Since coming out as a sex worker I have had many beautiful and open conversations about my job. People ask me lots of interesting and heartfelt questions, and since I am very passionate about the work I do I love engaging with them. I have noticed that some issues come up time and again, so I decided to make a little series of blog posts about them. Today: Would I do it for free?
Spoiler alert: No.
Growing up, money was always a problem. There was never enough. And although my mum tried to hide her worries, I always felt them. The endless calculations on random pieces of paper, and her sighs while she was making them are among my most vivid childhood memories. I learned to hate money, and the worry it caused our family. I learned to be frugal, and saw that as a virtue. Money was the root of all evil, so I learned to need as little of it as possible.
That has changed. I really like money now. Partly because I am in the privileged positions to have enough of it most of the time; it is not a cause of worry anymore. And partly because I have seen the power it has, and have found ways to use that as a force of good in my work.
Many people who have some kind of gift feel it is almost immoral to charge their clients. They can help people in need, so how can they charge for that? How can they make money from other people’s struggles? That’s wrong. Right?
Here’s the deal.
I love my job. I love connecting with people, seeing them open up, trying new things, reconnecting with their body and heart. It gives me great satisfaction to see someone have a full-body orgasm for the first time, teaching clients how to touch consciously, to hear about (and act out) long-hidden fantasies. I see how healing it can be for clients to feel loved, to be truly seen and touched.
But no. I would not do it for free.
Charging for sessions is essential, for both me and the client. Here’s why.
- This is work, and needs to be paid. However much a lawyer might like her work, no one would ask whether she’d do it for free. Same goes for a surgeon. Both do important work, and we understand that they should get paid. Asking that question would be considered ridiculous and irrelevant. It’s her job, why would she want to do it for free? What does it matter? Just ask yourself: why do you ask me this question, and not your hair dresser or physiotherapist?
- I charge enough to not have to worry about paying my rent. This frees up a lot of energy. I know how much brain power it takes to try to make ends meet every month. I don’t have that anymore, which means my clients get a relaxed and grounded Rosie. The fees my clients pay me allow me to devote myself to my work. Not having to work an office job I don’t like just to support myself is an absolute blessing.
- Charging a relatively high price allows me to offer a number of concessionary sessions each month. I know some people who would benefit from a session can not afford my fees. Setting my prices high means I can afford to take on those clients as well.
- Charging sets healthy boundaries. My clients pay me for a service. Apart from respectful behaviour and commitment to the session, nothing is expected of them. I hold them, and they can relax into receiving without having to worry about giving back. This is about them, about their pleasure, their learning, their emotions. It’s their time, and although I often get a lot of pleasure from a session, there are no expectations. The energy exchange is clear: they give me money, I give them a service.
- Paying for a session deepens the sense of commitment from the client’s side. It makes sure they take a moment to think before they book, and don’t enter into the session glibly. My sessions are about gaining self-knowledge and personal growth through touch and pleasure. I need my clients to be committed to the process, and them paying me well helps with that. My fees force them to make a conscious decision whether or not to work with me, which means we have a head start.
- For many clients it is immensely empowering to pay me for my services. They are investing in themselves, taking charge of their pleasure and personal growth. Especially (but not exclusively) female clients are not used to doing this. Charging them allows them to prioritise themselves, their own erotic pleasure, their own growth, which often is a life changing experience in itself.
So yes, I love my job. And I love to get paid. Sex work is work. Beautiful, life changing, important work. But still work. And work needs to be paid.