This is our truth, tell us yours
If you stay on twitter long enough you learn about the different types of follows there are, not followers, but follows. Many of you might be familiar with the hate follow, when you follow someone like Louise Mensch or George Galloway just to see what they are up to. There is also the long term mute follow, when you cannot quite bring yourself to unfollow someone you have known for a long time, even if every tweet reminds you that you really should. Then there is the cant remember why follow, everyone else follows follow, and last, but by no means least, rhe creates the right brand follow. If you are wondering about the last, some people clearly ensure they have the right kind of twitter credentials by following the “right” kind of twitter accounts. There will be a black feminist, a campaigner for some specific change in the law, a drug harm reduction advocate, and a sex worker. You don’t actually have to learn from these people, it is enough just to have them in your follow list, proving your progressive credentials.
Which is how someone who follows a sex worker (namely me) who is open about her work, and has written extensively about the impact of whorephobia and anti sex work prejudice can tweet that sex without kissing makes her “feel like a prostitute”.
There is one way sex can make you feel like a prostitute. When that sex is in exchange for a pre arranged sum of money, which relates to the content and time during which the sex can take place. When non sex workers, and especially non sex worker women use prostitute to mean anything else but the sale of sexual services, they are letting their latent whorephobia show. No matter what their liberal credentials are, underneath they know selling sex is a very bad thing, and in their causal use of language, they show their true colours.
Lets talk about kissing. Some sex workers kiss, some do not. If like me you do pretty vanilla girl friend experience, you pretty much kiss every client. Notice who has the agency there, the sex worker, around the market they work and the things they do. Now, as always with choice, there is nuance, and fluffy, not straight edges. By doing GFE I am marketing something where 99% of clients want to kiss, I could not do it, but I would be limiting my potential market place. There are good reasons not to kiss, I have yet to return from a tour without a cold, and, when doing back to back bookings smeared lipstick and beard rub are occupational hazards. (Note to clients, please shave before bookings). Kissing has disadvantages, but, in transactional and performative sex it has many advantages, it creates a feeling of intimacy, delays time, builds a mood, and, if the client is any good at it, can be arousing. Again notice who is at the centre here, the sex worker, not the client. For me kissing is a useful tool in the tool box, especially given the kind of sex I sell. Some sex workers it is true do not kiss, for as many reasons as their are sex workers, but there are always a number of variables for anyone who chooses to offer, or not offer a particular thing. I know from the number of clients who specifically mention it that for many men kissing is an integral part of what they are looking for.
So, where does the idea that men do not kiss sex workers, or that sex without kissing is somehow objectifying or degrading come from? I believe it comes from the belief that all clients (and perhaps all except a few men admitted into the charmed circle) see women as mere receptacles of their sexual urges. It is true some men do behave like this, and treat their sexual partners as objects but this has nothing to do with whether the sex is paid for or not. At the mid range end of the market which I work we are talking about sums of money which the average working class guy cannot throw away with ease. Bookings are rare treats rather than weekly events. They know the sex is paid for, but want to be able to put that knowledge to one side, and have better sex than they could have otherwise. Despite this some persist in projecting their beliefs, and experiences with and about men, particularly their sexual ones, onto sex workers and their clients.
The fact is kissing means different things to different people. Sex without kissing can be incredibly hot, speaking to the kind of lust which sometimes over powers us. Not seeing the person can be hot. No rule says sex is better after spending hours sharing thoughts on whether Newsnight has lost its way or the latest album by James Blunt. I can certainly testify to the hotness of choosing men out of line, and treating them like the stunt cocks they want to be for a few hours. Kissing can mean different things with the same person, a kiss of support, or a kiss to push you over the edge when you are expecting pain. Some see kissing as only one thing, have their ideas of sex limited to some movie of the week, soft fade, only see the woman’s breasts, montage. The problem is wholly contained within their limited views and experience, and it is time to stop pretending the problem lies with anyone but themselves.