The Cynical Slut: On Love, Monogamy and Sex Work

Slutty McWhore's occupation gives her a specific angle on relationship insecurities.

Feature by Slutty McWhore | 25 Nov 2008
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I have been involved with Michael for over seven months now, and was honest about what I did for a living from the very beginning. It certainly hasn’t been easy for him to come to terms with my choice of profession - and he would definitely prefer me to do something else – but he has finally reached a stage where he can tolerate, if not totally accept, my lifestyle. If we argue, then our fights now are very rarely about sex work but have more to do with the typical problems that afflict ‘normal’ relationships – lack of money, taking each other for granted sometimes, annoying habits or personality flaws. In other words, there is nothing particularly unusual about our relationship.

Many people may be incredulous that a sex worker can find a partner who can cope with his/her choice of career, but I am certainly not the only one. Jenny de Milo, an LA-based sex worker blogger, has a boyfriend who is fully aware and supportive of her decision to work as an escort. They apparently have an open relationship, which means that he is free to sleep with other women, and even to pay for sex with other escorts. I would personally be far too jealous to have such a polyamorous relationship, but if it works for them, then who I am to judge? Michael and I love each other, after all, although our own arrangement would be seen as highly unconventional by some.

Despite the fact that sex workers can sustain ‘normal’ loving partnerships, I can’t deny that being involved in the sex industry has affected my view of men, and my ability to have long-term relationships. I hesitated before writing this last sentence, as I hate the assumption that sex work is always psychologically damaging. It need not be so, I imagine, but probably has been for me. Most of my clients are married, so it is very hard for me to believe that men are capable of fidelity. It would be easier for me if I could pigeonhole punters as perverted weirdoes who are nothing like ‘nice’ ‘decent’ men, but a fair share of my clients actually are ‘nice’ and ‘decent’. In some cases, I would never have imagined that a guy would be the ‘type’ to get an erotic massage because he seems like such a loyal, devoted family guy. In some cases, he is exactly that, and obviously loves his partner. I feel sorry for their wives who surely don’t suspect what their husbands get up to, and I am terrified of one day being that clueless woman myself.

As a result, I am hyper-vigilant in all my romantic relationships, always looking out for the tiniest sign of lying or betrayal. The problem with this is that if one looks close enough at a partner’s life to find dirt, one will inevitably find something – perhaps trivial but still hurtful - which would have been better left alone.

Certain friends have told me that I have no right to have insecurities about Michael, given that he ‘puts up' with my involvement in the sex trade. The implication here seems to be that sex workers are ‘damaged goods’ who should be grateful to any partner who takes them on. In my early twenties, I stayed in a very abusive, dysfunctional relationship because I had clearly internalised society’s belief that I deserved no better.

Luckily, this is not the case with Michael. The only thing wrong with our relationship is my own cynicism.