I’ve never been great at secrets.
When put in a position to lie, I generally tend to look like a naughty puppy that ate its owner’s favourite shoes. I can break out in an amount of sweat equivalent to wearing a double layer of woolen onesies while lying on a black car bonnet in the peak of Australian summer. In short – I’m shit at it.
This is why I never lie – or at least until I started working within this industry.
In the beginning, I didn’t know if this job would really be for me. I wanted to give it time to settle in. Would it be in my best interest? Would I love it? Would I balance it around the rest of my life? Would the stereotypes turn out to be true, or would the research I did proving it otherwise turn out to be the real truth? Would it be for a long time or a small blip in my life? Maybe it will be chalked up to curiosity? So many questions that I needed time to explore and evaluate.
After almost 3 years of escorting or working in brothels however I came to the realization that…. Wouldn’t you know….. I actually really love my job.
This job has given me financial freedom to study while exploring business opportunities and learning through failing and trying again, without crippling financial consequences. It saved my dog’s life two years ago, when she needed surgery that I otherwise would not have been able to pay for on my pitiful former student salary. It gave me a hell of a lot more self confidence and self assurance. It taught me to say yes, and taught me more importantly to say no as well. It taught me about safe sex, which – let’s be honest – none of us learn properly at school or in life. I’ve heard stories from my friends, I receive requests from clients – trust me, I know how bad the general population can be at being safe. I have met incredible people, whether it be your everyday bloke, your hard working retiree, a high flying educated mogul on his climb to success or a celebrity exploring the darker side of their life in secret. MOST importantly, it has given me some incredible lifelong work friends that I know will always be loving and accepting and all round fucking legends, regardless of my circumstances and life choices.
That is why this week I decided that I was done with being so 007. Time to officially stop hiding the “Batphone” by disguising both it and the “Clark Kent phone” (my affectionate nicknames) in almost matching covers that only I can tell apart. Time to avoid the awkward step around when my family ask me if I’m going OK money wise around uni. Time to tell my housemates where I’m really going at 8pm at night, instead of the usual excuses… waitressing events, working bars, going out with friends.
In short; time to finally be open about EVERYTHING.
Let me be clear –just because I’m “coming out” doesn’t mean that I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops. I will not be open at uni about it, for example. The reason why is that for every incredibly supportive person out there, I know that there will be another that thinks that I’m destroying my chances of a future in making this decision. There are people that think that I won’t be able to work my future degree part time alongside escorting. Even before I decided to be open, I had plenty of clients voice their two cents worth about whether I should be open about work or not. Of all people I know how cruel others can be – after all, besides the debacle of my friends that occurred last year, one of the people that I am sure will be incredibly unsupportive will be my Mum – that is thanks to a joke conversation about stripping that ended in a definite negative opinion of hers. If there was one thing I learnt from the mess of my mass friendship walkout I learnt one thing…
I don’t give a fuck what people think about the choices that I make in life.
This is in part to some of the incredible people in my family. You see, my family have a very unique spread of personality. Some of them are sensitive and gossipy, and some march to the tune of their own horn. The latter are my true tribe.
My dad’s side have always been very open minded and outspoken. Out of everyone, I have always been closest to my aunty. When I look at photos of her at my age, I see a twin both emotionally and physically. You know how you sit there when you’re younger and wonder what you’ll be like when you’re on the other side of the life line? She is my magic mirror into who I will be in the future. Which is just fine with me, because she is the most liberated and empowered person I know.
When shown videos of myself pole dancing, she has enthusiastically told me that I should use it to work in strip joints…. “after all, it’s just dancing”.
Despite comments like these, I was still pretty nervous to tell her. After all, this is also the same woman who told me when I was younger that I shouldn’t have sex with a man until I had been in a relationship for 3 months. Cue nerves.
So today I made the drive down to the Gold Coast, made some awkward small talk for a couple of hours, felt an all consuming, paralyzing fear about the upcoming conversation that literally took my breath away, and then while we went to walk the dogs, I opened with…
“I’ve got something I want to tell you, or ask your advice on, but I don’t want Mum and Dad to know about this yet”.
“Of course!” she said. However her face started to crinkle into genuine concern that only grew more as I explained that I had a secret for the last 3 years that I hadn’t told anyone in the family about yet, and that I wanted her to be the first person to know considering she was the least judgmental.
“I’ve been escorting for the last 3 years”.
“OH! Good on you!!!!!!!” were the first words out of her mouth.
The relief of pressure off my chest with those 4 words was….. indescribable. My chest expanded fourfold. I breathed easier. My whole body relaxed. I felt like I had instantaneously shed 20 kilos.
After telling me about how the industry was definitely safe, and OK, and smart, and business minded, she started to tell me about how she considered starting up a “knock shop” with her friend.
At any rate, it was incredibly freeing to have such a frank discussion with probably my closest friend about something that, although I was sure she would support, had become a very big secret for me.
We discussed the best thing for me to do moving forward. Although she thinks it’s no one else’s business what I do with my life and that I shouldn’t tell the family, I explained that I am looking forward to not having to walk around on eggshells for my own sanity.
She agrees that the majority of my family will be loving and accepting. There is only one person that I am unsure about. But that is future Charlie’s problem, so for now it can sit to the side.
All I know right now though is that tonight I feel extremely loved, and appreciated, and light hearted. I’ll give myself the week to sit with this and be grateful for such a supportive and strong woman in my life and then move on to my next big move – Dad.
Keep tuned, I’ll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck,