End of the line sexwork?
by Lady Melody
End of the line sexwork?
End of the line for sex work?
We've probably all heard it 100 times before: sex work is the total decline, after that there's nothing left. Most recently, I read about it on Fetlife of all places - from a woman who has never been a sex worker, but still wants to share a bit of wisdom with the rest of the world. She knows that being a sex worker is useless in later life, that future employers will find out and never, never hire you, and that you will probably end up with severe trauma or an STD.
Since it's been 6 years since my time at the Lux, let me review how things have gone downhill for me since then. When I worked at the Lux in 2015, I was training to be a psychotherapist in Germany. A training that unfortunately goes hand in hand with exploitation: unpaid internships full time with a handsome training fee I will have to pay. Although 90% of the trainees are women, Alice Schwarzer has not yet launched a campaign against this exploitation of women in this sector. Strange.
Some of my female colleagues had to take on large debts for their training, others worked as waitresses at weekends and gave up a private life for a few years (for 10 euros an hour). I was a dominatrix (for 200 euros an hour). When it came to final exams, I quit sex work - without traumas, without STDs. I have not yet found the psychological damage that sex work is supposed to give you, despite extensive self-testing.
After my training, I quickly set up my own business. I was able to build up a patient base faster than most of my colleagues - because during the training we learned a lot about mental disorders, but absolutely nothing about marketing, building an online presence or a website and starting your own business. Most of what I knew about it I learned in the Lux. And whether I advertise online for my work as a dominatrix or as a psychotherapist is ultimately not that big a difference.
What else I learned at the Lux was to set clear boundaries. To be authoritarian when I have to be. Self-confidence. I am the dominatrix, er therapist, and what I do is right. Whether in salary negotiations, in difficult therapy situations or in meetings: if the situation requires it, I can always let my inner dominatrix out. In 2018, I got a health insurance license long before anyone else in my cohort. Probably because many didn't trust themselves with the responsibility or were afraid of the financial investments. But the Lux's classy interior and the reaction of the guests also taught me something about how even expensive investments can quickly pay off.
Last but not least, the sex work has also helped me learn more about sexuality and therefore have more empathy when my patients shamefully tell me about their inclinations. Whether I hear about a guest's fantasies in the Lux and try to make them reality or hear about a patient's fantasies and give advice about them is ultimately not so far apart.
So to sum up, I have to say: yes, sex work is really the end in my experience. The end of minimum wage part-time jobs, the end of the inability to advertise yourself, the end of the fear of self-employment and the end of sexual bias. I would recommend any young person who is thinking of going into sex work to do so. Even if for many, like myself, it's not a job for life: the things you learn in the process are priceless for the rest of your working life.
Dear Lady Melody,
thank you for enriching us with your presence. We wish you all the best on your future path.
The LUX Team