The struggling single mom is a common cliche in our industry, but meeting men who choose sex work to support their families is pretty uncommon. Father’s Day is this weekend, so I figured it was time to give sex worker daddies, however few there may be, their due respect.
“Randall” is a gay-for-pay sex worker and a single dad, working and raising a junior high age daughter in California. He chatted with me about his work and what it’s like raising a kid when your lifestyle’s a bit on the unconventional side.
So what do you do exactly?
My jobs are somewhat similar to what you would imagine a dominatrix does. I looked it up once, a Dominatrix is actually, technically, a female. So I suppose I am a “Dominator”, but that gender distinction would be lost and sound really silly in an advertisement, huh? I also never wear the leather outfits or use any of the other cliche props that pop culture shows dominatrices employing. I just roll up a newspaper when it’s time for a spanking. I have some other clients that I guess you could say I give the “Boyfriend Experience” to, but it’s quite a bit different from my female colleagues. I am a straight guy and I market myself that way. Being straight serves as a “forbidden fruit” sort of selling tool, and also protects me from the issues so many female sex workers tell me they deal with—like the ubiquitous delusional client thinking I’m going to fall in love and run away with him. And many clients tell me I am one of the few genuinely straight guys in this niche market. I have been honing my craft for almost eight years now and have been topping my way to the top ever since.
Sex worker moms are common, but have you ever come across another sex worker dad?
No, never. I’m sure they are out there, but I have no crew of daddies with whom I get to talk shop. It would be nice to meet some. I once told one other dad that was a close friend. We hadn’t seen each other for a few months, and then when we bumped in to each other he was like, “Still doing that fag massage?” I learned a tough lesson that day. I have one close female friend who worked as a stripper for many years. She has a kid too, and our kids are good buddies but she doesn’t really know what I do.
Do you talk to your kid about what you do at all, or about the business in general?
No. Not about me personally. My kid is not quite old enough to understand my decisions and the nuances and possibilities for empowerment that sex work offers. I do, however, make sure that we have a very sex-positive household and my youngster knows disparaging remarks about hookers are not cool. I’m very lucky. There’s a lot of love and respect in our house and when the time comes and questions start to arise, I think my youngster will be able to handle it. That is, if I ever decide to share the tale of “how daddy had so much money and free time when you were growing up.”
As far as discussing the business in general, yes, it has come up and I just try to be as honest as possible about the realities and dispel the negative ways it’s portrayed in the media. Like once my tween asked me what a pimp was. I explained how they are not cool hustlers like on TV, but very bad people that exploit the labor of others, and then I draw parallels to unregulated capitalism in the square world.
How has your experience working influenced your being a dad? For example, have your values shifted due to experiences you had as a sex worker?
That’s a tough question, Suzy. In my early twenties, when my kid was very small, I had a cubicle job 40 hours a week, very little money, very little free time, and very little energy left for family, much less personal growth. After several years of that and a few failed relationships, I got into sex work as a way to support my child and pursue artistic and educational goals without having to have a day job. I haven’t had a “regular job” in almost a decade, and in some ways my values as a parent and citizen have evolved with my hustle. Being a sex worker has definitely made me a more compassionate and understanding person, as well as a good listener. A few of my clients have told me that when we get together it feels like therapy, because they are big powerful corporate types all wrapped up in their miserable careers and egos. Because I’m kind of an anomaly in this business, they usually haven’t met someone like me who had the nerve to take unorthodox risks so that they could have the free time to pursue a life of meaningful work and leisure. It’s a great feeling to know that you discarded society’s judgments and fended for yourself your way and can hopefully raise a child that becomes an adult with right values.