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girl for work

"Maryann Sturgill" (2018-08-06)


This man knew I was a sex worker. It says so, right in my own Bumble profile: retired media whore, current actual whore. He had even commented onto it, using what every woman longs to know from a romantic interest:'Haha, nice ;) '. And yet I watched as his face contorted into an expression of disgust, his upper lip curling as the truth of my profession came crashing down around him like a tonne of bricks.

"That is clearly a lot," he said, and he then rolled to his back and stared at the ceiling. I didn't hear from him again.

It sometimes surprises people to hear that sex workers do a number of normal people activities, like working other jobs, studying, taking the bins out. We exist in actuality after our shifts end and the red light is flicked off; we have dinner with your families and shop at K-Mart and wait on hold with your internet service providers for what is like hours.

It's not common that the physical and emotional experiences we have at the job will be enough to replace a potential insufficient intimate connection in our lives outside of work; so many of us also date, with varied quantities of success.

A couple of months ago, I ended a connection with a person I have been seeing for almost two years. In private, he was a huge supporter of me working, but around his colleagues and friends his tune appeared to change. He would introduce me, but hesitate in describing our relationship; when he said, "This is Kate..." the silence that hung in the room where, "...my girlfriend," should have already been weighed a tonne.

I don't think that he personally had a trouble with me being a sex worker, but I actually do genuinely believe that the possibility of other folks judging me – and then judging him to be with me – was enough to produce him want to help keep me a secret.

So I've recently downloaded some dating apps and put myself back on the proverbial market, but it's tough. Along with all the current usual questions one ponders before a romantic date (What do I wear? Where shall we go?) I find myself asking things such as, "At what point do we have the talk?"

The talk by which I clarify my job, re-explain my profession in case my date didn't read my Bumble bio, forgot what it said, or – worse – thought it was a joke. Do I tell him the moment we meet, or before we say goodnight? Or do I throw it out randomly within the נערות ליווי course of the evening: "Wow, this wine is delicious. Incidentally, I'm a hooker. Pass the salt?"

The best dream scenario is that my date is supportive, and happy that I've found a type of work that I love and supports me financially. Unfortunately, it has only happened once – once! – so nowadays, I find that a lot of responses fall somewhere between abject fascination and outright objectification.

Sometimes I end on the receiving end of a lot of rapid-fire questions ("What's the weirdest thing you've ever done at the job? Have you ever had a celebrity client? Are the people all old and ugly? They're not, like, normal guys like me, are they?") which surpasses horrified silence, but leaves me feeling like I've just been interviewed for an hour.

Other times, my date can barely contain their disgust, quizzing me over and once more about how frequently I get my sexual health checks done and if I'm sure I'm not really a carrier of some mutant strain of gonorrhoea.

"That's all perfectly and good," one man said, over coffee, "But obviously in the event that you went with me, you'd have to get a real job. And you couldn't tell anyone we realize that you used to work." You ought to probably Google me before you obtain too attached to that particular idea, I wanted to sneer.

Needless to say, even the crudest line of questioning is just a better case scenario compared to very real threat of violence that lots of sex workers face when speaking about their job. I have friends who've been followed home and stalked by men who couldn't understand just why their date with a sex worker didn't end with a romp, and others who've had partners show up at their work in a spontaneous fit of jealousy, viciously demanding they empty their locker and return home with them immediately.

And even that is better than the chance of physical violence from an intimate partner. I once went on a romantic date with a man who invited me up to his bedroom, held me down as he initiated sex without a condom, and then read among my own articles, about sex work, out loud to me as I lay silently alongside him.

Dating isn't simple for anyone. Even the act of having to distil your entire person in to a short and snappy paragraph fit for a dating app will do to produce anyone wish to provide their hands and surrender to a life of solitude.

Still, I believe in love, and I am aware from past experiences that relationships – when they're good – are worth every struggle.

On the days when it's all a lot of, I find myself thankful for the נערות ליווי simple, stress-free nature of transactional sex. One hour on the clock and a peck on the cheek to state a fond goodbye until the next occasion: only if finding love was as simple.

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