Introductions as a poly whore can be awkward.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to telling a stranger that your whole life revolves around sex within the first 10 minutes of meeting them, but as I move through the world, bumping into new people, it’s something that I do quite often. A would-be fairy tale meeting at the bookstore can quickly become an uncomfortable exchange:
“Wow, I love Octavia Butler, too! So, what do you do for work?”
“Oh, um, I’m a professional companion.”
“…. what does that mean?”
“I’m an escort.”
“Wow. Have you ever had a real relationship while in this line of ‘work’?”
“Yes, all 3 of my current partners are very supportive of my career.”
“You have 3 partners?!”
“Yes, I’m polyamorous. And pansexual.”
This is usually the point where the other person realizes I’m not what they had in mind for their fairy tale princess and they excuse themselves from the awkward situation they’ve stumbled into.
It’s not merely potential romantic scenarios that can take an unexpected turn, but nearly any time I meet a new person I’m tasked with figuring out the right amount of information to both be honest and keep myself safe. Polyamory is based on honesty and transparency with all involved while professional companionship promises to honor the world of discretion, some would even say secrecy, within which it operates. The intersection of these ethical codes poses some interesting questions: Should we tell my partner’s best friend I’m an escort? What about their parents? What should I say when my regular barista asks me what I do for work? Does my partner’s partner need to know I’m an escort? My partner’s partner’s partner? How will the server react if I say I’m waiting for my boyfriend and my girlfriend? Does my sugar-daddy count as a partner?
As awkward as they can be, I must admit that I love introductions. I savor the rush of meeting new people, of opening my life to new opportunities, of creating spaces where we can share experiences and knowledge that helps us both grow. It’s a roller coaster that has different twists and loops every time I get on: the perfect ride for an adrenaline junkie.
There are a lot of assumptions about what it means to be poly, what it means to be a professional companion, and how these two identities intersect. It’s also true that these identities mean different things to the different people who own them. Personally, my poly orientation and career choice are connected, but not interchangeable, and their relationship is always evolving. I hope that through this blog, I can add something valuable to the conversation about dating, sex, and life. But first, we must get past the introductions.
Hi, my name is Ivy Quill and I’m the Poly Whore.
I can’t recall a time where I wasn’t thinking about sex. Not simply the physical act of sex but everything related to and surrounding it: meeting and being swooned by a new lover, connecting, falling in love, the honeymoon phase, making up after the first fight, experiencing true intimacy and vulnerability with another. I’m a hopeless romantic, I can’t help myself! I saw too many Audrey Hepburn movies as a young girl. My astrologist friends would say this is ‘typical Gemini behavior’.
My mother was also a stripper for 15 years. As a result, I was surrounded by interesting, beautiful and sexually powerful people – particularly women – from my earliest memories. Alternative choices and lifestyles were always on display as potential role models: I was raised within the counter-culture. Sex work was always a respectable and well-paid employment option in my house and no one in my family was surprised or disappointed when I made the choice to start dancing or when I finally settled on professional companionship.
As a polyamorous pansexual, I don’t limit myself in the number of sexual or romantic partners I can take at one time (as long as everyone is having their needs met) and I don’t limit my attraction to any specific gender identity or physical characteristic. In other words: if I’m attracted to what’s goin’ on inside your head, I’m attracted to whatever you’ve got goin’ on under your clothes.
I was in monogamous relationships for many years, including my first year of professional companionship. I’ve learned that for me, that’s not a healthy way to live. I require a variety of energies and physical connections that come with different partners to feel rejuvenated and inspired. I need to feel free to pursue the relationships which call my heart to them and the relationships with a stern paddle and my bottom bent over their knee. My romantic and sexual needs are so diverse that it’s impossible to ask them all from a single individual. So, I don’t.
Now that we’ve gotten through our awkward introductions, I hope this is the start of a beautiful new relationship.