Left-Handed Journeys

Venus Valentine on the spiritual power of phone sex hotlines

August 13, 2021 Jera Brown Season 1 Episode 1
Left-Handed Journeys
Venus Valentine on the spiritual power of phone sex hotlines
Chapters
Left-Handed Journeys
Venus Valentine on the spiritual power of phone sex hotlines
Aug 13, 2021 Season 1 Episode 1
Jera Brown

Venus Valentine is a genderfluid femme sexpert, BBW fetish model, and host of the Dirty Panties Podcast. S/he is a spiritual wanderer who has explored a number of esoteric paths to find what works for her. We talked about how easy it is to get disenchanted with various communities and spiritual teachers, such as the problematic tendencies of sex therapy culture and a shady Tantra mentor. We also talked about our work as phone sex operators, which Venus introduced me to, and how it can be a powerful medium for sexual and spiritual healing.

Show Notes Transcript

Venus Valentine is a genderfluid femme sexpert, BBW fetish model, and host of the Dirty Panties Podcast. S/he is a spiritual wanderer who has explored a number of esoteric paths to find what works for her. We talked about how easy it is to get disenchanted with various communities and spiritual teachers, such as the problematic tendencies of sex therapy culture and a shady Tantra mentor. We also talked about our work as phone sex operators, which Venus introduced me to, and how it can be a powerful medium for sexual and spiritual healing.

Venus Valentine:

Sex work is very much left-hand path spiritual work because you're sticking your fingers in the muck and pulling out the diamonds. You are the Lotus growing out of the filth and that's not because I think sex is dirty. I think it's because people are so energetically blocked around sex. That's that's the filth is just the not being forced to deny your true self

Jera Brown:

Welcome to the left hand the journeys my guest this episode is Venus Valentine. Folks I'm very excited to introduce you to a good friend of mine Venus Valentine who is a gender fluid femme sexpert btw fetish model and podcast host based in Las Vegas. she identifies as a space which energy healer and sex magic pre sticks. She is the host of the sex relationship podcast dirty panties where she has interviewed drag queens porn stars in the direct descendant of L. Ron Hubbard about their sex lives. You can learn more at bbwvenusvalentine.com. I have no idea how much does mic picks up? My 145 pound dog just like came in and like pull up down?

Venus Valentine:

I think that's just an occupational hazard of having a Malamute. Honestly, yeah.

Jera Brown:

My young one is four months old and she still gets separation anxiety if I shut the door. Oh, no separation anxiety if I close the shower curtains. Oh my god. Yeah, yeah, it's a work in progress. Speaking of like, I haven't been able to take so Venus introduced me to phone sex work. And I've so much enjoyed it. It's definitely been a part of my own spiritual erotica journey, which I'm sure we'll get into. But I haven't been able to take calls. Because puppies. And so like, I miss you. And I'm like, I miss you, too.

Venus Valentine:

I just tell them like there's gonna be puppies, if you call me honest. Here they are. Oh, I took one call. And we got to like an orgasm. And then there's these puppies in the background? And I'm just like, yeah, yeah, my cat does that to me, too. Sometimes he'll have you lie down to do a hypno call. And he's like, shut up, dude. Stop it.

Jera Brown:

Thankfully, like, I feel like, I feel like the clients that I've kept, because I've slowed down so much are the type that like, want to know me as a person. So that Yeah.

Venus Valentine:

Oh, for sure. For sure. And sometimes they like that humanity. Yeah, if you're willing to share it with them? Yeah.

Jera Brown:

I took this first question from on being Christa always opens her podcast asking people about their spiritual biography, and I quite enjoy it. For starters, what are your spiritual or religious roots? Where did you start?

Venus Valentine:

Sure. I was raised by Buddhists. My parents started out as Zen Buddhists. And then my mom drifted into Tibetan Buddhism in the mid 80s. And I think gauged with it a little bit, I've never really found it to be a good fit for me personally. So I haven't really followed in their footsteps in that regard. But it's very important to them. My mom told me that they just got rid of 100 pounds of Buddhist books, because both her and my stepfather have this massive conveyor to have each of these books that they were studying, it was an entire bookshelf in a room. So I come from a lineage of people who are very serious and committed to their spirituality. And for me, I was always more drawn to the magic side of things. And the first time I really connected with a spiritual tradition, and this will come off as really weird in the current modern context, was an African traditional religion called Eva. And it came to me via book this was in like, maybe 1994, my sister had to read a book on it for a class in the art school she attended, and I read it and I was like, Oh, my god, there's all this, like lore and mythology, and all of these deep deities, and I really connected with these deities, and I started like making artwork about it, and I became really passionate about it. But it is a lineage that you have to be initiated into. And it's controversial for white people to practice. I think a lot of people outside of those communities say, well, white people shouldn't practice African traditional religions. People within the communities will often say, well, the orishas, which are the gods, they call who they want to call and they call people of all different colors and cultures and whatever. So um, yeah, I don't know if I would have pursued it as much in the current political context. But when I was 14 years old, pre internet, I was just like, utterly enthralled and over the course of meeting with different the priestesses are called Santos or their Santos and then the higher level priests they're called Babalawos I met with like several people and I was being told to get initiated. Like they would say like your ancestors in nourishes wants you to be initiated, but your soul does not want to be. And I kind of struggled with this for a long time are like should I or shouldn't I like is this the right thing for me? And so ultimately, I decided to walk away from it that it wasn't something that I was, you know, committed to becoming initiate within. And I was like, Okay, I'm gonna stop working with these ratios and I'm just going to do pursue a different path. Now of course, as soon as I decided this, there is an orisha called Elegua who's the trickster god, who enjoys fucking with people, but it's generally to teach them a lesson. So I'm like, Okay, I'm not going to work with ratios anymore. I'm going to pursue other spiritual paths. And I go to this like witchcraft store, which wasn't even a Botanica wasn't specializing in etha type religion stuff, but they still carried some orisha candles. So I go there to buy some stuff. And the guy behind the counter is like, Oh, I got a candle to give you It's on the house, and he hands me an Elegua candle. And I'm like, Oh, okay. He's like, 'You're not getting away that easy.' Yeah, so I've kind of found a middle ground in which I keep an image of Elegua by my door, just kind of out of honor and respect for him. But I chose not to be initiated into that tradition, it just felt very complicated, and maybe not the right path for me. And from there, I really don't like labels, I joke about being a space, which because I'm very interested in aliens in outer space. But I think the term gray, which really applies to me too, because I'm a light worker, but I'm also a shadow worker. And I'm interested in all facets of human experience, light and dark. I find a lot of the love in light, new age, hyper positivity stuff to be pretty toxic. And I mean, I'm a sex worker. So I delve into some dark stuff with people. And I like just not putting a label on what I do and not being left hand path where right hand path but my own path moving forward. So that's kind of where it come from was this.

Jera Brown:

I don't know if you remember. But you you stayed with me after your breakup, and you'd light an Elegua candle, and I didn't know what it was. I never looked at it. But I told you about a dream I had while you were staying with me in which somebody with darker skin and multicolored dyes and like a dress and like a 40's-style suit was standing in the doorway and put a magnet in a doorway. And the dream had to do with somebody that I was addicted to on Tinder who was definitely not good for me. And this person led me away from that person and into my own room. And you told me like, Oh, that's Elegua.

Venus Valentine:

Ah, yeah. That's so wild. Yeah, I remember you telling me about that dream. And I'm just like, 'Oh, okay. Guess I brought him into your apartment. I mean, sorry, not sorry. I mean, he can he can be tricky to work with, but he's also good energy. So ...

Jera Brown:

I can see that. Yeah, I still I and I have the same dilemma. Like when you when you have a dream about a god like, or a presence, what are you supposed to do about it? You know?

Venus Valentine:

Sure. Sure. They might just be making a cameo, you might be being called to serve, or they might just be like saying, Hi.

Jera Brown:

Yeah, I feel like you You answered the second question. You know, I'll ask you any way that? If you guided someone through your spirit, spiritual evolution besides what you've already mentioned, is there another pivotal moment you'd include?

Venus Valentine:

Oh, absolutely. So I've always been very, I think spirituality and sexuality or an art, creativity. Those are the things that I care about the most in life. And the word Tantra is pretty loaded. But for lack of a better term, I will I will say that maybe what I really mean is neo-tantra. But in my late 20s, early 30s, I felt like I had already done so much sexual exploration within like BDSM communities and dabbling in sex work and just trying all kinds of different stuff. And I'm like, Where's there to go sexually from here? And I'm like, I know I'll start studying tonsor cross. Right, which is totally You know, I'm very cynical about when people get into Tantra for sexy sexual reasons. But what it what happened was like I got in for sexual reasons, but it triggered a huge spiritual awakening for me. It led me to start doing Kundalini Yoga, which is a practice have recently chosen to leave because of kind of a history of abuse with the guy who started it but it was very transformative to me and got the energy flowing. You know that Kundalini energy that is the kind of primal sexual energy in the spine, moving throughout my body making me more aware of my energy field. And then I found a kind of mentor who I thought was a good mentor for me. And in a way she was in other ways she wasn't. But I was like, Oh, she's not trying to have sex with me. So I was very cautious of just sleaziness in these neo-tantra communities. And I was like, Oh, well, she's not bringing that sleaziness to me. But then I had an experience where I started practicing Tantra with this young man. And she found out and she got very territorial. And I realized that she wasn't predatory towards me, but she was a woman in her 50s, who is like, initiating all these really young men in a way that felt sort of sleazy and predatory. And so I stopped working with her at that point. But that kind of lit the spark. And then, when I was 35, I was like, Well, I'm not gonna force a Kundalini awakening. I think if you are actively practice spirituality, and get into stuff like altered states with BDSM, you already have that sexual energy flowing within your body. It's I think I was already somewhat awakened, that I'm like, I don't want to have some dramatic Kundalini awakening, I don't want to force that I'd heard horror stories. But then like things would happen, like I found a this rainbow snake dead snake lying in the street, just in the middle of nowhere. And I'm like, Whoa, okay. And then I decided that I needed to get rainbow snakes tattooed a pair of rainbow snakes tattooed up along my spine, and I'm like, I'm not trying to trigger the Kundalini awakening, I'm just getting a newly awakening tattoo. That's all and it was making all this artwork with images of snakes. And it's sort of I had kind of more of a traditional Kundalini awakening, with a dom I was working with, where, you know, we were doing what would normally be a typical scene for us. And I just got completely overwhelmed. And I felt like I couldn't round out my energy. And, you know, with that has come this ability to like have orgasms, or I'm not even touched just from breathing. And it's almost kind of hard because most of my sexual partners just aren't on my level. And so I feel like I'm in like PhD level, spiritual sex craziness, and they're still in maybe second or third grade. And it's it's made it harder for me to date and have a fulfilling sexual life. And I'm sort of still very wary of people in these spiritual sexuality communities. So that's been complicated for me. Like it's, it's like exciting to wake up to that stuff. But it's sort of like the typical Okay, now I can see the matrix and it kind of is, like, do I want to see the matrix? It's a lot. And then the other thing that I think was a turning point was I had, I took silicided mushrooms for the first time when I was 35. And that led to me doing it about 16 times in five years, culminating in a trip last year, that was like one of the darkest moments of my life. So I'm kind of I think I kind of went as far as I could go with that. But that was something that also awakened a lot of awareness. For me as a spiritual person. It's kind of stereotypical, but it was really special to get to have that experience.

Jera Brown:

Stereotypical definitely does not mean it's not effective, right?

Venus Valentine:

Yeah. And that was really hard on me too, because I have this experience of just being pure spirit, not tethered to my body, not tethered to my ego and my anxiety. And I think a lot of people find that merging with the infinite to be very scary. And for me, it was liberating. And then I had to go back to being a human and a body and dealing with dumb human stuff. And that was very devastating for me. So that was kind of my frustrating awakening within exploring psychedelics was like not wanting to come down once I tasted that.

Jera Brown:

I feel like I have some grasp of what it is but can you just describe what a Kundalini awakening is?

Venus Valentine:

Sure. So within Tantra, there's this idea that there's two, that there's these two channels of energy that are sort of like sleeping snakes at the bottom of your spine, and through doing different practices. And ultimately, Tantra is not about sex, sex is a way of accessing this energy. It's, it's like it Tantra is a spiritual practice. And sex is a tool that you can use to access the energy and to have these experiences. But it's not the only way. And a lot of it is just like breathing and meditating and movement. And I've certainly taught workshops where people were very disappointed because it wasn't Sexy, sexy sex, it was a lot of breathing and movement, you know. But the idea is that there's these two energy snakes that are sleeping at the bottom of your spine and that through these practices, you can wake them up and then the two snakes kind of twine around each other and move up the spine to the top of the head and then you have this kind of Spiritual Awakening that occurs, I don't know if that's the best description of it, but I always found it a little bit limited because it the idea of a Kundalini awakening is like, all of a sudden, you just wake up to this energy. And I already felt like, pretty awake to the energy. And I was like, Okay, I don't, and even now that I've had the energy wake up more, I still have to, like, pay my bills and feed myself and take care of my like, I can't be that open and awakens all the time, or I can't function. And I've had people say, like, Yeah, sometimes you go to these communities where people are really into this work, and they're just not tethered to their bodies. They're just kind of in outer space all the time.

Jera Brown:

So that's always bothered me, for a number of reasons. One thing that it seems disrespectful to communities and oppression and all these things that we need to deal with. Yeah, because I often I feel like when I would I my issue with a lot of new age communities is they don't seem to be grounded in the political situation, or they don't Yeah. Or, you know, at least when you have these conversations are. And I feel like we all sort of have a need to commit to each other to stay grounded in some way too.

Venus Valentine:

Yeah, well, I feel if you're incarnated in human form, it's because you're here to have a human experience. You're not here to answer there is this sort of fantasy about the monk who goes and lives in a cave and completely isolates and achieves Nirvana? And I'm like, I don't think that's what we're here for. Right? That very, it almost feels a little The idea is like, oh, non attachment and you know, that you're doing this for the benefit of all beings, but it's it feels kind of selfish to me in a way and my mother has said that to she's like, I don't really care about my own journey. So much is about like the collective journey. And I was like, you know, and that's where she's arrived after 50 years of Buddhism where she just has shifted her gears towards more social justice movements and less from her sangha which is all white boomers being very self righteous. Yeah,

Jera Brown:

My journey has definitely led me closer to Buddhism. But that's one issue I have tried to find a sangha is that so many of them are predominantly white. And I mean, I'm white. So in theory, that shouldn't bother me. But I want I want to be a part of communities that are grounded in social justice. And when Yeah, predominantly, upper middle class and white. They don't care. Yeah, you know,

Venus Valentine:

Yeah, she's been working with someone and recommended someone named allama, Rod Owens, who's like, a queer person of color, who's a Buddhist, and I've looked at some of their stuff and like, yeah, that's like, I can understand why my mom is more attracted to that than what she's described in her sangha is just that it's really dominated by like, older white men that they never supported the younger generation, that it's not a welcoming place, right? For people who are not middle class white people. And now there's no generation to take over because there's no next wave of people, because they never made space for new people. And I, you know, I never I always felt a little turned off by her community. And at this point, I kind of feel a little justified, like, okay, I always felt like, Is there something wrong with me that this doesn't, I don't connect with this? And it's like, no, because it was very exclusive and very privileged and weird. So I'm a little allergic to Buddhism, just because my parents were constantly trying to get me to be involved with it. And sometimes the way that white people approached Buddhism is like, almost like a weird form of Christianity, where it's very, like, trying to convert people and like, you know, you just have to find this Savior and that'll fix all your problems. And just like no, this isn't Eastern Christianity. This is something else.

Jera Brown:

Yeah. I so first of all, for folks who are interested, Lama Rad Owens is amazing and has an online sangha that is committed to centering queer folks and people of color. And I, I totally recommend checking it out. The the concept of spiritual bypassing really appeals to me, I think, yeah, that's partially what you're getting at is people are drawn to any spiritual path is a way of moving beyond their suffering when that is moving beyond the human experience. Right. Yeah.

Venus Valentine:

You know, and that's something I struggle with too. It's, like sometimes I'm like, why did I incarnate This is horrible. This is so unworkable. But the one thing that my mom has actually taught me that's really helped when I've felt so just so much pain about How much pain there is feeling that on a personal feeling the collective pain on a personal level, is she's just like send out love and good intentions to everything. And that's not a substitute for, for taking action in the world. But that's something where it's like if I'm just stuck and feeling, just intense grief. That's something I can do about it to move past that grief into just extending empathy and love. And then that makes puts me in a better place to do action fully. Yeah, and I think Lama rod Owens talks about sending up the energy of orgasm for that purpose. And that's been something that I've carried with me. And also I do a lot of energy work with my clients. They mostly do phone sex, where when they have their orgasms, I always like take in, they're not taken to myself, but I collect the energy of their orgasm to do magic with and getting to the point where it's like, you know, I used to just be like, Okay, I'm gonna do money magic with this, then use this energy to bring me more money. And now I'm like, Oh, no, I want to send some of this energy out to be a benefit to anyone who needs it, not just myself. So that was kind of good for I mean. It's just always a delicate balance for sure.

Jera Brown: My last question:

how do you define the erotic?

Venus Valentine:

I was thinking about this. And I kind of view it as this liminal space between the physical and the spirit, like a sort of trance state where you're, I'm going to go real esoteric. And in Kabbalah, the Tree of Life, the lowest vision is malkuth. And it's Earth and it's also not earth. And that's kind of the erotic for me. In my own body. It's sort of like my Sacral Chakra space, like my womb space, like, that's an energy center where like when I'm stimulated there, I feel like I'm on another plane of existence, as well as being in my body. And so eroticism to me is sort of like using the body to access ecstatic states, whether that's eating something really delicious, or having an orgasm or having sexual pleasure or appreciating the beauty of a painting or smelling a flower, just that sort of transcendent. That place where where the physical kind of dissolves into magic, if that makes sense into something gets you out of cuts you out of your head. That's really like, what eroticism to me is that moment where you get out of your head and into your body and use your body as a vehicle to access transcendence. And pleasure. That's a pretty heady description. But when I really thought our eroticism was getting out of your head, yeah, exactly. I have this super intellectual version of it. I took a really great class on Kabbalah with someone named mirror, who runs wicked grounds cafe in San Francisco. And they were talking about how you can't access the spirit realm, the soul realm through your brain, it has to be through your body. Even though we sometimes view our body is like the dumb animal part of ourselves, like where it's like, oh, it's the least intelligent, but it really isn't. And that's where you have your ancestral DNA, like your body is so special. And the brain really wants to think that it's more important than the body and that drives like eating and sex and sleeping are like lesser drives compared to like this more intellectual pursuits. But I think it's all important.

Jera Brown:

I mentioned this in another conversation, but the person that wrote radical acceptance, Tara Brach. She has a podcast, and she was talking about the wisdom of the body, and how ideally the mind is a servant of the body in the body. Yes, the ultimate wisdom. And I don't know, I've been thinking about that a lot about how, in many ways that does, I guess, you know, it feels like it feels appropriate for an erotic spiritual path. Anyway, I know you said you're you don't feel like you're on the left path or the right path. But I think there's something to the left handed path when you're drawn to experience the body and not just try to escape it. Yeah. Which I think you have to be to have an erotic experience that it's just, it's messy and gritty and dark. In many ways. I think that that is the harder path.

Venus Valentine:

Right is Yeah. I mean, I don't I don't like to say that I'm basically one or the other. It's like I am involved in a satanic church. So a lot of people are like, oh, well you're left hand path? And I'm like, Yeah, I am. But it's not all that I am. You know, I'm just really interested in Satanism as like the liberation of knowledge. Yeah, it's sort of choosing to have the awakening where you see, it's the loss of innocence, you know, the idea of the snake in the Garden of Eden, you know, in the forbidden knowledge, and what is the forbidden knowledge is that you yourself are as God, which is, like, you know, no, no, can't have humans knowing that they're divine. You know, and the Satanists I hang out with are all queer nerds who are awesome. I mean, there are a lot of Satanists who are into about stuff that I'm not about. So, um, but I feel like it's, it's like, you know, I have dabbled in the more sort of toxic positivity, law of attraction. communities, and I've taken away really great stuff from like, the light workers and the those people, like, I've made vision boards and have them come true. And like, that's really neat. But that's not the only thing. You can't just be like, I'm gonna manifest my perfect life. And then you have people who like, are like, oh, Louise Hay died, she must have not actually been doing her own affirmations correctly, that she got cancer. And it's like, oh, my God, you can't chant or meditate or pray your way out of death and illness and human experience you're hearing for all of it. And that's why I'm like, not one side or the other, like, no one is really you can say your lightworker, you can say that you, you know, are the deepest, darkest satanist. But like, we have all of it. And everyone, and I'm sure lots of people will be offended by lots of things I say in this interview, and that's fine. But I wouldn't even say that I'm the middle path. I just go where I am drawn in the moment. And I'm constantly learning and exploring and evolving. So wonder like, I wonder Yes.

Jera Brown:

So talk to you again, about the the the erotic bliss, what, what is that bliss for you?

Venus Valentine:

That's a good question. I haven't experienced it. Well, I experienced it a lot with myself, I haven't had a real partner experience. It's taken me there in a long time, unfortunately. But for myself, it's sort of like being able to go into an alternate dimension. And I will masturbate to my anger, I will masturbate to my anxiety. And that will get me as worked up as traditional arousal, it's a way to explore the energy in my body and my emotions and build up that energy concentrated, release it, manipulate it, transform it. And with another person, it's just a few if it's with the right person, it is just a way that you can experience intimacy that is otherwise very difficult to achieve. And that's part of why I sort of struggle with this idea of hookup culture where it's really like, you know, if the goal is just to have an orgasm with another user, another person as a sex toy to have an orgasm, it's just sort of like you're missing out on so much of what makes sex interesting for me. Which is sort of why I don't necessarily have a lot of sex these days, like I sort of, if I'm gonna open up to someone in that way, I want it to be really more interesting and explorative, I had a lot of the casual sex when I was younger. And I'm not saying there's no value in that. But at this point, as opened up as I am, I want it to be sort of more of a spiritual playground and an opportunity to understand myself better understand them better. And like yeah, the physical pleasure is a piece of that. But for me, The pleasure is as much energetic as it is. In my body. It's both.

Jera Brown:

We haven't talked much about your your work as a sex worker. Sure. Where does that fit in? Because you do a lot of spiritual work with your clients. Yeah, erotic, spiritual work. So can you just talk about it?

Venus Valentine:

Sure. I would say it's like, I'm technically called a phone sex operator, but my work, it doesn't draw on my own sexual energy very much. At this point. It's really about helping them. There's a lot of energy healing that occurs. There's a lot of trans states that we access. I'm currently working on a program to help people retrieve their loss, divine feminine energy, which you know, young men and boys are often told to shut off that part of themselves, and then they feel so empty. Later in life that they don't they're not integrated with this part of themselves. It's so birthright. Um, so it's sort of like a weird form of radical energy healing, radical sex therapy. I can't legally call myself a therapist. But that is what I do, to some extent is just help people work through their stuff. And then I get a phone call from someone who just wants to jerk off and I say, I'm sorry, that's not really what I do. I've been doing phone sex off and on for 12 years. I've been doing it as my job full time for Six years. And I can't keep doing it unless it feels in alignment and meaningful for me. And it's been hard during pandemic to sort of muster the energy and focus necessary because everyone feels so needy and empty, I feel needy and empty. Like, there's not a lot of positive energy, you know, to be found. But it really yeah, it's, it's weird, because I think a lot of people come to me because they like the image of like the Buddhist priestess. You know, this is like, really sexy, and people are really turned on by the idea of cult leaders, the idea of sex magic, the idea of rituals and initiation. And that kind of brings them in, but there are a lot of people who are like, who are really looking for a deep healing or spiritual transformative experience. And that's what I do. And I don't think I could do that I thought about becoming a sex therapist when I was younger. But I like kind of working in this wild west of having a lot of freedom to draw on my own experiences to create experiences for other people. And it's a delicate balance. Sometimes, you know, I'm still making a living. And, you know, sometimes it hurts to have to turn down a client if they're not about what I'm about. But at the same time, it's like I can't give my energy away. It's like the equivalent of a hookup where they just want to jerk off and then, you know, be done in five minutes. It's just that just feels like an energetic drain on me. So I work with people who really want to go deeper. I have had an interesting experience recently where I really bring out channel succubus energy, and feed on client energy as a succubus, consensually. But I had one client realize that like he channeled succubus energy and he needed to just sort of come into alignment and acceptance of his own inner succubus and embracing that energy. So it's, it's very mysterious and exciting.

Jera Brown:

That's amazing. Yeah. And, you know, I think probably a lot of people would be surprised that phone sex is still a thing, or even is as big of a market as it is. But yeah, I think part of why there's such a big market for it is because there's, there's a lot of wanderers like you, and like me who can't find what they're looking for elsewhere. And that audio connection offers people an intimacy around strange top topics, desires, fetishes that they just can't find elsewhere.

Venus Valentine:

People have asked me like, Oh, well, hasn't cam and porn replaced it? And it's like, no, because that's a visual fantasy experience, where it's like phone work is very psychological, and definitely energetic. For me, I feel like I try that there is an energy exchange that is very palpable, that happens that, you know, the breath is the vehicle of spirit. So the voice is also a vehicle of spirit. And I have my clients do a lot of specific types of breath work to get into trance states or to, you know, change their energy signature. And yeah, I mean, it is it is a form of magic. And I don't think I could do it in any other career. Even within there are people who do in person, sacred, intimate work, who also do very amazing healing stuff. And I'm sure you can do amazing healing stuff, even as a cam worker, but phone sex is different from any other type of sex where you can't just swap it in and out with cam or escorting or anything else. It's, and I've had that with friends who are sex workers and other parts of the industry where I'm like, Oh, well, if you ever, you know, they're like, Oh, you know, I'm sick of stripping like, My feet hurt. And I'm, like, come to you from sex. And they're like, Yeah, I just don't doesn't. There are people who are physical performers, and they express themselves with their body, and they really need their body to do their magic. Whereas like, my magic really comes from my mind and my soul, rather than my physical body in doing pone sex.

Jera Brown:

And I'm assuming, do you feel like that's a gift of the universe?That specific way that you do magic and that you have an energetic connection with people?

Venus Valentine:

Yeah, I mean. It's interesting, because sometimes I'm like, I don't know what my purpose is. I don't you know, it's hard to feel sort of beaten down, because what I do is so stigmatized that I'm like, Oh, am I actually doing anything that's meaningful, and it's, it's both I'm doing something that's meaningful for my clients. And I'm also modeling something for other people in my life in terms of living my authenticity. And I certainly haven't chosen an easy path. And a lot of people are very think it's very strange that I have I'm 41 and I have several professional careers behind me. I have a master's degree, and I started doing this full time after I got my master's degree and people are like, Oh, that's a waste and I'm like, No, I have so much freedom, I make more money. This feels more authentic than what I could have done. What I was, quote unquote supposed to do or groomed to do in graduate school. And I'm like, wow, I could have saved myself a lot of money. But at the same time, I felt like graduate school in and of itself was a really important growth experience for me, even if that didn't translate to a career in what I studied. And actually my best friend in graduate school, we both studied public health. She's a carpenter now, I'm a sex worker. She's a carpenter, we both were like, yeah, you know, we got this degree. But this, you know, working at a county health department isn't really our soul's calling. But it was it was a growth experience. And it was part of my journey. And it was a really magical time, and I met you because I met you when I was in grad school, I wouldn't have met you otherwise. So yeah, it happens for a reason.

Jera Brown:

It does. And I mean, I'm turning 40 this year, and just thinking like, I feel like I wasted so much time, on jobs that I didn't want to be doing and stuff. But then I think if I didn't have all that time, I wouldn't be the person that I am.

Venus Valentine:

Sure, I am really glad that I had professional careers and conventional. I was always a weirdo. But I tried to be in a conventional relationship, I tried to block the straight and narrow path. And I found it very soul crushing. And I think it's good that I have that under my belt. So I'm not like, oh, like we've gotten married, I couldn't have kids, I could have done this, I could have done that. I think that sometimes it's harder for people who go to sex work into sex work straight out of high school, and they never actually have an opportunity to explore other types of careers. And then it's can be sort of a trap for them. If I really wanted to change careers, I could I've just really thought about it. And I don't think I could go back to working nine to five in an office and being I never was happy doing that. I've tasted freedom. And it's hard, but it's worth it.

Jera Brown:

So two thoughts. One is that I think that we can be called to something or gifted in something and not have to do it for, you know, volcat different gifts and different ways of using those gifts. I know sometimes like the work that you do gets tiring, and you wonder if there are other things, but there's nothing that offers the same amount of freedom. And it's as fulfilling, at least not in the moment. Yeah, but you were saying that like, because the work is so stigmatizing. And sometimes it doesn't feel like you're offering so much good in the world. So I pulled up your profiles on the site, and one of your profiles has over 16 105 star reviews from another one has nearly 205 star reviews. And I mean, the thing is like, this isn't just giving somebody a way of getting off quickly, you know, like you said, like, these are things that people search for that they don't know how else to find. Yeah, there's some erotic, spiritual fulfillment for a lot of them as well, you know, yeah, over 1800. But just with those two lines alone, you know,

Venus Valentine:

Sure, sure. No, and I do feel a niche. And I have to kind of a lot of people who are really on the cutting edge of anything are laughed at. And then later their contribution is, you know, celebrated. But in the moment they and I remember saying something about how like I was teaching my clients how to have better boundaries with women, you know, by firmly modeling consent. And woman who is my former best friend laughed in my face. And this was my best friend. She's like, No, you don't you think you do, but No, you don't. And I was like, it was like being slapped. You know, just to have my work disrespected so blatantly. And it's hard, because I am out to my parents to some extent, but I always feel like they're waiting for me to find a different job. Mm hmm. And with my most serious relationship in my early 30s, it was like, he gave me the green light to start doing it. I had taken a break when I was with him. And he was like, Oh, no, you can totally start doing this again. But then when he realized it was becoming a career, he began actively sabotaging me, and it was okay for me to do this as a side gig to get through grad school. But if I wasn't, and you know, when he was overly obsessed with the fact that I was doing phone sex, even though at that time, I had made a documentary that was on the local PBS station, it was on the front page of my school's website. I was getting published in the New York Times, I was I had a contract position with Google. I was doing a lot of high profile work, but he couldn't let go the fact that I also did font sex, even though phone sex was what was funding all of the high profile stuff, none of the high profile stuff pain enough. Right, right. Oh, yeah. It's sort of like being a sanitation worker or something, you know, like, someone has to this is like, almost sort of like energy dirty work. It's just like, the stuff that people can't talk about that festers and is stagnant and corroded. And we're so our society is so blocked and stuck and immature around sexuality. Then in spaces where it is encouraged to be discussed freely, whether that's Neo Tantra, or swingers or BDSM, then it often comes out really toxic ways. Because it's been so suppressed, that people still have this scarcity mindset, where it's dirty, or it's not a year, whatever it can, it can also come out in beautiful ways in those communities. But I've also seen just like a ton of abuse and consent violations and horrible stuff happens. So it's like I am really like, your sex work is very much left hand path, spiritual work, because you're sticking your fingers in the muck and pulling out the diamonds. You are the Lotus throwing out of the filth? And that's not because I think sex is dirty. I think it's because people are so energetically blocked around sex. That's that's the filth is just the not being forced to deny your true self and find a nickel for every client who's like, I love my wife, but I can't she's not into my fetish or she's not okay with me, having this feminine side or being submissive or whatever. And that breaks my heart. You know, I don't, I'm glad that I can provide a safe space for them to explore that that isn't them being physically intimate with another person if they want to maintain that physical exclusivity with their partner. But yeah, it is just a very, it's healer work. And it's, it requires you to bear a very heavy stigma. I mean, I will acknowledge my privilege that for me as a phone worker, my former partner was an escort. And she definitely had to carry a lot more stigma than I did like, for example, with dating, guys are like, Oh, well, it's fine, because it's just on the phone. Whereas with her, they're like you you're dirty. You know, like, there's a weird sense of hierarchy, which I don't myself Don't hold. I don't think I'm any better or worse than any other sex worker. I think all sex workers do really important work in different ways. Right? My stigma is lesser men in service in person, full service workers, but it still is like, I mean, I was at a sex therapist conference, talking to someone who is a sex therapist, and I was like, Yeah, I have a Master's in Public Health. But I choose to work as an artist and I choose to, you know, do phone sex and do that rather than a clinical position. And she said to me, oh, your parents must be proud. I was like, You are a sex therapist. How dare you? And she's like, Oh, is that slut shaming? And I'm like, that's for phobic. Yeah, I can't believe you just said this to me that you have made your career out of talking to people about healthy sexuality. And you just shamed me for what I do. And that kind of just makes me feel like okay, well, thank God, I'm not a sex therapist in a clinical setting, because I just am so underwhelmed by what I see in that arena. I'm not saying that all sex therapists are like that. But I've met so many people who are just like, you're supposed to be helping people, and yet you haven't really examined your own shit.

Jera Brown:

I've had a lot of those conversations. But no, I've had a lot of self doubt around, you know, the the work that I do through programming and phone stuff, as well as my sex relationship advice column of like, Is this okay? Is this ethical, because I'm often placed in the role of a therapist without having a therapist degree. But then I realized that a either a lot of people come to me who have had a ton of bad experiences with therapists, you know, sure, or they're not ready, or they're not finding what they need. And it's okay for there to be alternatives in the world. Oh,

Venus Valentine:

I think I think so too. And I think some of the people who come to me wouldn't go to a therapist or wouldn't necessarily thrive with a therapist.

Jera Brown:

And also therapy is academic based. And I think that there's a lot of value to having that education. But it's also there's a real devaluing of experience in this culture. Yeah, yeah. Experience mean something. And sometimes those don't always go together within academic education.

Venus Valentine:

Yeah, yeah. There's a lot of stuff that I have misgivings about within the world of sex therapy. I think it's really important. But I also think and it's a lot of a lot of sex workers decided to go that path. I actually thought about walking that path before I became a sex worker. And I just realized that it wasn't for me that I wanted to get more accredited around sexuality so that people would take me seriously as a sex educator. that's ultimately what I did. in grad school. For example, I took a class where we watched SARS which I forget what it stands for. Sexual assess, I don't know I'm sorry. Um, it's something that sex therapists have to do. They have to watch these films that are supposed to desensitize themselves to hot button sexual issues whether that's BDSM or elder sex or sex and disability. And I was so glad I missed the class where they did SCAP, because I really couldn't handle that viscerally. But like all the other sides that we watched, it was like BDSM, elder sex... like who the fuck is going to be upset about like, people over the age of 50 having sex!? Let them have sex onsidered like, oh, creepy, crawly cookie, it just feels really like kind of gross and ablest to me to like be holding these things. I was like, Oh, this is gross. But you have to look at it. So you don't recoil when your client brings it up. Like,

Jera Brown:

You know what if it really feels like people who are just not okay with the body. Yeah, because if you're not okay with disabled bodies, or aging bodies or bodies in pain, like maybe there's some stuff around just the body in general that you ...

Venus Valentine:

No, I do. I could see that too. I think it's sexual attitude reassessment. I think that's what SARS s tands for. And there are people who are getting into doing more social justice-y SARS, which is good. I'm so grateful that i've you know, even when I have times where I'm experiencing burnout, especially around this pandemic, that I do have a way to earn a living that allows me to be so much my true self and to do healing work and as unconventional as it may be, I'm so so grateful for that and you know, there may come a day where it's time for him for me to move on and I think I'll know and the path will become clear, but I'm not there yet. That's about it. Yeah, I think when he's ready for me to get Okay, it was great talking to you about all this stuff. It's it's both of us I feel are on this wild and Willy fun frontier of sex and magic and spirituality and I love I love that you are my friend and that we've gone through a lot of these journeys together knowing each other since Yeah, 2013 or 2012, I don't remember but I've known you for quite a while now. Yeah.

Jera Brown:

Learn more about Venus at bbwvenusvalentine.com. Follow her on Twitter at thebbwsuccubus and on Instagram at bbwvenusvalentine.