“We’re all the walking wounded.” Says Dr. Kate Balestrieri. “We all have traumas that shape our behavior and drive our decisions.”
Dr. Kate Balestrieri is a board-certified therapist and psychologist who works daily with adult sex workers in the Los Angeles Area. For years, Balestrieri has helped her clients confront their traumas and use them to thrive in their professions with a healthy mindset and an empowered attitude.
I spoke with Balestrieri to learn insights from her experiences with workers in the sex industry. She pointed out that while there’s a lot of hesitation in joining the webcamming business, there are circumstances where it can be uplifting.
“If this feels volitional, it feels consensual, they have autonomy over what they get paid, when they get paid, who they work with, when they work, all of those things, then I would say, certainly it feels like a more empowered decision,” Balestrieri said.
There are plenty of reasons why someone would desire to work in the sex industry. Sometimes, for financial success- sometimes for self-gratification. However, society tends to focus on the negative aspects of becoming a sex worker instead of positive aspects. Some people get into this industry simply because they enjoy it and are passionate about it- just like any career choice. Whatever reason someone chooses this career, it can bring strength and endurance to the worker.
But for the ones who choose this career with a strong mental health support system, what does entering this line of work mean for them?
Balestrieri explained the idea of sex industry workers “always” coming from a place of trauma.
“There are lots of different perspectives on that in the field of psychology, and certainly within the fields of sex therapy, sex addiction therapy, but I don’t think that there’s one definitive answer. People find themselves in this line of work for lots of different reasons.
“Even if it’s born out of a history of trauma, when somebody has done the work to heal their trauma, it still may serve as a really positive empowered place in their lives,” Balestrieri said. “Something that’s part of their survivor story and no longer something that is part of their wounded story.”
You can see Balestrieri’s full comment below:
Dr. Balestrieri also explained how she would help someone who wants to be successful in webcamming. Much of this work is about making a connection with the customer. Balestrieri explained what customers are looking for when they search for the right model and what it takes for them to keep a continuous relationship when that model is found.
“They’re looking for a connection. They’re looking for a fantasy. They’re looking for reassurance. They’re looking for a sliver of hope,” Balestrieri said. “If you can bring them some kind of promise on a connection, that’s going to be all that it takes to get them to come back and want to engage with you.”
You can find more information about Dr. Balestrieri on Instagram.