Written by MLNPstar Drew.
Sex work is something I never imagined myself doing.
I have sat staring at this screen for too long, trying to find words to write. The best I can say is that my life has changed a lot in the last six months, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I grew up as a fat kid with a lot of anxiety and self doubt. My parents are two wonderful artists and I am the oldest of four boys. I have always wanted to be creative and when I was a teenager I found photography as a medium for myself. I also grew up in a small town, very traditional and very Midwestern.
Sex was something rarely talked about and body exploration, was something that never happened, at least not in an open forum. For many of my guy friends, masturbation was a “shameful” thing to be known that you participate in.
At the age of 13 a “friend” of mine found out that I was exploring my body. This created a situation for me of daily and merciless bullying at a time when puberty and being sexually active was just coming to the forefront of my mind. The bullying became more then I could handle. It got to a point where people who had once been my friends, now only sought to track me down to mock me. I stopped riding the school bus, instead opting to walk the miles to and from school in order to attempt to avoid being ridiculed. For a year in junior high I dealt with this. I isolated myself from everyone and the fear and dread of this carrying over to high school gripped me so badly that I did everything in my power to distance myself from the town I had grown up in.
Ultimately that led me to leave my small town and move away. I couldn’t hack the ridicule and derision of my “friends” and peers. So I left and started over. This situation, along with being a heavy child created a perfect storm in me of spending much of my life incredibly uncomfortable in my own skin. I still carry a lot of it with me today.
But I have learned to trust, when I am given a compliment. I have learned to trust my partner, learned to trust my friends. The voices of doubt, while still always in my mind, have grown more and more quiet as I have aged and surrounded myself with caring creative people.
Two years ago, I left the comfortable realm of a job to fully throw myself in to film making and photography, so I did. I have a degree in film production that I had never used in my former career in retail, and I have been a photographer since I was a child. Photography and film making are my passions and I was growing frustrated by my day job. So I made the scariest, and to some people, most irresponsible decision of my entire life. I quit my job and went fully freelance. And I can say for sure that it has been quite the ride. For almost two years I worked, creating, creating all manner of things and most of it was for me or to share with the world. No pay, no clients coming in, save for some smaller things here and there. I thought to myself, I am never going to make it.
Now, if you have reached this point and you’re asking, “What does any of this have to do with sex work or Make Love Not Porn?” Here is your answer. Six months ago, I answered a craigslist ad to shoot adult content for MLNPstar Lily LaBeau. She was launching a new thing for herself and I tossed my hat in the ring to help. At this point I was ready to give up on chasing my dreams. As a photographer and filmmaker I wasn’t really booking enough work in my field and the stress of it all was starting to wear on me. I thought, “what was I thinking giving up my stable job to chase after this?” It brought up all levels of fear that I had faced and brought up many of my old anxieties, issues with my own self worth, questioning my skill set, and questioning my personal development.
I was exhausted, and felt very beat down by many different things. But taking on the job was something new and a chance for me to reinvigorate my creative career. It was slow going to start, but as I began to work with Lily she introduced me to Kimberly.
Immediately I was struck by how open, supportive, creative and exciting these women were. They were powerful, and both were running their own small businesses. I have always been drawn to entrepreneurship and found it exciting to be working freelance. I could be myself and even more so I simply felt accepted and embraced, by the culture, the work and the people involved.
Kimberly really went above and beyond to bring me in to the fold, to educate me in areas I was lacking and just the shooting of content for both Kimberly and Lily allowed me to actually use my field of study and degree to a practical ends. It gave me pride and encouragement to do more and to believe that I actually can make it as an artist. It is still a bumpy road and some days are better then others, but its moving in a direction that I would’ve never foreseen.
That all seems very clinical and not the fun stuff. The truth of the matter is that I found people who are supporters and patrons of the arts. They support small business they support and care for one another and in a very short period of time, I felt a very freeing feeling. I was doing something that I always loved to do, and so much of my anxieties and issues from growing up were falling away quickly. For the first time in my life, I felt at peace and comfortable with what I was doing. It was a gift that I had been given to be part of this and its something that at this point I wouldn’t really trade for anything. Never have I felt more aligned with things from a personal and career perspective.
Never have I felt more confident about who I am. I met empowered women who introduce me to other empowered people and it has gone a long way towards me being able to embrace myself.
I never would’ve imagined myself in sex work and it may not be something I do for the rest of my life, but I will never trade the time I have now, because it has changed everything for me.
This is why things like this are so important. People who are willing to put themselves out there are so important. When I was younger if anyone had helped me realize just how natural and wonderful all of this can be, I would’ve been saved a lot of years of anxiety and heartache. I am so thankful for all the people I meet now, who embrace this wholeheartedly and understand the difference it can make to someone like me.
To see Drew’s #realworldsex videos with Kimberly Kane, click here! To read more pieces like that, check out the MLNPstars Speak section of our blog! To support what we’re doing at MLNP and fund our crowdfunding campaign (thank you), donate here!