Nice to have mutual sex, isn’t it? Sure, but sometimes you might find yourself in a position where paying for it feels right.
How do you know if trading cash for erotica is a boost to your body and spirit or a mental and physical drag? Will forking out for a fuck assist your voyage of self-discovery or block it?
Like any other life behaviour, monetizing sex requires personal reflection. On the most basic level, while sex workers tend to be very responsible about safer sex, be aware that condoms are not always effective. That said, you’re taking the same risk by having sex with anyone, professional or otherwise – though non-paying relations won’t get the law breathing down anyone’s neck.
Not all pros are hookers, however; a sex surrogate might stand in, in a healing situation supervised by a therapist. The legal status of such treatment appears to be undefined, and guess what? It’s much easier to find a ho than a hands-on clinician.
What the experts say
“One whole category of sexual addiction is about paying for it. Not everyone who goes to prostitutes is addicted. It’s not about behaviours but about what’s happening with the behaviours. Part of a normal, healthy sex life is masturbation, but if you’re masturbating seven times a day you may have a problem. If you’re going into debt to see prostitutes, if you continue in spite of negative consequences, if it’s taking energy away from a primary partner, this constitutes addiction. Sexual addiction is used in order to avoid or medicate an uncomfortable or unpleasant emotional state. It isn’t about sex but about managing feelings.”
PENNY LAWSON, manager of family services and special programs, Bellwood Health Services, Toronto
“Sex surrogacy is not as popular as it used to be. I’m sorry to see that therapists don’t use surrogates much any more. There is a huge benefit to having someone show you what to do, especially if you’re inexperienced. The so-called “40-year-old virgin” – I worked with a whole bunch of those people. A lot of clients have problems because they’ve never had another person be nice to them in a sexual situation. Therapists provide that unconditional acceptance and physical intimacy.”
BARBARA KEESLING, PhD, author of Sexual Healing: The Completest Guide To Overcoming Common Sexual Problems, Newport Beach, California
“One of the major health benefits of hiring a professional is the safer sex factor. The only time a sex worker would have unsafe sex is if she were coerced. I think it’s far more responsible to have sex with a professional than an affair. It’s less stressful on the [primary] relationship. No one ever has to worry about me calling their house crying, ‘You forgot to call me on my birthday!’ We all go home healthy and happy.”
VALERIE SCOTT, executive director, Sex Professionals of Canada, Toronto
“Hiring a professional sex worker can be as good or bad for your body, mind and spirit as hiring a contractor to work on your house. If you get the right one, someone who is honest, cares about his or her work and has professional boundaries, it can be a wonderful experience. You can learn new things about yourself and the all-important lesson that people are capable of following through on promises. If you get the wrong one, you can feel ripped off and exposed and end up with more than you bargained for – holes in your roof, STIs, etc. The question isn’t should I or shouldn’t I pay someone for something I either can’t or don’t want to do for myself? It’s where do I find the professional who will give me satisfaction?’’
CORY SILVERBERG, sex educator, owner, Come as You Are, Toronto