0120 - Sink, line, and hooker. - 2020.01.20
Of all the various forms of progressive newspeak that have changed our language (and, therefore, according to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, changed the way we think), I think I'm happiest that we've changed the way we speak about sex workers.
I don't have a problem with terms like "hooker" or "prostitute" or even "whore", per se, but I've always hated the phrase "selling their body". A sex worker, of course, does not sell or even rent their body, they use their body to perform a service. Piano movers don't sell their arms and legs, coders don't sell their fingers or their brains, singers don't sell their vocal cords.
As Lee has said, of course, they have no desire to be a sex worker of any kind. I think, though, that there are certain career paths that look a lot easier than they actually are to people on the outside. Lee is kind of like the non-racing-fan, scoffing at the Indy 500 because all they do is drive in a circle, and how hard can that be? It never feels good to be told that no, you'd actually be quite terrible at doing this thing you'd assumed would be simple.
It ties in to being valued, as well. Lee doesn't want have to be the one to pay to cuddle, because they want cuddling with them to be valued. Lee doesn't want to do work, they don't want to earn money, and (this is key) they certainly aren't driven to please a client, but Lee wants to be told that they're worth something. In defiance of the newspeak, Lee doesn't want to do sex work. Lee does indeed want to sell themself, Lee wants to be bought... or, at least, to be on a shelf with a price tag that says, numerically, how attractive and good and valuable and valued they are. They want people to say "yes, Lee is good and valuable and I'd be willing to pay millions just to kiss their feet!" and then they want to smile and casually dismiss the offer with no further obligation on their part.
To extend the metaphor to the aforementioned piano moving, Lee doesn't want to move pianos - piano-moving is beneath them, you see - but they do want to feel as though they're strong enough to move a piano if they wanted to, and they want to be praised/paid for being so strong.
Zoa, is, of course, quite correct. In a world where robotic labour has replaced most tasks we think of as "jobs", sex work of any sort is one of the few career paths where real contact with real humans is still an important element, and in a world without financial pressure forcing people into jobs they don't want, human sex workers are very well-valued and well-paid indeed. Lee could certainly charge a thousand creds for a session, easily. Zoa is also correct that Lee is, perhaps, the worst human being on the planet to go into such a career - their social anxiety, their laziness, their squeamishness, their discomfort with their own body, their insecurity about their own self-worth, their insistence that they are misunderstood paired with their utter lack of real empathy... Lee would almost certainly wind up refunding their clients' money for failing to show up at all, let alone provide any sort of service in anything resembling a satisfactory manner.
(Speaking of sex work, by the way - you all saw that I recently completed Brothel, my adult-party game, yes? It's a 18+ card game where players compete as sex workers to bring in clients to the titular establishment. You can buy a hard copy by clicking on this link here, or, if you've got a printer, you can become one of my Patreon patrons for as little as $1/month, and access a printable pdf of the cards. If you want to know how to play, I made a 12-page NSFW comic of some Forward and Leftover Soup characters playing it together. It's a fun game and I would certainly feel very valued if you'd check it out.)