Winter is Here: Self Care & Sex Work

Winter is not an easy time in the sex industry. If you’re anything like me, dreary weather along with peppy messages to be merry, consume mindlessly, and spend time with loved ones is an annual assault on the spirit. If you’re estranged from your family or in the closet, this can be an especially sad time of year.

Even if you adore winter, it’s a rough time for the biz because it’s cold-and-flu season. Most clients have family and work obligations, so business invariably slows down. Seasonal realities of the sex industry can reinforce depression and isolation, resulting in a downward spiral.

Year’s end is when people typically take stock of their lives, and it’s no secret that many people who pay for sexuality are working out (or, just as likely, denying) unhappiness in their lives. Clients, desperate to avoid drowning in disappointment and emptiness, act out or check out. Longtime regulars decide this will be the year they’ll quit seeing sex workers, so it’s a time of high attrition as well.

While all that sucks, you are an adult, and it’s your job to act accordingly. Holidays happen every year. Plan ahead for how you’re going to spend your time while work is slow.

  • If there’s a creative project you’ve been avoiding, dust it off and dig in.

  • Download a bunch of new music. Tickle your brain with new tunes.

  • Line up your Netflix wish list and fall in love with some great new characters.

  • Make sure you get to the gym every day, no matter what, unless you’re dead on your back in bed with a head cold. Depression flourishes in inertia.

  • Take a dance or yoga class.

  • Every single chance you can, get outside and walk. Fresh air and sunshine are depression’s mortal enemies. Even if it’s a cloudy day, look up. Take in what light there is in the sky.

  • Don’t discount purchasing a sun lamp or a membership to a tanning salon — I’m a big believer in the restorative powers of Vitamin D to beat back Seasonal Affect Disorder. (a.k.a. SAD)

  • Get out to movies, concerts, museums. Feed your artistic mind.

  • Don’t forget volunteering. It’s amazing how the act of helping others helps us feel better.

  • Retail therapy is just like drugs, food, and alcohol. The desperate spirit of the season is cheering us on to mindlessly over-indulge. Hangover, self-loathing, and regret are the inevitable results. Practicing moderation, or abstinence if need be, is the true gift of self-care.

  • Do not isolate. Loneliness is depression’s BFF. Accept invitations and offer them.

Post fixed hours for responding to work calls and emails. Then stick to those hours. Get the hell out of the house or the dungeon when you’re not available. Under no circumstances spend December thinking if you just check your phone every five minutes you’ll land that last-minute call. If you find yourself obsessing, notice you’re doing it, ask yourself to please stop, and redirect all that excellent energy into something positive.

If this is a spiritual time of year for you, feed that need. Denying your connection to the divine is dehumanizing. Please don’t fall into the trap of viewing yourself as unworthy.

Surviving the holidays intact is a worthwhile goal. Strategize how to mitigate the pressures and limitations of the season ahead of time. Don’t wait until the last minute.

This is an excellent time of year to practice the very best self-care, setting the stage for your goals in the New Year.

Until next time, be sweet to yourself. xoxoxoLolaD

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