Are You Struggling to Reconcile Sex-Based Work with Other Aspects of Your Life?
Are you having difficulty reconciling your work in the sex industry with other aspects of your life, such as intimate relationships, values, beliefs, kids, and/or your extended family? Do you sometimes feel like you have to be dishonest about what you do, especially if you have children or come from a conservative background, which makes you feel guilty or ashamed? Perhaps you experienced sexual abuse in the past and/or engage in compulsive sexual behavior now, and you are curious about a potential connection between past and current experiences and your work in the sex industry. Or maybe you are struggling with depression, anxiety, grief, or the after-effects of attachment wounds or trauma and want to find a therapist who understands the sex industry and will not pass judgment or focus sessions on your work rather than your current pain. Do you sometimes feel unsafe in your work or, on the flip-side, empowered by it, and want to explore options, feelings, and possibilities for your future within a safe, compassionate, and confidential space? Underneath it all, do you want to feel loved and supported by the people closest to you for all who you are, regardless of what you do?
Open-Minded and Understanding Counseling for Sex Workers
It is easy to feel isolated and alone when engaging in sex-based work, especially because some aspects are not legal and others are not commonly talked about. Whether you are an erotic dancer, escort/prostitute, erotic masseuse/masseur, involved in pornography/porn actor, or engaged in another sex-based profession, there are often stigmas around this kind of work, making it difficult to share experiences and feelings with family and friends outside of the industry. Even though prostitution is the oldest profession in the world–and is so for a reason–some current, stereotypes and judgments can make it hard to feel empowered and open about an important part of your life.
People choose sex-based work for a variety of reasons. Although somer percentage of sex workers do have suffering around attachment and past trauma, attachment wounds and trauma are far from the only driving force for entering the industry. The potential for flexible scheduling and financial gain make it an attractive option for college students and parents. It can also be exciting work, allowing the opportunity to explore a different kind of lifestyle, including access to travel and interesting experiences.
While there are benefits to this type of work, issues concerning safety, how to share your experience with friends and family members, potential substance abuse, guilt, and shame often come up. And, these issues can be compounded if you are dealing with confusion around your sexuality or intimate relationships, trauma, anxiety, or depression and/or feel isolated and fear being judged.
The good news is that you are not alone. If you are struggling with issues connected to your work, sexuality, attachment style, sexual trauma/abuse, and/or compulsive sexual behavior, or are looking for a sex-positive, open-minded therapist, I can help.
Sex Worker-Friendly Therapy Can Provide You with Insights, Support, and Guidance
I offer a safe, confidential space for you to talk through anything and everything related to your life, feelings, thoughts, challenges, goals, and profession. While I have not worked directly in the sex industry, as a sex-positive, gay male, I know many people who have and do. I hold no judgment. In fact, I think this work can be an empowering form of sexual expression.
Depending on your history, personality, values, needs, and therapy goals, we will engage in a strategy that best addresses and supports you as a unique individual. If you feel uncomfortable about aspects of your work, we can challenge and change the way you relate to it. You can accept your choices, make peace with your experience, and gain awareness about any attachment issues or past or current trauma that may be unresolved. If you are living a “double life,” I am someone you can tell your whole story to, which can help to bring some continuity to your sense of self. You can explore what it would be like to integrate all parts of yourself and find empowerment in your decision to do this work. If needed, I can also help you have difficult conversations with loved ones. Together, we can help them accept and even find comfort in the choice you have made.
We can also explore and address any issues that you have, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, or relationship problems, in a way that does not repeatedly bring it back to your work. While what you do is a big part of your life, it does not define who you are. I see all my clients–regardless of what brings them to therapy–as whole individuals.
I truly enjoy working with people from all industries, backgrounds, sexual orientations, and gender expressions. I believe that all forms of sex can be safe and nourishing when practiced mindfully. And, with guidance, support, and a safe place to talk through your thoughts and feelings, you can build self-awareness, feel empowered in the work you choose to do, and thoughtfully explore and resolve past challenges or pressing issues. It is possible to bring clarity to who you are, what you truly want, and how you manifest in the world.
You still may have questions or concerns about THerapy for sex workers...
I am engaged in sex work that is not legal. I am concerned that sharing my experience–even with a therapist–could get me into trouble.
Confidentially extends to sex work. I am only bound to break confidentiality if an issue arises concerning child abuse, elder abuse, or imminent harm to yourself or others. Outside of these particular circumstances, I adhere to strict guidelines of confidentiality and provide a safe, secure space for you to talk through anything and everything related to your work and other aspects of your life.
I tried therapy in the past, and it was not helpful. In fact, it felt like the therapist focused on my profession as the root cause of all my challenges.
I see you as a whole person, and do not believe that work based around sex is directly connected to mental health issues. Rather, I see what you do as a part of who you are, but just a part. In sessions, we can talk about your work if you choose to or feel like you need to, but it does not have to inform the entire therapy process. Essentially, what we focus on in therapy is up to you. My role is to offer support and serve as a trusted guide as you work through challenges, create acceptance and peace, and move toward reaching both personal and professional goals.
I am not struggling with any major issues, and I actually enjoy what I do. Could therapy still help me?
While you might not have hang-ups around the work you do and/or attachment issues or past trauma, therapy can still be incredibly valuable and is often enjoyable. I offer a safe space for you to explore anything and everything, be it a general curiosity about sexuality to relationship issues and personal values. Almost everyone can benefit from added support in their lives, and an effective, trusting therapy relationship often leads to increased confidence, connection with others, and feelings of empowerment.
FROM THE BLOG
You can live an empowered, whole, and healthy life. You do not have to continue to navigate questions, uncertainty, and feelings of unease around sex-based work on your own. I provide sex therapy in Denver, Colorado. I invite you to email me to discuss how we could best work together and answer any questions you have about my counseling services, or log in to schedule an appointment.
-Scott Church, MA, LPC