it’s easier, partly because dick is amazing, and partly because a lot of lady-loving ladies aren’t too into ladies who love dick as much as I do (thanks bisexuality erasure, you’re great) or dress quite as high femme as I do. I just don’t seem to appear “gay enough” to attract most women.
For better or worse, though, my romantic partners and my clients tend to be from the same group, if not the same subgroup. Therefore, my profession and my dating/sexing habits intersect in the sense that being a sex worker for so long has ingrained in me the idea that men, even men I am attracted to, should pay to have sex with me. If they aren’t paying outright, then certainly they should have the decency to buy me dinner or drinks, or something. That is how the dialogue goes.
There are rare cases where the sex is good enough that I don’t have a problem with an encounter that isn’t as overtly transactional, but for the most part I don’t really see the use of non-transactional sexual interactions with men. This leads me to generally pursue somewhat more old-fashioned men, since they are usually far more comfortable with the idea of earning the privilege of having sex with me through money.