We’ve all been there. Whether it’s a breakup or an argument with a friend or the death of a pet or just a random bout of anxiety… Is there anything worse than having to doll yourself up and fake intimacy with a stranger when you feel like absolute crap?
That’s one negative about sex work. It can be tough to fake it when you feel horrible. It’s a lot easier to go to work when you are feeling crappy if you can wear a snuggly jumper and hide behind your computer screen being slightly grumpy all day.
It’s MUCH trickier to go to work when you are feeling crappy if you have to have flawless makeup, don uncomfortable lingerie and pretend that a rude dude who makes your apartment smell like BO is the most wonderful person in the world.
As hard as it is, sometimes you just have to push through and do the booking anyway. You can’t feel 100% every single day and bills have to be paid, even when there are breakups and anxiety and arguments.
Here are my top tips for getting through work when you feel like crap.
If you’re feeling like crap, I want you to give yourself permission to be easy on yourself. Maybe it usually takes you an hour to get ready for a booking, because you like to exfoliate, paint your nails, curl your hair to perfection, apply precision winged eyeliner and wear that suspender belt with 8 more straps than necessary. And that’s totally fine. But just for today, give yourself permission to NOT do that.
Maybe, today you leave your hair natural, and you do a makeup look that only takes 10 minutes. I PROMISE your client won’t mind. In fact, he might even like it. Give yourself permission to NOT do the whole kit and caboodle. You’re allowed to be human.
Remember, your client is booking YOU for YOU, not for your winged eyeliner. And he’ll be happy you’re there, with or without the suspender belt with a ridiculous number of straps (and if he’s not, tell him to take a hike).
When I’m feeling horrible, I prefer to do shorter bookings. If anxiety is lapping at my feet, the thought of a multi-hour booking makes me feel claustrophobic, even though they don’t usually bother me. Instead of forcing myself through that the anxiety of a multi-hour booking when I’m already feeling down, I take the easy way out and only accept one-hour bookings until I feel better.
For you, it might be easier to do longer bookings or 15-minute bookings or only see regulars or only see new clients. You will know what works best for you. Don’t feel bad for taking the easy way out – treat yourself with kindness and respect, and you’ll be back to your old self in no time.
Time to reveal an embarrassing fact about me… When I’m feeling horrible, and I don’t want to work, but I NEED to, I watch Secret Diary of a Call Girl while getting ready.
If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you’ll know that Secret Diary of a Call Girl was my gateway into sex work (we can discuss the problematic glamorisation of sex work in the media another time). But ignoring all of that, when I watch the show it still lights that fire inside of me. I feel that same excitement and lust for the industry that I did when I first watched it. I have a few songs that I listened to when I started working that give me the same feeling.
Maybe you have a song, a show, a movie or a mantra that gives YOU that feeling?
When I’m at work, I’m someone else. My work persona doesn’t get anxious. She doesn’t have ‘real-life’ problems. She doesn’t have arguments with her boyfriend (I mean, she doesn’t even HAVE a boyfriend! She is perpetually single, of course!) She is easy-going, happy, jovial.
Once the client steps through my front door, I slip into my persona so easily. And, in fact, sometimes it’s almost a relief from everyday life. I don’t think about me, the person behind the persona. I AM the persona. It can serve as a good distraction from everything else that goes on in ‘real-life’.
Envision the cash you’ll have at the end of the booking or your shift. How good will it feel to hold it in your hands? What are you going to use that money for? Plan it down to every cent. Envision it as though you’re already holding it and it’s there. Really focus on it and how you’ll feel at the END of the booking.
I find breaking bookings down into segments in my mind can make the time go faster. For example, I think of a 1-hour booking as 4 x 15-minute segments.
The first 15-minutes barely count – the are already gone by the time I greet the client, we have a little chat, I get him a drink, he showers. The last 15-minutes barely count either – by that time we are wrapping up, chatting and maybe he is starting to move towards the bathroom to shower and get dressed.
So, I really only have to think about those middle 30-minutes or 2 x 15-minute blocks. Anyone can get through 2 x 15-minutes, even on a day where they feel crappy.
If you got through a booking on a day where you feel like absolute crap, you deserve a reward. Treat yourself to a long bath, a movie in bed, your favourite takeaway food or a lazy afternoon nap. You deserve it.
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. This blog is for entertainment purposes only.