Updated: Aug 31, 2022
Last night I got a facetime call from a regular. I just so happened to be on the phone with my mom.
“T is calling…”
“Will you answer it?”
“Selling pussy is like an addiction,” I told her.
If I answered this call, then I’ve answered a call. And if I’ve answered a call then I might as well answer the next one. Or call back the ones I’ve ignored over the past week. Or send a maintenance nude to someone who hasn’t called in a while. If I relapse, even just once, then I’m diving right tf back in.
My inner dialogue goes:
“…I don’t need the money but I could probably make a quick $1,400. Who doesn’t want an extra $1,400? Shiitttttt …nah, but I shouldn’t though. I’m retired. “Retired.” Maybe I’ll just text him to see what he wants, maybe he doesn’t even want coochie, maybe he just calling to see wassup. *my other inner voice* “bitch, you know for a fact he’s calling because he wants some head, why are you lying.?” Fuck. You’re right. I mean, but… Nah, nope. Not doing it. WHY IS SELLING PUSSY ILLEGAL???”
I told my mother how much I love selling ass and being a hoe. In the words of Cardi B: “I could win a million dollars today and I’m still gon strip tomorrow
because I LOVE THAT SHIT. I love lying to niggas. I love shaking my ass for money. "I’M BOUT THAT LIFE.” Sacred texts. Poetry. CAN RELATE.
For the past 6 years my entire existence revolved around full-service sex work (FSSW). How I interacted with and approached men. The friends I had/have. My finances. My social life. How I related to my body and value. All of it has been about FSSW.
Last year I realized all the opportunities being presented to me and the apparent course of my career meant FSSW probably wasn’t the best line of work for me anymore. Not so much because I can’t be a public hoe (it’s GANG GANG till I die, bitch), more so because prostitution is illegal (decrim decrim DECRIM). So, I made the decision (realization?) that by engaging in this work, I’m putting my life (and my life’s work) at risk.
I told myself, “it’s time for Raquel Savage to hang up her hoe bag.”
I set an arbitrary deadline (I even announced it publicly so that yall could hold me accountable). Similar to any other addiction, I spent the next few months binging – except, instead of cocaine (well, there was a tad bit of coke. Just a dollop skjijkijsjs) my drug of choice was FSSW. Or rather, the money I earned from FSSW. I spent nights sucking mad dick (like, literally overnights, whereas I usually dipped after an hour). Attended events I typically wouldn’t have or, at the least, not at the frequency I typically would have. I baited, hooked and met with new clients and negotiated the highest rates possible with everyone, almost like a, “going out of business sale” but instead of a sale, the demand was increased.
I sucked, I fucked and twerked my little heart out because this was my last time selling pussy, “I’m getting out the game” I kept telling myself.
Fast forward to my retirement date and I …retired. Or shall I say, “retired.” It was more of a phasing out than a cold turkey kinda retirement. I literally just could not conceptualize not doing FSSW. I quickly realized the only friends I had/have are hoes – if I wasn’t selling coochie with them, then what was left of our friendship? My entire social life revolved around being a slut, chasing niggas, getting money… rinse, repeat. I tried going to events and not selling pussy. Fail. I tried hanging out with hoes and not talking about work. Fail. There was nothing left.
Moreover, I kept hitting a wall with men: how tf was I supposed to interact with them?? Two things.
my entire worth was (and still is, in part) defined by my ability to earn money from, mostly wealthy, men and the subsequent high that gave me.
I kept asking myself, without FSSW, am I supposed to engage with men FOR FREE?? Like, completely free? Like, no rate, no allowance, no gifts, no perks?? And how exactly does that even fit into my life?? How does that serve me?
And worse, what the hell would this mean for my sex life? In a way, not doing FSSW where clients don’t really prioritize my pleasure or orgasm was a relief. In another way, it was extremely terrifying because that meant one of two things. I either had to learn how to have sex with men for free who don’t prioritize my orgasm or take on the task of finding men who do. Further, what the fuck do I even want from sex? Holy shit.
My phasing out looked, first, like not accepting new clients. I kept my regulars but no newbies. Then, I condensed my regulars to just niggas who spend consistently. Not the clients who were in Detroit or Cali or New York, who were only here for summers or weekend trips. For a while, I just had my Miami regulars.
And finally, I started to set boundaries. It took practice. Even saying the words, “I’m retiring” or “I’m not doing meet-ups anymore” made me ache (one regular replied, “retiring? Stop playing. I’m tryna buy the head off your shoulders”). But I practiced until I could actually follow through with what I was saying. Not choke on the words as they left my mouth.
The most difficult part of retiring had less to do with the men and the money (I acknowledge my privilege in this regard) and more to do with me. After following a strict, “no free fucking” policy for over half a decade, I had done so little work around what my needs were, both emotionally and sexually. Although I had relationships or play things here and there, my entire praxis revolved around FSSW standards which left hardly any room for exploring what the fuck I actually wanted or the larger meaning around a lot of shit.
I’m damn near 30 and this will be the first year of my life where I’m approaching all my interpersonal relationships with me at the forefront. I certainly won’t be unethically selfish however, I will approach relationships with a level of clarity that I haven’t been able to previously. There will be no background noise from FSSW rules and regulations (more specifically, the meanings and messages I assign to what those rules and regulations mean about my worth). I will constantly ask myself, “what do I need from this person? In what ways do I want this relationship to serve me? How can I best feel seen, heard and held?”
While I had years of practice re: free sex before FSSW, sport-fucking isn’t exactly sex that “centered and prioritized my orgasm.” Now, I’m going to spend my evenings fantasizing about what turns me on, what gives me pleasure, what dynamics feel sexy and safe to me, and what kind of touch I desire. Knowing that all my sexual encounters will be for the free.99 will also prompt me to comprehensively vet and engage potential partners – “does my orgasm matter to you? Will you take the time to center my pleasure?” are questions I have been and will continue to ask people. Also in practice is sticking to my boundaries and advocating for myself. Being a woman, being a Black woman, being a Black woman FSSW absolutely did not build the skills necessary to say, “nah, I don’t like that” or “do this instead” or “hey, member when I said I wasn’t comfortable with…” or “I DESERVE THIS.”
I want to end this by saying that I regret nothing. Not the free, sport-fucking I did all throughout high school and college. Not the big spender, little spender, cash app, “do you have Zelle?” encounters. I’m okay with the fact that I spent my teens and 20’s doing what felt right to me at the time (or sometimes, what didn’t feel right but it’s what I knew, so I stuck with familiarity). Additionally, I do not feel critical or superior to anyone who is currently deep into sport-fucking or cash shit.
Know that. I also recognize people have the option to do this work, reflecting and prioritizing pleasure-centered shit, while doing sex work (no one scenario will match mine or needs to match mine).
Anyway, I’m still selling ass on Onlyfans so it’s still RUN UP A CHECK SZN round here. And that’s on period.
Things to think about:
Whether you’re a sex worker or not, there are a few concepts within this piece that are great for everyone to think about. Mainly, exploring your own emotional, spiritual, sexual, etc. needs and how they can be met. This starts by having conversations with yourself about what exactly your needs are, which can be difficult if you are someone who has been socialized not to have any or to prioritize everyone else’s over yours. So, spend some time thinking about what you need. What makes you feel good and whole. What makes you feel authentic and embodied. Keep in mind, these things may evolve – this exploration isn’t a one-time thing, it’s ongoing.
Also, begin to think about communicating your needs. This involves more than just you. Advocating for yourself may be a skill you’ll need to build, do it. Work on it, slowly. Be kind to yourself if you find it difficult to speak up for yourself. Keep reminding yourself that you deserve to have your needs met and getting them met, in part, requires you to put your big panties on lol. Additionally, start thinking about partners (or friends or co-workers, etc.) who listen – recognize who in your life is willing to honor your boundaries. Perhaps, you can have a conversation about what they need in order to feel seen, heard and affirmed which can prompt you to reciprocate that information. If you can, phase out everyone who doesn’t honor your boundaries and surround yourself with people who contribute to you being the best version of yourself.