Yesterday I had a lovely visit from my cousin her family from St. Paul, Minnesota. I hadn't seen my cousin in a good year, and she came to have lunch with me and her husband and adorable two and four year old daughters. After lunch her husband asked if we could pop in my work so they could look around while I watched their daughters. I asked them if they needed any help finding anything and my cousin looks puzzled at me and says "wouldn't that be uncomfortable for you?"
In my family my work is a little bit of a running joke. Something along the lines of "oh that Avi, such a wild girl, isn't is soooo her to do something that crazy?" That or some sort of fear that I am joining the underbelly of society. I know that my job at times is a little worrisome and scary for my parents to grasp completely, and honestly I would rather them not know the full details of what my job encompasses. It's not that I'm ashamed of working at a sex shop, quite opposite. But I believe there are some aspects of my life that I should keep separate from my family for both our sakes.
Most of my family has been to the shop at least once, excluding my father. He has dropped me off at work before, but never cared to come in. My brother actually was the first one to visit, when he was nineteen. He has been the most casual and supportive of my choice of industry business. In fact, he sends his friends who attend the local college to come visit me and use his "friend and family discount." Thanks bro. My sister has briefly visited once, but has gotten more supportive over time. She doesn't understand why I choose to hide my work from extended family, why I don't tell our 90 year old grandparents what it is that I do. She sees it as me being ashamed of my work and doesn't understand why I would work somewhere that I hide from people. Honestly? I just don't want to give my grandparents a heart attack. My mother has been in the shop once, where I held her shaking hand while I slowly walked her through the store. Somethings freaked her out (bondage gear, dildos) but I think it was good for her to see the environment that I work in. The term "sex shop" tends to cause many different assumptions and perceptions, so it was good for her to see that my work was much less frightening than the sex dungeon she envisioned.
Anyways. My cousin's went in the shop while I took their girls to the public library that is right next door. After about fifteen minutes they meet up with us with a small paper bag of purchases (using my family discount of course) and praise for the comfortable atmosphere and high quality of the store. For me, this is another step forward. They will report back to the rest of the family their positive experience which will help my parents understanding of why it is that I have worked here for over two years.
Truth of the matter is, I don't know where life will take me. I want to do more in the sex industry, but fear that this may separate me from my family. I know my family will love me to extremes, but will there be a breaking point? What happens when I go too far for their understanding?
Love and life is a funny thing