Last month, at Sex Kitten, I asked both sex workers and johns what they thought of Lifetime’s series The Client List. Over at The Village Voice, they did the same.
In Watching The Client List With a Real Sex Worker, Kate Conger interviews an anonymous sex worker about the TV series. I’m inclined to believe it is a real interview with a female sex worker ~ and not just because I agree with the thoughts presented. But that does help. *wink* Here are the top four points I’d like to make:
#1: The reality of actual on-the-job physical issues ~ for which there’s no worker’s comp:
[T]here is a scene in the second season in which Hewitt’s character is getting tendinitis in her arm (pecker-itis, they call it) because she’s working too hard. These types of on-the-job injuries are totally real. Blowjob neck pain. Hip displacement. Back pain from too much doggy position.
#2 Regarding “being out” as a sex worker:
Some sex workers are completely open and honest about the work they do with family, friends, strangers, and partners. Others are not out about their job at all. Most sex workers that I know are somewhere in between, avoiding the shame and stigma where they can and cultivating acceptance and encouragement when possible.
…I wish I could be out to everyone, that the work I do could be accepted as just any other job, that more people in my family could be proud of the work I do and what I am able to do with my life because of it, but that is not the world we live in.
Personally, my experience has been that most sex workers lead double-lives; others in sex work know, but the majority, if not all, of a worker’s family and friends made prior to sex work do not know. This can make sex work a very isolated existence.
#3 These statements about making money in sex work are concise and insightful:
Sometimes it can be very well-paying, though race, education (or the ability to fake it), body size and tone, age, style, and so forth all factor into how much a person is able to make and the kind of sex work they are allowed to do. Generally, the whiter the skin, the thinner, and the higher education, the more willing bosses and clients are to hire you.
While there are plenty of niche areas too, racism and social status are a reality of the business at large ~ especially for someone new to the work.
#4 After mocking “the rules of The Client List”, the anonymous sex worker said:
I have made agreements for myself: Don’t let anyone push my personal boundaries (there are acts I explicitly don’t do); if someone makes me uncomfortable then do not see them again; wear fancy underwear on the regular, for myself and not just for work; always check references from and give references to other hos; and when doing out-calls with new clients, always leave info for a partner. If I need a break from work, I give myself one.
All sound rules ~ however, I cannot stress enough that no matter how often you’ve met with a client, in-call or out, you should always have a partner as back-up. If they cannot be with you, or tail you, someone must have information on your meeting and you should check in with someone at the start of the call and the end of the call.