Savage Love Letter of the Day: A Question Kicked to #SexWorkTwitter


"Liking your job"="Liking sex with lots of people".
You're just getting paid to be promiscuous. Admit it.

But here's a possible solution: he gets to see as many sex workers as he wants. Win/win.
No spunkbutter. Aside from your obvious bias, your 'solution' doesn't work. The 'solution' you're trying for is- he would also have sex with other people ONLY if they pay him for it and then live off that income.

The twitter responses were excellent. To me it seems like their only solutions are to open up the relationship (so they BOTH get to have sex with people in their private life independent of work) or else break up. Doesn't seem like the current situation is sustainable- too many misunderstandings.

They have a difference of opinion about the intersection of sex work and nonmonogamy. If that's an irreconcilable difference, then they should part as amicably as possible.
Unfortunately there's enough blame to go around. He might not understand what it means to date a escort; he also may not understand what she does in her line of work. Not all escorts end up in bed; some are just taking gentlemen out for a date and that's it.

That said if he's ignorant of sex work; it's pretty understandable for him to say if you are going to sleep with other people; I want to also.

You might not see eye to eye with him; but this is a difference you have to either reconcile or move on.

She calls it sex work so maybe she is spreading her legs; and if that's the case it sounds like he might not be with the right person anyway.

I'm sure I am wrong but it would bother me if my S.O. that I loved was with other men that were not me. If it was just dating; I could get over it. But sex work you also introduce your other half to the danger.

Even if you use condoms nothing is perfect.

So as the guy I would dump the woman; the woman also should dump the man.

Mutual dumping
I had a great time reading Maggie's blog post she linked to in one of her tweets. Tons of good points made in the comments.
LW should seriously consider DTMFA, from personal experience, quitting work for a partner doesn't turn out well. Lots of resentment when you leave a good paying job that you enjoy so your partner can have all the good fuzzy feels. It is also completely unreasonable to equate sex work with a form of non-monogamy, he's a controlling piece of shit and if it's not this thing it'll be something else.
"Liking your job"="Liking sex with lots of people".
You're just getting paid to be promiscuous. Admit it.
Sometimes, but not always necessarily. A friend of mine liked being an escort, not because she like having lots of sex with randos, but because she got a lot of money for relatively little work and time on her part. So for her "liking her job" = "liking get rich quick and easy schemes".
tl;dr He can put himself out there as a gigalo and have sex with any woman willing to pay him.
At first, I was more in the camp, "Look if you want to a relationship, you probably have to choose between your line of work or the relationship", but after reading the tweets, I would say DTMFA. If you are happy with your work, and you identify with it, then keep to it and DTMFA.
Sex work is work; seduction is work; waking up next to a stranger and negotiating breakfast is work, but only one of these is monetized.

@6 The real question is: if your friend absolutely detested fucking randos, would she still do it for the money? If so, then *she's ok with fucking randos*

@2 Um, no. If she can have random sex with (allegedly) no emotional content, why can't he? If that's what the money is for, then he should be able to pay whoever he wants for the same privilege.

How do you not see that she's attempting to control the situation just as much as he is?
I see both sides here, but I also think while he might not be the right match for her, the "MF" part of DTMFA doesn't really apply. He's not a bad guy for refusing to be in a relationship that involves him being monogamous while she fucks other men all day long. Yes, I understand it's for work and that's her job, but she still enjoys it on some level...I mean, I hope she does, otherwise she should probably find a new line of work, no?

It would take a special sort of needle-in-a-haystack fella to be cool with this arrangement, and if he's not that needle, she should move on. But she's the one asking the huge favor here. His request is totally reasonable.
With all due respect, I thought we were to the point that the rules of a relationship were and should be, what the parties involved negotiated, based on their best understanding of what they wanted and what they could accept.

Sure, there are defaults and templates set by society writ large and various groups within, but neither of them should be obliged to defer to the sex workers of Twitter, any more than the Southern Baptist Convention, or us, when working out what their relationship should be.

I don't think they'll be able to work out something that is agreeable for both of them, but that seems more like call for a mutual disengagement, and an invocation of the no-fault clause.
@1: “You're just getting paid to be promiscuous. Admit it.”

Say, this is a great indicator that nothing you believe is of any value whatsoever.
Nice one Dan.
Mind fuck scenario. If this guy wants the LW to stop doing sex work as a condition of their monogamous relationship, he needs to be upfront about it. This manipulation tactic is not a good sign for any future negotiations about anything.
Many of the sex workers are drawing a very bright line between sex for work and personal sex. I get it. I'm a scientist, and sometimes I spend time on boats at sea. It is a lot different than hanging out on a yacht. It's hard work, and I'm up at 4am, and am wearing foul weather gear in the cold, and getting soaked anyway, and sleeping on a bunk in a tiny steel box. It isn't a Caribbean cruise. BUT! In some ways it scratches the same itch as boating for pleasure. I look out at the horizon, and appreciate the beauty and clean smell of the sea, and the sunset looks as pretty on a workboat.

I understand that sex workers don't choose who and how to have sex in the same way they do in their personal lives. But most people have an urge for "some strange" and I imagine from time to time the occasional client does it for the sex worker, provides some pleasure, and satisfies the urge for novelty. Like me appreciating the sea on my work trips. Meanwhile, the boyfriend would be expected to never ever have novelty. I'd not begrudge my partner the occasional sail on a friend's boat. Her desire to deny him sexual variety if she has sex with clients seems pretty controlling to me. Why not open the relationship, she can fuck on and off the clock, and so can he?

I do find him a little off-putting though. Either you want to be non-monogomous or not. That he only wants it if she has works is a bit too tit for tat to me, and seems like he is holding it over her, and trying to control her, rather than get his own desires met.

My diagnosis: they are not a match. But I don't think it should all be laid at his feet. Her position is equally controlling.
I think this is a simple matter of "what are you willing to accept to make this work?" For both people. Either he can accept her constantly having sex with other people or he can't, and vice-versa. Saying, "it's just work" is a bit disingenuous, because while technically true, it's a very special kind of work that crosses boundaries and carries risks in ways that being a panda fluffer or a whale trainer or a grave digger doesn't. You shouldn't be surprised that he wants the same deal for himself, if you can fuck multiple partners without getting involved he should be able to as well. It all comes down to, "Do I need the other person to keep it only about sex? and can I trust the other person to keep it only about sex?" If the answer to question one is "yes" and the answer to question two is "no" then break up, it's not going to work.

And, nobody's being an asshole here, it's just the way things are. Accept it or move on.
It's mind boggling that fucking lots of other people is being described as monogamy.

It seems like a weird sort of poly shaming... As though she's trying to claim the social status associated with being normal? Like a top who claims he isn't gay since he never bottoms?

His ultimatum sounds shitty, but what if it was more like: I'm okay with doing monogamy for you, but I'm only okay with that if we're both monogamous?

Fwiw, I'm poly, and do sex work, and am partnered with a sex worker.
I don’t think many people would be interested in dating an active sex worker, and that is ok. The sex workers polled here treat that as a character flaw, but even if we accept that 100 percent of the sex is unpleasant, non-erotic, or unenjoyable, it would be hard for most people to intellectualize that fact and not want to have sex with others too. So the idea that HOL’s boyfriend is controlling seems a bit of a stretch, because that suggests that his behavior is outside the norm, and I would argue it is not.

HOL needs to find a man who is ok with dating a sex worker under the terms she wants. Such men exist, and Dan has answered questions about them in the past.
No she didn't detest fucking randos. She didn't seem to either like OR dislike sex work, she mostly seemed nonchalant about it, though she would turn down clients if she really wasn't interested in fucking them for whatever reason. She said she liked it because sex was easy and quick and, of course, she got rich from it. Most of her clients were old men who came within a couple minutes so it wasn't like they were rocking her world. She did a brief little bit of work and got paid a lot (tax free) for it.

So yeah, she was *ok* fucking randos. She'd have agreed with you that she was being paid to be promiscuous... But in her case 'being paid' was the key thing. If they hadn't, she wouldn't have detested fucking them, but she'd probably have felt like she wasted her time, I guess?
I couldn't be bothered to read through ALL the tweets, but i hope someone said "not being monogamous is the cost of entry into sex work". IE, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Sex work or not, paid or not, it's still sex. Being worried that your partner who is having sex with other people might leave you is essentially a universal thing, not a "power-trip". As my favorite SLOG commentor recently said "Oxytocin is a thing".

It would be helpful if LW wrote why she would be uncomfortable with her boyfriend being non-monogamous. Surely disease isn't a worry - as a pro, she's either hyper-knowledge about avoiding STIs from cocks that have been god knows where; or she's been taking absolutely insane levels of risk (I'll wager on the former). Is her objection that... the boyfriend will... enjoy that other sex and... leave her? In which case, BFs proposal is QED "fair". What else is there?

The other alternative is for her to just set her own terms, and if the BF is in for it, he's in, if he's not, well it wasn't meant to be anyhow I suppose.
Focusing on the "putting money in the bank for our future" part, what if he agreed to contribute funds to an "our future" account every time he hooks up with someone else? Or maybe pick up extra hours at work, or a part-time job if that's not possible.
I know nothing about sex work, haven't knowingly talked to anyone who does it, have never read much about it. That doesn't stop me from reading HOL's letter, forming an answer in my mind, and checking the online answers to see if anyone's there matched my own. And it did! Kit Bauer's 2nd is what I was thinking. Their interpretation of what sex work is fundamentally don't match. They should break up.

Now about enjoying being promiscuous-- Not quite. Lots of people enjoy their work, and lots of those people know that work still has value, and therefore those people don't do that work for free. Hell, I've worked as a salesclerk in a department store, truly liked all the interaction with the people, and still clocked out on time every single afternoon.
@13: He was up front about it. He was as up front about it as he could be.

I think LW is in the wrong here. And I think Dan messed up by only asking other sex workers. How about also asking a bunch of men? Maybe 90 percent of sex workers agree with the sex worker, but I bet 99 percent of men agree with her boyfriend.

Monogamous means monogamous.

There is no definition of "monogamous" that includes "can have sex with other people for money".

So LW may be right, engaging in sex work is not the same as an open relationship.


So if LW thinks it isn't fair that her BF will only be ok with her sex work if he can sleep with other people, LW needs to understand it also isn't fair for her to ask her BF to be completely monogamous while she sleeps with other people, even for work.

LW thinks it's OK if the relationship is less monogamous than he would like, but not if it's less monogamous than she would like.

LW's boyfriend has made the price of admission clear. LW may want to evaluate how many men she meets that are ok with her doing sex work at all before she DTG. (dumps the guy, because all this guy has done is clearly communicate what would work for him.)

And it's perfectly reasonable for a guy to feel like he doesn't want to be in a relationship where he sits at home while his girlfriend is working. Sucking cocks.

Hell, there's plenty of women who have ended relationships because they don't like sitting at home while their SO is working.... Doing TPS reports.

It's not fair to say "you get to fuck people as work therefore I get to fuck whoever I want". No. It makes sense that they'd both get to fuck whoever they want. Open up the relationship and both can fuck whoever- for pay or not. Fine. It also makes sense for this guy to say "I want a monogamous relationship and I don't feel that I have that with a sex worker". Fine, they have to break up. And for some people, it probably makes sense to draw a clear line between sex work and private sex so they might be OK with their own definition of monogamy that doesn't count the sex work as outside sex.

The only thing weird about this guy's response is that he seems to claim to want monogamy but can't have it with this woman if she's a sex worker (which is fine, incompatible, must break up but no one is being an asshole) but then he suggests a solution in which she continues sex in her job but he gets to fuck whoever he wants. That seems weird and unfair- it's not an open relationship because she can't fuck for pleasure while he can. And it's totally ditching the desire for monogamy in the first place which makes me wonder what was the point in trying to fit that in?

So as I said, either they open their relationship for BOTH of them or they break up- there really isn't another solution and you guys are right that he shouldn't be characterized as a MF for wanting monogamy and not including sex work in that definition of monogamy. But that's not what he suggested- he said he wants monogamy and since she fucks people at work, he should be able to fuck whoever he wants which is really weird for the reasons I pointed out (A- it's not the monogamy he says he wants and B- it's not fair since he gets sex for pleasure and she gets sex for work). I still don't think this makes him an MF but it definitely makes him conflicted enough that I don't see how she could resolve it and I agree she should dump him.
He sounds way more interested in keeping score than in expressing what's important to him. This is a real drag in a partner.
He absolutely should be encouraged to do paid sex work for male clients as well. I bet the LW would even be so generous as to allow him to see female clients too, as long as they are paying the same rates. Fair's fair!
@22 Ever been told to quit a lucrative career forever by a partner because they feel insecure about it? How did that make you feel?
@7 No way is this guy of a caliber where women would pay to sleep with him. Given the info we've got here they might be willing to pay him to go away.
Compromise plan - he does sex work for men for a week, then tries to make his argument again. Potential backfire if he's bi, but I doubt it given the sheer stupidity of his argument. Even if he is bi and turns out to be into it, pretty sure he'd still get the message.
biggie @22: upfront means he tells her straight he's not interested in being monogamous while she's a sex worker. Clear statement of boundaries.
This is her work, how she makes her money.
Why even talk about being monogamous when he knew what her line of work is. This is not workable and the LW needs to let him go.
You guys don't have to date a sex worker if their profession confronts you. No need for some mind fuck word salad along the path trying to get a woman to change her profession. How rude is that? Move along if you have any issues, plenty of men are not so brittle.
This is a dicey situation. If I were dating a sex worker I feel some wiggle room on monogamy should be on the table. Imagine if the issue was not sex work, but work that involved lots of traveling. If my girlfriend took lots of business trips to interesting places (Chicago, New York, etc.) and sometimes they came with a day to spend exploring the spot she traveled too (comparable to sex she enjoys with someone she finds attractive) I would feel frustrated if I could not take a day trip every now and then.
If there is a compromise to be had, I would suggest joining swinger / lifestyle clubs and groups. They find a couple they can swing with, he gets the sex with additional partners she desires, worst case scenario for her is that she does a little extra work.
Admittedly ignorant, but pragmatic. I would want to more about the specifics of her work. I don’t know if it matters, but does she offer GFE. Has she no choice in who she escorts and what sexual acts are allowed. It would be a problem if she did things with her clients that she won’t do with her bf. What happens if she is injured on the job? Arrested? Has problems with the IRS? Public exposure? Who at work knows who she really is, where she lives, etc. (stalkers, obsessed clients) Sex workers has risks that most people don’t face. She says her work is totally transactional, but is that true? Will she be able to completely separate work from from her personal relationship (most people can’t). Taking work home (emotional baggage) for sex workers would seem to be different than for almost anyone else. Most people can vent and talk about their jobs with their partner. Would that be TMI for the bf? Would she come to resent him for it? Given the nature of her work, would it be fair to her bf to have to deal with positive and negative emotional states. I don’t know which would be harder/worse. She comes home from work crying (from say a verbally or physically abusive client) or really upbeat.
@2 EmmaLiz gets to the nub of it. Why are they considering monogamy? It doesn't sound like something the LW has proposed. Has her bf come out with 'I love you so much I want to be monogamous!'?. Well, he could choose to be or not choose to be; but it shouldn't interfere with her work. She could say--and has presumably said--'you're my partner ... we're in love ... I care for you and want you to care for me ... I see a future for us together', but I don't see her having initiated any idea that he's _so_ in love he needs to stop having sex with other people--should he want to, in the context of their central relationship. Why can't he just be monogamish on principle, even if he's monogamous in practice?

His attitude is disrespectful of her work in failing to make any distinction between sex as a professional activity and emotionally invested recreational sex. This is a huge issue.

She wants to be with him long-term--so saying DTMFA now may be premature. Perhaps better for her to put her foot down about her returning to work, and to negotiate some arrangement that has the appearance of a symmetry of obligation ... say, she is monogamous outside of her work and she has to agree in advance, where practicable, to his having one-offs elsewhere? Even then, in a committed relationship what would seem to matter for me is that they're practically together for the important stuff, not that they're in the same bed by 10pm every night.
@15. Donny. He's being a bit of an asshole, a bit unreasonable.

Sexual feelings arise in all kinds of lines of work. It may give the gravedigger a boner to dig graves (she may like the earthworms). What matters here is only that the digger does her job properly, without undue fuss, without unnecessary perturbation of the people for whom the job of digging graves does not involve sexual self-expression or self-display. Sometimes in the course of doing their job, sex workers may become aroused. But that's not what the job's about. It's about their clients' satisfaction, not their own. They will only skilfully and professionally use their own arousal, on rare occasions, if that, in the service of doing their job. In this way I see sex itself as a fetish (analogous to worm-fancying) and incident on the practicalities of their work.

The situation is uncommon to us, out of the run of most of our experience--but it can't be that uncommon to sex workers, surely? A sex worker will often find someone she wants to settle down with? Accepting this, I think one would have to suppose he's doing it in a bad way....
After skimming Comment 1, I may not have the stomach to read the rest of these. Ugh.

The guy knew HOL was a sex worker when they started dating, and accepted her job. He doesn't get to veto it now. Getting paid to have sex with people you would under no circumstances have sex with otherwise is NOT analogous to having sex with people because you fancy them. If this douche is so concerned about "fairness," tell him that he can have sex with other people too, but only if they pay him. (That's the smartarse answer; the real answer is DTMFA.)
@22. biggie. Rather than asking a bunch of men, Dan should have asked a bunch of men who were already in a serious relationship with a sex worker.
Now, one concern is her work schedule. If she's working every night and leaving him alone, there's an argument to be made that he has some right to fill his schedule as he sees fit. But then she would be in the "unfair" position that he's fucking women he fancies, while she's fucking men who gross her out. (No, Spunkbutter, "you get to pay other people for sex" is completely not analogous; the customer chooses the sex worker; the sex worker has to "spread her legs," as Dumb @4 so eloquently put it, for anyone who chooses her.)

I have known a few sex workers too and yes, they do say that on occasion they get a rare client whom they actually enjoy. How about HOL issues her boyfriend with one hall pass every time she has a session she actually enjoys?
Very interesting.

I agree with @2, "open up the relationship (so they BOTH get to have sex with people in their private life independent of work) or else break up".
p.s. If (like me) the BF wants an open relationship anyway, I can see why he wouldn't want it to remain closed.
Ms Fan @37 - That may be the closest-to-fair proposal in the thread, though it would require a high level of absolute trust. As I am going through Dark Shadows again, LW would have the power to imitate Carolyn Stoddard and report just another date with nice-but-boring Joe Haskell when she'd really been out with the exciting and enigmatic Burke Devlin.

My cosmic vibrations tell me that LW is Mary Crawford buying William Price's knave at an exorbitant rate; she might win the game (save the relationship), but it won't repay her what she gave to secure it.
LouChe @ 11 - "neither of them should be obliged to defer to the sex workers of Twitter, any more than the Southern Baptist Convention, or us, when working out what their relationship should be"

The LW asked for ADVICE (which, as Dan always says, is not binding arbitration). She got plenty. She still has a brain that she can use to pick the course of action she'll follow.

Biggie @ 22. Harriet @ 36 is right. Asking men who have not been in this situation would be totally useless. The LW's BF is open to a relationship with a sex worker, which already sets him apart from (I would guess) 99% of the men. One would have to ask his real peers, the 1% he's part of, for their answers to be of any relevance.
Having reread the letter, this is what I come away with:
1. He knew she was a sex worker when they first began dating. This was okay with him then, as it was a casual relationship and neither of them was particularly emotionally invested in it.
2. Neither of them had put a priority on monogamy in their previous dating relationships.
3. They became more emotionally invested and both wished to be monogamous.
4. Monogamy and sex work are incompatible contradictory states.

The sex work she does pays a lot of money and she enjoys it. She didn't say what she enjoys, but I would guess that the good money is much of it. Perhaps she also enjoys the flexible hours, the ability to be her own boss. Maybe there are also a few clients whose company (and sex) she enjoys, despite the transactional nature of the job. Saying that she is having fun getting to have sex with lots of people is obtuse, but saying she must grit her teeth and put up with having sex with anyone who has the money is disingenuous--if she's a free agent, she can choose to not accept a client. She says that she does "not get to choose someone I am attracted to on my own free time, like he would be doing. I'm having relations on my "work time" and 99% of the people I see aren't even people I would see in my free time," so that means that she is attracted to maybe 1% of her clients.

Boyfriend seems to have two different issues:
a) He's insecure. He's afraid she'll leave him for one of her clients. This is incompatible with his previous nonchalance about monogamy, but maybe the fact that he has developed feelings for her coupled with the fact that she has a lot of sex with other men and the fact that she says two of her sex-worker friends fell in love with and are in long-term relationships with former clients make him insecure. Or maybe he's a controlling dude.

b) He's resentful about having to give up the ability to have sex with other women while she gets to have sex with other men. Or he's simply resentful about having to give up the ability to have sex with other women because of the (emotionally) committed nature of this relationship. He never did this before. He doesn't really want to be monogamous.

Most importantly, he doesn't see what she does as purely transactional; he finds it impossible to separate sex work from having sex for fun. He feels like he's missing out. And he's worried that she'll fall for a client and leave him. He doesn't trust her and now that he loves her he's not really okay with how she makes her living.

All that was the first problem.

But he's trying to manipulate her and control her in a "tit-for-tat" agreement that is actually lopsided disingenuous, that ignores the transactional nature of the sex she has and that allows him to go back to the open relationship he may be missing having but still keeps her in a relationship where the only extra-relational sex she "gets" to have may be distasteful to and unpleasant for her. What he proposes is actually the opposite of fair--it provides for one-sided openness.

That's the second problem.

The solutions seem to me to be:
1) They truly open the relationship so that they both get to have sex with people they choose and to whom they are attracted, in addition to her having the transactional sex she has with her clients. That is fair.
2) He accepts that what she does for work is different than what she does for fun with him or others that she chooses or for emotional connection with him. He accepts that, just as she would if she had any other job, there is always a risk that she might leave him for someone else, but he decides to trust her.
3) They both come to a decision that the situation can't be resolved to their mutual satisfaction, that this is one of those "wrong time and wrong place" deals and they break up.
4) She decides that the relationship is important enough to her to quit her job.

Wow; it took me so long to compose my comment that other people said essentially the same things and more concisely.
@42: Computer ate my conclusion.

Which was:
The boyfriend simultaneously wants the option of variety for himself but is nervous that if she has sexual contact with other men, his girlfriend will leave him.
This is an incompatibility and she should DT Maybe-Not-a-Motherfucker-but-For-Sure-Not-The-Guy-For-Her-Already
I think a there are a number of points have gotten missed in the discussion so far, and I would highlight two:

(1) HOL's boyfriend "didn't think much about monogamy until we started dating. We became monogamous because we are happy with each other and satisfied sexually. I've stopped work for a short time to open discussions with him about what it means to date a sex worker."

There is a lot going on there that HOL doesn't explain or unpack. It sounds like HOL's boyfriend is open to either monogamy or non-monogamy. HOL and her boyfriend agreed to monogamy, but appear to have done so in the context of HOL stopping sex work. What did HOL explain to her boyfriend when she stopped sex work? Did HOL's boyfriend agree to monogamy because he understood HOL was ending her career as a sex worker? Did he understand that there was going to be discussions about her future as a sex worker? My guess is that she continued sex work as they began seeing each other, but as they became exclusive and stopped having sex with other people HOL also stopped sex work, but did not make clear that she intended to continue sex work in the future.

(2) Maggie McNeill makes a good point: "SO WHAT if his reason for having other partners is different from hers? Setting up a hierarchy of motivations ("My reason for doing X is more acceptable than your reason for doing a not-dissimilar." thing").

That seems right to me, as I believe there are few men that would accept HOL version of "monogamy," and that is not a characterological flaw. HOL wants an unusual arrangement, one that is unclear she articulated at the start of the relationship. If that relationship model is what HOL wants, she will either have to look for a partner in that small dating pool, or she will need to accept non-monogamous relationships for the duration of her sex working career.
If she gets to fuck randos, so should he (why economics suddenly skews this for some people is beyond me). If it makes her feel better, he should start charging a nominal fee ($1) to make rando sex sound more like 'work'. If he can call it 'work', then they are both even!

Basically her reasoning is that of the 'classic husband' who gets caught cheating, "I didn't really enjoy it," which means the sex wasn't REAL, right?? No, it is still dick in vagina sex like all other mammalian hetero sex. That one of the partners exchanges tokens with the other is window dressing. She is wrong to insist he be 'monogamous' to just because her rando sex is called 'work'.

But he wrong to date a sex worker with the anticipation that things on her side must change to suit him. You are dating a hooker. You know exactly how a hooker makes a living. Unless the deal was that she stops hooking because you don't want to date a hooker (hint, that was not the deal), he has no grounds to be making any issues about how her bread gets buttered.
Harriet@34 ~ My point was about more than the sex/emotions angle, saying "it's my job" doesn't make it a job like most other jobs. A) It's illegal and there is always the spectre of legal entanglements on the horizon... B) It can be dangerous in ways that "normal" jobs aren't...most people aren't constantly going places one-on-one with total strangers (or at least people they really don't know that well). And, while none of us really can know what kind of weird kinks or mental problems anyone we meet might have, sex work increases the odds that you're going to run into someone who may feel entitled to project those "problems" onto you. After all, you're getting paid for it, right? (Not saying I agree with that, just that the likelihood of it happening is higher.) C) There are health risks that are unique to sex work, not just constant exposure to STDs, but mental health issues, stress and the physical demands that come with it.

The guy's concern that "he's convinced I might dump him for someone I meet through work because two of my colleagues happen to be in long-term relationships with former clients" is marginal, that could happen to anyone, though he may be right to suppose there is a certain amount of intimacy you share with people you are fucking that you don't with other people, but as I said, that could happen to anyone, anywhere, so it does seem a little paranoid and insecure.

Overall, I think they're both being a bit delusional to think they can call this a "monogamous" relationship in the traditional sense, and shouldn't try to force that square peg into a round hole. They should go poly or go home.
@45. Sublime. I'm going to take the hard line on 'sex work is work'. That is, in this connection, it's work and not recreational sex.

On these terms, a sex worker can be in a monogamous relationship, in a poly relationship or set of relationships or indeed single. A single sex worker could have FWBs, and so on.

I'm not sure that it's HOL who has ever stipulated monogamy for him and recreational-monogamy-and-professional-sex_work for her. It's emerged in their thinking they're so sexually satisfied and good for each other they should be monogamous. But it's difficult for him psychologically, so I'm thinking there should be some workaround. Something with the appearance of symmetry that will satisfy him... Like BiDan's suggestion, that when she enjoys sex with a john, he gets a hall pass, or (idk) she donates the money into a fund to pay for his visiting a sex worker himself.

If this seems ridiculous to him, or he's still plagued by jealousy issues, their relationship is not founded on his acceptance of her work and has a problem....
@47.Donny. I confess I don't see why the options for his sex life, now they are in a committed relationship, are EITHER monogamy (just as she will be non-professionally monogamous) OR simply non-monogamy / polyamory in an undifferentiated way. Why not some shade of monogamish? Some arrangement that insists that he prioritize her, yet has an outlet for insecurities he might have i.e. that she's away enjoying herself; that she can have enjoyable sex with others and he can't; that he's trapped and his choices taken away from him, etc.?

Would someone writing to Dan have come across the concept of 'monogamish'? Maybe yes..?

If not, they have some thinking to do. From her letter, and his more abrupt refusal to concede her work is work, I'd think he has the more reflection on his plate.

'Go poly or go home', you say. Idk. There must be married sex workers in monogamous relationships? Sex workers who have settled down? In the whole universe of sex workers, I can't think it's unheard-of.
Trying to keep up with reciprocity and trying to quantify pleasure seems exhausting. You shouldn't be seeking a monogamous relationship in the first place if it's some sort of sacrifice that needs to be quantified and kept fair all the time to make sure that you and your partner are having the exact same amount of pleasure in equal circumstances, etc. Obviously if he desires to have as much pleasure with other partners as she does (in whatever circumstances) then the issue is that he doesn't really want to be monogamous, not that she's a sex worker. It's a red herring. We're hand wringing over the wrong thing.

If it were as simple as this couple desiring monogamy but having different definitions of monogamy (her's excluding sex work, his not) then that's just a condition in which they must break up. It's no one's fault- no one is wrong- no one is an asshole. It just means they aren't compatible. Just like I don't want to be in a relationship with someone who lives in the suburbs or wants children, etc.

But that is not the issue because he wants to make it fair so they are both having the same amount of fun outside their relationship. Well, if this sex outside of the relationship is something that he wants in the first place, then he doesn't want to be monogamous. It's not like it's a demand she appears to be making that he is considering. It's not like she's asked him to sacrifice as price of admission. Am I misreading the letter?

To me, it sounds like the fact of the sex work has confused this man so that either he's not able to admit that TO HIM monogamy does not include sex work and therefore they must break up (reasonable) or that TO HIM monogamy is not actually appealing and therefore they must open up entirely.

Or he has some other hang up with her sex work and he's diverting it to this conversation around monogamy.

But a solution in which she fucks guys for work- so market choices affect who she has sex with and her pleasure/attraction is mostly irrelevant - and he gets to fuck whoever makes no sense at all. And if you try to start quantifying it "Well, I had a particularly attractive client today who's thing was to go down on me and he was good at it and then paid me for it, so you get to run off to the strip club and get a blow job"- I mean, maybe that would work for someone who's fetish is all about quantifying sex acts and keeping perfect reciprocity but I'd suspect that for most relationship, this sort of thing would be EXHAUSTING not to mention impractical since the circumstances around your hall pass would be out of your control and it's not always easy to just randomly go out and find partners. People with open relationships usually have arrangements that make sense in the larger scope of their lives.

I mean, it's simple. That's what surprises me about this letter and discussion is how simple it seems to me, ha ha. Other people's problems, right? There are only two possibilities:

1. They open their relationship so that both of them can seek other partners under a circumstance that makes sense for them (which means she has her sex work but also the option of other partners in her personal life). He does not appear to want to be monogamous anyway.

2. They break up because they want monogamy but have incompatible definitions of what that means. No one is an asshole here.

The third options- various scenarios in which he gets to fuck for pleasure while she fucks for work or they trying to quantify when it's pleasure and when it's work or they strive for some sort of perfect reciprocity seems ridiculous and impossible. And I suppose it's because he's conflicted about her being a sex worker in the first place or he's conflicted about his own desire for monogamy. Like, he's in a relationship with a sex worker. That's not new. He seems to want her to either quit or to make his hang ups about it somehow more fair - like he needs to fuck other people to correct some inequity or discrepancy that he feels she has brought into their relationship. Because if he just wants monogamy, he is with the wrong woman. And if he just wants an open relationship, he could have that- why is he going on about monogamy and him fucking people he chooses while she fucks clients? It's weird, and I think the actual sex workers who responded have probably dealt with these pitfalls before and notice the red flags.

Again, nothing at all wrong with her being a sex worker and nothing at all wrong with him wanting a monogamous relationship that does not include sex work. Neither of these things are wrong. But trying to find some way to "correct" the incompatibility by making it "fair" is going to blow up in their face because it starts out with the assumption that there is something to correct in the first place.
I mean, the crux of it is this:

"He says he's happy being monogamous and would only see others if I start work again. I have asked him not to see others because it is not the same as what I do. I do not get to choose someone I am attracted to on my own free time, like he would be doing."

This is really simple and straight forward to me.

1) He says he wants to be monogamous. But if she fucks other people, he will too. Well then, is he happy being monogamous?

2) She says it's not fair that he'd get to choose other partners for pleasure but she'd be left to market forces and a professional experience in which her pleasure is not centered. This is also true.

For some reason, they have mashed these two statements together as if they are the only options in the universe and this is why we get all the conversations about sex during sex work and reciprocity etc. But if you take them one at a time, you see they are just overcomplicating the obvious questions.

First off, do they really want to be monogamous?

If the answer is YES- they have incompatible definitions of what that means. There is no reason to go off on a tangent arguing about sex work and pleasure because that's irrelevant. She is a sex worker. She was when she met him. She is not willing to quit her job. If their definition of monogamy differs, it's no one's fault - they just want different things. They must break up.

If the answer is any form of NO- that they are open to various ways of opening up their relationship- then obviously they should both be allowed to have sex with other people for pleasure in their own personal lives. Maybe they decide what that means- swingers or out of towners or poly or NSA or whatever- there is room for discussion and endless options. But her sex work has nothing to do with it.

INSTEAD of having that conversation, they are having a conversation about what it means to have sex as a sex worker and about if it's fair that she gets pleasure in one place and he doesn't etc. Now while that is an important conversation to have if they are going to proceed in a relationship, it is irrelevant to the one that she's supposedly asking about. This is why the discussion keeps going off onto tangents. Because possibilities that are focused around reciprocity or keeping things fair are by definition a form of compromise. They must start with the premise that they have different definitions of monogamy which is something that they desire and they must correct this incompatibility to keep things fair- which does seem a bit like she's being punished for her work or he gets a reward for putting up with it, etc. And the reason it feels that way is because they are confused about the core of their problems.

So, back to the thing I've been saying from the beginning. Either they break up because they want monogamy but understand that differently OR they open their relationship so that they both can have sex for pleasure. If they decide to do the second (stay together in an open relationship) THEN they can sort out what it means to her and to them and to him that she is a sex worker and how they feel about the range of encounters she has with clients. But working backwards when they maybe shouldn't even be together in the first place is just going to led to a mess because they are going to apply solutions to the wrong problems and that's just going to make it worse.
@48/Harriet: I think that the point I am pushing on is whether the issue Is HOL’s boyfriend (jealousy and control) or HOL’s (jealousy and control).

You elide the question as to how a sex worker and a man who would accept a non-monogamous relationship defaulted to a relationship model of classical monogamy, in which neither partner had any outside sexual partners. The reasons why this couple are now in a classical monogamous relationship is important because HOL want to redefine the commonly held understanding of the term “monogamy” to permit sex work. If HOL gave her boyfriend monogamy, with the intention of later seeking “monogamy,” it’s no wonder there is a problem.

Arguments that HOL’s boyfriend knew she was a sex worker are mooted by the fact that once they entered into a classically monogamous relationship, she was no longer a sex worker. And arguments that sex work is work and can be comprehended within the term monogamous is at odds with that term’s common understanding, which HOL’s boyfriend was reasonably using as they entered their current relationship model.

I think these things matters if we are going to find the ultimate issue is HOL or her boyfriend is controlling or jealous, which is what many of the guest sex workers and many commenters have done. HOL wants “monogamy,” whereas her boyfriend will accept classical monogamy or non-monogamy. That doesn’t sound to me like he’s being unreasonable, and if he is willing to accept non-monogamy it doesn’t sound like jealousy is his problem.

If the question is what should HOL do? Then who is jealous or who is controlling are irrelevant. It seems clear none of us have suggested HOL do anything other than continue with the sex work she enjoys. So HOL will either have to accept her boyfriend will have sex with others, or she will have to find another boyfriend, because it doesn’t seem as if he will compromise on the meaning of monogamy.
Sublime @45: Your first point had occurred to me on reading of Nocute's analysis. Yes, I somehow misread that BF had previously been non-mongamous. In that light, his desire to now be monogamous seems more sinister and controlling. He's basically saying, "I will give up other women" -- what many people who had found their soulmate might consider a small sacrifice -- "and in return you need to give up your income." Run, HOL, run! If BF was happy being non-monogamous before, it seems the solution is to continue to be non-monogamous. This might not make HOL that happy because she's found the only non-work partner she wants -- but in future she might appreciate having the option open to her.

Popelick @46: I'm glad you included your third paragraph. The sex work predates this relationship. If someone's partner out of the blue said, "I'm tired of working in a call center, I think I'd like to be an escort instead, oh but you can't have sex with anyone else," I'd agree with your first two paragraphs. Well, sort of. The money makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD, because she wouldn't be fucking these dudes otherwise. It's her right to make a living that BF is challenging here, and that's what's unfair.

Harriet @49: "Monogamish" seems the perfect solution.
One thing I didn't pick up on previously:

HOL *already stopped* doing sex work, at least for a time. I would therefore guesstimate that she's not financially beholden to doing sex work for a living - when she initially stopped, she either had enough money, enough friends, or enough options. It's not clear how long that would hold out, but she's giving off the vibe of a "choice" sex worker. It's not exactly a long-lasting career - she'll need to do something else eventually. If this relationship is valuable to her, is starting on her next career now, rather than in 5 years, a huge ask? I dare say, that seems like something that would be easier with a partner, rather than rolling the dice on whatever her scenario might be when she wants to step away. Alternatively, another compromise might be to start catering to higher-end clientele, focus on the escort side of things where sex isn't an absolute given (i'll posit that there are probably forms of sex he wouldn't mind, like if she did, uh "massage", glamour modeling, selling the panties she wears while she does crossfit, or something else in the sex/sex-adjacent field that could still be profitable enough to support herself on).
Ms Cute - Sane and reasonable.

What a pity LW isn't good enough at it to be able to take on as clients only people she would see of her own volition in her free time. That could be a sort of solution 1a, modeled on Agatha Christie's character Lucy Eyelesbarrow, a short-term housekeeper who could charge the earth and pick and choose among the hordes requesting her services.

In LW's favour, I rather wonder whether fully opening the relationship would be something she'd see as fair, as she may not want it. While surely there are some sex workers who can also maintain a relationship and still find that Thought #1 for How to Fill Free Time is to go out and have extra-relational free sex, I'm not sure that LW isn't the pastry chef who has very limited taste or tolerance for doughnuts away from the bakery.
@54 "HOL *already stopped* doing sex work, at least for a time. I would therefore guesstimate that she's not financially beholden to doing sex work for a living"

No, she probably did it for him, took the financial hit bc he's either interested in being the one swinging the largest/only financial dick in this relationship (not a rare complex for a dude, her career does have a pretty tight age window) or bc she knew it upset him and is trying to meet his emotional needs at personal cost to herself, her financial independence, and possibly her well-being and safety (good regulars are, I'm assuming, hard to find).

That seems about par for the course, no? She might leave him not just because somehow some dude who is paying her to be in the room while he has sex w/ her body is a threat to their super close relationship but also she's financially independent beyond most women's dreams. It's almost like they're on equal footing. The horror.
@54 "she's giving off the vibe of a "choice" sex worker. It's not exactly a long-lasting career - she'll need to do something else eventually. If this relationship is valuable to her, is starting on her next career now, rather than in 5 years, a huge ask?"

She's not subsistence level $5/bj sex worker, no. I'm not sure why that makes her a bad person here.

Yes, it is a huge ask. Five years? That's half a million dollar income loss at minimum for a dude who it seems is not a great long term prospect. Would you take that financial hit in similar circumstances?

Would you expect a dude to?
The basic take away seems to be that this guy isn't interested in monogamy for himself but is interested in monogamy for her (work not being something that typically counts - if he was a hog inseminator we would be pissed if she was nagging him for beastiality).
My take (based on some of the things she says) is that she is a high level escort, which is very different than being a high level (sex only) call girl.

I do not get to choose someone I am attracted to on my own free time, like he would be doing. Doesn't mean her clients aren't attractive.

What is it about her job that she likes (the money, her clients (their wealth, power, fame, lifestyle) the sexual variety, whatever)? With sex work, is it possible to completely separate her work from her personal life (very few people can achieve that)?

No@58 I disagree. He says he's happy being monogamous and would only see others if I start work again.

spunkbutter@1 Another win/win solution would be for him to become a sex worker as well. Although he would probably have to be bi-sexual or the male equivalent of a dominatrix.
@52. Sublime. You ask how it's come about that HOL and her partner want to be monogamous. I agree it's not clear. She says that previously monogamy was not something she'd considered, partly because of the nature of her work. It does seem that she's on a sabbatical from her job so that they have a breathing-space to work out a form of exclusive arrangement that works for them. This would imply, in my mind, that for her there are many shades of 'monogamous': maybe her bf being monogamish, or only sleeping with people in a reciprocal arrangement when certain conditions are met (e.g. a client takes her away on a trip or she enjoys sex with a client), or when the arrangement is definitionally casual on his side (e.g. twice only, nicknames rather than surnames) would count as sufficiently monogamous.

As to whom is more jealous and controlling, I'd think him for supposing (or its having crossed his mind in this situation) that monogamy for her would mean giving up her job. But I have no great interest in apportioning blame here.

I'm taking it as given that sex workers, like e.g. college profs, cover a wide spectrum of people of different class and educational background. In some regular sex work, the relation is comparable to psychotherapist-patient; the sex worker is much more cultured, better-educated and morally sophisticated than her/(his/their) client. For other work, the relation would seem to be closer to a P.A.-C.E.O. set-up; the client can impress the financially poorer worker with his worldliness, ease or money. If two of HOL's colleagues have formed relationships with clients, it would seem that she's at the 'lower end' of the profession, perhaps compared to the highly articulate and thoughtful contributors on SexWorkTwitter. I think she can appropriately reassure her bf that their relationship is 'for real', and that this might involve _some_ restriction on her work and dating e.g. no clients on a Friday night. (But it's very likely she observes this already). Maybe, too, coming into contact with sex workers in a range of work-situations through writing to Dan will enlarge her sense of what's possible in the profession.
@54. Sportlandia. Your framing is prejudicial. There aren't 'choice' and then 'economic necessity' sex workers any more than there are 'choice' and 'necessity' college basketball players on scholarship.
Sporty @54: Living off savings for a few months is something many of us can do. (How many IT contractors do you know?) Living off savings for the rest of one's life is probably not an option for many former sex workers. LW is 27; if she stays in shape, she has two decades of sex work available to her if she wants them. And I'm sure there's a niche for granny escorts. She need only move into domination and her age won't matter.

Venn @55: If it were possible to have sex only with people one fancied and get paid for it, that's the career we'd all be in, no?

Skeptic @59: From my admittedly limited conversations with sex workers, it's mainly their behaviour toward the woman they're paying that makes them unattractive. (She may be different; she admits "I like my job.")

Didn't The Police write a song about this?
Skeptic, I left you some comments on the poly thread.
What if we substitute something other than sex and see how it looks then?
I'll use my go-to, riding bikes (it maps well as an extended metaphor, as one may see). Let's say HOL's job is bicycle safety instructor, so she rides bikes with other people every day for work. She also rides her bicycle alone becasue she enjoys it, and sometimes she meets people who sometimes join her for rides for fun. She starts dating someone, necessitating a conversation about riding bikes with other people. They're both happy riding bikes only with each other right now, but it's also her job! She wants to stop riding bikes with friends, cycling groups, or cute strangers and only ride alone or with him on her own time, but keep riding bikes with other people for work. He says he either wants to only ride bikes together, or allow both of them to ride bikes with whomever they feel like if she's going to be riding bikes with other people for work anyway. She thinks that's unfair because she rides bikes at work for different reasons than when she rides bikes for her own enjoyment.
I'm maybe on the boyfriend's side here? HOL gets to ride bikes with a bunch of different people every day - some of whom will be irritating students with whom she'd never ride bikes purely of her own volition, but some of whom are also probably going to be fun bike-riding partners - while I only ever get to ride bikes with her or alone. I think I would probably resent that a bit, since she's definitely getting more fun bike-riding (even acknowledging the shitty bike-riding she also has to endure) than I am, and riding bikes with different people can provide a different experience based on where they want to ride, what kind of bike they have, whether they like leisurely rides or endurance trials or slow rides with occasional short sprint races, etc. so she's also getting some variety in bike-riding that I don't get to have. I'd personally rather opt for allowing both of us to ride bikes with whomever, even though I actually mostly ride solo anyways and probably wouldn't be actively seeking other bike-riding partners, but would like to have the option of the occasional group ride or ride with a friend or friendly acquaintance if the mood strikes. I wouldn't view that as a threat to my bike-riding with HOL, and presumably she knows that riding bikes with others isn't a huge threat in itself, as she does it every day!
I read through all the comments and didn't see my rather sarcastic answer, although some people did address the aspect of him wanting her to give up her job. "If you can have sex with other people because it's your job then so can I" = "If I have to change my line of work to be in this relationship than so do you." I'm pretty sure if she told him he had to quit his job as the price of admission, the absurdity of his position would be apparent to him, and the fact that in the absence of an open relationship there is a fundamental incompatibility here would be extremely obvious. I can't see a reason why HE would want to stay in the relationship, unless he is financially and emotionally controlling. I say emotionally, because like some other people have pointed out, he knew upfront she was a sex worker and is now using what amounts to blackmail to make her quit instead of not dating a sex worker or insisting on an open relationship.
Also, as SublimeAfterglow suggests @52, my read of the letter is that the BF is generally into non-monogamy (didn't think much of monogamy before, interested in sex with others if she has sex with others for work) but agreed to monogamy at her behest. Plus, she explicitly says so, though the framing may mean she's talking about a specific later exchange and not the initial monogamy decision:
I have asked him not to see others because it is not the same as what I do. I do not get to choose someone I am attracted to on my own free time, like he would be doing.

But, why can't she also choose people she's attracted to on her own time? It really sounds like SHE'S the one into monogamy-except-for-sex-work, which is too bad, because a fully open relationship on both ends actually sounds like a pretty functional arrangement for a sex worker (not much chance of someone who is cool with non-monogamy freaking out over her seeing clients).

There's also this bit, but it actually makes zero sense to me, coming from someone who's okay with non-monogamous relationships generally, which makes me wonder if HOL is projecting rather than reporting something BF actually said:
Yet he's convinced I might dump him for someone I meet through work because two of my colleagues happen to be in long-term relationships with former clients.

EmmaLiz @51: "He says he wants to be monogamous."

He doesn't say that; the initial monogamy decision is framed in "we" terms, and HOL says BF says he's happy being monogamous, but also that he would like to have sex with other people if she is (for work).

BiDanFan @46: "the sex worker has to 'spread her legs,' as Dumb @4 so eloquently put it, for anyone who chooses her"

As others noted, this is only true if she's a human trafficking victim; independent contractors can turn down problem clients in every field of work, though obviously financial necessities mean one can't reject EVERY potential client.
Hi BDF@35 Is there a difference between dating a sex worker and having a relationship with a sex worker? A rhetorical question, in the latter case there is commitment and emotional investment. He apparently had no problem with her being an escort (sex worker) when they were just dating. (It is the same where two people are dating, but not exclusively so. Only in this case she is being paid in cash instead of dinner at restaurant or other nonmonetary compensation. I'm being intentionally crass.) Her being an escort (sex worker) only became an issue when they transitioned into an exclusive, monogamous relationship (i.e. emotionally invested) I suspect the same would true being in an relationship with a performer in the porn industry) I have a different take on the 99%. The only reason she has any contact with these people is because she is an escort otherwise she would be essentially be invisible to them as they are part of a much higher socio-economic strata.
BDF@37 I don't think the gross out factor comes into play. She says people she wouldn't see in her free time, not people who are unattractive. Would she enjoy her job if it involved fucking people who gross her out. She is an escort, not a call girl. Someone who would accompany a client in public to places/venues that she never could go to in her free time. I suspect the money is very good. There has to be some kind of client vetting process, it is an escort service after all. I wonder how much control over her work schedule. Why does she is being paid to have relations (something more than sex, otherwise she would be a call girl)
BDF@37 Are the sex workers you know escorts or call girls? More is generally expected of an escort than just sex. There is a definite hierarchy among sex workers. High end escorts and call girls are very, very expensive.
I am assuming that she is a mid level or high end escort. I maybe completely wrong in this regard.
That she had the ability to choose not to work. That implies that she could selective in her clients.
BDF@64 I read your comments and yes part of my confusion related to terminology. I thank you, but it is still unclear to me exactly what type of poly dude is. I do think he has some form of hierarchical structure (partner, girl friend, FWB) FLAG being a FWB who wanted to be elevated to GF.
I do not pretend to know what the actual situation is. There are too many variables and possible combinations. Occam's razor. The BF is a manipulative jerk. She refers to her two coworkers as colleagues (interesting choice of word, not friends or coworkers, it implies professionalism and very high status, think about the circumstances under which it is used elsewhere (most doctors, lawyers, accountants refer to their coworkers as partners or associates) Her BF's fear of losing her to a client indicates insecurity, he may feel inadequate for some reason, is not confident in the strength of their relationship, is inferior to clients (wealth, power, social standing)
They'd been dating for awhile before going monogamous. Therefore wouldn't he already know what it meant to date a sex worker? Did she explain to him that she planned on going back to being an active sex worker before they became monogamous? Shouldn't they have had this discussion before they became monogamous? Deciding to become monogamous was no small thing for either of them. Wouldn't knowing that she was going to go back to being a sex worker have influenced his decision to become monogamous? I would have thought long and hard before becoming "monogamous" with a sex worker. Most men and women would have. The same applies to deciding to become involved with a politician, a member of the military or anyone in a profession that puts significant stress on their relationship. Two ambitious people whose careers require periodic relocations.
What’s interesting is the divergent views on HOL’s sex work. To some, she is an ordinary sex worker who is unable to chose her clients or leave sex work because she needs the income. To others, she is a high-end escort who, which implies she makes a significant income and has some ability to chose her clientele.

What’s also interesting is that neither HOL or her boyfriend entered this relationship seeking classical monogamy. HOL’s boyfriend has offered her two choices, either classical monogamy (which was never important to either of them) or non-monogamy. HOL has argued for “monogamy,” which means classical monogamy for him, but permits sex work for her. Notwithstanding that HOL’s boyfriend offers her a meaningful and reasonable choice and is entirely willing to have a mutually non-monogamous relationship, commenters are describing HOL’s boyfriend as controlling and jealous. While HOL, who seeks to redefine the word monogamy and impose “monogamy” on the relationship, a status that neither of them previously valued is deemed neither controlling or jealous. That seems like people are arguing up is down, and down is up.
SA@45 and PM@46 "I've never thought much of monogamy because of my profession. (Yes, I do like my job.) But I've met someone, a 35-year-old male, who also didn't think much about monogamy until we started dating. The problem comes down to this: We became monogamous because we are happy with each other and satisfied sexually"

Neither party was previously interested in monogamy. They agreed, apparently by mutual consent, to become classically monogamous after (b/c?) she gave up her sex work or she gave up her sex work to become monogamous. [Why on earth does anyone think that he would demand anything of her as a prerequisite to become part of something he didn't think much of. Why on earth would she comply to a demand give up something she enjoys to become part of something she didn't think much of.] In either case their monogamy existed only without her sex work. Now that she is going back to sex work the foundation upon which their monogamy rested will no longer exist. If they became monogamous while she was a sex worker (unlikely given that they are arguing now) then BF can't complain about her going back to work If (more likely given what BF's attitude was towards monogamy and how he defines it) they became monogamous after she gave up sex work then HOL can't complain about returning to the relationship they had while she was a sex worker.

BDF@53 They already are monogamous. Both were non-monogamous before this relationship. The question is whether they will remain monogamous. HOL wants monogamy outside of her sex worker sex. BF will only agree to remain monogamous if HOL gives up sex work since he sees her sex worker sex as sex, which it is even though it is job related sex. If she has sex worker sex then he is willing to be monogamish and she isn't. He would only be unreasonable if he wasn't willing to be monogamish.
Suzy Favor Hamilton
The tragedy of.....and the high cost she paid