This is our truth, tell us yours
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Recently Carter wrote one of those posts that I sometimes suspect are designed at making me smile. It was also an excellent response to my concerns about being a member of the Labour Party, indeed we do sometimes have to settle for burgers, especially when all the others parties are offering sawdust. The non political part of Carter’s post concerned the choices he makes when able to find the time to make smiles with a stranger, and finding time is indeed an issue in the interconnected, never allowed to switch off, lives we all seem to lead.
I was reminded of his blog post this week, when after making smiles together I was left weak kneed, barely able to string a coherent sentence together. I joked that it was a good thing work sex did not leave me in the same state. Of course this is no accident. Sex workers trade in intimate acts and emotional intimacy, and if they are to stay whole and healthy need to be able to get dressed, smile and leave that intimacy where it belongs, in the bedroom. We understand in a way so many seem not too, that the work life balance means leaving work behind.
Many people struggle with sex work because they believe we must in some way lose our souls, that the act of sexual intercourse is in some way so special, so sacred that once you have sex with someone for financial reasons the damage is done. They are unable to see that work sex is for us very different from sex we may have with partners or one night stands, that we are aware far more than they of what sex can be. Some sex workers have concrete barriers that separate work and non work sex, kissing for example. Others like me differentiate in what we give. I am in the privileged position of liking my job and enjoying the sex, but it is never more than sex, a client never gets to see more than a glimpse of the person beneath.
Thus I am able to walk away, post orgasmic and smiling, with my soul barely tarnished by the encounter. The partners of sex workers also understand this balance, they are special indeed as they understand what a sex worker does at work no more changes their relationship than what an accountant or hair dresser does.
Sex may seem an odd topic for the Sunday Sermon, but the skills and abilities of sex workers are so rarely discussed. We have to live the work/life balance with far more care, and control than most people. We have to have an awareness that many could learn from. Are you able to leave your work at the door and return to your home and family with their concerns front and forward? If not perhaps there is a friendly sex worker you could learn from, for a fee of course.