What It’s Really Like Being A Sex Worker To Support My Studies
A 2009 study estimated that the percentage of workers in brothels who are uni students ranges from 10-25 per cent.
There’s a joke that I feel is commonly made by students. It’s the “well if I fail uni I can always become a stripper or sex worker” joke.
A 2009 study estimated that the percentage of workers in brothels who are uni students ranges from 10-25 per cent. A 2003 Queensland study showed that 24.7 to 25.4 per cent of sex workers reported having completed a bachelor degree.
I am part of that percentage. When I started my bachelor degree, I chose to take a job in a Victorian brothel and moved to working as an independent escort this year.
I have found sex work incredibly rewarding. It’s a job that allows flexibility, and allows me a (usually) constant stream of money that pays for uni expenses and the cost of living.
What Are The Drawbacks Of Sex Work As A Student?
Unfortunately we live in a judgmental world, and the truth is whorephobia is going strong.
As a sex worker you live with the knowledge that you could be outed at any time, which could affect your future career prospects and make uni an incredibly awkward and possibly dangerous place.
We deal with stigma every day in this industry.
Another drawback is the fact that your hours are not your own. You can’t see your friends on Saturday because you have a long booking or you fall behind on your uni work because you’re exhausted from pulling three double shifts that week. Or maybe work has been slow this month and you can’t afford your next trimester of uni.
As sex workers we live two lives, have two names, two wardrobes, two friends lists, two phones, and pretty much two identities.
Independent workers also spend a crazy amount of hours replying to enquiries, doing admin, keeping a social media presence, boosting ads, booking photoshoots and looking glam and primped. This stuff takes time and money!
The effect on one’s mental health can also be high. As sex workers we live two lives, have two names, two wardrobes, two friends lists, two phones, and pretty much two identities.
Then there’s also the fear you will walk into a brothel intro and see someone from uni!
In Victoria, workers also deal with a heavily regulated industry. Incalls (the client coming to an escort’s private apartment or hotel) are illegal. So escorts can only provide outcalls where we go to them. But, incalls in Victorian brothels, are legal. This comes with safety risks; you don’t always know what you are walking into and you might have to front the cost of a driver or security.
What Are The Rewards Of Sex Work As A Student?
It truly allows the flexibility and financial stability that not many jobs offer as a uni student.
In Victoria we also have a saturated market, which allows for a community of fellow workers to flourish. It’s wonderful to be able to grab dinner with your fellow workers and talk about the job, something you can’t do at uni. Also, having a network of support is instrumental in making it through the hard times.
I have met some amazingly educated and smart women in this industry. People have an image of a sex worker as someone who’s being taken advantage of. Many times sex workers are intelligent women using their bodies to get ahead in the world, as women have for centuries.
It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made for my future.
One of the things I like to say to newbie workers is that “anyone can make money in the sex industry no matter your ethnicity/gender/size”. It’s certainly the truth. There’s a spot for everyone.
The job can also be incredibly empowering and certainly leads to some interesting experiences that helps one grow as a person.
Is Sex Work The Answer For All Struggling Students?
I wouldn’t recommend the industry to every struggling student. It comes with its drawbacks and does require you to assert your boundaries.
Whether you’re a full service worker, a camgirl or a stripper, it comes with incredible risks and amazing rewards. It is unpredictable and can be soul crushing at times but as a student, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made for my future. It’s allowed me to meet my goals and focus on my studies.
Rain Morgan is a Journalism student and private escort living in Melbourne.