Sex Worker Voices
'Nothing About Us, Without Us'
Think only women sell sex? Or that women don't buy sexual services from men? Think again. Sex worker of the year 2015, the awesome Seani Love, shares his unique insight into being a cis-gendered, heterosexual male sex worker, and his female clients.
Seani Love is an Australian-born, London-based male sex worker specialising in kinky boyfriend experiences. In 2015 he won the prestigious Sex Worker of the Year award. He travels the world running workshops and visiting his many wonderful clients. You can follow him at @realseanilove www.seanilove.com
As a cisgender heterosexual male sex worker, I can be seen as a bit of an anomaly.
It's true that my gender and my sexuality gives me societal privileges that many others don't have. As a man, when I describe myself as a 'sex worker' people generally think 'that sounds like a good spot of fun' rather than the more whorephobic response that women and people of other genders in the industry normally receive.
Internalised and culture-wide misogyny is rarely more laid bare than in the responses people have to a male working in the sex industry to their responses to others in the industry. Pro-tip: If you think it's great that a male can be a successful sex worker but judge others in the sex industry, it's time to examine your own internalised misogyny.
Today is March 3rd which you might know as International Sex Workers' Right Day. Shouldn't everyone have the right to safe working conditions? We all have to work. That's a fact of capitalism. We all have to find ways to offer up our services and find ways to monetise what we are good at.
There is nothing forced in what I do other than the forces of society demand I exchange my money for food and shelter. I love my job and hope to continue working safely. Sadly, some people across our globe in the sex industry aren't able to do their jobs safely due to poorly thought-out legislation, criminalisation, widespread misogyny and fewer opportunities for education.
I know that some people see the more dangerous aspects of the sex industry and want to abolish it altogether. But that simply doesn't end people's needs to earn money. That doesn't stop people's willingness to pay for erotic services. Let's do what we can to make the purchase of erotic services as safe as possible so that whatever a person does to make a crust, it can be done on their own terms as much as possible.
Many of these abolitionists only see the worst sides of the sex industry and some equate the sex industry to human trafficking. These are not the same thing. There is no overlap. Let's make it perfectly clear: being forced to do something against your will is not the same as being forced to do something because we live in a capitalist society and we need money.
Because I love my job, most sex worker prohibitionists would like to deny my existence altogether. And more than this: they would like to deny the existence of my many many wonderful female clients.
I love my clients who are mostly empowered women wishing to explore their sexuality in emotionally safe ways. Most people (of all genders!) have little experience exploring their own boundaries, most of us don't understand how to negotiate consent. In my job, I help people find and express their boundaries, often for the first time. It's amazing.
Likewise, most of us are clueless when it comes to physical erotic anatomy. Most people don't have much clue about the geography of a cunt. What is this flappy thing called? Where does the pee come from? Do women really squirt?? G-spot? Lol.
My clients come to me because they want to understand how their own genitals work and I can take the time to help them explore their own bodies in their own timing. Which way does it feel good to be touched? Sadly, most people never ask this question of their lovers.
Some clients come to me because they have some kinky fantasy they want to fulfil. Spanking can be a lot of fun. So can rope!
Some clients come because they are feeling short on much-needed intimacy and they want to be held and kissed and joined in something sacred.
Lots of my clients come to me because they want attachment-free sex. This certainly smashes many of the prohibitionist narratives, but yes let's admit it, sex can be amazing. Good sex can be life-changing! There are so many ways to do it: Fast / Slow / rough / gentle / intimate / detached / Vanilla / Kinky / Tantric / and more.
My clients are actually amazing people on journeys into empowerment, self-awareness and self-love.
They are not dangerous criminals advocating for legalised rape or wanting to support human trafficking. My clients shouldn't be written out of the conversation but as largely "empowered" women they don't fit the "sex worker client as abuser" narrative.
Because of my gender, nobody is going to suggest that I am anybody's sex slave but then the criminalisation of my clients in certain countries makes it seem like I am being treated as one. I like to think that my commenting thus is a way to consciously pull apart many of the unhealthy narratives around sex workers and our clients. I would like to take this opportunity to boost the signal that says sex work is real work and we should all be entitled to do our work safely regardless of gender, sexuality, background or relative privilege.
Thank you for reading x