How's Work? with Esther Pere - Sex Work: The Unofficial Resume


What you’re about to hear is an unscripted one time counseling session focused on work for the purposes of maintaining confidentiality names, employers and other identifiable characteristics have been removed, but their voices and their stories are real.


Which names do we want to use?

Just so I understand.

But the lines are kind of modeling, you know, like now when I’m introducing myself with someone I’m like, oh wait, that’s not my real name, but it’s kind of becoming that and when you become close to each other do you start to call each other?


By your real names?

Is that a sign of intimacy between?

I think it is.

I think it is too but it’s an adjustment.

Like I know one of our co-workers real names, but I didn’t tell her my real name and I was like there that I mix some faux pas here.

She’s been referring to herself as her real name and I haven’t been like, oh, my name is it isn’t it?


Isn’t level of intimacy.

These two women work together.

We are in the strip club.

It is a place where sex gets peddled within highly regulated and controlled environments.


One has started recently.

She is a baby stripper.

The other has been in the industry for a while and has much to teach.

They both have graduate school, education and they are smart.

Vibrant, women in their 20s who have chosen to make their living for the time being in the sex industry.


I just I feel continually undermined.

The job has always been that place where I’ve been needed in.

I feel important a lot of the people that work for me are like an extension of my family.

There’s no doubt that you’re emotional and relational.


Dowry comes with you to work.

Can imagine going to work every day and I’m really busy place and no one will make eye contact with.

You mean.

It feels like a breakup.

It doesn’t.

So, how’s work?


In many work situations, people have to straddle overlapping relational systems that do not always play by the same rules.

So in the situation of these two women, they have the relationship with each other.


The team they have the relationship with the customer.

They have the relationship with the manager.

They have any relationship with the boss and they have the relational system.

With the world outside their family and friends.

And so I decide to start the conversation with them and terms of their relationship with their customers.


It’s so funny to me because with my regular like he will pay for a room with me and most of it will like slow dance, which I think is.


It’s just like I would that like full body hug, beautiful.

Weighing and you know, and then like he feels me up, but it’s like almost an immature type of relationship because I’m reminded of like a middle school dance, you know, like he’s like probably thinking who the hell knows what he’s thinking about but you’re giving him that intimacy because there’s like grinding and like Yeah, and it just, it just reminds me of like a middle school dance, where Like A Man A boy is just like, oh my God, I get to touch boobs.


And like a, but for the first time, I’m just like, sure, buddy.

Thank you for the hundred.

Do what you gotta do.

Okay, fine.

But I think the the it would not just be that like if that’s all that he was coming for he wouldn’t have been my regular for a year.


No is anything that sex gives you access to, but it isn’t sex per se but even the people who are know who do full service and they are getting paid for sex.

It’s an experience.

It’s not just the sex it’s you know, sex workers do things by day or by night.


You don’t even like the the block of time.

And it’s like dinner and it’s like, a whole experience and maybe, you know, maybe some women would consider that infidelity.

But if you think about it as this customer or client is paying for practice.



They want that experience of, okay.

I’m taking a beautiful person to dinner.

I’m, you know, we’re going to a hotel room.

I’m giving them luxury.

I’m giving them Comfort.

I’m giving them, you know, pleasure, which is obviously, Like not all clients can can give or want to give pleasure, but maybe they do, it’s practice for them.


I have customers who come in and they want to discuss books.

Or I have customers who come in, who just like, simply want to have a party girl.

Like, you know, the customer that we both mutually see.

When I sit with him, I order beer, you know, and we drink a beer together and I’m like, oh thank God, you’re here.


And I can finally order order a beer and be myself.

Like, that’s the experience that he wants on a caterer that to him.

And it’s kind of interesting because they become different people.


So, it’s really a moment for a customer to become who they’re comfortable being that day.


When men pay for sex.

What is it that they’re paying for?

What is the currency of sex, giving them access to and part of what they’re talking about?

Is the intimacy, the visibility that feeling desirable, feeling attractive, being accepted not being ashamed or humiliated or made to feel small.


Somebody who loves that their joke being listened to somebody who pays attention who appreciates their presence in the end in a very sexualized environment.

A lot of these regulars come to talk and what they really are paying for maybe much more emotional and psychological than just the mayor transaction of sex.


One particular girl and zap.

Em talk with the man is the enemy were going to take their money.

Let’s have a good night every single night and that, you know, it sets the tone.

We’re like, yeah, like everyone’s excited.

They’re ready for the shift.

Yeah, like also just not operating.

This Wonder, Man, is the enemy?


Well, like, you know, obviously we love our regulars and we love our customers who treat us well, but that is not the majority of the people that come into clubs.


Tell me more.

I mean, you go out, we go around for tips.

We dance on stage for 15.

So we go around for tips.

Some customers will respectfully hand you their tip ranging anywhere from one to ten dollars, you know, like a good customer will hand, you a 20 and, and give it to respectfully.


Some customers, want you to turn around and they want to slap the dollar onto your butt as hard as they can.

And it’s like, I’m still going to take that dollar, but I’m going to remember you, or even in some situations strippers of straight up, slap the customer.


Right back.

And some people are allowed to break the rules because of how long they’ve been coming.

And some people don’t have to have respect for us.

Yeah, I think that comes back to boundaries to because I feel like in our club and maybe more generally because most strip clubs are managed by men.


And I feel like those boundaries are less clear.

Like, like, when there are different rules for different customers or when different bouncers want to do different amounts of work or something like that, which is, maybe why like we have Strong boundaries as we have and why solidarity and and at least at our club like operating from this place of trying really hard not to have a scarcity mindset and going into every shift and being like we’re all here.


We’re all going to make our money.

We don’t have to make it exactly the same way.

You know, everyone has something different to offer every customer is looking for something different.

So, there’s opportunity for everyone, but I think definitely with, with the way that management can be kind of.


Isn’t that’s why it’s really important for us to be like we know what our limits are and we know what we will tolerate.

And at the end of the day, if I have to stand up for myself.

I’m going to do that.

And she will have support by every single person working with her.

No one is going to say, your boundaries are invalid, because management is not protecting you enough.


Yeah, and that’s a great way to say it, too, because it’s not that, they’re not protecting us.

It’s just not always up to what we need.

One of the things that she’s highlighting in terms of analyzing the relationship culture.

Is this a workplace that operates from place of scarcity?


Or is this a culture that operates with a mentality of abundance?

There’s enough for everyone to go around versus whatever you get is my loss and you can see every work.

Environment is going to negotiate between these two outcomes in terms of the culture of the workplace.


Once they understand that this is a place of abundance.

Also gather around each other, they support each other.

They protect each other and they value solidarity.

They stand United in the event.

That management will not come to support them in an industry.


That often does not have an HR representative.

Tell me more about the man be the man to enemy.

It’s a strong line.

It I think just a catchphrase because obviously, like I said, we all love our Customers in a certain level I don’t.


Again, I’m a big stroker stripper.

So I have a little bit more energy.

I mean, I appreciate them.

Yeah, that’s a better one sometimes but sometimes I feel like even as much as I appreciate them.

I’m just like you’re not paying me enough for this.


Like the the ego needs of men are so profound and I’m just like, it’s so much work.

I appreciate them.

I feel like I learn a lot.

You learn.

You have an insight into the male psyche.


What are some of the important things you’ve learned?

Because you don’t only learn about sex, you learn about a whole set of needs.

I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned has to do with how vulnerable men are, how much they need validation, and affirmation, how much they want to be seen as sexual objects.


I think that was the biggest thing that I learned, because a lot of people, you know, going into a strip club, you see, like beautiful women and we’re like dancing and we’re taking our Is often.

It’s, you know, a very objectified atmosphere.

But at the same time, like I’m looking at the men and part of my job is to make them feel sexy and to make them feel wanted and and sometimes it’s on a physical level, you know, and sometimes they want to be told that they’re funny and sometimes they want to one, my main customer deals.


A lot with chronic pain and like, you know, just being in physical contact and making eye contact and breathing together, you know, he’s whether or not this is true.

He’s told me that the next day after he sees me as blood pressure is like lowered and like he’s feeling calm and he’s feeling.

Yeah, that’s funny because he tells me every time I see him you’re gonna give me a heart attack.


So I do the opposite for him.

Whatever that means.

Maybe he needs to feel his blood pressure up here and he needs to be stressed out, but I don’t know.

Yeah, and I think it’s just so much of men wanting to be seen.



It’s ostensibly an environment that caters to them.

Or they have the power because they have the money but like genuinely that is not the power Dynamic.

At least the more comfortable I get.

And the longer I do this.

I feel like, you know, you’re going to be giving me money and there’s a transaction and you know, in any other place in the world you have the power because of the way gender is set up.


But in that place, I’m just like, you know, I’m the one saying yes, so I’m the one who has power and and being able to invite them into my space and let them be themselves.

I think is that’s probably why this customer Has been seeing me as long as he has because I don’t think he gets that anywhere else.


Yeah, that’s that’s why I was curious about the word enemy because the enemy can conjure up the sense that the other person or side is powerful.

Whereas here, I think the Paradigm Namek is much more intricate and not nearly as linear.



They have the money, but you have the affirmation power, but you can decide if you want to look at them or not.

You can make them feel wanted or completely diminished and small you.

You know, you can Elevate them.

You can ignore them.

You can not the end.



They pay.

There’s a lot of transactions between men and women were men pay even if it’s not as explicit.

And deliberate as in a strip club.

I’ve learned that men feel really really good when you choose them and choosing them can just be smiling at them.


When you’re on stage, this literally making eye contact with them and being like, I like you, they’ll love that.

That’s the customer.

It’s going to give You five dollars, when you come around and ask you to sit with them customers, don’t some customers like to feel worked.


They like to be like, would you like to buy a lap dance baby?

Would you like to buy me a drink?

Would you like to tip me?

Other customers like to have an experience where they feel like, they’re in a bar and they’re just hanging out with their friends and it really takes a very nuanced approach to every customer, but some strippers, do not understand that and they try to work everyone.


And they’re not clued into what the Comfort level of the customer is.

Some Industries are organized around an intimate interaction between the client customer and the service provider.

This is one of them.

It demands highly discernible since ability on the part of the provider to know the needs of the customer and then to deliver the service.


And be paid accordingly.

You are acquiring an amazing set of skills.

Yeah, that you can use in the club and that you can use in many other jobs, you have an ability to into it and read people to read what’s behind the facade to look for the implicit to distinguish between five people.


But know that they want five different things and that it’s not the same thing.

Every time you these are unique customer care skills, marketing skills, psychological skills.

They all say, Feels.

Yeah, what about relation to the outside world?


I really struggle with being out or not being out in school.

But as I’m approaching graduation, it’s another sort of wave of like, how is this going to impact my future?

Once I’m getting ready to like leave dancing and start working more professionally and I really want to work with sex workers and I want to bring more visibility and mental health to sex workers issues, but it’s always a struggle.


Love like you know, what are the consequences of this going to be for me?

And I know several other sex workers in my program.

Most of them don’t really talk about it.

Don’t really make themselves visible in that way, which is also fair, but it’s also hard to be the person who’s known for sex work, you know, who’s known to be that that’s the go-to person because then people will ask me questions out of context and I’ll just be like, why is my job now to educate?


You like.

I’m also a student.

I’m also trying to get my education.

So it’s a hard thing to navigate.

Boundaries drop when people know you’re a sex worker.


Foundries drop.

When people know you were six therapy.


Yeah, you know, it’s interesting because you also have an opportunity.


I see the burden and I see the opportunity.

Fred the burden is, why do I have to educate?

You, you do, because you have the knowledge, you do, because you have the direct experience, and you can do a lot of good.

But it’s a question that a lot of people have these days.


Why should I explain?

Because I’m the only Foreigner here because I’m the only person of color here because I’m the only Trends person here because my difference puts me in the responsibility of having to be the educator.

And I always thought why not on some level, you know, so when you hide it, do you feel that you collude?


I try to be very intentional about how I talk about my work.

I don’t want to come from a place of anger or feeling threatened because I think it’s not effective for me to do that.


But there are definitely times where like I react to Something in one of my classes by like, using my identity.

And I don’t think that that’s always the best thing to do an example.

So there was a presenter and one of my classes last year, who came in giving a presentation about violence against women?


Because she was from a very prominent feminist organization.

And she had said to me.

Well, you know, I consider all forms of sex work violence against women and I was like, well, that that hasn’t been my experience as a sex worker.


But thank you.

And I feel like that’s not the best use of My story and my experience.

So I try to be really mindful of that and not not using myself that way.

Why did you think it wasn’t a good use?


I think it’s just, I think I used it more for shock value, you know, and I don’t think that that is intentional enough.

Because I really I feel like when you’re doing something for shock value, there’s less likely that people are going to really hear you.


I would have been impacted by you.

In that moment.

I would have been like proud that you had that show shock value moment of.

Well, that’s not my experience as someone who does that job.

So, you know, you might not feel like that was the best move but as I do the same to your choice, that it can be a choice that it can be a financial choice that it Does not necessarily mean that there was sexual trauma in every sex, workers life, that that given that women will often use their sexual powers in all kinds of contexts.


Some say, at least I want to be clearly paid for it rather than it under directly indirectly paid for it.

At least then the rules are very, very clear.

Rather than my having to go with the rich person and be nice and then hope that we will go shopping.


Yeah, no Notch.

So, that’s what you were saying to this person.

I’m not, they haven’t been dragged into this.

I made this a conscious choice and I deal more with the judgments that other people have over it than my own, or do you feel that a judgment of other seeps in under your skin and it becomes your own as well?


Do you find that?

You have to justify to yourself what you do?

Not so much anymore, but in the beginning, yes, it was difficult to.

I would get a lot more anxious either before shift or after a shift.

I don’t know, you’re new.

So what is your?


I’ve been doing sex work since I was in college in terms of Isis, all content.

And I used to be a cam girl.

And I wasn’t very out about that when I was in college, but once I went to grad school, I went to get my MFA.

I really thought, all right.


This is my moment to Advocate and be that person.

So we all had to introduce ourselves on the first day of, you know, graduate school, MFA program.

And I’m surrounded by people, you know, standing up saying this year.

I’m going to be working on my novel and, you know, I, you know, I’ve already work in publishing, but I’m going to just come here to casually do an MFA. $100,000 and I stood up and I was like, hi.


I’m a cam girl, and I’m here to write about that.

And I mean, the Judgment, the Judgment that I faced.

So, I mean, I’m at a point of going on.

Now, 3 years of being in sex work, almost five months of being a stripper and I’m just bubbling with anger, just absolutely bubbling over.


And a lot of that anger is directed at million women.

I cannot even begin to express the amount of anger.

I feel at women in my life, who just don’t want to be supportive and who just want to put themselves above me.


And I think a lot of that was talking to a friend who’s a Dom last night.

And she said, you know, women civilian women have anger against sex workers because how men treat sex workers, which sometimes can be violent can Be objectifying can be, hurtful can be degrading, that’s how they want to treat all women.


So we make them uncomfortable because we allow that for money because we let men have these moments of finding themselves and kind of figuring out their feelings and sometimes their traumas.

So where are the women who aren’t doing my job, who stand next, to me, on the subway, who are my friends from college?


Who are those people?

And and when are they going to stand up for me?

So it’s I don’t know this feeling of tote like it’s heartbreak, you know, you have to look at, I’m out to my whole family except for my two grandmother’s because I just don’t want to deal with that.


But I’ve had to have some very real conversations with my mom that have been hard really hard, but I have to be patient.


Stood out what stood out.

In your conversation with your mom.


She went to assumption first, always she went to anger.

She went to disappointment but now she is doing research on her own and she’s trying to understand and she’s being empathetic and she’s telling me she’s proud.


So that’s that’s big.

You know, my dad always ask me.

Are you writing every night?

You make sure you’re writing because that’s what you got to do.

You have good stories right now.

These are the stories you’re going to tell.

So I feel validation from my family and from a majority of my friends, but I have dropped the amount of friends that I speak to on an often basis, by probably 75% since becoming a stripper.


So, when people say in school, for example, or even in your family, why would you do this?


That’s a question.

You probably get it mean you have to constantly justify.

Why you choose what you do, right?

What do you say?

What do you say in?


What do You not say I, when I came out to my mom, it was because she saw me pay for something and single.

Oh, that’s funny.

Cause she was like, why do you have so many singles?

And I think she knew, my mom is very perceptive and intuitive.


I think she knew for a while because she knows taking pole dance lessons.

And she was like that seems like a weird way to spend your time.

But okay.

And she saw me pay for something and singles and she we were out with family and she really wanted to have a conversation.

I was like, okay.

Like we can talk a little bit right now, but I really I didn’t tell you and I’m very close with my family.


Like I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to have this conversation and she said, she didn’t really say, why do you do this?

But I think it was implicit in her reaction and she was very curious and and she was very frightened, I think, and One of the hard things is, she put me in this position of being like, but they don’t touch you.



And I was like, no, they don’t.

And it’s, that’s the hardest thing is when when someone says, they want you to give them the story that they want to hear.


And and she had said, you know, when cuz my, on my mom’s side.

Immigrants from South America.

And she was like, you know, when, when your grandmother came here, she came to New York and she came to make our lives better and she came so that we wouldn’t have to start at the bottom and like, now you’re doing this and, and not, not shaming me, like she wasn’t angry, but she was Sad.


Like there’s something sad about what I was doing and stripping is the bottom.


And that and the sort of implication that because we’re immigrants we’d been at the bottom for.

But I told her I was like, I think I told her I was like, you know, I don’t feel like I’m at the bottom of anything.


I I mean, I know sort of in the eyes of people who don’t really understand this work that it’s quote-unquote degrading or degraded, but I don’t feel like I’m at the bottom.

I feel like I made a choice for myself because we don’t come from money.


We don’t have a lot of money.

I went to college on a full scholarship and I didn’t want to take out loans for my Master’s program, and I also didn’t want to continue working in an administrative job.

Because I was just, I was really unhappy, and I was like, you know, I knew that I needed to do something.


I knew I needed to change something about my life.

I knew I needed to get myself in a position where I could be creative and use myself in really creative ways.

And also make a living.

And, and that’s something that I’m always really aware of two.


And it’s something that I made, sure that I explain to my mom because I was like, look, this was not a failure on your part, just because you and my dad, like, Because we don’t have money to throw around just because, you know, me and my brother knew that we would have to, really bust our butts to be able to go to school.

You know, that’s not a failure on my parents part.


It’s not a failure on my part to do what I am good at doing.

Parents often have dreams for their kids.

And immigrant parents often have aspirations for their children that will be further away from where they began.


And many people have had jobs that our parents don’t understand or a disappointed in or think are dangerous or think.

I below them.

All thing will be held against them.

And these are very difficult conversations to have to explain to those who often have given us everything they had so that we could become who we want to be that.


We’re going to take a different course.

Something about working in the sex industry has always taken that to the edge.

Because there is something about sexuality that often connotes the more degraded parts of us.


And so, by definition, it is a form of debasement.

And that’s what these women on some level.

Want to see this as a conscious Choice, as an intentional Choice, as a form of emancipation.

But on the other end, it’s butting against centuries of the notion that a woman that has had sex is washed up.


She’s used.

I think control of the narrative is what’s really important to me?

Because I want to be the one who’s in that position of being like I’m going to share this with you because you were lucky.

That you get, you know, me to share it.

It’s interesting.


You want to control the narrative, but The Narrative of your family which was we came from, nothing.

We came to avoid situations where women had no say.

We came here to have a better and if you go and you do this.

Are you basically taking us back to the bottom?


How do you say to us?

This is not a bottom.

This is me choosing.

This is not the same as me being forced to.

I mean Did you know the moment that stands out is when you say, you know?


They worry about me and then they make me tell them things that they know is not true.

So they want me to lie so that I can reassure them.

And in a way, I have to protect them because they’re not going to protect me.


It’s also giving them Comfort where you’re not finding come, you know, and I have to tell them that.

I’m sorry that I live within their narrative.

And so for someone who wants to control the narrative, that’s not necessarily what happens at home.


And then on your end, it’s you know, who decides what’s respectable here, you know, like who decides which is the woman that is really a threat to the solidarity of women or a threat to the aggression of men.



I think maybe some of the the sort of like hatred for sex workers comes from this fear of infidelity.

And you know, I personally don’t feel like I’m a threat to anyone’s marriage because I’m not going to Steal your husband or your boyfriend.

No, but what you’re saying is that I may be a dancer that you come to pay for the night.


But in fact, I enter a family system of which I become recruited in a play.

I haven’t auditioned for but I am an actor in that play.

What am I trying to say to her?

You think that you’re only dancing for the guy and that you’re only working with this one customer, you know, it’s like the tobacco companies saying we don’t Create addictions.


We don’t smoke.

We don’t force anybody to smoke.

We just make cigarettes.

It’s not completely accurate.

You do have to understand that in their story.

Once this comes out.

You are an active participant in a family drama.


That you don’t even know is going on.

You may not think so, but you are you only control a part of the narrative.

That’s what I mean by the play.

You didn’t audition for, I’m excited because there’s a This plays into my anger, but also like I think this is so important.


I come from a family where we were super poor, and my dad was just totally cheating on my mom, my entire childhood.

I think I found my first like clue of infidelity when I was like 9 and it was a love letter written by like a 21 year old.

So my then 35 year old dad like it’s been so prominent in my life.


And now that I’m a stripper.

It’s like wait what like you think I’m the problem.

Like, I’m not the problem, especially when couples come in.

Like couples will come in awkward and the girl will be there.

The woman will be there and he’ll she’ll get mad at her husband.


Her boyfriend for tipping or she’ll get mad.

It’s like, why did you come here?

What is, why would you come here with your boyfriend?

If you know it makes you upset and you’re just going to sit there and pout.

Why are you pouting?

Why are you mad at me?

This is my job.

I don’t come to your job and sit there and pout about what you do.


I’m not the problem and I don’t like infidelity and I like clear and open.

Open communication.

That’s why I’m doing this job.

And we’re it’s a clear Dynamic where I’m asking for your tip.

Not your boyfriend’s like penis.

Like I don’t want him.

I want your money.

Have you ever had a wife or a mother or a daughter daughter?


A customer, his daughter.

A texted me and I didn’t know, the only thing that was weird is I didn’t know that it was his daughter and she was texting me and trying to threaten me and she was like, I know what you do like leading old men on And for money like have some self-respect and I didn’t get scared like I don’t use my real phone number for work.


So I was like, what is the level of risk here?

You know, but but other women we work with have had stalkers and yeah, you know like scary stuff and I was the first and I think the only time that ever happened to me and then the customer came back and he was like my daughter, she’s 17.


And I was like, ahh.

But now, look from where I am.

It’s like, especially knowing this customer.

It’s like I don’t want your dad like, get, get real.

So the get real girlfriend.

Like, we don’t strippers don’t want your dad, your boyfriend, your husband.


Like we just want our money, and it’s our job, and it’s your dad boyfriend.

Husband’s choice to come in.

But when you said that I was like I was almost embarrassed for myself.

I was like, oh, I’ve done that.

But it wasn’t to a stripper.

I wish my dad would have been going to strip clubs like yeah, yeah.


I took complicated.

I mean, I like your world about the complicated situation and I understand when you say, you know, I don’t make the choice.

I was at the same time.

You are part of their life, even if you think you’re not, even if all you think is that you take their money, you not.


Yeah, and so it’s not so simple.

They come and they make the decision they do, but they bring parts of you back with them and they also give the seat to their partner.

When I started, I started in December, which is like a very busy month.


The reason why it’s a busy month is because when wives go through bank statements, they see ATM, you know, transactions, if they go to a strip club and husbands can easily tell their wives.

I got out cash for Christmas presents, which one I heard that I was like, you don’t even like oh that’s such a like.


Wow, that’s so hard but also like It your inter marital interrelationship.

Deceit is not my issue.

That’s something that you need to do on your own.

But also those situations are our bread and butter.

It’s interesting.


There’s more on your anger and there’s more on your sadness.

Yes, and it’s so it’s also interesting to see where we are in our careers of doing this.

Like you’re like anger has kind of faded into more of a like there’s sadness in that and mine is so fresh.

I know that there’s more.


We’re on your side more militant, you know, it’s not, it’s not just some anger.

It’s very directed.

It’s very clear as much as well.

Is, I think the difference between the two of you.

I’m wondering how much that is also rooted in the fact that you emphasize and white.


And I’m privileged and I know my place in society and that you are the child of an immigrant right mean.

I you are much more confrontational.

And you will that this is not a judgment.


This is I watched your Styles and your styles are personality and your styles are your histories and your styles are your Origins?

Yeah, and I the doesn’t mean that I’m not fear and not fearful of things and I don’t have sadness but I in order to feel authentic, I need to be confrontational but I have so much empathy for you know what I mean?


Like you and like, it makes me want to cry.

Hearing the situation because there is a lot of similarity that I’ve experienced.

I’ve just chosen to not have feelings about it because if I get caught up in those feeling, chosen to express your feelings differently.



Process them differently and you each are complementary Parts.


When you get angry, she says go girl.

And when she gets sad, you see, I feel for you because each one of you expresses the feelings that the Other doesn’t really allow herself to it’s funny because when she’s doing many work situations, yeah, but that’s means that when you are at work, you know, this is, this is what happens in many teams, right?


You could call yourself members of a team, your members of the group of dancers.

And when the Injustice has or inequities, or unfair rules, or all kinds of work situations occur.

You are more likely to be the one that’s going to You know, show your fist and she’s going to be the one that is going to do the risk management of your fist.


And she’s the one that’s going to respond with more cautious and you’re going to be the one that makes sure that she does not, you know, just Retreat like that in silence and that her rights are protected and that is work Dynamics.


The angry one or the confrontational one is doing a service.

But Needs to be managed in terms of, you know, when is it useful?

And when is it not and the one who goes cautious and Retreats and goes more silence and keeps to herself and, you know, assess the risks needs to also be encouraged on occasion to stand up and you will help her with the standing up and she will help you with the sitting down.


Yeah, even I think on Saturday night, I was mad about something and I was Grumpy and stomping around.

But I was like, forcing myself to be out on the floor, and I something happened.

I need to go to the dressing room and you were in there, and you were just chilling and having a moment to yourself and I was like, I need that.


Also, like, I need to allow myself that, so you inspired me to take a minute.

And then I kind of was like, let’s get out there when I was ready and you really.

All right.

Let’s do this.

Like, you need that sort of Team Dynamic and nowhere else in my life and no other job has that Dynamic that I have that confrontation.


Ation illness that push and that energy.

It’s never been useful anywhere else.

It’s always aided in my own discomfort or my own hurt.

Even in friendships.

Like I voice, what I feel.

But it doesn’t always help me and in this job.


It really does to have those moments of like I’m angry and I need to get loud.

And now I feel good.

I think that’s what’s really interesting about stripping.

In particular comparing it to my other jobs where I think a lot of the anger that I felt at other jobs at my treatment at other jobs didn’t have any place to go and like it does here, you know, I can talk back to a customer and be like that was rude.


You’re being rude.

You’re not behaving correctly, you know, and you To really consider what you’re doing for.

I’ll do that in an office.


I mean, I have set boundaries with, like I used to work in a hospital and I used to work in a doctor’s office and people would come in and be really entitled.


And, you know, because I was young, and because I am ambiguous looking, and because I was in college, you know, people be really, really awful to me.

And I used to be like, please don’t treat me like Like that, you know, but like at at work, I can be like, fuck off.


Yeah, you know, and that I don’t feel as worn down as I did when I was working in an office or something like that, and I used to get angrier at work.

But I also, I try to be careful about how I use my energy because when I get angry, like, it can ruin my night, and I’m just like, I still need to pay my bills.


I can’t.

And that’s hard like it.

Really hard to be in control of that, but your level of control, inspires, someone like me, who, who I do get angry.

And it does ruin my night and it has happened often.

I see how you get angry, and I’m like, hmm, like, even sometimes I’ve seen you deal with a customer and then go on stage and like, do a bunch of pole and it you’re working out your energy.


I’ve started doing that and it’s made my energy last longer.

I’m able to go through a shift with a smile, but that’s a very interesting part of the work that you just highlighted.

Which is I need to regulate, I need to self-regulate.


I need to monitor my own energy level, my own emotions, my own reactivity, at the same time that there is a level of authenticity in the way that I can respond to someone who does not treat me respectfully in ways that I’m not able to do in other jobs.


So, there is performance and authenticity that are going back to back here and there is Intense interaction with others but also intense checking in with yourself.


Yes, like you’re saying their authenticity is so important but the self care that goes into doing this job.


I don’t think I’ve ever been the type of person to I’m doing weekly therapy weekly massages.

I journal every day.

I cleaned my house on such a like, meticulous level.

That makes me feel good.

Like I do these things and I never had time to do everything that I want to do or everything that I need to do.


And then everything that I want to do.

So I mean say what you want about sex work, but I’m learning a new language saving for my future planning for amazing goals and things and checking things off of a list that stayed dormant for so long, but the thing that I wanted to just leave both of you with is that you have a tremendous source of knowledge and experience to write and to treat.


Thank you, but the foundational knowledge that you bring with you of seeing people.

Often through a lens of truth that other people don’t know, and that is tremendous knowledge.


They are we all have an unofficial resume and it’s the parts of our lives that have shaped us or taught us so much.

Those that will actually give us the skill.

Set for the jobs.

We are to find in the future, but we can’t put any of those experiences on the one page official resume.


Esther perel is a best-selling author, speaker and host of the podcast.

Where should we begin to learn more about Esther perel swirled to sign up for our newsletter?

Or to apply to be on the podcast?

Go to Esther /.

How’s work?

How’s work is produced by magnificent noise for gimlet and Esther perel Productions.


Our production staff includes Eric, Newsome.

Evil Welch / Destry Sibley Alex Lewis.

Is Kristin Mueller and are coordinating producer is Lindsay rutowski?

Our recording engineer is Noriko okabe and Damon, Whittemore is our mix engineer.


The theme song was written by Doug, slavin and the executive producers of how’s work.

Our Esther perel and Jesse Baker.

We would also like to thank nazanin rafsanjani, Matt Lieber, Darien Le Beach.

Courtney Hamilton Kelly Roos, Nick oxen horn.


Dr. Guy, winch Kathryn Minshew and her team at the Muse.

Paul Schneider Thomas, Curry Shawnee avram and Jax all

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