WEIGHT: 46 kg
Sex services: Swinging, Anal Play, Fisting vaginal, BDSM (receiving), Sauna / Bath Houses
Exciting, enjoyable, and lucrative. These are just some words that come to mind when I think back on my first sexual experience with a woman. I was nineteen years old and living in Oaxaca, Mexico as a student abroad when my credit card hit its limit as I went to pay for a conveyer belt full of groceries. Sex work softened me to the idea of sex with a woman, paving the way for my first non-transactional same-sex sexual relationships.
It became the first space where I could comfortably explore my sexuality, as it is for very many sex workers — as well as our clients. I spoke with other queer sex workers whose jobs allowed them to explore their physical and emotional desires, as well as a queer client who offered insights into what compelled her to buy sex.
While the women I spoke to described the experience as mutually beneficial, they also spoke candidly of how stigma negatively impacted their experiences. To be sure, there are economically disadvantaged people — including queer and trans people — who engage in survival sex work out of desperation, and whose experiences in the industry are defined by shame and sex-negativity. And yet, working in the sex industry introduced me to communities where sexual values were more expansive, non-monogamous, and radical.
Historically, says Hollibaugh, this is the role these spaces have occupied. Between performances on stage, customers would often dance together, queerness on full display. Even there, a visibly queer population existed. In the dressing room, dancers talked nonchalantly about their girlfriends. We performed sex acts on one another and our female customers in the champagne room, oblivious to the men. Sure, some were women who were just performing for money, but others were obviously into it.
Working alongside unapologetically queer women liberated parts of myself I may have never understood had I not worked in the industry. It was hot, and having an audience was part of the appeal, as was the fact that I was getting paid. Alaina, a year-old full-service sex worker, tells me she was nineteen years old when she got her start as a dancer.