I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. –Thomas Jefferson
I’m always loath to do the year end retrospective thing. I’m a fairly reflective person, but have little patience for dwelling in the past. I’m looking forward to 2016, though, so I thought I’d share a bit about what’s to come as well as some highlights from the past year.
2015 was fairly low-key in the personal arena – no major life changes to report, and I’m quite okay with that. Friends are becoming increasingly alarmed at my single status (it’s been several years at this point) while I continue to find the idea of entering into a traditional romantic relationship (especially if it includes cohabitation) more and more difficult to fathom. I’m open to alternate arrangements should the right person(s) stumble into my life (or I into theirs) but I’ve never felt compelled to seek out that type of attachment; I don’t see that changing in the upcoming year.
My writing output was less in 2015 than at nearly any point in my adult life. Time has been difficult to come by, but some changes are coming in the new year that I hope will provide more time to focus on that among a few other exciting things.
2015 was also the first year I became active on Twitter even though I’ve had an account for a few years now. Interestingly, this has proven to be one of the highlights of my year as I quickly discovered a vibrant online sex worker community. I’ve been fortunate to be welcomed by many and have had the pleasure of meeting some amazing Tweeps I’m grateful to have as a part of my life. It can be tough being a sex worker in the digital age as it’s easy to be isolated from the rest of the community; Twitter has joined me with many more fellow sex workers and allies than I could have ever hoped to meet in-person. I hope to get to travel a bit and perhaps put faces to the avatars and screen names someday.
This year also marked the first time in many years in which I opened up about being a sex worker to some of my inner circle. The response has been mostly positive, with only one disappointing reaction. I hope to continue to do this not only because I think visibility is critical to achieving our rights, but because I have a strong preference for living as authentically as possible. That said, I’m sadly not in a position to be fully open, or rather I should say society is not in a position to accept me as fully open without significant retribution.
Heading into 2016 a few changes are coming, most of which I’m excited about. In order for those changes to become a reality, however, I simply need more time in my life. My straight job is full-time and subsequently takes up a large chunk of my week; these days, it also represents the vast majority of my income. While I would love to do sex work full-time as I have a few times in my life, there’s a reality to male sex work, and that reality is the market is small. As a provider who primarily caters to men who have sex with men, I estimate my target demographic is less than two percent of the male population (assumes 4-5% of men are gay, bisexual, or questioning and assumes ~50% of that population is willing to hire a sex worker – in other words, that’s highballing it.) Further narrow that by preferred physical characteristics and desired date experience, and it’s a highly niche market indeed.
Given the need for more time to pursue my passions (as well as the fact that I have no desire to live to work) I’ve begun winding down my escorting biz. I stopped taking on new clients several months ago, and even shared my plans with a few regulars. I doubt this means I’ll be fully hanging up my whore hat – I can’t imagine turning down opportunistic or particularly lucrative bookings – but it is a definite shift in focus.
So, what will I be pursuing with this free time? Hopefully more disciplined updating of my blog and more writing output as a whole. I’ve never been a volume writer since I tend to do longer form pieces, but I’m hoping for a more prolific pace than the measly five I managed to crank out over the past twelve months. Tied to that, I plan to increase my activism and on that front, I’m also truly excited about the prospect of working with SWOP-USA; I recently volunteered and it looks there’s a place for me to help out in the coming year.
Lastly, I plan on living a bit more in 2016. I got my first straight job when I was twelve years old, and have been working (often multiple jobs) ever since. It’s time to re-balance a bit and I’m looking forward to most of what that entails.
To all the new friends I’ve made in 2015 and to those who’ve been reading over the years, I wish you all the best in 2016.