In life, judgment from others in some way, shape or form is almost inevitable, which is fine I guess. There’s no such thing as universal approval or acceptance. As sex workers, however, public judgement is more than just inevitable. It’s a daily challenge that limits our independence and freedom to simply earn a living.
Here are some tips on how to create a lifestyle that helps protect you from being affected by outside judgments.
1. Buy your own home
Just pop on out and buy a house! Or, a condo. Or a duplex — that way you can live in one side and have your other-side tenant cover your whole mortgage via their rent. Totally no big deal.
Buying a home is not simple, it’s not something you just pop on out and do. In fact, it’s a huge decision and a huge investment. As a homeowner, you will have to pay for repairs to your home, pay property taxes, pay homeowners insurance and pay for a whole mess of other ownership responsibilities renters often never even know about.
Owning your own home, however, will save you from having to supply your earning records to potential landlords and from having to explain what you do for work. Additional benefits besides no longer having a landlord are:
We’ve all heard this horror story (or, it’s happened directly to us): a person is forced to move without notice because a landlord didn’t pay the mortgage or other bills with the rent that was paid to them.
Or, perhaps the property was sold without your knowledge and the new owner evicted you. (Or, a perfectly legal but still annoying, not-your-choice notice to vacate at the end of your existing lease was issued.)
Maybe your landlord keeps raising rent at the end of every lease (even within the legal limits, this is still annoying) or doesn’t repair damages or properly maintain the dwelling, forcing you to live in conditions that make doing your job and living a hectic free life impossible. As a homeowner, these situations are eliminated.
Build wealth over time
As a renter, your payments the property owner’s wealth and establish nothing but shelter (and maybe a little bit of a credit history) for you. When paying a mortgage, you are paying towards ownership. Long term, it is cheaper to own a home than to pay rent.
Builds equity and your credit
Home equity is what your home is worth and a secret savings account that one day you could borrow against if needed. Paying on time, over paying towards the balance and bringing your loan amount down significantly will help you build positive equity and build positive trade lines on your credit report.
It also helps you qualify for mortgage tax deductions, and who can’t use tax deductions? They are a great way to save from paying the IRS more money and in some cases get more money back!
2. Pay cash for your vehicle
When you remove the application for a loan process from buying a vehicle, you remove one’s need and ability to ask how you will be making your payment and how you earn your money. Most financial institutions want stable earnings and income proof, and sex work doesn’t necessarily come with conventional pay stubs and employment verification.
Paying cash eliminates unnecessary debt, establishes equity based on the value of the car and frees you of worrying about having to make payments during times that are slow.
3. Set up a retirement fund and invest
The time will come when you age and have to figure out how you are going to pay bills and survive. Your investments and retirement fund will be a great way to avoid needing loans or the government asking how you earned an income.
Social security is based on your taxable earnings. In the adult industry, we normally don’t have any taxes being taken out. Therefore, there won’t be much to collect, if anything at all! That is, of course, if social security even exists then…
4. Set up your own business
This is something I recommend regardless, but set up your business as a non-adult media or production company and have all of your sex work earnings paid directly to the company. Then, pay yourself a salary as a 1099 employee — of course, with a non-adult title such as a “consultant” or something that doesn’t specify sex work.
You will establish your business with your local business office, get a tax ID, open a business checking account and change all of your accounts to be paid directly to your tax ID. From there, you pay yourself a salary.
5. Pay. Your. Taxes.
No matter what you do, perfect or imperfect, pay your taxes. Get help from a licensed professional if you are unsure of what to do, which is probably inevitable given how amorphous it all seems to be. But an effort to do the right thing gets you closer to whatever the right thing may be.
If you don’t pay your taxes, the IRS will come for you. The worst thing to have to do inside of the IRS building or in a court hearing is explain income you neglected to report. It’s embarrassing and intrusive. Avoid it by simply paying your taxes.
I am not a tax professional so you would defiantly want to seek a professional’s opinion, but I would suggest paying quarterly (every four months). The record keeping is easier, and it’s a lot less headache than trying to gather up all the documents needed for an entire year. Hire an accountant if you can and keep all receipts and records of your income and expenses for deductions.
You won’t be able to fully avoid judgement in life regardless of what steps you take, but you can surely align many of your choices and lifestyle to avoid sharing your work if you don’t want to. Although it may be frustrating that this is the world we live in, sometimes taking steps to avoid these types of stressors helps focus on other things that are more important to our lives.
Want a shout out on twitter?
— ?PlatinumPuzzy1?? QUEENOFBBW.COM #PLATINUMPUZZY (@PlatinumPuzzy1) November 15, 2019
Kari “Platinum Puzzy” Anthony is an events trailblazer in the adult industry community. She created and organized BBWFANFEST, the first BBW niche trade and awards show recognizing plus size performers, and BBWCAMHOUSE — the first live 24-hour voyeur house filled with curvy adult stars, cam performers, dancers and more. Email her at email@example.com.
Background header image by David McBee via Pexels.