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Megan: Welcome to Queers Next Door
Leigh: with your hosts Leigh and Megan.
M: We take the topics you care about:
L: sex, relationships, feminism, kink, social justice, and entertainment,
M: and look at them through a queer as fuck lens.
L: Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at Queers Next Door
M: and make sure to follow the blog at queersnextdoor.com.
L: Cheers, queers!
L: Hi. I feel wholly unprepared today.
M: (laughs) Me too.
L: I don’t know why. Hey Megan.
M: Hey Leigh.
L: What are you doing to take care of yourself this week?
M: (laughs) Oh, I have the weed pen.
M: So last time we recorded, oh, yeah. That feels like forever ago.
L: I know.
M: That was the first time I tried it. I like it. It has been making me calmer.
M: And then I found out that they have all kinds of different moods.
L: They do. So I want to try a different one next time.
L: So I want to do a little like research about what the
M: I want to try the Aroused one.
L: I kinda do too. I gotta see what the- that might be the one I try, or the Bliss one,
L: but maybe just ’cause I like those words. I’m like, “I wanna, I want that.”
M: Yeah. And I want the Sleep one too, but they’re all so expensive.
L: They are expensive.
M: Like I can’t just try them all.
L: They last for a long time.
M: I’m gonna smoke it now.
L: Let’s do it. You wanna do it together?
L: Okay. This is really exciting for our listeners.
L: Here’s your weed ASMR for the day.
M: You hear it?
L: Uh huh.
M: I could hear yours vibrate through my mic.
L: Mmhm. Yep.
M: Well that was a fun intro,
L: Yep. (laughs)
M: fun, exciting self-care intro. What have you been doing to take care of yourself?
L: Oh, boy. What have I been doing? Well I think the thing I’ve been doing is like, at some point I talked about boundaries and now I’m doing, this is gonna be some like vaguebooking right here, but I’m trying to do a thing, like somewhere in between like really strict boundaries around every- Hmm, I’m trying to lean into discomfort a little bit. I think that’s what, the best way to put it, is that like, I’ve been working on setting some boundaries, I mean, mostly for myself really, about like, to figure out like the best way to manage, you know, manage my symptoms, manage my mental illness stuff, but also just the best way to show up in a relationship. And so now that I’ve been doing that and I want to continue to do that, you know, there’s a place, there’s always a place for boundaries. But if you become, like, you get to a place where you’re isolating yourself so much and minimizing triggers so much that you’re like, “Well, everything’s fine because I’m not interacting with the world.”
L: Or with anything uncomfortable. So I’m trying to go a little bit the other way and like lean into some discomfort and sit with it and like check in with my body when I have what feels like an outsized reaction to something.
L: Yeah. And then on the PMDD front, it is PMDD Awareness Month, so I’ve been doing a little like PMDD Awareness Challenge on Instagram, and that’s been nice to just kind of spend a month like thinking about it and also just sharing and then reading what other people are sharing. The hashtags are #pmddawarenessmonth and #pmddawarenesschallenge and #shinealightonpmdd. So that’s been good. And then a couple of days ago I went and saw my gynecologist, and there are some things coming up and I’ll keep y’all posted, but like the big thing is that like I am a candidate for either an oophorectomy, which is a fun word
M: That, I’ve never heard that before.
L: Ooph! horectomy, which is, doesn’t seem like how you should say it. That’s a just the removal of just your ovaries and a hysterectomy, which means removal of the parts that make ladies hysterical. It’s a joke, but that’s where hysterical came from.
L: I know, not all ladies have uteruses and not all people with uteruses are ladies. I’m more, yeah, making a baaaad joke.
L: So maybe full hysterectomy, maybe just an oophrectomy, but for now we’re going to do a shot and block my hormones, my hormone receptors to see what happens if I go through early menopause,
L: so look out for that wild ride.
M: I can’t wait.
L: I’ll get hot. I’ll get hot flashes.
M: Oh my goodness.
L: When my mom went through menopause, and she also went through early menopause because she took a preventative medication, kind of similar to what I’m doing, but for something else, I remember her like wearing sleeveless shirts and like cardigans and like peeling her shirt off and like sticking her head in the freezer a lot, which is just comical and compared to the symptoms I have, something I can totally, totally deal with. So, yeah.
M: Well that seems stressful to actually go in and talk about that, so I’m glad you’re doing it.
L: Thanks. I had a really positive medical experience like I like this office a lot, and that has not been the case for me lately, so I feel really privileged and grateful that I was able to have a non-traumatic medical experience.
M: It’s time for me to go get my checkup
M: and I’m not looking forward to it, just because I can’t, I get so much anxiety all the time about all of that stuff
M: so that’s why when you talk about it, well we talked a little about it before recording, and my like my body was hurting. I’m like AHHHHH medical stuff just freaks me out, so good job for doing it.
L: Thank you. Do you bring anybody with you?
L: You know you can? Sometimes that helps.
M: No, I didn’t know that.
L: So I have brought my best friend Masha along on these last two visits to talk about these different options just because sometimes when I’m having a conversation with like important information and I’m, I don’t remember everything the person says
L: so she comes and like takes notes (laughs) for me and pays attention
M: That’s so sweet.
L: and reminds me of questions to ask. But like definitely a thing that made me feel cool about this place is I also needed a pap smear, and Masha just like hung out while I got a pap smear, and like, I just like a place that doesn’t treat that like that’s weird
L: at all. And they also talked about, you know, taking, doing the test for HPV, and when, and you know, whether or not I should consider getting the vaccine because I was too old for the vaccine when it came out. Everyone should get the vaccine if you can, if you’re sexually active, but you do have to pay out of pocket if you’re over 26, so I know that’s not accessible to a lot of people. I’m not even sure if it’s accessible to me. But the way that the doctor explained it was very simply like even if, even though, ’cause I have had HPV, “Even though you’ve had HPV, you know, that doesn’t mean you’ve been exposed to every strain, and so like your next partner might have strain 16.” And it just really meant a lot to me that she just said, “your next partner,” like she didn’t imply like that I was straight or that I was monogamous or anything. It was just like, that was so simple, but I don’t know, it was a big deal to me.
M: Yeah, that’s nice. That’s, I remember last year, with my main doctor, she was not really accepting of like you know me talking about being polyamorous
M: and just kinda like not knowing what it was. But I think we talked about this before on the podcast, I wasn’t having sex with new people anyways,
M: so it didn’t really matter.
M: But I’m not looking forward to explaining all that again this time, but oh well. We’ll see how it goes.
L: Yeah. I wish there was, like there are some directories for things like poly friendly professionals, but that’s mostly for things like the coaching I do or therapists. I don’t see as much for like medical professionals,
L: but I wish there were more knowledgeable professionals. I definitely explained polyamory to like, a nurse at Planned Parenthood one time, and then he tried to be like, “How do I get my girlfriend to do that?”
M: Oh wow.
L: And that was like (sing songs), “Inappropriate.”
M: Yeah, and I have Medi-cal. So, do you?
L: I do too.
M: Yeah, there is, they have like a list of doctors you can choose from,
M: and so I know I’m, ’cause I hate medical stuff so much and I’ll barely like even wanna keep my appointments, I just found the closest one and like chose them without like considering any of the other things, just because I’m like, “How will I get myself there?”
M: I’ve never brought anyone, but that is a good idea, and one time one of my offices had a picture of like kittens and puppies above the bed, on the ceiling,
L: That’s great!
M: and I thought that was cute. (laughs) It made me smile and think about something else. ‘Cause it’s not that like the tests hurt to me really.
M: It’s uncomfortable.
M: There’s just, like when I think about, I feel like everything’s gonna be wrong with me all the time
M: so while I’m there, my body’s just tense, and I’m just like, “Oooh, it’s gonna be bad news.”
L: I get it.
M: Even though when I don’t have any reason to think so.
L: While I don’t experience that, like getting blood taken or like at the gynecologist, I understand that a lot of people do. I definitely experience it at the dentist. I did have a dentist who had, the whole ceiling was clouds with puppies and kittens in the clouds.
M: Oh my god. That’s adorable.
L: It was really nice.
M: I want that on my ceiling.
L: I mean I want that always.
L: Like that’s should just be everywhere.
M: That might help me sleep.
L: Right? I mean, it wouldn’t help me sleep, ’cause the truth is once my glasses are off
L: there’s literally no way I can see my ceiling.
M: Yours is even higher than mine.
L: Even if it wasn’t high, I couldn’t see it, so, yeah.
L: All right. That’s been important…
M: Oh! I wanted to talk about my new life update.
L: Oh yes, please.
M: (laughs) Dating someone new.
M: And because we had an episode all about this, it was right after I dele- well I got kicked off Tinder (laughs)
M: that some friends were like, “Try Bumble and try Her,” the two dating apps.
M: So I got Bumble. That’s where I met this person.
L: Oh, you met her on Bumble?
L: I hate Bumble.
M: I don’t love it, but (laughs) I was thinking, “Oh, thanks Bumble,” ’cause that’s how I met her. But fuck Tinder also.
M: Still never e-mailed them. That was like over a month ago now.
L: That’s okay.
M: I’m just never gonna do it. But yeah, so, of course, when I think, “I’m not gonna try to date anyone right now. I’m just gonna focus on me, trying to get my mental health better than it was, try to like focus on work, nope.” Then I meet someone. I meet people and I’m usually not that, not to sound like a dick, but you know, I’m not that into them. I’m just like, “Cool. I like you, you know, like maybe in time we’ll date each other.”
M: But then, when I decided that I wasn’t gonna date, then I meet someone and I’m just like all about it and everything, like NRE or NDE, full effect.
L: Wait, what’s NDE?
M: New Dating Energy?
L: Oh, okay.
L: Don’t know how my brain could not make that letter work. NRE being New Relationship Energy,
M: Yeah. (laughs)
L: if anyone doesn’t know.
M: No, I did not, it took me a long time to catch onto NDE. People would say it to me and I kept thinking New Dick Energy, and I know why
L: Well I was thinking like New Dom/me Energy because
L: I feel like the BDSM, is like the D in sex, so I was like
M: New Dom/me Energy.
L: I like this one.
M: I want that.
L: I mean, sure.
M: I was talking to an author this weekend – I went to a little book thing – and she writes about BDSM and stuff.
M: And she’s not polyamorous, but she’s familiar with polyamory and like has done, you know, she’s been around in the sex-positive scene, if you will, and she was saying, we were talking about how into this person I feel, and she was like, “Those new feelings are excruciating in the best way,” and that’s very true. It’s just like, constantly like, “Awww” or like, “When am I gonna talk to them?” and the way that that affects life and then, also having to talk to my partner K about it.
M: And every time it happens, I’m always reminded, we’re still newer I guess. It’s been like, what, three years almost of polyamory for us, together.
M: But I’m always just blown away that it doesn’t feel easier every time I have to say
M: I like someone. Actually, I really like them and I feel like this could be very serious. It’s always hard and very vulnerable and scary for her and me, so
L: Yeah. I don’t know if that does get easier. Like I don’t think it does.
M: I mean, I just see so many people who don’t seem to like struggle as much as I do with everything, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m such an intense person, but like, you know, NRE stuff. I feel like some people are very aware and they’re like, “Okay. I’m not gonna get wrapped up in this.”
M: “I’m not gonna let in control me.” And then other people are like, “Oh, if I meet someone new, I’m gonna tell my partner right away” and like, “Look at this cutie that I was flirting with,” and like blah blah blah. And for me both of those things like don’t exist. I’m like, “I’m scared. I need to like figure out if it’s worth it to talk to my partner about it.”
M: And then also like, “Oh, fuck. I’m like deep in this NRE.”
M: “And I can’t think about anything else.” So, I guess I don’t wish that that was different, ’cause it is such a good feeling.
M: But it’s just scary and it’s, you know, all those things.
L: It is. Well, it’s super vulnerable. But I think, I think it’s really good that you know you’re experiencing it
L: ’cause that’s when it’s tough.
M: And so this person is not polyamorous
M: but is not not poly,
M: if that makes sense.
L: It totally makes sense.
M: So yeah, I mean we usually, you know, without going into too much detail, we usually do talk about what’s going on so I’m sure that the listeners will keep hearing whatever does happen.
M: I was reminded of Janet’s thing she said about NRE about with like, oops
(thudding noise of the mic being hit)
M: the NRE train,
M: that when she met Ted it was like, “Oh, this is going somewhere, like it could be bad. It would be great.”
M: That’s how I feel. Again, in, in a good way. It’s not like I think that she would try to hurt me or do anything like that. It’s just, feelings are so intense.
L: It is. And they’re so, like, they’re so close to the surface when that’s going on.
L: Well I’m excited for you.
M: Thank you.
M: Yeah. It’s nice. People have- I’ve been pleasantly surprised this year with meeting new friends and new people to date and like, just being open to that energy. I think I was closed off for a long time. So it feels good. Scary but good.
M: And she’s just very sweet and she’s probably going to hear this so hi.
M: So yeah.
L: Be good to Megan.
M: She’s so sweet. She is.
L: That’s wonderful.
M: Remember when I fell down the stairs when I was texting? (laughs)
L: I do. That was so good.
M: That was like the first time that me and her were like starting to talk.
L: That’s right.
L: And then you were making a video and then you
Both: fell down the stairs.
L: That’s quality. You know, I had this thought the other, totally changing the subject, sorry
M: That’s okay.
L: I had this thought the other day that like, when I was listening back to our podcast, like the one about, the movies one, the last one, I like was like should we be doing a corrections corner, ’cause I totally, like just heard myself saying things that were just like patently wrong
L: and like, but I, thankfully I corrected myself the second time I said it, but I was talking about a director and I said he was Australian and then later I was like, “Oh yeah, he’s Austrian or German.” And like, Austrian and German are pretty close together. He is Austrian. But the first time I just said Australian and just like kept powering through.
L: And I just like, multiple times. So just, you know, want to put that out there. We’re not saying that anything we say is correct. Don’t hold us to things.
M: Yeah. Oh no, I don’t even want to know the things that I’ve said that are wrong so far.
L: That’s the one that stuck out, but there was another one too where I was like, “That’s not who that person is or when that movie came out or what you’re talking…” So, you know.
L: Take us with a grain of salt. We don’t know what we’re talking about.
M: (laughs) But who does?
L: No one does. I also like made a note just now about this thing that happened the other, that made me mad the other day and that I would like to rant about
L: because it’s
M: I just got so excited when I heard the word rant.
L: ‘Cause it’s just some like heteronormative bullshit. So I don’t use like period tracker apps because I track my period certain ways, but I was looking into, is there some kind of app where I could communicate something more specifically about my symptoms to my partner, right?
L: Like ooh, maybe there’s a good thing with like push notifications that could like tell her where I am or what my symptoms are for the day to give her a little bit of heads up that doesn’t get so jammed into like our regular calendar, right? So I didn’t find anything good, and that’s fine. But the thing that made me so mad is I found an app and I’m gonna call it out by name. It’s called Cycles and it specifically said like you can share information with your partner. So I was like, “Okay, I’m gonna try this.” And I even paid like the three dollars (laughs) so I could get the Pro where you could send it to your partner and when you log into this fucking things, it’s like,
L: “Are you a man or a woman?” And if you are a woman, then it says enter when like your last period was. And then if you’re a partner, you are a man. And like, so taking away the fact that trans people, trans men get their periods,
L: which is important, like, that’s a thing that like I guess I understand, even though it’s fucked, that that like, I don’t know. We should be there. We just should be there. It just shouldn’t ask. But even taking that away, even if I were to be like, “Okay, fine, women get their periods. Let’s-” Have they literally never heard of lesbians? Like, how, what, (exasperated noise)
L: So my head exploded and I got really mad and I want to write them a letter and ask them.
M: I was gonna say, did you e-mail them?
L: I did not,
M: Do it.
L: but I’m gonna give them a bad review and I’m gonna be like-
M: Well I was gonna say give them a Yelp review, but is that a thing you can do for an app?
L: For an app, no, but you can do a review on the app store. So I’m gonna do a review on the app store because like literally, what? Like how do you not like, how are you making an app in 2019 about sharing things with your partner where it’s only women sharing with men?
(all kinds of weird noises)
L: There it is. (laughs) What’s going on right now?
M: Whoops. I knocked the whole thing.
L: How did you do that?
M: (laughs) I don’t know.
L: Megan was straightening her microphone and ripped like the whole microphone and the little whatever the thing is called,
M: Oh my god. (laughs)
L: the spit cover. Is that was this is called? Is it the technical term? Just ripped it out.
L: I almost said something a little bit ago that you hadn’t had a mishap.
M: It was coming. (laughs)
L: And then I was like, “Eh, I’m not gonna jinx it.”
M: (laughs) I just wish they were videotaped.
L: I know.
M: That would be…
L: I am gonna get a picture of you real quick though.
M: Oh my god. I’m crying, every time.
L: Hold on. Hold on. Don’t, don’t move.
M: Now I can’t put it back.
L: Do you want to pause it for a minute?
Megan: Are you feeling stuck in your relationship? Are low libido, orgasm difficulties, or body image getting in the way of an awesome sex life? Are you looking for a safe space to explore kink, nonmonogamy, gender or sexual identity? Sex Coach Leigh works with individuals or couples via Skype or phone to address whatever is blocking you from your ideal sexuality. She is sex positive, body positive, queer, and polyamorous. Let her help you discover the most authentic version of yourself. Contact Leigh atsexcoachleigh.com. That’s L-E-I-G-H, and mention Queers Next Door for 20% off your first session.
M: Okay, we’re back from our pause.
L: Yep. A lot of things happened.
M: (sighs) I do love how easily I cry though from laughing. It’s my favorite.
L: It’s great. It’s charming.
M: (laughs) My eyeliner has just been.
L: I heard islander but I think you said eyeliner.
M: Eyeliner, yes.
L: Yep. Makes more sense.
M: I’ve been crying a lot for a few days.
M: So my, just normal, normal things.
L: I mean…I don’t…
M: My eyeliner has been a mess. Anyways, back.
L: What’s our topic today Megan?
L: Are we there yet?
M: As normal, usual, as usual, we did not really plan this out, but
L: Don’t tell people that.
M: the topic
L: They’ll never know.
M: that I had in mind was to talk about sex work.
M: Oh! Because I got a tattoo. I totally forgot.
L: Oh yeah! Tell us that because that is related.
M: Isn’t it cute?
L: I haven’t seen it in person. Let me see.
M: I got a red umbrella.
L: You’re not turning the right way.
M: On my ankle-ish.
L: It’s so cute. Yeah. It’s really cute.
M: Yeah. I love it. I have a lot of tattoos. We, I think I put it on Patreon that that’s where it ended up, us talking about our shitty tattoos.
L: Oh yeah, right.
M: And I never really got anything like very intentionally except the rainbow one. I figured even if I’m not in sex work at some point, it’s still been such like a huge part of my life that
L: Of course. Do you want to tell people what the red umbrella means if they don’t know?
M: Yeah, so, it is the symbol for sex workers’ rights, and I actually read about it, I think it was like, it started in Europe in 2005, so not that long ago.
L: Uh huh.
M: But I really liked the explanation. They said that umbrellas are a protection from people’s attacks but also from the sky, like attacks from the sky.
M: And I was like this is hardcore. I like it.
L: That’s awesome.
M: And, so it’s just, to me, it’s such like a pretty symbol, and I love the color red. Red’s one of my favorites. Red and purple. So I thought it would be like, finally a tattoo that I could have that has meaning and I don’t, it’s not like that many people know, they’re not gonna look at me and be like, “Oh, that’s a sex worker tattoo.”
M: But the ones who do, will.
L: Yeah, of course.
M: And I feel like that’s important. Because I know that I have a lot of privilege in that I don’t have another job that I have to hide from
L: Right, sure.
M: what I’m doing. And I don’t have a family that I’m relying on to support me, like through their judgment of this, like
M: I don’t really have anyone that I have to be concerned about. And I also am not, I’m doing everything through the computer.
M: So there’s a lot more safety there.
L: Of course.
M: So I know that with that privilege, you know, I can talk about things that most people can’t and I can try to help normalize sex work.
L: I think that’s really important and I think also like normalizing and just acknowledging the number of queer folks who
L: do sex work is really important. I have a question for you.
M: Uh huh.
L: A hypothetical question. No, not hypothetical. Do you think sex coaching is sex work?
M: No. I’ve heard at conferences like people, and I get it, it’s coming from like a really great place, and I don’t really know. I don’t feel like that strongly about it, but that sex coaches or no, I think it was a sex coach, said that they like to say they’re a sex worker
M: because to them it’s helping to normalize it all.
M: But then on the flipside, you have people who say, like, “Well no, because you’re not in the same risks as other people and you are not-” It’s so, like the, we have to go over, I’m gonna read what FOSTA and SESTA is about
M: because I swear sometimes like I don’t know if I have like a learning disability. It’s like super hard for me to retain information
L: No, that’s okay.
M: and especially to like go back over it again. And that’s been a really big struggle like with activism stuff for me because FOSTA and SESTA, I’m like I wanna talk about it, but it’s so hard for me to explain. But anyway, because of that, I feel kind of like mixed about someone saying they’re a sex worker when they’re, you know, because it’s like yes, we want it out there. We want it to be normalized, but it’s different. Like you’re not gonna face the same stigma
M: because you get to be seen as like, you know, like a coach, like someone who I don’t know. For some reason, it feels like might be offered more respect or like you’re not actually using your body
M: versus someone else.
L: I agree. I think that, well, it’s interesting, because I do think that some coaches, especially coaches more than therapists
L: are vulnerable to parts of SESTA and FOSTA,
L: which we’ll talk about a little bit more because if we, if we go all out, then like we don’t get to advertise,
L: you know, things like that. But I did ask it from a place of like currently I work as a sex coach but I do not do what I would call, like I don’t, I would say I’m a former sex worker.
L: Like I have done sex work. I may do sex work in the future. I do like the teeny tiniest bit of sex work now and we could argue if we call it that or not.
L: But I do not call myself a sex worker as a coach because I don’t feel like it’s appropriate.
L: Yeah. But I do say I work in sex,
L: like very specifically in the field of sex and I do think that like those of us, it’s awesome when those of use who work in sex positive fields can all see each other as kind of having the same like goals? I don’t know if that’s the right word.
L: Values? Like I hate the idea of people who work in forms of, you know, in professions that have to do with sex who somehow think that what they’re doing is like better or more academic or more important than things like full-service sex work.
M: Mmhm. Yeah, and I’ve seen a lot of sex educators say that they have definitely been impacted by SESTA/FOSTA with
M: what they can advertise or getting their accounts banned and stuff but again, like you know I also feel like, well, just because you can’t advertise your course, like that’s really not as bad as what a lot of other sex workers are facing right now (laughs uncomfortably).
L: No, absolutely.
M: So, but then, you know, like it is, it’s just everyone wants to be able to provide for themselves and I think most people in the sex field, whatever it may be, all really do want sex positivity and want sex work normalized, but yeah (sighs).
L: Oh, of course. And I think too that like, yeah, just because laws like SESTA and FOSTA, which Megan’s gonna tell us about in a minute, can affect like a wide range of people, there is a huge difference between like for example, the fact that I can’t advertise my sex coaching like through paid ads on Instagram is nothing compared to fact that, you know, Backpage was shut down, and people are forced
M: Mmhm. Yeah.
L: to take their independent work somewhere else, especially marginalized folks, sex workers of color, trans sex workers, sex workers that do not have homes, sex workers who are doing survival sex work.
L: Like those are 100% the most vulnerable
L: in this community and the ones who are most affected by ads like, or, by laws like SESTA and FOSTA.
M: So I like this ’cause it kind of does go into all sex-related companies at first.
M: So it says, “As sex workers are not a protected group under U.S. law, companies and institutions have a wide berth when it comes to setting policies to discriminate against people working in sex-related jobs or sex-related companies, everything from full-service sex workers and porn performers to people who make and sell toys or safety products. The U.S. government passed broad legislation that makes it riskier for online services to include sex workers. Called SESTA/FOSTA, the legislation equates all consensual, in-person sex work with trafficking, putting sex workers in danger. It’s been followed by other laws that directly impact peer-led aid groups and direct harm reduction services. While no platforming is often referred to as a possible tactic against extreme racism or fascism, it’s possible the removal of sex workers from the internet is the best example of this idea in practice.”
L: That’s great. That makes total sense.
L: Another thing that made me think of it I read this recently and it was something I hadn’t thought about, is that, you know, all of the cash app services
L: we use, you know, Venmo, the Cash App, etc., all of those came about as ways for sex workers
L: to get paid for their services and now most sex workers are kicked off
L: of things like that, platforms like that, which is just like bullshit, and a thing that is important to remember when we’re all like giving each other ten dollars for coffees
L: through Venmo, that a lot of services will not do, like a lot of credit card companies, won’t work with sex workers.
M: Yeah, so I have my own Patreon, and there was a while when it was actually enough money to pay my rent, and I got kicked off twice, right when that happened.
L: Mmhm. Do you lose all your money when you get kicked off?
M: They don’t give it to you like, they’re supposed to do it on the first.
M: If you’ve been kicked off, they will hold it
M: until you go back into their guidelines.
M: And I’m assuming that, I don’t really know, ’cause they have let me back both times, and I’ve had to completely change everything that I do there. I’m assuming that at some point they will just release you your money and say like, now you can’t come back to this platform.
M: But I know that when it happens, people have said like, you know, we rely on this
L: Of course.
M: to hit our accounts by the 7th, and that’s what I might use for my rent, but then you don’t get it until like the 21st or whenever they decide that you’re back in compliance with their things. And they don’t tell you like exactly what you did.
M: So you can’t really be sure. You’re just in this waiting game of, well, are they gonna let me stay or not? And so many people stopped using Patreon.
M: And I still have mine and I feel like if it happens again, I will not use it anymore for that,
M: ’cause there are a ton of other sites. But just, yeah, so there’s been so many frustrating things that have happened, but again, like realizing that that’s still a lot safer than what other people have to deal with.
M: But it’s just like, I don’t know, I can’t, I can’t believe all this stuff that’s happening with that.
L: No, I
M: I wanted to see if there were any other good quotes in here.
L: I mean, I think it’s – if you see something that’s awesome – but I think otherwise that like
L: people can, people can do a little bit of research
L: if they want. Another thing that I remember I was talking about and so, let me know if we’ve talked about it on the podcast or not, was the idea- I think we didn’t talk about it. I think we just talked about it in person, but was the idea of what is it like and I mean I can answer a little bit of this for myself,
L: but I definitely wanna ask you ’cause you’re closer to this right now,
L: doing sex work primarily for straight men
L: as a queer woman.
M: Oh. I think I’ve talked a little bit about my struggles around this is that most sex workers have a fake name that they can use
M: and because I got outed and I use my real name, it’s been like a really big identity crisis at some points for me. (laughs)
M: And I sometimes wish that I could use a different name and I could just like wear that hat and then put it away.
L: Mm. Mmhm.
M: But because I, all of my like, you know, when I first started doing anything sex-related, I was with a different blog and then I would cam with someone else sometimes and like, I used a fake name and then now being myself, but like also being the same name when I talk about my mom’s murder, being the same,
L: Of course.
M: it feels- It’s, I’ve had to really tell myself that when I’m doing camming and when I’m doing stuff, I’m acting.
M: Even though some parts of it are me.
L: Of course.
M: I’m acting. And so it’s weird to like use my same name and to use my image that I use when I’m talking about other things.
M: Like that has been a struggle, but
L: Like harder to compartmentalize.
M: And then it also, I’ve met so many cool people and I have not really had that many people be like, “Oh, you’re just a lesbian.” Like, “You’re-” You know, I’ve had people who like write things like, “Kill yourself fag,” and like weird things and I’m just like…
L: (makes disgusted noises)
M: But most of the time I have been lucky that I find people who are like, “I’ve read your blog and I know what you do and I’ve like heard of your podcast, it’s called Queers Next Door” (laughs)
L: (laughs) Right.
M: So it’s not like you’re fooling me about your sexuality,
M: but like, “What does queer mean? Oh cool. Now let’s talk about this sexy thing.”
M: And so I think that they are, you know, most people who understand what they’re getting into, they can do that too. We can all play around. This is like a fantasy, you know.
L: Yeah. Well and also just for folks who are like maybe new to the podcast or don’t know everything, Megan do you want to tell us like what kind of sex work you do?
L: Like you primarily cam, right?
M: Yes. I cam and I do sexting, sometimes phone sex, make clips, and have subscription sites, where like so they’ll buy nudes, you can buy like panties, bras, stuff like that.
L: Do you, you do all your clips solo these days?
L: Uh huh.
M: Yeah, I don’t do anything, I don’t shoot with anyone.
M: I’ve talked about it or thought about it, but it just doesn’t seem like it will work for me.
L: It’s a logistical thing, just like anything else.
M: Yeah. (laughs) Yeah, but, so yeah, most of the clients are, I would say cis men.
M: Although since doing the podcast, I’ve had a lot more bisexual men,
M: which I’m excited about, because it’s like, you know, “Oh, you know, this is hot,” and, “Let’s do these like sexual roleplay kinds of things,” or, “I want to watch you do this,” but then I also want to say, like, “Oh, you really helped me to come to terms with my bisexuality,” and then I’m just like,
M: like maybe I just masturbated in front of them and I’m like, “Oh my gaaaawd!” (laughs)
L: “I wanna hug you.”
L: No, that’s so sweet though. Like that makes me feel like that’s, that’s really
M: Yes. And then there’s, I feel like, there’s also, because of the payment stuff, like Cash App and PayPal,
M: I get so many people who like will not listen to my boundaries about being paid. I’m like, “If you want something, you have to pay me through these sites”
M: “and not PayPal or Cash App.” And they’re like, “No. Just like like send me that. It’s so easy. I’m gonna pay you.” And I’m like, “Nope.” And even Amazon, I’ve heard Amazon, if people send you gift cards that they can take them away and like not ever give you your balance, so…
L: Because of, because it’s through sex work?
M: So I’m just
L: I mean I’m not like shocked anytime Amazon does something garbage.
L: But, still.
M: Yeah. So it’s just so, I feel like that’s something that new girls who are, or people, not just girls, new people who are entering into this need to be aware of, because you’ll get people who will be like, “I’m gonna send you, you know, like $500 on Cash App” and you might see it, but it doesn’t mean you’re ever gonna get it.
M: They could report you still, so all those things get..
L: Is Cash App, are those two of the big ones that don’t, that are pretty strict, is PayPal and Cash App?
M: I mean, yes, but I hear people use Cash App all the time, so I don’t know like what makes it work for someone versus someone else.
M: But I try to just have, like not accept anything through that anymore. I don’t at all because again, I’m always the person who like, if something bad’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen to me, so (laughs) I’m not. There are ways to, you know, you can go around it, like OnlyFans and SextPanther. A lot of sites like that have an option for tipping.
M: And I think those banks are not based in the U.S.
L: Got it.
M: So it’s a lot safer to like do some research about how you can accept payments. And the cam sites are always good too.
M: But you’ll get a lot of people who will say like, they’ll find you on cam and say like, “Can I schedule a Skype thing with you” and pay you through this way?
M: And I used to try to be very accommodating to that and now I’m just like, “No.” (laughs) “This is- you found me HERE. This is where we need to do this.” So…
L: I, the few times I encountered that, the Skype thing just, just feels too scammy.
L: Like it’s usually people, like it’s not say no one is ever doing that the right way, but it seems like an attempt to scam
L: tends to happen always through- Scammers like Skype,
L: for whatever reason, I’ve noticed.
M: Yeah, they do. To me, it’s just like time wasting. People just love to come in and waste your time and
M: like figure, and just like, I don’t get why you wanna talk to me about scheduling something, you know, like, wasting my time that way.
L: Uh huh.
M: What are you getting from it? Except maybe they just really do want to talk to someone. I don’t know.
L: I think, yeah. I mean, I wonder about that, the same time, the same way I feel about people who are even looking for, I mean, this happened to me when I, I did use to cam a little bit, and it happened when I used to cam, but also happens with sex coaching, which I think I’ve talked about here, is like, people who will just call me up and just like wanna talk about their stuff, but they never want to schedule or they want to go back and forth about scheduling and about money and you’re like, is this a power trip?
L: Is this
L: Like are you just bored? Are you lonely? Are you getting off on like stressing me out? Are like, yeah.
L: I don’t know. Are you angry at women and like
M: (laughs) Yeah.
L: just taking it out on me by being like just a pain in the ass? I don’t know.
L: I mean, that’s one of the reasons why like I don’t provide my phone number on the internet,
L: so if someone is interested in seeing me as a coaching client, they have to send me an e-mail
L: through my website. Yeah.
M: And you get a lot of, I hear this from everyone who does any sex work online, that there are so many people who will talk to you or be like, “How do I buy this and this and this?” and then right before, and you tell them, and then they’re like, “Well, actually, why would I pay for this? Why would I pay for this if I could, you know, like blah blah blah.” Or then they’ll find me on Snapchat and be like, “Oh can like- Do you want to play around?” And I’m like, “You can text me on SextPanther.” And they’re like, “Here works too.”
L: No. It doesn’t.
M: And I’m like, “No. It doesn’t.” Because I get so frustrated because I get that there are people who will do it for free. There are like chats and stuff like that.
L: That’s fine.
M: But like go on Reddit and find it. Like don’t find cam girls and sex workers and expect that they’re just gonna like, because you’re so great, or, you know, ugh.
M: Yeah. I don’t know.
L: And any guy that’s ever called me and asked for masturbation coaching as a coach, which is basically like, “Will you watch me jerk off”
L: “and tell me how to do it or tell me what I’m doing wrong?” I always say, “That is a real and legitimate thing. Find a cam girl and pay her well.”
L: That is someone’s job.
L: And you’ve gotta pay for it.
L: And it’s not me, but if it was me you would also have to pay me for it, so
L: Have you done any, I’m just interviewing you now. Have you done any other kinds of sex work in the past? Or is this kind of
M: No. I mean, like I guess nothing I can really talk about.
M: I don’t know. I don’t, maybe it’s just because like I’ve been doing some form of sex work online for like maybe two and half years or so
L: Uh huh.
M: and it started with camming and then now I’m back at that even though I took like a long time of not camming.
M: I did not feel like it was as dangerous before as I do now, like I will not do anything in person, but there was a time a few years ago, like Craigslist, that was
M: a thing.
M: I would be more inclined to meet people there and even if I never had sex with them, like there wasn’t sex and money being exchanged, but there would be like other things that are similar.
M: Now I’m like, “Holy shit. That was dangerous, and I could have probably gotten in a lot of trouble.” Or trying to help other, see I don’t even know, am I allowed to say that? Trying to do things with other sex workers through craigslist.
L: Oh, that’s a good point. I didn’t even think about- I mean, we’re fine, but like
M: Yeah, it’s just like I’m very aware of like people using it to find people like that and to get them in trouble, you know.
L: Well right, and like so when I was, so I did, I worked at a dungeon about four years ago, three and a half, just for about six months, but I did some other sex work like in that kind of year or so, including some camming. I also did some like SeekingArrangement and like What’sYourPrice.
L: Mostly just dates like so no sex, but like pay, like I’d get a hundred dollars and someone would take me out to lunch,
L: which is like kind of the easiest thing in the world but also like, you know, you can’t judge why people need companionship, but sometimes it’s people who are terribly, terribly awkward and uncomfortable and so, you know, sitting next to somebody who is like sweating just to talk
L: like at lunch can be really hard but also it can feel really nice because somebody
L: like- I went on a few actual like dates at, there was an older man really wanted to go to a, like a big art convention, see a bunch of art, and so, and like the tickets weren’t that expensive, but whatever they were. They were like $30-$50, but it wasn’t something I was just gonna go do.
L: But like, you know, he bought my ticket, we hung out, and he paid me. And we ended up meeting up again one time, and I went and jumped on trampolines with him at one of those trampoline places. (laughs)
M: That’s so cute.
L: ‘Cause he had a groupon and he was looking for a date and then he didn’t find one but he was like, “Will you go with me?” And so he paid me to go jump on trampolines with him, which sounds a little like sexier, even in that sense of like, ooh watching girls jump on trampolines. But I was so out of breath and he is like 8-, like 25 years olders than me and was like,
L: just all over it, and I was like in the corner, like (makes gasping noises)
L: Like just gross and covered in sweat. But like, yeah, I did a little bit of that. But I think you’re right. I think those places. So What’sYourPrice is, for people who don’t know, is one of those like, basically you name a price and then someone accepts or doesn’t. And it’s to meet up, you know, not for sexual services, although that often can come out of it
L: but it doesn’t have to. And then SeekingArrangement is a site that is like sugar baby/sugar daddy kind of site.
M: Are they still around, with everything?
L: They are still around.
M: I’ve heard horrible things about them, that there’s been so many dangerous situations that have come from people meeting there. So I used to have an account but I never met up with anyone and I never did it, but I always thought that that would be something that I would like too.
L: I did meet somebody through SeekingArrangement once, who was vey nice, but I think you’re right. I think, looking back at that, I just was lucky
L: that the person felt safe and that I like, I don’t know, like I trusted my gut. My thoughts on any of that kind work, not my thoughts, my advice, I don’t know, is like, any time I’ve had friends do it like recently, I’ve had people give me like the name of the person. Like if you’re gonna go out on a date with somebody, whether it’s a working date
L: or a regular date with a stranger, and by stranger I mean man,
L: not all other people are safe, but, you know, that’s unfortunately kind of the case, is that like, get, share that information with someone,
L: you know, where you’re going, what the person’s name is or a link to their profile and whatever site you met them on or their craigslist ad or whatever it is, you know. Let somebody know when you get in, when you get home. But you’re right. I think that that stuff’s a lot scarier now.
M: Mmhm. And because of these things, like FOSTA/SESTA, sex workers who are, you know, consensual sex workers, they have not been trafficked,
M: they’re doing this as their choice for whatever reason, you know, ’cause people, they’ll like argue about that, “Are you really free to make that choice under today’s patriarchy or society?”
M: That’s a whole other thing.
L: Sure. But when we’re talking sex work, we are talking about consensual sex work.
L: We’re not saying that, you may be doing it for survival reasons,
L: but you’re making that choice,
L: versus trafficking.
M: And other jobs too might be, you know, like I’ve hated jobs that I’ve had that I had to do, so like really what’s the difference? It’s…
M: A job is a job. But, why was I saying that? Oh, because of that, sex workers are dying and losing everything and unable to provide for themselves the way that they once were, and it’s just such a shame because it was like packaged in this nice thing about like, “It’s gonna stop trafficking.” And who doesn’t wanna stop trafficking? But horrible, really.
L: But it really doesn’t do anything to stop trafficking.
M: It just makes everything go further underground, right? That’s…
L; And it takes resources away from the things that actually do work to stop trafficking,
L: you know. ‘Cause if you’re putting your money one place, then you’re not putting it in the ways that have been proven to, to identify like known traffickers and places that they take people and, you know, all that kind of stuff.
L: That is not- If your focus is on, you know, shutting down Backpage, what are you doing for actual, like women and girls who are being trafficked ’cause that- It is, it is a huge thing. And it is a huge problem. It doesn’t have anything to do with consensual sex work. That’s the unfortunate
L: conflation there, between the two.
M: Mmhm. I think, another reason, to go back to my tattoo that I’m so excited about
M: is it really made me, doing sex work, it makes you do things that like, in my life, I don’t think I would have ever done.
M: And like I watch myself masturbate all the time
M: because I make videos and then I have to edit them, so (laughs) it made me be comfortable with myself in ways that I never thought I would be. And even things like the faces you make or the noises you make. At first, it was very hard for me to like watch myself back
M: and to do all these things. And now it’s just another part of my, you know, like day-to-day life. I hear so many people who feel very empowered by stuff like that.
M: And I think it’s, sex workers are like hustlers, you know, in the best way.
M: Like they know how to promote themselves. They have to learn everything, like business management, communicating with people in a professional way, how to like direct a conversation to go where you need it to go without wasting your time, like so many skills that are so… Other people don’t realize like how much goes into it.
L: Yeah, and how many skills, yeah, don’t have that much to do, outwardly, with sex?
L: When I worked, I worked as a professional submissive, and like, so, in the kind of positive, empowering way, it let me help, it helped me explore like what my own kinks and fetishes and interests were
L: in a way that, you know, I might not have had access to all of those, all the different things I might want to try,
L: if I didn’t have, if I wasn’t in a setting where, you know, like all, there was a wall of toys, you know,
L: and there were a bunch of other women that worked there that could talk about what they were into. And so it was, it was empowering on like my kink journey,
L: and it was really awesome to, just to work with a bunch of other women and gave me this feeling of like, you know, being in theatre or being in a sorority or being at a boarding school, or whatever these things are that like groups of women do that I hadn’t had that experience in my life. I mean, I did go to an all-girls high school but I didn’t have that like the camaraderie in the same way.
L: And like, so that was awesome. Like it was really cool being around the other people that worked there. But I also learned some skills in like, I learned how to really clearly communicate my boundaries,
L: how to say what I would and wouldn’t do to a total stranger, where I’m, you know, I’m in lingerie, and this person’s fully clothed, and we’re in a room, having a conversation, and like I am required to be clear about what I will and will not do, because once you get in the room, you know.
L: It’s not that you can’t stop things. You can absolutely stop things, but, you know, it’s a charged atmosphere, and so you want to feel like you’re in control, because, even as a sub, like the sub’s in control.
L: But it takes some work and some negotiating skills to find a way to talk about that, and I think that was really, really good practice for me.
L: And just, I’ve always been comfortable talking about sex, but it was still a way to practice, like, you know, like regular negotiation.
Dick: Hey everyone. It’s Dick.
Max: And Max.
Dick: The hosts of Off the Cuffs, a kink and BDSM podcast.
Max: A podcast for those in the lifestyle and those who are curious about it.
Dick: Each week we sit down with a different guest to discuss their radioactive spiderbite into kink.
Max: And it gives everybody a chance to express themselves in matters of sexuality.
Dick: And a platform in which to express it.
Max: It’s conversational, it’s educational, and it’s a lot of fun.
Dick: More and more people have been reaching out to us, telling us what they’ve learned about themselves, just from us sharing our stories with each other every week.
Max: So find Off the Cuffs on iTunes or your favorite podcast streaming service.
Dick: And follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ocpkink
M: Kink and BDSM, learning about consent, and negotiation through there has been such a great thing for me
M: with all the struggles I’ve ever had with boundaries and sex and stuff.
M: And I know that it’s not like everyone needs that to get to that place, but for me, it was just like (relieved noise), so, so amazing.
M: I used to want to work in a dungeon but I was advised not to.
L: There are some downsides.
L: There’s a lot of downsides. It was overall a positive experience for me and an interesting experience
L: and often a neutral experience because that’s work, right?
L: You know, if I…the thing that bums me out, but is totally understandable, is that most paid, most consensual paid sex work is obtained by men
L: and paid for by men. And not just men but usually cishet white older men. And I’m not really interested in like sexually performing for men at this point
L: in my life, because I’m not really against doing sex work. What is unfortunate is like, I would like to do more sex work as a queer, for the queer community.
M: Uh huh.
L: But, and I think it’s an interesting question of like, why, why do women and trans folks not pay for sex or for sex work in the same way? Yeah, I mean a lot of it has to do with money. A ton of it has to do with money. But also it’s interest and so I don’t know. I don’t know what the, I don’t know what the like queer sex work utopia looks like.
M: Yeah. I’ve tweeted about this. I would say, “Oh, why is there not a queer camming company?” And the responses that I’ve gotten, mostly from people who are business minded in sex work say, “It would not make enough money”
M: “to keep up with, you know, these other places.” There, I think I see more women supporting sex work. Or being like, I’ve had people who are like, “I don’t really know. I want to give you money but I feel a little awkward about like the exchange of what you’re gonna do.” And I would just, it’s like, you know, you just kind of talk through.
M: Be like, “It’s okay.” (laughs) “It’s just a body. If you don’t, you don’t have to tip me. If you do, I don’t have to do the thing that I normally do for this tip. But also like, it’s okay. We could just do it and see how you feel, you know.” I think that we, I don’t know, sometimes maybe people don’t know how to consume it.
M: Or they don’t know how ethical they feel about it or they don’t know and I try to, like I’ve had, I think I’ve talked about this before, people have found me from talking about my mom’s murder and then watched me cam and told me like they have really mixed feelings about it, and I’m like, I used to feel more responsible about like, holding people’s hand through that.
M: And now I’m just like, it’s, this is- I like what I do.
M: If I didn’t, like I would not talk about something as important as that and attach it to my name. If you find me, you know, it’s up to you however you feel about this. Don’t find me then.
M: But I think there’s so much behind- It’s hard too. I think it’s hard for- There’s so much shame involved in consuming sex work.
M: There is, and even watching porn. And then like most people don’t even realize about the whole, you know, why you should pay for your porn. So there’s so, it feels maybe more like guilty to them if they’re actually gonna go buy something, and then that’s if they even have the money to do so. I see a lot of sex workers supporting each other when they can.
M: And they’ll talk about it. They’ll be like, “Oh. I bought this person’s clip.” And a lot of sex workers are queer, so many. (laughs)
M: And so they are talking about it. They’re making content that is more, or I guess I could say less heteronormative, like
M: I struggled a lot at first with like Jack Off Instructions and Come Eating Instructions because it’s something that I would not do in real life.
M: It doesn’t mean that I can’t do it. But it just doesn’t come naturally, you know.
L: Yeah. Of course.
M: And so now that I’m like, “Okay. I’ve done it and I feel like practiced and it’s like a script in a way.”
L: Yeah. Of course.
M: I also feel like, “Oh, well I want to do-” I still call it Jerk Off Instructions even when it’s not a penis.
L: Yeah, sure.
M: And I think, I like that.
L: Of course.
M: I think that’s hot. But like there, there’s so much happening. There are people doing it already. I just don’t think it’s as mainstream yet, but I imagine if we keep going and like CrashPadSeries
M: is awesome. I love their stuff. That we might get there. It might be better.
L: I think the guilt thing is really interesting because I think that has a lot to do with like yeah, let’s take away the financial side, like the access to money to pay for it. There is that idea of like, men have been socialized to objectify women,
L: and we’ve been told that that’s kind of okay. Like there’s a judgement
L: about sex work but there’s also a like, yeah, but, you know, you still do it.
M: “Men will be men.”
L: And yes. And, “men will be men.”
L: And this is like, of course, all, you know, “all men like porn. All men, you know, would love to, you know, have sex with a woman for money.” Like, all- like there’s this idea that like you maybe pretend you don’t, but you’re into it. There’s not like a cultural script around women, like, there’s not even a cultural script around women liking sex. You know, like we’re THAT far behind in a lot of ways. And so I think, because women are more likely to be objectified in a negative way or victimized, we’re very extra, we’re almost hypervigilant
L: around consent when it comes to other women or nonbinary folks. Like where you’re saying, where you are literally out there like, “This is what I do for a job. It would be awesome if you paid me.” And people are like, “Well, I don’t want to make you show me your butt.”
L: And you’re like, “You’re not.” But like
M: “I like this.”
L: But like where does, but where that comes from is not so much I think not trusting you, but just being like, hyperaware.
M: Right now I wanna find a part-time job and I think when I made the most money, which was not long ago, it’s just so weird how it changes, because working for yourself, there’s so many like challenges to it. When I make the most, I am the most heteronormative.
M: I look the most feminine. I have to really play to the male gaze, you know what I mean,
L: Yeah. Of course.
M: and it does feel not authentic
M: to me, and I, I do have these thoughts about like, “Everyone’s seeing this and it’s not, it doesn’t really reflect how I feel.” And I am not against anyone doing that at all, like however you need to act, whatever you need to do,
L: Of course.
M: it’s a job. But I think right now, what I’m trying to do, is to like have a different job on the side – It could still be in the sex world – but be able to be more authentic to what I want to do
M: because I think if I want to focus on doing more out of the box and more queer stuff, it just doesn’t sell as well, for me.
L: Of course.
M: And I don’t think that’s true for everyone. I just think it’s could… There’s a lot of reasons why they could be for me. But I see people who, like nonbinary sex workers and trans sex workers and the script of like what I say when I’m doing things just because of how I’ve like been, you know, I don’t know how to describe it, versus what I see people doing with like, “This is my-” What was it? “This is my girlcock.”
M: Or like, you know, when, after awhile when they have a more like pronounced clit
M: from taking hormones or something.
M: Then it will, they’ll like make videos and like show that on twitter and stuff and I just think it’s so awesome, and people, because of that, are realizing like, it’s kind of normalizing it in a way.
M: And just, I don’t know, I, and I see people with all different body sizes, all different, like letting their hair grow naturally in places, and like, I don’t know, I just see so many things and I’m like, “Wow. This is so awesome.” I really love what people are doing and how it’s happening, and it makes me excited.
M: And then I feel like me, and probably a lot of people feel like me too, where we’re like, “Oh. We’re kind of stuck in this box of like, needing to be a certain way and how do I get out of it?” I know I can, but I would prefer, like I think that’s where I’m at with my journey right now is like, I want to have another source of income and when I do this I want it to be more enjoyable,
L: That makes sense.
M: but we don’t always, you know, have that ability. And if I can’t find another job, then I’m gonna have to go full force back into what I always do, which is not the worst. (laughs)
L: Well right. And then that question of authenticity in a job because like I would say that if you are doing customer service or sales
L: for a product you don’t believe in, you know, there’s that like, there’s no authenticity there either,
L: and there can even be like a negative feeling about it, or, but then you can find, I don’t know, like it’s not what the work is, whether or not it feels authentic or not.
L: It’s your relationship to it, which is kind of a nice segway to a friend of mine, who is a therapist, just wrote an article for the website The Affirmative Couch, and The Affirmative Couch is, I’m, this is quoting from them, they “support the mental health of sexual, gender, and relationship expansive communities.” So, you know, an inclusive mental health site. And my friend is a therapist who works a lot with sex workers. And they wrote an article called, “Is Sex Work Right for Me?” And their name is Manny Kemphues, and we will link to it in the show notes and all of that and maybe do a little boost on our Instagram, but I think, I think it’s great because if you are a sex worker now or used to be a sex workers or are considering sex work, it’s really nice to have like this article that talks about it as a career path and like kind of whether or not it’s sparking joy for you
L: and whether or not it is the right thing, that is not at all doing it through this like obvious judgemental lens of legality or morality or anything like that. And I think because there is so much of that like cultural stigma around it, you don’t get these kinds of practical emotional like pieces of advice. I don’t know. I thought it was great. I thought it was a great resource and so want to share that with everybody.
M: Yeah! I read it and I liked it too so I’m excited to link to it. And then there’s some other stuff I can link to about like SESTA/FOSTA and what people can do if you have friends who do sex work, you’re queer POC sex working friends, like support them, tip them, if you can and you feel comfortable. Even if not, just send them the money and don’t ask for anything back.
M: Then there’s also really great organizations like SWOP. I know we have SWOP Los Angeles, but I, they’re all over the place so I can link to that.
L: And that’s the Sex Worker Outreach Project.
M: Yes. So you can donate so many things to them, even if it’s not money. They always need other things too. So that’s another way to be helpful.
L: And pay for your porn.
M: And we are, if you want to watch awesome queer porn, we have an affiliate link with CrashPad. It’s on the side banner of our website. So if you sign up from there, we get, I don’t know, probably a few dollars, I don’t know.
L: And CrashPad is queer, trans inclusive porn.
M: Real, like..
L: Real people, real bodies. I mean…
M: Real, not made for the male gaze.
L: Exactly. Not to say that, I’m gonna stop myself because, like, all bodies are real bodies, and so…
L: 100%. But more diverse
M: Yeah. And they tell you, they say, they tell you like what you’re gonna see
M: and then at the end they do… You can click it if you want. It’s not, it doesn’t just come on right after, but a little interview with the performers. And I love that. I think that’s one of my favorite parts is to hear what they say afterward. And they’ll usually ask things like, “How did you feel
M: during the scene? Why did you get into porn?” And it, to me, it’s just again, it’s very normalizing of, you see people sometimes, when you’re watching those tube sites, and you don’t know who they are or what, anything about them. You’re just watching them, and I don’t, to me, it’s like, you don’t even know if they wanted their shit, most people don’t, want their stuff ripped off and put on somewhere else.
M: I just love that, it’s like, they are talking about what they liked about the scene and why they like to work with CrashPad or why they liked porn or how they got into it, and it’s just, I love it. I love that part.
L: And I think that’s especially great for, I think, what I run into a lot with clients and with friends is this idea of, “Oh yeah. I’m cool with porn but I’m so worried it’s not ethical.” You know? And so knowing that you can actually, like, hear the performers speak,
L: rather than just take the word of, you know, whatever large aggregate is telling you that. I don’t know. I think that helps because, you know, we want, we don’t want guilt
L: and shame to be a part of sex. But I think, and I think porn can be a really great masturbatory tool and couples or moreso
M: Or like what do you want to explore by yourself even?
L: Yeah. And help you understand like what you’re into or watch some things and so, just because there’s unethical porn out there, I don’t want that to stop people from really enjoying porn. So pay for it, find out a little bit more about who’s making it.
M: Yeah. And another thing I like to tell people is, you can go on ManyVids, or there’s a ton of other sites like that, but they have such an easy search button.
M: So if you have something, you’re like, “Well, how I support someone?” Like, “How do I support a sex worker and find something new?” Like maybe… They have everything. You can like search burping, farting, fisting, feet, whatever.
L: What is it? Rule fifty-? I can never remember the number. Do you know this?
L: Oh. It’s like there’s a number, rule 54 or whatever, if you’re into something, there is a video of it on the internet, (laughs) is essentially…
M: Mmhm. Yeah.
M: And the clips might be, you know, ten dollars or less, sometimes more if they’re long. But it’s like really not a lot of money and you’re gonna support someone and be able to see something and if you don’t, if you’re not into it, not a big deal, (laughs) you know. Or you can watch it again and again.
L: And there’s such a difference between what we’re into looking at when we’re masturbating, what we’re into fantasizing about, what we’re into doing in real life.
L: Like there can be a huge variation there, which is to explain why, for example, lots of lesbians like gay male porn.
L: You know, that doesn’t mean that that’s the kind of sex they’re having, but yeah. Keep yourself open minded. And very briefly, yeah, on the sites that like steal from sites, I have had my stuff stolen before and it was not a like, it was not an identity, like people finding me or like a negative experience at all. But the really frustrating part was, you know, I did like a Chaturbate scene with a partner
M: Uh huh.
L: and, you know, made very little money, and then someone ripped it and stole it.
L: And like I, that’s my money! You know? And like, even if there’s not other vague consequences, it’s still really frustrating for someone else to be
L: making money off of…
M: I’ve had that happen where someone reposted a Chaturbate show, and they even tagged me in it.
M: And it’s, (disgusted noise) stop.
L: Oh yeah. They did like a scene by scene, like frame by frame
L: of one I did, and you’re just like, “What? Fuckers! Do your own work.”
M: Why? Yeah.
M: Yeah. It’s very frustrating.
M: I had another article that I was trying to read but I can’t find the part, so I’ll just have to link it.
M: Okay. So it’s, this is basically what I was trying to get, to bring it down to a serious
M: level before we go.
L: Let’s do that.
M: (sighs) It’s a great way to end things.
Both: (laugh uncomfortably)
M: “The sex worker community online started to hear about workers going back out on the street and missing their check-in calls. As of April 14, this year , based on anecdotal data passed between us, 13 workers have gone missing and 2 have been confirmed dead. Two workers have been assaulted at gunpoint and I can’t even count how many other stories of rape and assault I’ve heard from people returning to or just learning the streets for the first time. One person has already taken their life because of this legislation. Kicking sex workers off the open internet is the kind of thing many of us once thought couldn’t be possible, the stuff of Margaret Atwood fiction, the laughably bland fantasy of righty wingnuts who can’t grasp what the internet really is or how it works. But, you know, first they came for the sex workers.”
L: That’s a good place to…that gave me chills.
M: Mmhm. So I will link to that. Yeah, because, again, it’s such a hard conversation but also so important, and I know there are so many people out in the world who just don’t know this. It’s not their thing. You know, like they have no idea and they see stuff on the, on the news about trafficking, and everyone’s like, “Cool. We want that to stop.” You know, without realizing the other part. So I’m sure we’ll talk about this again.
L: Yeah. We definitely will.
M: Now that we brought everyone down. (laughs uncomfortably)
L: No, but I think it’s an okay place to end
L: because I think… While I think it’s equally important to normalize like the fun of sex work,
L: because there is, and the banality of it, which is, you know, work is work is work –
L: you’re gonna have bad days or boring days and things like that – it’s also important to remember, like, how vulnerable sex workers are
L: and always have been in this country and how unfortunately that vulnerability is much more apparent right now during this
L: fucking dumpster fire that we’re in right now.
M: Yeah, so I’m definitely gonna link that, but just to say the author, her name is Violet Blue, or their name, I don’t know what their pronouns are. I will put the link, and it’s called Suicide, Violence, and Going Underground: FOSTA’s Body Count.
L: I have actually, I have read that article. Yeah, yep we’ll add that.
M: Yeah. Okay.
L: Okay friends.
M: Deep breaths. Okay. We will see you all soon.
M: Oh. More?
L: No, I was just gonna say, when you said deep breaths. Yeah, if this triggering for you, if this is the kind of, you know, work you do, or you have friends who do this, give yourself a minute. Like feel your feelings.
L: Take some deep breaths. Reach out to organizations like the Sex Worker Outreach Project or to a sex positive therapist or coach
L: and get the support you need.
L: Okay. We love you guys.
M: We do.
L: Thanks for listening to Queers Next Door. We hope you enjoyed it. Be sure to follow, subscribe, and leave a review wherever you listen to your podcasts.
M: If you like what we’re doing, join the Queers Next Door fanclub at patreon.com/queersnextdoor to receive all of our exclusive content, and we’ll mail you a fun little surprise. You can find the link on our blog queersnextdoor.com. Cheers, queers!