Hey Bestie: Am I allowed to be angry my partner works in the sex industry?
HEY BESTIE: I have just found out my partner of several months works in the sex industry – do I have a right to be angry?
When a relationship starts with the correct foundation, it means that there is honesty and communication within the relationship.
To be several months into a relationship and only now discovering the occupation of your partner might come as a surprise… and there might have been a good reason that this wasn’t discussed prior to now.
Is there a reason for which a conversation about each other’s profession hasn’t come up prior to now?
Having said that, would you be angry if you found out that your partner was an accountant, a soldier, an underground miner, or a bartender?
The reason I ask this question as a sexologist is because there are plenty of stigmas and biases around the sex industry.
These stigmas can have harmful consequences if left unchecked and can absolutely negatively affect romantic relationships.
In order to change the culture around this issue, it needs to be addressed. It can only be addressed by checking in – check your own thoughts and beliefs around the topic.
Think about why you would be upset. Are you upset about the profession? About the deception? About something else? Answer those questions for yourself first.
As one of the oldest professions, it’s unfortunate that sex workers are often thought of as somehow morally corrupt, “dirty” or “emotionally damaged”.
Should the profession determine whether or not someone is allowed to date, fall in love, marry and live like others? I think not.
Not all sex workers are women, but the sex industry is disproportionately made up of women. The spectrum of what encompasses the sex industry is quite large and varied.
The World Health Organisation has released reports about the misconceptions around the sex industry which ultimately makes sex workers more vulnerable to intimate partner violence and therefore less likely to engage in romantic relationships.
Have the two of you had a discussion of boundaries, what you find acceptable, what are the deal breakers for each of you?
Are you able to separate the person and your relationship from the profession?
If you are, you are more likely to move forward and have a very fulfilling relationship. If you aren’t able to, it’s probably best to be clear and end the relationship sooner rather than later.
Take the time to unpack your own thoughts about the industry.
Get clear on why this is or isn’t a problem for you and for your relationship.
Have a conversation with your partner about your views and see if there’s a way to move forward, respecting both partners’ positions.
If you aren’t able to, then be honest. Because after all, everyone deserves to be in a relationship without judgement regarding who they are and what they do.
Published April 14, 2022 on https://www.perthnow.com.au/lifestyle/hey-bestie/hey-bestie-am-i-allowed-to-be-angry-my-partner-works-in-the-sex-industry-c-6440395