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  • Julia

TOP5: The most annoying misconceptions

People have opinions about sex work and that's more than fine. But the best opinions are formed after finding out more about the subject and being able to explain your opinion with statements other than "It just feels like..."

Before my first client and for a while after that, I didn't have a clear picture what sex work is like. My opinions weren't rosy but they weren't negative either. I sort of knew that selling and buying sex is legal in Finland. Christian Party wants to ban it, Swedish Party sort of, Hjallis Harkimo or Green Party want to allow it. The book I mentioned before, Ammattirakastaja, opened my eyes a bit but the best teachers have been the work itself, colleagues and clients. These are my top5 misconceptions that bug me the most:

1. "You must meet a lot of assholes."

Well. The assholes send a lot of messages but I get to choose my clients. It's not like at the check out when you have to service all sorts of losers. You get better at spotting the red flags: if the potential client won't answer questions, won't tell anything about him-/herself, doubts everything but wants it all. If I happen to meet someone who's not nice, I don't have too that someone ever again. On the other hand I don't understand what clients want to hear when they say this: how some clients have crossed boundaries and made me want to cry? Who would that help?

2. "I bet you won't give me a receipt, haha" & "You will probably get rich fast and easy"

Sex workers don't usually work five days a week (at least in Finland?) and they don't get a paycheck same day every month. With the hourly rate of 250€ you have to pay (not everyone does, I know) taxes, vats, mandatory insurance, advertising, condoms, clothing, travelling, phone... Time is money also: you can spend a lot of time advertising or messaging. You have to work hard to get rich doing sex work (some do!). Easy? Some days sure, others anything but. What I didn't consider before I started was the stigma and the pressure of lying and covering up. That's worth some money too.

3. "Available now?" & "Give me your address" & "Why won't you answer me?!"

The funniest but also sort of understandable misconception is the one, that a whore is always ready for you, even - say - 4 am at night. Most don't read the first lines of my ad where I state that I normally do only outcall and can't usually answer calls. Some think you have to keep your workphone with you at all times and every "hi" deserves an answer. Many think that the client can ghost the whore but not the other way around.

I really appreciate a message where the client tells their name (I don't care if its made up, first name is sufficient), how long a meeting they have in mind, where and when (preferably). It's also nice to be asked when the meeting would be possible for me. It's also refreshing to get a message like "I changed my mind." or "You're too expensive" instead of silence but that's a lot to ask.

4. "It must be dangerous. To be alone with a stranger who can do anything."

People can be unpredictable. Scary, violent and plain crazy. More often they are ordinary, shy, funny, good-looking, nice, king and polite. People go from first dates to someone's apartment without telling anyone where they spend their night. I at least have someone who always know where I am and when I should message that I'm fine and done with the call. I get tested for STDs every three months (I don't even gag anymore when they stick that thing down my throat!), I take care of my health better than before and claim that I know more about the risks of different kinds of sexual stuff than an average citizen. Life is risky and I won't deny that I do have a fleeting thought when meeting someone new, that something bad can happen. But I'm still alive and having fun!

5. "Sex work degenerates women and destroys families"

Ah, the classic. Sexwork is an umbrella term for a plethora of businesses and all of them can submit women to violence and exploitation. But when an adult woman makes a decision to sell sexual services herself, it's a choice, not exploitation. I've thought about this a lot and I will not believe sexwork would break something in me. I have gained self confidence and a better relationship with money, I have met awesome people, had wonderful sex and set my own boundaries.

I don't really care if the client has a husband, wife or a family at home or do they have a permission to visit me. I'm not the one responsible. I know couples that have solved the mismatched sexual drive with the permission to pay for the sex they want. I do think escorts are better than affairs: hookers won't call you on a lazy Sunday morning, send suspicious sms and the most professional ones even take care that the smell of perfume or lipstick stains won't linger on clients shirt.

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