In amongst the furore this week over the ATVOD regulations being changed to match the BBFC guidelines (and thereby potentially putting excellent feminist fetish porn producers out of business), something significant has occurred for me in a related area.
It turns out that the middle of summer is a bad time to start an adult services business and while I had occasional interest expressed in my free chat mode, buyers were conspicuously non-existent.
Up until this week. I have now earned money as a sex worker!
The IM paid chat lasted all of 5 minutes, and I have no idea if he disliked the service, ran out of prepaid credits, or I’m just That Good (in which case, not to self: dial it back a bit, make them last longer next time = more money!)
I would love to be able to report that it was no different than sucking off some random stranger in a chatroom, but the truth is, for me at least, it felt very different. Maybe with more experience of paid IM work, my feelings will change, but for now at least, the fact of being paid had an effect.
The biggest thing was I was much more anxious to “get it right”. My client told me what he wanted (crossdressed, blowjob) and then went straight to paid “private” chat, so I had to get right into it: hot description, down on my knees and go… While I’ve certainly had people act with far worse entitlement in the chatrooms, once clients have established I will do what they want they tend to become quite determined; the only difference is this time, he paid up so he had in some respects a right to be. I felt, as a result, more vulnerable than I do in the chatroom situations.
The money tilted the power relationship: when it was just about getting mutual jollies in the chatroom, there was no cost in withdrawing from a situation; but now, I wanted his money, I wanted him to want another session in future, or leave positive feedback. Withdrawing if I felt uncomfortable would be more of a risk: even if the whole thing is largely virtual, the money isn’t. (Well, of course, there’s a whole debate about the economics and philosophy of currency that says money is, essentially, virtual – but that’s another issue for another day.)
At the same time, I still believe I’m bloody good at giving virtual blowjobs (I have no r/l experience, to say if I’d be that good at giving meatspace blowjobs) and there was nothing at all that was wrong or bad for me. It just had this extra emotional layer over the top.
Afterwards, I felt disappointed that he hadn’t stayed longer for the full virtual experience (and of course, thereby paid me more), but also accomplished: I’ve crossed that bridge and proved that I can sell my sexy brainpower. This also carries a sense of vindication: I’m no longer a wannabe; I actually am a sex worker, with the pay to prove it.
Looking forwards, the chief thing is the feeling that yes, I can do this. I want to do more of it. I think I’m worth your money when I do, and the emotional costs are minor compared to the rewards. And if that isn’t an endorsement of a job, I don’t know what is!