So, what do you do?

About 6 months ago I made the decision to completely stop lying about what I do for a living.

It wasn’t a particularly drastic change. It’s no secret among my friends and family, and among strangers I was honest a majority of the time. Occasionally, though, I’d lie to avoid the discomforting, awkward feeling that comes from dealing with someone else’s disapproval. I am not ashamed of what I do, but that doesn’t mean I always want to be in that situation.

It can be difficult interacting with new people when you have my job. In just the first few minutes of meeting someone that question is inevitably asked,

“So, what do you do?”

It’s barely enough time for that person to form any kind of opinion of who you are. In fact, it’s a question that’s typically asked to help form that opinion.

One of my bigger hang-ups in life is that it’s a little too important to me that I’m seen to others as a competent, well-adjusted person. Those aren’t exactly common attributes most people think of when they picture someone in the adult industry or freaky niche fetish world. I often wish the question of my vocation came up after a person got to know me more.

The decision to stop lying all together came from this: I came to the conclusion I was trading a brief discomfort for prolonged anxiety. We are social creatures, when people you’d otherwise get along with think poorly of you because of your job–or any reason–it can feel shitty. What I eventually found was worse, however, was the anxiety that came from trying to decide whether or not this new person I know nothing about could “handle” the truth. I had only the shortest amount of time before they asked me that inevitable question. It was an anxiety that didn’t feel quite as bad as one’s negative judgments can, but it lasted longer and it occurred no matter what.

The other reason is this: whenever I chose to lie it meant I was starting off a relationship in a disingenuous way. In fact, I was pretty much making the decision then and there that I wouldn’t get too close to that person to avoid ever having to admit that I lied. It made every word exchanged with them empty and meaningless. Sometimes when I gained more knowledge of a person, I’d come to find out that I misjudged them, that I would have been just fine telling them the truth and that I could have had a more meaningful and worthwhile interaction with them.

While I was in Vegas for AVN last January I needed a manicure. I booked an appointment at the hard rock with a sweet, soft-spoken woman in her mid 40s. She was the perfect example of someone who I’d otherwise lie to; she seemed innocent and conservative. If she wore pearls, I could picture her clutching them. Furthermore, I was stuck with her for at least an hour and then I’d likely never see her again. It would have been very easy to just make something up. If I was honest and she reacted poorly, it could have been a very long, awkward hour I’d be kicking myself for, but I decided to take the risk.

I’m glad I did.

The result was probably the greatest conversation I’d ever had with a nail technician. She was intrigued, asked me the usual questions; how did I start? Does this pay the bills? What are some of the craziest fetishes? Do guys really like this? Really?

Then she began reflecting on her own life; she grew up sheltered, married and had kids when she was young because, “that’s just what you did.” She was now divorced and in a serious relationship. She seemed relatively content in life, but probably would done a few things differently to enjoy more of her youth if she could.

Then she started asking me questions about her boyfriend who wanted to be spanked. She didn’t understand why he always brought it up whenever she was mad at him. I explained why that was undoubtedly intentional on his part and that it might be rather cathartic for her. She told me she felt so enlightened.

Not all interactions have gone this well, of course. During Thanksgiving last year I had the joyous opportunity to explain my work to some of my step dad’s older, straight laced relatives. I wanted to lie. I really, really did. But it seemed silly to. I see them once a year at most; they are of extremely little relevance to my life. Why should their response be of any concern to me?

When I made the choice to be honest, the anxiety I felt in anticipation to them asking me “where I work these days” immediately went away because I knew exactly what I’d say.

To my surprise, it was painless. A few of them reacted with shock and awkward laughter, but I found it really didn’t bother me in the ways that it might have in the past. Others reacted in ways I didn’t expect; totally normal, respectful, and even coming to my defense to those who were shocked. I realized I had truly misjudged many of them and felt humbled and delighted to alter my previous judgments.

Afterwards my sister had told me that my mom (who knows what I do, but doesn’t talk about it) seemed relieved by my honesty. Apparently she had been struggling with the same anxiety I had; dodging their questions about me, not sure how to answer them when they asked where I was working. My sister appropriately told her that she should tell them to just ask me themselves.

I, too, felt a tremendous sense of relief that thanksgiving. What would have otherwise been of evening of me tight stomached and antisocial; avoiding people but inevitably having pointless, insincere conversations that I’d desperately want to end. I would have been worried about keeping up with whatever lie I told them and silently stressing over whether or not someone else would accidentally contradict it somehow.

And for what?

I don’t mean to make myself out to look particularly brave for making this decision.  I’m very lucky in a lot of ways that makes it relatively easy; I live in an incredibly liberal city, I have a rock solid social support system, I spend my money in responsible adult-like ways that “legitimizes” my work in the eyes of others (buying houses, college education, etc), and I work in a facet of the adult industry that much of society deems considerably less degrading than others.

Plenty of women in adult industry (strippers, porn stars, escorts, dominatrix’s, etc) face serious consequences for being honest; ostracism, prosecution, job loss, child loss, abuse, etc. I don’t blame anyone for keeping secrets when there’s good reason to. For me, however, those reasons just didn’t apply and I found the benefits of telling the truth have far outweighed the drawbacks.

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15 Responses to So, what do you do?

  1. Dickie Stroker says:

    I dated a stripper when I was younger and understand, somewhat, the problems with living the dual life. There was always a lot of anxiety trying keep our stories consistent and both of us having to always be aware of who knew what. A simple question from a friend or relative like ‘where did you two meet?’ would sometimes leave us struggling to remember which story we were suppose to tell.

    I’m glad to hear you’re dealing with it in such a rational and mature way but the truth is thats what I’d expect you to do. I don’t know you well but you’ve always really impressed me as someone with her head firmly on her shoulders. A polar opposite to so many who work in the Adult world.
    I hope you continue to have such positive experiences!

    Dickie.

  2. Jeff says:

    “The decision to stop lying all together came from this: I came to the conclusion I was trading a brief discomfort for prolonged anxiety. ” – Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  3. james says:

    I suppose with less riding on an adverse outcome especially where children are concerned, You being open is less of a risk. Ditto that Your core job is this and not a moonlighting gig. If You were a high-ranking employee of a firm, they would probably cry foul of You bringing them into disrepute! However, the deeper point You so eloquently make is about cutting to the core of being honest with those who You are in contact with and that can only be a good thing. Great piece! Thanks.

    • Vivian says:

      I most definitely understand where you are coming form since I am a sex worker myself. It was a pleasure to read something that isn’t complete utter bullshit, but is very honest and real. Even more so, this writing highlights issues most people in this line of work can deal with when living a dual life. Thank you!

  4. SlavDavros says:

    Your blog entry touches upon an issue many of us have to contend with. I applaud you for taking control of your own life and journey. How fortunate for you that your friends and family accepted your lifestyle. I’m sure this has reduced the anxiety in your life and that of your family. Unfortunately many still and will always struggle with the double life as a result of societal expectations and other constraints upon their freedom to express themselves. I hope your revelation continues to allow you to express your true self throughout your life.

  5. hendrix says:

    great post Princess, your thoughts are beautiful!
    I would really have the courage to do the same thing with my little perversions and be able to say that I love being dominated and humiliated but I’m too afraid of being stigmatized, ostracized and no longer have friends and social life … Wait a minute, I have no social life and I never see the few friends I have .. it sucks. Other than that I have a little funny video a little on the subject, I think you already know it but just for fun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Inp-VPhm8s

  6. comfortface says:

    I think this post in your blog can be encouraging for other people facing similar situations. You made a big step by deciding to tell the truth everybody and I am glad to know about the good results.

  7. goodboy4Kyaa says:

    In my own little way i can identify with this because of Goddess Kyaa’s collar forever locked around my neck. If i read what You said right, i agree. Family, friends and people You see on a regular basis are the best, especially over time. It’s that love thing that kicks in and wins every time. They know, but don’t necessarily care about all the little details.

    It’s the general public where i find i have to make a quick call on how deep i will go into “what is that around your neck” when asked about it. After 5 minutes or so, i can usually figure it out weather to keep my answer simple or not.What i have come to find out, somewhat to my surprise is that a lot of people know and understand what Her collar is or are simply amused by it. Especially Women…go figure. And some people are not.

    A couple things that may be different is, i can’t hide Her collar from people, the public. For example if i must go to court today, lets say for jury duty, i can’t remove Goddess Kyaa’s collar. No, i must “think” quick and answer the questions as the security alarms are going off. Same with airports etc..

    The other big difference that pops into my little mind is that You are the Domme, You give the orders, with me and Your slaves/subs, we obey. So specifically using the orders of humiliation, You may be able to speak to people about the orders You give and they may listen in amusement, but i won’t be so quick to talk to people about shooting cum stars all over my face or keeping a dildo cock in my whore mouth while cleaning the bathroom. i tend to keep the conversations to submission in general, sadistic beatings, that’s ok, cross-dressing, that’s ok most of the time. But humiliation, if they want to know about that, it’s not hard to find, they are on their own. About as far as i go on humiliation is “i will do anything for Her.” [and pray, pray, pray] Case closed. They can dream on from there. Is it lying because i don’t offer up information to certain people, no. It’s a judgement call. [in my lowly opinion]

    Didn’t mean to being saying “i” a lot, but the fact of the matter is “i” can identify with this everyday in my own little way. i really wanted to read this, and You struck a nerve. Thank You very much.

  8. vergo says:

    Once again, this was an interesting read. Thank you for posting this.

    Thoughts that came up while reading this:

    For someone anxious about what others think about them, the work you do seems like a somewhat curious choice. Once you’re in the position, I can see how you could feel that it just suits you well and that you just have to live with awkward moments at times; however, as someone who’s very much concerned with how others think about me a question that comes up is why you didn’t stay clear of this type of work?

    Then again: it’s interesting that you, as someone concerned with others’ judgements, ended up providing an outlet for people who live aspects of their sexuality online of which they feel that they would be judged negatively for in “real life”, for lack of a better term.

    Holy run-on sentences, I definitely haven’t written English enough lately…

    • cearalynch says:

      Everyone cares about what other people think of them.

      When someone says, “I don’t care what other people think,” what they really mean is that they have enough people in their lives who think well of them that they are not bothered by anyone else’s negative opinion.

      Furthermore, no one likes to be in situations that feel awkward. The best you could hope for is that those awkward situations occur often enough that they don’t feel awkward anymore.

      Why did I choose this career knowing I would sometimes endure awkward moments when people asked about my vocation? The same reason people choose any job that isn’t perfect; it was worth it.

  9. Fatty Virgin says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing this, Goddess Ceara. It was really interesting! Reading your blog is always a pleasure.

  10. Slave2Vegas says:

    Very enjoyable blog. I’m so glad you experience that liberating feeling of being honest and proud of what you do. The closest thing I had to that was meeting you, MsT and friends at the AVN’s a few years ago; it’s an awesome feeling to realize you won’t be judged and there’s nothing to hide. I always thought You were very bright, and its very humanizing to read about the anxiety and awkwardness you felt at times. But to be honest, its not too shocking to find out that instead of working a boring job, you’re an enterprising and successful woman, who men all over the world want to spoil, admire, and would pay to explore their ultimate fantasies via your clips etc. – and you can easily make a great living from it. I don’t think any woman can do that, I realize there’s a lot of talent and hard work behind the scenes, not to mention great genes. I’d love to read a blog that delves into some of the challenges doing what you do and what you went through, if that interests you to write about.

  11. Pindick says:

    We have so much in commen ceara

  12. Edgar says:

    Hey Ceara I’m from Chile and I love what you do but I got a question: Why don’t you do crush fetish videos? I would definitely pay a lot of money to see you step on some bugs 😛

  13. ben says:

    I was long term unemployed for 2 years and felt so low and hated that “So what do you do” so I used to avoid people and feel sick that that question might come up. It sounds weird now but at the time I felt so low

    I don’t know if I’d say you even work in the sex industry in your role as a “humiliatrix” (?). Your job is actually cool and really interesting as opposed to the usual boring “I work for company X” etc and yeah I don’t think it would divide people the way that I think it might if you said you were a pornstar for example. I think your job is really cool – it pays really well, is really interesting to people and doesn’t have any of the social stigma 🙂

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