Being a single sex worker and looking to date is a challenge many of us in the industry have faced. When is the best time to come out to a potential lover or partner?
Article by Oaxa Koate Published Blog Slixa Under Cover
The thoughtful advice and opinions of the author of this article are meant to be informative and entertaining and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Slixa.
I'm supposed to be here writing about sex and dating. I should actually probably engage in one or both before writing about it, but if I wait until I go on a date, this article might never happen, instead I'll write about my seemingly never-beginning line of suitors.
Oh, it's not so sad; stop making that face! It's not like there's a shortage of potentials for me. Why, just this afternoon at my straight job, a man kindly offered to 'put a baby in me' so I would eventually have school aged children and be able to know firsthand the excitement of buying pens, pencils, crayons, and notebooks. While I needed to more than politely decline his offer, it wasn't the first or the last of its kind I'll hear this week; I'm sure of it.
But I find most of my interactions end less because of me or my personality and more because of what I do for work. At some point, I have to tell a potential partner who I am, what I do, and what it means to me. Whether I meet potential partners on- or offline, at some point I have to grow some courage and actually say the words, "I'm a sex worker and it's very important to me." The question isn't always how, but also sometimes when to say it.
There are more questions for me before coming out to someone, mostly because of my particular living situation. The hardest part of living in a really small town, well one of the hardest things for me, is there’s no place to go sit, order a cup of coffee, put on your headphones, and spend time reading or writing anything. So I’m here in our local fast burger joint drinking really shit sweet tea and writing this article. On the flip side, I haven’t gotten paid from my straight job yet, sex work is really dry, my wallet is fairly thin, and the previously mentioned shit iced tea is much cheaper than a $3 cup of coffee plus the $7 tip. I suppose, much like life, everything eventually balances out.
Living in a town this small may mean no restaurants, but it also means I literally know everyone, the majority of their sexual histories, and I can’t afford to come out to any of them about my second job (ever played the game telephone?). So, we can all see why I can’t just leave the internet when I get tired of weeding through all the dicks while I’m searching for my person charming. I’ve been ISO for over a year now and my God, it’s a wonder I still have the fortitude to continue! I mean, I’ve always been really comfortable meeting people online -- I still am. If I have to be honest, simply because I have an unbelievably high number of I-Met-A-Guy horror stories, it doesn’t mean I can just quit the internet. I’m no disillusioned university professor; I know this is Hotel California. I can check out anytime I want, but, well…you know the rest.
So, when I talk about my search for sex, love, and dates, I have to admit I have said it too soon (many time, in fact) and every time, one of two things happens: all of a sudden, the person who seemed so great, so normal, so... awesome just a few minutes before my confession suddenly morphs into either the worst version of a client I could ever have a nightmare about or they suddenly become extremely righteous; They pray more than Jesus ever could have prayed and they speak in tongues more than all of us. Either way, whether they proposition me, email me surprise nude photos, pity me, or offer to lead me in a prayer to make Jesus Christ my personal Lord and Saviour, I always think: "Ok. So... too soon.
There's no perfect time or recipe for coming out to someone, and there's no way to predict how they'll react. It's really a big risk sex workers take when exposing themselves to people. If we don't say it soon enough, we might be accused of lying, hiding, or living a double life. If we say it too soon, the person may not ever be able to see us as anything other than a one dimensional fantasy. I personally land on the more immediate side of things: I'd rather say it before I've become attached to someone (or they to me) and cutting them off in the event of a negative or inappropriate reaction is easier and less painful than if I had waited until declarations of love were made by either party.
So for me, and even though I think it nearly every time, there's no such thing as Too Soon.
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