Sexy dirty talk is Not always welcomed. Recently, I've had several conversations with people I know who are related to the world of sex: maybe they’re sex educators, maybe they’re former or current sex workers, maybe they write about sexuality & relationships or they could be burlesque performers. The common thread of the conversation is that they encounter people who take liberty about what kinds of things they can say to them. This is especially the case when it comes to sexual topics. Just as sexual attraction is complex so is how an individual in the realm of sexuality chooses to engage with other people. After a conversation over dinner last week about this very topic, I went into my blog drafts and I found this list:
1) Just because the sexplorer (this is what I’ll use as an all-encompassing term for writers, performers, educators or anyone working in the sexy realm) is comfortable talking about sex does not mean that they’re interested in hearing, in detail, what you would do to them sexually. Their comfort with sex does not automatically make them available to YOU sexually. Yes, this includes sending them pictures of your “personal private particulars”. YES, even if you once had intimate relations with said sexplorer. Shocking, I know, because who the heck would not want to be sexual with you? I’m willing to guess quite a few people, so check if it’s OK first. M’kay?
2) You may find your friendly neighborhood sexplorer amazing for your spank bank, for example. However, they do not need to hear about it ad nausea. Perhaps, a mellow sexplorer can bear to hear it as a passing comment once. However, if this becomes the sum total of your correspondence to said person. Stop. It steps off of awkward compliment land into plain creeps-ville at an alarming speed! No seriously, approximately right after said first mention in passing. It’s creepy.
3) It is probably safe to assume that your sexplorer acquaintance is not too interested in being met by your insults or explicit language in their e-mail or social media inbox. If you don’t appreciate what they are up to, you have the option of not looking. No one is forcing you to peruse their social media pages or personal websites. It’s a great big world wide web out there and only twenty-four hours in each day. Try only focusing on sites and social media that you are interested in or curious about. It spares everyone involved a great deal of agita.
4) Is your sexplorer a personal friend or just an acquaintance? Here are some questions to think about. Can you call/text this person on their personal phone line? Are you in contact with this person about more than just business? Do you see this person for brunch, tea or french fries? Do you check in on this person to see of they are ok during life’s bumps? If the answer is no then they may not be your personal bud in real life. It doesn't mean they don’t like or respect you. There’s just a different type of decorum that goes with knowing someone in real life vs. only on the interwebs.
In general, think about any sexplorer as a person first. Their work is work. Would you ramble on to your doctor in inappropriate ways? Probably not. No matter what field involving the wonderful world of sex they are involved in, they are human beings. They have full lives, hobbies, other passions/careers, families and concerns. Yes, that escort you think is so cool online is indeed someone’s daughter/son. The really great blogger you think is so amazing could be someone’s big sister/brother. Your favorite strip tease artist may have a 9-5 career as well. They are people who have both good and bad days. The possibilities of who they are in the world are endless. As fun, freeing and important creating the space for open dialogue around sexual explorations may be, it does not negate the sexplorer of choice. They still get to decide what is acceptable for them (including use of their images and body) individually.
So, the moral of the story is:
Don’t assume anything just on the basis of someone being involved in any realm of sex and sexuality work.
ESSENCE REVEALED - Essence Revealed is first generation Bajan born & raised in Boston. She got her BFA at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and MA at NYU's Steinhardt School of Education. Her writing has appeared places such as $pread Magazine, Corset Magazine, BurlesqueBible.com and 21st Century Burlesque. She now performs & teaches nationally and internationally both solo and as a member of Brown Girls Burlesque. Her favorite thing to do besides reading is to lay on the beach in Barbados to rest up for a night of calypso dancing.