Expecting who you are dating to be monogamous

The “good” guys who conflate sex work and sex trafficking, who assume all sex work to be tantamount to abuse, felt sorry for me.Almost invariably, they concluded I must have deep-seated psychological issues that meant our relationship would never become serious.

Whether you’re a dancer or an escort, a porn star or a cam girl, the same questions arise: how and when to tell the person you’re dating, and then, how to manage their reaction (they always have one). Regardless of occupation, not everybody wants a committed, monogamous relationship. Even before high school, when I met and started dating a man I nearly married, I knew I wanted the kind of “normal” family I’d never had growing up.

In some ways, I found that with my first boyfriend: The first time Dave* and I went out, he brought me carnations from the supermarket where he worked as a bag boy, and we actually — not just to the woods to make out but to Burger King, where he paid for my meal.

After our first date, he kissed me politely on my doorstep and I had the strange sensation of being filmed, as if I were an actress and we were both following the script of a very pleasant movie.

Instead of inviting him up at the end of the date, as I could tell he was expecting, I sent him on his way.

One word of advice to men who find themselves in the situation of dating a sex worker: don’t expect to get cirque de so-laid.

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In most cases, I saved the big reveal for the fourth date.

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