It can all feel so exciting in the beginning — the fast cash, the intriguing characters, the sense of rebellion. But when first embarking on your sex work journey, it’s important not to lose sight of why you chose this path. Remembering the big picture will enable you to set goals, as well as limitations for yourself — ultimately saving you from getting lost in the chaos.
Beware of the Golden Handcuff
How long do you see yourself doing this for? Is there a number you’re saving towards? How far are you willing to go with clients? What will your rates be? Will escorting be your sole source of income? These are the types of questions you should start asking yourself if you’ve decided to become a sex worker.
It’s too easy to get trapped by the golden handcuff – aimlessly living life and not thinking ahead because the money is flowing in and you’re having fun. But what happens when three years go by and you’ve strayed so far from your north star that you’re no longer grounded in reality? There’s no light at the end of the tunnel because you’ve boxed yourself in.
Our advice? Save as much money as you can and prepare yourself for a reality in which your hourly rate will (most likely) drastically decrease when you decide to exit the sex work game. Having to stay an escort when you’re ready to start a new chapter because you’ve gotten accustomed to a certain type of lifestyle isn’t where you want to end up. By planning ahead, you won’t have to.
Having a Routine is Everything
Think of your daily routine as the building block for long-term success. Especially for anyone living that less-than-structured, bohemian life – where you make your own hours and have no one to answer to but yourself – sticking to a schedule will allow you to stay organized and on top of things. Determining what days you will be available to sex worker and what days you will take off is a great starting point. This will help you avoid overbooking and burning out too quickly.
Another tip we have is to keep some sort of little black book. This doesn’t necessarily have to be where you keep a list of clients but it can be super helpful to have a planner / journal of sorts where you can keep track of your thoughts. The Ivy Lee Method in particular, is a daily exercise we recommend trying if you’re looking to increase your productivity. Touted by Charles Schwab as his recipe for success, the method can be broken down into 5 simple steps:
- Write a list of 6 tasks – no more, no less – to complete tomorrow.
- Rank tasks in order of importance.
- Start the following day by completing task 1.
- Move on to the next task only once you’ve completed the preceding one. Unfinished tasks will go on tomorrow’s list.
- Repeat daily.
Somewhere on that to-do list of yours, be sure to carve out both some social and alone time. Finding the balance between blowing off steam with your support system and taking timeouts to decompress will keep you sane. It’s no secret how physically, emotionally, and spiritually draining being a sex worker can be. By filling up your routine with restorative activities that bring you joy, you will be better equipped to handle whatever obstacles come your way.
Self-Care will Save You
Contrary to what Gwenyth Paltrow might have you believe, self-care is about more than abstaining from gluten, owning loads of athleisure wear, and burning vagina-scented candles. It’s about holding space to be yourself – your true, raw, unfiltered, authentic self. Free from outside opinions and societal conditioning. Everyone taps into that flow state differently. Sometimes it’s through a creative outlet like painting, other times it comes in the form of a physical activity like kickboxing, and sometimes it manifests simply through finding stillness.
In the famous words of Charles Bukowski, “find what you love and let it kill you.” Immerse yourself in activities that nourish your soul. Surround yourself with people who inspire you. Routinely check in with yourself and don’t be afraid of asking the hard questions: Am I okay? Is it time to re-evaluate aspects of my life and / or set new boundaries? Should I see a therapist?
And if you’re at a loss for where to start, we’ve queued up a quick list of self-care activities for you to try this week, featuring a healthy mix of zen and hedonism:
- Sweat your stress away with a hot yoga class at Fierce Grace.
- Awaken the pleasure gods with a new vibrator.
- Book a free intro call with a Transcendental Meditation teacher.
- Indulge your taste buds with a trip to one of London’s top bakeries.
- Nature bathe your way to relaxation with a stroll through Richmond Park.
Eliminate Judgmental People from Your Life
No one ever said going against the grain was easy. When you become an escort, you’re going to have to accept that some people will judge you for it. Others won’t. And there’s no use guessing who’s going to think what because people are unpredictable. The sooner you come to peace with all that, the better. Whether you decide to keep certain parts of your life private or entirely cut out people who don’t approve of your lifestyle is up to you.
Just know that there are loads of people out there who are accepting of the way you choose to live your life, which means that there’s no need to surround yourself with people who make you feel ashamed for being an escort. It’s 2022. The dark ages are behind us. The Age of Aquarius is in full effect. Witches, jezebels, and sex workers are finally free to come out from the shadows to play!
Not only is sex work far less stigmatized than it was ten years ago but the internet has torn down barriers, breeding a whole new type of sex worker into existence. She falls somewhere between an escort and a sugar baby. She doesn’t exchange sex for money on a full time basis and she finds the term “escort” a bit harsh. But she does engage in pay-per-meet situations and gets frustrated by the games men play with her on sugar daddy sites, making vague promises and skimping out on “allowances.”
She is the girl-next-door and she represents a whole new generation of sexually empowered women who are celebrating the autonomy they have over their bodies and living lives of liberation. For her, sex work is more than a paycheck. It’s a “fuck you” to the status quo. A rejection of the white-supremacist-capitalist-patriachy. An act of defiance against all the injustices of the world. And because of her, self-identifying as a sex worker has never had more of a cachet – at least in any city with a high concentration of hipsters. So go ahead – Be proud. Be bold. Be shameless. And fuck the haters.
Prepare to Have the Way You See the World Shift in a Major Way
How easy is it to differentiate between your friends who have worked service industry jobs versus those who haven’t? More times than not, someone who has worked as a waiter or retail associate seems to have an extra layer of empathy built into them. They are more likely to say “thank you” or remember an employee’s name because they’ve been in their shoes. These shared experiences create a sense of understanding and appreciation that evades those who haven’t lived it themselves.
In a similar way, sex work opens your eyes to the realities of the world, introducing you to new viewpoints and expanding your horizons. You’ll share tender moments with near strangers, some of whom will open up to you about their hopes and dreams, their heartbreaks, their existential crises. You will moonlight as a therapist, a sounding board, a caretaker figure. It’s likely you will develop empathy – perhaps even love – for your clients.
Don’t shy away from this uniquely human experience and never mistake it for weakness. The ability sex workers have to form such deep, emotional bonds is a super power – one that will make connecting with any and everyone throughout your life exceedingly easy. Just stay open-minded and live in gratitude, and the world is your fucking oyster.