Making a personal reassessment.
When I first drafted this article, I had not seen an escort for more than four-weeks. I know that doesn’t sound like much of a break, but it was the longest hiatus for me since I started upon this adventure. Instead, as some of you know, I went traveling and I took the opportunity to do some thinking.
I tried to think about my future. What did I need to do to be better, be aligned with my real self, get more enjoyment out of life, and be a good person to be around for myself and for others. So here is a little insight into that thinking and how it has been progressing since the first release of this article.
Some of the triggers for making change.
One of the triggers for ‘reassessment’ I had already hinted at in this blog in the piece on Relationship Breakdowns. It was an ending with an escort that I liked very much, a person that I had been seeing regularly since almost the beginning of my client journey. The last part of the last message that I received from her was as follows …
“… there is much I like about you but what I like most about you is your money. If this hurts you remember that I am a sex worker, I do this because I like money and this is how we met. And if this hurts you then maybe you aren’t cut out for being a john after all.
Either way, there’s no going back from this. I think it’s time to accept that our relationship has come to its natural end.”
This very painful conclusion to what I thought was a great connection has been on my mind, and to be honest, is still on my mind. The more confronting parts of this exchange, combined with other personal issues and some other recent negative experiences with escorts made me look at my travel break as a badly needed chance to get some space, think about recent events and return with a plan.
The beginnings of a plan.
I have been needing more from my Escort interactions than it is fair to expect. From the lonely and unfulfilled position that I was in when I started this adventure, I needed physical and sexual fulfillment, and I also needed more interpersonal connection and deep personal intimacy. I put these two things together into the same sought outcome. In some way, I thought that regular and extended (mainly dinner) bookings with escorts might address both groups of needs – especially with escorts where I felt a strong connection. Maybe in some rare cases they can be combined, but for the most part this is asking too much on the relationship, too much from an escort. I have been coming to the party with the wrong expectations. So what does this mean for me?
Friendships with escorts.
In my real-life (I would rather say public life, as it is no more real to me), I deal with clients and offer a personal service. I consider many of my clients as friends. They however don’t know if I am a ‘real friend’ to them, or just a ‘friend for business’, until the client relationship is over – money in any walk-of-life gets in the way of knowing this for sure.
I am in the reverse position in the client-escort world. I hope that friendship has developed in some cases of strong and sustained connection, but I can’t know that it actually exists until the business is over, an emotion and topic that I started to explore in my Friends and Lovers blog. So now, after having been hurt on more than a few occasions, I am going to try and just focus on the ‘business at hand’, and let the friendships, if there are any, sort themselves out over the fullness of time. I am going to be a little more of the ‘ghost’ persona that I described in the blog article and respond to escort communications rather than seek to initiate them.
Since drafting this originally, I do however have to admit that is a work in progress. If anything, I have been in exactly the same position. I am unclear as to whether I can separate bookings from the gaps in between them as much as I had hoped.
Changing my booking behaviour.
None of this means a change in who I am. I can’t help but try to be a gentleman. I feel that regardless of the transactional nature of this business, a client should always try to be charming, good company, as good as they can be at sex, well mannered, clean, respectful, courteous, generous, interested in their partner and play their part in making the experience as rewarding and memorable as possible.
In some ways, this is the same set of behaviours for building friendships, but from now on, I am going to consider it as building a good client-escort connection, and not assume that it is also building a friendship outside of that business relationship. That actually means at least two significant changes for me as this year progresses.
A new adventure.
Part of my booking ‘decision making’ was built around friendship and a sense of related obligation. No escort has any obligation to me and I need to reduce the sense of obligation that I feel toward them. If called upon to be a friend, then I will of course be there, but I no longer feel that it is an obligation to make bookings in the belief that I am helping a friend. I will make bookings on where I believe I will get the most enjoyment in the same way I expect that escorts will take bookings from where they achieve the greatest level of their own goal and need fulfillment.
I will look to the best fulfillment of my physical, sexual, intimacy and enjoyment needs. This will certainly center around escorts I have come to know and feel enjoyment with, but I am aiming to remove any guilt, pity, obligation and any other negative considerations from the way I make decisions about who I ask to see.
I will also be making other changes in my life. I am going to travel more, for its own sake, to learn about new places and meet new people. I am going to get therapy to deal with some of my ‘need to be liked’, to be a friend and gain fulfillment from other life choices in the areas where seeing escorts is not the best pathway. I am going to have fun and I am going to be fun to be around for others in my life, inside and outside of my sex-industry encounters.
I am going to continue to see escorts (and write about it here, in the same generalist and discrete way). Some regulars I am keen to see as soon as possible. I have missed them enormously while I have been away. I may however change from primarily ‘dinner dates’ and look at other booking durations and formats as well. I am undecided on what this means in practice just at the moment, but I am going to try other experiences – more interesting bookings, even if that means less of them in total.
I am also going to change the way that I communicate. In my work, when a client contacts me, I am responsive to their business needs. Sometimes I send clients that I am less interested in ‘signals’ when I don’t really want their work, or I am too busy to take on any more – this signal is often non-contact or non-response.
In assuming that escorts might be friends, I try to ignore signals that they are too busy, not really interested in seeing me as a client, and I accept a level of delay and need for me to re-contact that I wouldn’t expect in a transactional relationship. I may, as a result, have been guilty of ‘bothering’ well mannered but apparently uninterested escorts into bookings because I put their disinterest down to friendly forgetfulness. Trying to ignore signals that perhaps my business wasn’t wanted.
I’m not going to be that guy anymore – I’ll ask once and assume that non-responsiveness is the real answer. Part of my issue with at least two of my escort relationship ‘break-downs’ was expecting communication and then asking why I wasn’t getting any response.
Exploring my own sexuality.
I am also ready for some other experiences beyond ‘dinner date’ girlfriend (GFE) experiences. I think that in dropping some of my need to ‘build a friendship’, I can experience some bookings that are just more primal and more intensely focused on the sex or other aspects of the experience. I guess I am looking at practitioners in other areas of sex-work to see where my interests start and stop.
As a person with a largely ‘vanilla’ experience of sex, I have a lot to learn, and parts of me to awaken that I don’t even know what they are – they have been dormant for a very long time. This isn’t just for sex, I am opening myself up to other experiences in my life as well.
In my more regular bookings, I believe I will look for some chances to experience other things with trusted regular companions, travel, extended dates, sharing other experiences together, and opportunities for me to have new experiences, fun and enjoyment before time passes and those chances are lost. Hopefully constructing these experiences in a way that is new for my companion as well.
Avoiding being hardened by hurt.
The biggest realization from this hiatus is that I will not be hardened by hurt. I have not been hardened before in my life and I will not be now. To some people this makes me soft and easy to take advantage of. I reinforce my life-long view, that being ‘soft’ and sustaining hurt is far better than being ‘hard’ and immune to emotion. I will keep opening up and seeing what the world can bring. I am simply changing what I personally need to receive from the part of my life that is booking escorts. A personal expectation and contribution to sex and intimacy in the moment, and less expectation around between booking contact and emotional reinforcement of friendship.
One day, I hope this whole adventure leaves me with some industry friends, close companions I met along the journey. I really hope that a few of the people I have met already are in that class of connection. For now however, I am recommitting myself to having fun and new experiences, and doing so in a manner that is respectful, sustainable and thoroughly enjoyable.
I am back from hiatus, I am back writing and I am reinvigorated for what lies ahead.
How is this all progressing?
Now a month on, and several bookings back in to my journey as a client, I am troubled by this article. Of all the articles I have written and then updated later, this is the one where I feel I was mostly talking rubbish. I was trying to tell myself that there would be changes and that I had changed. I haven’t, at least not so far, and if anything I am more troubled by my failure to disconnect ‘booking moments’ from ‘ongoing connections’ than I was before my travel break.
At the time of updating this article, some specific things are playing out. Some drama in other parts of my life, as well as some changes with escorts that I care for. Together they have left me needing the connection with these escorts more than ever. I felt this article talked a good game, but if you want to know if it is real, at least real for me, it isn’t. It was idealistic and aspirational – underneath I am a quivering mess, seriously impacted by a couple of very minor things. As the parting words of my long-term regular said, ‘maybe I’m not cut out for being a John after all’.
I am almost tempted to delete this article, but it is part of my journey as well as the others after all. It certainly shows how confused and conflicted I really am.
Please comment, re-tweet or contact me with feedback if you feel inclined, and thank you (once again in many cases) for reading my self-indulgent articles.
Xx SP 19 April 2017 (article updated 22 May 2017).