I was lovingly asked recently: “How did you expect to be perceived by people before you got into this business?”. He asked the question because I often mention my frustration with stigma & judgement. How there are times when I lie about what I do to avoid that judgement, etc.
I thought about it for a moment before responding with the cliche statements of: “I didn’t really choose this work, it kind of chose me, so there wasn’t a lot of advance thought about other people’s perceptions.” Which is only partly true because my path to this work was not a straight line.
I first chose to moonlight from my vanilla job & sell tequila shooters naked on a hippie beach. I was not judged there, I was celebrated, supported & loved.
I then chose to try stripping but I was certainly aware of the stigmas attached to that profession. I wore a disguise, kept it secret & only did it briefly before going back to vanilla work again. I loved being a private dancer in a strip club. I did no-contact private dancing (so not lap dancing) & my sales experience helped me to be an effective hustler, selling guys dances. It was profitable & I was good at it but I felt like I was “too good” for it. Even I judged me!
I eventually went back to stripping after being miserable in my vanilla job. That led to creating my version of a voyeur show or peep show at home. Guys would come over & pay me to masturbate & talk dirty while they jerked off sitting on a chair by the bed, no touching allowed.
I loved the exhibitionism, the naughtiness & of course, the money. But I didn’t like the stigma. There wasn’t much difference between what I was doing & full-on escorting. I just wasn’t actually having intercourse or oral/manual sex…but it was similar enough I didn’t tell just anyone & when I did I was careful to make the distinction between what I was doing & “full service” prostitution. I magnified that fine line.
So during those career decisions, yes, I was fully aware of what people’s perception would be. But I was running from misery working in the vanilla world, office politics, the soul-sucking or mind-numbing reality of working for boring or stupid people & climbing the corporate ladder. I was a corporate whore in the vanilla world.
Then Pro Domme work found me. I didn’t set out to be a Dominatrix. Certain clients saw it in me & requested kink & fetish activities. I indulged & eventually I started to get positively reviewed on forums as a Dominatrix & I grew into the role. Video work found me soon after. The rest is history. (That’s the Readers Digest version for this blog post, if you’ve read my blog from the beginning you know the long version of the story.)
If I had a thought in the early days it was that being a Dominatrix was more respectable than being a stripper or prostitute. It was cooler, intimidating , edgier. I felt bad ass. Nearly 10 years later I laugh at the “baby Domme” version of me. I have seen this ego trip many times with new Dommes. Every day I see different women in the adult business snubbing their nose at women who do different types of adult work. I’ve heard:
“I only do cam work, so I’m better than those dirty sluts who actually meet & touch those gross guys.”
“I’m a REAL Dominatrix who does real time sessions so I’m better than those fake girls who only do cam.”
I could go on & on, cam girls snub porn girls, escorts snub Dominatrix’s, stage dancers snub private dancers, phone sex girls snub cam girls, rub n’ tug girls snub escorts, Pro Dommes who don’t get naked snub those who do, etc. There’s a lot of support & camaraderie in the adult industry but there’s a fair share of cattiness too. A certain amount of stigma & judgement within our own industry!
I love what I do. Truly. Although I feel like this work found me I did make many small & big decisions before & since to put me on & keep me on this path. I haven’t loved the stigma. I’ve been evicted once (before I understood what my rights are) & had neighbors in another place attempt to get me evicted. I’ve had guys choose to not get into a relationship with me because of what I do. There’s certainly been a fair bit of whispering & gossip behind my back.
At the end of the day we live our lives for ourselves. We make decisions that serve us. If you try to please other people all the time you will fail.
All jobs have good & bad. I happen to have a job that I truly love but other people sometimes judge me for doing. A lot of people with “respectable” jobs hate going to work every day. If I could go back 15 years & tell my younger self working in vanilla jobs I hated anything it would be to fearlessly go in the direction that instinctively felt right for me & ignore other people’s opinions.
That’s that advice I give myself every day now.