Looks Good For Her Age: Aging In (and Out) Of Sex Work

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I’ve been in the adult business in some capacity for thirty years, which is more than half my life. I’m nowhere near done with it. I’ve had many roles: model, adult videos, escort, dominatrix, massage parlor, sugar baby, and I’ve sold used panties and custom videos. My husband is a photographer and studio owner. I met him when a photographer who’d hired me to shoot nudes rented his studio and introduced me to the owner. We started dating. 

Fast forward and I was able to retire from the business in my mid-thirties. Today we’re married, and I’m the studio’s director. Our clients run the gamut from a prominent national newspaper to media personalities to models. Many of the models shoot nudes and adult content. I see my younger self in all of them. 

In the back of my mind, I hope the models think of themselves as more than their faces and bodies. I always tried to, even during dark times when I couldn’t quit because I didn’t have another way to support myself. Having the foresight to believe that somehow I was more than my looks has positively impacted my outlook on aging. 

Beauty Fades, Personality Lasts

I’ve decided not to fear aging. Regardless of how beautiful a woman is when she’s younger, she will eventually end up as looks good for her age. Aging is an opponent we can’t fight. We can stave it off with money: fillers, facials, retinol, hair dye, and cosmetic surgery. However, money only goes so far in that battle. Eventually, youth and beauty will give way to age and wisdom.

I’m lucky to look younger than I am. I believe this is common for women like us. Vanity isn’t pretty, but old habits die hard. When my age comes up, I smugly add a few years. It’s a milestone number, one in which society believes I should have a sensible haircut, sensible shoes, and mom jeans. I’m far from that and I’m fishing for compliments. They’re always nice to hear.  

You may have seen Dorothy Parker’s quote: “Beauty is skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.” Although I couldn’t articulate it when I was younger, I’ve always tried to live this motto in some capacity. Be a good person to yourself and others.

Round out your personality with interests and activities that don’t involve your beautiful face. Become educated in areas that give you earning power when you’re ready to leave the business and topics you can have interesting conversations about. As we become the looks good for her age women we’re meant to be, these are the things that will stick around. 

Does Aging Close Doors?

A few years ago, I noticed that people no longer opened doors for me. I mean that both literally and figuratively. Literally, I stopped getting free things. Gone were the extras. Gone were the “it’s on the house” things I’d been accustomed to receiving. Figuratively, opening doors meant receiving preferential treatment in most places.

A smile, eye contact, and being friendly used to work as a form of currency. Now, it does little except give people the impression that I’m pleasant to be around. Men no longer go out of their way to be helpful to me in public. Now, I’m used to figuring out how to reach the high shelves at Home Depot on my own. This dramatic shift in how people perceive me is not entirely unwelcome. 

Julia Fox recently recorded a video railing against anti-aging products.  She said aging is sexy and that anti-aging products are a lie. The message is meaningful. However, one thing stuck out. It resonated deeply with me because it summed up something I’ve felt for years, “Being pretty and hot in your twenties is the fucking trenches, and I’m not going back there.” 

Along with society’s changing opinion about women who “age out” of their beauty, being beautiful is a hell of a lot of pressure. As models and sex workers, we know we’ll turn heads. When we’re not fully made up, we’re still very aware of our appearance. Even a ponytail and a tracksuit need to look good when we go out. When our jobs literally depend on our appearance, it’s difficult to leave that behind and truly, deep down, not care how we look. Someone’s going to be looking. You never know who you’re going to meet. This pressure is the trenches. 

Youth Is Fleeting… But That’s Not A Bad Thing

I’m solidly looks good for my age. I’m still cognizant of my appearance. But, and I mean that emphatically, but, we leave the trenches when we age out of the business. The pressure is off. When we’re no longer supporting ourselves with our looks, our appearance becomes something for ourselves rather than for others.

People project their own thoughts, feelings, and ideas onto beautiful women. They have expectations. Most of them are unrealistic. They believe they know us based on our social media personas. We nurture our relationships with fans and followers because we want something from them, things like likes, follows, money, and items from our Amazon wish lists, but not because they’re our friends or part of our social circles. 

When we leave the trenches and our beauty doesn’t go as far, the pressure dissipates. Maybe we notice that instead of being the center of attention, a woman ten years younger than us has all eyes on her. Being okay with that means moving into a different phase in our life. We no longer have to pick out our outfits to go grocery shopping. We’re no longer on display. It’s freeing, a sheer relief to blend in after spending so many years knowing we didn’t. 

Speaking of the woman who’s a decade younger than us, many more just like her are always going to be younger than we are. Every year a new crop of luscious, curvy eighteen-year-olds enters the business. Every year in equal measure, we’re a year older.

When I married a photographer, I had to get right with the idea that I couldn’t compete with the models he’d be focusing his lens on. He’d Photoshop them into impossibly beautiful versions of themselves while I’d apply my retinol and sunblock and blend in while I helped him on the set. 

Coming To Terms With Being Beautiful In A New Way

This relationship helped me give in to the idea that I’ve had my time in the sun. Many good years of it, in fact, but it was time to let other young women shine.

These women come to my studio every day. I promote traveling models, most of them with many thousands of fans and followers. My studio is clean and comfortable, and it’s a safe place. I feel like a house mom when I mention my years in the business as a way to convey that I understand what their world is like and I’m here for them. 

I don’t ask the models personal questions. Every woman in the industry is on her own journey. Each one is unique. However, for all the facets of this business and all the highs and lows, we have one thing in common. We’re all headed toward looks good for her age

My dearest fellow lovelies, a small word of advice. Keep good things in your heart and soul, and you’ll always be a beautiful woman.