As a young woman of the millennial, digital age generation I know that by nature I tend to have a different outlook on a lot of life situations than probably many of the men I speak to on a regular basis. I’m of the generation who was practically born with an iPhone in our hands and if it wasn’t for the fact that my brother is a bona fide hipster, I wouldn’t have any fucking clue what people meant when they say things like “I have that album on vinyl” or “I’ll make you a mixed tape.” From politics, to pop culture, to social media, technology, fashion, and more, chances are strong that you and I would have some distinction between our perspectives simply on our age-gap alone, if not other factors. However, there is one unifying topic and universal language that joins us together: sex.
When I first became a Phone Sex Operator/Provider/Seductress/Mistress or other sexy title of your choosing, I’d have been hard pressed to consider myself part of the “adult industry.” I mean, I’m a normal girl, living in my parents’ house and just trying to save up some money for when I get to college, this is a temporary thing and short-lived, not something to make a career out of or to feel like I’ve joined the ranks of “real” adult performers like strippers, escorts, or porn stars. I never had those feelings in a judgmental way, but certainly in a separation kind of way. A “what I do” compared to “what they do” kind of way, which subconsciously, I’m now aware is judgmental when faced with that distinction as it’s typed out in front of me. From the point of view that “I just do phone sex,” I couldn’t possibly consider myself in the same ranks as women literally spending their nights in the laps of men at strip clubs, pay-by-the-hour motel rooms, or at The Bunny Ranch.
Having now been in the business of getting men off for money for a little over a year now, my perspectives have most certainly changed. As I look around me in the real world (i.e. the world outside of the dark, isolated, secret corners of the world with whom I’m connected through the phone late at night), I come to find to a frightening extent just how judgmental, conservative, and uptight our country, if not world, is about sex, sexuality, and sex workers. This comes to mind for a few reasons. One of which is a bill that’s up for vote in California affecting the adult film industry (Hey Cali guys – vote NO on Prop60 – read more here) another being the conservative push for restrictions on pornography, labeling it as some kind of disease that’s infesting our American society, and the third reason being my own personal encounters with a very judgmental person who showed me first hand that maturity and understanding do not, in fact, come with age and experience, as you’re often taught.
Many of my guys who read my blog probably remember a time when you watched porn on VHS tapes or back rooms of video stores. You might remember when pornography started to become THE reason to get an Internet connection or when at a certain time of night late night cable would show soft-core porn (side note: they still do; this wasn’t just something happening in your glory days. hehe). For you, sex and masturbation was taboo and not often talked about openly- even the vanilla kind, so I can understand the frustration, humiliation, and shame that comes along with far more taboo fetishes you’d never let your colleagues, friends, family or even your best friend or significant other know about.
For me and my generation, however, we were raised in a digital age where any piece of information (sexual or otherwise) was a keyboard click away. I remember having dusty, old, rarely used dictionaries and encyclopedias in my classrooms that went unused. Those items became obsolete to desktops, tablets, and our own personal phones to seek out information. I grew up with a Mac in my bedroom, and as society would see it, I was an adolescent always one possible second away from the ultra scary world of corruption, abduction, and perversity.
But to me, this access to information was just that… information. An education in something no one was willingly to openly talk about where the questions I had about my body, my fantasies, my internal thoughts and feelings weren’t hushed or turned away. I was able to turn to the resources that let me realize that I wasn’t alone in these early adolescent desires. What was happening to my body and to my mind wasn’t something to be self-conscious or ashamed of, as people would have it. Instead, I found solace in the fact that women could be empowered, in control, and find pleasure in their body and in fulfilling their needs.
Thanks to those dirty, dark corners of the Internet and Internet porn, I grew to feel more open about my control over my body. It introduced conversations between my friends and I about sex that we otherwise might have never discussed, answering our curiosities and helping us explore what it meant to learn about our own bodies through feeling sensations of excitement, touching ourselves, and understanding the way that one day we will need men to touch us in order to bring us pleasure. For my friends and I we are looked at by older adults as being horny, slutty, degenerates who aren’t going to make anything of ourselves as a result of our over sexed and undisciplined lifestyles. It’s easy to blame the Internet, porn, movies, pop culture, etc. However, the way I see it is that we are no different from any other generation; we simply have the benefit of not having to hide who we are, what we like, and how we choose to act on those desires. I don’t believe we’re having sex any earlier than ever before; I just believe that more people are paying attention because of the exposure and unapologetic attitude of myself and my peers.
I’m not naive. I know there is a dark world out there and I completely know that my own perspective of pornography comes from the comforts of my suburban, middle-upper class bedroom as I took breaks from studying for my next AP exam or as I excitedly sought new, exciting ways to pleasure my boyfriend the next time we hooked up. I understand that there are predators, traffickers, and monsters out there. I, however, don’t believe it’s the adult industry, but rather the shame and degradation that comes along with the judgment toward sex, that perpetuates those issues (among other things that I won’t get into). Adult services, be it pornography, strip clubs, cam shows, or phone sex, are for entertainment. The purpose is to excite, release, move on, repeat. Anyone taking it as any more or less than that, as some kind of deep seeded stain on our society, needs to look into themselves about what they are truly trying to hide, because I find it is almost always the people who preach the loudest against something who tend to be the most guilty at the end of it all.
America is an amazing country that a majority of us lucky enough to be living here most certainly are aware of. We have the ability to freely speak our minds, debate issues, protest opposition, and so much more. However, in some ways our country wants to revert back to a puritanism of sorts, where sex is for procreation and not pleasure, where people aren’t supposed to live open, authentic lifestyles if it makes some other person or group uncomfortable, and where some government officials and groups want to place restrictions on the type of content, ideas, and images we are exposed to. We are living in a time when a small group of people in the government are telling women their jobs are putting them in danger and harmful to their health, safety, and to the impressions made on society; these same people though, are not willing to listen to the women working directly in the sex industry, who are saying “No- YOU do not know my life, my job, or the effect any of it has on me OR the world.” A majority of the women in the sex industry are empowered through their work; they do not need a law to tell them to “wear condoms or else,” when it’s riddled with language that could begin the downward spiral of the pornography industry in the state responsible for its primary production.
Many people might look at me and think “I can’t believe Ryder is doing THAT.” Yet, in that one simple judgment they fail to see that I’m not “just” a sex worker. I am smart, funny, clever, sarcastic, stubborn. I’m a daughter, sister, friend, lover. I’m a student and I’m a Phone Sex Operator. Most of all, I am someone who knows that people are at their happiest when they are getting laid and when they are getting off. I believe the adult industry is at its best with women at the helm of their own careers making their own business choices that are best for themselves. We are at our best when we are able to create content that allows men and women to have moments that allow us to feel true to ourselves and our desires.
I already think America’s pretty great; but, I do think it could be a whole lot sexier as soon as we take the shame out of pleasure, take the stigma out of adult content, and just get it in like we need to- whether in real life, on the phone, digitally, or just in our imaginations. My hope is that older generations than mine look upon people my age with some envy that we can be so open and true to ourselves without as much judgment. In turn though, my other hope would be that those who are passing judgment on sexual promiscuity, the availability of pornography, and services that cater to adult clients will look within their own thoughts to identify hypocrisy where it exists. At the end of this all, let’s just all work harder to make America sexier! Celebrate your sexuality and your fetishes!. Explore curiosities and don’t be ashamed to make requests to sexual partners and have open discussions with friends whom you fear might pass judgment. In the end, you have one life… Are you going to live it making excuses based on what others might think, or are you going to be your own freaky self and support the industry that brings to life every facet of your fantasies in vivid, exotic, and fucking incredible ways?