Your Call: I Used to Be Paid for Sex

We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call by leaving your advice in the comments section below:

Dear Em & Lo,

I used to be a topless maid, and was paid for sex. It is something I really regret doing, but at the time I needed the money, as lame of an excuse as that is. I have a boyfriend now who doesn’t care and loves me for more than just my body. But I find myself worrying about it all the time — what if all I am worth to people is a nice rack and a good lay? I am doing my best to put that behind me and find confidence in myself, both sexually and non-sexually. Any advice on how I could start going about that?

— Maid to Order

What should Maid do?


  1. “what if all I am worth to people is a nice rack and a good lay?”

    Well, who’s choice was that? There isn’t a single soul on this planet that couldn’t use a little more money. But what limits do you have? If ever “i needed the money” happens again, what will you do? Sell yourself again, sell your own child? The need for money is always there.

    Frankly, if you are with a guy and it doesn’t bother him, then be thankful, and leave it in the past. But it sounds like you are on the verge of doing what I’ve seen other “ex” pro’s do. Sabotage their own relationship with a good man and go back to that life.

    Even though your words sound like you aren’t ready to do it, I still say, let it go, stay in a happy relationship. If you take your past, and your low self esteem out on this guy… and you abuse this relationship… you will regret it.

  2. It seems as though your self esteem is the issue. Some people who have had similar “work” experiences tend to want to sabotage their successes or positive relationships later on down the road. Realize first that you are a “human being” (regardless of what you have done in life)who is “being human” – meaning you are not perfect, and that’s okay. Ask yourself for forgiveness, and ask yourself for a chance to be happy moving forward. It sounds as though you have been judging yourself for a long time about this. Choosing to hold on to that self judgement has consequences. Despite whatever “sins” or percieved wrongs you hold against yourself for commiting in the past, the truth is you long to be happy and loved. You, like all people deserve this. Also, like all people, you are not the first to fall short of your own internall standards you’ve set for yourself. It happens – all the time. Treat yourself like you would a close friend who confided this information about their past to you … With forgivness, compasion, love and kindness. Then you will be able to move beyond this emotionally traumatic time in your life.

  3. Let’s see if I understand you correctly:

    You have a boyfriend that loves you first for who you are. He knows all about your past and is comfortable with it. He also understands you can not turn back time to undo things. You did change the future by stepping out of the chosen career path. As a perk, he enjoys the “nice rack and a good lay”.

    You are uncertain about yourself. Stop concentrating on worrying about how your friend (or others) see you. Start worrying about how you see yourself.
    As Tori Amos sings so beautifully in Winter: “When you gonna love you as much as I do?”

    So the requested advice:
    – Accept that you can’t change the past.
    – Accept you did and do change all you can in the now and the future.
    – Ask your friend about your strong points, and see if you can love yourself for those (hit him if he mentions THOSE two points; hit him hard if he means it).
    – Make it clear to him that your problem is with yourself, not with him. Communicate in speech and with clarity, not only will this lessen any of his possible doubts, but it will also help you in believing yourself.
    – Also you might apologize to him for breaking any of his hopes of a career in politics or as a TV evangelist.

  4. Just get over it, already. Your boyfriend gets it and love you, nice rack, good lay and a whole lot more. There is nothing wrong with you.

  5. I agree with Johnny, in that it sounds like you’re on the right path. Everyone has something in their past that they are not happy with. Most come to terms with it, some need a little help. You already have proof through your boyfriend that you are more than a “nice rack and a good lay.” A lot of people do things for money that they are not proud of (reminds me of the old joke, please don’t tell my mother that I’m a lawyer, she thinks I play the piano in a brothel). Now, you’re no longer doing work that you regret. If you can’t stop worrying about the past, assuming that there is no lingering after effects – STDs, legal troubles, embarrassing websites cached in the ether, maybe you should talk to a professional who can help you address the past and focus on your future.

  6. Do? I dunno, it sounds like you’re doing fine… just keep it up and stay on a professional path that will move you ever further from sex work.

    I try to be open-minded and non-judgmental about sex work, at least morally, but in the end I feel like it’s a real bad choice. It’s a fuckin’ dangerous lifestyle.

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