View Poll Results: Is there any crossover between Sex work, Swinging and Polyamory?

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  • Yes, there is some crossover between all 3 categories

    14 38.89%
  • There is only crossover between sex work and swinging

    6 16.67%
  • Sex work stands alone; there is no crossover.

    16 44.44%
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Thread: The crossover between Polyamory, Swinging and Sex work

  1. #1

    The crossover between Polyamory, Swinging and Sex work

    In 2 polyamory forums, I brought up what I felt to be the crossover between Polyamory, Swinging and Sex work. One of those forums wasn't too keen on what I had to say, but in another, there was definitely more interest. Somewhere along the line, the issue of cheating came into it as well. So I decided to make this thread and ask everyone here some questions: do you think that sex work could sometimes be seen as a form of swinging or polyamory? Maybe not often, but sometimes? I've heard from a woman with knowledge of SPs that some SPs have developed strong relationships with clients, some have even gotten married. Swinging doesn't necessarily involve so much emotions, so in many ways it could generally be seen as closer to sex work. Would anyone here agree with that? Anyway, here's the thread I was referring to:
    The crossover between Polyamory, Swinging and Sex work

  2. #2
    Depends if you are the payer, or the payee.

    Payer yes, payee no.

  3. #3
    Cuckolding often ends up being a part of a relationship with a sexworker... Polyamoury can be. Swinging... The lifestyle seems to take an interesting view point on it. Either the person is all for it or totally against it.

    There can be some cross over based on the person but inherently there isn't.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by LordLoki View Post
    Depends if you are the payer, or the payee.

    Payer yes, payee no.
    Being paid to provide a sexual service does not preclude the possibility of a sexworker allowing the relationship to become personal. "It's just business" is a convenient excuse used by many SPs. In the end, it's a very intimate service involving emotion. Things easily get personal. It may not be love, but it certainly is at least lust.

    Boundaries exist because SPs create these "rules" for themselves. These rules are just as easily rationalized away.

    I have yet to meet a sexworker who has never broken one of her own rules. Never say never.
    You got the peaches, I got the cream.

  5. #5
    Scott, I looked at your link and made an effort to see where you might be heading with this. Frankly, I lost interest in the "debate" fairly quickly. Maybe it's because the typical threads on this site deal with approaching hot looking women in completely arbitrary places re: sex or the sex trade, cleaning shit out of your ass crack, or what names sps/clients use when talking to one another. In other words, stuff a lot less academic than your query. Good luck, however, in figuring out whatever it is you're looking for!

  6. #6
    Pay for play is its own mutually exclusive world as far as I'm concerned.

    As soon as money enters the equation it's all about the money because if you didn't have the money, you wouldn't have the sex.

    As someone who has been to Swinger's clubs in and about Toronto with a female partner (civilian btw) I like that it's pretty much a friends / sex thing. I go for the sexuality of it all. Money does not change hands. (Sure, there may be guys who are there with working girls - but I was not, nor have any of the other couples I have met at Swinger's Clubs been a pay for play scenario.)

    With Swinging, there is no love involved. It's just sex, it's group sex, it's orgies, etc. It's fun. People like Swinging because they want to maintain their traditional pair couple, but have sex with other people at the same time. They don't want to slither around behind their partner's back and they agree what is good for the gander is good for the goose. (If he gets to fuck other women, she gets to fuck other men - fair is fair.) I love swinging because it does not complicate my life (too much). I don't want to be in some complicated poly relationship, or have a hider, or any such other complexity in my life.

    Polyamory implies (to me) a relationship where there is one woman and two men or vice versa I suppose. The people involved are a group of people who live like an attached couple. Some call it polygamy - which is really what it is.

    So to answer your question, I do not agree that the Sex Industry (pay for play) has any commonality with either Swinging or Polyamory. Pay for play is a business transaction. Sure, you might like the sex worker and she might like you and blah blah blah, but try asking her if she'd like to forgo the cash and see what the answer is..

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by LordLoki View Post
    Depends if you are the payer, or the payee.

    Payer yes, payee no.
    Not always. To quote the administrator of another toronto area forum that caters to the escort business:
    "I know escorts who have married or started serious relationships with their clients before"

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline Rhodes View Post
    Cuckolding often ends up being a part of a relationship with a sexworker... Polyamoury can be. Swinging... The lifestyle seems to take an interesting view point on it. Either the person is all for it or totally against it.

    There can be some cross over based on the person but inherently there isn't.
    Fair enough. I agree that they're generally fairly different, but I have noticed that there is some crossover. I guess I really started thinking about it when I met a woman who identified as both Poly and an SP. She did seem to separate the 2 things, but I felt there was a bit of crossover, so I started looking into it. I think the research paper that I mention in the OP of the thread that I mentioned in the OP suggested that there was some crossover. For those who'd just like to take a look at the paper instead of clicking on 2 links, it's here:
    Male Sexual Scripts: Intimacy, Sexuality and Pleasure in the Purchase of Commercial Sex

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by TeasePlease View Post
    Being paid to provide a sexual service does not preclude the possibility of a sexworker allowing the relationship to become personal. "It's just business" is a convenient excuse used by many SPs. In the end, it's a very intimate service involving emotion. Things easily get personal. It may not be love, but it certainly is at least lust.
    Good point. I think what does and doesn't constitute an emotional relationship as well as the boundary between lust and love is frequently very hazy.

    Quote Originally Posted by TeasePlease View Post
    Boundaries exist because SPs create these "rules" for themselves. These rules are just as easily rationalized away.

    I have yet to meet a sexworker who has never broken one of her own rules. Never say never.
    Again, good points. I think that a lot of the time these rules are put in to protect people (SPs as well as clients) from emotional upsets. That being said, some people want an emotional connection, which, I think, is why many go for the GFE.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by 69Shooter View Post
    Scott, I looked at your link and made an effort to see where you might be heading with this. Frankly, I lost interest in the "debate" fairly quickly. Maybe it's because the typical threads on this site deal with approaching hot looking women in completely arbitrary places re: sex or the sex trade, cleaning shit out of your ass crack, or what names sps/clients use when talking to one another. In other words, stuff a lot less academic than your query. Good luck, however, in figuring out whatever it is you're looking for!
    Thanks Shooter, heh :-). I agree that I'm taking this whole thing in a somewhat academic way. Ever since I was a young boy, I was told that I was too serious.. I do have my comedic moments, and I also like comedy a fair amount, but I won't deny that I am generally a pretty serious guy :-p.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by james t kirk View Post
    Pay for play is its own mutually exclusive world as far as I'm concerned.
    But what of the exceptions that I've now mentioned (sorry, I probably should have done that from the start)?

    Quote Originally Posted by james t kirk View Post
    As soon as money enters the equation it's all about the money because if you didn't have the money, you wouldn't have the sex.
    Well, I'm sure that this is how things -start- in the escort business; but it seems that it's not always how it ends. I agree that if you're in a serious relationship with someone, it's probably not a good idea to be paying for her to have sex with you. That being said, many men (and even some women) support lovers financially. So maybe it's just a matter of making the connection between money and sex a bit less direct. Also, I think that a full relationship would have much more then money and sex involved. I think that the GFE thing heads this way, atleast a bit; the idea that people would like to talk as well as do sexual things, some even go so far as to go out with an SP and such; in general, I think this is generally relegated to people who have a heck of a lot of cash, but even if this type of thing is exceptional, it's still there.

    Quote Originally Posted by james t kirk View Post
    As someone who has been to Swinger's clubs in and about Toronto with a female partner (civilian btw) I like that it's pretty much a friends / sex thing. I go for the sexuality of it all. Money does not change hands. (Sure, there may be guys who are there with working girls - but I was not, nor have any of the other couples I have met at Swinger's Clubs been a pay for play scenario.)

    With Swinging, there is no love involved. It's just sex, it's group sex, it's orgies, etc. It's fun.
    I know that some swingers can begin to love each other though, and may begin to mingle in polyamorous circles.

    Quote Originally Posted by james t kirk View Post
    People like Swinging because they want to maintain their traditional pair couple, but have sex with other people at the same time. They don't want to slither around behind their partner's back and they agree what is good for the gander is good for the goose. (If he gets to fuck other women, she gets to fuck other men - fair is fair.) I love swinging because it does not complicate my life (too much). I don't want to be in some complicated poly relationship, or have a hider, or any such other complexity in my life.
    Fair enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by james t kirk View Post
    Polyamory implies (to me) a relationship where there is one woman and two men or vice versa I suppose.
    Can also be 2 men, 2 women (though the men may only be with the women) or other combinations as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by james t kirk View Post
    The people involved are a group of people who live like an attached couple. Some call it polygamy - which is really what it is.
    Not quite; to be polygamous, you have to be married to more then 1 person. Legally speaking, this simply can't be done in Canada. Even ceremony wise, I haven't met any polyamorous people who have had a ceremony to get married with more then one person, which I think is the main difference between Canada's polyamorous community and its polygamous one.

    Quote Originally Posted by james t kirk View Post
    So to answer your question, I do not agree that the Sex Industry (pay for play) has any commonality with either Swinging or Polyamory. Pay for play is a business transaction. Sure, you might like the sex worker and she might like you and blah blah blah, but try asking her if she'd like to forgo the cash and see what the answer is..
    Laugh :-). I definitely think that if the only time you see a sex worker is when she's on the clock, you're 100% right. But if you start to see them in a social capacity, things could change.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline Rhodes View Post
    There can be some cross over based on the person but inherently there isn't.
    I think that for many of us, clients are people who bring us money to do things with them that we have no interest in doing with them, unless money is involved. We can be taken to swinging functions, but we are there for money. I only know a few SPs that married clients, but as far as I can tell, the minute we see them as lovers, they stop being clients. So sex work has more to do with how we happened to meet them. Sex Work is WORK. Swinging is for fun.

    I cannot comment how clients see it though.

  13. #13
    Who says work can't be fun?

    I hope you don't harbor resentment for your work.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by patrickbateman View Post
    Who says work can't be fun?

    I hope you don't harbor resentment for your work.
    No woman still working can afford to, it would eat us alive, and just s bad the clients would pick up the vib and our income would go down.


    Edit, sorry I had not read enough of your posts to realize what kind of a person you are.

  15. #15
    That's the mental wall I speak of. It can (and arguably should) exist on both sides. But, it is a psychological construct. Easily erected, and just as easily dismantled under the right circumstances.

    So, back to the original question...to me, it's a bit like asking whether that curtain separating first class and economy cabins is a real barrier between passengers. It is a barrier if the people choose to respect it. But really, is there anything stopping me from walking through?

    Put another way, can an SP truthfully tell us that they:

    1. Have never personally enjoyed a session with a client? Gotten off?

    2. Have never done something with one or two clients that they normally don't do in sessions because they liked a client or felt some chemistry?

    3. Have never developed a personal friendship with a client, corresponding in between sessions or meeting socially outside of work?

    Is this still "just business"?
    You got the peaches, I got the cream.

  16. #16
    Only mrsCALoki would say that. Any other SP that posts here will tell you that they enjoy some of the sessions.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by TeasePlease View Post

    Put another way, can an SP truthfully tell us
    To trutfully answer these questions is financial suicide. And for an SP to admit it to ourselves is just not something we want to do while forced to keep doing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by TeasePlease View Post
    1. Have never personally enjoyed a session with a client? Gotten off?
    I cannot speak for every SP. I know that after 6 months the majority are either jaded or have already left. I assume women who have worked in the industry for years must enjoy it. I know that some co-workers had to turn to drugs to deal with it. I know I was conflicted and had a lot of fun but the sex part was never something I would have done if I had other options.

    Quote Originally Posted by TeasePlease View Post
    2. Have never done something with one or two clients that they normally don't do in sessions because they liked a client or felt some chemistry?
    Often to keep a good client. Ever get a free coffee from the local coffee shop so they can keep you as a customer? Roll up the rim to win? Sales is all about making each customer feel a connection and feel special.

    Quote Originally Posted by TeasePlease View Post
    3. Have never developed a personal friendship with a client, corresponding in between sessions or meeting socially outside of work?
    About the same as any service provider. I used to be a waitress at a bistro near school. I would be hit on a half dozen times a day. I occupationally let one take me out for coffee or even to a nice dinner. If they felt safe and were not weird. I think those guys had a better chance to develop anything more with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by TeasePlease View Post
    Is this still "just business"?
    I do not know. I guess it is different for everyone of us. I am a hypocrite, because I fell for a client. Well not exactly, I let a client turn me into his sugar baby. And one day I decided I was falling in love. I had to change how we related before I could allow myself to fall though.

    In general, I guess most of us are not here by choice and our trying to make the best of it.

  18. #18
    Thank you for your honesty. If my reading between the lines is correct, we're actually in agreement. You had rules that you respected, and once let your guard down. I've been there, too. We live and learn.

    I'm also intrigued by your last statement. At the risk of sounding contradictory, I also believe that very few sexworkers actually "enjoy" their work. I do not know of a single dancer, MPA or SP who would choose to do what they do if they had a viable alternative. (Indeed, I have befriended some legendary MPAs who were reknown for their "connection" with clients and who seemed to "truly enjoy men". To hear them speak of their careers and experiences now is shocking.)

    But, "viable alternative" and "here by choice" are highly subjective. Of course there are alternatives. Unless you're being coerced, there are always choices. Sexwork is an expedient choice to make fast cash. Not easy money, but quick money.
    You got the peaches, I got the cream.

  19. #19
    Thanks for all of the responses everyone. Going to make a specific comment to Tease's last comment...

    Quote Originally Posted by TeasePlease View Post
    Thank you for your honesty. If my reading between the lines is correct, we're actually in agreement. You had rules that you respected, and once let your guard down. I've been there, too. We live and learn.

    I'm also intrigued by your last statement. At the risk of sounding contradictory, I also believe that very few sexworkers actually "enjoy" their work. I do not know of a single dancer, MPA or SP who would choose to do what they do if they had a viable alternative. (Indeed, I have befriended some legendary MPAs who were reknown for their "connection" with clients and who seemed to "truly enjoy men". To hear them speak of their careers and experiences now is shocking.)

    But, "viable alternative" and "here by choice" are highly subjective. Of course there are alternatives. Unless you're being coerced, there are always choices. Sexwork is an expedient choice to make fast cash. Not easy money, but quick money.
    I definitely agree that terms like "viable alternative" and "here by choice" are highly subjective. I personally feel that words are generally like water; analyze them long enough and most of them flow into each other and absolutely refuse to be pinned down. This is especially true for the more abstract words.

    I'm personally an adherent to Determinism. For those unfamiliar with the term, wikipedia defines it as "the general philosophical thesis that states that for everything that happens there are conditions such that, given them, nothing else could happen." That being said, I'm extremely cautious when someone gets it in their head that they "know" how things will play out, whether in their own life, or in the life of someone else. Just as I believe that for every action, there is a reaction, I also believe that people detest being bored and I think there is nothing so dull as knowing in any great detail what you or someone else will do into the forseeable future. To escape this, people will do something simply -because- it's not what they would usually do. They may even do things in a random way in order to escape the predictability of their actions. There's also the matter of complexity; the more complex a system, the more difficult it is to predict. Going on my own life experience, people are immensely complicated and thus it can be difficult if not impossible to predict what oneself will be doing a year down the road, let alone what others will be doing.

    Anyway, I think I'm digressing a fair amount from the main subject of this thread. I created it in order to test my theory that polyamory, swinging and sex work have connections. I think that my theory has been validated to some extent, although I certainly recognize that amoung the 3 types, sex work may indeed be the most distant of the 3. I think that most people (and I include myself here) are extremely hesitant to associate money in any direct way with love and loving a client can get dangerously close to this. MrsCA mentions the fact that once she was falling in love for a sugar daddy, and although she never quite put it that way, I think that this seems to have been the very same situation that the SP I once knew found herself in. I myself was never her client and I think this was a good thing, as given the choice, I would rather have a friend then a sexual partner. Friendships are generally a lot harder to maintain then a business relationship, and my relationship with her was no exception. But I definitely agree with the old adage, "better to have loved and lost then not to have loved at all".

  20. #20
    Punster Extraordinaire
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    I have seen some overlap in the three, but as with anything, it depends on the individual. There's a certain common trait among swingers, poly people, and sex workers: A relaxed attitude towards sex.

    You combine that with a healthy relationship at home and a willingness to communicate effectively, then you will have some SP's enjoying the odd night at Oasis, or maintaining multiple partners. It really depends on the personal circumstance of the people involved. Nina Hartley has been into the swinger scene and has poly relationships for decades, beside being a porn star. Yet I know several SP's here in TO that have a healthy relationship with one single partner, and will not seek any pairings outside of work, be they casual or serious.

    The overlap, when there is one, is always discrete. Swingers and poly people, like the vanilla population, have varying views on sexwork.

    FYI Kirk: Your definition of polyamory is narrow and wrong: Polyamory is the maintaining of multiple, ethical, sustained relationships. They can be MFF, MMF, MMM, FFF, MFMFMF, etc... People living in a group, usually fluid-bonded, is not polygamy, but polyfidelity. Polygamy is a patriarchal concept, usually religious in nature, where one man has multiple wives. It's exploitative, generally discriminiating,and the open community as a whole distance themselves from it, as it is the opposite of what they represent.
    Anyone who says he can see through women is missing a lot.

  21. #21
    You terbies here are a smart and thoughtful bunch.

    I have a question about Determinism. Does it take responsibility away from the individual for the consequences of his/her actions? Or, is he/she still on the hook for getting into that "pre-determined" situation in the first instance?
    You got the peaches, I got the cream.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by mrsCALoki View Post
    I think that for many of us, clients are people who bring us money to do things with them that we have no interest in doing with them, unless money is involved. We can be taken to swinging functions, but we are there for money. I only know a few SPs that married clients, but as far as I can tell, the minute we see them as lovers, they stop being clients.
    I think that's reasonable. However, the fact that the relationship can change from one to another is a hopeful sign, in my view, and underlines the possibility that love can bloom from a "working relationship".

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by dreamblade View Post
    I have seen some overlap in the three, but as with anything, it depends on the individual. There's a certain common trait among swingers, poly people, and sex workers: A relaxed attitude towards sex.
    Good point.

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamblade View Post
    You combine that with a healthy relationship at home and a willingness to communicate effectively, then you will have some SP's enjoying the odd night at Oasis, or maintaining multiple partners. It really depends on the personal circumstance of the people involved. Nina Hartley has been into the swinger scene and has poly relationships for decades, beside being a porn star. Yet I know several SP's here in TO that have a healthy relationship with one single partner, and will not seek any pairings outside of work, be they casual or serious.
    More good points :-). Didn't know that about Nina Hartley, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamblade View Post
    The overlap, when there is one, is always discrete. Swingers and poly people, like the vanilla population, have varying views on sexwork.
    Definitely. Along that line, in the OP of this thread, I only linked to one of the polyamory forums where I had brought up this thread, because there wasn't much of a response in the other one. There has now been more of a response in the other one, so I thought I'd share that link as well:
    http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20758

    Also, I recently realized that there is one point that I think separates many poly/swinging people from sex workers though; cheating in the poly community is strongly frowned upon, whereas a sex worker told me that about 80% of clients are cheaters. She relied only on her own evidence collection, but this is something that I hadn't thought of too much until recently.

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamblade View Post
    FYI Kirk: Your definition of polyamory is narrow and wrong: Polyamory is the maintaining of multiple, ethical, sustained relationships. They can be MFF, MMF, MMM, FFF, MFMFMF, etc... People living in a group, usually fluid-bonded, is not polygamy, but polyfidelity. Polygamy is a patriarchal concept, usually religious in nature, where one man has multiple wives. It's exploitative, generally discriminiating,and the open community as a whole distance themselves from it, as it is the opposite of what they represent.
    I agree that polygamous relationships are usually as you describe, but... polygamy just means marrying more then one person. The fact that in our society this tends to only happen in cults (since marrying one person isn't legally allowed) may be more a reflection of our society then the fact that it's intrinsically bad. A marriage, at its core, is simply a contract; and I don't think that contracts are inherently bad at all. I think this is especially true if children are involved, as children require a lot of time and effort to raise and I don't think that one parent of a child (usually the father) leaving the other to raise the kid alone because he can (from what I've seen, child support payments are generally a joke if you have money for lawyers; or atleast that's the way it's been with my sister's ex husband) is the right thing to do. The only time he put down some serious money (still a tiny fraction of what he owes) on what he owes was so that he could keep on litigating in court with my sister over other issues.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by TeasePlease View Post
    You terbies here are a smart and thoughtful bunch.

    I have a question about Determinism. Does it take responsibility away from the individual for the consequences of his/her actions? Or, is he/she still on the hook for getting into that "pre-determined" situation in the first instance?
    It's like this; if a person has a contagious disease, you can feel all the sympathy in the world for them, but you still have to quarantine them. Apply this logic to truly dangerous criminals and you'll see where I'm going. Note that I'm not a supporter of many of the current laws, from the laws on prostitution to the laws on drugs, to say nothing of the laws made to benefit the rich at the expense of the poor.

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