To Breed or Not to Breed?

You know, it’s kind of embarrassing and annoying to admit this… but I’ve entertained the idea of being a parent someday. I feel awkward saying it because I hate the idea that I’m fulfilling this belief that many people have when a woman says that she’s not interested in having kids, that “when you’re older, you’ll see”. I have been adamant for a long time that having a kid wasn’t for me. I think deciding to be childfree is totally cool. And I never thought that I might be considering anything else, til I met the boy, who’s a bit of a breeder. I started to ask myself if I could, in fact, see myself as a parent. And I was shocked to realize… yeah, maybe I could, with him. I think we’d be good parents.

I still have weird issues with all the rigmarole wrapped around the idea of “motherhood” that have been stirred up and pulled into focus with adult baby explorations, and I still think that if I do have a child, the boy will very likely be the “mother” figure while I’ll be more the “father” figure. And I’m ok with that, for the most part. I still wish he could be the one to get pregnant, but, hey, what’re you gonna do, right?

I use words like “spawn”, “whelp” and “breeder” as a sort of endearment (“breeder” especially comes out of queer culture, where it’s sometimes used with venom but often with a friendly, teasing wink). That said, it’s also as a nod to the fact that I acknowledge I am a bit ambivalent about parenting as a choice for myself. I think it’s ok to not be gung ho about being a mother, and I think the cult of motherhood that exists kind of sucks for those of us who don’t feel they fit into that baby-bootie-knitting stereotype. If I commit to parenthood I will commit, though- not for me an accident or “we’ll see how it feels as we go”. It’s a path I will need to very consciously choose, to be fair to myself, my partner and our potential child.

Now, I’m a sex worker. And I will probably continue to do sex work, in one form or another, after having a child. It’s something I feel is my calling, if there is such a thing- it’s certainly a place where I shine. I’m painfully aware of the issues that can come of that- sex workers are not seen as fit parents. Hell, sexual women are not seen as fit parents- and that has consequences. My love for my work made me wonder if being a parent was even something I could entertain as a possibility. How could I balance my public speaking about sex work with having a kid? Would I be selfish to not give up my work?

Weirdly, I don’t know if I’d ask myself that question if I worked in an office.

But I’m lucky. I know many, many amazing women who are proving, every day, that it can be done. They all have subtly different ways that they balance being parents and being sex workers or altsex participants, which is exciting- it shows me that there’s a spectrum of possibilities and supports I can lean on if I, too, become a sex working mum. And I have so much love and respect for them. They’re fighting so many preconceptions and judgments, and they’re coming out swinging. And I know older parents- Burners, kinksters, polyamorists- whose kids are fucking rad. They inspire me. I’m grateful.

And I also know some amazing women and men who are choosing to be childfree, or to adopt, or foster. I’m grateful to them too, because they show me that if I weigh up the options and decide I don’t want to have a child, or that I don’t want to bear a child- that’s ok too.

Because that’s what this is all about. Choices. I want to be able to choose how to be a parent in a way that works for me and my family. I want to be able to choose to not have kids without being told that I’ll regret it. Will I be above reproach? No, of course not. I’m sure I’ll fuck up either way. That’s what people do- they make decisions that other people don’t get sometimes, and sometimes they get those decisions wrong. That’s ok- it’s about learning and growing.

And that’s, ultimately, what I want the boy and me to teach our potential child.

Kitty Stryker

Kitty Stryker is a geeky sex worker, Burner, rabid writer and feminist activist with one high-heeled boot in San Francisco, California and one in London, England. In London, Stryker worked with the TLC Trust, an online organization connecting people with disabilities with sex workers experienced with emotional or physical limitations. She is the founder of the award-winning Ladies High Tea and Pornography Society, and was nominated by the Erotic Awards as Sex Worker of the Year for her charity and activism work. Now back in the States, Stryker has been presenting Safe/Ward, a workshop on combating entitlement culture within alternative sexual communities, along with being the PR rep for the Bay Area Sex Workers Outreach Project promoting sex worker rights. She has written for Huffington Post, Filament, and Tits and Sass, built a social media strategy for Cleis Press, and consults with sex workers about their online presence. In her copious free time, she enjoys switching things up with her two hot lovers. Read more from Stryker on her personal blog, Purrversatility.

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