vj responded to a recent post:
I'd be intrigued to know what you might be studying, but I think you've indicated a number of options that you were interested in. But I heartily concur that among the better options that we could hope for from anyone in a similar situation 'in the life', is the continuation on in their education to meet some higher life goals that will bring you into a better and more rewarding professional service to the public and yourself. This can be teaching, (gee you've already got a good start there), or the example of the woman lawyer might be instructive. But those would be my queries, about how you might be able to integrate this experience into something you might be able to do without going out on a cold night when you're 45 or 50. You know, some comfortable indoor work where you can occasionally develop some real mature relationships, be of service and possibly teach people useful things.OK, OK, alright how about some slightly less hazardous work in the same vein, right? Good Luck in your studies!--VJ
So, my reply:
while i appreciate your support, i was a little offended by some of your phrasing. maybe i'm being overly sensitive/analytical. anyways, let's discuss.
"the continuation on in their education to meet some higher life goals that will bring you into a better and more rewarding professional service to the public and yourself."
honestly, my life goal of helping people understand and explore their sexuality in an informed and supportive environment is well-supported by my current sex work. one of the reasons my therapist believes this is a positive choice for me right now is that it is in line with my goals. i feel i am already providing a rewarding professional service to the public and myself, both through my direct work with clients and through my blog. just because i'm considering changing my approach, does not devalue my current work. future educational efforts, such as the more traditional class-room workshop setting, may reach a wider audience, but may not have as deep an impact upon them as one-on-one sex work.
"how you might be able to integrate this experience into something you might be able to do without going out on a cold night when you're 45 or 50. You know, some comfortable indoor work where you can occasionally develop some real mature relationships, be of service and possibly teach people useful things."
first the aging sex worker stigma. many sex workers who chose to stay "in the life" build up loyal client bases and hone their services so that those still providing in their later years (although they may appear to have lower market value) can be making a comfortable living. they are not necessarily stumbling out to the corner to give blow jobs without their dentures.
indoor-work vs outdoor-work. sex workers who provide in-call do not have any commute. they can live in their apartment/studio/office, have food delivered, have clients come to them, and only have to expose themselves to the elements for personal entertainment (ex. going to a class or a concert). sex work is not always an outside job.
the phrase "real mature relationships" sets my teeth on edge. do you mean with clients and co-workers or are you referring to my personal life outside of sex work? because i feel a sex worker can have "real mature relationships" of all kinds. dacia over at wakingvixen.blogspot.com is just one shining example. what would make a sex worker's relationships any less real or mature than a lawyer's?
"slightly less hazardous work in the same vein"
every job has its hazards. i am not pretending sex work is risk free. but working as a gynecologist who provides abortions or teaching sex-ed in an abstinence-only district or doing sexual diversity outreach in a homophobic community carry some extreme risks of their own (all options i am considering).
sex work is a part of my life. when i choose to make a career change (such as pursuing my masters in public health), it will not be because i believe sex work is not a valuable profession. it's not better or worse, but different.