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Sobriety in Sex Work by CelesteLuna

I started doing sex work 7 years ago but have only been doing sex work SOBER for 7 months. I never thought that I had any kind of problems with alcohol or drugs until February 2018 when an angry, drunken night sent me to the hospital for stitches, but it still took another 6 months to fully stop drinking. The very first time I danced at a strip club I was intoxicated, and after that, it was a slippery slope. I was lucky that nothing bad ever happened to me while working and being drunk, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t cloud my judgment. I used to have to be drunk to do my job, which I hear so many dancers and models say.

I get it. Doing sex work is hard. Sometimes we’re doing it to survive, sometimes we’re faking confidence, sometimes we just want to have more fun while we’re working! Alcohol is a pretty socially acceptable form of entertainment and courage, but we don’t need it to get by. Something I have learned about myself is that I cannot control my emotions when I am intoxicated.

After my accident, I quit drinking, but relapse happened a few times. It’s so easy to succumb to temptation in a club environment, especially when managers tell you to never say no if a guest wants to buy you a drink. When I worked in BYOB clubs the girls in the back would always have bottles.

When I started camming more, I noticed a lot of models did “Shots for Tips”. I’m talking A LOT of models were doing this, and I felt like I needed to do it too. I would water down my shots so that I wouldn’t get quite as tipsy and thought I could basically play both roles. I could still be this fun, party girl on cam and stay sober to everyone else. The best decision I made at that moment was to stop doing “Shots for Tips”. It just wasn’t healthy for me and where I am in my life. I had to learn how to be fun without the alcohol, and that was scary at first. But I have really found myself in the process! It’s been fun to be my goofy, silly self without that aid.

Navigating life while sober has been an experience. Navigating sex work while sober is still a challenge. What has helped me the most in the last 7 months has been my support system. I have a really great group of online sex worker friends and family that I can always talk to when I’m feeling down or when I think I need a drink. A group of us have also made a pact to help each other stay sober when we’re at different cons and expos in the future.

But most importantly I have myself. I have learned how to trust and challenge myself more than I ever thought I could, and that has made me more creative and motivated than ever before.

If you’re struggling with being sober while doing sex work, just know you aren’t alone. There is an entire community of us within our sex worker community. We can all be accountability buddies and live a happy, fulfilled life!

This article was written for us by CelesteLuna, if you’d like to contribute to the AP Lounge, please get in touch via email.

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