Sex Work And Money: How to get better at managing your finances
Sex work and money are hard subjects to talk about together.
Money management is a skill that is learned, not born with. If we are lucky, we are born into a home where money is never lacking and approached healthily as well as spoken about openly. If we are lucky, we have parents who teach us how to take care of our money, and even who help us financially as we make our way through the world. If we are lucky, we grow into adulthood with a healthy relationship with money, and an understanding of how to make it grow as well as an emotional distance from it. Add sex work into the mix, and you have a recipe for disaster
You are worthy of financial wealth
Many of us were not lucky with money. I don’t know about you, but I was brought up in a home where money was all of the following:
-Something the other side of the family got but we were excluded from
-Something that can be taken away from you at any opportunity
-Something to worry about
-Something that is dangled as an out of reach prize
-Something I was not deserving of
-Something other people have
-Something that brings happiness but is out of reach
The list goes on.
Whether it’s by overspending, hoarding, not allowing ourselves to earn enough to survive, Living above our means… Many sex workers really struggle with money. I’ve been in the business for 7 years. I have been told over and over to save up. I have tried over and over to save up. How much did I have in savings last week? £400. After 7 years. And it’s not for lack of trying.
The problem is our relationship to money is inextricably linked to our relationship with our parents and ourselves. We see others managing it so well and we feel deep shame about our inability to manage our own. Luckily, two women have helped me change my relationship with money , and I am so grateful to them both that I want to share them with you.
Firstly, I would like to introduce you to my accountant, who is not only a staunch feminist and sex work friendly, but also has helped me overcome the shame and fear that I felt around dealing with my money. I have gone from constantly being harassed by HMRC over late fees and other things, overspending on my taxes, to being confident in talking about my finances with my accountant in a totally non-judgemental setting and actually shifting to a position of comfort around my taxes! Of course this hasn’t happened in one day and I am still in the process of truly getting on top of my taxes (my goal is to get to a point where they are always filed and paid in advance with a stash set aside for future payments). Taxes are such a stress for all of us, and I really really recommend outsourcing to a trusted chartered accountant who has knowledge of sex work. I also highly recommend supporting a female accountant because #Sisterhood.
You can contact my accountant (Rukhsana Adams) here.
Now for the second woman to have a huge impact on my relationship with money: The magnificent Lola Davina.
This beautiful human has written a book entirely aimed at Sex Workers which is all about money and how to change our relationship with it and learn these skills that have often passed us by such as budgeting, investing etc. The book is much more than that though and is a journey through the healing of deep wounds and a reframing of our relationship to money. It is written with so much love and compassion and is of course not an easy read as in order to move forward we must take a long hard look at ourselves and come to terms with some unpleasant truths. However, the tears that flowed when reading Sex Work And Money were tears of release, tears of healing. I closed the book feeling stronger, more grounded, and finally equipped with the tools that I sadly was never given as a child and young adult.
All this to say that if you’re a sex worker and you have a tumultuous relationship with money, there are tools out there, and there are people who can help you. The key is that you need to want to help yourself. You need to accept that you deserve your own help. You deserve to receive that nurturing support that you never got as a child. You are an adult now. You can be the one to give it to yourself by seeking out the help and tools that are out there. I really recommend by starting with getting a good accountant (seriously, if you’re based in or around London, hit up Rukhsana! She literally saved me from a 2 year tax audit) and spending a few dollars on a book that will change your life.
Thank you so much to both of you beautiful women. Your kindness shines through your actions.
I’d like to share some parting words for you from Lola Davina’s book:
“Be Patient: you are working on your entire lifetime of mental programming instilled by the generations that came before you.”