He knew I was a sex worker. It says so, right in my own Bumble profile: retired media whore, current actual whore.
He'd even commented on it, using what every woman longs to hear from the romantic interest:'Haha, nice
'. And yet I watched as his face contorted into an expression of disgust, his upper lip curling as the reality of my profession came crashing down around him such as for instance a tonne of bricks.
"That is clearly a lot," he said, and then he rolled 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 real life 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 is like hours.
It's not common that the physical and emotional experiences we have at the job would be enough to make up for a potential not enough intimate connection inside our lives beyond work; so many of us also date, with varied quantities of success.
A few months ago, I ended a connection with a man I have been seeing for nearly two years. In private, he was an enormous supporter of me working, but around his colleagues and friends his tune seemed to change. He'd introduce me, but hesitate in describing our relationship; when he explained, "This is Kate..." the silence that hung in the space where, "...my girlfriend," should have now been weighed a tonne.
I don't genuinely believe that he personally had a trouble with me being truly a sex worker, but I actually do feel that the chance of other people judging me – and then judging him if you are with me – was enough to create him want to keep me a secret.