Getting enough sex

The Guardian runs a regular column called “Sexual Healing” and while I rarely find anything more than safe platitudes in the columnist’s replies to readers’ problems, I do think that the topics are often important and deserve a better response than “Partners have to teach each other how they like to be pleasured”. I think we worked that out back in the sixties, possibly the seventies… We know that and it has precisely nothing to do with the woman in question’s dilemma.

In this particular article the reader raises a very difficult topic

I left my husband because the sex was boring and nonexistent. I’ve since met another guy and while our sex life was great for a while, when we moved in together it all but disappeared.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/jul/14/i-left-my-husband-because-the-sex-was-boring-now-im-having-the-same-problem-with-my-new-partner

This is a problem that I as a straight male escort for women I hear all the time – and I know that female sex workers hear it from male clients too.

This is a universal problem for human beings – mismatched libidos.

So lets start with some fundamentals:

  • You may naturally have a low libido, or a high libido – neither is “right” or “wrong”
  • Your libido will change during your life. It is effected by hormones, stress, sleep, work schedule, age, and more
  • Attraction between people changes over time and with that the sexual relationship almost certainly will change as well

Here’s the most important one:

  • Societal norms including marriage, monogamy, the “nuclear family”, education, and career are almost always prioritised over our sexuality and as a result we rarely have happy, fulfilling sex lives

So that’s the groundwork laid. So lets go back to the reader’s problem:

  • She has a high libido
  • Her husband wasn’t interested
  • She left her husband to get the sex that she wanted
  • She found a guy and was having great sex with him
  • She moved in with him and the sex died
  • She found out that he looks at porn
  • She is back to square one in an almost sexless relationship

I’m pretty sure that you can see that the columnist saying “Partners have to teach each other how they like to be pleasured…” does nothing to untangle this woman’s mess. They were having good sex, so I’m pretty sure that they both knew what each other wanted.

So here’s how I would reply to her:

It appears from your description that you aren’t hungry for variety and novelty in your sex life (as some people are), but that you would happily have lots of sex with one partner.

The problem isn’t your partner’s libido – at least it’s not fair to blame that – the problem is monogamy and the expectation that one person can give you all of the sex that you need (and to be clear this applies equally if the genders are reversed).

Many people automatically assume that sex means relationship means marriage means happily ever after. It’s a lie. A lie that makes most of us more or less unhappy in our long term relationships (just look at divorce rates if you reflexively disagree with that statement).

The hard reality is that long term relationships almost always change the way that we see our partner (and ourselves), how we feel about them, and the way in which we are attracted to them. The changes may be positive or negative or something else altogether. But we will change – and that includes how we feel about our partner and ourselves sexually. So expecting the fire and intensity and frequency of “new relationship sex” to endure beyond the “new relationship” is not reasonable and may well wreck the good things that do endure or grow with a partner.

One of the primary reasons for married women coming to see me is that they are generally happy in their relationship with their partner, but they just can’t get the sex that they want. So rather than blowing up their lives (and their partner and often children’s lives) “just” for sex, they find a different way to fill that need. For some women that means coming to see me – but that’s not what I’m advocating for here, it’s just one solution among several.

I’m advocating for changing the way you look at sex and long term relationships. Requiring a long term partner in a monogamous relationship to fill all of your sexual needs is usually going to end up with you wanting more than they can give – based on what you have said. The only difference between one partner and another will be by how much you feel you are missing out on.

Then that frustration spill over and poisons the rest of the relationship and… well you have lived the experience of where that leads.

The solution is: accept that if you want to be in a long term committed relationship that, because you have a high libido, you won’t get all of the sex you need from that one person so you are going to have to work out an arrangement with them that lets you get it with someone (or more) outside the relationship.

Of course this means that you have to extend your partner the same privilege. In that lies the opportunity to perhaps do it together – which might be its own kind of fun. I have known a number of clients who went down this path, initially seeing me to fill a personal need for sex, but eventually negotiating with a partner to explore their sexuality together with other people. Other clients have negotiated with their partners to play separately. Some simply choose to see me every month or two.

The point is that if you have a high libido you need to look for solutions beyond expecting one person to give you everything that you need sexually to be happy. It’s not easy. It’s not convenient. And it will require significant effort to make it work – and you won’t be able to make it work with some partners. But if you can then you might just discover an entirely new life that is rewarding in more ways than just giving you the sex that you need.

John.

More than just sex…

I would like to share a message with you that I received from a client (with her permission).  I have seen her several times over eighteen months or so and helped her to explore her sexuality.  But there was more going on there than either of us realised…

“Hi John

I wasn’t sure weather you’d like to hear this or not.  So I went on a date on Wed night, like first proper date.

I had the confidence to it & I was able to hold a conversation over dinner (maybe a few nerves), it felt normal to do. I never thought I’d ever have the confidence to do any of that and I would like to think having seen you a number of times has given me that confidence boost to be able to do it.

Sometimes Have wondered if seeing you has been a good idea but last night proved that, yes it has definitely been worth it (wouldn’t have guessed talking so much would be so much help). So thank you! so much for it.”

(Side note here: this person lives outside of Sydney and isn’t subject to the lockdown here, in case anyone is wondering why they were out of a date given the covid situation)

This was a delightful surprise to receive – because while I like my work and I love that so many of my clients choose to see me regularly, I also enjoy seeing them grow as people and become more confident. And eventually move on to new things and relationships.

I love that sometimes I am able to be a part of that growth.

John.

Vaccination – a public service announcement

Yesterday I was among the lucky few in Australia to get my first vaccination for covid-19.

I am entitled to vaccination in the 1B group as I work with women with disabilities.

My second shot is in a few weeks time and I am really looking forward to being fully vaccinated against covid.

Here in Australia I think that hesitancy to get the vaccine is relatively low, which is great. Our problem is quite the opposite – a poorly planned and managed roll-out and limited supply of shots is the bigger issue.

However, if you are worried about having the vaccination, here’s my request – if you can get vaccinated, please do it. Not for me, but for yourself and for the people around you. There has been lots of media coverage of the risk of blood clots from one of the vaccines that have been developed. But what nobody seems to be doing is putting those (very small) risks in their proper context – that is to set it against the horrible consequences of covid-19.

So – as Seth Myers says – “Stay safe, wear a mask, get vaccinated, we love you!”

Update 4th of June: I am fully vaccinated as of today!

John.

Will you see me if I’m pregnant?

I was recently asked the question “will you take a booking from someone who is pregnant?”. I realised that I have never addressed this question directly here on my website – so it’s definitely time to do that.

The answer is yes I am happy to see a client who is pregnant – but with this proviso: if you haven’t already done so – I ask you to talk to your doctor and midwife first and educate yourself about any possible risks to your pregnancy that having sex might incur and to only proceed if you are prepared to accept those risks.

This topic is timely as it fits in with my recent posts “I’ts ok to want what you want” – Part 1 and Part 2.

Wanting sex while you are pregnant is a normal and healthy thing. Yes it’s ok to have sex when you are pregnant. And it’s definitely ok to pay a person like me for sex if that is what you want.

For the people who jump to “How could someone do that to her husband when they are having a baby together!?” I would remind them – not all women who are pregnant are married. Not all women who are pregnant are in a heterosexual relationship. Not all people are jealous, or insecure, or possessive of their partner – some people actually have functional open relationships. And not all women who are pregnant can get the sex that they want and need from their partner.

At the end of the day, if you are pregnant and want to pay for sex – that is your decision and your’s alone – and I will be happy to take your booking.

John.

It’s ok to want what you want – part 2

I try hard in my work as a straight male escort for women to show my clients that it is ok for them to embrace their sexuality – whatever it is.

I met a woman “T” for a booking recently who carried a lot of shame and guilt around sex and wanted to have an experience with me to help start to overcome those things.

She messaged me today and (with her permission) I’m sharing what she said. Our session didn’t include anything kinky, but this is a good example of how – for someone who may lack confidence in themselves and their desires – having a sexual experience in a safe and non-judgemental environment can help them to overcome their inhibitions and fully embrace their sexuality.

Thank you T. I’m glad that you are on this journey and that I could help set you on the path. 

John

What to do when your sex life is not what you want it to be

I recently met a young woman who had a problem.  She was interested in sex, had had sex, but hadn’t enjoyed it much.  She wanted my help to try to “light the fire” so to speak, get more experience, gain confidence in her body and skills.

All of these things are excellent goals and generally they are things that I can help a person with – and have over the years.

What I have learned though is that these issues are rarely just a matter of inexperience.  They stem from our lives as a whole and as such there is no quick fix, but a road to self discovery that may be more or less long for each of us.  And especially in the case of sex – it’s not the destination that really matters, it’s the journey.

So here are some things that I think are worth exploring if your sex life is not what you want it to be…

  • What are your actual issues?
  • Anti-depressants and hormonal imbalance and their impact on libido and sex
  • Maybe you’re just not into sex?
  • Body image/self image
  • Masturbation and self pleasure
  • Inexperience and how to overcome it – being scared because you are inexperienced
  • The people you are “attracted” to versus the person you need
  • or – Romance and relationships versus good sex (they rarely go hand in hand and you shouldn’t try to force one on the other)
  • Work/life balance and where to find a partner
  • Whatever body you have – there is someone out there that loves what you are

What are the actual issues?

It’s a truism that we “don’t know what we don’t know” – it’s especially true when we have issues around our sex.  This is where I think that talking to a professional is the best place to start.  I am not a therapist, so while I understand human nature and am good at engaging with people to help them explore their sexuality, I cannot diagnose and treat emotional and physical issues.  I leave that to the professionals.

So if you have a low libido, anxiety, difficulty making connections with potential partners etc, then I highly recommend that you talk to a therapist.  Here in Australia at least, you can get ten free sessions with a therapist – just ask your GP for a “mental health plan” and tell them which therapist you would like to see and they will do the rest.  You have nothing to lose by doing this and possibly much to gain.

Low libido might be caused by stress (very common), a hormone imbalance, or something else that you and I have no idea about.  Spending time with a sex worker won’t fix these things and may even make the situation worse if the thing that you have paid good money for that you expect to help, doesn’t.  Better to fix the problem at its source and have a strong base to build upon!

Anti-depressants and hormonal imbalance and their impact on libido and sex

I won’t talk about the effectiveness of anti-depressants for their proscribed purpose – but I know from the many people I have met who take anti-depressants that they often have serious effects on womens’ libidos and even worse – ability to orgasm.

We know that orgasm isn’t the most important part of sex, or even necessary – but to someone who was previously able to and enjoys having an orgasm, losing that ability can be very, very hard and seriously effect their sex life and their relationships.

Please don’t stop taking your anti-depressants.  Instead, as per the previous section above – perhaps (working with your health professional) look for ways to fix the underlying issues that cause the need for the medication.  It’s not possible for everyone to go off anti-depressant medication, but with life changes it may be possible and thus lead you to a more functional sexuality and happier sex life.

Like anti-depressants, our hormonal balance can also play a large part in how we feel about sex. For men, our testosterone inevitably drops as we get older and this can dampen our libido. Women suffer similar (and more complicated) issues. If your libido changes, or isn’t what you would like it to be then talking to a doctor to have your hormone levels checked is a sensible step to take.

Maybe you’re just not into sex?

I have no personal experience of people who identify as asexual, but I believe that it is possible for a person to have no interest in sex at all.

If you are asking the question of yourself “why don’t I want to have sex?” and worrying that there is something wrong with you because you truly don’t want to have sex, then perhaps you legitimately are asexual.  If you think that this might be you but aren’t sure, talk to a therapist with experience in this area.  They will help you differentiate between a low libido and true asexuality.

Body image/self image

We are all our own harshest critic when it comes to appearance.  And that can be paralysing when we are thinking about or trying to have sex.  I have lost count of the number of women I have helped in this regard in my career.  This kind of insecurity can be crippling – and it is totally unnecessary.

Here’s the truth – your appearance matters far more to you than it does to your partner.  Because they are not looking at the superficial exterior – they see you as a whole person and are attracted to that, not to how you present on any particular day. 

Some people are superficial though and will be critical of other people for their appearance.  But that’s ok – they have just told you that they are probable not the kind of person that you want in your life.

However you are is ok.  It’s one of the truly insightful things that the sex work community has demonstrated to me: it doesn’t matter who you are, what you are, what shape, or age you are – there is someone out there who is attracted to you.  I see it semi-regularly in sex worker spaces, people saying that until they did sex work they had no idea of their own attractiveness and worth.  Having been a sex worker – even if they still struggle with their self image – they know that not only are there people out there to whom they are attractive – but that those people will even pay to spend time with them.

Masturbation and self pleasure

We live in a world that is constantly telling us that pleasure has to come from outside of ourselves.  That we can’t be whole and satisfied just being ourselves.  This is practically the cornerstone of capitalism and one of the most insidious aspects of social media.

It’s a lie.  It’s a toxic lie that ruins lives and can ruin sex. 

Masturbation is an integral part of understanding ourselves, our bodies, and our sexuality.  We should all masturbate. 

It is ok to do it.  It is ok to do it a lot – just so long as it doesn’t interfere with other aspects of your life. 

It’s ok to use toys.  It’s ok to not use toys.  It’s ok to do it with and to someone else if you both want that. 

At the end of the day masturbation is just another tool in our sexual toolbox and we should indulge in it just like any other aspect of our sexuality.

Inexperience and how to overcome it – being scared because you are inexperienced

This is probably the easiest issue to resolve – if you are unsure about sex because your are inexperienced – or have no experience – then (regardless of your gender) hire a sex worker!

We won’t judge you. We will be patient with you. We will tell you whatever you want to know and show you how to do the things that you may not know how to do – like giving oral sex.

Many people imagine that sex is just something that they should be good at / able to do naturally – and then feel anxiety because they don’t know what they should do with a partner. Sex is like any other skill. You aren’t born with this knowledge. It’s something that you have to learn and really you can only learn properly by doing it – although there is lots of good information available online (like http://omgyes.com ). It shouldn’t need to be said, but it’s always worth repeating that porn is not sex. No-one has sex like porn stars in their day to day life (not even porn stars). Porn is

We are discreet. We will not tell anyone. We won’t laugh at your inexperience. We are the ultimate (sexy) safe space.

The people you are “attracted” to versus the person you need or – Romance and relationships versus good sex

From the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep we are all more or less unconsciously making assumptions about the world around us.  That’s useful for navigating the physical world, but it can be a problem when we are looking for relationships and/or sex.

It can be a problem because we unconsciously approach the task assuming the we have to do it within the social frameworks (assumptions) that we live within.

Just by visiting this website and reading this article you are transgressing an excepted societal norm – that you can only look for and have sex in a committed relationship or marriage.

Even talking about buying sex is virtually taboo in Australian society – despite this country being one of the most permissive legal sex work cultures in the entire world.

I would wager that for you, seeking out sex work services was an actual decision (reached through serious thought and due to some exceptional circumstance) that had to be made, as opposed to something that you just felt like doing.

This is an example of how the unwritten rules of our society affect how we perceive relationships and sex – just the idea of seeing a sex worker is transgressive and we need to give ourselves permission to do it.

The problem that flows from this is as follows: if we should only have sex with someone we are in a relationship with, then one person is going to have to provide for all of our emotional, physical, and sexual needs – possibly for the rest of our lives.

For most of us that is an entirely unreasonable thing to ask of another person, or to be asked of us.  So we end up making poor choices.  We have relationships with people who are sexually exciting to us, but toxic partners.  Or we have relationships with people who are excellent partners, but we have no sexual chemistry with, or some mix or variation on this.

Making sex contingent on commitment is a huge problem.  There is no reason – other than social norms – for it to be that way and for most of us we simply accept that the assumption that society imposes on us is the right way to act.

I believe that most people would be much happier in their lives if they could let sex and relationships be two separate things that may sometimes cross and intertwine but never dictate to each other.

Work/life balance and where to find a partner

It’s an eternal question: where can I find a partner?

Here’s the best answer I have: the best way to find a partner is not to go looking for one. Instead build the best life for yourself that you can – meaning work less, save energy for yourself, exercise, doing creative things, indulge in hobbies.

If you do those things, then you get two benefits – one: you will inevitable meet like-minded people who may make a good partner when you are doing them and two: when you do you will be a happier, healthier person who is more able to participate in a relationship.

Conclusion:

Frustratingly there are no quick fixes when it comes to sex. Our sexuality is a project as complicated and requiring as much of our attention and dedication as any other aspect of our lives, like career, and relationships. However – if you are prepared to challenge your assumptions and put in the effort, then you can almost certainly get what you want.

John.

Consent – or why we shouldn’t force children to sit on Santa’s knee

Trigger Warning – this article discusses sexual assault and related topics.

I came across two articles in the media recently.  One discussed the horrible reality of what it termed ‘rejection violence’ – that is women being abused (especially verbally online) for saying ‘no’ to men.

https://amp.abc.net.au/article/13253626

The solution (minimally) discussed in the article mostly focussed on re-education of men and safety tools in dating apps as solutions to the problem.  Which are certainly worthwhile things to implement because something really does need to happen right now to protect women from this sort of abuse.

However – as alluded to in the article – anything that we do now is only a band-aid on a gaping wound in society and does exactly nothing to stop every future generation of men turning out exactly the same and thinking that abusing a woman just because she said ‘no’ is fine and no big deal. It’s treating the symptom, not the disease.

This is a systemic problem and one that can only be fixed by tackling the problem at its root – children (boys especially) need to be taught about consent from the earliest moment that they can comprehend the lesson. That’s where the second article comes in.

The Guardian – Teaching consent to children…

I like very much that this article doesn’t just address this problem from the point of view of teaching boys to respect other people’s boundaries – it goes much further and deeper and discusses teaching children to understand and assert their own boundaries – which I suspect then provides a solid foundation to discussing accepting other people’s boundaries.

Of course it also requires adults to respect children’s boundaries, making it a slightly circular problem we are tackling…

So, I had never thought of consent in this way before – but it makes sense as the fundamental starting point. Does a child want to be cuddled by a grandparent, or friend? Why don’t we ask children if they want this sort of contact? Why do we force children to “sit on Santa’s knee” when they don’t want to?

Put in this perspective, the origin of men feeling free to abuse women for something as simple as being rejected starts to make more sense – from an early age children are taught that they don’t have the right to choose who touches them and how. This is clearly setting up men to feel justified in forcing contact on women – and women in having to resign themselves to accepting that men are going to do that to them.

At the end of the day we have one problem with two actions required to resolve it.

Firstly we need to publicly and constantly make it very clear to all men that even if they don’t respect women’s boundaries and consent that they must curb that behaviour, even if they won’t personally accept that it is the right thing to do. We do this in every other aspect of our lives (like paying for things we want, following the road rules, or not committing assault) and men who may not respect the law – mostly – manage to behave rationally through fear of consequences.

Secondly we need to fundamentally shift how we treat and educate children. It has to happen in schools. And it has to happen in homes. And we won’t see any tangible results for at least a generation – far beyond election cycles and the media’s attention span…

All of this requires leadership with a strong moral compass. Something that Australia sorely lacks, especially at a federal level (I mean seriously, we have a prime minister who had to ask his wife to explain why the sexual assault of a woman in parliament house was a problem).

Sadly, I don’t see that these things will happen in any significant way any time soon – although I was pleased to see a high profile footballer was just convicted of two counts of “sexual intercourse without consent”. Convictions of this sort are vanishingly rare, but it is good to see that a man from one of the most privileged classes in this country (a sportsman) has been held to account for his actions.

That’s a good start.

John.

When we put all our eggs in one basket, sometimes they end up scrambled

I came across an article recently in The Guardian and it frustrated me enough that I needed to write about it.

From the article:

I have been with my partner for over a decade. We met in our early-20s through mutual friends. She was with another man at the time. Things were great to begin with, the thrill continued and we had an active and adventurous sex life. Unfortunately, within a couple of years – and unbeknown to me at the time – she had difficulties at work and seemingly lost all confidence. This led to our sex life falling off a cliff. I then became withdrawn, not understanding where the rejection was coming from and that made her feel worse.

The Guardian – Sex life has fallen
off a cliff

If you have had a long term relationship then it is almost certain that you have experienced something similar to what this couple are going through.

New relationships are fun, exciting, arousing, thrilling. And can give you fantastic sex. 

Over time though this always changes in a close relationship. Often in a good way. The connection between you becomes deeper and less superficial. You can relax more as you build trust with each other. 

But you will also lose the excitement and hot passion that comes with a new person, a new body, and exciting sex. 

If you are lucky then it matures into something more comfortable and deeper. If you’re not lucky then you experience something like the couple in this article. Work, money, children, and family among other things can all impact on your relationship, but your sex life with your partner will probably be the hardest hit.

Physical and emotional stress is a killer for libido. It’s even worse though when that issue is directly between you and the person you are having sex with. We can’t expect to have great sex when one or both of us is unhappy with the other. But – because of the way conventional relationships are structured – we still have the expectation that we should be able to have good sex regardless of whatever else is going on in our relationship.

That makes no sense at all.

The even sadder part is that – like the couple in the article – when our sexual connection fails as a couple, that can make the whole situation even worse.

I was disappointed by the advice provided to the person writing about his experience “Try to sooth yourself”? “Try to be gentle with yourself”? “Your strong desire to achieve relational and personal healing will eventually find its rewards.”

That isn’t helpful advice. They are platitudes that give no suggestions for helpful action and assume the only way to have a successful relationship is to follow the “normal” script of monogamy and suffering because in the long term it might get better on its own. No. This is in my opinion bad advice.

Let’s go back to basics. Relationships can be good or bad, but usually they are somewhere in between. Unfortunately we boobytrap our relationships by going into them with a requirement of monogamy, an inability to discuss actual needs, and no preparedness to make changes when things go wrong. So when we reach the point where our relationship is in crisis we have no tools to try to fix it with.

Imagine instead an open relationship where the subject of the article was able to have sex with someone other than just his partner – who is clearly going through some serious life stresses. It might be another partner, a friend with benefits, or a sex worker – it doesn’t matter what – as long as he wasn’t feeling cast into a pit of rejection, which then fed back on his partner and made her feel even worse.

In that scenario he would still rightly miss and mourn sex with his partner – but because he wasn’t feeling totally rejected, he may have been able to actually concentrate on her and support her in the way that she needed – helping her and bringing them closer together rather than pushing them apart.

There is nothing radical about this idea. It is in fact the solution that many people implement all the time when they have affairs, or see sex workers. It’s just that they didn’t start out their relationship with that safety net in place.

Many of my clients are women who love their partners and are very happy in their relationships. They don’t want to leave them. But they need good sex in their lives to be happy. So they come to me to get it – safely and discretely – sometimes they are able to discuss and negotiate their needs with their partner and see me openly, but that is rare, because for most of us, our relationships are built on “conventional” assumptions that are never discussed until we find ourselves in crisis.

So what would my advice to the subject of the article be?

  1. Get your sexual needs fulfilled outside of the relationship to short circuit the death-spiral of rejection that you are both going through – even better if you can discuss it with her (including giving her the same opportunity – who knows, having the attention of someone new might even help her with her self esteem and confidence). But definitely don’t try to do it together! Swinging is not the answer here. It might be fun down the line when this issue is resolved, but it won’t help while you are both tied in knots over sex and each other. Do your own thing for a while, have fun, rediscover yourself
  2. You both have issues that you need to work out to be happy people in and of yourselves. Getting therapy is good, but it sounds like you both need to take a hard look at your lives and ask the difficult questions: what do I really want out of my life? Can I get it in this relationship – and job? Once those questions are answered – honestly – then you have a basis to decide if the relationship is something you want to save and if so, what part in it sex with each other can play.

This is just my opinion based on my experiences both as a sex worker and personally – but I really think that when sex is a problem between people, it’s rarely the actual problem. It’s far more likely a symptom of a larger problem that then creates it’s own complications. So the best thing to do is take sex out of the equation. Get it somewhere else for however long you need to so that it’s not sabotaging your relationship. Then, with a clear head and a mollified libido you will be in a better position to fix the real problems.

John.

38% of Americans would give up sex for a year if they could travel now

When I saw this statistic I was surprised.  Then I thought about it some more and realised that it indicates a sad truth – those people probably have terrible sex lives that they really wouldn’t miss, even for a year.

On reflection I shouldn’t be surprised.  The reality I think is that most people aren’t having the sex that they want and many people – especially women – become resigned to that.  In that case a trip to Aspen, or Venice in return for losing something you don’t get or don’t enjoy seems like a good deal.

So the real question here isn’t “Why would anyone make that trade?” it’s more like “Why do we as a society value and prioritise our sexuality and sex lives so little?”.

As a male escort for women, sex is a central aspect of my life.  My sexuality is something that I have a deep relationship with and am fully aware of.  This is necessary for my work, but I came to realise many years ago that a rewarding sex life was an important part of my happiness as a person – so hearing someone say that they would go without sex for a year just to go on a trip is to me, shocking.

There are many reasons why sex is at the bottom of so many peoples list of priorities for their lives.

Once, religion and it’s influence would have been high on this list, but – here in Australia at least – that is much less of a factor these days.

Our atomised communities is probably the largest problem now.  Our government said just this week that single people should be prepared to move (anywhere in the country presumably) to “get a job”, ignoring entirely the impact of social dislocation – that is the loss of friendship networks, family, and other community caused by moving away.  We are a social species, meaning that we need to be around other people who we know and are connected to to be happy and healthy.  That also happens to be the ideal context in which to find someone to have fulfilling sex and relationships with.  So people, isolated from the network that lets them find a partner just end up not having sex at all.

Social media – blight on society that it is – also bears some blame.  It makes people feel inadequate, allows them to substitute virtual experiences for real ones (and therefore increase their isolation), or gives them bad experiences that discourage them from dating (Tinder et al I’m looking at you here).

Work and debt is a third problem. Most people I know here in Sydney are forced to work to live by high rent or mortgages. It means that work is the central thing in their lives and leaves precious little time and energy for any thing else. And lets face it – the relationships (whether casual or long term) required to find fulfilling sex require time and effort to build and maintain.

In conclusion, while I think that society generally disparages sex and sexuality and treats it as unimportant at best and something to be ashamed of at worst, the biggest problem is that for many people there simply isn’t room in their lives for sex. Sometimes that is our own fault and others it is societal pressure and expectations (like building a career, buying a home, or having a family).

So how do we get past those problems?

It’s not easy. The first thing to do though is work out what sex means to you and what priority you are prepared to give it in your life. That’s the starting point. Once you know the answer to that, then you can adjust the competing priorities in your life to give your sexuality the room it needs to grow.

John

Sex workers need to be resilient AND fragile

I watched an interview with director Guillermo del Toro the other day and listening to his description of what it takes to be a director resonated with me as a sex worker.

You can see the interview here:

It may seem like a strange comparison, but I think that his first point is spot on – you have to be both resilient and fragile.

In the case of directing film and television a director has to be able to deal with the business of making a film – wrangling crew and equipment, dealing with producers etc.  For sex workers, we need to do the job of making the booking happen for our client – organising hotels, travel, safer sex material like condoms and lube, our clothing, hygiene, regular STI testing.  The list goes on.  There are lots of practicalities, large and small, that we have to stay on top of, all to make sure that when the moment arrives that we meet our clients that we can – as del Toro puts it – “be fragile”.

For a director that means being able to work with their actors (and crew), be sensitive to their needs and to the story.  To empathise and to give them what they need to be able to give their best performance.

For a sex worker, we need to be emotionally available, receptive, and responsive to our client’s needs.  Some people need their sex worker to be kind and compassionate.  To listen and empathise, to be gentle and caring.  Others need us to challenge and excite.  And many variations between. 

We live and work in a strange place of real emotions and responses in a setting where we are being paid for our time. There are inherent contradictions in that situation, but it can’t be faked – especially for a male sex worker for women. This may in part be the reason that there are so few of us that are able to do the job at all, let alone stay in the industry in the long term.

Women want sex just as much as men, so there is plenty of demand for my time and my colleges in the industry. As men we may be good at doing the “resilient” part – but it’s the “fragile” moments that we need to be ready to give to the women who book our services. It’s the fragile moments that make the experience real.

John.