Feminist Philosophers

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Reader Query Re Partners of Sex Workers June 30, 2011

Filed under: sex work — Jender @ 12:38 pm

A reader writes:

The girlfriend of a female acquaintance of mine has recently decided to become a prostitute with male clients. Apparently her reason is that she is sex positive and really wants to do this. My acquaintance (who is not a sex worker herself) is having hard time coping with this decision. In order to come to grips with it, she would like to know of websites, discussion forums or blog that are aimed at and/ or written by partners of sex workers. Does anyone have suggestions?

I’ll be very grateful if you could put suggestions in comments. I’d like to ask you, though, to confine yourself to the question asked. There are lots of very legitimate debates that could be had over sex work, and also over words like ‘sex positive’. But let’s not have them here.

 

11 Responses to “Reader Query Re Partners of Sex Workers”

  1. John Says:

    Good for her. There’s nothing wrong with prostitution.

  2. s. wallerstein Says:

    No, there’s nothing worse in selling your sexuality than in selling your philosophical talent.

    However, I suspect that after a few months of prostitution, the woman is going to become distinctly less sex positive.

  3. helenesch Says:

    Aren’t these precisely the kinds of comments Jender asked folks not to post?

  4. emigrl Says:

    Watch “Every Ho I Know Says So: Advice for Partners, Lovers, Dates & Sweethearts of Sex Workers” on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTdBXLCo1Qk

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I’m the partner of a sex worker. I’ve known she did kink work from the time I met her, which didn’t include penetration or kissing (the term “sex” is so vague as to be not helpful in defining sex work, ironically, by the way). However, a while ago, she decided to seek out work that included those things.

    I was already on board intellectually with the idea of prostitution/sex work, but having my significant other doing it felt different. At this point, it’s not that difficult for me personally, but I initially struggled some. From my experience, I’d recommend these things:

    1. Try to figure out precisely what it is that bothers her about the work. Is it the fear of disease? (Talk about what kinds of safer sex practices her girlfriend uses.) Is it “sharing” her girlfriend? (Talk about how the sex acts in work are very different than in intimate contexts.) Etc.

    2. Follow some sex workers on Twitter. There are some great feminist, queer people there, like Susie Bright, Jiz Lee, Madison Young, Tristan Taormino. Reading about the daily lives of people involved in sex work can make it less mystifying and scary.

    3. As for websites/blogs, I like http://titsandsass.com/ myself, and there is a YouTube vid made just for partners of sex workers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTdBXLCo1Qk that might be helpful.

    4. Be patient with herself. It’s not uncommon to think you are 100% intellectually in agreement with something and then find yourself stumbling emotionally. The biggest thing she can do is support her partner, be clear that she’s having a hard time but wants to manage better (and maybe set some goals about how she wants that support to be — does she want to hear about the clients? Does she want to know when the appointments are happening? Etc).

    Personally, I found more information is better. The johns are not threatening to my relationship and hearing about them gives me a way to be empathetic to my partner’s work. Because it sure is work!

  6. Doesn’t Tristan Taormino do a Q and A on her website? Perhaps the individual from the OP could ask the same question there?

  7. Flaffer Says:

    I suggest the blog http://nightmarebrunette.blogspot.com/, not necessarily for the partner issues (although there is some there) but for a nuanced perspective on what sex work means to the worker.

  8. Anon. Says:

    I just want to offer this perspective:
    I couldn’t be involved with someone doing this kind of work. I think there are several reasons I have this attitude: that I want a sexually exclusive relationship, that I think the existence of sex work is bad for women (and that’s a political problem I have with anyone doing such work), that I don’t want to be put at risk for disease, that I don’t want to be so connected to something I consider so sordid . . .
    So, one way you might react is by thinking about whether you can continue to be in the relationship.
    I just want to say to you: it’s okay to leave a relationship when the terms change so radically.

  9. Selene Says:

    I know you don’t want debates on the work itself, so I’ll advise her to read and watch the movies by Annie Sprinkle, a sex and body positive activist.

    She’s also an artist (hint hint)….just a thought.

  10. Madame Jade Says:

    I have added links to two fabulous articles on sex workers and the people who date them. As a sex worker myself, I would say that both authors offer excellent advice. One is written by a sex worker, the other by the partner of a sex worker. I’ve also linked to my blog, which talks about my experiences as a sex worker, and my experiences with romantic relationships. Hope this helps!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kitty-stryker/public-relations-my-exper_b_1520144.html

    http://christianbvega.blogspot.ca/2013/04/how-to-date-sex-worker.html

    http://madamejade.wordpress.com/

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