Harlotry - Why Prostitutes Fake Orgasm ( And Why Clients Still Try To Get Them Off)

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Jul 31 13 1:36 PM

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Harlotry: Why Men Insist On Getting Off Their Prostitutes (And Why Prostitutes Keep Faking It)

141 days ago by Cathryn Berarovich

Angelina Jolie by David lachapelle

Cathryn Berarovich is something of a renaissance sex worker; she was until recently employed as a stripper but has held numerous interesting jobs in the industry (and she’s currently an excellent columnist on this very website). Each week, she shares her stories in Harlotry.

The relationships all sex workers, but especially prostitutes, have with their clients and the relationships clients have with their favorite sex workers are strange and many-layered. On the surface, there is the business arrangement: the client pays the whore to fuck him (or her, I guess, though women don’t seem to buy sex). At the moment the money is exchanged, everyone knows what’s going on and from there on out the prostitute has to help the client forget there was ever a transaction involved.

Nobody wants to pay for sex. Sure, there is the odd guy who gets off on the very act of paying, who prefers to pay, either because he enjoys the humiliation, or because he enjoys the power of getting something he wants by an action so simple as throwing a few pieces of paper at his desires, but even those men don’t usually want to see the payment as an intrinsic part of the exchange. They still want to believe they’d achieve the same result if money were subtracted entirely from the equation.

Back when I was a whore, I browsed the m4w erotic services section of Craigslist as frequently as I posted my own advertisements. Naturally there were a few gigolo hopefuls on there, but mostly it was men advertising for prostitutes. None of them actually said they wanted prostitutes, though. There were no “Wanted: Jovial Trollop” headlines. They all wanted a “non-pro,” a “needy student,” or a girl next door with bills to pay. I’d imagine that most of the women responding to their advertisements were, like me, baby hookers who hadn’t yet figured out how to appear polished and expensive and were therefore somehow more enticing to the group of men who pretend that buying sex is different or somehow better if the girl doesn’t sell it regularly.

Even when my time as a whore was stretching into its sixth month and I had the ropes about as well figured out as any bratty eighteen year old could hope, the phrase “I haven’t been doing this very long” or “I only just started” was my best friend. Most of the men who hired prostitutes on Craigslist believed that anyone who’d been working for more than a few months must be jaded and greedy. Never mind that I’d been jaded since I was fourteen and greedy for even longer, pretending to be a clueless newbie made me nonthreatening and made it easier to believe I was genuinely attracted to my clients.

I’ve written before about how most patrons of sex workers just want to be wanted for a little while. An overwhelming number of the men who responded to my advertisements on Craigslist included pictures or at least physical descriptions of themselves, sometimes both. The photographs never matched the physical descriptions and the photographs were often far too old to be accurate but the message was clear, “please find me attractive,” they said, “please want me,” “You’d fuck me for free, right?” I had no interest in doing any such thing, but I was certainly willing to pretend.

Perhaps the most obvious instance of clients wanting to elicit some genuine sexual response in me, their prostitute, was their insistence on getting me off. I’ve mentioned this before, but never really gone into it in depth. Almost every client I ever saw, though, wanted me to have at least one orgasm during the course of our appointment, they all seemed to want to make me come as much as I didn’t want to come, and they tried everything. They brought warming lubricants, sometimes they asked me to bring a vibrator for them to use on me, they tried going down on me, and when all else failed they simply requested or demanded that I come for them.

Don’t fake it,” they almost always said, “I can tell when a woman’s faking.”

They could never tell.

I always comforted myself with the reminder that while a part of my job did involve teaching and guiding, it was more important to ensure that my client enjoyed himself. It wouldn’t have been fair of me to turn their sessions into an interactive class on oral sex, and I was probably the wrong woman to teach such a class anyway. And so I faked it. I faked it hard and heavily, and to such an extent that anyone who hadn’t actually seen me come could never tell the difference.

My performances always paid off. Their faces would light up. “Did you just come?” they’d ask. I’d make my affirmative reply as sultry as possible, and suddenly they’d break the silence about my other clients. “None of those other guys have ever gotten you off, I bet,” they’d ask, halfway daring me to say, “oh totally, I get of at work all the time. You’re but the latest of many, buster.” I never said that–nor did I tell them that they wouldn’t know a clitoris if it danced naked in front of them, putting on a light show and waving semaphore flags at the same time. No, I always told my clients that they were the only one to ever get me off, and if they became regulars I continued the fiction, “You’re my favorite client, I mean, I almost feel like I should be paying you, you always make me come so hard.”

They were always so pleased with themselves. I always assumed it was because they believed they had stirred the cold and over-welcoming bosom of a whore, but thinking about it now there might be more to it than that. It’s very possible these guys had literally never actually gotten a girl off before, and who knows how good their previous partners had been at faking it. They could even, like I did in my personal life, hold a strict, no-faking-ever policy. If that was the case, it’s understandable these guys would feel good about themselves and I really can’t blame them.

I remain conflicted about whether I handled the orgasm situation well. My clients could probably have used a little gentle suggestion here or there, but overall there was very little I could do to improve their techniques. I’m pretty adamantly against orgasm faking, as it does no one any favors, but in the context of work sex I think it’s not only okay, but actually not remotely a bad idea. After all, the clients are ultimately there for you, possibly even more than they’re there for themselves.

"I would no more be a Master than a slave. It does not conform to my idea of Democracy." Abraham Lincoln 1856.

Last Edited By: UncleLewis Jul 31 13 1:45 PM. Edited 1 time

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Jul 31 13 1:43 PM

Harlotry: Why I was Always Terrified To Orgasm With Clients

Harlotry: Why I Was Always Terrified To Orgasm With Clients

148 days ago by Cathryn Berarovich


Cathryn Berarovich is something of a renaissance sex worker; she was until recently employed as a stripper but has held numerous interesting jobs in the industry (and she’s currently an excellent columnist on this very website). Each week, she shares her stories in Harlotry.

When I mention I’ve worked as a prostitute, one of the things people ask most frequently is whether I’ve ever had an accidental orgasm with a client. The answer is no.

This may be part of why I was not the best hooker ever, but it’s also what kept me a relatively sane hooker. While on one hand I’m grateful for the fact that I’ve never gotten off with a client, I’m also a little sad. Stories sex workers tell about accidental orgasms are often the most interesting and powerful stories about being a sex worker. It’s like the stories from any line of work: the terrible ones are always the best ones. There’s nothing interesting about a client who is nice, respectful, and easy to satisfy.

The two types of whores I encounter most frequently are the ones like me, who actively avoid orgasms in a professional context, and the ones who actually hope for an orgasm, who try to take genuine sexual enjoyment out of their work. I don’t understand the latter variety at all, though I have nothing but admiration for them.

When I first started out as a prostitute I was eighteen years old. While I’d been having sex for four years at that point, I still didn’t really understand it (not that I think anyone will ever completely understand sex) and I had no interest in carrying my exploration of sexuality into appointments with me, and failed to realize I was already doing exactly that.

It took me a very long time to accept that my various jobs are just plain fun sometimes, let alone that it can actually be, if not sexually gratifying, then certainly sexy. I’ve spoken about Greg before, and though I haven’t seen him in many years, I think he may have been the beginning of my enjoyment of sex work. Greg’s thing is that he enjoys having his feet burned with cigarettes while he jerks off. He lives in an old building with thin walls, and so when he screams in a mixture of pain and enjoyment, his neighbors can hear everything.

Because of this, he stuffs a sock in his mouth during sessions. The first time I saw him, I couldn’t help but laugh as I sat on the edge of his bed, lit cigarette in hand, burning his feet and blowing smoke in his face. I laughed and laughed. Greg encouraged this. He wanted me to have a good time. He didn’t want some strict, humorless mistress; he wanted a girl to actually have fun with him. I was more than happy to oblige. It was the first time I ever really had fun at work.

There were a lot of factors in my decision to quit prostitution, but one of the largest ones was perhaps that I was completely unable to bring the joy I found in fetish work into the bedroom with me. The fact that I’d learned how fun sex work could be irrevocably tarnished the parts that weren’t so fun. It began to be very difficult to make it through tedious hour-long appointments, no matter how hard I focused on the $300 in the envelope in my purse.

And there was plenty of stress. I lived in fear of accidentally having an orgasm during an appointment. If I felt even the slightest amount of pleasure I would actively fight it, wanting an entirely neutral experience or better yet, a mildly unpleasant one. I was not only convinced that an orgasm in a professional context would ruin the barrier between work sex and fun sex, I also carried some puritanical prejudice against enjoying my work too much. Whores were not, I thought, supposed to take sexual enjoyment from their work and professional, put-together whores like myself were certainly not supposed to do so.

I do understand the fear part. During an orgasm, all my defenses are completely down. There is no time in my life when I am more vulnerable. As I saw it, it was one thing to show that vulnerable face to a stranger I had selected and quite another to show it to a stranger who had selected me and who I would likely never give more than the time of day to, were I to meet him on the street. While I no longer strive for an unpleasant experience and try my best to enjoy myself as much as possible, as often as possible, I can still understand why it could be scary to actually get off at work.

What I don’t understand is the feeling that there would have been something wrong with allowing myself to enjoy my work at least somewhat. I’m not sure exactly where that fear came from. I was already a whore, would it have mattered so much if I loved more than just the money? I don’t think so. Part of my concern I think, was that potential lovers would be disturbed and put off if I seemed too happy to be a whore. This kind of mentality, policing my behavior and wants to appeal to some future potential significant other was exactly the kind of thing that led me to eventually quit sex work for Stanley, a choice that brought me nothing but misery. I hadn’t yet figured out that anyone who good for me would not only accept my chosen career, but also want me to be happy with my work.

Besides that, a significant other who couldn’t handle my profession probably couldn’t handle me, as sex work is very much part of who I am.

I hadn’t figured that out yet, though. While sex work was undeniably important to me, I didn’t realize that it had become a part of me. It isn’t so much the work itself that defines me, though when you’ve spent the majority of your formative adult years doing something it certainly has a great effect on you, it’s more the choice to take a socially frowned upon job that is part of my character. When you add someone else’s insane jealousy and insecurity to your own severe lack of self-awareness, you have the makings of a perfect storm of self-loathing and discomfort.

It wasn’t until Stanley and I had broken up and I started stripping again that I really truly began to enjoy my job. Not only was I realizing how intrinsic sex work is to my existence, I was also realizing how completely lovely my job could be. Sure, it was extremely rare that I’d have that unicorn of a customer who was attractive, nice, and fun to dance for, but even when I wasn’t dancing for unicorns I was able to appreciate a moment of tenderness during a dance or the ability to really make someone’s night. I was finally realizing what made my job so very worthwhile.

Recently I started work at a Chicago fetish house. In the time since I quit my job at Heavenly Creatures and now I have spent a lot of time examining myself and my impulses. I have forsworn jealous men and have found a gentleman who doesn’t seem to care what I do to pay the bills, so long as I am happy with it. I am secure in myself and my work, and I see no reason to feel guilty for enjoying what I do. No, none of the things I do in my capacity as a pro-domme are likely to produce an orgasm, but even if they did I’m not sure I would be so scared of such an event. I stopped selling sex a long time ago, but I think I can finally honestly say I am a happy hooker, unafraid not only of what I do, but also unafraid of having fun with my job.

"I would no more be a Master than a slave. It does not conform to my idea of Democracy." Abraham Lincoln 1856.

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