This person knew I was a sex worker. It says so, right in my own Bumble profile: retired media whore, current actual whore.
He had even commented on it, using the language every woman longs to know from the romantic interest:'Haha, nice
'. And yet I watched as his face contorted directly into an expression of disgust, his upper lip curling as the reality of my profession came crashing down around him such as a tonne of bricks.
"That is a lot," he said, and then he rolled on to his back and stared at the ceiling. I didn't hear from him again.
It sometimes surprises people to know that sex workers do a number of normal people activities, like working other jobs, studying, taking the bins out. We exist in actuality after our shifts end and the red light is flicked off; we have dinner with this families and shop at K-Mart and wait on hold with your internet service providers for what feels as though hours.
It's not common that the physical and emotional experiences we have at the job would be enough to replace a possible lack of intimate connection inside our lives outside of work; so many of us also date, with varied degrees of success.
A few months ago, I ended a connection with a person I had been seeing for pretty much two years. In private, he was a huge supporter of me working, but around his colleagues and friends his tune seemed to change. He would introduce me, but hesitate in describing our relationship; when he explained, "That is Kate..." the silence that hung in the room where, "...my girlfriend," should have now been weighed a tonne.
I don't believe he personally had a trouble with me being a sex worker, but I really do genuinely believe that the possibility of other folks judging me – and then judging him if you are with me – was enough to produce him want to help keep me a secret.