Every day, porn star and University of Southern California journalism grad student Tasha Reign wakes up to a curious string of emails from her fans, a devoted group of men and women she lovingly refers to as “Reigndeer.” Said Reigndeer ask her questions — so many questions — about her perspectives on sex, love, relationships and life itself, and as someone who’s had more firsthand experience in these areas than four adult women combined, she’s become uniquely up to the task of answering them. Once a week then, Tasha will select a few of these questions and grace us with her insight, advice and expert wisdom in the hopes that she can help you fuck and love long, too.
I got my husband a Fleshlight for his birthday, and now he fucks it more than me! I swear to god, he’s always masturbating with this thing, but when I try to make a move on him, he’s not as responsive as he used to be. Did I get him hooked on an inanimate object?
I don’t like the sound of this at all. Sex toys and adult movies are supposed to get you in the mood, not sabotage the actual connection someone has with their significant other. As a sex-positive professional who knows how beneficial toys and porn can be in enhancing intimacy, I’m truly disappointed to learn that they’re having the opposite effect for you.
So I definitely get why you’re upset. Every boyfriend I’ve ever had has watched porn to get off, which has never bothered me because I want them to be able to be satiated without my presence. I love my alone time and respect that they do, too. But it would have really bothered me if movies or a toy were driving a distance between me and my man. Most of us want to be our partner’s main priority, not just a side dish, so it can really hurt when they choose a toy over you.
That said, have you spoken with him? Maybe he doesn’t know how it’s affecting you. If that’s the case, you need to address it face-to-face. If you can communicate how you feel and tell him you miss having sex with him and that you feel like this toy has negatively affected your relationship, maybe he’ll start paying more attention to you.
Also, because it sounds like your sex life needs some attention, I’d schedule a time every week when you can connect on a sexy, intimate level (whatever that means for you). Scheduling sex may not sound super romantic, but I can assure you, it works! You both have something to look forward to — sext about, if that’s your thing — which can really get the energy flowing between you. It’s actually one of my favorite forms of foreplay, and the best part of adulting, if you ask me.
If talking to him and making more of a conscious effort to connect isn’t working, the next step would be to seek outside help. There are so many talented family and relationship therapists out there, and I’d highly recommend seeing a few to find one that you fit with. It sounds like your partner might benefit from some assistance in communicating with you, and therapy can be really helpful for opening up both of you so you can find out what’s really going on.
Throwing out the Fleshlight isn’t a solution, though. That doesn’t address the real problems between you, which therapy will help you sort out. I actually think you’d benefit from — and hear me out here — incorporating more toys into the bedroom. It’s certainly worked for me. Toys have spiced up my sex life, and given us new ways to enjoy each other. And so, they might help your husband connect with you better if you embrace, rather than antagonize his new best friend. Just remember to bring a best friend of your own, too.
When you get married, will you retire from the industry? Is that something a lot of sex workers do?
My co-workers and I get this question all the time. Marriage is often assumed to be the end of “fooling around” with anyone else but your spouse, but for sex workers like myself (and people in non-monogamous arrangements), that’s not always the case. Many of us continue to work and perform well into our marriages, and there are some married couples who even perform together.
Still, it is true that relationships affect your business when you’re in the adult industry. Anyone who says otherwise is lying. The sexual attention that sex workers and adult entertainers get from clients and fans takes a heavy toll on our relationships. People get jealous, and it can be hard for some to wrap their head around the fact that for us, this is work. So there comes a point where you really have to make some compromises if you want to stay in the industry and your relationship.
Here’s how that’s played out in my own life: Currently, my partner doesn’t want me to have sex with other men. (Women are fine, though. Wink, wink). So, I made the challenging compromise of giving up other men for my one and only. He didn’t ask me to stop performing all together, or to stop running my X-rated social media sites, but, yeah, no dick for Tasha. For an adult entertainer whose career has been built on an empire of dick, that’s a pretty big ask.
It does weigh on me sometimes. But just like everybody else, sex workers usually have to prioritize either their work or their relationships, and currently, my relationship is (happily) winning that battle. If a huge, dick-related opportunity came up, I’d discuss that with my partner because an open line of communication is absolutely imperative, but in the meantime, I’m cool with compromise.
All of which is to say, no, not all sex workers and adult entertainers retire when they get married. I definitely don’t plan on it. It’s too big a part of my identity. I love it too much. As I age, I’m sure I’ll transition into other forms of work within the business other than acting (directing or producing, maybe), but it’ll always be a part of me in some way.
If someone tells you a secret about themselves, is it okay to tell your partner about it? My friend told me something private about himself and told me to keep it quiet, but when I mentioned that to my girlfriend, she asked to know what the secret was. When I told her I couldn’t tell her, she got offended and said we shouldn’t be keeping things from each other. Is she right?
I think you might be an anomaly — most people I know tell their partners everything. In fact, when I tell my friends secrets, I automatically assume it’ll be passed onto their partners.
However, just because secret-sharing in relationships is common practice doesn’t mean you’re required to tell your girlfriend everything, and I disagree that what you did was wrong. Being completely, 100 percent honest with your girlfriend within your own relationship is one thing, but when someone else’s personal information is involved, that’s definitely a different story. I really don’t think you have to tell her about your friend if you don’t want to, especially if he asked you to keep it to yourself. Hopefully, she can see that you’re just trying to be a good friend here, and that your buddy probably wouldn’t have requested secrecy if he didn’t actually mean it.
You’re not off the hook, though. You kinda messed up by telling your girlfriend you were keeping a secret from her in the first place. Bad move — taunting her with that juicy tidbit will just make her want to know what you’re hiding even more. A good rule of thumb: If you someone tells you a secret, and you’re capable of keeping that secret, then keep the fact that you’re hiding a secret, well, a secret.
Understand? Good. Great.
However, if you’re the type of person whose skin crawls when they’re not being honest, or if you feel like keeping this from your girlfriend is going to damage your relationship somehow, go ahead and tell her. Just make sure you can trust her to keep it between the two of you. Similarly, make sure she’s aware that if you tell her this secret and she leaks it, you’ll both be blamed.
That’s the biggest problem I have with sharing secrets — they cause so much drama when they get out. For that reason, if someone asks me to keep something quiet, I will. In fact, I have tons of other people’s “secrets” I keep from my boyfriend. After all, they’re called “secrets” for a reason, aren’t they?
Feel free to send me your sex, love and relationship questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.