|Description||“I just worry that you’re having more fun with your clients than you’re having with me.” We’d been dating for more than two years; this was a typical argument. He was sulking and I was pacing anxiously. Finally, he revealed that he felt insecure about my work as an escort. The fancy lunches, expensive hotels and beautiful gifts...he’d somehow decided that stuff meant more to me than our relationship. I thought this was ridiculous, obviously. As someone who has worked in the sex industry for a long time, I know the difference between a work date (no matter how fancy) and a romantic relationship. But he didn’t. So I made an effort to reassure him. I talked about difficult customers, days when I didn’t feel like having sex, paying taxes, and answering emails. I emphasised the frustrating, unpleasant, boring aspects of my work. But he wasn’t convinced. Even though we’re no longer together, I’m sure he still feels cheated; that because I went to dinner at Rockpool with my regulars, he was being up-staged. Those arguments still affect me. When we were dating, I’d feel guilty about enjoying the slightest moment of intimacy at work. It was as if actually liking my job was a betrayal of our relationship. And these days Sometimes, if I’m having a really good session with a client, I worry, ‘If I enjoy it too much, am I being unprofessional_’ On the other hand, if there’s no pleasure at all, I worry that I’m proving the abolitionists right - that I’m one of those oppressed souls that need to be rescued. And a workday with no fun is a miserable experience - not something I’d want in any job. So how much fun should I really be having at work Before we unpick this problem, let’s acknowledge that most people have a lot of trouble un-coupling the idea of sex and pleasure. Thanks to the standard social stereotype, the correlation between sex, pleasure, attachment, and love seems obvious. But I’ve always thought differently. Sex means different things to different people. It can be about wanting to explore a new person, getting closer to a friend, or having an endorphin high.. As my high school gym teacher told us in sex education_ ”For some people, sex means ‘I love you.’ For some people, sex means ‘I like you.’” (He forgot to mention that for some people, sex means ‘I like you paying me.’) Everyone has a different view on whether sex workers experience pleasure with their clients. For example, insecure partners might assume we’re having the time of our lives. SWERFs are convinced that we hate every minute. Clients might fantasise that we do sex work to satisfy our excessive appetites, or - conversely - worry that every orgasm is faked. My experience is that it depends; on the type of job, the connection with the client, how I’m feeling on the day, and how good they are in bed. I’ve had everything from tedious, eye-rolling sex to sublime experiences that remind me life is worth living. And the awkward and average, too! Sex is endlessly variable. That’s one of the reasons I like it so much. Of course, everyone handles things differently. Some escorts might turn up and present the same service and persona every time, regardless of how they’re feeling on the day. Their professionalism is what they offer - they don’t take or experience physical pleasure themselves, unless it’s the pleasure of doing a great job. Some of us might be blessed with the kinds of bodies that come over and over again so easily that it makes our sessions a breeze. Sex drive also plays a part - at certain times in my career, I’ve been what you might call ‘constantly horny’ and it’s made work a delight! Then, at other times, that feeling isn’t there, and I have to draw on other aspects of the session to help make it enjoyable_ curiosity, connection, the thrill of making my clients happy. Honestly, work sex is never going to be the same as sex in my personal life because I’m always attending to the comfort of my clients. I’m providing a service, not seeking pleasure for its own sake. Often, I’m so focused on someone else’s goals that there’s no space for me to take enjoyment for myself. And there’s nothing wrong with that! Whether it’s a complex kink scene, or just holding space for someone who’s anxious and vulnerable, I’ll always prioritise professionalism. Sometimes clients demand ‘genuine pleasure’ from me without understanding what that really means. Lots of guys care about satisfying their partners, and that’s a noble goal. But a real show of pleasure doesn’t always satisfy. More than once, I’ve climaxed for real, only to be asked ‘Did you just fake that_’ because I didn’t orgasm in the specific way they expected. Even wanting your escort to ‘be themselves’ in your company comes at a price perhaps they’re having a bad week and are less chatty than you’d hoped. Perhaps they have opinions and ideas you don’t care to hear. Be careful for what you wish for, when you ask for a genuine experience! Perhaps you simply want your escort to deliver the type of experience that makes you happy, in a manner that’s convincing enough to allow you to relax into the fantasy. I think this is the best way of all. A year or two ago, I booked a session with a male escort. We got along really well and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment, from conversation to sex. At one point during our bedroom antics, I wondered, ‘Do we have a genuine sexual connection, or is he just REALLY good at his job in Euroescort’ A moment later, I realised that it was none of my business. His professional manner and his genuine pleasure were indistinguishable - and I had no right to go prying into his personal experience. I simply accepted what he was offering. Perhaps we’re defining pleasure too narrowly. It’s not just about orgasms. It’s also feeling satisfied when we do a good job. It’s executing a new sexual position or teaching someone a new skill. It’s meeting a lovely new customer and having a fun conversation. Sometimes, it’s the pleasure of coaching a client through a difficult experience. Last week I caught up with a regular for some afternoon play. I’d been dealing with some stressful personal events. Nevertheless, we met, talked, rolled around between the sheets and then cuddled in bed. Lying together, I was surprised to find that my worries had lifted. Sometimes the pleasure I get from my job is the peace that comes from taking time to focus on my body; a kind of work-induced meditation that leaves me feeling connected to the things that really matter. Over time, I’ve learned to hold the idea of pleasure more lightly. I don’t crush the joy out of sessions by demanding gratification. But I also don’t feel guilty for enjoying good touch, or an unexpected orgasm. I worry less about what I ‘should’ be doing, how genuine I ‘should’ be at work, and how much I ‘should’ enjoy my job. Because it changes every day. Good sex is more complicated than just ‘providing a service’ and receiving a service’ ... and having fun at work is more complicated than ‘always’ or ‘never’. In the moment, I allow myself to experience pleasure in whatever way works best.|
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