What Kind of Work Is Sex Work?
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because sex work sounds so … dignified.
By Eugene S. Robinson
EUGENE, SIR: My wife and I are in our 60s. My wife’s hair is thinning (as is mine). She wants to use a hair restorer, but I’ve heard they can screw with you hormonally. My wife’s head is so well-shaped that I think she could get away with shaving it. The problem: I suggested wigs if she got tired of being bald. Maybe I suggested it with more enthusiasm than I should have — I was trying to help — because now she’s saying my suggestion is an indication that I want to have sex with other women. Advise me please. — What I Meant
Dear What You Said: Sixty, eh? So much for wisdom being a product of age. I am surprised and shocked that you’re surprised and shocked to find yourself here. I can see your thinking, though. Rogaine, a hair loss treatment, has been pegged, rightly or wrongly, as being libido destroying. If your wife takes Rogaine to attain a beautiful head of hair, what happens to your sex life on top of all the other hormonal changes you’re both bathing in (menopause for her, andropause for you)?
It’s a “Gift of the Magi” deal: What benefit is a headful of hair if it doesn’t end up being put into sexual play somehow?
Your panic about your future sexual prospects with the woman you love has caused you to take your eye off the ball, and while you may have been paying a compliment with the head-shaving comment, the momentary glow of success led you to a 100-foot dive into stupidity (i.e., the wigs).
Your hair is also thinning. You going to wear a wig? Do you have any idea of where wig technology stands in 2020? Probably not. See, you came to a wig fight with a knife while she had the wig gun.
There’s a lot involved with wigs, not the least of which is the fact that good ones cost quite a bit. Also, wearing a wig is like wearing a hat half the time. The other half the time you’re worried about it being pulled off. So yeah, despite the added kink of a change in headgear, your best bet here is the nodding-smiling methodology.
How to undo your failure to have done so? Simple: Shave your head. This may seem a strange kind of Hail Mary, but I’ll be damned if it won’t work. Give it a try and let me know.
SEX WORK … BUT IS IT?
EUGENE, SIR: With the quarantine and reduced employment opportunities, I’ve started selling stuff online. I came across a site where men buy used underwear, so I started selling my “used” underwear. I sold so much of it that my husband made a remark about my online business and I said something about the underwear and then I realized that this was going to be an issue because I hadn’t told him already. He thinks if the underwear isn’t actually used, then I’m committing some kind of fraud, and if it actually is used, then I’m engaging in some form of prostitution. I think it’s harmless and the fact that I throw away used underwear all the time and he doesn’t bat an eye makes him being upset now weird. I can’t help but feel like he’s overreacting. — LD
Dear Laundry Day: Ha-ha-ha … you do know I am not your husband, right? I mean, there’s no reason to lie to me. I’m very definitely sure that this may not be a lie, but it beggars belief, this idea that you forgot you hadn’t told him. I also don’t believe that anyone accidentally finds much of anything on the internet. Pretending isn’t something you have to do with me since I’m awash in all of your collective dirty laundry all the time.
In regard to the underwear issue, I like your husband, though I can’t imagine I’d take a stand on the ethical issue of dirty underwear. If I purchased random dirty underwear online only to find out that it wasn’t dirty, would I feel defrauded? Only if I found out via a forum that included my photo above “This IDIOT Bought Fake Dirty Underwear Online.” Then I might be a skosh chagrined.
Otherwise, it caters to an idea that, like most kinks, serves only the kink and not so much reality. For the most part the underwear is always, to paraphrase ’90s porn star Olivia, as dirty as you want it to be.
Now, is it sex work? In your ad, do you use a photo of yourself? You could just use a random image and then buy budget underwear from Target and you’d be in business. But once you use an actual picture of yourself? While not sex work, strictly speaking, it is what I call sex services. Like selling dildos or something.
But where it gets personal is when it gets personal: an actual picture of you vs. a photo of a random stranger. One shuts your husband’s argument down completely. The other? Well, yeah, he’s overreacting. Hope this helps.
FUN WITH MELLOW COCONUT OIL
EUGENE, SIR: When fellating my man, I pull off him before he ejaculates because I like him to ejaculate on my face. He says this ruins his orgasm and that using my hand to finish him off is not the same as finishing in my mouth. How do I make my hand more mouthlike? — Name withheld by request
Dear Oy Yoi Yoi: Can’t you two just split the difference? He orgasms in your mouth and toward the end you pull him out of your mouth and deposit what’s left on your face? Although that’s not exactly the same, I guess. OK, what about this: Your way half the time, his way the other half? I think that works, yeah?