Table of Contents

Thriving in Sex Work: heartfelt advice for staying sane in the sex industry

Preface: My First Time


Part One: Demons                            

Fear: An Introduction                   

Making Friends With Our Fears                 

Practical Advice: Managing Acute Anxiety            

Practical Advice: Physical Safety               

Practical Advice: Learn Self-Defense (No Excuses!)          

Heartfelt Advice: Surviving the Bad Call                

Practical Advice: The Law and Legal Trouble     

Practical Advice: Safer Sex          

Shame: An Introduction              

Shame, Low Self-Esteem, and Stigma       

Exercise: Spending Time with Shame     

An Open Letter to My Fellow Sex Workers: Shame, Fear, and the Erotics of Discretion  

Coming Out and Being Outed    

Heartfelt Advice: How to Come Out        

Heartfelt Advice: If You’ve Been Outed 

Practical Advice: What to Do If You’ve Been Outed           

An Open Letter to My Fellow Sex Workers: Respect the Work  

Low Self-Esteem: An Introduction          

Feeling Ugly and Unworthy       


Plastic Surgery                                   

Anger: An Introduction               


Empathy Exercise                            

Forgiveness Exercise                     

Envy: An Introduction                 


Heartfelt Advice: Navigating Insecurity, Resentment, and Envy From Coworkers            

Heartfelt Advice: Navigating Insecurity, Resentment, and Envy From Clients    

Part Two: Tools of the Trade   

The Biz: An Introduction            

Building the Business You Want                



Keeping Up with New Technology (Or Not . . .)   

Clients: An Introduction             

What Do Clients Want?                 

Exercise: Your Ideal Client         

Practical Advice: Cultivating the Clients You Want           

Intimidation and Coercion         

Review Sites                                        

Heartfelt Advice: When a Client Makes You Feel Like Crap            

Money: An Introduction             

Money Exercises                               

Practical Advice: Money Challenges        

Voluntary Simplicity                     

Part Three: Sex Work and Self-Care         

Sex Work and Self-Care: An Introduction              

You Need a Buddy—Better Yet, a Bunch                

Get Yourself a Good Therapist—No Excuses!     

Have a Hero/ine                                

Trigger States                                     

Sadness, Depression, and Suicidal Thoughts       

Practical Advice: Winter             



Part Four: Sex Work and Relationships                  

Sex Work and Relationships: An Introduction  

Sex Work and Relationships     

Heartfelt Advice: How to Work with a Broken Heart    

Part Five: Life After The Life     

Life After The Life: An Introduction         

Heartfelt Advice: What to Expect Getting Out    

Don’t Fear the Future                    

When Falling in Love Means Getting Out of The Biz: Marriage and Retirement   

Heartfelt Advice: Work After Sex Work                 

Practical Advice: Work After Sex Work                  


Back to the Future                           


Special Thanks & Acknowledgements   

About Me                                               


Winter and Depression Survival Checklist           


Resources Referred to in Text 

Additional Resources