The majority of my clients are married. Their wedding bands glint in the candlelight over dinner, as much a part of their hands as a fingernail and given just about as much thought. Or sometimes they’ll slip them off before I arrive and tuck them away in some pocket, out of sight and out of mind. A pale ring of untanned skin left exposed like a badly kept secret.
I don’t ask questions. That’s my job.
I smile benignly when they hesitate, trying to decide whether to say “I” or “we”. I let my eyes glaze over when they swipe open their phones, and college bound children and age appropriate wives smile up at us from beneath their collection of apps. I nod understandingly as they mouth, “I have to take this” and shut themselves in the bathroom to lie in privacy.
It’s not that I don’t care, but to judge them, or allow my heart to ache for the women on the other end of those calls would be pointless. They’ll simply find someone less principled than me and carry on the way they always have. And me? I’ll bask in the glow of my own righteousness while wondering how to pay my mortgage. So, I don’t ask questions.
To some (mainly pearl clutching types with Nancy Grace haircuts and “Choose Life” bumper stickers) I’m a destructive force, wantonly destroying the traditional family unit with my weak morals and strong will. “Think of the children!” they cry, their horror tinged with disgust— as if their father indulging in a few hours of genuine enjoyment will somehow ruin their blissful childhoods. “You’re no better than a drug dealer,” an Instagram commenter once informed me. Because as we all know, consensual intimacy is right on par with a lethal chemical dependency. It would almost be laughable, if that kind of thinking wasn’t so dangerous. Seeing sex workers as the enemy— as dirty, scary, whores— only helps to justify the violence that we’re threatened with every single day. But what if we could change the way we think of the relationship between sex workers and their married clients?
There are as many reasons for visiting a sex worker as there are sex workers themselves. And yes, some of those reasons are pretty shitty: revenge, anger, a desire to inflict pain or engage in dangerous behavior. Those guys are out there. But what about the rest of our clients? The decent, respectful men who simply want to escape from their lives for a little while? The men who, realizing that something is missing from their marriage, seek to find it somewhere safe and discreet? Think about it, they’re not having an affair with their secretary, making empty promises to leave their wives and children and run away to open a surf shop on the beach. They’re not trolling bars for women drunk enough to ignore their wedding rings and the importance of safe sex. They aren’t growing resentful and bitter because their home lives lack the passion (or kink, or intimacy, or affection) that they crave. Instead, these men choose to hire professionals. People paid to fulfill an emotional and/or physical need, respect their boundaries, and go away. In that way, is an escort really that different than a masseuse? Or a therapist? Our clients return home from their time with us refreshed and reinvigorated. They go back to their families and can focus on all of the things that they love about their lives, now satisfied in every way.
I know it isn’t a popular opinion, but if the only thing missing in your partnership is something that, for whatever reason, you can’t get from your spouse… is it really somehow better to destroy your entire family instead of trying to discreetly find it somewhere else? Is it really fair to undo years of commitment, hard work, love, child rearing, dreaming, and planning because you miss the spark of passion? Or because you aren’t comfortable exploring your less conventional fantasies together? Or because you simply want, for a little while, to be the center of someone’s attention away from the pressures of your “real” life? I don’t think so.
But then… it’s not my choice to make. So I don’t ask questions. And I don’t judge.