How'd You Get that Sexy Job?

People who have phone sex for a living or get money tucked in their dancing clothes on the weekend can seem like a different breed of person. In truth, all kinds of sexy jobs are done by people you'd never suspect. One thing is certain -- for every sexy job, there's a whole slew of fun stories.

We'll look at how some sexy professionals got started in their field, and tell you a few things you'd probably never guess. Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the ladies who were kind enough to share their tips and stories.

Phone Sex

It's not exactly a secret that this writer was a full-time phone sex gal for several years. In fact, I've written about it for this very site. Phone sex operators need to be willing and able to talk about a wide variety of sexual topics to make clients feel desirable, and to entertain fantasies that might seem boring, silly, or otherwise not your cup of tea. Still, phone sex can be enormous fun, and a great way to earn some extra cash.

Getting Started

Getting started in phones ex is as easy as finding a company looking for talent. If you don't find ads at great sites like sexyjobs.com, try calling the toll-free numbers you see advertising phone sex on TV. Don't give up any credit card info, and ask if they're in need of actresses. All you really need for professional phone sex is a phone with unlimited minutes, no call-waiting, a sexy voice, a wild imagination, and a way for clients to reach you. You might even want to advertise yourself.

Caveats

Phone sex can be lucrative, but it can also take a long time to build up a client base so you can take calls regularly. Don't get discouraged, and don't rely on it as your main source of income.

Pro-tips

Keep smutty books or magazines around for ideas. Dress as comfortably as you can. While a glass of wine might help if you're nervous, a bottle of wine will only rob you of much-needed diction.

Web Cam Performers

"Halley" is a stay-at-home mom with a rockin' body and a few hours of free time during the day. Her husband loves the idea of other men watching his wife online. For her, paid webcam work was a no-brainer. When Halley's webcam is on, she dances, monologues, or shows off lingerie sent to her from clients. She also pulls in over $1,000 every month from clients who subscribe to her site—which only accepts new clients via word-of-mouth.

Getting Started

Halley's initial investment was low: a new webcam and a monthly internet fee, which she was already paying. She took out a few ads on popular adult sites, then offered free introductory time to entice new clients. Once she had a client base, Halley stopped advertising. I asked Halley what she felt were essential tools for web cam work. What she had to say was this: "Confidence is key. Believe in your sexiness and clients will follow suit. Be friendly, smile a lot, and clients will follow."

Caveats

Web cam work is about performance. Halley finds that her training in theater and dance has helped her engage clients and keep them coming back. Sometimes though, she doesn't feel like working. Missed shifts can mean lost clients that never return—so even if she's not feeling it—the show must go on.

Pro-Tips

Halley often leaves her webcam on during every day activities—brushing out her hair, exercise, even reading. Yes, people actually pay to watch her read. Now that's a dream job. (For more tips on getting frisky on camera, check out How to Be a Webcam Goddess)

Exotic Dancers

The first rule about this profession is that "Stripper" is an outdated and mildly insulting term that should never be used. Regardless of one's attire, dancing well requires extensive training, diligent practice, a fitness regimen, and exceptional talent. Some exotic dancers double as acrobats, and can put on an amazing show. One such dancer is "Alice" who assures me that the phrase "working the pole" isn't quite as naughty as it sounds.

Getting Started

Alice studied dance from an early age, beginning with ballet, jazz, and tap. When tap dancing didn't offer much in the way of paid work, Alice made some clandestine trips to amateur night at her local strip club. (Yes, it's still okay to say strip club.) After her second appearance, she was offered a job to dance regularly. She explains, "I felt like I was crossing a line into something that could label me forever. People can be judgey [sic] about nudity or sexualized dancing. The club vibe is different than a ballet—but a ballet is different than 'Annie Get Your Gun'. One isn't morally okay and the other sinful, they're just different."

Caveats

As Alice mentions, exotic dancing is something people may judge you for. But then, people who aren't exotic dancers get judged all the time. If narrow minds and wagging tongues worry you, maybe exotic dancing isn't right for you.

Pro-tips

When it comes to making bank, Alice echoes the sentiments of other sex-adjacent workers. A friendly attitude and a sympathetic ear will bring clients to you, and keep them coming back. (For more first-hand exotic dancer experience check out Exotic Dancers: They Aren't Who You Think They Are)

Escorts

Despite what you've heard, there are plenty of professional escorts who don't go all the way. Many escorts are platonic companions that accompany clients to business dinners, company parties, weddings, and other places where showing up stag is not an option. "Lily" worked as a paid escort for several years while putting herself through medical school.

Getting Started

Lily was approached about escorting by a friend. She was apprehensive about what the job might entail and concerned about her safety. After a successful test run, though, Lily was convinced. She invested in two expensive evening dresses with bags and shoes, and made her money back in two evenings—one of which involved great seats to Jersey Boys.

Caveats

Lily has always felt safe at her work because her driver has always looked out for her, and the company was diligent in vetting her dates. She has been propositioned for less-than-platonic activities, though, which is considered just as inappropriate for an escort as it is a waitress or an office assistant.

Pro-tip

Good client referrals are essential for escorts. Lily explains saying, "Your job is to be the perfect date. Poised; elegant, but not snobby; engaged in conversation without aggression. Maintaining control and composure no matter what you hear is very important if you want clients to ask for you again."

Writing

In case you didn't know, I'm a novelist as well as a sex writer. Becoming a published writer is easier now than it's ever been. I don't actually write sexy fiction, but plenty of people do. Whether your style is Victorian bodice-rippers, dinosaur erotica, romance novels, or dom/sub flash fiction, there are more opportunities to share your work than ever before.

Getting Started

Step one: write something. To do this, you should already be an avid reader with a strong narrative voice and excellent spelling and grammar.

Step two: take the thing you've written to some beta readers. Then hire a professional editor. This is not optional unless you're also hoping to embarrass yourself. Ellen is a self-published romance novelist who is adamant about the importance of professional editing. She says, "It's just not possible to effectively copyedit your own work. Even if you think your third draft is perfect, beta readers are essential for finding plot-holes, noting errors, or letting you know when things aren't clear. Believe me, I learned this the hard way."

Caveats

First novels rarely make a lot of money, as many sell only a few hundred copies in their first year. Don't quit your day-job in anticipation of your book's release. Get ready to spend a lot of time figuring out how to reach readers and convincing them to buy your fiction.

Pro-Tip

Ellen advises a combination of social media, traditional advertising, and then coming up with your own innovative ideas. Send out swag to popular book bloggers and reviewers, set up strong profiles at sites like Amazon and GoodReads. Most importantly, Ellen advises, "Keep turning out good work, and eventually it will find its audience." (To find a list of some great erotica writers visit our Sex Blogger Directory)

Let's Say…Other

When jobs get scarce, sometimes people create their own job. This is often done by finding a need in society, and then filling it. That's what "Cathy" did in 2008 after answering a ridiculous ad on Craigslist looking for a naked maid. As you'd imagine, it paid better than any other maid listing.

Getting Started

Cathy's fiancé accompanied her to the job, and she found she was surprisingly comfortable being unclothed in a stranger's home. She explains, "I've never had issues with nudity. It was natural at my house, not sexualized at all. It's funny in a way that people would pay so much for something I think of as completely ordinary and everyday."

Caveats

Cathy was concerned about inappropriate advances, but none came. She wasn't sure if this was due to her fiancé coming along or not. Anyone who wants to try this will definitely want to bring a trustworthy bodyguard.

Pro-Tip

Cathy found that she prefers to clean her own house in the nude even if she no longer does it professionally. She offers sage advice to anyone trying alternative sex work: "Listen to your instincts. If someone seems weird, pressures you, or makes you uncomfortable in any way, decline. No amount of money is worth not feeling safe."

Big thanks to everyone who spoke to me for this article. Your stories are wonderful and vital.

Have you ever thought about getting a sexy job? What's stopping you?