I kind of veer toward's HB's feeling that you know where you are with this stuff when men are involved. For men, a sex worker is possibly objectified, but possibly appreciated differently, paid properly. I was complimented and made to feel really powerful by men, but I'm not stupid, I can examine what's going on with that. I also had to protect my partner from being treated like dirt, because she didn't have the same attitude I had. I think strippers can be hard, because they have to be, and I think it is this hard-faced approach which overlaps into other sex work. You just don't think of nakedness or gyrating or eye contact as quite so meaningful anymore, it's a form of performance art. Sex workers are just very good actors. I actually found acting on stage in La Ronde, which is about prostitution and the way women are used for sex, much more traumatic than dirty dancing can be.
Sex work is the act of putting your feelings and your emotions away, but this is also true of going to a sex club and other types of exhibitionism, and it's a facet of sex, like S&M or somesuch. Not everyone is into exhibitionism, but what I don't get is why sex workers are threatening to other people while dressing up in rubber and walking about sneering at a fetish club is in some way more sophisticated. I suppose it could be because money is involved, but I was a bit bizarre because I didn't do my stripping for money really, I did it for private reasons and to watch how other people behave. But I don't have a problem with money, I do think though that money is what holds the ick factor for most people when it comes to sex work, it's got nothing to do with the sex. You can kind of hide as a sex worker behind your persona, which is either liberating or spooky, depending on which way you look at it, but the money thing is what presses people's buttons, because money is the big dividing force in society.
I always think sex work is like a perfect little microcosm of capitalism and has a lot to teach us.