Telling My Dad I'm A Sex Worker
Updated: Dec 15, 2021
I've had a lot of difficult conversations in my life. But somehow none of them were as difficult as telling my dad that I'm a sex worker.
There's still so much stigma attached to the industry, no matter what role you hold within it. While I'm proud of what I do, I knew my dad wouldn't be as thrilled.
I could have kept it hidden from him, but then I'd constantly be lying about what I do, continuing the stigma attached with sex work, proving that there's something shameful or offensive that I should be ashamed of. And there isn't. This is a job. I put in the hours every day and every week. I hone my skills, I attend webinars and seminars to learn more and become better, I use spreadsheets and balance sheets. I just happen to also show my tits (and then some) from time to time.
The service I provide may be taboo, but why? How is this one of the few industries where I can be a successful self-employed jack of all trades and have that not be celebrated in some capacity?
I was recently interviewed by a national news broadcaster and would have typically excitedly told my dad about this, but I felt worried about it instead. What if someone recognized my voice on the radio and told my dad they heard me talk about being a sex worker? I was so worried about it that I almost didn't do the interview. But then I decided to go for it. And then decided to send the interview to my dad as a way of telling him what I do.
He didn't respond for nearly two days. Finally, I received an incredibly formal email asking me what my availability would be for a phone call in the coming days. I expected and feared the worst. Finally, the time came and my dad called. "Do you want to talk about the positives or the negatives?" I already prepared myself to be chastised, to be put down, to be told how disappointed he was in me. Instead, he opened by saying he was proud to hear that I had been able to find so much success in such a short time and that I had built this all from the ground up. He said he wished that there wasn't nudity or sexuality involved in the work, and suggested seeing if I can pivot to just being a wrestling personality or focusing on music journalism in some way, but he also acknowledged that part of his thinking that way may be a generational issue where he's a bit more prudish about the sexual aspect of my work.
Ever the accountant, he switched to talking about taxes. "I mean, if you went to a wrestling show and had fans there, you could write that off as a business expense. Say you were there for brand awareness and marketing. Make sure you keep track of everything. I'm sure you can write off a lot of your expenses. Hell, even just going to a wrestling show could be seen as doing research for your demographic and networking." I had to laugh at that a bit; at least he was seeing this as a legitimate business.
He's not comfortable telling people what I do, and again, reiterated that he'd like to see me try to realign my efforts to be just vanilla social media personality type of work, but overall the conversation went way better than I imagined and I'm so grateful that, while he's not 100% supportive, he at least trusts that I know what's best for me and sees and respects the amount of work I've put into this.
It's such an incredible weight off my shoulders to not have to hide what I do anymore, to not have to evade questions from him when he asks about work, to not have to worry about someone telling him what I do and having it blindside him. Overall, I think having him listen to the interview first was a wise choice as it let him see it from an outsider's perspective and hear me talk about how much effort goes into everything. I'm so grateful to have such a supportive dad and to have had him be as accepting as he could be about this choice. I'm hoping this is just one small way to continue to destigmatize sex work, one boomer at a time.