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When people ask me how I got into sex work, I say it just happened. To be honest, sex work scared the s**t out of me. My sexuality and confidence were a mess from trauma, and the idea that they were suddenly to become my main source of income seemed ludicrous. But I was desperate.

I was now an independent contractor setting my work hours and limits, and I had full control of my career. I started to view myself in a powerful, attractive light that I never had before.

[A]fter a few years, this light started to fade. I experienced sex worker burnout, a term used to describe the emotional and physical exhaustion and stress from overwork in the sex industry. The job itself was difficult at times, but it wasn’t necessarily the work or the clients that left me feeling this way. The feelings of isolation and loneliness from how I was perceived and treated by others really got to me.

I started looking for a new job to refocus my life and my finances. But no matter where I applied, even at “feminist” sex stores or progressive establishments, I was rejected. No matter how I arranged my resume, highlighting my business degree or more than eight years of management experience, whorephobia followed me.

I had friends who guaranteed me I could get a job at their place of employment, only for them to come back later saying their manager saw my previous job as a “liability.” When I did get an interview, I quickly realized my interviewers simply didn’t understand what my previous work was. A audible gasp came from a person interviewing me as I explained what a dominatrix is, while another simply ended the conversation on the spot. I found it infuriating that in a society that constantly tells sex workers they need to get a “real” job, nobody would actually give me a chance.



Amy Boyajian is the founder and owner of Wild Flower, a gender inclusive sexual wellness store that focuses on pleasure and education. Previous to Wild Flower, Amy was a sex worker, mostly working as a dominatrix. This experience gave her a unique insight to sexuality within our culture, which is reflected in her style of sexual education. Originally from the UK, Amy currently resides in New York City.