Most people who find out about my faith and my job ask me the same questions; Things like, "Do you go to church?" or "Don't you think God doesn't like it?" or "How can you be a Christian sex worker? That doesn't even make sense!"
I've been doing what I do for nearly ten years, and for the first 7 years of it, I hated myself and everything I did. I was in a constant state of self hatred, burning on the inside, desperate to do something I didn't need to be ashamed of, and isolated from everyone I loved because I just knew they would be ashamed of me. At the drop of a hat, the stray word of someone I'd exposed myself to too soon, or even a "dead hooker" on television, I'd sob uncontrollably until I ended up with a headache, a glass of wine, or both- and in the end, I was still alone. The isolation was most troubling to me: I had no one to speak to about all of it. There was no one I could go to and simply say, "I need a friend right now," and have them, in turn, be a friend to me.
Four years after I started working in this trade, I became a Christian. My pastors are extremely open minded (I often say they are the two coolest people I have ever met) and the church I attend is more likely to be filled with people in boots and jeans on Sunday morning than high heels or suits. It's in the vein of a lot of the "new generation" of churches: loud worship music that rocks just as hard as some of the singles on the top 40 charts, ministers who are just as comfortable "chilling" in jeans and a t-shirt as they are in tailored suits, and a distinct concern for people, regardless of their place in life. My church loves people, and that's the only reason I ever gave it a chance. Six months after I became a Christian, I told my pastors what I did for work; this is the ultimate test, as I've said before, to me of exactly who someone is and whether I want to be around them. I want to know what the first words out of their mouth will be when they find out the truth. My pastor simply said, "Ok. So do you want to leave this job or how can we help you?" and that was good enough for me.
I left the business close to a year after that conversation. They'd helped me manage my money and get my life in a little bit more order so I could be able to leave as, at that moment, it was what I wanted more than anything. I was filled with a loathing that was unhealthy for me and unhealthy for the people I interacted with during my working moments. No one was less happy than me about it, but my customers and clients came in a very close second on that list. I needed to leave when I did. It was, for me, what saved me. I didn't know it at the time, but I simply wasn't a good fit for the business (and in some ways, I still am not, but I see it differently, and that makes a big difference).
I remember, when I was fighting my way out of that internalized shame and hatred, something we talked about at a bible study once. One of our associate pastors said, "People always miss that Jesus said, 'Go be fishers of men,' not, 'Go be fishers of only certain men, doing certain things, certain ways.' You can't catch clean fish."
My pastor replied in the conversation that Jesus didn't come to heal the healthy or search for the found. He came for the lost, the sick, the lonely, the isolated, and, yes, the sinner.
It was that moment when it fell into place for me: God doesn't look on the outside. He doesn't count up our wrongs. We can't even say with certainty that our wrongs are His wrongs. So who could say to me I was a sinner because I had a job? Who could say to me I needed to change? Who could say to me, anything at all, except that the bible says He doesn't even keep track of my sins and there is no condemnation for me? I felt immediately free, even though after that very bible study, I left church to meet a client. There was simply no more condemnation of myself, in my own heart, regarding my job and my faith.
So now, when people ask me, "How can you be a Christian and a sex worker?" I tell them simply: The same way anyone else can be a Christian and be anything else, by the grace and mercy of God.