THE FRONT LINE OF MEN'S MENTAL HEALTH
When a dear friend asked me if I was interested in sharing a little piece on my unique position in the world of sexual health I immediately jumped on the occasion. I’ve collected the essential notions of my writing in this blog post and added content pertinent to my submissives. The subject I was asked to explore was about sex life after having children. I chose to use my devil’s advocate point of view, standing on the other side of the fence, where the average wife doesn't go. Bringing awareness and opening new conversations to find solutions in marriages, with or without the help of a professional.
Let me preface this post by reassuring you that I have the deepest compassion for women waiting at home who are unfortunate victims of men that didn’t develop the tools to approach their significant other with their needs. But, I equally empathize and deeply feel for men who are in unions that don’t allow them to be true to themselves either due to conventions or rejection. We all suffer in our journey to build significant relationships and my heart goes to everyone because we all deal with our own struggles. Cultivating loving-kindness is not reserved for hippies, Dominatrixes too strive to build a better world in our own way. Also, this article is written with a heteronormative, gender normative and sexual normative tone as it was to be distributed to a conventional married female audience.
Since I started in the adult industry 8 years ago, I’ve educated many vanilla wives and girlfriends on what I really do and demystified a world stigmatized by the media. One of the first things I teach them is that sex workers have no interest in stealing husbands. We are often already in committed relationships and we are strong independent souls who would not compromise our freedom for a conventional romance. I also educated them not fall prey to propaganda that depicts individuals of the sex trades as exploited and intrapped victims. The unfortunate reality of sex trafficking is out there but the majority of adult workers in developed countries choose this path and thrive in it. That we also work very hard at stopping abuse in our industry and have multiple organizations to support one another and find justice in this discriminated profession.
I consider sex work an essential health service being provided in the grey margins of our society. Sexuality is as important as any other aspect of wellbeing and World Health Organization defines sexual health as: “…a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.” (WHO, 2006a) * Over the years, I have educated women in marriages or in a committed relationship on the role of sex workers and how our services can be leveraged to improve marriages. Curiosity is great when it comes to what I do and I enjoy demystifying the taboo world of sex trades. A great number of service providers counsel in the shadows, trying to resolve issues the best they can at their end of the spectrum.
I believe the adult industry is the front line of men's mental health. The average male doesn’t go to their besties in PJ with buckets of ice cream to sort out their heartaches, they reach out to sex workers on a lot of occasions and in many different forms. From webcam girls to strippers, to escorts and Dominatrixes, men attempt to satisfy an intense need for connection, affection and acceptance. Our clients come to us because they don’t feel judged in our presence and/or they feel that we are capable of understanding their fantasies. Most of us also uphold high confidentiality standards and secret desires can stay behind closed doors. At the bottom of social strata, what do they have to lose if you show your true self? It is somewhat condescending for providers but it’s also a strategic starting point to start healing when walls are down. Gentlemen quickly readjust their views and do show immense respect once they receive our care. Masculine education teaches to save face at all costs, show inhuman strength and bottle up emotions. As much as the growing movement against toxic masculinity is empowering a new positive change, we are years away from a mass shift.
Anyone who’s worked in this industry has experienced broken men reaching out for help and the most successful of us are the best at counselling, not the best at fucking. It has been the key to my success as an expert in deviant desires. Accepting, understanding and accommodating using an open heart and open mind to welcome my seekers in a safe and consensual environment. I have an optimal position to work in total honesty with my clients allowing me to unravel present challenges and past traumas. Even if I don’t have intercourse with my clients, I share a level of emotional and physical intimacy that is sometimes greater than marriage. My every day is filled with secret revelations and personal exploration. All my years of personal growth never propelled me forward as much as my current job; I stand in the first row when witnessing raw humanity. Absolute authenticity is the result of fearlessness, the place in which full self-expression blossoms and radical compassion heals.
Take the fear out of the way.
Now to come back to my devil’s advocate task, here is the biggest reason I think why men confide in a complete stranger rather than their other-half: the fear of being rejected. Some do approach their partners about their kinks and get turned down while others just can’t because it’s something they cannot reconcile in themselves. In my opinion, the madonna and whore complex is very real in the male psyche and it has nothing to do with the spouse. It’s about emotional constructs and how men feel towards various needs they have towards women, relationships, family, society and sex. You may not want to be erotically degraded and treated like a dog by the one you share such deep respect and tender love with. It becomes incredibly internally dividing for them to try to reconcile extremes that sometimes cannot be consolidated with only one person. One thing polyamory has taught me is that you don’t have to have your every need met with only one person. It’s ok if you reach out to others for guidance and even to delegate.
Is it fair to expect the almost impossible task of meeting one’s every need all alone? Sometimes we need to step back and have more compassion for the things we demand out of our partners. Are you treating your spouse with kindness and understanding? This doesn’t mean you need to change or comply to activities you are not comfortable with. Also, you may not need other sexual partners to be happy, simply asking for advice and hearing about others experiences will make a world of difference. You must respect yourself at all times and achieve consent no matter how many years of marriage you have been in. What I’m recommending is to open up conversations and inviting understanding. You also have the responsibility to reach out to those who can assist you in this complicated task that is to build a relationship. Don’t take all the pressure on your shoulders, don’t stand alone in your problems. As a couple or on your own, seek counsel and trust there are experts out there who ask nothing more than to support you.
I mentioned earlier those who do open up to their partners about their kinks, what happens in that case? Well, a lot of brave outspoken lads get their fantasies harshly turned down and judged out of a lack of education. I don’t blame women for not knowing how to receive such confessions. Still, in today’s society, it’s hard to even know the basics of sexuality. Before the internet and in conventional cultures, females are sheltered from learning anything about sex even less about non-normative sexual practices. Also, young girls get bombarded by unrealistic relationship ideals from fairy tales to movies, no wonder why the gap between fiction and reality is so big. In those circumstances, can you blame your partner for not understanding and responding out of fear? In that scenario both sides are fearful: one is confused while the other feels judged.
It’s possible to reopen a conversation after an initial decline. I’m not talking of manipulating your way to a yes, that is unacceptable because enthusiastic consent is paramount. Don’t feel bad if you have turned down your partner in the past or got turned down. It’s a matter of putting yourself in the other’s shoes and trying to grasp why this rejection happened. Maybe you could come back on the subject by saying: “Hey, I want to talk about that time we didn’t understand each other?” It’s never too late to start the talk about your deep dark desires.
Also, don’t take your significant other desires too personally. In a healthy relationship, you are still loved as you are even if some role play can be explored or activities that may seem out of your character at first are incorporated. You don’t need to change yourself, it’s about opening up to some playful new ways for the purpose of a few hours of fantasy. Also, understanding why someone likes certain things, how it makes them feel and what it means to them will improve your capacity to embrace their kink. Erotic games should be about cultivating intimacy and allowing each other to express your affection in various forms. Exercising empathy and not losing sight of the care you have for one another will lead you to unbelievable discoveries.
Finally, I make sure to remind women that their spouse may not be skimming maliciously an extramarital affair against them. Their other-half may simply be incapable of talking to them but they very much love them even if they sought the help of adult industry professionals. That their partner could be feeling trapped from a lack of communication tools or because of unrealistic standards they put on themselves due to societal norms. Most importantly, I teach that sex workers are their allies in the dark; the number of marriages and sex-lives we save is massive and all must be made aware. We are not the enemy and we help couples as best as we can in our own unique way.