The stereotypical image of a sex worker would be that they have a very casual relationship with sex outside of their profession. For me personally, it’s not the case. I always found the concept of a one night stand difficult, and I’ve never actually had a real one where we went ‘all the way’.
Yet when I was a sugar baby, I had no problem sleeping with total strangers in the same vein, knowing that I’ll probably never see them again. Here’s why for me personally, I find one night stands unbearable but sex work pretty easy.
The main reason why on the whole, I found sex work good and empowering is because I was able to take control over the situation and my body. I felt like I was the boss by walking into the the date knowing that we both knew exactly what the other was here for. He wants sex, I want money. No confusion.
In other words, I sort of objectified myself before anyone else could do it first. I would walk into a date feeling like I had a sign on my forehead reading ‘sex toy’ – and I liked that (!) I didn’t mind playing that part, as long as I was controlling it.
On a one night stand, the possibility of miscommunication means there is more of a potential to feel hurt in my opinion. You don’t walk in with a ‘sex toy’ sign on your forehead, but it’s not uncommon for a guy to treat you like a sex toy regardless and use you as nothing more than a masturbation tool, which sort of takes the power out of your hands.
With one night stands, a guy might assume that you could be ‘looking for more’; he might feel the need to be super sweet to basically emotionally manipulate you into having sex with him. That’s basically what I saw the guy doing on my only (half-baked) one night stand.
Through being a sex worker, you eliminate the idea of man thinking he managed to trick his way into your pants. You eliminate the idea of a man stereotyping you as an ‘emotional, clingy woman’ and assuming that you want more out of the interaction.
In being a sex worker, you almost masculinise yourself. You take back the control. You say ‘I’m a whore’ and I’m the one who wants nothing more from this interaction.
Yes, it’s kind of a fucked up notion of empowerment, and it’s obviously not ideal, but in a world where I felt I was going to be objectified by men no matter what and used for sex no matter what, sex work allowed me a space to control that myself.
I was able to release my sexual desire through the means of sex work, meaning that outside of it, I was able to be (and still am) very picky about who I slept with. I only sleep with people I feel are very special, without feeling the temptation to sleep with anyone in the moment just to feel some validation.
This is by no means any hate on anyone who likes one night stands. One thing that’s for sure is that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the idea of casual sex, and I’m sure I would have no trouble with one night stands if the world that we lived in was one in which men and women were truly equal.
And I know that some one night stands can be super wholesome and sweet and some men actually (!!) respect women.
But the reason why sex work still wins for me is that you can also have wholesome interactions within that. I had some very sweet moments during my sugaring. I treated every interaction as a job and nothing more, but if a meeting turned out to actually be sweet and fun, it was a bonus. Win-win.
So, mine (and most other sex workers’) primary reason for doing sex work is obviously for the dollar. But other than the practicality of the money, it also helps on an emotional level. On a one night stand it’s like at least a 50% chance that the dude you hook up with isn’t going to even attempt to please you.
Then out of the ones that do pleasure you, only 50% of them will make you come. Meanwhile, they will come pretty much every time. So most of the time, you end up feeling like you gave so much of yourself away and yet you’re left at a loose end.
If I’m going to be forced to live in a world where men gain a lot more from sex than women do, I at least want to gain something from it. To me, the money equalises the situation. Again, leaving me in my ‘normal’ life to only have sex with people who are genuinely interested in a real shared experience.
Artwork: One Night Stand by Naomi Richard