I finally learned how to let go and not blame myself for what happened to me: a Q+A w/ Gem $toned

Sinclair: On Twitter you wrote: “I broke my sobriety this week here at exxxotica. I’m not happy about it but I’m not going to beat myself up about it either. I’m just looking at it as a learning experience and yet another chance to grow. I also haven’t been sober for too long and knew it would be a struggle.” What led you to first begin your sobriety journey?

Gem: My motivation for sobriety has always come from an inner drive to be a healthier and happier me. My journey with sobriety first started 7 years ago.

I had been turning to alcohol and other substances to cope for many years and was tired of living in a haze that had me feeling sick when ever I wasn’t high on pills or drunk. Believe it or not, getting clean off the hardcore drugs was the easy part, alcohol, though, has been another story, I was able to stay sober for a while until I fell into a deep depression, turning to alcohol again as a crutch to help me cope and hide my anxiety and depression from those around me.

I became a walking party: constantly drunk drinking 1-2 bottles per day while still maintaining straight A’s in all of my honors classes and juggling leadership positions in my honor society and student government association. To the public I was happy go lucky but on the inside I was dying, walking around ashamed of being ‘that party girl’ and ‘turning into my mother’ hating myself for who I was. I got sober for a few years, and then, after moving back home, ended up reluctantly falling back off the wagon after getting a job at a local bar where I was encouraged to drink, for free, by customers, coworkers and management.

The hardest thing about getting sober for me is that there’s always someone around encouraging me to give in to the urges and cravings from my body despite how hard I try to ignore them. I always say I’m done drinking and then I’ll walk into work and get handed a drink from the manager or go to lunch and say yes when someone asks if I want a drink even though I really want to be sober and I hate that.

Sinclair: How is your journey with sobriety going today?

Gem: It’s going. It’s really hard but I’ve found some really great support from a friend I met through sex work. When people encourage me to drink, I think of her and how proud of me she is for making the choice to continue to try and better myself.

I ordered a strawberry bellini at the airport on my trip home, I’m hoping that’s my last drink.

 

“Believe it or not, getting clean off the hardcore drugs was the easy part, alcohol, though, has been another story.” – Gem 

 

Sinclair: What’s something we often get wrong about sex work?

Gem: That it’s a last resort job or that we’re all being forced into it and exploited.

Sinclair: How can we create a safer and more welcoming spaces for sex workers?

Gem: Breaking down the stigma that society holds against us would be a start, as well as decriminalizing all forms of sex work. We face so many judgements from society as a whole, and with the current laws in place, it’s become very dangerous for full service sex workers and those who offer in person services.

Sinclair: What are some challenges and benefits that come along with camming?

Gem: I started camming to push myself to overcome my social anxiety. It’s working. It has also allowed me to connect with like minded people and find the courage to share my true self with others. Camming connects people who don’t know how to connect and communicate with people, it puts smiles on people’s faces and empowers not only the person camming but the viewers as well.

During my short time in the industry, I’ve been able to inspire others while being inspired myself, which makes me happy. Through camming, I’ve learned how to manage a business, build a brand, and market myself while having a creative and safe sexual outlet. One of the things I really love the most is that it has taught me how to establish and enforce healthy boundaries. The most challenging thing for me is dealing with trolls and people who dont respect me, my boundaries, and my prices. So many people try to undercut our rates and barter with us over our prices. And, when we stand our ground they attack us, call us names, and sometimes even steal our work and leak it.

 

“To the public I was happy go lucky but on the inside I was dying, walking around ashamed of being ‘that party girl’ and ‘turning into my mother’ hating myself for who I was.” – Gem

 

Sinclair: Your Twitter bio says that you’re a #sugarbaby. What’s the best part about being a Sugar Baby and what are some things you’ve received?

Gem: Honestly, being a Sugar Baby isn’t all that it’s made out to be, especially if you’re not lucky enough to have real ones approach you. I became a Sugar Baby by chance through some men who were regulars at my bar, and who begged me to let them spoil me. Honestly, the best thing about it is being spoiled.

But today, with it being such a glorified thing, there are so many Splenda Daddies out there trying to take advantage of girls by promising to spoil you, but then expecting – and sometimes forcing – sex, when really a Sugar Daddy spoils you without asking for anything in return. I’ve only ever accepted cash, and small things like clothes and dates to nice restaurants.

I’ve had a few Sugar Daddies, but as I’ve mentioned, most self-proclaimed Sugar Daddies these days offer cars, money, etc., but then expect you to be at their beck and call, or to sleep with them for it. I had a Sugar Daddy offer to buy me a restaurant and bar, but it came with so many strings tied to it that I declined and cut ties with him. I haven’t looked for a new one since.

Sinclair: As a spiritual healer, how do you want people to feel as a result of working with you?

Gem: I want people to feel empowered, loved, and accepted. The majority of my clients struggle with a lack of self-acceptance and self-love due to a history of being abandoned and traumatized as a child. When you have a healing session with me, I like to teach you how to heal yourself and continue your healing journey on your own. I help you look inside yourself and reconnect with your inner healer, reminding you of the pure being your true self is, and how amazing you truly are.

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“Just because you feel like you aren’t going anywhere, doesn’t mean it’s true. We are our own worst enemies and are extremely hard on ourselves.” – Gem

Sinclair: In terms of your own healing, what has today been like living with PTSD?

Gem: Today has been a good day. I’ve finally gotten to a place where I’m having more good days than others, and I’m so grateful for that. Although, not gonna lie, the past few months have been rough considering it was the 8 year anniversary of the event that caused my PTSD in April. Last year, I finally learned how to let go and not blame myself for what happened to me and it helped me out tremendously.

Sinclair: What’s something you’re working to unlearn about mental illness?

Gem: That having mental illness makes you abnormal and broken.

 

“We face so many judgments from society as a whole, and with the current laws in place, it’s become very dangerous for full service sex workers and those who offer in person services.” – Gem

 

Sinclair: How would a friend describe you on your best day?

Gem: Amazingly wonderful, kind sweet and super helpful.

Sinclair: On your worst day?

Gem: Scary.

Sinclair: What’s something you wish you could say to your 16 year old self?

Gem: He isn’t worth it. You deserve the world and there are people out there who will give it to you on a silver platter and then some.

Sinclair: What’s something you’re working to unlearn?

Gem: There’s a lot of things I’m learning to unlearn, but the most important one is not to be judgemental. We learn at such a young age to judge not only others but ourselves and the world around us and I feel that it’s so unhealthy, especially when these judgements come from a perception that isn’t true.

Sinclair: Who do you go to when you’re needing support and guidance?

Gem: I have my mentor who has taught me spiritual healing. I turn to her often as well as my Twitter camfam. I have met so many wonderful people through Twitter – who I consider family – who support me more than anyone ever has in my entire life, and I love them for it.

 

“I like to teach you how to heal yourself and continue your healing journey on your own.” – Gem

 

Sinclair: What’s one challenge you face in your work that you’re still working on navigating?

Gem: I recently made the decision to combine my sexual work with my spiritual work, and it’s been a challenge trying to figure out how to integrate them in the best way. There are a lot of things in the adult industry I’m still learning to navigate, though, seeing as I’m very new to the industry. As far as my spiritual work goes, I’m learning how to help others without overextending myself, as I have a tendency to want to help everyone.

Sinclair: When was the last time you practiced self-care? What did you do?

Gem: Today. I try to do one little thing a day and one big thing per month. My daily self-care routine involves some form of a face mask. They really help me relax, especially the sparkly or silly ones. And, my skin benefits from them too. Last week, I indulged in a mani/pedi with glitter, I really love glitter. I don’t know what it is about it, it just makes me so happy.

Sinclair: What’s something that’s been bringing you joy lately?

Gem: The group chat I’m a part of on Twitter with a bunch of other sex workers. The love and support within the group is so amazing. I love interacting with the girls and hearing about everyone’s day. We’re all so supportive of each other and celebrate such a variety of things not just work related. I especially love when everyone shares their fur babies or little things that brighten up their day.

Sinclair: What’s something that’s been pissing you off lately?

Gem: My family, hahaha! Let’s not even go there.

 

“So many people try to undercut our rates and barter with us over our prices. And, when we stand our ground they attack us, call us names, and sometimes even steal our work and leak it.” – Gem  

 

Sinclair: When was a time that self-doubt was at its worst for you while on your career and life journey?

Gem: I’d say self doubt was at its worst for me back in February. I was still very new and wasn’t sure that sex work was for me because I wasn’t able to make any video sales, and my Twitter following was still so small. It was affecting my self-worth too.

I even went out and got another bar job even though I knew it would mess up my sobriety…and it did. But then, on my first day at that job, I woke up to find I had been nominated for Cutest Cam Girl in the 2018 Cammy Awards, and then made the Top 25, it boosted my confidence in myself and showed me that I really was cut out for the industry.

Sinclair: What are your unshakable values and when did you become clear on them?

Gem: Honesty, Independence, and Integrity. I’m not sure exactly when these things became clear to me they have always been pretty important to me.

Sinclair: Who are a few amazing people that we should follow and why?

All of these women are role models of mine and people I look up to and look to for inspiration. They practice what they preach and share their personal healing journeys with us, encouraging others to be their best selves. They share tips for self-growth and empowerment, and are bright beautiful beacons of positivity and strength while remaining true to themselves.

Sinclair: What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone struggling with self-doubt and feeling like giving up on their dreams?

Gem: Breathe, take a step back, and try to look at things from a different perspective Just because you feel like you aren’t going anywhere, doesn’t mean it’s true. We are our own worst enemies and are extremely hard on ourselves.

Sinclair: It’s years in the future. You’re on stage to accept an award for your life’s work. What’s your five word acceptance speech?

Gem: Thank you so very much.

Sinclar: Imagine that all your life’s work disappeared and you only had 1 minute to tell the world what you truly believe to be true. What would you say?

Gem: All we need is love.

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Learn more about Gem and connect: Instagram | Twitter | Website

Featured awesomeness: Gem says, “15 minute Energy Healing Session. Learn how to let go of that which is no longer serving you and heal yourself through connecting with your inner healer.”