Where to from here?

amber - where to?
Amber O’Hara not ready to turn her back on sex work … yet

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost a year since I embarked again on the sex work journey with certain financial goals in mind. My very first blog post, my personal yet public record of the events related to becoming a sex worker, was entitled Where To From Here? Some of my clients who know what my particular financial situation was (nothing dire, just a nice type of freedom I was after) may be interested to know that I am almost there.  Yes!  Congratulations to me!  But it has got me thinking, besides “where to from here?” how different it is from the last time I gave up sex work several years ago. I was young, gorgeous, living the high life quite literally, as in, I drank too much and took too many drugs. I had no CV to speak of and was probably pretty much unemployable considering the hours I was used to keeping and the fact that I had the curious belief that young people today are accused of having: entry-level work was beneath me and I would never degrade myself by working for such a paltry sum.

YOLO sounds great but it is utter bullshit. Life is long and there IS life beyond #sexwork.

I needed lots of cash anyway as I seemed to have no control over my impulses, particularly my impulses related to spending money. I was used to getting money easily and lots of it and since sexwork was illegal, well, you really had to spend it.  And this is a downside with the sex work lifestyle – the bad habits that are formed coupled with the “you only live once” attitude. Yes, YOLO sounds great but it is utter bullshit. Life is long and there is life beyond sex work.

It’s funny, I loved sex work back in the day and it gave me a feeling of personal power. “Have work clothes, will travel”. I met glamourous people and I thought the lifestyle was sustainable, that I could do it forever. Then I had that nasty experience at work that may sound minor but it really hit me for a six. It’s not like I was that easily spooked, I’d learned to look after myself, but that was the straw that broke the camel’s back and made me take a look at my life.

I was one of a tightknit little group of four sex workers who were best friends. We were all pretty, from similar backgrounds, rich, and we found ourselves in the big city of Sydney and were grasping our supposed upward mobility with both hands.

Then the oldest one of us, all of 24 years old, the one who took the most and baddest drugs, decided she’d had enough and took herself to rehab. We were all behind her but we also couldn’t believe it. She had a shaky start but she did it.

Her story is the most admirable actually, of any person I’ve ever met, what she has gone on to do with her life is incredible, but it’s not my story to tell, other than to justify my admiration by telling you that she fessed up to a criminal charge which she had hanging over her head, went to jail, became university educated and is now living an amazing life truly making the world a better place. What courage.

I was next to follow, shortly after my disquieting incident, I also went to two rehabs (where I sadly failed – a bit disastrously really) but got into a couple of twelve step programmes, and I’m happy to say that a couple of decades later I still have not, even during a bout of adversity, had any drinks or drugs on a “day at a time” reprieve from addiction.

I had given up sex work and come down to earth with a thud back into the care of my ever-forgiving family. A job hunt of sorts began in ernest. I followed every step in a book called What Colour Is Your Parachute? and was lucky enough to find and eventually land my dream occupation. I also fell in love and became a mum. I grew up.

So it was a calculated decision as a mature person to get back into sex work. I’m past giving a fuck about what I consider the stupid attitudes of those who look down on sex workers but still feel a responsibility to protect my treasured loved ones from them so I’m not so out as a sex worker and likely never will be.  If I ever get outed, c’est la vie, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it, but I’m sure it won’t be the end of the world.

So where to from here? I’m not ready to hang up my lingerie yet, I really do enjoy what I do and the money is great. I will likely not give up sex work completely either, I don’t think there will be any announcements that I am retiring, most likely I will just tone things down a bit and put myself forward for more time at my office job and pursuing my own thing (writing, cam work etc).

I’m interested in self-publishing kindle e-books and I’m already doing actual sex work much less due to my other occupations and projects. For example, I work less than I used to in Christchurch as I love to tour (for now), but my clients know they can call me even when my ad is not up and I will make a time to see them. And when clients from places I tour to ask me to text them when I am coming to their town, I am happy to do so.

Even when I have stopped advertising completely I think it will be highly likely that I will still be occasionally seeing clients, I really enjoy meeting people and can’t ever imagine a time I will not find fucking fun, it has been a life long interest of mine.  I much prefer consciously fading out of sex work rather than having to leave suddenly and with no back up plan, or because I’ve burned out.

When women make what I think is a wise decision to pragmatically incorporate #sexwork into their lives, one must begin with the end in mind, because there will be an end of sorts to the exciting sex work lifestyle.

So I think that when women make what I think is a wise decision to pragmatically incorporate sex work into their lives, one must begin with the end in mind, because there will be an end of sorts to the exciting sex work lifestyle as it is currently known. I’d recommend treating oneself to travel and education and experiences that widen ones horizons but gradually learning to live on less, at least as little as the average person ones age with ones qualifications would be able to live on.

Also, bank everything and pay tax. No one can threaten to dob you in to the IRD then and as well as that you get to use all your money on useful things, like travel, education and house deposits (or at the other end, the lovely feeling of quickly paying off a mortgage. Rising interest rates? Who gives a fig?)

And while I’m giving advice, avoid drugs and don’t drink too much, or if you do over-indulge, consider that this must come to an end one way or another, hopefully not in jail, institutions or death. So be measured about it. Too much booze and drugs age a person terribly anyway, and who wants to be old before their time.

The life’s too short attitude is stupid. One would hope that life is not short, and that we have a wonderful happy amazing adventure of it, experiencing the great thing this world, our bodies, our loved ones and our enthusiasms offer us.

So this is nowhere near the end for me, I’m  merely changing the narrative of my life a little. Although I may be fading away from active sex work in one city, I still have a lot I want to write about men, sex, sex work, relationships, sex in film and literature, orgasms, women and sexuality.

So please continue to watch this space.

3 Responses to Where to from here?

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