Sex workers shared heartbreaking stories of the loneliness they encounter in their work from vulnerable clients in a common thread on social media.
Prompted by a Reddit article asking sex workers to itemize the “saddest request” they received while working, more than 8,000 people detailed some of their devastating commitments.
An anonymous commentator revealed that she spent an evening with an older man who booked her because she looked like his “late wife when she was young.”
“He missed her terribly and just wanted to lie down with me, hold me and pretend I was her,” the person explained.
Another person detailed their experience providing a service to a man who had been paralyzed from neck to toe in a teenage swimming accident.
“He couldn’t feel anything other than his face so we just talked and kissed, I stroked his hair and his face,” they wrote, adding that the man was a painter who created his works by holding the brush in his mouth.
“It was also heartbreaking to hear how little physical contact and affection he was receiving, how rare it was for someone to touch his face and stroke his hair.
“He said how difficult it is when people are afraid to touch you, even your relatives and friends.”
Many of the stories shared by sex workers in the thread detailed non-sexual behavior, with clients regularly seeking companionship and privacy missing from their lives.
One person noted that his friend was paid a flat rate of $ 2,200 per month to dine with a man twice a week on FaceTime because he frequently traveled on business.
“He often even made the decision to order food from her if he wanted to share a similar or specific meal,” she wrote.
“[He] just wanted company and to feel connected to someone on a regular basis and when he finally found someone to settle down with he sent her a farewell gift of around $ 25,000 to help pay him back some of his student loans.
Although no official data exists on the proportion of employed sex workers in Australia, the AIDS Council of NSW (ACON) estimates that there are as many as 20,000, of which between 1,500 and 10,000 are nothing. than in NSW.
A survey by the Australian Study of Health and Relationships found that 15.6% of men had used a sex worker at some point in their lives.
Sex worker Vivienne Black previously told 9Honey that a large portion of her clients cite “loneliness” as a factor in booking her services.
“Some want to feel safe and held, others are looking for a close but only social friend. I share a few hobbies, the same as my clients, and we enjoy them together,” she said.
“They look for a solution and let go of these unwanted feelings of isolation and loneliness.”
A sex worker wrote on the Reddit thread that she was paid to visit her client’s mother several times a week to have a meal with her and keep her company.
“Honestly, if he stopped giving me the allowance, I probably wouldn’t stop coming,” she wrote.
“It makes me a little sad when I think this guy can afford to spend a lump sum on me but can’t afford to waste a day’s work to see his mom.”
A 2018 study found that one in four Australians experienced loneliness in their everyday life, according to the Australian Psychological Society.
In January of this year, a unanimous federal court decision concluded that NDIS funds could be used to access specialist sex therapy and sex worker services.