Work crushes happen. In fact, in 2019, they may even be inevitable.
In decades past, it may have been easy — or at least easier — to maintain boundaries between work life and personal life. Today, however, many people are constantly connected to their work environments. And even in the most traditional of offices, technology makes interacting with your colleagues at all hours fairly seamless.
This level of access can change the dynamic of work relationships because, when dealing with a co-worker so constantly, it’s only natural that some personal stuff gets sprinkled in. It’s within the context of this expanded personal/workplace dynamic that work crushes often happen.
Given these sorts of happenings in conventional work spaces, what if your job is technologically based, your work environment totally virtual? What if there is literally no physical space to even approximate a distinction between work life and personal life?
To take it a step further, what if your virtual work environment involves constantly putting your best sexy self forward, like cam does? How does that change the playing field?
Online Work, Online Crushes — but Professionalism Prevails
Sammy Rei Schwarz, a phone sex operator and model, makes an insightful observation about modern culture.
“We can observe people online without actually intruding into their lives, especially in the adult industry, where people constantly project sexy sides of themselves,” Schwarz said. “It’s quite easy to get crushes on fascinating, unique people without even leaving home.”
Someone that you see on the screen, in such a sexy environment as camming, can make it even easier to develop a crush. It is a natural thing to do and, thus, not all bad (contrary to suggestions that you must quash the crush or bad stuff could happen — like, “sharing your feelings could lead to personal hurt and professional difficulties.”)
“I think it’s a sign of a healthy sexuality to have crushes on people you work with and to be able to enjoy it for what it’s worth without worrying about going further with it,” Schwarz added.
A workplace crush can also make both parties feel excited to work and interact – because you’re interacting with your crush or your crush is interacting with you! But can professionalism prevail?
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“I didn’t let crushes get in the way of things. [My crushes] may have gotten a little more attention, but they respected that this is my job, for the most part,” said model and consummate professional Corii Siren.
“As a sex worker, I maintain clear boundaries between my personal and professional life,” Schwarz shared.
She added, “I don’t think crushes affect the way I interact with other sex industry professionals or with clients in any negative way. In fact, I think it enhances the experience I provide to client. When I’m truly excited to interact with them, it makes them feel amazing too. But I don’t let such crushes get in the way of knowing that this is primarily a business transaction. I just enjoy my work more!”
A crush can be a boost, as long as boundaries are maintained on both sides. If they are not maintained, it can be more difficult and awkward.
“Some crushes have definitely gone too far, whether mutual or just them — like falling in love, buying lavish gifts and spending boat loads of money on me,” Siren shared. “It was great, don’t get me wrong, but couldn’t have been good for their mental health knowing that nothing would come of it.”
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Catching Actual Feelings (It Happens!)
Some crushes are fleeting, an attraction to someone that happens and then eventually passes — nothing more. Other times, a crush is something you want to evolve into something deeper. So, what if you do want your workplace crush to go further?
In a situation like camming — where your workplace crush could involve a peer, but could just as easily involve a client — intensity can get turned up quickly. For instance, if one is crushing on a member or online friend, it might be hard to tell if you’re just experiencing the hype that comes from making someone feel special — or, if there are actual feelings developing.
Thought Catalog gathered up statements shared on Reddit from sex workers who fell in love with their clients, including cam models who fell in love with their regulars. Siren knows what this is like!
“I met my fiancé on MFC, and it was definitely a mutual crush. He was just… different. And lived in the same state. We’ve been together almost eight years now!” Siren gushed. “It… just goes to show that you can find your soulmate literally anywhere, and that cam girls aren’t out of your league! However, if we say ‘no,’ respect that. My fiancé was a client first.”
Respect is the big thing with a work crush, virtual or not. Respect your own feelings, respect those of the person that you have feelings for and respect your professionalism. As long as you honor that, you can intuitively decide what is right for you in any crushing situation.
Embrace your crush, and remember to respect what you do and provide good service — both for yourself as well as for your clients. If you ever find yourself wanting more, follow the same precautions that you would — virtual or not — to find your happy ending.
Header images (l-r): Corii Siren, heart hands via Pexels here and Sammy Rei Schwarz.