‘Help! I’m the jealous type and in love with a sex worker’

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The Q turned to sex industry professionals, advocates and our readers for the advice column this week, and we share their insights in lieu of our usual responses.


I’m madly, deeply, spiritually in love with someone who is a sex worker. They feel the same way, but my inherent jealousy could ruin it. Any tips on making it work from people who are or were in this situation?

I get that it’s OK to not be OK with it, but I won’t be shamed by those who can’t see past their issues to see mine. I’m looking for coping mechanisms and possibly other ways to become *more* OK with it. 

I am willing to try because this is our situation right now. I’ve always been over-jealous anyway, so maybe it’s time to learn new ways of understanding and new ways to process my feelings in order to work with what we’ve got.

Dear Lovers:

“To me, an open relationship is an open relationship. You’re either cut out for it or you’re not. It doesn’t matter about the “worker” part. It’s the “sex with someone else” part that creates the jealousy. So have the conversation about a way to have a healthy, open relationship. Successful open relationships are built on communication and trust. Make that your goal.”

— Woodstock


“If this were a friend of mine asking for advice, I would recommend they ask themselves if they would be jealous if their lover paid their bills working in any other sort of industry. What is it (specifically) about sex work that you are connecting to your feelings of jealousy? I would also check out some SWOP and Red Umbrella Project blogs and groups nationally to get some advice from other partners of sex workers- you’re surely not alone, and congratulations on being in love!”

— Dads


“Obviously the situation is not really polyamory. but @multiamory_podcasthas a fantastic podcast that frequently discusses how to cope with your jealousy and how to sort out your own barriers to love.”

— Elliott


“Both partners can help by communicating openly and honestly. Discuss setting expectations and set boundaries. Answer each other’s questions, be truthful at all costs. Use your love as a safe space to discuss feelings of both partners and ways you can help each other. Build trust, discuss trust, and revel in trust. Most of all, rely on trust. Know it is there and lean on it. Remind yourself of the precious trust you have, especially when jealousy rears its head and lies to you.”

— Constance


“Remembering/Identifying that your relationship isn't based on sex. Why are you together? What is it about each other that has you both in love/into it? Sex can be a way to show love and affection, but sometimes it's work and sometimes it's power. What other ways do you show affection and love that makes your relationship different from those other forms of sex the partner is having?”

— Beane


The Q is intended for entertainment purposes and not as professional counseling. Send your burning Qs to [email protected]

Illustration by Brad Gibson

This column originally appeared in Q magazine. Read the full issue online here:

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