How You Know When Sex Work Is Just Work - OZY | A Modern Media Company
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WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

Because anything REALLY fun is never called "work."

By Eugene S. Robinson

Coital Checkmate

EUGENE, SIR: I wasn’t the best husband. In a very public way I was arrested for soliciting a cop I thought was a prostitute, and they printed it up in the paper, and my distinctive last name made it unlikely that it was anybody but me. That’s not the problem (or it isn’t now). This happened seven years ago. The problem is that one of my wife’s friends, who knew about this, has gone beyond just flirting, and when I declined her offer she said that if I didn’t go along with it, she would just say I did, so it was easier in the end if I just did it because my wife would believe her over me. Her husband is also a good friend of mine so this is fucked to the highest degree. She has written nothing down that I could use to prove this. The only thing saving me now is COVID and that we’re all locked down (we live in California). But man, what do I do here? — Name withheld by request

Dear Total War: I’m so, so, sooooooo glad that you asked “what do I do here?” instead of “what would YOU do here?” Since if it’s me? Me who has lived his whole life with a singular drive of being beyond the reaches of fear? My personal advice might not be the most helpful. I might suggest blowing up this little world of dysfunction by first calling her husband, my friend, and explain precisely as you’ve done here, what’s happened. I would also do this from my house so that my wife could hear me doing it.

If, as the adage goes, the truth will set you free, just think of how freeing it will be to shine a massive klieg light on this truly reprehensible attempt to do that which you might have done willingly but for the attempt to muscle you into it. Sure, you might lose her husband’s friendship and your wife might not believe you and then divorce you. But that’s what I would do.

What should you do here? Presuming you’re interested in maintaining at least some of these relationships, tell her “no” more firmly, that you will do what I’ve suggested above if she persists, and then hope that she moves on to some other patsy, while you think of excuses to limit your social contacts with her and her husband.

My way is the best way, but I realize here you have to do what you can live with, not what “I” can live with. But good luck.

How Cool Is It to Sell Your Body for Sex?

EUGENE, SIR: There’s something that happens whenever anyone in the media talks about sex work, and that’s that they try to, maybe cuz they know someone, normalize it like they do when it’s women (and men) who aren’t being trafficked. There’s nothing normal about dealing with dangerous assholes, doing shit you hate so you can pay for a place to sleep before getting up to do it again the next day. This is real sex work. And it’s a world away from you imagining getting handed some cash after you have sex with a chosen partner. — Just Nikki

Dear Darling Nikki: I’m “in the media,” and while to a certain degree I understand your chagrin — the media’s too handsy with the Pretty Woman-izing of sex work — on the other hand? Your complaints sound like the complaints any/many of us might have about the daily employ we’re engaged in that makes it possible for us to pay for a place to sleep before we have to get up to do it again the next day. Depending on where we do this, the number of dangerous assholes ebbs or flows, but yeah, work is what it is, and “sex” work is still work. Unsure whether that was your point or why you wrote, but thanks for taking the time to do so.

Threesome Condom Conundrum

EUGENE, SIR: Here’s a humble brag: I just had sex with two women at the same time. We were masked! So safety first. But should I have put on a new condom each time I penetrated one or the other? — What’s the Right Amount of Ply?

Dear Doublin’ Trouble: A mask will help, sure, but you know, unless you were also goggled up, and we’re still only talking about “help,” the more significant risk here was COVID, and probably not HIV, if you were using condoms. But that’s not your question, which I am trying to get to, however I’m still stuck on whatever magical mechanics came into play where during quarantine you and two other adult female human beings decided that you were going to swing into a menage, to hell with … well, just about everything. I’m not saying it’s colossally stupid; I am saying that your focus and ability to compartmentalize is really, in a way, admirable. Like finishing a crossword puzzle when your plane is crashing. Yeah, that level of sangfroid. So, hats off to you, sir. I guess.

Anyway, your question: Under normal circumstances I’d go to a doctor for advice here, but since I am a nonpareil of paranoia, I think I can answer. Since, of course, in the face of all of that risk, the safest move would be to change the condom every time you switch partners. In this scenario you’d also all be using dental dams for oral sex too. However, if you’re all masked, maybe oral sex was off the menu? So it was just straight penetrative sex? In which case, yes, a condom change would be in order. Even if it would stutter your rhythm. You know, even if it stutters your rhythm, is there anything more important than your health? Hahahahahah … never mind.

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