On my first day of classes in my first semester of college, we were doing an introduction activity where we all go around the room and say a few things about us. This was the first time I had ever seen a woman proudly say that she was a sex worker, and it instantly intrigued me. She was a curvy, beautiful, redhead who did burlesque dancing and implied-nude modeling. You’re taught growing up, by society, that sex workers aren’t happy doing what they do, that they are broken or have addictions or other problems … that they are dirty and unwanted. However, I also saw an equal amount of sex being advertised as luxurious and fun, and the girls always looked so sexy and glamorous in movies, shows and advertisements. These opposing messages were really causing my opinions of the industry to be conflicted.
A few years later when I became a cam model, I knew I wanted to radiate that “I’m a sex worker and I’m proud” energy like Miss Helvetica Bold, but it wasn’t going to be easy. People in my personal life knew me as a goal-oriented, hard working, good girl focused on her academics. I used to be a part of two extremely conservative communities. Cadets was a very discipline-oriented program, and the baton twirling and pageantry world portrays the “All American Sweetheart.”
I genuinely love what I do, and I wanted to be open and honest with the people around me.
But at the same time, camming was amazing and made me so happy and motivated. It was the perfect mixture of all of my favorite activities; makeup, costume designing, writing, photography, marketing, networking and of course … sex. The most commonly participated in, and marketed subject, yet for some reason also one that holds such a heavy negative connotation. Did I really care if people didn’t approve? I was the happiest I’d ever been.
The first people I told were my close friends and that was almost immediately, because I knew that’s where I’d likely get the least amount of judgment. My friends thought it was awesome! They had a lot of questions and have always allowed me to be open and feel accepted. My dad is in the military so home life was pretty strict, but both of my parents had a good sense of humor and never missed an opportunity to crack a joke. Telling my mom went a lot better than I expected. After I told her, she laughed and said she was “a bit of a freak too,” but truthfully her only concern was my safety. I get so many comments about “what my parents would think” and I always say, “My parents raised me to be an independent, hardworking, open-minded woman. Do you think they’re upset, because that’s who I became?” My mom is actually really on brand and helps with things from photo shoot props, to event titles. She and my dad are both proud of my work ethic and independent hustle.
A few weeks after telling my parents I had a little family feud that resulted in some other family (not in the know) finding out and taking it to my parents to out me. I’m glad that I had told them ahead of time because it gave them time to process it, and decide how they want to react to situations like this. My parents just told them, “She’s an adult, it’s legal, she’s happy and doing well, what’s the issue?” And that’s how they reply to most people who bring it up.
The big day was when I came out to everyone on my personal Facebook. I knew a lot of people were beginning to find out and talk about it, and I didn’t want anyone to think it was something they had over me, because I wasn’t ashamed of it! I was, however, still really nervous typing it up and posting it. I remember hitting the “share” button, my hands were shaking and my face felt like it was on fire. I explained the empowerment and happiness that I’ve found in this industry … how I felt more in control of my life. I think I changed a lot of their opinions on sex work and sex workers. I was deeply touched by the amount of women, who I’ve known most of my life that flooded my inbox with their own stories as strippers and escorts.
To my surprise, there wasn’t one negative comment left on my post, and no one unfriended me. The only other negative comment that has made its way back to me was that a very distant family friend, I haven’t seen or spoken to in about 10 years said to someone that “it was a shame about Destiny,” but that never got to me, because the real kicker is that his daughter is a cam girl too. Ultimately, my story turned out to be a lot more positive than I expected, and I think it’s important for us to all share our stories so that we can give each other courage, and continue to move forward in proving the stigmas surrounding “sex work” wrong.
A woman who was unapologetically herself inspired me to tell this story, in the hopes that someone reading this might also be inspired in the same way. You certainly shouldn’t feel any pressure to come out if you aren’t ready, or if you think it could have severe negative consequences on your personal life and relationships. I genuinely love what I do, and I wanted to be open and honest with the people around me. I think my only regret is that now, the older generation of my family won’t wait until I leave the room to crack their dirty jokes!