How Marine discussed her sex work with her parents

I’m Marine, 25 years old, only-child, living in Belgium, born and raised! I’ve been living together with my partner for 5 years and bought our first house 3 years ago. I went to college for 2 years to find out I don’t want people to tell me what to do, so I finished my exams to become self-employed. 

It’s my dream to start up my own adult studio and produce movies with other models, so I can be behind the camera eventually. Special FX makeup is another passion of mine that I’d like to explore and perfect.

About 6 years ago my partner and I were exploring our sexual relationship and stumbled upon voyeurism. We ended up getting hot in front of a laptop webcam for people to watch us consensually. We then found out we could do it while getting paid and that’s how I ended up becoming a cam-model. Now I am a fulltime sex worker, mainly live streaming but also producing my own videos and working with companies like abbywinters.com. 

Sex work makes me feel very empowered: I’m the one in charge, I make my own rules. 

Over the years I’ve grown prouder of my work. Belgium is very closed-minded when it comes to sex work. Everything sex related is frowned upon, seen as something bad shouldn’t be spoken about. So for the first two years I kept it completely secret. The more I developed, the more I wanted to tell people! Most people I’ve told either already had a feeling I did sex work, or knew what it was and loved it!

I told my mom what I did (without going in detail), and she told my dad. They decided not to tell the rest of my family, or their friends. My partner told his family, most of them were very accepting of it. Most people just react concerned for my safety at first, or misunderstand what it is I do.

Recently my extended family found my work Twitter account and scrolled all the way through it, seeing in detail what I did. They went to my parents (not to me) to tell them, since they didn’t know I had already told my parents a year earlier.

When they approached my parents, they were in shock and my parents contacted me to have a talk. My extended family overreacted quite a bit and misinterpreted a lot of my tweets thinking I was in big trouble. They basically misinformed my parents, making my parents concerned about my safety and financial stability.

I explained to my parents what exactly I do, and how I’m doing it in a safe way. They told me they haven’t looked up my Twitter since they found out. I am very confused as to why my extended family scrolled all the way through my work Twitter account, and didn’t contact me before going to my parents! If I found out a family member did sex work I would close the page immediately, and if I wanted to address it I’d contact them first instead of going behind their back. We are all adults here, right?

 

When I first spoke to my parents about my sex work, I described it vaguely (I told them I did nude modelling for picture and video, and live streaming), because I didn’t want to give my mom a heart attack. The second time around I answered all the questions she had. It’s very hard for them to understand. “We didn’t raise you this way!” they said. But they also acknowledge I’m an adult and I can make my own decisions and I know what I’m doing.

I haven’t done any work with male performers [other than my life partner], and that seems to be their biggest fear. I’m not planning on doing that any time soon, but it does hurt a bit. It shouldn’t matter what type of work – or what type of sex work – I choose to do!

I never really addressed my reasons for choosing sex work to my parents. I’ve been too busy assuring them I’m safe and responsible. They don’t seem to be interested in as to “why” I’m doing this. If they do ask, I’d tell them first-off I wanted to be independent, to be my own boss. I couldn’t have accomplished all the things I have done by the age of 25, doing another job. And I just absolutely love being creative, free, and meeting so many like-minded people.

My parents are very concerned about me meeting people in real life I’ve only known on the internet. They don’t like the fact I’m travelling so much, and think I’m going to get killed or raped everywhere I go. If only they really knew how many safety precautions we take for ourselves and the companies we work with! And the fact we get STI tested way more often than the average person. I’d say I’m probably in one of the safest and healthiest environments! I was so depressed and stressed working boring jobs for other bosses.

My parents biggest concern seems to be when I make the decision to travel to and work in the United States. They strongly believe I either will end up in an unhealthy hardcore porn environment, snort coke every day – and get raped on set. Or get killed at a sex convention.

I understand their concerns from a parental perspective, but this is the most extreme it can possibly go. It’s literally the worst-case scenario they have in their head and believe is most likely. It’s weird to me that they think I would let something like that happen, since I haven’t changed a whole lot in all the years of doing this.

If I was doing less “extreme” sex work (for example, only Solo shoots, no shoots with other models), their reaction wouldn’t have been all that different, I think. Funnily enough, they don’t seem to be worried with me having sexual relations with other girls, they’re just really glad there’s no penises involved! In their mind, girl-girl porn is “softcore” and boy-girl is “hardcore”.

At the time I told them about what I did I was only really doing solo stuff, except some with my partner. So they did have a reaction to me making scenes with other models – it looked like I lied to them, but in reality I just started working with models talents a couple months before they found out.

Maybe I should’ve updated them about my change in work, but it’s already uncomfortable enough and a subject we avoid talking about, honestly!

The conversation ended with me hugging my mom and promising her I’m safe, and I know what I’m doing. I wouldn’t have made any agreements or compromises about my job though. I’m an adult and I worked hard to get where I am, and I will still make decisions to benefit my business. I have seen them again since the conversation and everything seems normal. I’m even attending a concert with my mom soon.

Really, it’s just a subject we kind of avoid talking about, and if we do we just refer to it vaguely as ‘work’. “How’s work?” or “Did you have a good month?”.

My parents knowing what I am doing won’t affect my work decisions. I want to evolve as a sex worker and keep doing what I’m doing, and more. Every time I have an opportunity coming my way, I will grab it with both hands, and I can’t wait to meet more beautiful people and explore the world!

The whole stigma around sex work needs to disappear. If I would change my mind now, I’d be giving in to the whole idea. We as sex workers need to try to normalise it and that’s why I’m not changing a single thing.

In hindsight, I should have told my parents earlier. It was just so difficult (and still is) to address it. On the other hand, they don’t want to know a lot about it, so I don’t think I could have done a lot more regarding the way I told them. I did what I could, and I don’t think there’s many ways to make this an easy conversation to have. I know no parent wants to think of their child in this way.

If other models are considering telling their parents, my recommendation is to tell them as soon as possible, so they are better prepared when other people find out and approach your parents. Get your story figured out and be prepared for any questions they might have.

Don’t try to change the way you act, or live your life. BE YOU! If you put on a facade, it’ll all look more ridiculous. If they don’t notice any changes in the way you are, they will be more likely to be accepting or understanding. They’re your parents, they love you and they want the best for you, so they are going to be be concerned, of course.

Everyone has a different relationship with their parents, and everyone has different pacing as to when they are ready to open up about it. I wanted to be steady and confident with what I do before I told them – It would’ve been an emotional mess otherwise.

I’m just glad that they’re at least accepting, and hopefully someday they will understand as well.

They act normal around me though. I spent nearly two full days with them recently, and nothing awkward happened (well, except for my dad dancing in the living room to Billie Eilish)… ;)