EVEN MORE Truths about Dating as a Sex Industry Professional: THE UNABRIDGED NOTES
In March of 2022, Fun Factory USA interviewed me for their blog post, "6 Truths about Dating Sex Industry Pros."
I — along with four other sexuality professionals — spilled the tea on what it's like to date us, from common misconceptions (what people think is the fun stuff) to the real fun stuff.
The finished post is a beautiful conglomerate with quotes from the others and me. For readers who want more, I found my original, unabridged interview answers in my old notes!
Take a look behind the scenes for a deeper delve into this sex blogger's dating life — and maybe take some notes if you plan on dating someone with a spicy job.
When you're on a date or flirting, how do you describe what you do for a living?
In the beginning, I may tell them that I'm "kind of like an influencer, but slightly more old-fashioned" since most of my content is on my blog. That gets the idea across. Other euphemisms I've used or heard were "hand model" (my hands are often in the product photos!) or "advertising business."
In general, though, I tell people the fuller truth as soon as I feel comfortable. If I don't feel like myself around someone, is having 2 or 3 dates really more "successful" than 0 dates because I nipped it in the bud upon finding out someone's attitudes towards sexuality? I don't think so. My time is valuable.
If they're comfortable talking to me about social policy and making dirty jokes, I tell them sooner than others. That being said, there's only so much I can evade the topic. "What do you write about?" I do product reviews. "What kinds of products?" Uhhh, personal care products. "What… does that entail? Like, creams, supplements, skincare?"
What range of reactions do you tend to get?
"Is this a joke?" No, I'm dead serious. Are you telling on yourself about how boring your life is?
"Oooh, that's hot!" I'm not a fan of this one. If someone likes my work, I want it to be for the right reasons. My pleasure is for me. My writing serves women. If a man is self-centered enough to assume that I'm a freak for him, he's probably self-centered in other ways that don't gel well with me.
Indifference isn't ideal, but it's not the worst. Not everyone is passionate about their job; they may see writing and sex education as "just" work.
"YES, I LOVE YOUR BUSINESS SAVVY AND YOUR MISSION. You built a sex education platform from nothing, doing what you love, making the world a better place, and not answering to anyone you don't want to. That's SCRAPPY AS FUCK. I FUCK WITH THAT." These are my people.
What's the best reaction you ever got when you shared that you were in the sex industry?
Someone to whom I shared my product photos responded, "Please, keep showing me more! I want to learn from the best."
What's the best way to flirt with somebody who works in your field?
Talk nerdy and novel to me. Show me that you understand the ever-evolving field of sexuality research. And that you appreciate how varied sexual expression and pleasure can be.
Do people ask you intrusive questions? What's the worst one you ever got?
Yes, but I don't think the lewd questions I get are specific to being a sex educator. They're more the general harassment towards women on online dating platforms.
One guy asked, "What's your favorite thing to do in bed? Besides sleep"
"Hahaha, you're sooooo funny. Want to do anal?"
"Want to get burgers?"
I screenshotted and unmatched with him shortly after that.
Also, sharing my work blog and social media with someone isn't a small deal. While I appreciate people asking, I usually don't show them for a while. Most of us understand that going through someone's Facebook posts from 5 years ago, while not uncommon, can feel invasive to many people.
So binge-reading my old blog posts when you're trying to date me is like that on steroids. Since those posts, I've grown; I want to share my current, more nuanced views.
How does working in the sex and pleasure industry affect your perspective on dating in general? Do you think your job affects what you need from a partner?
I think more about the long term than I used to. It's easy for me to say, "Well, I'm dating you. I'm not dating your friends and family." I'm fiercely individualistic.
But if someone's definition of togetherness includes being buddy-buddy with their family, and we can't give each other that, there's only so much I can work with the situation. At that point, it's not "me vs. my partner." It's me vs. all of these people or me vs. society.
Definitely not the majority of my exes' families were uncomfortable with me, though. One ex's mom was a hippie flower child in the late '60s and '70s, so the extent of her reaction was, "Well, I'm not surprised." My most recent boyfriend and I landed on ripping off the Band-Aid as quickly as possible since his mom was quite a curious conversationalist.
We also thought about joking, "She's a stripper," to poke fun at the stereotype of army dudes' dating choices. The truth about my work would be pretty tame compared to that.
In short, I don't "just" want to be around someone I like. I want a sanctuary from how harsh the world can be towards a woman advocating for pleasure for women.
What do people misunderstand about dating a sexuality professional?
They have a narrow conceptualization of this dominatrix with gimps in latex at an orgiastic club bathed in red light and champagne. Like, I'm not a party animal. I'm a sex writer. Much of my workday is spent seated in front of a computer screen. And I'd argue that most of us are introverted.
Another assumption is that sexuality professionals have slept with a lot of people. Meanwhile, to me, sex is a broad subset of the human condition. Writing about sex is like writing about food or love or the meaning of life; there are many ways to experience it. Some of us are demi or asexual or monogamous or struggle to orgasm due to medication. There is no single "normal" sexual journey. And there is no single monolithic way that a sexuality professional is.
Similarly, some assume, "You're a sexuality professional, so you must be good at sex." I'm like, no, while I can be communicative and attentive, "good at sex" is highly subjective. You don't expect a doctor to know everything about the human body; we have specialists. Sexuality professionals have different fortes.
"Sexpert" also feels icky to me. It often comes laced with the following assumptions:
- That I know how to please them. (Again, humans are complex. And my pleasure does not exist for you.)
- That I'd be harsh and critical of their performance, like some caricature of a Romanian gym coach.
Sometimes, I'm like, "Aww, why do people keep telling me I'm intimidating?" And then I joke saying, "I AM THE ROMANIAN GYM COACH OF THE BEDROOM," or "I ASPIRE TO SHAPE A WORLD WHERE A WOMAN EXPERIENCING 10+ ORGASMS IN ONE SESSION IS STANDARD, NOT EXTRAORDINARY."
Maybe I am a little hardcore. I don't mean for that to feel like an impossible standard. I want people to realize that it's more achievable than the conventional media would have you believe.
What's the best part about dating a sex and pleasure industry pro?
Your kinks and sexual vices are safe with me; I won't judge you. I've heard it all, and I've resolved not to kill the part of me that is cringe, but to kill the part that cringes.
Oh, and simultaneous orgasms can be pretty hot, too, I guess.