It has been a challenging year, this annus horribilis of mine! I know many people struggle with far more than I have, perhaps you are in a dark place too, but we all have our own journey. For me, 2017 has been the worst year that I can remember.
Perhaps that is the real reason some people react to my writing and my Social Media with unbridled hatred. Seeing a privileged, pretentious and entitled middle-aged man, who thinks that his struggles are of significance. Of course, seeing someone who looks like they have ‘almost everything’, complaining about things, is a magnet for feelings of anger. Hell, I would hate me too … except that I am me!
So Why Is 2017 A Bad Year For Percie?
Like most of us, I have certain perceptions of myself. This year has shaken them all, with the possible exception of my health. So yes, this year could still get far worse. Without going into great detail, at the beginning of 2017, I thought I was a good parent, a good business manager, a good friend, and fun to be around. On the negatives, my perception of being a good husband was already ‘in the toilet’, but I felt I was still a good family provider. In place of that, and relatively new to my self-perception, I felt that I was a good client of the Escorts that I was seeing, at least those that I had an on-going connection with. As I have said before in this blog, 2016 was the best year of my life by a country mile!
At the start of 2017, my business lost our biggest client, one that accounted for a quarter of our income. I had to fire some staff, close an office, and the rest of the year has amounted to a difficult rebuilding of a crippled business. That has taken a heavy personal toll on me, and broken my arrogant self-perception. I don’t feel like a good business manager any more. I feel like an imposter who is out of his depth.
Then one of my wonderful Daughters tried to take her own life. I raced back from inter-state in a trance, my world had collapsed. At first it was just emergency stations, being strong and focused, so that everything could be directed at her health and safety. Slowly, over the balance of this year, we have become accustomed to this ‘new normal’, a house that is working around a profoundly depressed teen, and the collateral damage that causes for her sisters and the broader family. She is still here, an everyday battle, but we have had some victories and seen some progress. It is now, that the ’emergency’ seems to be passing, that I have realised how drained and low I am. The tank is running on empty.
This has made me question myself. I am not a good Father, otherwise how could this happen? I am not good at my profession. As a result I am not a good provider, husband or partner. All of my ‘personal image’, these false pillars that I perched myself upon, had crumbled. I knew I wasn’t a faithful or successful husband, seeking intimacy, physical connection and a last-gasp of youthfulness in secret, with Escorts. I knew my long monogamous relationship was coming to an end, and now even that painful but needed transition seemed a long way off. I needed to hang in there, be strong, and as much as I could, subsume my personal intimate desires for a while. I came very close to ending my year-long journey as a client of Escorts. But I am weak, and was not able to say goodbye to companions that I had come to love. My weakness became just another reason for starting to hate myself.
Enter Percie Blakeney!
The one thing that seemed to be ‘going well’, at the start of 2017, was my journey as a client of Escorts. Sure, in my first year I had made mistakes, they are documented throughout this blog. Silly, naive, social media posts, offering concert tickets publicly, and other minor mistakes made by an inexperienced (but public) client, and a man who hadn’t ‘dated’ in two-decades or had any level of sexual intimacy in almost half that time.
So what did I do? I directed some energy, almost as a personal release and self-therapy to writing a blog about the part of my life where I felt happy, comfortable and was free from the other dark corners of my life. I re-vamped an old Twitter account, and I started a blog, this blog, in March 2017. Stupid in retrospect, but that is what happened.
Given what was transpiring elsewhere in my life, and also the nature of a ‘self-reflective blog’, the topics covered related to things that challenged me or played on my mind. As a result, the articles reek of overthinking, narcissism, melancholy and a naive view of what can and should exist between client and Escort. All of this is true, part of my own journey and coming to terms with jealousy, love, abandonment, hope, and a full-range of other feelings on an emotional roller-coaster, made even more pronounced by what else was happening in my life.
Some people, especially some other middle-aged travelers (fellow clients) found resonance in these topics. Some Escorts, I feel those who have struggled with feelings for clients themselves, are romantic at heart, or tolerant and understanding about what certain clients feel, also saw some merit in my content. There were, and are, many Escorts and some clients who see a ‘red flag’ and feel intense anger at some of the things that I have written about, or what they have assumed about me as a result.
The Last Pillar Falls.
I felt that I was one of the most mentally strong people that I knew, having weathered a difficult childhood, bullying, and later in life a range of business challenges. Wow, what a delusion. Those lies that we tell ourselves. With my fatherhood, my marriage, my business all in turmoil, being trolled online, attacked by haters, and in some quarters bullied in this space, well that cocktail of 2017 poison got under my skin far more than it should have.
It hurt me more than I thought it would, and I didn’t always react well. With my tone at times becoming snarky, and occasionally engaging in debate with Escorts, showing hints of disappointment and distress, well that is a recipe for receiving more of the same. Show weakness or biting back, either action can bring down the wrath of others with an axe to grind.
Then apparently, in the minds of some, I became the ‘poster guy’ for disrespecting the industry. I thought I was celebrating it. Showing how amazing the providers are, how joyful the experiences are, how strongly emotive it can be and how a sensitive client might be able to navigate these emotionally challenging waters. I thought I was on the same side, supporting sex-work as an enriching and positive part of society. But no! My ‘light-hearted’ experience masquerading as a one-time male-Escort was apparently offensive. The idea that I might write a book, which might say revealing things, that might disrespect someone, well that was apparently offensive as well. Of course no one asked any questions, or read what type of person I was. These people that don’t know me, all assumed the worst, and made ridiculous and unfounded accusations. Not happy to just attack me, they were also happy to turn on anyone that supported me or disagreed with their militant and fun-less ‘take on things’.
Of course being in a weak state to resist this negativity, any sane person would wonder why I continued to blog. I wonder that often myself. I think the answer is because if I ‘gave it up’, it would be my last surrender in a sh^t storm of a year, in every part of my life. Complete surrender. The few people that kept sustaining me, supporting me, encouraging me to be me, stay on Twitter, keep writing and stay in contact, were a salve for my soul. Their positivity and support was stronger than the voices who didn’t know me and just decided I was good fun to kick in the teeth.
I think my blog is the only one by a ‘client of Escorts’ in Australia (I hope that is wrong by the way – but I’m not aware of any others), perhaps it is the only one even further afield. An oddity, by an odd, sad and naive little man. So I guess that makes it an even bigger target for people who don’t like client voices at all. It also made me feel that I if stopped, I wasn’t just giving in to the abuse, but I was letting certain other people down, those who had supported me, and a few loyal readers who seemed to have come to enjoy the conversations. I also enjoyed talking with them, an oasis from my real-life collapse.
My Lowest Point
Then in May 2017, my closest and longest-lasting companion retired suddenly. Of course, in true annus horribilis style that wasn’t all. Another close Escort broke off her connection to me with extremely aggressive verbal abuse. It may have been to end her own journey, making sure none of her closer clients tried to connect with her in post-retirement. Perhaps she just detested me all along. I also mistakenly thought that another adored companion was leaving to take up a full-time ‘patronage’ arrangement.
My three closest companions seeming to vanish at the same time, one retiring, one ‘spoken for’, and the third telling me I was a ‘piece of sh^t’. No, of course that wasn’t enough for a truly bad year! My online troll was at their zenith, another Escort I had met twice was actively disparaging me, someone else was going around the industry telling others that I was the reemergence of some ‘evil blogger’ from 2011. It sounds unbelievable even to me, a writer of fiction wouldn’t have so many story threads running at one time. Just to rub ‘salt-on-the-wound’, another Escort I respected immensely, told me that the trolling was probably ‘all in my mind’. Other close Escort connections from before I started blogging seemed to be ‘distancing themselves’ from me, as a result of the blog and the negative industry attention that I was starting to get. Hell, I would have done the same if I was in their shoes.
I started to fully believe the negative voices: ‘you’re not cut out to be a John’, ‘you shouldn’t be allowed to be a client’, ‘you’re a sad loser’, ‘entitled narcissist’, ‘if I saw you in the street, I would run you over’, ‘I’m going to out you and destroy your career’, and ‘once you stop paying, no one you have ever booked will ever think of you again, or ever make contact – you’ll die a sad, lonely and broke old man’. The last one got to me the most. This clever person had worked out what I thought to myself in the darkest moments. Exactly what someone like me says to themselves, when they are at their darkest ebb.
Even still, I tried to stand strong, keep writing, pretend it wasn’t really getting to me. The problem is my self-belief collapsed under this relentless attack from every direction. Mostly distress at my daughter’s illness, compounded by my business issues, and then my last remaining resolve just ‘bleeding-out’ with these little additional cuts, coming from the darker parts of this industry.
I was in a strange place. I was loosing the ability to make decisions, stick to things and see clearly. I was flip-flopping on a weekly, daily and sometimes hourly basis. Celebrating one day, a cry for help the next. Supporting someone online one minute, and then fishing for support or endorsement the next. I would talk about writing more blogs, then say online that I was about to quit. This indecisiveness and changing persona must look from the outside like madness – it certainly brought even more vultures in to pick over my online carcass.
Apparently in the eyes of some, I had to make a decision, or be a certain way, and then stick to it. I’m not sure why people care if I change my mind a thousand times, but apparently that isn’t allowed. Somehow, changing my mind was even seen as proof of my apparent disrespect for the industry. I don’t get that logic either.
I have been blocked by one Escort I have met and one fellow client I have met. I have been blocked by dozens of Escort’s, photographers, clients and industry followers that I have never met. I’m sure that I’m on some people’s ‘bad client’ list(s), although no one has ever told me why, what it is that makes me a bad client. I have many times started to think they must be right, and if they really wanted me to believe it, my last barrier would fall if they just gave me that final reason. What is the harm that Percie has caused for which he should disappear? You can see how close I have come from abuse alone, provide one logical reason, and given where I stand at the moment emotionally – you could save the industry from me in one fell swoop.
Where To From Here?
I don’t know. I have lost another real-life friend recently and I am at that age where others are battling health issues and others will fall soon as well. As I said at the start, I at least have my health. My youth will soon be gone. My long-term relationship is likely to end for good and for bad before long. My business will recover, it is recovering, and I hope that next year, that problem at the very least will be gone. Most of all, my Daughter is still here with us, and we are making slow process, sometimes forwards, sometimes backwards, but she is alive and I love her and I am doing everything that I can to keep her here. She is a truly beautiful person and the world needs her far more than me.
I loved my companion that retired this year. I know that was stupid, but the heart wants what the heart wants. My processing of that absence in my life has made me worse. I am worse to be around, I am a miserable melancholy soul, beating myself up for my own tragic feelings, impossible love, failures and roller-coaster decisions and moods.
Then there are others that I love too. As I have said, many Escorts are simply the most amazing people I have ever met. For whatever reason, they feel like ‘my tribe’, even if I am not welcome in theirs. There are a few in particular that I have feelings for at a level that I shouldn’t. This multi-person love makes me think I can no longer consider myself monogamous or at least permanently monogamous. That is a very unexpected change in my consciousness and a surprising outcome from my journey as a client of Escorts. Also surprising to me, is my still growing desire for emotional experiences, and deeper explorations of my truest feelings. The ‘me’ of ten-years ago would not even recognise the person that is here now on this journey.
This change is what I am hanging on to. The idea that it is a profound transition, that is taking me somewhere new, and making me a better person. At the moment my moods, flakiness and struggles to get past certain things, are making me a problem. My writing is erratic. Until I can finishing processing some losses and struggles, I don’t think I make a very good client for the Escort’s that care for me the most. I wonder why they persevere with me, and I struggle to believe their generosity and friendship is real. In part because my experience with other Escort endings has been hard, final and in some cases traumatic. Also because I am struggling in general, and not always listening to good-voices. Mostly because at the moment I don’t think that I am worthy of their care.
I could leave for a while. I could quit being a client for good. I could leave Australia and travel. I could stop writing. I could do more writing. I could do nothing different at all, and just keep swinging like a pendulum between joy and misery, driving those audiences that hate me on to even greater hatred. I really don’t know. My feeling is that I will try and just write and post while I am positive, go into hibernation when I’m not, and see out the rest of this year. I see 2018 being positive, I am envisioning it, I am taking steps to feel like I am in that space already, and that it is my new reality. A return to how I felt in 2016, but with more love, more to offer and as a better friend to those that I love.
I apologise to anyone I have upset or offended as Percie Blakeney. I pledge that I have never and will never disrespect this industry and its ethical participants. I apologise to myself in as much as I can manage it at the moment. Mostly, I apologise to the companions that I have grown to love, each in different ways, for my flakiness, my neediness and for whatever lies in store.
There are so many reasons in this article to hate me even more, but maybe if targeting me is your response, you know a bit more about the person on the other end, and maybe this time leave other people out of it.
Xx SP 16 October 2017.
“… Where are you now
Was it all in my fantasy
Where are you now
Were you only imaginary …”