Last week, I had a very enjoyable session with a client. There was chemistry between us, and our sexual tastes matched up nicely. He was pleasingly kinky and I enjoyed bending him over the bed and violating his ass with my strap-on in front of a full-length mirror. We had some pleasant conversation after. He was older, insecure about his weight since an injury had impeded his ability to work out. He was a wealthy business owner. I left feeling happy, especially since I had had a really unpleasant experience the night before (which I will blog about later… not in the mood right now). Sometimes a good client can turn the tide and help me feel good about my work again.
So, when this client booked me again last night, I was very pleased. I walked into his apartment and gave him a big hug and a kiss. He was drunk, and apologizing for his state. He offered me a glass of wine and said that he just wanted to talk this time. I said that was fine, and we started talking.
He told me that he didn’t usually like to hire escorts because he finds those experiences generally impersonal. He said that it felt different with me, and that he wanted to make me an offer. He had just broken up with his girlfriend that day and he was in a bad mood.
“Well, sweetie, just so you know, I am not girlfriend material. I make a great companion, but a terrible girlfriend.”
“I just want a companion. I want someone to travel with me, someone to love me.”
He proceeded to offer me an apartment, all expenses paid, fifteen hundred dollars a week on top of that, just to be his ‘girlfriend.’ I explained to him that I enjoy my life as it is, and that I don’t want anyone to be able to control me financially. I told him that the agency works for me because I go home and my life is mine, my money is mine. I pay my own rent. The sex I engage in with clients is clearly defined as a service provided. I don’t depend on any one person for my livelihood.
He asked me to consider it, and I said that we could discuss and negotiate something when he was sober.
The second hour was spent mostly in the bedroom. I enjoyed myself, even though he was drunk, he was still fun in bed. After that, he went on and on about how beautiful I am, how much he wants me to love him, how he doesn’t want it to be about the money, how he would buy me anything I want, how money was all he had to offer. I felt compassion for him in that moment… he needed love. And he didn’t feel loveable. And here I was, the courtesan, capable of love, but fiercely independent, and unwilling to live my life according to someone else’s script. I was someone’s wife once. When I left him, I swore never again to let a man control me.
We started fooling around on the couch. By now, he was stupidly drunk and I was looking forward to leaving. I hate being around people who are completely wasted. Finally, I got my phone call from the agency, and I had to go. I got dressed amidst his rantings that I was ‘leaving him’ and that I ‘obviously didn’t care about him.’
“Sweetie, I have to go or else I put my job in jeopardy. You understand that, don’t you?”
“Whatever. Just go! You obviously don’t give a fuck!”
Finally, I got pissed off. Who did this jackass think he was? He had absolutely no idea what it is like to be me, a woman who didn’t come from a rich family, who had no career to fall back on when her marriage ended, and turned to sex work because she possessed erotic powers and the will to survive and maintain her independence, who saw it as both a calling and a survival skill… Was compassion too much to expect from him? Why did I care?
“Well,” I said, “If you choose to take my having to go that way, that’s your choice.”
As I rushed out of the apartment he had promised to me mere moments before, I applauded the wisdom of my decision not to accept his offer. After all, being completely dependent on a man who’s mood could change on a whim, which, in my experience, describes a lot of men, is a scary proposition. They are drawn to my liberated sexuality, my open sensuality, my fiery free spirited nature. And, when they get closer to me, they do all they can to shut that part of me down, to build walls, to claim me as a piece of property. Exceptions made for men who are polyamorous or simply secure in themselves, of course. My unwillingness to drop everything in my life, my weekend plans, my classes, my other lovers, my volunteer and social justice activist commitments, on his whim, seemed to send him into a rage. Imagine how awful my life would be had I accepted? A life within a gilded cage is no life at all. Better to be a whore.