Coming out as a sex worker can be difficult, there’s no point pretending otherwise.
You must take time to consider your own personal circumstances when making the decision to tell people that you are a sex worker. What may be right for one person may not be right for you. Your safety and wellbeing should always come first.
Here are my top 5 tips for coming out as a sex worker:
You may feel under pressure to tell those close to you that you are a sex worker before you are ready. Maybe you feel like you are lying to everyone, and the guilt is getting to you.
Remember, coming out as a sex worker is about you and no one else. If you start to think about how to please others, you will lose sight of what is really important: your happiness. Focus on yourself and what’s important to you, and you will ultimately make your loved ones happier as well.
When you’re ready (you’ll know when the time feels right), don’t feel like you have to tell everyone straight away. It’s not a race. Choose one person you trust – maybe a friend, sibling, or parent.
As soon as you’ve opened up to the first person, things will seem more manageable. Even if it doesn’t go perfectly, you’ll have taken the first step and feel the pressure lift a little bit.
It’s very easy to let anxieties and fears take over the experience. But remember, sharing a part of your life can also be a really amazing experience. You can finally be your whole self, and be loved for who you are. It WILL change your life.
There’s no point denying it. That’s why you need to decide when the time is right for YOU.
Make sure you have a safety net if things don’t go to plan. Consider getting in touch with your local sex work organisation (Google ‘peer sex work organisation’ + your city name). Sex work organisations like Scarlett Alliance often have free counselling services for sex workers, and this can be excellent support if you don’t have anyone else in your life that knows about your work. There is support available if you find yourself lost or alone.
When I first told people that I am a sex worker, I had no plan. I just blurted out whatever came to mind. There’s nothing wrong with this, but I think I would have had more positive experiences if I had taken the time to consider what I wanted to say, how I wanted to say it, and how I could convey that to the specific person.
Before you open up, spend some time considering how you want to express yourself. If you’re struggling with what to say, or are worried that you’ll get nervous and trip over your words, it might be a good idea to write your loved one a letter.
I’ve written a letter that contains everything I wish I had said to people when I was telling them that I was a sex worker. You can download the letter by clicking here. It also includes a template for you to write your own coming out letter. This is a good place to start getting your thoughts together.
Photo by Unsplash.
Disclaimer: I cannot, and do not, speak for all sex workers. I speak from my experience of working in a legal brothel and as an independent escort in Australia. Where possible I try to be inclusive. However, I can’t relay every experience of sex work – especially if I haven’t experienced it myself.
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