Finding myself in Sydney on Monday (a rarity for me, as I’m usually down in the Southern Highlands for the first few days each week) I decided to go for a walk. Headphones to listen to an audio book and my favourite walking shorts – little did I know that somewhere along that 10km walk the entire crotch of my shorts would disintegrate! Luckily I was wearing black underwear. Anyway – now I need some new shorts!
Due to spending too much time lifting heavy things when I was a child growing up on my family’s farm I have had a life time of lower back pain. Soft bones and too much heavy work don’t mix (which is why we have child labour laws!) and the result for me is disks that are not as thick as they should be, potentially leading to nerves being pinched, sciatica, back pain, incapacity – the list goes on.
After a particularly bad episode in 2015 I discovered that the extra core strength gained from swimming was very helpful, it reduced flair-ups and kept me mobile and mostly pain free. That was a remarkable discovery. However it never solved the problem entirely and I still needed regular massage and still had occasional bouts of crippling lower back pain.
That was until during the pandemic. When I couldn’t do sex work I started a little business allied to construction work (which I could legally go out to do). At the time it was literally just something I could do to stay busy and bring in some income, but I soon realised that the physical labour involved in loading up and unloading my machines and the physical work itself had an unexpected benefit: it fixed my lower back problem. Completely. Not just improved it or lessened the occurrences but fixed it entirely.
The core strength that I get from lifting loading ramps, and tools, “active” sitting on machines, and doing the inevitable bit of hand work required like swinging a crowbar gives me enough core stability that the pressure is taken off the nerves in my lower back and I can live and work pain free for the first time in over twenty years.
Culturally, in Australia “manual labour” is seen as being “less” when compared to professions that require formal education. And it’s true that working with your hands for a living isn’t going to pay like being a doctor, banker, or consultant of some kind, but there is a lot to be said for honest labour with tangible outcomes *and* the strength and fitness that comes from it – and ultimately for me the physical wellbeing and lack of back pain that I derive from it.
I spend about half of my time each week in Sydney as a sex worker and the other half out of town helping people build their dreams. Two very different trades, but ultimately one supports the other and I am very glad that I made this discovery. I’m a better sex worker for also doing the manual labour – and I don’t have to go to the gym to build a few extra muscles (if you like that sort of thing)!
Recently a new hair dresser opened conveniently close to my place. Great! I thought, no more need to go over to Rhodes and do battle with the shopping centre.
Now over the years I have learned that although “short” hair is very convenient, cool in summer, and all round easy, it just doesn’t suit me the way that letting it grow out a bit and curl up does.
Well, the first time I had a hair cut at the new place I thought to myself “I just didn’t give him clear enough instructions”. He made it really short despite me saying “just a trim, leave it over my ears please” – which is normally enough to let an experienced hair dresser know what you want.
The second time I was much more clear: “Last time was too short, I want it over my ears and long enough to curl up please”. What I got made me look something like Beaker from The Muppets.
This time I was really, really explicit: “I want it at least a centimeter over my ears please”. I have come to realise that this hairdresser takes anything less than “short back and sides” as a personal affront.
So I give up. I guess I’ll be going back to Rhodes in the future…
I don’t generally do “link swaps” and the like on my website. Networking is great for generating traffic to your website, but I am always wary of endorsing other people who I don’t know and trust.
I recently received an invitation to swap links with a site and I was, as always, cautious about it. I spent some time looking over the site and while the content was, on the whole, ok, and purported to be the site of a woman who specialised in sexuality and relationships, it left me feeling like it was just a whole lot of middle of the road articles about sexuality with some occasional BDSM et al spicy stuff thrown in.
I didn’t get the feeling that the site was actually written by one person. More that it was a bunch of sexy stuff, designed to be a little bit titillating without risking anything, that had no personal voice.
I’m pretty sure that the purported owner didn’t write the content. And that’s a problem for me. There was no personal voice. No consistent narrative or view coming through. Just generic “feel good” vibes about sex. A site designed perhaps to drive views and clicks for advertisers rather than to give you real information. And I don’t want to be sending people who read my website to another site just so that they can be “monetised”…
If you have read much of my content then you can probably understand why this would not sit well with me. In everything that I write for this website I try be honest and direct about who I am and what my values are. Some people will like my values, some people won’t – and I think that’s a great way to help anyone thinking about booking me to make the right decision for them.
A website that tries to please everyone so that it can get maximum views rather than provide the best information is not one that I am going to promote. I try to put my readers’ and clients’ best interests ahead of commercialism.
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.
I really hope that 2021 be a better year for all of us!
I’m sorry that I have not been posting regularly here, but you know – 2020…
Seriously though, it was a long year with a lot of personal challenges on top of the insanity of covid-19. Thank you to everyone who booked with me last year, for your support. That made it much easier than it could have been.
I am now back at work after a few weeks off and looking forward to meeting new people and renewing my connection with those I already know.
For anyone who may be wondering – I recently closed down my Twitter account. It had served its purpose (supporting and advocating for the sex work industry) at a time where it was under serious threat in Australia, so it was no-longer needed. I will continue to post here however.
So I want to wish everyone well and I look forward to hearing from you in the future!
I recently had a booking with a woman who (like most of my clients) had never seen a male sex worker before.
She was nervous, but determined and we had a good session together. That evening she sent me the text below (shown with her permission).
It was a nice reminder to me of a large part of why I do this job (besides earning the income that we all need to get by in life). It’s because what I do brings people joy. Not the momentary endorphin hit of a new purchase, but something that lasts for days – and perhaps even a lifetime…
I have always enjoyed the work that I have done (mostly around IT and design), but I can honestly say that while much of it was useful and beneficial to my clients, none of it ever really made a difference to anyone’s life. Not in a significant or lasting way. That work was unimportant to people’s lives.
With sex work though, I feel that although I can only ever see a tiny fraction of all the people in the world, I will, in most cases, make a significant and positive contribution to their lives and their happiness.