One of the reasons I love publishing guest blogs is that it gives me a chance to share experiences that I can’t personally speak to. As someone who isn’t having children, I’ll never have first-hand experience of balancing sex positivity with parenting. That’s one reason I love this brilliant guest post by Demeter Delune (she/her) about her experiences of being both a sex worker and a parent.
What Happens When You’re Both a Sex Worker and a Parent by Demeter Delune
When you think of sex work, what comes to mind for most people is escorting or full-service sex work. However, in today’s world, there are many iterations, including phone sex operator, online cam model, OnlyFans model, Professional Dominatrix (Pro-Domme), and more. Essentially, anything you can think of relating to sex, there’s likely a professional version of it available. But I doubt you think of parenting when you think of any of these things.
Society is notorious for separating women (and those read as women) and their work, regardless of what that job is. We’re expected to wear many hats all at once, but none as important as Mother. Oddly, once we become mothers, society at large believes that’s all we can do. So imagine the gall of a woman who decides not only will she be a mother, but also a sex worker.
There are struggles, just like with any other career, but for the most part, they’re not insurmountable.
What’s the Big Deal?
In most states and municipalities, trading sex for payment specifically is illegal. Even with legislation decriminalizing the use of certain drugs, sex work never seems to land in court in a positive manner. Sadly, even if it were decriminalized, the social stigma would likely remain.
When you’re a parent, you’ll find it makes things even more difficult. Not necessarily as far as actually parenting your children, but the ability to form social bonds with other parents. If you live in an area where sex work is illegal, it’s difficult to know who you can trust.
Even if the sex work you’re performing is legal, such as exotic dancing or stripping, there are still judgmental people who will deride you for your choice of career. People don’t seem capable of understanding that our jobs aren’t indicative of who we are in the rest of our lives.
Years ago, when I was a Professional Dominatrix, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by other sex workers, most of whom also had children. A small group of us became close and our children were able to play together without concern of being outed. Having this level of support when you’re a sex worker is vital to your mental health. But it isn’t always possible without living a lie.
When Your Life is a Lie
If you’re engaging in sex work and not part of a larger group of like-minded people, living a lie becomes the norm. Especially when you have children. The ever present feeling of danger, of what would happen if anyone were to find out what you do for a living, surrounding you is fierce. You’ll be concerned that if certain authorities find out your career, your children could be taken away from you.
Creating another job for yourself is often the only way around it. Other sex workers I know tell people they’re a life coach, a tutor, or a marketing professional. All these jobs can be done from home and are easily backed up with a website when people ask.
Can You Perform Sex Work and Be a Good Parent?
Is it possible to be a sex worker and also a good parent? Yes.
Just because a woman has a job in the sex industry doesn’t mean she’s a bad parent. Sex workers are business people who happen to sell sex or sexual services as a product. They’re adults selling sex to other consenting adults, and their job doesn’t make them bad people or morally suspect.
It can be argued that many sex workers make great mothers not in spite of the job, but because of it. This career provides schedule flexibility and much better hourly wages than many jobs, and the luxury of more quality time with their children. It can also allow people to escape abusive relationships by taking control of their own financial security.
For myself, being able to stay home with my toddler while earning a living is priceless. I don’t see clients in my home nor, of course, do I engage in any type of work-related behavior in my child’s presence. I’m married, so when my husband is home or when my child is out of the house for any reason, that’s when I work.
Sure, it’s difficult at times to create all the content I need for the week in such a short window of time, but I make it work. Just like anyone else who also works from home and cares for their child.
The Bottom Line
While certain types of sex work remains illegal in so many places, sadly this means we’ll have to continue to hide our true identities in order to fit in with societal expectations. We’ll be wrongfully judged if outed.
My hope is, one day, we’ll all be able to walk with our heads held high and proudly tell whomever asks, “Yes, I’m a sex worker. I provide well for my family, I’m an entrepreneur, and I’m a parent”, without fear of repercussion.
About the Author
Demeter Delune is a sex positive educator, trying to make the world a better place, one word at a time. She’s been a Professional Dominatrix for over 10 years, with a preference for Goddess worship and is also a Relationship/Sex Coach. She has bylines in a number of sex positive magazines. Check out her work on Medium and follow her everywhere.
Thanks again to Demeter for sharing her experiences. Please check out her other work and don’t forget that chipping in via the tip jar helps me keep hiring and paying guest bloggers.