Thoughts on a dark period for Percie.
I’m back, perhaps? This is my first blog article in almost two months, following a period of three months in which I wrote forty-five pieces. What happened, where have I been and why am I back?
This is a personal story of change. So much has changed in the last five-months while I wrote this blog and then during the more recent hiatus while I didn’t. This is going to be self-serving, over-thinking and a rambling return to writing. So get out now if that isn’t for you.
The Honeymoon is Over
Not that far into my journey as a client of escorts, I remember a dialogue on Twitter with a far more experienced ‘client of sex-workers’ in another country. I was rambling on about how amazing escorts were, how mind-blowing the experiences were, and why doesn’t everyone do this? His reply was, ‘of course … you are in the honeymoon period, it’s all new and there is no baggage, no entanglements and no regrets’. I remember thinking, what the f–k is this idiot talking about, don’t kill the buzz like that. It will be different for me. Of course I was the idiot, but most of us have to learn these lessons for ourselves – especially me.
Then that early period comes to an end. You see behind the ‘glamour’ that many escorts and many clients are profoundly sad and have holes in their souls that they are trying to fill or forget. No different to every other human in many ways, but exposed when the intimate engagements that are the hallmark of this industry show them, play with them, sometime soothe them and sometimes inflame them. It is an exciting and rewarding exchange, but like everything, the strength is also the Achilles-heel, the same intensity impacts on negative things like envy, insecurity, anger and emptiness.
I was very lucky. The start of my journey and the end of my ‘honeymoon’ period were in many ways clearly marked out for me, in retrospect at least. If you have read my piece ‘My End of Summer’, you will know the end. In reality it isn’t exactly that clear cut. Just like my becoming a client was actually a complex life-transition, so in many ways is this shift. The obvious point of change is the retirement of my longest and closest companion, an Escort that I had fallen in love with. A sudden ending, and then the process of letting go is hard. Much harder than I expected. It really is a type of grief, complete with all of the stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance). Denial and anger passed quickly for me. Bargaining was a surprise and one I may write about one day. Depression lasted a long time, not clinical depression of any type, just a very down period connected to the specific events occurring at the time. I hope I am now in acceptance and will come to what that means shortly.
In addition to this trigger, I had other stuff going on. Two close deaths, elderly relatives but painful and connected to my own mid-life existential and mortal angst. I have an unwell daughter, the worst of all my real-life issues, but both too painful and too personal for this forum. I had work issues, domestic issues and some other surrounding real-life dramas just to make sure it was coming from all directions. Many people I know are dealing with worse, maybe you are too, I hope that changes and improves, but this was a big emotional load for me. The perfect time for change.
Within my journey as a client of escorts, it wasn’t just the retirement of my longest standing companion. There were other ‘end of the honeymoon’ moments. Another companion that I also adore seemed to be having her own turmoil, well hidden but apparent, and had largely withdrawn from contact and public channels. There were others that I liked to converse with in social media and messages who also seemed to be backing away from the same contact points (primarily Twitter). Then of course there was this blog. My cathartic desire to write, led to an audience (who knew) and some of that audience didn’t particularly like Percival Blakeney.
I don’t mind a bit of banter, exchange and even the occasional argument. I’m not as well equipped to handle this with a light-touch when I’m already down and damaged, as I found out for the first time. It hurt when a couple of escorts who had actually met me turned away and even went on the attack. It hurt less getting attacked by those that didn’t know me, but it still managed to ‘get under my skin’. There is a certain perverse irony in Escorts complaining that people misunderstand them and then laying into an online client that they know nothing at all about. Being blocked and bullied was just another experience, but it really hurt when others I did care about started suffering collateral damage. A few escorts and clients that know me said kind things and then promptly got targeted as well.
I wasn’t enjoying being a target, but I really went into a downward spiral seeing other people I liked and cared for being hurt on my account. Some other kind people sent private messages and offered to comment publicly. I asked them not to. This is a journey for me, mostly positive, sometimes not, but it isn’t my livelihood, it isn’t my real-life reputation, and it isn’t my peers and close friends. I don’t want anyone putting things that important at risk just to stop some mild online nastiness, the type that those very same kind souls face in greater volume and stronger viciousness every single day.
Of course when you’re down, that has a shame cycle all of its own. It made me want to defend them instead, hold them and protect them, that made me feel like a stupid ‘white-knight’ and risk speaking out for people who can (and do) protect themselves better than I ever could. Just another sense of worthlessness and irrelevance for someone already beating themselves up for being a failure as a father, a partner, in business, a friend, a client and even as a fictional online character. Compounded by my own neglect of contact with people I had connected with and thinking of my own sorrows instead of supporting others with theirs.
I already look over many of the blog articles I wrote between March and June with some concerns over my naive views. They were all true and all emotionally valid for me when they were written. Since they are my journey, I am leaving them. If I would summarize my shifting perspective, I would emphasize the idea of ‘bookings-as-moments’ more. They are real and fake all at the same time. However since it is two ‘real-people’ together, alone and mostly free from external distraction, they are as pure as almost any moment in time that this modern world creates. The moments should be respected and valued.
As for what happens between moments. Some of that is real and valuable too. However most of what happens online isn’t real and isn’t great. Most of the entanglements between moments aren’t great. They are better considered as admin, marketing, chatter or worse. Only a small amount of it is real-connection and valuable, inter-personal exchanges. Those rarer high-quality items, if they exist for you, should be cherished but in many ways they sit aside and independent from the moments that escorts and clients create together – hang onto them and don’t get caught up in the ‘in-between’ spaces.
I spoke on friendships and connections in past articles, and I think they are rare. It isn’t surprising that we chase them. It just shouldn’t be a source of angst, causing us to miss or ignore the fun, strength and amazing moments that escorts create for their clients. The companion that I loved isn’t my friend, she is gone. Gone to have a glorious life and be a young woman on a different path. I will always have those moments to remember and maybe our paths will cross again. It is just the simple reality that without our client and escort connection, the transactions, the moments and the in-between spaces, our lives just don’t intersect anymore. The escort controls this, because an ex-client can NEVER take the initiative with contact once the business relationship has ended. Friends can reach out to each other, ex-clients must remain silent. An ‘ex-client’ without invitation is less able to make contact post-retirement than any other person on the planet – for that reason we may think about each other, but the ‘ex-client’ is forever prevented from being a friend. That is one very tough lesson.
I think when I retire as a client or other close companions retire, there may be a few connections and possibly even distant friendships. This might happen where we already have contact because of other things happening in each of our lives. I think that it will in a couple of cases, and that makes me very fortunate. However, each of these is a case-by-case thing, that will have to survive that moment when the ex-escort says that it is fine to contact, because no quality ‘ex-client’, would ever take the initiating step. This is obvious really, but in the cold, hard, light-of-day, it is a bitter pill to swallow for people chasing intimacy and filling holes in their lives. Why? Because it speaks the truth that no matter how connected and special the moments feel, they are a fantasy bound by a transaction and industry rules of engagement. Those rules are forever! The only person that can change that dynamic is an escort and only once the transaction (or future transaction) is removed. That is always going to be a very, very rare thing indeed.
Back from the dead!
So I am back – sort of. Things have improved in my life in many areas. I am getting healthy with a personal trainer, I am seeing a counselor and I am once again listening to positive voices more loudly than the negative ones. Instead of ignoring good advice, I am taking it and embracing it. I have lots of life transitions ahead, but I see them as positive and progressive, rather than negative and stalled. I have grieved for my youth, missed opportunities, my early escort experiences and my retired angel. Alright, all of those are still a work-in-progress, but I am at least on the right road.
Percie has changed and so has his pilot. All my life I have been an introvert and a thinker (alright, an over-thinker). That point I made earlier, our strengths are our weaknesses – well they made me a world-class strategist (strength of thinking and introversion) and not a very good emotionally-connected person (same deal). I have always been shifting slowly towards being more of a natural extrovert – a life long journey of ‘faking it till you make it’. I had never thought though, that the thinking bit would shift to feelings. Well it seems that bit-by-bit, with the help of trauma, experiences and role-models, it is. Take a look at 16-personality-types (Myers Briggs) model for some background.
I have always been in the ‘Architect’ (INTJ) personality type – good for my job, not always so good for my life. I thought I was drifting to ‘Commander’ (ENTJ) personality type (swapping the introvert for extrovert one day). Instead, it looks like I’m tipping over into ‘Protagonist’ (ENFJ) personality type as my engagement with the world becomes more feeling and socially led. Percie has probably always been my ‘Protagonist’ self, but the ‘pilot’ is following his constructed reality. I would miss Percie if I retired him, he needs to help with my personal transition for a little while longer yet.
I won’t be writing as much. I won’t be so down. I may not even keep this going or even Percie going for that much longer. I don’t know and I don’t really care that I don’t have a plan. I’m going to do what suits me while respecting others and I’m going to celebrate my transition either on these pages or with the people that are important to me. Whether they are important in the moment and moments we have together or for some longer and unspecified connection.
If you are still reading my articles thank you. If my own journey, roller-coaster and drama filled period hasn’t dislodged you yet, then I guess you’ve decided to stick around. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Xx SP 28 August 2017