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I Didn’t Have My First Orgasm Until After I Quit Sex Work

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As told to Robecca Leyden

I was 18 when I started sex work. I wasn’t a virgin—that said, most of my previous sexual experience wasn’t great. I was a bit of a pushover and saying no was difficult for me. I would always put other people’s feelings and needs before my own, and I was the one losing out.

I was thinking “what the fuck am I doing?” lots during my first few nights working, but then once the paycheque came in it was somewhat forgotten. Even though looking back I didn’t actually make that much, I was sure making a hell of a lot more than my friends working at Glassons. Because of my previous relationship experiences and putting other people before myself—I was super guilty of being a complicit girlfriend—it was easy to separate myself and see it as just a job.

I didn’t do as well as I could have because I wouldn’t put much effort into talking with people as I have a shy nature, but that was ok by me as I would dread having to work some days. It was a catch-22 though, if I didn’t get clients I was happy but that also meant I didn’t get paid, which wasn’t the best.

I find it hard to believe I even did that job, but then at the same time I can’t imagine what life would be like if I didn’t do it. It’s a huge part of my past and has influenced who I am today.

That whole time I viewed sex as an action that I just had to do. I never once orgasmed while doing that job and it took me a few years after I stopped doing that job to learn how to enjoy sex. I guess the reason I found it easy to do in the first place was that I didn’t expect to enjoy sex.

It took about a year after being with my now-ex, to let down my guard enough to relax and have my first orgasm with a partner ever. My automatic reaction was to disconnect myself during sex, it was hard to get back into my body and see it as fun and not just a task. I still struggle with this but my current partner has been super helpful with changing my mindset.

Nine years on, I still have the automatic response to seeing sex as just a task. This prevents me from initiating it with my partner because I don’t really think about it as being something fun. I have to really think about it and convince myself that it can be enjoyable to get myself in the mood.

When I finally told my partner that I used to be an escort it didn’t go down well, we worked through that and now it has served as bringing us closer together. He now understands why I am the way I am. This doesn’t mean that we never have sex, we actually do it quite frequently, it just means I’m learning to embrace my sexuality and retrain myself that it can be a pleasurable experience and that my needs can and should be met.

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