Standing ovation. Well said, Dan.
I don't mean in any way to pile on the slut-shaming, but dang, the former sex worker thing is kind of a thing one should disclose before cohabitation. Before you live with a person, you really don't get to know them completely. LW's boyfriend should have been given the chance to work this through before shacking up. Two months after the fact is no good, and I think Dan gives the LW too much a pass on that. Now, the boyfriend is a total shit for the guilt tripping and negativity, that shit is all kinds of wrong. But LW probably could have saved a lot of pain for both of them by disclosing the facts sooner. LW didn't exactly set up this situation for maximum chances of success. Boyfriend is a douchey tool. Messy messy messy all over. Good luck.
Poster child for DTMFA.

"Oh this beautiful glass of fresh milk is so wonderful, except there's a small little shit at the bottom. How can I continue to drink it?" Nope. It won't work. Pour it out and look for another glass. It may be watered down, or goat's milk, but it is much better than the one with the shit in it.
@2 Ummm... no. Or maybe. But, if he REALLY had a problem with it, he'd have walked out. So what we have here is a sadistic, power-tripping asshole using this previously-undisclosed bit of personal history as a weapon to control and abuse the LW.

LW, this man isn't broken in any repairable sense. He's fucked up and probably dangerous to stay around. Don't walk, run.
@2 Yes, I think she should have that talk sooner next time, or in some other way feel out his opinion of sex work. But that's just acknowledging that in this country lots of people have bizarre and theologically based negative views of sex work (and sex in general), and those people aren't as obvious as one could wish (it'd be nice if they'd all just get a forehead tattoo warning sane people away)

Myself, I think consensual, adult sex work is morally equivalent to consensual, adult computer programming, or consensual, adult gardening. If you've done lots of jobs, you're probably not going to list them all right away, and sex work might not come up for awhile.

I don't see what the fuss is about - I'd imagine that period in her life has given her a store of entertaining and illuminating anecdotes, which can only be an asset.
I think I'm with @1. fess up early or don't fess at all.
Sometimes I mostly agree with Dan, sometimes I TOTALLY agree with Dan. This time is definitely the latter.
@2, she disclosed her sex-work past two months into the relationship. I think that's plenty speedy (and I'm not saying there is a duty to disclose such a fact either).

Now, it does seem like this relationship got a little fast tracked. It's only 8 months in; and while it doesn't expressly state that she made the disclosure after moving in together, I think we have to assume that's what happened since I don't think he would have moved in with her given his negative (i.e. asshole reaction).

So, mathematically, this means that they were cohabitating two months or less into the relationship...which leads to two bits of additional advice:

1) to the LW, don't fucking move in with someone two months or less into a relationship. And if you do, make sure at least one of you keeps their lease/mortgage on another place for at least a year; and

2) to the asshole boyfriend: if you move in with someone after only knowing them for two months, chances are pretty high you're going to discover some new surprising shit about them. Some good, some bad. If you can't be a fucking adult about these discoveries, keep your mouth closed, give em them good old "it's not you, it's me"...and move back into that apartment for which you kept the lease/mortgage.
8 months in & they're living together. Too much whirlwind in that romance. As @4 said, if this part of her past was simply unacceptable to the guy, he'd break up and leave everyone with some dignity and allow everyone to move on. The daily verbal abuse speaks volumes to his character. No question about this DTMFA.

And props to the LW for not backing down and pretending to feel regret or shame just to appease him. You are on the right track and being alone is better than this asshole!
A Marigold Award to LW's BF for impersonating Marigold Featherstone. When she learns that Guthrie boasted to Rumpole and Claude Erskine Brown about how girls (in this case, #3 Equity Court's typist, Dot Clapton) prefer an older man as a partner in every sense of the word, she informs Guthrie that she isn't going to leave him and make his seductions easier, nor is she going to forgive him. She'll just stay and keep him locked out of the bedroom.

A full half point to Mr Savage for acknowledging that LW might not find anyone else, as well as pointing out that being alone would still be an improvement on the present arrangement.
The LW should have known better than to date a Republican.
I agree his continued overreaction is cause enough for her to dump him. She disclosed her past. That's pretty candid and admirable. I wonder how he would feel if the situation slightly qualified were reversed? What if she posed the question 'Do you watch pornography? he said yes and she was outraged? I don't this fellow is acting rationally.
Some time with a therapist [sex-positive, of course] could be useful. Even after adventure, growth and empowerment, she is still drawn to abusers, and seems to have difficulty recognizing some pretty overt symptoms thereof.
Yes Dan, yes. What a piece of shit this man is. And while you're packing LW, getting the hell away from this creep, maybe mention how many of those men treated you with respect and appreciation, unlike himself.
@ 13 - That struck me too. Another abusive relationship. Moving in so soon into the relationship (abusers always want to shackle you down asap). And her accepting far more shaming than should be tolerated. There seems to be a pattern there, and the LW should work on eliminating it before her next relationship (I say next because this one clearly needs to be terminated yesterday).
I'm with the bandwagon: a good guy who felt this way would either learn to live with this (because things he thought weren't OK are now OK when they're part of _you_, whom he loves) or else dump you. This guy wants to stay around and hold his fictitious moral advantage like a hammer over you forever. Don't allow it.
Why, in the name of all that is holy, have you stayed with this man for this long. For fuck's sake, DTMOTHERFUCKERA!!!!
Fuck you too, number two. Seriously, what the hell does she have to disclose? Is she supposed to go through every previous job. "I used to work in a Taco Bell -- its nothing I'm proud of, but you know, I had to make ends meet ..."

Sorry, fuck that shit. Seriously, do you really think that if some dude was a mega-stud and slept with dozens of women (and, by the way, it isn't even clear she had that many clients) do you think he would have disclosed it before shaking up? Bullshit! The guy is an asshole. Dump that mother fucker to the curb. Well said Dan.

i mean @2 of course.
Ross — If I don’t know someone well enough to know that they are or have been promiscuous, or that they are doing or have done sex work, or that they were a virgin until they met me, then I don’t know them well enough to live with them.

Among other things, if we’re having sex I want to know what sex means to them.
@13 @15

Same here. This is another consuming and abusive relationship. No extra chance, please. DTMFA.
That guy is serious bad news. Doesn't sound like 20th chance material to me. He's obviously really really into being abusive.
Letter writer, you should ask yourself why are you repeating past behavior, this is the second abusive relationship you have gotten yourself into. DUMF, and get yourself into therapy, to break your pattern of behavior.
Would have been one thing if he was upset and disapproving about it but kept it to himself. If he's bringing it up on a daily basis, he doesn't want to make the relationship work.
@13, 15. Agreed the speed of this relationship and how quickly he jumped on the 'moral high ground' set off alarms in my head. Might be a good idea figuring out what the attraction is before starting another relationship.

@2 She did disclose and this is NOT first date info. She's not obligated to tell her life story to everyone she goes for a drink with. Holding back until you think they are trustworthy is a good idea, considering how badly and dangerously people can react.
I married a former high-end "specialty" male prostitute. Some of the work was terrifically dangerous. Nope, not like working at Taco Bell, except they're both in the service industry. When we hooked up, we used protection. When it got serious, we talked about those years for him and his current sexual attitudes. Combed through my thoughts and feelings too. Got tested in case we needed to do any 'workarounds.' Love him to the core and everything that makes him him. Remarkable skill set.

DTMFA, WOMAN! He doesn't like you.
A couple of things just occurred to me, so I hope the LW is careful:

1. Is the guy physically dangerous? Might he try to strike or rape her if she decides to move out? Are there friends who can be there to help her pack and move? If not, at least she should call a local women’s shelter for advice.

2. Be prepared for him to out her after she dumps him. He can’t be sued for slander if it’s true. Best I can offer is a couple of potential responses: “Wait, I’m the one who left him” or “When did he find this out? And he stayed with an ex-call girl for how many more months before I left him?”

He was a loving fellow until he wasn’t, so who knows what he might do. Perhaps the more lawyerly among us might have some thoughts? Good luck to the LW.
She might be right to worry about not finding anybody else. I'm 35, single, attractive, great job, and an even better heart. I love and care for "my" people. I haven't dated much because my dad was suffering a debilitating disease for years and I spent my free time caring for him until he passed 6 months ago.

Nobody in the ballpark of my age wants to date me. I'm too old. It doesn't matter that I weigh 5 pounds less than I did in high school, or that I'm a good person. The couple men I have found to date, everybody asks me what I see in them...I don't have a list of crazy requirements. My last boyfriend was heavy, shorter than me, and bald. And not such a good person. But nobody else is single.
I'm with the herd on this one...i.e... 1) Guy's an asshole. 2) Get out now and find someone who doesn't care about, or can live with your past. 3) Don't move in with someone you don't fucking know! 4) You have nothing to be ashamed of - everybody's gotta do what they gotta do. But unfortunately, I'm guessing (not everyone, but probably) the majority of guys out there are going to have a wee bit of a problem when they find out your past. Sadly, "bringing hookers home to meet Mom" is an area where most of us are going to come up a little short in the experience department. Best to pre-screen out the judgmental Mike Huckabee type assholes ahead of time and find someone who appreciates the concept of "practice makes perfect!" 5) Do NOT listen to what honour98@28 says (too old AT 35?!) I didn't meet my wife until I was 37, got divorced after 14 years and met the woman I was meant to be with at 54. There is still rubber on your tires, even if you've been around the block a few times. So, for you and @28, persevere. As a great philosopher once said, "It ain't over till it's over."

I'm sorry for your loss and I thank you for your patience and courage with your dad for so long.

I think it isn't that no one else is single, it's that no one else is single that you met. Isn't Dan's advice to get out there and do stuff where you meet people? So maybe you might join some activities groups or volunteer at an arts organization or a community organization or something.

Also, heavy , short, and bald would be your business, and people who question your judgment about that are assholes. But be with a good person.
Really Donny, @29. It would be interesting to see a showing of hands of men who have been with sex workers. Oh, and all the women men have fucked, I wonder how many of them they had strong feelings for or they were just a convenient lay.
This woman has no reason to feel any shame for how she conducted herself, because she is comfortable with her past.
Fuck him and fuck the hypocritical males who don't mind using women, and not paying.. But somehow want to take The Good Girl home to meet mamma.
I don't believe sex workers have anything to feel shame for, if they do feel it, then that is something they would need to confront.
The LW feels ok re herself. Then that should be the end of it.
Where would the world be without sex workers. What would all those men do if they couldn't access sexual pleasure in exchange for money?
More rape would happen, I imagine.
Well, Lava@31 here's an interesting link… to one page with prostitution Statistics by country. (Aussies are way down towards the bottom (fittingly enough) I wonder if it has anything to do with the ready availability of wallabies and such?) I agree that people can get sooo judge mental (splitting the word in two was my iPad's idea, but I like it) about what kind of sex is Proper and what kind isn't. It's all rock-n-roll to me.
Dan got this one right. If FCG needs any more convincing, I ask her to look at it like at my abbreviated version of her letter:

For years I was in an abusive relationship. I finally got out. I met someone I really liked, but 2 months into that relationship he started saying abusive things to me too.

Notice that if you remove the prostitute stuff, you're left with someone who has gone from one abusive relationship to another. This one is going to take some therapy to uncover what's going on. It could be bad luck. It could be something deep dark psychological leading to bad choices.

A comment that could be irrelevant but probably isn't: It's not at all unusual for people to be attracted to people that allow them to replay childhood unresolved relationships with the hope that the outcome will be different this time. Children of alcoholics fall for alcoholics. I've heard of one woman saying that she knew a guy had a problem with alcohol the minute she felt the twinge of attraction to him even if they'd never spoken. It was like she had a sixth sense for alcoholism detection that showed itself with her interest. When, with therapy, she started resolving the old issues, she was able to start being attracted to men who didn't drink.

The trick is going to be to find a therapist who doesn't think that working as a prostitute was another in the long line of seeking abusive relationships.
Dave @8: I disagree somewhat with your reading of the timeline. Yes, it's a whirlwind; but to me, the letter read like they moved in together and two months after that she disclosed the prior sex work. He has been giving her hell for "months," plural, since. So this means they moved in together a minimum of two and a maximum of four months after they met.
I agree that the lesson for FCG is: Don't move in that quickly, and don't move in until after you've disclosed about your previous sex work.
Honour @28: Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Loads of other people are single. And if no one your age wants to date you, why not try men who are 10 years younger? Or 10 years older? I'm 44, split up with the person I thought I'd be partnered with at 39. Wondered whether I should believe all that "you have a better chance of being kidnapped" bullshit, decided not to. Hooked up with previously platonic friends. Posted a few ads on dating sites. Had lots of fun and am now happily dating not one, but two, lovely men who are absolutely crazy about me. If you're a good person with as good a figure as you say, your only obstacle is your attitude.
Alison @20: EXACTLY.

"...just how much is true love worth sacrificing for or going through some temporary by flagellation for?"

Urgently needed: a bunch of therapy until you can explain why on Earth you're asking this question about someone you've only known for maybe eight months and who's treated you incredibly shittily for maybe six of those. What the hell.

That's not what true love is like. Fix whatever's leading you to repeatedly mistake "is a total asshole" for "is in love with me."
Also, what everyone else said: Your sex life should pretty much be cards-on-the-table before moving in with somebody. If it's too soon to tell someone everything, it's too soon to live together.

If you can't go through with disclosure, because something's telling you it's not a good idea to disclose? That "something" is also telling you that moving in with this person would be a terrible idea.
LW, don't be too concerned about your ability to attract someone else, if that's important to you. How many women are able to launch a successful sex-work career in their forties? You obviously have tangibles/intangibles with a lot of appeal. DTMFA.
Excellent response Dan. FCG you sound like a sane, honest, sex positive and independent woman. You deserve not just acceptance but respect and love. Remember Dan's advice that when you tell someone something like this about yourself it tells them one thing about you and their reaction tells you everything about them. DTMFA.
@34: "The trick is going to be to find a therapist who doesn't think that working as a prostitute was another in the long line of seeking abusive relationships."

Yeah, I hadn't thought about how hard that's going to be. To be fair, I'm not certain that's wrong: given a string of abusive relationships interrupted by a stint of doing sex work, it's going to be easy for someone to see that as just another part of the pattern.

Full disclosure: A little bit biased against people who describe being a call girl as being a "high class call girl" when they do it. It's sort of like people who tell you they got a "justified" abortion. I mean... as opposed to what, exactly?
Being alone is WAY better than being with someone who says hateful, shaming things to you on a daily basis, and promises his attitude will never change. DTMFA
Eudaemonic: She did put "high class call girl" in quotation marks, and immediately went on to say there's no difference between that term and prostitute or sex worker. Perhaps she just wanted to specify she was not street walking, that her sex work was entirely her choice and under her conditions.
Sometimes the right advice is easy and what Dan should say is obvious. This is one of those times. But still, you gotta love the style; that response was fuuuucking great.
I agree with some people, disclosure before moving in with someone is important.

I am often surprised at how childish men are emotionally when it comes to them realizing their partners have been with other men. Most men have an "ignorance is bliss" approach and at any mention or knowledge of their partners past sex life then all hell breaks loose.

My current partner was literally surprised when she brought up a past sexual experience to me and then caught herself and expected me to blow up in her face, but I told her to continue and was interested because I'm not a child and we all have sexual pasts. I am assuming that's her experience in the past with men in those situations, the guy freaking out.

Its definitely a double standard too, men can galavant around and take pride in their sexual "conquests" but then expect women to live in an Amish community until they come to rescue them on a white horse and shining armor.

A lot of men, I think, romanticize the age old concept of dating then marrying some sweet young virgin woman who only have been with them. The way I see it, in my experience with friends and people I know, that some of the women in these situations are the ones who write into Savage Love about being with one guy since they were out of high school, have a few kids, and feel trapped. They want to go on grand sexual walkabouts now. I'd prefer to meet (and have met) a woman who has had her sexual adventures, one night stands, and is sexually liberated and has explored. I know that she knows the grass on the other side, not to say she will only ever want to be monogamous now, but she is not sheltered from a completely different life of a long term relationship. Plus experience is always better in the bedroom and we are both adventurous enough to want to bring others into our bedroom as well.
I hear what you're saying, Euda@41, fucking strangers for money is fucking strangers for money...unless...there is a difference...

You're blowing meth addicts in an alley, opposed to...

Truly high-end call girls call it "The Brick."

That's $40,000 in hundred-dollar bills in a package, payment for a long weekend on a yacht in the Caribbean with a super-wealthy "date" or a week-long trip to Europe to keep company with a sheik.

If you're doing that, or a similar variation thereof, I guess you could call yourself "high-end".
@43: Fair enough. I get that twitch, even if it's not a wholly rational twitch--it reminds me too much of people shitting on other people like themselves to try to win points with people who biased against people like themselves; I'm sure we can all think of examples (like 45).

There's a large inferential distance, though, since it sounds like LW and I come from very different places in terms of when to move in and when to disclose. I don't let someone move in until we know each other well, and not if it looks like it's going to be short term, but on the other hand I'm very pro-disclosure, and I think I might be the weird one there.

I mean, by two months, I want to know basically everything, and if I don't, that's usually a sign that the relationship's on the way out. What have you done before? Where? With how many people? When? What have you never done but always wanted to? What's always sounded fun, but too scary to try in real life? Why? What've you done that was fun, but you want to do differently going forward? Tried, hated, want to try again differently? Tried, hated, never want to try again? Tried, loved, but don't want to try again? Tried, loved, but always wanted to try in a different way? Always done before but secretly hated and are totally done with? Never tried, never going to? Always done before, and can't get enough of? Tried, meh, could take it or leave it? Tried before and didn't like it, but have a dozen ideas for how to do it better? Never interested in before, but curious about it now? Old favorites that you haven't gotten to do in a while? Never tried, sounded interesting, but never comfortable talking about? Tried a lot, boring, but essential? I usually want to know all of those, and get on better with partners who want to know the same.

@46: I haven't known many women in that line of work, but in my very-limited experience they just call themselves "escorts," and don't say "high-end" or "high-class."
Euadaemonic @38:
If you can't go through with disclosure, because something's telling you it's not a good idea to disclose? That "something" is also telling you that moving in with this person would be a terrible idea.

Exactly right.

Also pretty much everything else you’re saying today.
This is an abusive relationship. This is what emotional abuse looks like. Even if you can get him to lay off the sanctimony about your sex work, he's going to come up with a new reason that you're a terrible human being. The comments directed at making you feel shameful are not a temporary setback on the road called love, the proclamations of love two months in were what was temporary, and designed to justify isolating you with him.
I'm sure there is something that you feel you owe him, or maybe you just fear being alone, but I can assure you that you don't owe this asshole shit. Not money, not a place to live, not your understanding of that he is just it a really weird place right now...
People like to say there are plenty of fish in the sea, and there are, but when you are getting out of an abusive relationship I think it's better to think about all of the better things about being single. You get the whole bed, pick your music, hangout with friends and family you haven't seen in a while, not have to check in with anyone before you make plans. Because you are going to need some time to unpack the bullshit before you are ready for relationships again. And if you can do that you have a much greater chance picking a good one and building a healthy relationship in the future! Good luck! DTMFA!
I understood "high end" as a way of painting a picture, a way of explaining how from her perspective she could love the work so much and from his perspective it was just being a whore. Compare it to one person who works as a chef in a 3 star Michelin rated linen tablecloth restaurant who is knowledgeable, treated well, and makes good money as opposed to someone working at a fast food place for working long hours at low pay taking guff from management and customers alike. Both are cooks, but I understand why the guy at the first place loves his work.

As for a string of abusive relationships-- FCG mentions "getting out of a consuming and abusive relationship." We don't know how long it lasted. Then there was the call girl work followed by the guy she's writing for advice about. I'm not sure I would call that a string. It could be-- or not. Going with my analogy from 34, sometimes someone ends up with 2 alcoholics by coincidence.
Hmm, I find the "ageism" totally offensive.

Actually, no, I don't quite: I find Dan's gap in reasoning to be offensive - he more than anyone should know that people of all ages "settle" for partners that are emotionally abusive, manipulative, and so on. We've read dozens of letters detailing similar interactions from teenages, twenty-somethings, thirty-somethings, etc. Maybe LW is settling, maybe not, but if she is, her age doesn't seem to be the driving factor.
@51: I think you're not quite reading Dan's reasoning correctly. Saying "It's common for people to think X" is not saying "You should think X, because X is true."

Description does not equal endorsement.
Fan@35; and what else need a person explain before they move in together?
Were they breast fed; did their parents love each other; if any work they did exploit third world people, etc.
The list of must tells before moving in together could be endless.
Why especially does the fact the LW did sex work need to be told before moving in together?
@28 - you are still grieving. Most Anericans are cowards about death and can't even have a conversation about it, let alone date someone recently bereaved. Also, you sound a bit depressed - you can't really believe that "no one" is single, can you? Your happiness, on your own, is your path to a happy relationship. It's normal to be depressed right now, and some grief therapy can really help. If you continue to have self defeating thoughts, seek some individual therapy. You deserve to be happy and loved, and a good therapist can help you get there. Starting with yourself.
@53. Exploited.
Also, for those that say she disclosed too late, keep in mind that it takes a few months to determine someone's trustworthiness. Before that, you're not sure whether he'll hit you, call your boss, post about you on the Internet, God only knows. Men are fucking scary sometimes and women know better than to make ourselves vulnerable to someone too soon.

And if you think you wouldn't date a sex worker but you've had sex with lots of women or would date someone who'd had sex with lots of men, think about that. How is going home with a man from the bar superior to getting paid for it?
"just how much is true love worth sacrificing for or going through some temporary by flagellation for?"

"True love" is certainly worth going through dumping this piece of shit to be able to go look for it. Though I wouldn't call kicking his abusive ass to the curb and regaining your freedom a sacrifice by any means.

You are the product of all of your experiences, good and bad, including all the previous sex you had and whatever relationships were the context for that sex (financial, romantic, abusive, and so on). Someone who actually loves you will understand that and appreciate you for who you've become as a result of those experiences. That's "true love", not that foolish infatuation that the movies and romance novels talk about that leads people to move in together before they've gotten to know each other. This MF doesn't even know what love is. Learn from this experience too and move the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck on.
LavaGirl @53,

Breastfeeding seems irrelevant to moving in together; but yeah, I wouldn't move in with someone I didn't know well enough to know what their primary model of family life had been, or pool financial responsibility with someone whose economic history and values I didn't know. I don't need to know these things about most people. But for a life partner with whom I am sharing sex and finances? Yeah, I expect I'll have learned these things as the relationship evolves naturally, at some stage previous to the moving-in-together stage.

Can you imagine moving in with someone without ever having heard about how they grew up or how they earned a living? Wouldn't it be weird not to know?
One question none of us has brought up is why on earth Mr. FCG is staying with someone he has so little regard for. Regardless of what FCG, Dan and the folks in this comments section think of sex work, this guy believes it's dirty, regretful, wrong, and that women who do it have sold their soul. He's haunted by the idea that his girlfriend did it. And yet he's still hanging out with her.

I'm imagining him writing to a conservative religious advice columnist:

Almost a year ago I met a woman in a pub. We hit it off right away. For one thing, she doesn't drink. I thought myself lucky. Then 2 months later she told me she had been a whore for months after she broke up with her old boyfriend. I'm totally disgusted, can't get it out of my mind, and the worst of it is that she doesn't even regret what she's done. I don't see how I can forgive her if she refuses to see what a horrible she did. I tell her everyday. Nothing changes. I'd like to move past this, but it haunts me. Should I move out or continue to remind her of her dirty acts in hopes that she'll at least show some remorse?

I like to think that my imaginary conservative religious advice giver would tell him to move on and find a nice pure girl instead. That would be win/win. Put in neutral terms, they disagree about something important, will never see eye to eye on it, and therefore should break up.
@58 - That was an thought-provoking (but disturbing) little thought experiment. One thing a conservative Christian advice columnist would tell him for sure is that he needs to get her to pray for forgiveness, and that he should try to forgive her, once she's all right with Jesus. Which all sounds nice and sweet... except, of course, for the insulting, patriarchal bullshit about needing to be "forgiven" in the first place by God and then by him.

However, he seems to be taking a kind of secular equivalent to this process by insisting she express regret and remorse, which on top of being pure assholery, has no hard-and-fast rules about how or why 'forgiveness' occurs. So it will never end.

But ultimately, yes, if they break up, she wins. We agree on that.
@58: Because Mr. FCG is an abusive piece of shit. A functional adult who did not want to be in a relationship with someone who had been a sex worker (or... a former smoker, or a former beauty pageant contestant) would say something like, "Thanks for sharing that with me. I respect your right to make your own choices, but I'm looking for someone who made some different ones, so I think we're not a match and should split up."
@41@46 @50 - In the average city, "high end" or specialty escorts - like my husband's previous work - can start at $2,000 date for a 60 min session and go up from there. This cost affords client screening, security, autonomy. This also limits the number of events where things 'go dark' with a client. (The movie "Leaving Las Vegas" wasn't unrealistic). Unwelcome abusive work events do emotional damage. @50 has a pretty good sense of the practical difference, as the likelihood of ending up seriously hurt or emotionally burned goes up as your desperation increases and work boundaries drop.

If her sex work was for money to support an undisclosed habit (doesn't seem to be the case here - sounds like hooking was a short-term lifestyle experience) those unwelcome encounters stack up quickly. Bi-polar mania sometimes takes people into the liberated sex worker role for a spell...Another issue to get real about, if she's dealing with that.

Regardless, there should be no judgment. It's decent work and a rich chapter in your life resume, if you are lucky.

I'm not sure why the married clients were important to her story unless there is guilt, or there's a power trip in it for her. Not her responsibility to manage clients' personal lives, any more than a waitress who serves wine to alcoholics with dinner... Maybe her abuser boyfriend got into her head. DTMFA.
You don't know why breast feeding would be important Alison.. It's a pretty clear indication of having had a mother who understood and could handle intimacy with her child. And the value to the body of breast milk over formula. And intimacy behaviour learned from the mother is one's life prototype, until therapy.
Yes. A lot of women can't do it, and still feel that intimacy.
I agree, knowing a person's story before one moves in with them is important.. Knowing their sexual history, person by person, with some men that could take many months to get thru.
This woman worked for several months at one job.It wasn't her work for years and years.
@60: "A functional adult who did not want to be in a relationship with someone..."

This is a mistake people make all the time: you're assuming he's not functional, but I don't see any reason to think so. He's been doing this for months, which tends to mean that it's getting him what he wants. That's perfectly functional; he's doing it because it works.

Shaming her about her past gives him leverage in the relationship, which means he's going to keep doing it. Forever. Precisely because he is functional; pretty much everyone likes having control over their environment, and he's found an effective way to accomplish that.

Don't mistake a functional adult for a functional adult whose goals are only the ones we approve of. Plenty of fully-functional people want things the rest of us would rather they didn't, and all functional people do things that get them what they want.
Re @62. Yes it could take some women months to get thru their sexual history as well.
Lava@53, Alison@57, What we do in the past makes us who we are in the present. While I agree that it is wholly her own business, joining a partner in a committed, possibly lifelong commitment calls for a certain degree of honesty - and this is a little different than, "I fucked the pool boy one weekend when I was drunk". I think it would be disconcerting to share a life with someone who had a years-long "can't talk about that" gap in their life. What? Did you kill a dozen people and make lampshades out of their skin? No? Just fucked a bunch of guys and made a ton of money? I guess that's not so bad. The goal is, of course, find someone who accepts you for who you are, and who you were. If it means a breakup, then he/she wasn't the right partner anyway. Also, weigh the consequences of disclosure now vs him/her inevitably finding out later - 'cause this stuff always comes out eventually. And then it's gonna be a real shitstorm.
@56: "And if you think you wouldn't date a sex worker but you've had sex with lots of women or would date someone who'd had sex with lots of men, think about that. How is going home with a man from the bar superior to getting paid for it?"

This shouldn't have been a rhetorical question, but I'm pretty sure it was.
@63: I'm not mistaking anything - my definition of "functional adult" means not just "able to get what he wants" but "able to get what he wants without hurting other people". IOW, it includes empathy and ethics. Someone who lacks those things can pass as a fully-functional member of society, but I don't consider them fully functional. Perhaps you'd prefer a more specific term than "adult", but I chose it because I consider those people to be partially trapped at an early stage of development. A 60-year old man who has not learned to accept that he needs to respect other people's boundaries or autonomy has not IMO earned the right to be called an adult.

I agree that he's doing it because it gives him what he wants - power over her. The fact that he feels like he needs power over her is what makes him a failure as a completely socialized human being. He's acting like a small child who didn't get what he wanted for Christmas, except worse because he's large enough to be threatening and a child would have long since forgotten and moved on by now.
@67: "I'm not mistaking anything - my definition of "functional adult" means not just "able to get what he wants" but "able to get what he wants without hurting other people"."

This seems odd, because it means there aren't really any functional adults. I mean, who made your pants? Who made the machine you're typing this on?

I don't really see the bright line between "Exploits slave labor to get what he wants, but does it in a societally-approved way" and "Exploits emotionally-vulnerable partner to get what he wants, and does it in a mostly societally-approved way."

People are mostly assholes, and when people are in a position where being an asshole gets them what people want, they'll be more asshole-ish than usual. That's life. Part of adulthood is avoiding providing these incentives; don't reward behavior you don't like. People who don't do what they have to to get what they want are rare, and counting on empathy to make them ignore their current incentives seems nonfunctional to me.

"The fact that he feels like he needs power over her is what makes him a failure as a completely socialized human being. "

But everyone feels like they need power over their environment. Other people are part of that environment; if you give them a route to that power that involves hurting you, you'll get hurt a lot more than normal. Not because they're nonfunctional, but because they are functional, they're just not machines optimized for niceness.
@28 I agree with #42. Being alone sounds better then being with someone who treats you like shit.

But then I think one of the most damaging beliefs is the belief that you have to be in a relationship to be fulfilled and 'whole'. It's not that you shouldn't want love and companionship, it's that it shouldn't be the 'all' of life.

I think far too many people get into and stay in crappy relationships for this reason.
That's where we differ Donny. I don't see why a shit storm has to occur at all, if some men didn't carry a double standard It wouldn't.
Could you list here and now the women you have fucked? How many involved love how many involved opportunity, no affection?

What is wrong with both of these people? They are both unbelievably immature. Him - if you can't accept her past, break up and move on, don't stay with her and harp on her past constantly. ..for what? I don't get it. Her - this needs to be shared sooner. For your sake, you need to know early if he will accept it so you can move on and avoid this. Why would you stay with someone who basically calls you a dirty whore every day? She says she had gotten out of an abusive relationship and it seems she hasn't done any therapy to work through why she chooses abusive men over and over.
Guess what LW. It seems you have gotten yourself into another abusive relationship. Moving in after being together a few months and he verbally berates you daily? At best you have to deal with verbal and emotional abuse daily. But more likely this will escalate to physical sooner or later. DTMF NOW
I'm with you Dan! I, too, worked as an escort for about six months five years ago, and I always tell the men I've dated since, usually very early on. Honestly, no one has had an issue with it. If anything, some were turned on and wanted to talk about it all the time. I think it's important in situations like this to only start dating guys who you have a sense will be accepting; I avoid conservatives, and not just for this reason! But then again, I'm in my 30s, so this might be an age thing. And to anyone who blames her for not admitting it sooner, sometimes escorts (like me) keep this side of their life completely secret from all but their closest friends. It is a secret that can do real damage in the wrong hands, and the first time I dated after, I waited a couple months to disclose as well. It's understandable to not give up that information super early, but it's also important to not date people who will judge it this way unless you plan on never disclosing.
LW - true love does not insult you and shame you on the daily. It builds you up on the daily. And no, the "really great things" he does do do not outweigh the fact that he makes you feel like shit - on the daily. And tells you to your face he won't stop.
@73: And to anyone who blames her for not admitting it sooner, sometimes escorts (like me) keep this side of their life completely secret from all but their closest friends."

Anyone who isn't one of your closest friends is also probably someone not to move in with, I'm thinking...

@68: If you're unable to perceive empathy, everyone looks like an asshole. You're effectively arguing that her abuser's behavior is normal - are you sure you want to do that?
Lava@70 It wouldn't result in a shitstorm if it was me, as I firmly believe that stuff in your past is just stuff in your past but I don't think that's true for the general population. However, hiding things from your partner is rarely a good thing.

I could make an attempt at the sex partners list, but the vast majority of them fall in the rather hazy halls of my teens-thirties and names are a bit harder to resurrect from the archives now, especially for the one-night stands. (There was "concert-girl" and "incredibly hot girl who took my hand at bar close that one time" and "business conference-girl"...fond memories, all.) I always tried to be straight with the ladies about what I was looking for, and parted amicably for the most part. Lived with one woman who invited me to her wedding, where I sat at the table for all her other ex-boyfriends.

As for "opportunity vs love" probably 50/50 in sheer numbers, but love, of course, has the lion's share when it comes to duration.
@76: It's a mistake to try to see people who behave badly as abnormal. They're not, because abnormal has connotations of "rare," and they most definitely are not that. Assholes are almost always normal people; normal people doing normal things. Bad behavior isn't unusual.

But this whole thing is a semantic dispute.
And, @70, please don't make this only about men carrying a double standard. I've known plenty of women who could more than hold their own in that area.
She was in an abusive relationship before, and now she's in one again. Get out now.
Could there be a taste of self-flagellation in having this guy shame her for her past? Did former abuser also shame her about her sexuality? At any rate, being in a relationship with an abuser may feel so familiar on an unconscious level that she needs Dan and 100 strangers telling her to DTMFA, and yesterday.
My only input/question is this...what is the difference between paid sex vs. Casual sex besides the obvious exchange of money? I believe with the LW boyfriend it is a firm double standard and the control he wants to have over her obvious confidence. Shame on him and I pray she runs because he will not change and may possibly be physically dangerous to her when she doesn't change. And my implication is he will hurt her into submission
I'm sure the LW boyfriend has had a few sexual partners under his belt and did he actually expect her to not have any? So what she got paid for a few of them. Hell, he was giving it away for free apparently. She needs to dtmfa.
Donny, the LW didn't hide things from this guy, she told him as she told him.
And I am making it about men, in the area of sex and double standards. You been with any women who turned their noses up at the no of lovers you had in your life. I'm guessing not.
The GP is where the men are who go to sex workers.
And you did bring up taking girls home to mamma.
@83 I never said the LW was hiding things....we're in the territory of commenting on comments now, and I believe I was referring to you @53 when you said, Why especially does the fact the LW did sex work need to be told before moving in together? The "momma" comment was made in the context of the double standard (though that may not have been clear). And, yes, more than once there were jealousy issues (by my female partners) when it came to past lovers (though maybe not the number of past lovers- women tend to zero in more on specific instances). I think a lot of people are insecure, and feel they have to compete with the past. From my experience, I think its just as common for women to be jealous of other women as it is for men.

One more thing...seems to me "She sure has fucked a lot of guys" doesn't carry nearly as much weight when you're in your 50's as it does in your twenties. Now it's more like, "Excellent! I bet she really knows what she's doing!"
@62 "You don't know why breast feeding would be important Alison.. It's a pretty clear indication of having had a mother who understood and could handle intimacy with her child."

Sure, in general, breast is better than bottle, no arguments here. AND there are a lot of women with really good reasons to not breast-feed: mechanics (poor milk supply, baby can't latch, etc), disease (do you really want to give an infectious disease to a newborn baby?), chemicals (if mother is on many medications or using illicit substances, it would be better not to expose the baby), socioeconomic status (mother has to work 80 hour weeks and can't pump), historical context (past generations were taught formula was better for babies), social stigma (some countries it's not safe or acceptable to breastfeed in public), the list goes on and on...

Let's please not shame mothers who are doing the best they can, or who are protecting their babies' health by not breast-feeding. There are women with severe depression who literally go off meds and then kill themselves because of the fear of polluting their babies' milk. Let's also not shame people whose mothers bottlefed but were loved anyways.

Thanks. In general I also usually really enjoy and appreciate your comments Lavagirl. Thanks for reading and considering this differing opinion.
LW, get out now. My father used to use my mother's sexual past against her constantly, and my brother and I had to witness this. We watched him do this from the time we were toddlers, until I was 14 and he moved out. It was confusing and awkward to be a young kid not knowing what he was talking about when he brought up these sexual terms, and then traumatizing as a middle schooler when I realized what he was talking about. Considering that my parents had been together for six years before they had me, this means my father was harping about this for twenty years. He abused her physically too, especially in the later years of their marriage. GTFO.
You are under no obligation at all to share the fact of having done sex work in the past, in any case. That is your private business and part of the past, and you have the right to keep it to yourself if you wish. It has nothing to do with your partner or anyone else.

But Dan is right - he is treating you like dirt. Get away from him asap.
M&M@85. Yes, after, I thought perhaps I shouldn't have said that. And gay parents can't breastfeed either and I'm sure they dearly love their kids.
Apologies to anyone I offended.
It seems to me that a former sex worker is in a sticky predicament when it comes to dating.

Reveal too soon, and you might scare away someone who could have been a good match, if they'd had time to get used to the idea. Or worse yet, the guy could be an asshole who outs you in some way.

Reveal too late and risk having the relationship blow up in your face because the partner wanted to know that kind of information earlier in the relationship.
Lava @53: Are you familiar with the legal concept of materiality?
A person should disclose anything material about themselves before they move in. I'd describe this as anything which has the potential to change someone's view of a person. Anything which they themselves, or the typical person-on-the-street, might find a significant fact. Divorced? Has kids? History of substance abuse problems? Was born assigned the opposite gender? To some people, these matter. It's important to know whether you're dating one of those people before you move in. It's more for the benefit of the discloser than the disclosee, as FCG's experience shows. "Why expecially does the fact that she did sex work need to be disclosed..." Because the partner could, and in fact DID, react like an asshole. Better for that to have happened when simply walking away was an option.

Secretagent @56: Two months isn't "too late." One year wouldn't have been "too late." After moving in is "too late." But agreed -- having a promiscuous past is just as worthy of early disclosure as sex work. These experiences shape who a person is. Why wouldn't you want your partner to know who you are before you move in with them, fer chrissake? Now, I don't necessarily mean a Spanish inquisition like Eud describes* -- for one, it's nice to discover sexual things about your partner even a couple of years into the relationship -- or numbers or anything so gauche, but what your values and views are and/or were is important.

*Eud - I know that you probably mean you want someone with whom all these questions come up openly and naturally in conversation, not that you want to subject all of your dates to the sexual-history third degree, but I'm choosing to hyperbolise your approach to highlight the extreme end of "openness."
Lava @70: "I don't see why a shit storm has to occur at all, if some men didn't carry a double standard It wouldn't." Yes. She should disclose in order to find out whether she is dating one of those shitty double-standard men.
Eud @78: Semantics, yes. You're conflating "normal" with "typical."
It didn't take me long to come to DTMFA either. But it seems they moved in together awfully fast, and perhaps she should have mentioned this before they did. (I have to wonder if her eight months as a call girl was a sort of healing for her. I also wonder if she's drawn to abusive men.)
@90: *Eud - I know that you probably mean you want someone with whom all these questions come up openly and naturally in conversation, not that you want to subject all of your dates to the sexual-history third degree, but I'm choosing to hyperbolise your approach to highlight the extreme end of "openness."

Fair enough. For what it's worth, I realize that I'm probably at one of the ends of the bell curve when it comes to openness (and possibly closer to the other end when it comes to moving in, for all I know). What I mean is usually by the one- or two-month mark, both of us should be in the "You're fascinating and I want to know EVERYTHING about you and now we're close enough that I can finally ask" stage, and if either of us isn't, that's usually a pretty good sign that we should both move on if we're looking for long-term partners. Because if that stage is already over, it means things are cooling off, and a relationship that's cooling off after a couple months is a short-term one.

To be fair, there is one question in that list that's a DTMFA if anything comes up, even though in practice it wasn't so much "DTMFA" as "We're probably not right for each other and should keep looking." As opposed to the normal mismatch, where if anything's on one person's can't-do-without list and is on the other person's will-never-do list, it means they're not the right fit.

...and yes, I recognize that I'm also toward one edge of the bell curve in terms of how many relationships people should have, and how hesitant people should be about leaving one. Deep down, I'm kind of unshakably convinced that it's really hard to know who you are and what you want until you've had, I don't know, a dozen or so maybe-serious relationships. I guess for most people they think the number is 1 or 2, rather than 12+?

@92: "Semantics, yes. You're conflating "normal" with "typical."

Indeed. With good reason; from the definition of "normal:"
1. usual; regular; common; typical: the normal way of doing it, the normal level
I'm conflating them because normal includes typical. Atypical is never normal.
Semantic argument aside: It's a mistake to describe something typical as not normal, because it makes it too easy to see it as being unusual. In this case, convincing yourself that assholes are rare isn't a great idea. Half of all humans are below average, after all.

Unrelatedly: All the people asking rhetorical questions about "How is sex for money different from sex for love, or at least affection and attraction?" should stop and realize that there are answers, and that the rhetorical question therefore carries no persuasive power. If it helps, remember that almost every human is absurdly, hilariously insecure about how other people really feel.
Okay Eud, I'll bite. What are the answers (plural!) to the un-rhetorical question regarding how sex for money is different than sex for love, or affection, or attraction. And please address this particular circumstance where the woman wasn't a street-walking prostitute.

Also I know how you love analogies, but please try to stick to the actual answers (plural!) in your response.
1. Let me join the chorus, DTMFA.

2. I'd like to jib a bit over the "double standard" speak. It was definitely there when I was in high school - sexually active boys = studs/sexually active girls = sluts. One my friends was painted with that brush. However, when I hit the dating scene at 28 after a disastrous marriage, no one expected me to be a virgin or virginal. In fact, the meme running around at that time was sex on the third date. And the slutty friend from high school? No one cares anymore. So I'd say that the double standard is well on its way out the door and mature people with life experience under their belt don't expect their dating partners to be inexperienced.....

So I don't think that fits here or is fair because....

3. I don't find it a sexist double standard for a partner to be concerned over dating a former prostitute. I am pretty sexually liberal myself. If one of my boyfriends (or girlfriends, I like em both) told me, I'd be concerned. I wouldn't be a grade A @sswipe like this guy, but I'd be more circumspect about the whys and wherefores that lead to the decision and the judgment the person used when pursuing that line of work. Mistress Maitisse? Sure, that girl has her head screwed on right. A girl who did it to score her next heroin hit? Backing up a bit.

4. So to LW, don't stand for this. I engaged in swinging with my first husband, which is out there, although not perhaps as far as you. My ex made sure to tell me, as I kicked him out the door, "no decent guy would want you." Well, I told my now husband. He took it in stride. We definitely talked about it, for sure. He wanted to be clear that having an open relationship was not in the cards (I agreed). But he never ever treated me as a whore, called me names, or made me feel bad about my lifestyle. He certainly didn't raise it every day or expect me to repent.

So, this was a test, and your super nice guy failed. He isn't super, he isn't nice, and he isn't a keeper. Any man you'd want a long term relationship with is someone who can discuss this with you without crucifying you.

And go to some counseling, because it boggles me that you'd be willing to put up for someone who is doing this to you. each. and. every. day.
@ Eud - I'm 100% with you on the disclosure thing.

In theory, it's a great incompatibility filter. Unfortunately, in practice, I can't say I've avoided many problems because of it, as the reactions I got fell into two categories. Some guys believed me but thought they could change me (and failed, which led to a breakup, since we were fundamentally incompatible). Others thought I was exaggerating things in order to make myself look more interesting, more wild or whatever, just as they themselves were exaggerating things in order to make themselves look more interesting, more wild or whatever (then ended up having to own up to their lies when they realized I'd been telling the truth, which led to a breakup, since we were fundamentally incompatible).

What can I say? People are stupid. But at least I've always had the satisfaction of being able to say to myself that I had been totally honest, and that it's not my fault if others aren't. It's a small satisfaction, granted, but that means I've never lost any sleep over dumping a motherfucker.

I'm also 100% with you on the semantic debate. Assholes are the norm. To believe otherwise is misguided, and can be dangerous.
Jibe Ho @95 re Eud @94
This is an interesting question. Let me take a swing at it.

Daniel Ariely, a researcher in psychology has a chapter about this in his book, "Predictably Irrational." His idea, backed by experiment, is that we live in two worlds: one where social norms prevail, and the other where the market rules. When these to worlds collide, the results are not rational.

For example: someone who would be glad to drive you to the airport for free would be insulted if you offered to pay $2. The rational thing to do would be to accept the $2. After all, it's $2 more than you would have gotten. However, the offer of money has changed the rules from social norm, where people do each other small favors, to market norm, where you think that $2 is too little to pay for a ride to the airport.

Another example: You're invited to your mother-in-law's house for Thanksgiving. You could bring a bottle of wine as gift, but it would be more efficient to give her an equivalent amount of cash, so she can spend it on whatever she wants. The wine would be welcome; the cash would not. Again, when money changes hands, the rules change.

Now: about sex. Generally, sex is an intimate, highly personal activity that is firmly in the social world. Two people build bonds of trust and get to know each other better and better (hopefully). If money changes hands, all that goes out the window. What was an intimate process becomes a commercial transaction. Money has been traded for sex, and question for both parties becomes: did I get a good deal? The bonds that might have developed are cut (or at least retarded).

I'm not saying that a call girl and her clients can't genuinely like each other. In fact, there was a letter in this column about a customer happily marrying his former service provider. However, this can't be common.

One other thing that Ariely found in his experiments was that it was easy to move an interaction from the social to the commercial world, but difficult to move it back.

This is why it might matter to some people whether their partner was ever a sex worker. There could be a suspicion that the former sex worker might feel differently about sex in a fundamental way, having used it as a commodity in the commercial world.
Yes, it's a semantic debate, and a stupid one, since I never claimed that assholes were rare. Assholes are common, but they are also "deviating from a norm, rule, or principle", ie, that you should treat other people with respect. Calling the behavior of Mr. FCG "normal" does not help the LW at all. "Normal" also means "acceptable", and his behavior is NOT acceptable, so equating it with buying an iPhone is pointlessly argumentative rather than constructive.

I found it a lot easier to deal with assholes once I realized that their behavior was due to a deficiency in them - ie, they are poorly socialized and insecure. FCG needs to recognize that Mr. FCG's treatment of her is due to his inadequacy (his desire for power over her and his fear of her sexual agency), not some fault of hers (like failing to screen her clients on the basis of their marital status), and she needs to dump him yesterday. Then she needs to spend some time figuring out why she keeps ending up in abusive relationships with assholes so she doesn't go 3 for 3 next time around.

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