Jenna Love is a 32-year-old Australian sex worker who started working in the adult industry nine years ago as a sugar baby. These days, Jenna is based in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, where she hosts incalls and frequently tours Australia as a full-service escort. In addition to her work as an escort, Jenna creates adult content and has over 70 thousand Twitter followers.
Jenna and I touch on SO many great topics, including:
Let’s dive on in!
Amelia: Hey Jenna! Could you introduce yourself and your experience as a sex worker to the readers?
Jenna: Yeah, sure. I don’t actually know how long I’ve been in the industry – I think about eight or nine years? I took a few years off, but I’ve been back for about three and a half years now. When I came back, I really decided that this is what I want to do, whereas when I first started in the industry, I’d just work when I needed money and wasn’t saving or any of that stuff. So, part two of Jenna happened at the end of 2017.
Amelia: Have you been working full-time since then?
Jenna: Almost. I’ve always been someone who worked a bunch of different casual jobs while studying. I always sort of thought I needed a backup – you know, if sex work didn’t work out. But eventually, it got to the point where I really didn’t want to do that, and I just wanted to put everything into sex work. So, I took a bit of a gamble and quit the other jobs I had and went, “Well, this is what I’m doing. This is my career, for now at least.” And now that’s who I am. I’m a sex worker.
Initially, I got into it as a sugar baby, but that was pretty short-lived. I became a sugar baby because I didn’t think I could be an escort. I didn’t think I had what it took. I looked at the photos on escort websites and thought, “Oh okay, well, THAT’S not me!” So, I just did the sugar baby thing, and people gave me a bit of money here and there. A couple of the guys I saw encouraged me, and they thought I could do more formal sex work if I wanted to. Now understand that what it takes to be an escort is very different from what I initially thought it took. So, I did that, and I much preferred it to the sugar baby stuff and don’t ever want to go back there.
I consider myself primarily a full-service sex worker. I like being a prostitute. That’s where I really found my happy place. I also create and sell porn, but that’s always been secondary for me. I do enjoy it, but I’ve never wanted that to be my primary source of income.
Amelia: It’s kind of like a side project to escorting?
Jenna: Yeah, and it does sort of compliment it to an extent. I’ve also worked in a couple of brothels – I’ve had some short stint, and I really hated them.
Amelia: What didn’t you like about doing brothel work?
Jenna: I found that there was far more pressure to do less safe services. The pressure for bareback from clients really constant, and I felt like going to work every day was me having to prepare myself to spend an entire day finding different ways to say “no”.
Amelia: It’s like going into battle every day rather than going to work and having a nice time – or at least having a tolerable time.
Jenna: Exactly. We all know we aren’t necessarily going to have sunshine and rainbows in any job every day, but it really wears you down. I started to get a really skewed view of people because I was just battling them all day.
Amelia: I think you’re so right – it wears you down so much when you start every booking in a debate about what you will and won’t do. It’s not an ideal setting to have a nice time.
Jenna: No, it’s not a good starting place! I’ve spoken to other people who’ve worked in brothels though, and they haven’t had that experience, so I don’t know what it was that lead to that for me in that environment. I think that an aspect of it is that I’ve never been slim, and every time I’ve worked in a brothel, I was always the biggest person there. It could be me projecting, but I got a sense that a lot of the clients thought that I would be willing to do more for less because of my size. Whereas the clients that see me privately as an escort come to see me because they’ve seen my advertising and they like what they see.
Amelia: They’ve already selected you before they get there, rather than going, “Well, you’re the only person available right now.”
Jenna: Or “You’re the easiest target,” you know?
Amelia: Yeah, thinking you’re more vulnerable because they are ascribing lower worth to you.
Jenna: Exactly. Whereas clients who see me privately ascribe probably much higher worth than I do! [laughs]
Amelia: Which is nice!
Jenna: Yes, much better! Much prefer that. But there are so many factors at play. I just discovered that for me, the brothel environment isn’t good.
Amelia: That makes a lot of sense. I’m glad you’ve had a more positive experience working privately.
Jenna: I think too because when I first started in the industry, I was working privately. So when I went into brothels, I was like, “What the fuck is this?” All I’d heard was, “Go to a brothel, it’s safer”, and then I got in there, and I was like, “This is not cool.”
Amelia: I’m always so interested in people who start in the industry by working privately first. How did you even know what to do? I guess you met a couple of clients when you were doing the sugar baby thing who showed you the way a little bit, but how did you find that experience?
Jenna: Look, it was tricky. I didn’t know a single other sex worker. I didn’t even know others were out there. I saw that there were a few high-profile, very shiny-looking escorts, but I didn’t know there were other people like me and all I had to go off was clients. In hindsight, that really sucked. Some clients are really lovely and care about you as a person, but they’ve also got a different interest in your business than you do. So, I didn’t know anything about the industry for years. Then when I got on Twitter, I discovered the rest of the industry. I felt really betrayed – which doesn’t make sense; no one had betrayed me – but I felt like, “Oh my god, you’ve all been connecting and sharing tips and helping one another.” I was just out there doing whatever clients told me I was supposed to do. I just wasn’t connected. So I don’t necessarily agree with people who say you need to go work in a brothel first, but I do think it can be good for meeting people.
Amelia: Yeah, I think that was definitely my experience – starting in a brothel and meeting other sex workers. That was a good experience to have. I’m curious as to where you see your career heading in the future?
Jenna: Look, I’ve never been somebody who is ambitious or has goals, and in this industry, there’s not a clear career path. At the moment, I love what I’m doing, so my plan is that hopefully, I can continue doing the work I’m doing as long as I’m enjoying it. It’s kind of as simple as that.
Amelia: That makes a lot of sense. Can you speak a little bit about your approach to marketing and branding?
Jenna: Yeah, I think there are lots of different approaches that you can take in the sex industry, and I think that’s one of the best things about it: you make it what you want it to be. I’ve never been driven by the business side of things at all. I like working, I like working hard, but business stuff is so not my jam, and then I was like, “Oh, I’ve accidentally started my own business!” So yeah, I would say I don’t have a strategy at all when it comes to marketing and branding. But other people have told me that I have a brand, so I guess I do?
I think we all sort of have a brand simply by being who we are, but I don’t have like a logo or a font… There’s no brand kit… There’s no specific plan… And I think that’s the thing with the industry. Some people are selling a very cultivated service, and they are marketing to clients who want that and who can afford that, and that’s not something I can deliver.
The experience you get with me is just getting me! I don’t know how else to explain it. The experience that clients have with me is not a cultivated, perfect experience. Actually, I was reading on the internet last night that someone was like, “Oh my god, it finally happened. I farted during sex last night. It was so embarrassing.” And I was like, “What? Just once?” I fart every time I have sex. How are you throwing your body around and not letting air out? [laughs] So, that’s kind of the experience that people get with me.
Amelia: So instead of taking that really branded, polished approach, you’re just putting yourself out there, and that’s really humanising for clients because it’s all about that connection.
Jenna: Yeah, and there is no right or wrong way to do it, but that human element is hugely important in the sex industry. People often ask, “Are you worried about robot brothels?” and I’m not for a second. People don’t come to see us because they need to have an orgasm. They come to see us because they want to have intimacy with another human – they want to connect with someone. The sex happens, sure, but they can have an orgasm for a lot cheaper [than seeing an escort]. People are longing to connect, and I think showing that human element is so important. But there is a bit of a fear in the industry that if you do show your human side, then you won’t have any privacy, and I don’t think those things are mutually exclusive.
Amelia: Speaking of that human element, you are quite open about the fact that you’re married. I guess some sex workers are worried about sharing information like that in terms of privacy, but also in terms of clients’ reactions and being concerned about losing income. How do you manage that?
Jenna: I am very open, but I don’t know if people realise that there is also a lot that I don’t share. I’ll share stuff about farting or whatever, people think, “Oh god, she shares everything.” But there’s a whole bunch of stuff that I don’t share. I think what’s really important is picking and choosing what you share. Some people will have very little they are comfortable with sharing, and that’s cool. I’m comfortable sharing a lot, and I’m privileged to be able to do that. But at the same time, there’s a whole bunch of things that I don’t know if I’ll ever be comfortable sharing publicly or with clients.
The impact on business is interesting. I don’t’ really think of what I do as marketing – it’s just something I felt like doing. But I’ll speak to my friends about things I want to do, and they’ll suggest that I shouldn’t do it because it would be bad for business. For instance, a couple of years ago, I asked my husband to do some question and answer videos with me. I told a couple of my friends about it and said I shouldn’t do it because it might freak some of my clients out, and I was like, “Oh, okay.” I didn’t really think of it in terms of marketing. I just thought it was a cool thing to do. For me, it was more important in terms of activism rather than marketing, but it has ended up useful for both. And ever since, so many clients bring up those videos, they comment on how nice it is to see me with a loving partner.
And you don’t know the clients that you don’t get, but in my opinion, if there are clients who aren’t comfortable seeing me because I’m in a relationship, then they don’t sound like very healthy clients to me. I know that there are workers in the industry who rely on clients who really really want the girlfriend experience – multi-day bookings are huge for them, which is just really not what I do. So it just comes back to what your brand is, what kind of bookings you want to do, who you want to attract and who you are.
Amelia: It goes back to there being a place for everything and everyone in the industry.
Jenna: Absolutely. There are so many different situations, and I would never suggest someone puts information out there that they aren’t comfortable with.
Amelia: Yeah, I mean, I think it’s so interesting that you don’t think you really have a brand or marketing strategy. From the outside, in my humble opinion, you have such a strong brand, even if it’s accidental. But what you’re saying is that you follow your intuition and go with what feels right, which is the brand!
Jenna: Yeah, I guess it is. Absolutely. I’m very instinctual, and I will think, “Oh, that sounds like a good idea! I’ll do that today.” Literally just before we started talking, I posted some photos on Twitter – I took some selfies this morning, and I dropped my camera and accidentally took three photos. So, I put those on my secondary channel being like, “That’s the journey of a selfie.” And it’s like that’s me choosing to show authenticity in my marketing, you know?
Amelia: Speaking of selfies – you post a lot of selfies. How did you get to a place where you’re making so much content?
Jenna: I think it’s just my personality. Like so many of us in this industry, I am incredibly hard on myself and really struggle to relax. I don’t have long-term goals, but my constant goal is to do better and to do more. When I first got on Twitter, I set an arbitrary goal to post every day. Then I made it one unique photo every day. And I got to the point where I was posting 5 to 6 unique photos every single day, and then one day, I was like, “Why am I doing this?!” I was just doing it because my brain is like, “Do more, Jenna! Do more! Be better!” So, I’ve actually slowed down a bit since then because I just don’t need to do that. But I have had people comment on the amount of content I output, and really it just comes from my brain being a bit screwed up! [laughs]
Amelia: [laughs] Love the authenticity! Do you think creating content and posting it on Twitter compliments your escorting business? Or is it more for selling content online?
Jenna: Yeah, as much as it comes from a place of me slave-driving myself, it absolutely affects my income. The majority of my in-person bookings come from Twitter. It’s the same with selling online content.
Amelia: As somebody who spends quite a bit of time and effort on Twitter, do you ever find it draining or find yourself falling into that trap of comparing yourself to others on Twitter?
Jenna: I feel like I don’t struggle with that as much as some – maybe because I worked in the industry for so long by myself, and I don’t live near any other workers? I mean, I’m not above that feeling, but I actually think I spend way less time on Twitter than people think. On my main account, every single post is scheduled in advance – usually one to two weeks in advance. So, when I feel strong and confident – or when I’m on the toilet, either one! – that’s when I scroll through my mentions and engage with replies. But if I’m not feeling it, I can leave my work phone at home and not even know that Twitter exists; meanwhile, there are three or four new photos going up.
Amelia: I think that’s so important – being able to have that consistency by scheduling posts but not necessarily having to engage 24/7 on Twitter because that can be draining and take up a lot of emotional energy.
Jenna: Yeah. I have received some criticism about that – people saying that I’m obsessed with Twitter because I’m ‘posting’ things at 3am. I’m just like, “I’m in bed at 10pm, there’s no way I’m actually posting at 3am,” but a large amount of my online business comes from America, so obviously I’m going to schedule posts at times that capture that part of my audience. I do get a bit of criticism from people making some strange assumptions, and I shouldn’t let it get to me, but you know how it is.
Amelia: Yeah, I do know how it is. We’ve spoken quite a bit about selfies and your content creation, but you do have some professional photos on your website. How do you approach professional photos in terms of escorting?
Jenna: At the risk of having photographers everywhere hate me, I don’t put much value into professional photos for sex work. I’ve done a bunch of shoots over the last few years – I hired about three photographers, and the rest have either been time-for-prints, or I’ve traded services for them. I don’t put much effort into professional photoshoots – I still try to look nice and all that, but I just don’t know how useful they are. It’s not a bad idea in terms of looking professional, but at the same time, I worked for years without having any professional photos. There’s no way to necessarily say that will get you more business. It certainly may get you bigger spending clients, perhaps? I don’t know.
Amelia: It probably comes back to the way you find you get bookings. For you, it seems to be mostly through Twitter.
Jenna: Yeah, and I do share pro photos on my Twitter, but they never do as well. The people who are discovering me on Twitter are on a social media platform, and they aren’t necessarily looking for pro photos. That’s not the language of that platform.
Amelia: Yeah, that’s not their expectation. Whereas on some advertising sites, professional photos are the expectation, and if you don’t have them, you’re a step back from everybody else.
Jenna: And they think you’re not real or whatever the fuck. You can quote that! [laughs] I do look at some private workers’ photoshoots, and I get the sense that it looks more like a modelling portfolio? And if that’s what they want to do and how they want to spend their money, then great, go nuts and do it. But to me, I don’t know if it’s the most logical way to advertise your business? I don’t really see that as what sells an escorting experience.
Amelia: I think that’s such an important point. I’ve definitely had arty photoshoots or moody dark photoshoots, but I’ve never found those photos to work as well for me business-wise. Guys don’t give a crap about me and my obscure designer dress on a cool stairway. They don’t care!
Jenna: I think the pressure for that comes out of scrolling through an advertising site, and everyone looks the same, and I understand it is so much harder for those who don’t show their face as well because all you’re seeing is bodies and lingerie. There is this need to stand out, and I totally get that. But at the same time, I do think sometimes we overthink and overcomplicate things when at the end of the day, we are selling sex, and that’s the easiest thing in the world to sell.
Amelia: And I’ve really always found that my photos that are literally just some lingerie in a sexy pose in a simple hotel room are so much more effective than all the pretty crap I like.
Jenna: Yeah, and as I said, do whatever you want. If you’ve got the money, go nuts, have a photoshoot every week. But for people who are thinking, “What do I need?” or if you’re trying to spend your money cautiously, then I don’t know if that stuff is really very useful.
Amelia: Yeah, the return on investment really isn’t there, but if that’s your thing, and that’s an avenue to do it, then why not?
Amelia: The only other thing I wanted to touch on – and you mentioned it briefly – is showing your face in your photos. I know that is such a big decision for some people. I guess I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about that?
Jenna: Yeah, it’s such a big thing. When I first started in the industry, I was showing my face. I just didn’t think otherwise. The only equivalent I had was dating, and in a dating profile, I would show my face. Then it was those clients at the very beginning who told me not to. I had conversations with them, and I was like, “But I have no shame about what I do!” And they said, “I know that’s how you feel, but you have to think about your friends and family and the rest of society.” I hate this now, but I took on their advice and started hiding my face in my advertising. I wanted to show my face for years afterwards, but I had their voices in my head.
Eventually, when I got on Twitter, I saw other escorts were showing their faces. I was like, “What?” Then I realised that those men that said to me, “You have to think about prejudices that exist in society”, were just projecting their own prejudices on me while at the same time using my services. I suddenly was able to completely invalidate anything they’d said to me. That was a real turning point for me in the industry. I went, “No, fuck it.” I wanted to show my face, and I wanted society to see this is who I am, and this is what I do. Also, as I mentioned before, I’m not someone who is slim, and I’ve never been that confident in my body, so only being able to show my body in photographs was tough, you know?
At the same time, there are very serious negatives to it – the stuff with travelling often comes into my mind. I think the biggest issue is that the future is so unknown. At the moment, I sort of know that I can probably never go to the USA and some other countries. But in five years, I might not be able to leave Australia. That might sound dramatic, but the reality is that we are living in a world that is becoming increasingly fascist and anti-sex, and we just don’t know what is coming up. You don’t know the future. That’s such a big part of it.
And the other thing is that there’s so much of me on the internet that I will never be able to erase that part of my life. It’s just not possible. So that’s a real commitment. And you know, people recognise me in public all the time – that in itself I’m not too bothered by. I might look like crap, but I’m just like, “Oh well, this is what I look like, that’s fine.” But the tough part is that people are really fucking weird about sex and the sex industry, so they act really weird when they see me.
I’ve had people ask me what I think they should do [in terms of showing their face], and I could never answer that for someone else.
Amelia: Yeah, and I think it comes back to thinking about the future. Even though that’s very unknown, you can make decisions based on the information you do have.
Jenna: A hundred percent. And your age is a factor too, I think. I started showing my face when I was in my late 20s, which is still quite young, but the decisions I made when I was 19, if they were still affecting my life now… Like, yikes!
Amelia: That’s a really good point.
Jenna: But again, I might get to 40 and be like, “Wow, I should not have done that.” I imagine that’s a continuous experience in life. But I would say that’s probably a factor – if you are quite young, as much as any of us don’t know the future, you really don’t know the future. But as I said, if I went back, I would make the decision to show my face again. But I might say differently in five years.
Amelia: Yeah, you just don’t know. Thank you for sharing so much with me and the readers. It’s so valuable to have other people’s perspectives. I share so many of my own opinions based on my own experience on the blog, but I’m just one person of so many. Is there anything else you’d like to add or share?
Jenna: What I can say is that I think the gut instinct and staying true to yourself are some of the most important things in this industry. And I think that seeking advice is great and listening to others’ experiences is great, but at the end of the day, in this business, it is you that is doing it, and you have to listen to yourself over others.