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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Client-Hooker Relationships (And Those Pesky Love Affairs Too)

When I began escorting roughly five or so years ago, having several long-term relationships emerge didn't even register as a possibility. Part of why I started charging for sex was related to a long string of deceptive one-night-stands disguised as relationships: men just using me for sex once or twice and bounding away. Amongst the many things I never expected - throngs of young conventionally attractive men, clients focused on my pleasure, the amount of money men were willing to pay me, women clients - forming long-term connections would have been way at the bottom of that list.

But it's dawned on me recently that some of the best relationships I have with men outside of my social circle are with clients. As my client - whom I've been seeing fairly regularly for around five years now - and I were discussing barely an hour ago, we have a good thing going.

Credit at end of post
It's fun. Mutually beneficial. Low-risk both in terms of STDs and legal risk, but also in terms of his life not blowing up: he's confident at this point that I will not be falling in love with him and/or wanting more than the simplicity of what we currently have. He, like most of my clients, is married. And I won't. And even if I DID fall in love with him, I would suck it up and keep it to myself.



Part of what he pays me for is discretion. Freedom. Freedom from responsibility towards me beyond our sessions. Freedom from being accountable to me. Freedom from having to deal with unsexy stuff my lovers and friends and partners have to deal with: my self doubts, my impatience, my complicated sexuality, my high standards, my laziness in bed, my occasional irrational anger, jealousy, fear of abandonment.



While on many occasions, during longer (especially coke-fuelled) sessions, parts of my true, radical, feminist, political self have shone through, those parts are polished. Not perfect, but not so real that they ruin the mood. Though to be honest, I don't even know if he'd mind that much. But some clients would. I've called a client a white supremacist transphobic shitbag in the past and then fired him (and that client actually came back recently! ha!). I avoid that now and employ my natural-born diplomacy to gently state my unpopular opinions without making them feel ashamed.


It's always hard to describe to people what it's like being with a client. It's not that I'm "acting" - though at times there is acting involved, especially during roleplay scenes or with clients I really dislike - but I'm not being balls-out, loud-burping, smelly ass, opinionated me either. It's sort of the way I behave with the majority of my freelance art clients - professional, but real (but with certain aspects tamed down). It's just different aspects of myself which I tame down for sex work. And it's different aspects with every client.

People always ask if it's hard to be intimate with strangers. It can be. But it often has nothing to do with intimacy - at least in the beginning. I don't equate intimacy with sex. But I am there, with them, reading them, focused on them, extrapolating their emotions from non-verbal cues, trying to intuit what they need and want from me.

For me, it's harder to be intimate with dates, lovers. For me, a true romantic at heart, there is so much more to lose than a potential long-term client. Losing money sucks, but there are always more clients willing to pay me handsomely to play with my boobs. If a client rejects me, it's the polished me they're rejecting. If a date, lover, or partner rejects me, it's the real me. And that hurts like a motherfucker. With clients, I invest time, clothing, makeup, energy, and a bit of risk. With lovers, I invest all of those things plus my emotions, my hopes, and I bare it all.

If some eye contact with a client makes me giggle, I can just laugh it off and say I'm awkward and shove a nipple in their face. If it happens with a lover and I say that, I would be lying, and should be saying "I really like you and am afraid you don't feel the same and so I laugh to break the tension within me and between us".

In a sense, all of the time spent with clients - being a pretty version of myself, close to the real me, but not quite - has made me more open with lovers. It's made me less willing to blindly please them. It's made me vocal, and focused on consent. It's made me not want to perform sexuality as though my lovers were an audience. It's made me yearn for realness, and even more so, to be loved and desired for who I am. It's made me be able to just get up and go make a sandwich when I'm bored or tired or need a break, whether he had an orgasm or not. I'm off the clock.

Predictably, it's made my sex life slow way down. It's made me less confident in approaching them, less bold, and more cautious. It's made me incredibly selective with whom I choose to share my bed. There is a reason escorts charge so much for overnights: spending the night together, sleeping together, makes us vulnerable, and is a lot of time to spend with someone. At least, that's why I charge so much.

But this is about my client relationships. I love the client-hooker relationship. It's straightforward. For all of my hiding of parts of myself, clients are typically open with me in a way reminiscent of a therapist. I love these tiny windows into people's complicated souls and desires, and I feel lucky to peer through them. I've learned so much. I love knowing where I stand with someone, and I love feeling satisfied after an interaction, especially a sexual one. With clients, I am always satisfied, whether I got off or not. They trust me to keep their secret desires safe, and I consider that a privilege - though also at times a burden (hence this blog). The few clients with whom I have had long-term relationships are the best: they don't care of my incall is messy, or if my hair is done, or if I have a rash on my arm. They come, they get what they need, and they respect my labour enough to pay me well for it. Honest work for honest pay.

My hope that is that my lovers are - and feel safe to be - as open with the real me as my clients are with hooker me. It's a work-in-progress, and half of that work is mine.

Photo courtesy of: 
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