Dear Baby Hooker…

from the desk of

Congratulations!  You’ve recognised that you can put a value on something that there is a bit of a demand for and decided to become a sex worker.  Here are some things that I’ve gleaned over the years, or that I wish I’d known way back when.

Once you’ve been a sex worker, you will always be considered an ex-sex worker even if you only did it once, that’s why I used the phrase “become a sex worker” rather than “try sex work”.  So choose who you share this juicy tidbit with, for this can taint your reputation permanently as people project their perceptions onto you of what prostitution is.  Don’t let it be a dark shadow.  It can be a positive thing.  Not every woman can do it, but there are enormous benefits, both financial and personal if you can.

If you hate sex work from the start, please don’t do it.  There are always other options.  To carry on doing something that destroys your soul for any amount of money will never be worth it, for your soul or your essence is really all you have that is yours forever.  This is my very attitude towards some jobs in the straight world that I would never in a million years consider doing, no matter what they paid me.

Use your time and money for good.  If you do sex work well, you will have lots of both.  Improve yourself.  Develop another professional or employment-related skill.  Invest in your future and in the time that you choose to stop being a sex worker.

Open a bank account specifically for your business of sex work and bank all your money into it. Yes, all of it. Get as much benefit from your money as you can by going legit. This will mean you have to pay tax, so always have a nice, generous amount (at least 25% after work-related expenses) sitting away in a separate account with a good interest rate and commit to growing your savings in yet another high interest account. Pay yourself a weekly wage to a personal account and operate your day-to-day expenses from that. Keep all your receipts for transactions from your work account and keep your bank statements. File your receipts by month, preferably in the order they appear on your bank statements.

Don’t be daunted by the tax and money thing.  Money is power, and that’s why you’re doing this, right?  To get money.  You will also get power if you use your money wisely.  If you stay long enough and are sensible, you may even get enough money to buy property, which is a good thing.  It’s nice to have somewhere of your own to live in when you are no longer earning big money, because mortgages are usually cheaper than rent, plus ideally you get to keep the house.  Sure, it’s great to travel.  Widen your horizons.  Live a little.  But only spend what you’ve already earned and never touch your tax money or savings.  This is an employment situation which could come to a grinding halt for one reason or another at any moment so prepare for that with a prudent reserve.

Invest in a smart phone. With complete records of text conversations, sex workers can keep track of callers in order to know who are time wasters (eg continually ask the same questions but never book or ask repeatedly for services without condoms) and who are lovely clients (eg who are polite and timely with their enquiries and bookings). You can assign different ringtones which is helpful on a busy day when it’s impossible to pick up every call or text. Embrace technology. You will be getting a lot of calls. Make sure you have a tool that will work well for you. I feel bad when I see ladies pecking away on old phones. A good phone will pay for itself ten times over. Keep the receipt. It’s tax deductible.

Live frugally, but allow yourself the occasional treat.  When I first got into sex work, I really wanted a particular expensive item of apparel.  I thought it would take me ages to save up for it.  It took two nights of sex work.  Don’t get used to being able to buy things so quickly.  Don’t spend so much money that you get too used to this standard of living, because it will not last.  Or you will not last.

Don’t work in a place where other sex workers moan constantly about clients. Keep your attitude about clients positive. Everyone is different and sex work is a great way to expose yourself to a wide variety of interesting people who you may or may not come into contact with in any other way. Something you say or do may make a real positive difference to someone’s day. As well as that, I promise you will learn from your clients and some will genuinely enrich you and permanently influence you for the better if you are open-minded and tolerant of the various and wonderful people, places and things that life throws in our paths. Great opportunities often come about by chance meetings and embracing opportunities is what causes people to grow.Having said that, don’t see clients who do not make you feel good about yourself. Tell another trusted sex worker if you feel a client has ever overstepped the mark, have someone you can talk things through with, and don’t see anyone again who makes you feel unwell. Never accept pressure to do anything you are uncomfortable with. Be clear on the law and always use condoms. Remember, the police are now on our side.

Go to your local NZPC and pick up their starter pack.  Buy condoms and lubricant gel – always use “lube” and don’t be afraid to stop and reapply it if needed, to prevent broken condoms.  Find out where the nearest sexual health clinic is, tell them you are a sex worker and get regular checkups, tests and smears.

Don’t join in with negative people and before you share any information about yourself in confidence, be suspicious of gossips or those trying to persuade you to their cause against others. Also bear in mind that overt or covert threats to “out” you is not an issue exclusive to sex work, (although in sex work there seems to be a particular brand of crazy). Ambitious colleagues the world over betray others’ secrets, especially sexual ones for some reason, to get an advantage. It’s best to rise above this by ignoring and avoiding conflict where possible – it’s never worth trying to be meaner than anyone as others can always “out-mean” you, especially if there is more than one of them or they are able to recruit others to their “cause” or to unwittingly do their dirty work. Just use your long arms to reach behind and pull out the knives thrown in your back and move on.However, having said that, there are some lovely sex workers with real integrity who do attempt and sometimes even manage to keep such nastiness far away from them, even if sadly they are unable to do so geographically.  As the saying goes, the world is full of good people.  If you can’t FIND one, however, make sure you ARE one.  I reiterate that there are sex workers who are doing amazing things with their lives and money, get to know them.  Be inspired.  Support your fellow sex workers.

Don’t get into drugs.  They cost too much money, and they will make you unhealthy.  As I’ve said previously, you only live once is bullshit.  Life is actually long, you need to make sure you can last the distance.

Get to know your own body.  There is no law that says you are not allowed to enjoy what you do.  Where else on this earth will you find a situation where a bunch of focused men want to please you sexually?  Let yourself go now and then.  Or not.  Or keep things for yourself and your private life.  It’s your body.

If you do it for a while and you eventually have enough of sex work and/or it’s too hard as a woman and/or you must use mind-altering substances including lots of alcohol to be able to tolerate it, get the fuck out. This is now the time to call on those other aspects of your talents or build on the ones you have already invested in and improve your career options. You may be able to come back to sex work later when you are older and will have completely different clientele as well as a changed perspective on life and sexuality based on your own experience. I came back after a very long break and I enjoy it more than ever.I wish you enjoyment and personal strength as well as self-betterment.

With love from your supporter,
Amber O’Hara

2 Responses to Dear Baby Hooker…

  1. […] When you boil it down, all crime is just a case of extreme bad manners, and for some of us who depend on manners and experiences of social niceties to guide behaviour, one can find crime difficult to tolerate. Particularly crime or attempted crime against anyone toiling in the vocation of sex work, which I consider a noble and highly specialised calling. […]

  2. […] that every young woman should be a sex worker for a year. (See Amber’s previous posts on this here, here and here!) What would she learn? She would learn a bit about how men think, and she may well […]

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