Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Sex in a Tea Cup?

Listening to the radio this morning, Polly (the co-DJ with our fabulous Grant), read a letter out from one of their listeners. Apparently this lady (Sarah) had split up with her partner a few months ago...and now had made the decision to go into the sex industry.

She'd thought long and hard about it, she had major debts to pay off and for the last 12 months had been contemplating a way to get them out of her hair. She concluded that sex work seemed to be the quickest alternative to deal with it. The reason she was writing to Polly was because her ex-partner came back into her life last week, and he wanted to spend more time with her.

She starts her new vocation next week. The question is not whether she should go ahead and still work in that field, but whether or not she should tell her partner. Personally? I don't know how she's going to be able to keep it a secret anyway. If she's totally convinced that becoming a sex worker is the way she wants to go, how could it not affect the relationship she has with her partner? (which in my mind is already on shaky ground).

Let's put aside the obvious concerns, like sexually transmitted diseases, and other dangerous possibilities of a lone female going into a strange environment with a man she knows nothing about...oh, except he wants to get his rocks off.

Years ago (almost 9 now) when I split from my husband, I met the new girlfriend of a male acquintance of mine. She was new to the region and had been a sex worker up north. On arriving in Wellington and wanting to continue earning the money she was accustomed to, she had decided to start up her own business. I remember sitting at my friend's kitchen table, feeling more than uncomfortable, while his girlfriend tried to convince me to become part of her business venture. My friend, her boyfriend, didn't seemed bothered by this, and that could have been because he 'knew' she wasn't going to be a worker herself again, but would be running the show instead now.

Apparently alot of men that use this type of business, love the bigger women and especially love the ones that are new to the game. Apparently, they'd go wild for someone like me. Apparently. That could have been said purely for sales-talk while she tried to rope me in...but I was hardly sitting across the table glowing with happiness and pride at her 'compliments'.

Now, I know my morals were skating on thin ice at certain times then, but I wasn't about to fall completely through it by going in that direction. I gave it the breath of a thought and said "No, I couldn't do it, I'd be crying through the entire thing, I doubt that would make any man jump for joy...sorry, you'll have to count me out." Lord knows why I apolgosied but I did think my response was a tad more polite than the simple "Fuck off" that was brewing under the surface.

As much as I enjoy and appreciate the excitement and satisfaction of a good session, I honestly don't know how these women do it. I can understand why they do it, and possibly what could push them to the point of feeling there was no other way to survive...but the practicalities of going through it again and again with someone they don't know, and maybe someone they can't even stand the sight, smell or touch of?

It's not like you could line the men up, point and say "Um, yeah ok, you're hot, I'll do a stretch, you too", is it? And how could I possibly hide that side of my life from someone who was my partner? How could it not affect our lovemaking? Can you honestly tell me that if you shut your eyes and just go through the biological motions, that it's all the same anyway? Maybe that works for some...but it certainly wouldn't work like that for me.

My ex-husband has said in the past, that I was sitting on the biggest gold mine there was, but I believe he was referring to women in general, not just me in particular. And there is certainly a big enough market out there for sex workers or they wouldn't have been around the streets or behind closed doors for so many years. Given the right attitude, with flattering lighting and some simple props thrown in, I daresay I'd make a passable prostitute. But only if all I had to do was sit around, stroke their ego by listening and chatting, because there would be a whole lot of nothing else going on. Anyone expecting hand's on stuff, would have me moving as swiftly as possible in the opposite direction, or they'd be walking out with a bruise of some description.

Maybe I'm just not open minded enough to think the way these women do? I'm not being judgemental to anyone that chooses to live their life this way, just saying that I couldn't become part of that crowd even if I wanted to. And maybe, I don't have the balls to go through with it, and their skin is tougher than mine?

Whatever the case may be, if Sarah is focussed on definitely starting her new job next week...and having her ex-partner come back in her life on a permanent basis...then she's either going to have to take the risk and tell him, giving him the choice as to whether he hangs around or not. OR...she can start working, not tell him, and eventually have him notice the changes of her attitude and/or lack of time he gets to spend with her, and figure out the reason why all on his own. If he sticks around after the latter, then he's either made of thicker skin than I think, or he's just thick full stop. Too harsh?

Any thoughts?
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