“I never thought that I would be doing this…”

John Oh portrait

A regular refrain that I hear from new clients is: “I never thought that I would be doing this…”.

Growing up, we are fed narratives about how life is going to be, from before we can even understand the concepts. Fairy tales are full of “happily ever after” tropes that the real world simply cannot ever deliver to us.

I want to talk about who we are as humans and how finding yourself in a situation where you are considering paying for sex – that while it might feel like a kind of failure, if we listen to the fairy tales – is in fact the exact opposite. It represents personal power, choice, and liberation. Not lack of choice and failure.

But that’s not how society at large sees the choice of buying sex. Most of my clients won’t confide in anyone that they are seeing a sex worker for fear of judgement. And that is a very reasonable assumption to make. People, especially when they are unsure if they themselves may be judged, will revert to expressing conservative values to be safe.

If you are having a conversation with a group of people about sex and possibly sex work, then the group assumption will be that expressing an overt interest in sex is a bad thing. So everyone will try to avoid sounding too interested.

However, there may be one person who is prepared to take a bit of a stand and challenge the group narrative. And while you can be sure that some people in the group really are conservative about sex, you can also be certain that some, like you, aren’t!

It is a sad truth that many of us (most even?) live our lives wanting to explore our sexuality, but not having people to talk to about it, let alone do it with.

This really needs to change. There are some small signs that things are changing – like therapists starting to refer women to me. But in general, we remain conservative and cautious about sex and sexuality when we are in groups.

For some people though – the women and couples who I meet through my work – they reach a point where they need to act. They don’t want to upend their lives, marriages, or family to be able to explore their sexuality further, but they also don’t want to live their lives wonder “what could be…”.

So, like most problems these days, people turn to Google and some of them land here on my website.

If you have made it this far – congratulations! – that is I think the hardest part. Once we realise that we can take control of our sexuality, then it’s just a matter of finding the right solution for you.

For some people it’s Tinder. Or that person at work you always felt was interested. For others though, a sex worker is ideal – we are safe, we are discrete, we are convenient, we are experienced, and most of all we are non-judgmental.

So what is the lesson here?

For me it is: “society” doesn’t want you to own your sexuality. It definitely doesn’t want you to explore it in ways that don’t align with “traditional values and systems” (like marriage and monogamy). And it will always try to police you to make you conform.

The good news is that once you realise that you don’t have to comply with society, then the options available to you to find sexual fulfillment are wide open – and if sex workers are appropriate for you, then we are here and ready to help.

John.

Sex and bullying

It is not an overstatement, I believe, to say that for many of us, society often bullies us out of having the sex that we want to have.

My memories of my late teens and twenties was of profound curiosity about sex. Granted, it was a relatively shallow, mostly hetero curiosity – but we can only be curious about the things that we know exist, so I don’t beat myself up about that. If society refuses to educate you, then ignorance isn’t your fault. Just your challenge to overcome.

As a straight male sex worker for women, I am exposed to a far wider variety of sexualities than I ever was growing up. It’s something that I am very grateful for. Even though I have no interest in and get no arousal from most of them, it has made me a more worldly and (most important) tolerant person.

I would derive no pleasure from ball busting. And have no interest in sex with another man. But I FULLY support the rights of other people to indulge in those things – even if just the thought of some of them makes my eyes water!

So it’s saddening to look around at society and see so much judgement by people of others just because of what turns them on.

It’s frankly disgusting that people think it’s ok to police other people’s consensual pleasure.

This of course dovetails neatly with sex work. I love my job. My clients enjoy a service that fills a need in their lives that they cannot satisfy another way.

But always there are people braying on about how all sex work is exploitation, or abuse, or immoral. They seek to police what two (or more) consenting adults can do together in private, with no more authority than saying “I think this, so you must obey me”.

It is the most shallow of thinking and the most self-indulgent kind of activism that, while denying sex workers their autonomy and livelihood also tries to bully clients of sex workers into doubting themselves and the things they feel they need to make themselves whole.

John.

“Virginity” and having sex for the first time – ShortTakes

Having sex for the first time is rarely not a “big thing”.  For some people though it can become a huge thing in their lives.  Sex workers, are here to help.  In this series of ShortTakes I talk about how being left behind sexually can impact a person’s life – and how sex workers can help set things right.

As as straight male escort for women, I see up to half a dozen women a year who want to have sex for the first time – and to take control of that experience by seeing a sex worker like me.

We are here to help and we understand just how hard it can be getting over that hurdle of having sex for the first time!

Continue reading

Sex work and disability – a short video series

I have recently started posting a daily micro video blog to Twitter. This is the first series that I made and posted.

If you have a sex work topic that you would like to see me talk about, please feel free to let me know in a comment, email, or tweet.

John.

Enjoying a beautiful day

The last few weeks have been pretty rough for the sex work community world wide.  You may not be aware of this, but the US government has created new laws that make promoting sex work a felony punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

Sex work is still decriminalised here in NSW, Australia, but the ripple effect (more like a tidal wave) has effected sex worker even here through uncertainty, the closure of advertising platforms, and the creation of a climate of fear.

It’s been a stressful time watching friends and co-workers, both here and abroad losing their incomes, being persecuted, and generally having a very bad time.

It’s times like this that self care becomes important.  And while you may not be in my industry, I think that the lessons still transfer.  We all encounter stress in our lives and our jobs.  And that stress can be very damaging if we don’t recognise it and give ourselves the time and space to recover from it.

I know that many of my clients come to see me for exactly that reason.  You don’t need to visit a sex worker though – it can be as easy as getting out in the sunshine – which is what I did today, taking my camera with me.  So here are a couple of photos of me from sunny Darlinghurst in Sydney for you.

Sex work, disability, and public discourse

A former client sent me a link today to an article in the Canberra Times about a (UK) woman struggling with the lack of sex life and the sexuality of her autistic son (hi S – thank you!). You can see the article here:

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/sex-and-relationships/i-learned-through-my-sons-autism-diagnosis-when-it-comes-to-sex-we-all-have-special-needs-20170426-gvssam.html

I’m extremely sympathetic to the family. Autism is not something that I would wish on any one, and I am sure that it presents a unique challenge when it comes to dating and relationships.

I was however disappointed by the language and tone of conservatism of the article (written by the young man’s mother). It was a sharp reminder that prejudice against my industry – despite being variously decriminalised (as in NSW and NZ) or legal (as in many other parts of Australia and the UK, where the author lives), the average person’s opinions seem to be stuck in the ’50s.

“Kerb-crawling to pick up a prostitute was definitely not on my to-do list after “Buy hummus, sort sock drawer, do Pilates”

Come on – it’s 2017, you do Pilates, and have raised an autistic child (and no doubt dealt with issues of discrimination and disability phobia for much of his life). Street sex work (not prostitution please – it’s a pejorative term) is mostly a thing of the (certainly in Australia, although it does still happen in the UK) past in this country. The Internet and mobile phones have seen to that – and sex work is safer and easier because of it.

“Our female friends were furious that we could even consider condoning prostitution. I tried to rationalise it by saying that I thought of a lady of the night more as a “sex care provider who is presenting herself as a commodity allotment within a business doctrine”. But it didn’t convince them.”

For everyone out there still stuck in a time warp, let me say it loud and clear: “sex work is work”. The author actually has it right here. Yes, sex workers (and we aren’t all women and we even work during the day) like me are people engaged in a business that isn’t a criminal enterprise – and seriously you need to check your moral outrage.

The irrational discrimination against both sex worker’s and the people who choose to see them is never more clear than when you are dealing with disability. There are people out there (male, female et al) who find it very, very hard, or impossible to have a safe, consensual sexual experience because of their disability. Yet these moral authorities of the community would deny the opportunity for disable people to ever experience something that these moral arbiters take for granted? Shame on them. I thought that we had evolved socially past that kind of behaviour.

Who are these faceless “female friends” – and why do they get to determine whether a 21 year old autistic man (or anyone else) gets to have sex and under what conditions?

“all my 50-something, divorced female friends are chewing holes in the furniture with sexual frustration”

Yet, I’m guessing that many of those same women would join in the condemnation described above. It’s dysfunctional and it hurts all sorts of people – especially those with disabilities – for no good reason at all. We really, really need to grow up.

As to the author’s dilemma, I am saddened that she, nor any of her friends with autistic children, ever thought to type the following into Google…

“sex for disabled persons UK”

If she had, she would have seen these links at the top of the search results…

There are many, many people out there in the world working hard to give disabled people access to the sexual experiences that the rest of us take for granted. Organisations like Touching Base here in Australia do a fantastic job of giving people with disabilities access to safe, consensual sex.

Despite all of the (often valid) criticism of western culture, lets not forget that our various societies have done many, many good things. I have heard it said that you can measure the worth of a society by how it treats its most vulnerable members. I am proud to say that I live in a society that is beginning to tackle and resolve the issues of sex and disability.

There is a long way to go, but just being able to say that in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK among others, that a disabled person can choose to engage the services of a sex worker like myself – that’s a huge victory for acceptance, respect, and compassion.

I wish Kathy Lette and her son well, and hope her book is a success, but I would also like to see her educate herself further if she is going to be a public figure in the discussion of sex work and disability. There is a lot riding on these discussions for a lot of very disadvantaged people.

John.

The joyful nude

It’s not that often that you come across an article that is genuinely positive about body image in a non-preachy, no agenda kind of way. But this one fits the bill.

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellbeing/can-spending-time-naked-really-improve-our-selfesteem-20170329-gv8yxx.html

It’s nice to see a journalist writing about personal experience and taking a risk themselves. And that’s not to disparage journalists – I know it’s a tough industry, especially these days – but I am still waiting for the journalist to write a piece about sex workers from a position of personal experience, and really own it – yes people pay for sex. Yes, it’s ok to like it, or not – whatever, this was my experience.

Anyway, back to the article – it’s great that someone is saying hey it’s ok to be nude, it’s good to get in touch with your self, experience some vulnerability, and grow a little as a person.

Everyone has issues with their body and self image – doesn’t matter what our age is, young, old, in-between – there will always be something that we can find to be unhappy with. But it doesn’t have to be a problem. We don’t need to be perfect to enjoy our bodies. And we certainly don’t need to be perfect to enjoy sex. Being more comfortable in ourselves though will definitely make the latter easier and better.

John.

It’s been a while!

Looking back, I can see that I haven’t made a post to my website since last December!

I have been distracted by several things – not least of which was the need to have a jolly good break from work. This industry takes it’s toll on a person and with such an intimate job, you need to be fit, healthy, and in the right frame of mind to give it your best.

I’m pleased to say that I am in good shape once again and ready for the challenges of the year ahead.

One of those challenges unfortunately is STIs – if you follow any sex workers on Twitter then you may be aware that there is currently an outbreak of gonorrhoea that is worst in Melbourne. Thankfully it can be treated easily with anti-biotics, but this is not a good reason to ignore it. I am told that some people can be symptom-less – therefore, not having any symptoms is not an indicator that you are negative.

There is only one thing that you can do to be sure – about any STI – and that is: get tested! It’s easy to do, costs nothing under Medicare, and it gives you and anyone you might have sex with peace of mind.

As I have regularly said: if everyone was tested for STIs even once a year, we would end them. There would simply be no place for them to hide. As it is, people who think “I couldn’t possibly have something” unwittingly become the hiding place for infections.

It may be embarrassing for some people talking about this stuff – but we have to do it!

Sex is a fabulous experience, but it’s also one that comes with consequences and responsibility – like contraception, consent, and sexual safety. The last one may be the most hassle, but it’s not hard to ask your GP or health clinic to order testing for STIs – just to be sure, whether you feel you are at risk or not.

If we all did that regularly, then we could stop worrying about STIs and get on with enjoying healthy sex lives.

John.

Kissing, sex, and conversation

Kissing is cool. How cool? Really cool. Like make your entire day WAY better cool. I have been reminded of this fact twice recently when I was booked to give a Kissing Lesson – yes, seriously, that’s a thing that I can do for you.

Google “benefits of kissing” and you will find a wealth of research and explanations about the effects and benefits of kissing – like boosting seratonin, decreasing cortisol, improving immunity, and much more. So we know for a fact that kissing is genuinely, measurably good for us.

The problem though is that for most of us kissing isn’t really given any priority in our live – or love lives. It’s the kind of thing that you do with a new partner right? Because you can do it in public when your still in that stage of wanting to rip each others clothes off every five minutes.

But as a relationship grows and the passionate heat turns into more of a warm comfortable glow, then kissing just becomes a greeting – hello, goodbye, or a quick prelude to the really good part (sex).

Well not so fast. It’s time to exert some discipline. While you are reading books about tantra and looking for ways to make sex richer, you really, really need to incorporate kissing. Not just short or occasional kisses, but real deep, long kisses. Nothing perfunctory, but kisses that are a “conversation” between you both in their own right.

When I talk to clients about kissing and how it should be, I describe it as “a conversation between you, but using your lips, tongue, your hands – and your body!”.

And don’t think that it kissing is just a matter of a set of “moves”. If you were talking to your partner, you wouldn’t repeat the same sentences over and over, instead you listen to what the other person has said and you reply in a way that makes sense and furthers the conversation. It should be the same for kissing. Feel what your partner is doing and respond to it in a way that makes sense.

So a soft slow kiss shouldn’t be responded to with mashing of lips and heaps of tongue (that should be obvious, but some guys just don’t get it). Likewise, a passionate kiss demands a passionate response! If you’re not into it, then fair enough, but if you are, then don’t hesitate to give as good as you get. You can also lead a kiss from slow and gentle, to deep and hard, then back again.

As you kiss, you need to be active. Pucker your lips, move your tongue – Use your hands, use your body. Everything you do reinforces the message of the kiss (or contrasts with it!).

So don’t treat kissing as perfunctory, or just a step toward sex. See it as a whole experience. Take ten minutes – or half and hour, with your partner just to kiss. Explore the sensations and the communication that you can have through it. Then pay attention to how you feel afterward. I’m betting that like me, you will find that the sun shines a little brighter, the day seems better, and life seems a little sweeter!

John.