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Archive for July 18th, 2019

One of the most common questions I’m asked is, “Why don’t you ________?” where the blank is filled with some thing the questioner would like me to do, such as  “Why don’t you tour?“, “Why don’t you advertise on such-and-such site?“, or “Why don’t you do morning appointments?”  And the short-but-not-entirely-satisfactory answer is always the same:  “Because I don’t want to.”  As regular readers know, I’ve been doing sex work for a really long time: 34 years in all, almost 22 years as a career, and almost 20 years as an advertised escort.  And as one might expect, I’ve learned a great deal in that time, and one of things I’ve learned is that it’s easy to burn out if one isn’t careful.  It happened in only two years as a stripper, and as an escort I burned out several times and had to change my work style in order to maintain an income while giving myself time to recover (the longest break of this sort was from July 2006 to July 2010, during which my sole client was my then-husband).  But now, the stakes are much higher; I’m much older and much more realistic, and I know very well I’m not likely to score any gig that’s both more lucrative and less stressful for me than harlotry.  It isn’t that sex work is in and of itself uniquely stressful; it’s just that running a one-woman business of any kind is, and criminalization heaps an extra load of stress on top of that.  So a sex worker, like any other businessperson, needs to prioritize, pace herself, and figure out the right work-life balance so as to make it possible to continue bringing in a solid, dependable income year after year without burnout.

One important part of that is figuring out what things cause one the most stress and/or resentment and eliminating (or at least minimizing) them; another is its counterpart, maximizing the things that one enjoys or finds rewarding.  And as you’ve probably already guessed, most of the things I don’t do are things that I find stressful and/or annoying.  I’m slow to awaken and hate waking up to alarms, so I have always refused to do morning appointments.  I am not good at navigating formal systems, and since that includes filling out forms it’s rare that I can motivate myself to create a new ad.  I tend to be very set in my ways where work is concerned (note how slowly the format of this blog changes, and how some features never change), so I only like to travel to see overnight clients or to do incidental shorter sessions in a place I’m visiting for some other reason, like a speaking engagement.  Last year I realized how much I’ve grown to hate taking cold phone calls, so I stopped doing it; I also realized I need more time to unwind before bed than I used to, so I stopped scheduling sessions to end later than 11 pm.  And because the inability to know my schedule in advance was probably the number one factor in my big burnout in ’06, I’ve been reluctant to take same-day sessions since the beginning of this decade and now don’t do it at all anymore unless A) it’s for a regular or by request of a sex worker friend (last-minute duo, that kind of thing) and B) I have at least a few hours’ notice.  I think you get the idea; if I don’t do something, it’s probably because I dislike doing it, and asking me to do it anyway is not likely to win my favor.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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