What is the role of a Sex Worker ?
An interesting question to ask when consideration is given to the wide variety of clients a sex worker is exposed to.
Why see a sex worker ?
This really is such a huge question once you can wrap your head around the fact that may clients see a sex worker for different reasons than your own.
A short yet not comprehensive list:
A disabled client that can’t touch their own genitals and wish for sexual release
A client who has a fetish that maybe seen as too extreme or weird for a partner
A sexless marriage which isn’t meeting the needs of the client
A practice partner for the first time client has sex
A sex educator in which client wishes to learn more about themselves
Concern about sexual performance and a ‘coach’ to guide them to satisfaction
In many respects these are the same reasons one may see a sex therapist too. This question is further exacerbated when consideration is given to the recent NDIS decision to award monies to a client for seeing a sex therapist which excluded sex workers.
A question was raised in forum post about “ Would you consider yourself as more 'Health Service/Counsellor' or more 'Actress'? “.
The answer to this question I feel isn’t so much about the qualifications or skill set of the workers, yet more on the intention of the client.
That may sound like a backwards statement, especially in this day and age- yet I didn’t say the qualifications didn’t matter, just that the intentions are a valuable part of the process.
Let’s be honest. The secretive nature of sex work in general makes the idea of seeing someone whom sells their time and body for money an unlikely ‘professional’ trade and yet that very lack of adherence to strict rules can actually make it the most ‘human & caring’ of all professions.
When hiring a worker, it’s not just the body, yet their intention, caring and ability to touch another a very powerful modality. That last part being a huge part. Most therapy modalities forbid any sexual contact ( or even just touch ) as it’s against professional boundaries- which I can understand- and yet at the same time does this dismiss the human experience that is sexual touch ?
When getting a massage, the genitals are usually excluded. Considering how often one may get a massage, what sort of message does this send to the human being lying on the table ? Are your genitals not an important part of your being ? Now before you resist the temptation to place a joke like a 14yr old, maybe feel into why that reaction ‘is’ there in the first place ?
Where did you learn that your genitals where to be the brunt of jokes and not part of your very real, lived human experience ? Where did you learn that the genitals are an acceptance part to be ignored when engaging in others ?
With a sex therapist you can talk about them to a client, even show some diagrams to them to show the different parts, but could a client ‘show’ you how they masturbate ?
Is this an acceptable part of sex therapy ? According to the code of ethics… no.
Yet can a sex worker give very real hands on help ? Yes they can.
So are sex therapy and sex work completely misaligned ? No .. they can and do work together. While a sex therapist will spend a lot of time talking, and this may seem counter productive and yet what if it came about that the sex you tend to have in always hard, fast and very pornographic ?
Nothing wrong with that, and yet if through therapy it came to your attention you'd never had slow, sensual, considered engagement in any sexual encounter, what would you do ? Could the sex therapist strip off and guide you through a session in which you’re given constant reminder about the intention of the session ?
To have a very different experience to the one you seem to default to ?
Again the code of ethics dictates no. Yet would a suggestion to see a sex worker and describe your intention and how you’d like the session to go a valid and very real therapeutic benefit ?
I'd say so ...
This then comes down to the question. So does a sex worker provide a therapy service ?
A recent twitter post below shows the stories that come out of the work of being a sex worker.
These stories are told among sex workers by the many, yet the general public hears them by the very few.
Maybe it's all the shame around sex ? Maybe it's the secretive nature that sex work is conducted with ? Or maybe ... just maybe ... the the very human experience of sex itself ?
So to answer the question posted - Are sex workers a kind of therapist or more an actress ?
The answer ? …. What’s your intention on the session ?
I welcome your comments below.
PS. I note that this brief blog was to point out the difference between a worker and a therapist. There are other modalities that fit into between these shades and that would be sexological body-worker and sexual surrogates.