I am, like, the queen of shouting about how sex work is a job, not a form of empowerment. It doesn’t matter whether you’re getting in touch with your sexuality or freeing yourself from patriarchal sex-negative constraints or whatever! It is perfectly valid to do sex work because people will give you money for it, just as it is perfectly valid to stock shelves at Wal-Mart because people will give you money for it.
Therefore I am a bit shamefaced to admit that, in fact, sex work has empowered me and helped me get in touch with my sexuality.
I had a lot of body image issues. I was socialized female, I felt gender dysphoria every time I looked at myself in the mirror, and I was a shy socially phobic nerdy kid, which all added up to “people literally only want to have sex with me when they have no other options.” I was on my fifth or sixth sexual partner by the time I worked out that it is a bad idea to have sex with people I’m not attracted to because what if they are the last person who will ever be attracted to me and then I never get sex again.
On the other hand, while camming, I can put on a miniskirt and makeup and have a dozen people telling me I’m gorgeous and that they want to come on my face and they’re masturbating right now looking at my lips. I have been forced to admit that, in fact, people find me sexually attractive. I can totally hold out for sex with people I find attractive! It’s astonishing!
The other thing is… when I’m camming, I’m usually not enjoying myself very much. I pretend to really enjoy self-spanking or fucking myself with my fingers in the way that makes really nice noises but doesn’t actually feel like anything; I pretend that my vagina isn’t sore; I pretend that I find you, O dude on cam, incredibly attractive; I pretend to be super-into foot fetishes and racist-ass cuckolding and Magic: the Gathering. I fake orgasms. While masturbating. It’s that sad.
I also have had a bad habit of having sex that I don’t particularly enjoy because I don’t want to disappoint my partner. And then one day, part of the way through receiving thoroughly unenjoyable cunnilingus, I thought to myself, “…I could be getting paid for this.”
Seriously. I make four bucks a minute pretending to enjoy myself; why the fuck would I do that for free?
So I have instituted my new policy, which is that if I don’t want to have sex with you I’m not going to, and if I don’t enjoy a sex act I’m not going to do it, and so far it has led to far less sex but also I don’t have to stare at the ceiling doubling numbers in my head anymore. Thanks, camming!