sex and the single escort

Because my post on what you pay for with an escort devolved into a discussion on dating an escort (not the original intent of the post) and then into a discussion on men/women/relationships in general, I thought I’d give you a feeling of what it’s like to be a single escort based on my experiences and those of escorts I know. (Since I like men, this is from the traditional perspective of male/female romantic relationships.)

Scenario 1: Dating a client

You hit it off with a client. Really really hit it off. Sparks fly and you’re pretty sure it’s mutual. It takes a few more appointments to really be sure that yes, it’s real. The more you reveal of yourself, the better it gets. Everything about him is check marks across the board. So do you break the biggest taboo and get involved? He already knows what you do for a living so that conversation, at least, is not one you’ll need to have. He may have to overcome his own preconceived notions about you, like you never have a bad mood or might not really be all that fascinated by his job. The fantasy aspect of escort work is strong enough that sometimes being “real” is enough to be a deal-breaker.

Sub-clause A: The married client

Since the vast majority of your clients are married, chances are he is too. Don’t do this. Wait till he’s divorced, recovered and ready for a normal relationship. He may actually leave his wife for you. Not good. Unless you’re ready to be the free girlfriend of a married man (and this may actually suit you just fine if you’re commitment-shy), it’s really best if he keeps paying you. Become his mistress instead. Don’t count on his speedy divorce to move your relationship along because divorcing his current wife is way more expensive than you’ll ever be.

Sub-clause B: The single client

The rare single client is a find! But wait…why is he still single? Married to his job? If you’re commitment-shy, this may work out great for both of you. If you’re looking to settle down, maybe not so well. Is he single simply because he hasn’t found The One? Hmm…this could be promising…

Sub-clause C: The divorced client

If he’s been divorced for years, he may actually be ready for a real relationship and may have gained some wisdom in the process. If he’s freshly divorced, there will be some issues that rear their very ugly heads later on. Or maybe not so later. Better keep this one as a client.

After the initial evaluation of where you and he are in your respective lives, you decide to make the move. He may’ve danced around this topic already but chances are he’s a good client and good clients let the lady make her own decisions.

It worked! Now you’re happily dating. Hopefully he’s not the sort to crow about it on discussion boards and you both start living your relationship.

As always, getting involved impacts your work. Despite popular myth, relationships affect your work, not the other way around. You’d rather spend time with someone you like and who likes you, someone who really knows you instead of a persona, someone for whom you can show up in sweats and it’s not going to hurt their image of you, someone whom talking to is effortless and stimulating, someone with whom the sex is hothothot and deeply fulfilling — in short, not a client. So you slack off and do just enough to pay the bills. Love is always more important than money.

Sub-clause D: Don’t take offense, clients

The whole point of a relationship with one other special person is that the relationship is suppposed to be special and far beyond the ordinary, everyday experience. When your everyday work is about connecting with others and sharing intimate moments, it not only raises your own standards/expectations of what you want out of a relationship, it means that when you find someone who hits or exceeds that mark — it really blows your mind. We’re talking a very, very rare person. Like Iberian Lynx rare.

Scenario 1 outcome A:

It just keeps getting better and better. It never stops. You’ve found a friend, a supporter, a fan and someone worth loving. Any woman thinks of settling down when she finds that perfect match. Given what you know about men and the issues of being an escort, the likelihood of you finding someone like this again is miniscule. What to do next? Some might retire. Others might keep as they are. Others may get married. Whatever you do, you’re doing it with him. And he’s with you every step of the way.

Scenario 1 outcome B:

The most likely thing to happen is that it blows up. One day you discover he has serious issues about your work. It may be disguised as “concerns” (e.g. safety, health, financial, etc) but it’s really that he has issues with your work. On rare occasions, escort relationships are really with two incompatible people, but given that escorts know people and usually know when things click, the most common reason things go downhill is that he has issues with your work. Sometimes these issues may surprise him as it digs up stuff he never even thought about. Not that it matters much — you’re the focus of the problems and there goes the relationship.

As an added bonus, that you met him as a client is just more relationship-ammunition for him. Another bonus is that you can now re-focus on your work, though frankly, work is the last place you want to be. An alternate ending to this is Scenario 2 sub-clause A outcome B.

You decide not to date clients.

Scenario 2: Dating a civilian

You try online dating because, well, it seems so easy! Turns out that although escorts are supposed to be honest in their advertising, men looking for free sex partners aren’t nearly so honest. You have to figure out whether they’re married first before you can starting doing the criminal background check. After finally finding one who seems to be a normal human being you may actually want to spend time with, he shows up and looks like nothing the photos from 10 years ago on his ad.

Scenario 2b: Sugar Daddies

You try one of those sites. Turns out it’s full of really cheap bad clients. If you’re going to earn money for dating, it’s easier to just stick with your work. Your escort rates are higher and your clients are better than these guys.

Real life turns out to be the answer, as it always is. You meet some eligible men and things happen. You start dating. How long will your flimsy cover story about your so-called day job hold up? Should you tell or not?

Sub-clause A: Tell

You bite the bullet and tell.
A) He thinks it’s cool. He’s intrigued. Whew. The sex gets better too! Things will progress until it ends. See Scenario 1 outcome A or B.
B) He can’t get past it. Everything blows up. Oh well, you didn’t have too much emotionally-invested in someone you couldn’t be honest with anyway. Wait, does he know where you live? Your real name? Your online identity? Is he going to go away or become a stalker?

Sub-clause A outcome A:
He goes away, you pick again from the scenarios.

Sub-clause A outcome B:

He doesn’t go away. You get a lawyer, a dog, move away, restart your life and your business. You may even get the police involved (worse — he gets the police involved.). You learn about skip-tracing, TOR, privacy, etc. At the very least, you now have a whole new field of knowledge and know who your real friends are! It’s also very likely you have some added baggage when you consider dating anyone ever again. You consider finding a therapist, but that’s a lot like dating. We know how that goes!

Sub-clause B: Don’t tell

You invent a better cover story or just get more mysterious. Things go great but there’s the suspense of all your lies hanging over your head. Because you can’t totally be yourself around him or introduce all your friends to him, the relationship is a bit shallow. But it’s a relationship!

Most of the time these relationships just fade away or stop working or whatever. There are a few escorts who are married and do this secretly. Most don’t. Most normal people don’t really need the added stress in their lives. (Do not read the Tracy Quan/Nancy Chan books as a realistic relationship template.)

When this ends — and it will — you pick from one of the scenarios again. Unless it ends like Scenario 2 sub-clause A outcome B because he found out.

Forget trying to start a relationship. Maybe it would just be easier to use the Internet for what’s it’s really for: SEX!

Scenario 3: Using civilians for sex

So you join some sites (swinger groups or sites like AdultFriendFinder). You naively think that a woman looking for no-strings-attached (NSA) sex would have a really easy time of it online. That is, if one were able to judge chemistry through the screen. And if men were honest about basic things like their height or sexual experience or fitness level.

The few men you do hook up with aren’t anything to tell your girlfriends about. Most of the time, you leave them thinking you should’ve been paid because you got nothing out of it. Your favorite clients are way more fun than this and treat you better too. (If you live in a tourist town, like Vegas, chances are strong that the men you like best live in states you never visit.)

Thinking out of the box, you try CraigsList Casual Encounters and discover that not only are the men posting there psycho, many of them want relationships. Isn’t that what the Misc Romance section is for?

You try sex clubs. Not as much sex goes on as one might hope for. And quality is out the window.

Your Internet dating attempts teach you that illiterate men are a huge turn-off.

Scenario 4: Other Options


speaking from experience

I’ve pursued relationships with three clients. That’s finally been enough for me to learn my lesson. (One might still read this blog, one only read a post which referred to him and the third does not read this blog at all.)

I’ve tried SeekingArrangement too. All I can say — made me appreciate the self-honesty of actual clients.

I’ve used the Internet (like CraigsList and swingers’ groups) to find NSA sex partners. With very rare exception this is an utter waste of time/energy. At this point I’m just saving my money so I can book an overnight with a male escort. And waiting to see a broader selection at the Shady Lady.

Yes, I have stories. They would fill another blog.

why is it so hard for escorts?

The reason for all this angst? Real relationships are difficult. Period.

Then you mix in his beliefs/issues about sex, women’s sexuality, his relationship to money, stereotypes about sex work/sex workers, his friends, his family and it gets much, much more difficult. (Extra difficulty-points if either/both of you have ex-spouses/children.)

Then add in your own issues, some of them from the very real prejudice and problems you experience as an escort. Some issues arise just because you’re a very experienced woman — far more than the average office co-worker he’s likely to run into. The people-experiences and self-knowledge you develop as an escort set you far apart from ordinary women. You may look and act ordinary on the surface but if you were indeed ordinary — you wouldn’t be an escort in the first place. Not being ordinary makes relationships tough because your needs and expectations aren’t anything he’s encountered before. Some men are very capable of learning and growing. Many are not. And there is no easy well to tell until you’ve taken the chance with him.

Every time you meet someone who sparks your interest, or think about putting yourself out there to meet someone (because you are a human and would very much like some sort of partner) — all this goes through your head over and over again.

Many girls I know don’t date while they’re working. It’s just easier that way.

122 thoughts on “sex and the single escort

  1. Beth Mann

    I think your summation is dead-on: dating is tough in and of itself. It’s a wonder any of us manage to get together, really.

    Thanks for this perspective – frank, honest and sharp.

    Beth

  2. RunSilent

    Oh. My. God. What an *awful* bunch of choices. They look and sound dead-on real and true. Which is even *more* awful.

    Mind you, I speak as a guy who wasn’t ready to marry til age 32 — and got it wrong, was divorced 4 years later — and then got it right at age 40 (life begins at 40) almost 20 years ago, but who could have been utterly certain at the time that it would turn out to be right? I know that I’m as much Mr. Glass House as anybody else.

    Like you said so rightly, Beth, dating is tough all by itself.

    But this too? Oh God.

    Just in case it’s not clear: I’m not pitying, I’m not drawing conclusions, I’m not drawing anything. I’m just — oh, God.

  3. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Beth,

    Thank you! As someone who writes about their own dating trials, I know you appreciate this!

    RSRD,

    Awful maybe, but I do hope you’re laughing. This isn’t me whining, just me attempting to be darkly humourous while being honest. And like you, I’m maturing as well. Gives me perspective — I could not have written this a few years ago.

    XX

  4. RunSilent

    Dark humor? OK, dark humor I understand. (“Just because you’re paranoid … doesn’t mean that no one’s out to get you …” )

    I had a thought, though, while mulling this overnight. A theme I feel I’ve noticed through many posts is “personal autonomy.” To paraphrase, No one owns me but me … no one gets to make my decisions but me. (Which strikes me as a truth that is head-shakingly obvious, but which also bewilders and/or terrifies many others — both men and women, alas.)

    I have also noticed this theme in a particular “structure” for social-romantic-sexual relationships that I’ve encountered (on the Web, not in person). The “structure” (or perhaps “category”) is called “polyamory.”

    The usual definition of polyamory has to do with having multiple committed loving relationships at the same time, with the conscious knowledge and consent of all involved. In good polyamorous relationships, I gather, “jealousy” and “envy” are acknowledged openly as potential issues and get discussed before things blow up.

    Perhaps — *perhaps* — a man who can handle polyamory might be able to handle having a committed loving relationship with an escort he has not hired.

    I’m offering this thought tentatively, partly because I can’t speak about handling multiple sexual relationships at the same time from personal experience, and partly because I don’t want even to seem to be “telling you what to do.” I respect your autonomy, and I want it to be clear that I do.

    If this is a new thought for you, and if you would like me to say anything more about it, please feel free to let me know. Of course, “google” and “polyamory” would probably let you find out for yourself as much (as little) as I already know!

    Best wishes,

    RSRD

  5. Amanda Brooks Post author

    RSRD,

    I prefer the concept of open relationships. I’ve tried having a number of lovers at one time and getting emotionally-involved with multiple people has drawbacks as far as energy-draining goes and how the individual relationships develop. So I’m back to the open-relationship model.

    For me, that means I have one lover, and we’re both free to pursue sexual interestes outside of the relationship but not getting overly involved with these people. I’ve wanted open relationships since I was young but boyfriends would recoil in terror when I’d suggest it. I’ve had better luck as I’ve gotten older (and as the age/life experience of my lovers increased as well).

    I don’t like to use the term polyamory simply because it already comes with a standard set of definitions and practices. I prefer to create my own path since that suits me best — as you’ve noticed ;)

    Not that tossing in the “open relationship” thing makes a new relationship any easier to navigate! It requires a very self-honest, self-aware, incredibly secure man.

    XX

    PS: Anyone reading this who is interested in the concept of open relationships/polyamory would do well to read The Ethical Slut.

  6. Mistress Matisse

    This is a brilliant piece. It’s dead-on accurate, by my experience. I am unbelievably fortunate to have two male partners who love and support me, but I have had all those scenarios happen to me, with both male and female partners. Well done.

  7. Rhythm

    I was already polyamorous before I started doing sex work and I haven’t had many problems. My pre-existing partners are happy for me that I’ve found lucrative work that I enjoy and one of them finds it hot and sexy but not in an over-fetishized way. Guys I’ve dated since I started have mostly been fine with it (and by that I mean *actually* fine with it) and some of them think it’s hot while still respecting me as a person, not a fantasy. Even in the polyamory community, there are some people who have issues with it, but, hey, it just means that they weren’t feminist enough to get wth this, anyway, and I’m happy to be made aware of that information sooner rather than later. Polyamory for the win!

  8. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Mistress Matisse,

    THANK YOU! [my mouth hanging open in shock and awe]

    Rhythm,

    Nice to have your input. As RSRD suspected, the polyamory community is more open to sex workers. Good to know!

    XX

  9. RunSilent

    (RSRD chuckles) Silly me, to have thought that you might not have heard of it! What was I thinking? :)

    I’m glad to see MM’s applause, and to see her and R’s encouraging words. They helped me see your post for the wry observation that I think you meant it to be. (Thank you, ladies.)

    Again, best wishes from this ignorant civilian. :)

    RSRD

  10. Elle VanBuren

    I do not think any of us in “the trade” could have said it any better.

    ‘Just adding a note; I’m just finding your blog and finding it entertaining and insightful. It is so good to see that there are others like myself out there experiencing the same or similar scenarios. I cannot thank you enough for sharing!

  11. Thais

    Amazing text. Dark humour at its best, indeed.

    The fear of scenario B (dating a civilian), sub-clause A: Tell, outcome B (the bad one) is what kept me single for the last 3 years or so. I don’t want to hide who I am.

    And I am too invested in my current career, and the dreams, and self-actualization it provides to face the idea of restarting my life if things go wrong. Yes, I do have a plan B in mind if that ever happens – but it doesn’t mean I am emotionally ready for it. Being single is the evil I know and am comfortable with, for now. Especially since I have seen enough people finding personal happiness later in life.

  12. TomTee

    Are you seriously trying to pretend that anyone wants to date and have a serious relationship with a prostitute? They do not. There are any number of words that occur to a guy when thinking about having sex with a woman after she has sold herself. Sloppy seconds for one. I could go on. We have a bunch of them. You are kidding yourself if you think some guy wants a serious relationship with you. Prostitution must really screw with your head.

  13. Agent009

    Amanda,

    TomTee is wrong. I will always love you unconditionally. I will always admire your beauty and Texas charm.

  14. RunSilent

    Sounds pretty mono-amorous to me. Which reminds me of …

    THEODOTUS. Caesar: you are a stranger here, and not conversant with our laws. The kings and queens of Egypt may not marry except with their own royal blood. Ptolemy and Cleopatra are born king and consort just as they are born brother and sister.

    BRITANNUS (shocked). Caesar: this is not proper.

    THEODOTUS (outraged). How!

    CAESAR (recovering his self-possession). Pardon him. Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.

    — George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra, Act II

  15. Amanda Brooks Post author

    TomTee,

    Regardless of how many fun little names you throw at women, we do date other people, this was not a fantasy-based post. Without even knowing you, I can safely say that prostitution screws with your head more than mine.

    So bug off.

    Agent009,

    Thank you! :)

    RSRD,

    Ha! Thanks for the civil explanation. Some people live on very, very tiny islands.

    Oh, the term I was thinking of was gallows humour. Sort of the same thing as dark humour, but not quite. Took me a couple days to think of it.

    XX

  16. RunSilent

    Unfortunately, Mono-Amorous Island is a big one — which is another reason why its natives have trouble seeing anything else. (And which is also why its resident aliens — people who are capable of loving more than one person at a time! — can have so much trouble finding others they can meet face-to-face.)

    “Gallows humor.” Of course. Sometimes ya just gotta laugh!

  17. RunSilent

    Going in a more positive direction, I had come across Mistress Matisse’s name from time to time, but not being into D/S I hadn’t gone further.

    However, I recently happened to hear her on Cunning Minx’s podcast, Polyamory Weekly (, episodes 105 & 106 (April 2007, OK so I’m behind and catching up!). Lovely voice and lovely heart/attitude. The wealth of experience and wisdom I heard in her conversation with Minx led me to see, in my mind’s eye, a mature woman — probably in her 40s at least.

    I was very pleasantly surprised a few days later, when I wandered onto her web site and found that her photos showed a lady as lovely in appearance as she had been in voice and heart and attitude. :-)

    “Where do I find other Polys” is a recurring theme on Minx’s podcast. Episode 150 (April 2008) focuses on “Five Places To Meet Polys”, but many feedback e-mails and voice mails also say in effect “I keep hearing about these great hotbeds of poly, but I’m stuck in Podunk-by-Poly, and what can I do?

    Minx’s site has a forum where like-minded people might discover each other, as well as links and other resources for ditto.

    She also has a link to the Swingercast podcast (), which I also follow and enjoy. The forum there also has many posts saying “We want to do this stuff, but we can’t find anyone near us!” It looks like the only Swingercast Forum members who have NSA sex more frequently than 2x or 3x/year are those who happen to live in cities with active and attractive on-site clubs (such as Los Angeles or Seattle).

    John and Allie, who host the podcast, do organize “meetups” at Desire (Cancun) and at the annual SwingFest in Florida. (They book blocks of rooms to get group-rate discounts for their forum members.) It looks like many forum members in more “isolated” areas look forward to these gatherings as the highlight of their year.

    Everybody has a hard time finding people; but at least the people using these resources (polys and swingers) are able to talk with like-minded people as they look. Strikes me as a much better search strategy than accepting random dates or going to the club that (randomly) happens to be nearby.

    I hated dating.

  18. Yellowstone Inspiration

    Amanda,
    Your writing style continues to evolve into one of the most reflective and sincere efforts on the Internet. While we try to rationalize the scenarios and outcomes, social interaction by its nature is unpredictable. As long as the light burns inside there is hope for us all to learn from one another. become more tolerant, and extend a helping hand.

  19. Juan

    Oh my goodness, TomTee, don’t fob off your hangups on men in general!

    “…There are any number of words that occur to a guy when thinking about having sex with a woman after she has sold herself…”

    One of them is….WOW. Often another is AMAZING. Another is THANKS! A phrase that often comes to mind is ‘so THATS what I was missing!??’ Yet another phrase is ‘When can I see you again?’. Still another isn’t expressed with words at all…just a hug, a smile, and a gentle kiss.

    There are many reasons why people do what they do for a living. And just as many reasons for people to fall in love, like, lust, or just general togetherness with those people.

    Sheesh. What a grump you are.

  20. David

    Well said Amanda and I am so glad you have an understanding and loving partner in your life. It doesn’t get much better than that.

  21. Amanda Brooks Post author

    RSRD,

    I’ve been a fan of Mistress Matisse for a long time. She is so wise and very open-minded, not to mention very smart! One day I hope to meet her.

    I still prefer to do my hunting the old-fashioned way: track it down and, well, not kill it in this case. ;) It’s far more important for me to find someone with whom I mesh well and generally I prefer people who do NOT identify with any “community” but instead just lead their lives. Then I open their minds. Maybe it’s the hard way of doing it. I just prefer not to date someone whose defining characteristic is that they belong to a community of sexual preferences.

    The size of the island I was thinking of was TomTee’s island. Very very tiny.

    Yellowstone,

    Thank you. I hope to at least present another viewpoint for people to think about.

    Juan,

    BIG hugs and kisses to you! Beautifully said. I have no doubt that you’re a favorite client of the ladies you see. We like positive, supportive people with your attitude. If you ever start a blog, let us know.

    David,

    Thank you! Glad you enjoyed this.

    XX

  22. Thais

    Saw Tom Tee’s comment.

    You know, I have several good female friends. They are not escorts – they are regular women in the mid to late 20s whom I met in University and elsewhere. One girl is married with a baby, another Christian and was a virgin for a very long time, etc. – women who cannot be labeled “sluts”, the “good girls”.

    And they would kick in the balls a guy who used the word “sloppy seconds” on any woman. Much less date him.

    Because that term represents contempt for what women choose to do with their sexuality and attempt to morally control those choices. And socially progressive “good girls”, from what I have seen, despise such kind of behaviour.

  23. Rhythm

    Amanda, the word “community” is used to describe all sorts of social networks with a common interest shared by all. It can be about sexual/romantic orientation or just about anything else. We’ve all heard the term “community” used to describe folks interested in everything from wine tasting to belly dance to playing Scrabble. To assume that anyone who identifies with a certain social network has no identity of their own or is not involved in any other social activities is closed-minded. You’re going to miss out on a lit of fantastic individuals that way!

    I can tell you from experience as well as observation that trying to convert someone to ethical nonmonogamy is a near-impossible endeavor. Dating someone who already identifies that way is far easier.

  24. NoGNoG

    Amanda,

    This was a very interesting post. Due to societal boxes in general, which seems so unacceptable of sex workers, I can not imagine what it would be to live in shadows. At least here in the States. I wondered how you could have a regular life as a sex worker. I can tell you it is just as difficult to have a regular life even if you are not in the profession.

    I have been involved in all aspects of the client side. I consider myself as a “regular” married woman of some years. I have lived within a closed triad relationship and now in a “open” marriage. Which is not as “open” as everyone would think.

    For my intellectual and emotional well being I need to be involved with more than one love. No one person has it all, even me. LOL I have found and been found by like minded people who understand acceptance, respect, trust and yes, love. I have found it within three communities; polyamory, swing and male companionship. In all three there is no question, wonderment or intrusion of my life, “it is what it is.” I decide how, who, when and what I share.

    I believe patience is what makes the difference. Patience for trust and knowledge of another person. I agree with Rhythm, you can not convert someone into ethical sluthood. I don’t need to. From experience like finds like. Especially once you take the time to stand still and BE.

  25. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Thais,

    Yes indeed. When someone applies a sexually-pejorative term to one woman, it means they hold that view of all women. Excellent point.

    Rhythm,

    I could go on about my issues with “community” but of the communities I’ve observed from the fringes, the only one I wish to be a part of is the sex worker rights community. Otherwise, I’m not a “community” person. I’ve met poly-community men and have no interest. As I think I already said, I may be taking the harder road but it suits me better. I don’t like dating community-minded people. Not saying communities don’t work for people (they obviously do), I simply don’t choose that path for myself. Some of my dating issues may have arisen from that, but I doubt most of them have. Nor do most people consciously identify as belonging to some sort of community.

    NoGNoG,

    Apparently my use of the word “convert” struck everyone’s ears. Perhaps “turn out” would be a better word. No, if someone is not inclined to an open relationship, they can’t be forced into it and I don’t do that (never said I did). I have found a couple men who are inclined that way but haven’t had the willing partner to try it out. Enter me.

    Though I very much would like to be a client (for a number of reasons), I’m really not interested in the community thing. Can’t stress this enough. My private and personal life is not a community effort and I have NO desire for it to be. I know what I want and I already know it’s not to be found amongst anyone who refers to their sexuality as a “lifestyle”.

    XX

  26. Rhythm

    Amanda, please stop referring to polyamory as a form of sexuality. Being polyamorous has nothing to do with what kind of sex one likes, with what gender(s), how often, etc. I don’t care for the term “lifestyle,” either, but when one’s way of loving is rejected by society as much or more so than LGBTQ, yeah, we tend to form support networks. That doesn’t mean that we deserve your snarky put-downs based on assumptions about us that we are hung up on a label. That is no more true of poly folks than it is of people who identify as part of the sex worker rights community.

    I know it’s hip and cool to resist being a joiner, but frankly, I get tired of hearing, “But don’t you get jealous?” from non-poly types every single time I discuss my life with my partners in *exactly* the same manner they do theirs.

  27. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Rhythm,

    I wasn’t being snarky. Sorry it came across that way. The poly people I met referred to themselves in the way I’ve used the terms. Perhaps you can understand why it was off-putting to me. (Most people do seem to view it as a sexuality.)

    That being said…I don’t wish for a poly relationship, merely an open one. I do think there is a difference and I explained what I think the difference is in one of my earlier comments. Yes, I think poly works for some people — obviously. If someone reading this hasn’t looked into a poly group, they might wish to because it sounds like fun to them — and I hope it sparks that idea in the right person. All I’ve ever said was it’s not for me.

    As for people being hung up on a label…there IS a lot of labeling within communities — one reason why I resist the idea of “community”. You haven’t gotten me started on the whole priveledge or hiearchy thing in sex work yet. I’m guilty of labeling sexually-based communities too. Based on my life experiences (and I’ve met quite a few people), I don’t wish to have a serious relationship with anyone who puts a label on themselves in this way.

    I’m dying laughing that you think I’m trying to be “cool” by not being a joiner. “Cool” has never been used to describe me and “cool” is never something I’ve aspired to in my entire life. Not being “a joiner” is who I am. Period. If you think I follow trends or espouse ideas just to be cool, you haven’t been paying attention in class.

    This got way off track but in re-reading the first paragraph of the post, this wasn’t just me writing about my relationships, it was me talking about being an escort and trying to have a relationship based on my experiences and stories I’ve heard. A lot more women have silently contributed to this piece than you may realize. Most of these women have even less desire than me to join a community of people just to find a partner. They may join a local non-profit or political campaign or their arts community as part of their lives but most wish to find a partner on their own terms and naturally as part of their own lives. (Finding sex partners is different than relationship partners.)

    That’s what I prefer too. It’s the least-contrived option. It’s not the easiest path, as I’ve noted. Understand too, that many escorts are happy to retire when they find the relationship that works for them, which means they have different expectations of their relationship than you or I might.

    XX

  28. RunSilent

    I totally get not being a “joiner,” because I’m not one too. (I’m also totally inept at negotiating.)

    Brava for the gallows humor in your original post (now that I’m closer to getting that — closer than I was initially). Gallows humor does help stressed people manage the stress, doesn’t it?

    If he’s savvy, a guy eventually learns when he should not push solutions, but just shut up and listen — really listen..

    Best wishes. :)

  29. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Rhythm,

    You are not blocked from my end. I don’t check my spam filter so try again, especially if your comment was long. The only people I’ve ever blocked were not you. Not even close :)

    RSRD,

    Poking gentle fun at former military not being a “joiner” ;)

    Gallows humour is it. Took me a while to understand it as well.

    Listening is always good advice in relationships. Always.

    XX

  30. RunSilent

    “Joiner”: I was in college when they re-started the draft lottery during the Nixon Administration. They pulled my birthday out of the fishbowl on the 27th try. If I had done nothing, I would have been handed an offer I couldn’t refuse: an all-expenses-paid vacation to fabulous Vietnam, humping a rifle through rice paddies while hoping someone else would be the one to step on the punji stick.

    Instead, I went to sea as a naval officer on nuclear submarines. Nobody was shooting at me, and I got to sleep in a clean-and-dry bunk. The lesser evil.

    I then proceeded to persuade myself that I was being painted into this corner as part of a Grand Cosmic Plan. Got to, y’know? Got to. It took a few years before both I and the Navy figured out just how wrong I was.

    (And I got a “counseling letter” in my service jacket when I refused to join the Officer’s Club. The local Admiral wanted to keep it a mummified 19th century Old Boy’s club, and it was shedding members faster than a tree sheds leaves in autumn, while a hot and lively joint on base was packed with lively young officers. The Admiral figured he could keep it alive if he “strongly urged” those young officers to become members — and pay its membership fees. I think most of them folded, and joined. Gutless wimps.)

    Still listening. Stay safe. I hope you had a happy Valentine’s Day. <3

  31. Amanda Brooks Post author

    RSRD,

    Thanks for your history. I sense a bit of gallows humour in here too.

    Totally forgot that you came of age with a different military institution than the one I’m familiar with — especially the draft. No, not a joiner at all!

    I can’t even put myself in your shoes. I would have gone nuts, I think. But that’s a whole different discussion. (The draft part, not the “nuts” part.)

    XX

  32. RunSilent

    Yeah, to all.

    And I did kinda go nuts. But then, “When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies?”
    — Miguel de Cervantes, in the musical “Man of La Mancha”

    The Grand Cosmic Plan was the core of my own particular way of going nuts.

    Stay warm. :)

  33. Rhythm

    OK, I’m going to try posting my comment in short pieces since I tried no less than three times to no avail. :-/

    Amanda,

    I sincerely apologize if I’ve come off as trying to convince you to try polyamory. That has never been my intent. But you didn’t just say it wasn’t for you. You’ve been critical of anyone who identifies as polyamorous because, in my view, you have misconceptions about it.

  34. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Rhythm,

    I don’t like a lot of things. People who idenitify as poly aren’t disliked, per se, I’m just unimpressed by it all. They aren’ t the only ones. I don’t have to like everyone and everything, perceived misconceptions or no. You can eat all the brussel sprouts you want, I know they aren’t for me.

    Have you changed your browser or cookies or anything? You were posting longer comments before. I haven’t touched my blog settings in a couple years.

    RSRD,

    :)

    Traveling to warmer climes right now!

    XX

  35. Rachael Benedict

    Interesting…

    I make a difference between social monogamy and sexual monogamy (gleaned from reading the book The Myth of Monogamy). Social monogamy is basically the legal and social benefits of being married.

    At some point, I know that I want someone to be socially monogamous and intimate in the long-term with, and I believe/hope that with the right guy, this can transcend a phase of sexual non-monogamy (my relatively brief career as an escort- I doubt I will be doing this in my 50s).

    I think that often, the sexually-non-monogamous wife gets over-fetishized (i.e., the “hotwife” and cuckold relationships), and that’s probably not what you’re looking for. I’ve tried it in the past, it left me feeling very insecure (but opened my mind to escorting). Too many pressures, labels, boxes, whatever…

    It just is alot for a guy to wrap his head around that relationships with clients are on totally different paths (so there’s no thinking of “Tom” when you’re with your boyfriend), and that the intimacy within temporary liaisons can be profound, but pragmatically non-threatening to the more longterm relationship.

    Money and the culture of escorting set important boundaries in these “alternative” relationships, and so I wouldn’t want a totally open-relationship unless he were also charging for his time. That would be very unlikely :-P

    I really liked your line: “The people-experiences and self-knowledge you develop as an escort set you far apart from ordinary women. You may look and act ordinary on the surface but if you were indeed ordinary — you wouldn’t be an escort in the first place. Not being ordinary makes relationships tough because your needs and expectations aren’t anything he’s encountered before.” — that is SO true, even from the 5 months or so I’ve been escorting!

  36. jenny demilo

    Just as when i wasnt an escort i have found that relationships find me and not the other way around and I dont make rules for myself “date” “dont date” i just live and if i find someone special then i consider myself lucky and i go with the flow.

    My civvie friends have just as difficult time finding quality men to date as my escort friends. It just hard out there no matter what side of the fence you are on.

    Nice read, enjoyed it very much.

    xo
    Jenny

  37. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Jenny,

    Glad you enjoyed this.

    Relationships are difficult no matter what, throwing in the escort baggage just makes it harder. Sometimes a girl wants to take matters in her own hands and seek out a partner, other times life just happens.

    Can’t think of any civilian friends I have that I can compare myself to, honestly. But I do have PLENTY of escort dating stories!

    XX

  38. Kerstyn

    Well, well, well, not only is she beautiful – she’s also very clever. I suppose I am going to have to go and buy your book now Amanda, I have been meaning to forever. Do you remember your ole buddy Kerstynsmilz? I’ve always wondered how you were and here I find your blog googling random bs, feeling nostolgic and find you. Must be fate, please email when you can it’s been too long. And, btw.. I am a mommy now to a beautiful 10 month girl, my personal love story.

    Alright, your current blog….

    Oh, how I have been through almost each scenario you’ve painted for us here, I’ve come to the conclusion at 38 that I would rather be a little lonely now and then and stick with my indulgences as a provider. My favorite gentlemen fill a place for me a boyfriend has yet to reach. It’s just too much work, and I’ve grown into my independence as a provider that I saw in you 8 years ago when you were 8 years younger than I. You’ve always been a wise soul. Bravo… keep up the blog, your brain is quite lovely and your honesty is refreshing. friends always Kerstyn

  39. Old-T

    Nice read. I have become friends with several ladies in this business and have watched/listened as a number of them have gone through dating periods–some serious and some casual. I can see much of what you say in what they have been through.

    Getting to Outcome 1A is hard work. But then I think that is true for non-escorts as well. I have 3 friends who reached a 1A kind of outcome and all three retired to try and give it the best chance of working out long term. So far so good for all of them.

    Thanks for a very interesting piece of writing–I have already jotted down the URL and will send it to two ladies struggling with this right now. Is it OK for them to contact you privately if they want to talk more about the topic with you?

  40. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Kerstyn,

    Of course I remember you! And have often wondered how you were. I lost track of you somewhere in Chicago. I’m glad to hear you’re doing well.

    Thank you for liking my little post here. Though I haven’t spoken to you personally (in at least 5 years if not 6!), my little scenarios are from common experience. Such as it is. Sigh.

    Will email you shortly. :)

    Old-T,

    Thanks for reading!

    Scenario 1 Outcome A is difficult for every human being, escorts reach it more rarely than most and yet probably have more to offer than most — this is the cry of frustration I hear from many escorts (myself included). Yes, feel free to share the link with the ladies you know and I’ll be happy to talk to them via email, not that I have a great deal of hidden wisdom I haven’t shared here.

    XX

  41. Natasha

    I have just discovered your blog and I love it!

    I have recently started my own up, but it is at the very baby stages: http://www.sexyeducation.wordpress.com

    I think that what you are writing about is at the heart of so many issues, i wish people would open their eyes and stop blinding themselves with stigma.

    Nice to meet someone like minded ;)

    xxx

  42. Juan

    “…Juan,

    BIG hugs and kisses to you! Beautifully said. I have no doubt that you’re a favorite client of the ladies you see. We like positive, supportive people with your attitude. If you ever start a blog, let us know….”

    OK, a day late and a dollar short…never done a blog, but for laughs I’m playing around with one: http://juanclient.wordpress.com/2010/02/11/how-did-i-start/

    Not that anyone is going to be particularly enthralled at reading it, but starting a blog is the best advice I have had from anyone recently (Thanks!!) becuase I can go over a few things that have been rattling around my brain in an organized fashion, and in the process of editing try and distill down what I really think.

    And since it is anonymous, I can do so to my heart’s content….without cluttering up the commons, so-to-speak… ;)

  43. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Juan,

    How wonderful! Thank you for posting your blog link. I’m very sure that several readers from here will become fans of yours.

    More than one person uses a blog (public/private/anonymous) as really cheap group therapy. I think you’re going to enjoy writing your thoughts down and working them out as you go along.

    XX

  44. Jim

    Any guy who would date an escprt knowing she was/is an escort is a one sad dude.

    After an escort has sucked the cock of hundreds if not thousands of Men, and had cocks of the same in their pussy, and cum from all of those Men on them… there is no way in the bloody HELL I would want to touch that Woman with a 10 foot pole attached to some other guy’s dick, lol.

    I’d say, if you were an escort, keep that shit a secret. Don’t tell a guy, because the relationship is more than likely fucked from that point forward, if not over altogether.

    In my opinion, once you’ve escorted you’re kind of like a leper. You just can’t be let back into the normal community anymore. You’re WAY beyond damaged goods at that point.

  45. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Jim,

    And that’s just your opinion. It’s not any sort of proven fact, though I am going to guess which of us is happier with our lives. (Hint: it’s the person who gets laid more.)

    So, in accordance to your own philosophy, this must mean you’re a pure virgin? Otherwise, why would any woman want to touch you if you’ve been tainted by having sex with anyone other than yourself?

  46. Pingback: » the american tube sock theory | Amanda Brooks' personal blog -- escort, author, advocate

  47. Kris

    I wonder what it would be like if everyone in this world became either poly or like Amanda “open ” .

    Would it stop the wars ?
    would it stop jealousy ?
    Will there be children?
    What will happen to the churches ?
    Should it be the new religion / morality replacing current?

    Do you think they should pass legislation legalising such arrangements ? I wonder whether poly/open partners should get any rights ?

  48. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Kris,

    I just wonder what it would be like if everyone was honest with themselves about what they really want out of a relationship. That’s all I’m after. (I KNOW what I want and I’m very upfront about that with partners. They can take it or leave it.) Religion is a factor only because it’s responsible for an often-repressive model of adult romantic relationships responsible for an awful lot of unhappiness in society.

    Self-honesty means there will still be a whole spectrum of relationships, but hopefully w/o a lot of the problems plaguing relationships based on an non-realistic model of sexual fidelity as the measure of the relationship. Human nature is mostly non-monogamous so yes, I think people being more open to non-traditional relationships means we’ll have a much happier population (because relationships are very important to most human beings).

    Having a happier population will lead to a lot of very good consequences. I don’t think that’s a stretch of imagination at all.

    If I could legislate self-awareness, self-honesty, open-mindedness and waiting to start a family until one is fully an adult — I would. But we all know how much people like laws controlling their lives.

    However, none of the tired points you raised were the point of my post. At all.

    XX

  49. Benjamin

    Just found your blog. Hypothetical question; if you found a single guy, you met professionally, whom you were very compatible with in nearly every way – intellectually, physically, emotionally, common interest, sexually, lots of great times together and he asked you to be in an exclusive arrangemtent with him. And, by exclusive, he meant that you would only a provider only to him for a mutually agreeable extended time and he also had the resources to meet your financial and agreed to provide for your financial security. Would you take him up on his offer? If so, why; if not, why not and what reasoning and thoughts would go into your decision

  50. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Benjamin,

    I would seriously consider it. Most girls would. Assuming both of us got along really well on a personal level, it would be very good for all concerned. For me, it if wasn’t working personally, then probably not. That would be too much like marriage!

    XX

  51. Benjamin

    In my opinion, your reply was “spot on”. If there is no personal, emotional, and/or intellectual connection, an exclusive arrangement is DOA. If, during a 24 hour period, you spend 4 hours on foreplay, actual intercourse, and snuggle time, then are asleep for 6-8 hours, that still leaves 12-14 hours that there has to be a lot of commonality. I have seen provider ads that had yearly rates of between $750,000 and $1.5 Million. Even with that amount of financial commitment, if there is no bonding, the arrangement will dissolve very quickly. Or conversly, if the guy feels as if he is being taken advantage of because of the lack of personal connections, he will decide the arrangement is not worth it. But, I strongly believe that it is possible for an exclusive arrangement to work for an extended time and be the basis for a great relationship.

  52. beenthere

    OK, so you’re 0 for 3 dating clients. If you’re still single, you’re 0 for N in the “real world,” too, so does that mean you aren’t going to ever date again? If you go by the number of strike-outs, then anyone will have struck out more often in the real world than with clients.

    With respect to online dating, online dating works if you go about it right. If you are looking for someone who is intelligent, write a profile that makes you appear intelligent and don’t post photos that say, “Boink me.” Then expect the process to take a while. As you’ve already noticed, lot’s of guys are after sex, so you get lots of emails about sex. On the other hand, guys get very few replies and even fewer from women who are datable, so it’s a numbers game even though the game differs in how each side needs to play.

  53. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Beenthere,

    Good point. I haven’t toted up my non-client relationships, there have only been a few more (relationships, not booty calls or one-night stands). However, clients are such a big taboo for us that I made a point of talking about my experience there. Everyone who isn’t happily with a partner has struck out with relationships otherwise — I guess. The metric of success may differ with individuals.

    I tried online dating both from the intelligent side and from the sex-only side. Both results were dismal. Really really dismal. I was honest in my ads (aside from not posting revealing or full-face photos and not disclosing I’m a sex worker). Men are nowhere within shouting distance of honest in their ads. This might just be Vegas since that’s where the bulk of my online dating attempts were. Still, I’ll just leave the Internet for work.

    XX

  54. Ghosthorse

    The men who describe escorts as “damaged goods” or “sloppy seconds” absolutely drive me up the wall. They wouldn’t consider dating someone who has had protected sex yet they pick up girls weekly who may have never used condoms. The logic just boggles mind. And as Amanda pointed out to one of the commentors, it’s easy to tell who is much happier and fulfilled in their life.

  55. hmmm

    WOw. this blog was really interesting. I had posted an ad for the first time on craigslist in the romance “women seeking women” section. So out of the 30 responses I got – I decided I liked this 1 girl in particular the most. She was the smartest, one of the prettiest, and a super good flirt and somehow knew everything that I liked. So after a month we decided to be a lil more serious. She initiated that we have a 1 on 1 relationship and insisted she was “wifey.” I kept having the same dream though that she was selling sex online…so I googled her phone number. THen I saw alllllllll the threads and posts of her and her pretend escort name and her phone number next to her naked pics all over! I was like daaaang. She even had her own website. I asked her about her other name and does she still work……..and well she denied even knowing the name or the website. We still talk,…but she has yet to bring up her REAL work or admit to what she does for a living. She still calls everyday…..I listen,….but I really dont understand her motives with me.

  56. Amanda Brooks Post author

    hmmm,

    I don’t understand her motives either. I’m guessing she’s been badly burned before but…why use the same phone number for everything? Glad you took the sudden revelation fairly well.

    If you like her, keep talking to her. If nothing else, you may end up with an interesting friend.

    XX

  57. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Geraldine,

    Nice to hear from you! Can’t wait to find out more, will email you today. Thanks for posting this, maybe anyone else who participated will read and email you too.

    XX

  58. Hobbyist

    “My favorite gentlemen fill a place for me a boyfriend has yet to reach.”, said Kerstyn. That’s also how I feel as a client. Now that I’ve found (and been spoiled by) pros, I frankly have no use for “amateurs”.

    Out of ignorance, and germophobia, I shamefully admit to having once shared some of the same hangups mentioned by the trolls.
    I’ve since become a non-civilian (?), seen the light, and realized exactly what was posted in response.

    And dating sex workers is not a fantasy at all. It does present problems, of course (but what relationship doesn’t?), and I think that Amanda did a very thorough job of listing the possibilities.
    I never completely went that route, but (kind of) saw a provider outside of her work for a while myself, and know it comes up. There IS a maturity requirement, that’s for sure.

  59. Hobbyist

    Just noticed in your “lectio libri” section that you read Pink Box. For those who haven’t, in Japan, they have clubs for females that many sex workers patronize to finally get a little NSA TLC from the other sex (hosts).

    Reading your hints at male escorts for your own use in this blog, I often thought of bringing it up, but thought that the reference would be too obscure (It seems that I underestimated the breadth of your interests).

    I know that the demand for male companions isn’t that great, but wouldn’t it be nice for you professional ladies to have this outlet?

  60. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Hobbyist,

    Maturity is the be-all, end-all word, I think. Spot on.

    I’ve actually read Pink Box a number of times (listed was the most recent re-read). Host clubs are a booming business in Japan still. Male escorts are a growing concern in the US/UK/Oz/NZ, though most attract civilian women, not working girls. Some working girls have real interest, some turn their noses up at the concept.

    Maturity. :)

    XX

  61. John

    Escorts that try to date, and then fall in love, and then devalue / discard, are somatic narcissists. I’ve been on the receiving end of a personality disordered escort. Escorts are damaged goods, they never know what true feelings are. Sad for them, but sadder for their prey.

  62. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Ant — Not sure what to say about that, except there’s no way I can address EVERYTHING.

    John — Perhaps you are the problem.

    There is nothing “damaged” about escorts except most have a hard time dealing with the shit everyone else piles on them. That, and being an escort makes a woman EXTREMELY aware of what she does/doesn’t want in a partner and what she is/isn’t willing to tolerate in her personal life. Most men are nowhere near as developed in their thinking.

    It’s kind of like a Ferrari trying to go for a drive with a 1970s Pinto that hasn’t been maintained since it came off the line.

    XX

  63. Ant

    Amanda,

    sorry, wasn’t meaning that you needed to address EVERYTHING. :)

    It just makes me think of a lot of questions when i read it. but they are personal and ones i wouldn’t ask in the open.

    But it does make me feel sad when i read it.

  64. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Ant,

    Shouldn’t make you feel sad, unless you’ve been one of these men who can’t handle a woman being who she is. In which case: open your mind.

    If that’s not you, then no worries.

    XX

  65. ant

    I dont think i am one of those men.

    The reason it makes me feel sad is because what you wrote shows just how much harder it must be to try and have a relationship in your line of work. Its sad that anyone feels they cant do both.

    Life is already hard enough. Having to choose between earning a living and a close relationship isnt fair.

  66. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Ant — It’s not fair, but this isn’t the only profession where this happens. What’s sad isn’t “having to choose” because most escorts can handle work and a relationship; what’s sad is that so many partners (of both genders) see it as something that requires a choice to be made. THAT’S the sad part.

    But…this post was gallows humour, not a piteous moan.

    XX

  67. ant

    I dont know. I have read a few blogs where it seems like the person is having trouble with it herself.
    I am not saying it cant be done, but it cant be very easy. Sex isnt always just sex, especially as one get older and wants more emo instead of just fwb.

    I think i am a pretty open minded person, and i know that i would struggle with it.

    But by the same token, if someone else can, and it works out for them, then thats good.

    I just wish it were better…

  68. Larry

    It has been my experience that “friends with benefits” and “fuck buddies” are both oxymorons. Sooner or later, emotional attachment rears its ugly head and either the “friendship” ceases or it becomes something more than what is was previously. I have found out that I can have female friends – really good female friends- as long as there is no sex involved.
    On several occasions, I have made it very clear that I was not interested in marriage or any permanent commitment and was told that my position was okay and that they were good with that. However, when the sex became a regular part of our relationship, the questions began as to when we were going to move in together or when were we going to get engaged.
    Again, for clarification and to not upset anyone, this has been my past experience and maybe I have just not been able to find the right person. To me, it is like finding a specific needle in a haystack of needles.

  69. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Ant — Most escorts are quite okay with being an escort and having a relationship. I know it seems difficult to civilians but work-sex and personal-sex exist in two different universes. There is no confusing the two. EVER.

    The issues I’ve seen come up have to do with the escort’s own socialization, their personal growth as an escort (while their partner does not grow) OR with the shit their partner is giving them (90% of all relationship problems). Or those rare instances where client-sex suddenly feels like personal-sex. That’s when you know there could be something with that client.

    If you would “struggle” with the issue, then you’re not that open-minded. :)

    Larry — I have no problem with fuck-buddy arrangements and have not since college when I kept a stable of different guys on retainer. I’m just wired that way. I daresay that most escorts are (those who have felt drawn to the work; not those who simply are making rent).

    Not sure how to find women who aren’t interested in anything more than reliable sex on call. My first guess would be to find women who are married to their jobs. My second guess would simply be to find women who don’t think in traditional ways. Or choose older women whose kids/husband are gone — they probably don’t want to restart the whole family thing.

    On the other hand, my experience is that few men are okay with being a fuck-buddy. I often have to play their silly “relationship” game just to get laid when I want. (This gets tedious and is something I’m no longer willing to waste my time with.)

    It all goes back to people not being self-aware and honest about what they really want.

    XX

  70. Larry

    “You are just wired that way”; I daresay that being wired that way is a big part of why you are so successful. In my experience any type relationship, regardless of how it is defined, will only continue if it is evolving – staying as is constitutes
    “backing up”.
    Choosing older women has caused me more grief than you can imagine between them being married to men who were abusive and/or them having so many emotional afflictions (hang-ups) in the bedroom which requires more effort and time to overcome, at my age, than I am willing to expend.
    Even if I were to begin an exclusive arrangement with a provider in which financial commitment, time commitment and longevity parameters were established and agreed up front, I don’t believe that the relationship would remain static for any length of time. I am considering such an arrangement, but have not fully come to the decision that what works in theory and in my mind would actually work in reality. So, I do feel as if I am literally looking for that specific needle in a haystack of needles.
    The dynamics of a fuck-buddy arrangement in itself is fraught with perils just as you mentioned so why even go there. How many people do you know who are fully self-aware and honest about who they are, where they are headed, and what they want in their life?

  71. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Larry — I think like a “man” in a lot of ways (at least, how society defines “male” thinking). And I agree about getting bored or stuck in a rut: that’s DEATH to any relationship (including same-sex friendships).

    I guess you’re in the wrong generation for older women. I’m guessing women my age and younger will be man-eaters when we’re older. Though I would not blame any woman for having issues after having been with an abusive man. I’d blame the man for being abusive. (Not that you’ve signed up to be a social worker to fix everyone.)

    I’ve known a number of providers who enter into arrangements. Being professionals, my guess is that they can keep things lively. A couple of very successful girls have been in their arrangements for a couple years. You go with your gut, of course. Just don’t enter into it and change your mind a month later. The girl will kill you.

    Don’t forget, you’re part of the equation too! You have a responsibility to keep things dynamic as well (and I’ve no doubt she would appreciate your help in this matter).

    Lots of luck with your decision!

    I keep trying with fuck-buddy arrangements. It’s generally what suits me best (I gravitated toward it as soon as I started having sex). I’m always very upfront with what I’m looking for and have been from the beginning. The problem is that guys rarely believe I’m telling the truth. This leads to hurt feelings later on. Sigh. If everyone else stopped playing games with each other it would make MY life so much easier!!! :)

    XX

  72. Larry

    Three other blogs I looked at today had something on fuck-buddy relationships – must be a popular subject.
    I am of the generation of older women and “thanks but no thanks” for the reasons I stated in my previous comment.
    If anyone stays in a relationship after the second time of being abused, then they become an enabler and if they stay, shame on them. And in my opinion, emotional abuse is just as destructive as physical and verbal abuse. Any way you cut it, abuse is abuse.
    Having been single for over 24 years and seen all the games and agendas of the dating area, I am not interested in ever participating in that again.
    So, I am going to find a provider somewhat older than you yet younger than me who meets my very broad criteria and would like to be in an exclusive arrangement for an extended period of time. The decision has been; it is just a matter of finding the “right” one!
    I think “playing games” while in relationships is the national pastime; at least it seems that way to me.
    Thanks for your replies!!!

  73. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Larry — Do not EVER blame the victim of abuse. There are a TON of factors that go into someone staying in an abusive relationship, not the least of which is that they often cannot afford to leave.

    No abuse victim is EVER responsible for their abuse. The person abusing them is responsible. Those who abuse choose to abuse. Period.

    Yes, I believe abusive behavior is a choice — few adults are so truly insane that they’re incapable of figuring out their actions cause harm. While staying in an abusive relationship can indeed be a conscious choice, this does not mean the victim is responsible for their own abuse.

    Blame the abuser, not the victim.

  74. Larry

    Amanda,

    I would NEVER blame the victim for the abuse nor is any victim responsible for their own abuse. If I gave that impression, then I certainly did not mean to do such and sincerely apologize. If anyone is abused in any way, there is help available in many forms and staying in an abusive relationship is not a good thing for the victim.
    I have known several women who were in abusive relationships and after they finally did leave, each was very remorseful that she did not leave sooner.
    My statement about being an enabler was meant to convey that it seems to give the abuser tacit approval for abusive action, at least in all the situations I was personally aware of. In my opinion, abuse of children and/or women should NEVER be tolerated.

  75. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Larry — You did give the strong impression you blamed the victim for their abuse.

    We all have hindsight on our actions, even with things as stupidly simple as splurging on an item we really didn’t need. Relationship-based hindsight is so much worse and much trickier. After all, one of the hallmarks of an abusive relationship is ensuring the victim can’t (or believe they can’t) leave. Once a victim is free, of course they think “I should have done that sooner.” Always. I can’t imagine a victim who felt they should’ve hung around a bit longer to see what would happen.

    As for the abuser thinking their abuse is approved of or tolerated by their victim…I think a large part of that is their self-reinforcing delusions about themselves and their relationship to the victim. And there are other factors I’m sure arise; thinking that they’re not getting “caught,” that they’re not doing anything that “bad,” that they really won’t do it again, or perhaps a simple lack of empathy to realize they’re being abusive (as with emotional abusers). I can think of a lot of situations women I’ve known have been in: parental abuse, partner abuse, predator abuse, community abuse (highly-emotional abuse). It’s hard to make generalizations about the abusers except that it generally suited their purposes to keep the victim under their thumb as long as possible.

    XX

  76. Larry

    What I wrote was in the context of an adult couple in a relationship. And, I still believe that abuse by one partner on the other should never be tolerated. The first attack regardless of physical, emotional, or mental should not be condoned and the victim should give fair warning to the abuser that that kind of behavior will not be permitted ever again.
    If the victim in my scenario allows the abuse to continue, then where does fault lie? With the abuser? Absolutely 100%, but imho if the victim does nothing the first time abuse happens then, again imho, the abuser believes (wrongly for sure)they have permission to attack again. Just like bullying when a kid; once you stand up to a bully, they probably will not bully you again.
    Abuse of any kind in any situation should not be permitted or tolerated. But in the real world it does happen and should be stopped immediately; not only after repeated incidents.
    I do realize that my view is very different from yours which makes our horizons different. But again abuse whether strong partner against weaker partner, adult against child, predator abuse, abuse by anyone against any sex worker, or community abuse should never,ever be tolerated.
    You have a great Thanksgiving Day regardless of your location or whomever you might be with.

  77. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Larry — I’m guessing you haven’t been a woman in an abusive relationship. Saying “should” is a very, very easy thing for you to do.

    It would be a lot easier for all abuse victims if abuse itself wasn’t condoned by society. And it is. This is the first thing that makes it difficult for victims to leave, report or even acknowledge the situation to themselves. And then they have the shame of realizing “Oh shit, I didn’t do anything the first time it happened, so now I’m to blame for the abuse.” Your views help contribute to keeping victims in abusive situations (because you’re not the only man to share this view, I’m pretty sure abusers do too). Don’t kid yourself that yours is a helpful or compassionate view. It isn’t. Nor is it practical in the real world because it only continues to punish the victim.

  78. Larry

    OMG – what I write here and what arrives there seems to be completely different. Where in anything I wrote did you get that I condone abuse? I am trying to convey to everyone in the world – DO NOT CONDONE ABUSE BY ANYONE ON ANYONE.
    Amanda, if a client abused you in any manner (verbally, emotionally, or God forbide – physically) would you say, “Oh he was nice other than that one incident, I think I want to see him again”? I certainly think not!
    Of course, I have never been a woman – I thought the name would have given you a clue. But, I was verbally and emotionally abused by an ex-wife on many occasions.I have regreted my inaction every day of my life. The first time it happened, I should have made it clear to her that she did not have the right to talk to me in that manner. I did leave when the abuse became too much to bear. Maybe that I is why I am so passionate about standing up to the abuser. Look in the mirror and know that the person you see is the only person who is in control of your life.
    What would you advise a person whom you know was being abused on a regular basis?

  79. Hobbyist

    Larry, I’m with you, but I think I see why you’re not coming across right. In your original post, you clearly pointed the finger at the victim (“shame on them”), then you backpedalled a little. But women, especially women-rights activists and those familiar with abuse, are bound to, um, “react” to that. They spend their lives telling the abused that they did nothing wrong to help them heal, after all.

    I don’t think it’s that simple (I’m in the same boat as you – men can be on the receiving end too, we just don’t get any sympathy). To a man, a crucial part of recovery is ownership (and that’s how so many turn into bullies).
    As you rightly said, ANY abuser or criminal is 100% responsible for the consequences of his actions and the ONLY one to blame. BUT, people have to be educated not to become or keep being abused/attacked/victimized. And that includes the necessary step of looking at themselves to understand what made them a target in the first place. That doesn’t mean beating themselves up some more, that means gaining self-awareness and more awareness of the evils of this world, but it’s a painful process that goes against the grain of that great american illusion that we can be or do anything we want.

    I’d rather leave it at that because I think the rest is largely outside the scope of the discussion. A lot of it is political, besides the obvious psychological/sociological issues.
    Many people deny reality and try to reform the world by projecting and assigning blame only in narrow and safe directions.
    The only time I’ve seen women follow me on this is in gun rights discussions, where they tend to have that “I refuse to be weak; I refuse to be a victim; I will do what I have to do” mindset.

    If you are a man, and especially a white man, you probably won’t see eye to eye with the rest of the population on this, and that’s OK. They think you’re shooting at the ambulance… and that drill sergeants are just sadistic a-holes when they are playing a very calculated part in keeping men alive in hell.

    [Putting on the body armor now, Amanda! :)]

  80. Larry

    Hobbyist,

    My narrow focus was on the audience I am most familiar with – adult f/m relationships. BTW, you articulated my position much more succint than I ever could – thanks. A lot of these issues are political and one answer does not fit all relationships nor all cultures.
    Now, I will also put on my body armor…..just kidding everyone, just kidding.

  81. Hobbyist

    Would yours be… leather, rather than kevlar? (Trying to maintain the mood!)

    Thanks for keeping a sense of humor about a dead serious topic, BTW. And I didn’t mean to offend by using the word “narrow” – I’ve been there. The more focused you are on an issue, the deeper you get, and the harder it is to keep perspective. Everybody becomes the enemy and/or a target for judgment and we’re right at the “chip on the shoulder” thing that came up in another section to bite Larry somewhere.

    I’ve been around the block enough to see my world and righteous convictions turned upside down a few times. That’s life’s way of telling you not to take anything people say too seriously and that you should try and keep learning.

    If everybody was like me, though, nothing would ever change so I’m not even advocating tolerance and laissez-faire. I’ll share my opinion, but it’s very much “live and let live” after that…

    Hey, I’m mostly familiar with adult (well, a relative term) f/m relationships… what are you trying to say?! lol

  82. Larry

    LOL, neither leather or kevlar – too young for leather and too old for kevlar!!! We called them “flak jackets” and they were damn heavy and hot.
    You did not offend me; it was my choice to use “narrow” because I realize that I do not know enough to articulate the solutions for all types of abuse. But, I do believe that standing up for yourself and saying “no more” is a start for ending abuse in an adult f/m relationships. In this world of the “speech police”, I did not want to imply that I was speaking about every type relationship out there.
    Learning is the main reason I am a regular reader of this blog and several others of this genre – never too old to learn!!!

  83. Hobbyist

    Oops, I just realized I was responding to Larry’s post, not Amanda’s (old eyes, already)! Sorry about the confusion everyone (Leather? Wouldn’t have gone there with you, Larry!)…
    :)

  84. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Larry — I’m sorry you were emotionally-abused. Of course you feel you should have changed the situation. That at the time of the abuse you COULDN’T change that situation should tell you everything you need to know about abusers and how they abuse (I won’t even go into victim-grooming, a far more insidious process). I hardly hold you responsible for you own abuse. If you found it difficult to stand up to your wife and stop her abuse, try to imagine how much MORE difficult it is for a woman to do this in a relationship. Obviously, it’s something that can be done. But even if it isn’t done right away, it does not mean the victim is to blame for their own abuse. No one in their right mind invites that into their life.

    I will always blame the abuser for making the choice to harm someone else. Always. Yes, it absolves the victim of “responsibility” for being abused. Why our society somehow likes to think victims should be held “responsible” for being abused is beyond me. I don’t think it’s a question of the poor white male being put upon or a feminist thing, it’s just logical for me to want to put the burden of responsibility for harm on the one doing the harm. Period.

    Otherwise, following your logic, every murder victim, every person exterminated by Hitler, every civilian caught in a war, every rape victim were all asking for it and contributing to their own harm. Bullshit.

    Hobbyist — As a former cop, I assumed you do the victim-blaming thing too. No surprise there.

    As far as anyone can tell, women make themselves a “target” for abuse simply by being born with a pussy. When you cut all the victim-blaming arguments down to the bone, that’s what it comes down to. One day I would like a society where men (the vast majority of abusers are men) are held accountable for their actions, instead of their victims being “responsible” for inciting, encouraging and tolerating abuse.

    Learning signs of abuse and strategies to escape it are all well and good. Having a society that does not condone abuse is the step that needs to be taken. Having a society that does not blame the victim for getting in the way of someone else’s fist is a step that needs to be taken.

    Having a society that teaches women from a young age to stand up for themselves is another dream I have. But when we do, we’re “angry feminists” or “activists” or whatever else is handy to tell women that they don’t know what they’re talking about and what is being said isn’t worthy of consideration.

  85. Larry

    Amanda, I don’t blame myself for the abuse; I blame myself for not standing up to the abuser. If I would have told her; “No more – you do not have the right to talk to me in that tone of voice; it will not be tolerated ever again”, and backed up my statement with action if necessary, it is my opinion that it might not have happened again. Of course, it continued and in the end the marriage failed. Would it have failed if I had stood up for myself? Probably, but years later after we divorced, I did tell her what I should have done and she was literally speechless and had the look of “a deer in the headlights”.
    And, the dream you have is the same one I have; stand up for yourselves – everyone and everywhere. In some states, if there are charges of abuse and subsequently the charges are dropped by the victim, the state disallows that and takes over the continuation of the prosecution.
    Again, I ask you as I did previously; would you see a client a subsequent time if he abused you in any way the first time? I think not and that has been my point (it seems unsuccessfully) through this whole thread; know that abuse is wrong and should not be tolerated – so don’t!
    By not standing up to Hilter and instead trying to appease him,he became emboldened and look what happened. Neither murder and rape are not tolerated by society because we have laws that, for the most part, put murderers and rapist in jail or even execute them.
    No where did I ever write that it is okay to murder, rape,or abuse anyone, any time or any place.

  86. Larry

    Below is a quote from your post:

    “Otherwise, following your logic, every murder victim, every person exterminated by Hitler, every civilian caught in a war, every rape victim were all asking for it and contributing to their own harm. Bullshit.”

    Show me where in anything I wrote that I stated or implied that all vitims were asking for it and contributing to their own harm. I have repeatedly stated that I condemn all forms of abuse and in ways you are unaware of am trying to help eliminate abuse.
    BTW, according to the best available sources, the total civilian and military deaths in WWII was between 60-80 million world wide. Do you believe all those deaths were necessary when an assassin or a US Marine sniper could have eliminated both Hitler and Tojo before 1939. When no gov’t stopped either Hitler and Tojo, both were then emboldened and believed they could do as they pleased and no one was going to do anything about it.
    Not one who was killed or died in WW II, including family and friends of the deceased, “were asking for it and contributing to their own harm. But, I will say that inactivity by the leaders of industrialized nations by their inactivity were enablers.

    Hypothetical scenario: you were verbally and emotionally abused (God forbide there was any physical abuse) by a client on a 2-5 hour appointment. However before this one incident he had been a perfect gentlement, but because of his outburst you vowed never to see him again. What would be your price for time and companionship for a week with this man? $100,000? How about a $1 million? Place a value on your life and well being.
    That is what I have been saying all along – put a stop to abuse and do what it takes to never allow it to happen again.
    Believe it or not, I am a fan of yours and really enjoy this blog because of your various subjects and the conversation that ensues.

    May I have your autograph…XOXO

  87. Hobbyist

    It sounds like play on words, but it’s more about perspective, I think. I’m not really talking about blaming the victim, and I don’t think that Larry is either.
    It’s about recognizing that things don’t happen in a vacuum and that all present in a situation are involved, whether aware of it or not. Only when completely aware can you make informed choices (like walking or fighting back), and only when you have choices can you be considered free.

    So we’re talking about empowerment and progress through self-assessment.

    Where I’m actually coming from on this (and I think that Larry’s analogy about nations letting Hitler do his thing without objecting is valid) is that einsteinian view of the universe as a place where no one can stand by and watch anything without affecting what they’re observing. There is no neutrality. As long as you are in this world, you are affecting it (like causing ripples in water), playing a part, and therefore bearing a form of responsibility for the outcome. Note that I’m not talking about legal accountability, which totally rests on the victimizer.

    In a much narrower sense, I know that in every bad situation in my own life I ask myself what I did or said to cause it. The fact that others are out there trying to do harm is known. What interests me most is how to alter MY behavior to either stay out of their reach or defeat them. I can’t control the world, but I can (try to) control myself.

    But I know that seeing the world as a place where everything is interconnected is scary. What most people end up doing is either burying their head in the sand (denial) or drawing lines in it (coming up with ways to see the “other” as foreign, different, and often evil). And this is what all the “isms” are about.
    The world is one – I am you and you are me. Or, as Schopenhauer said, “[…] the world is hell, and men are on the one hand the tormented souls, and on the other the devils in it.”

  88. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Larry,

    You have quite clearly said that the victim is responsible for their own abuse if they don’t put an immediate stop to the abuse the second they recognize it’s happening. My argument is that even if the abuse continues and the victim does not stop it, the abuser is still the responsible party.

    I’m not arguing that inaction isn’t a decision, because it is. I’m simply arguing the responsible party is the abuser, not the victim.

    Hobbyist,

    What I just said to Larry.

    And…shit happens in life. It happens to us all. When bad things happen to us, we usually make decisions that we think will prevent the situation from getting worse (I think that’s pretty normal). If we’re talking about deliberate abuse, not misfortune, the blame for the situation even occurring in the first place is with the abuser. Always.

    The ripple effect years later doesn’t require anyone else heaping additional responsibility on the victim for what happened.

  89. Hobbyist

    What you’re referring to is often described as victimizing the victim a second time, dragging them to court to testify, or to a therapist, and making them go through the trauma all over again, asking repeatedly what part they played and hinting that they had “something to do with it”.

    It happens all the time, it’s cruel and unnecessary, and that’s why we must be careful with our choices of words, or even the decision to speak at all. Saying that one has played a part sounds dangerously like blaming them, as we see here.

    Look, I’m a shit-magnet. :) I have always been, and that includes when I was an unaware, “innocent” kid. And I did receive my share of “you asked for it”, whether talking about beatings, heartbreaks, or any other of life’s little gifts. The world didn’t revolve around me then, nor does it now. Fucked-up as it is, it was there first and will be there long after I’m gone. I’m stuck with ME and what I’m bringing into it.

    So my attitude has long been: “what is going on around me, and what can I do differently so this never happens again?” It does require to relive some traumatic stuff, take it apart, understand the dynamics, and sort out what works and what doesn’t.
    Any therapist worth his/her salt will tell you than blame only hurts the healing process. But they’ll also tell you that sweeping issues under the rug is not helpful either when progress and self-awareness are the goals.

    Taking a long and truly honest look at oneself IS painful (some religions claim that it will make the uninitiated lose their sanity), otherwise more people would do it and we’d all live in a better world.
    Avoiding pain at all cost, a natural tendency, is very much taking the path of least resistance, and a reason why so many things are crooked!

    And I take it that you’re not a big fan of the Law of Karma that claims that no one is innocent, and that we all carry baggage from other lives, bad stuff that we are bound to pay for eventually and in the most mysterious ways…?
    I’m not sure I’m buying it (could be a metaphor for genetics), but a benefit of this type of belief is that it at least forces you to examine your life and who you are, trying times or not, instead of chalking everything up to the unfairness and randomness of the world.

    Is the butterfly responsible for the hurricane because it flapped its wings? Should it be told? Should it quit flying?

    As for Larry, he just needs some sensitivity training is all! :)

  90. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Hobbyist,

    While everyone is certainly responsible for examining their own lives; when it comes to victims of abuse, I’m quite willing to let them reach their own conclusions (or them and their therapist) in their own time. Me telling them “You should’ve…” or “You need to…” is NEVER helping the situation. They do plenty of this on their own — whether immediately or years later. It’s not my concern. My only concern is not making them feel any more like shit than they already do.

    The views you and Larry hold are common ones and do not help. If everyone would go after the ABUSER with as much vehemence as they go after the “responsible” victim, we would live in a much better society.

  91. Larry

    Amanda,

    I will be the first person to agree with Hobbyist that I probably need sensitivity training.

    But, as you wrote; “if everyone would go after the ABUSER with as much vehemence….” – which is what I have been saying all along. Maybe I did not express it in as sensitive manner as I should have, but I believe the ABUSER is the only one responsible for the ABUSE. The abused is always the VICTIM and I have never said otherwise.

    Again, quoting you; “My argument is that even if the abuse continues and the victim does not stop it, the abuser is still the responsible party.” My sentiments also. But, I did say and still believe that if anyone, whether the abused or a family member of the abused or even a third party who does not report the abuse, then that inaction does empowers or enables or emboldens the abuser WHO IS STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS/HER OWN ACTIONS AND STILL MAKES THE ABUSED THE VICTIM.

    IMHO, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. And, I do not ever want to be part of the problem especially when it comes to abuse.

  92. Hobbyist

    No offense intended, Larry, this is something that was thrown at me a few times (and they weren’t kidding)… ;)

    I think we all seem to disagree, but it’s only in surface. We’re a bunch of strangers who never met and discuss hypothetical and theoretical situations with each other from behind keyboards, after all.
    I don’t believe that anyone here advocates pointing a finger at any kind of actual victim to tell them to “suck it up” or that they “asked for it”. Regardless of how harsh some of the wording sounded, it was not directed at anyone in particular (I think).

    Now if we’re talking about never, ever making any mention of the victim-abuser dynamics for fear of hurting someone in need of healing… I’ll have to disagree and will leave it at that out of respect for Amanda and her blog.

  93. Larry

    Hobbyist,

    No offense taken, but I did take sensitivity training from my DI in Basic Training in the Army many years ago…..LOL

    I agree with your response and do believe that these blogs are intended to create discussion and disagreement; which I believe Amanda does so very well.

    Certainly my words, however harsh they sounded, were not directed at any individual (other than maybe me) and I would never claim to be any type professional conselor for anyone. I just don’t tolerate abuse by anyone toward anyone and was a little more vociferous than I should have been on this public forum. I just hope that Amanda will forgive me and not banish me from replying to other posts in the future.

  94. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Larry,

    YOU are part of the problem when you insist on throwing responsibility for abuse back at the victim.

    Hobbyist,

    These are not hypothetical and theoretical situations. The vast majority of my female friends have been in abusive situations. Larry has. Male lovers of mine have. Victim-blaming is bullshit and has no place in any rational discussion of abuse, ESPECIALLY with the victim.

  95. Larry

    Amanda,

    Your interpretation of what I am and have been trying to state about a very individual and horrible action is incorrect. But you are entitled to your opinion which while we may never agree, I respect. Victim blaming has never entered my vocabulary, but responsibility, enable, embolden, empower are and always will.

    A victim is the ABUSED regardless of whether it is one time or repeated times, But, is the victim also allowing the abuse to continue by not doing what is necessary to stop it? I never have thrown responsibility for the abuse at the victim, but will always say that the victim should not permit the abuse to continue.

    I will always know and forever believe that my abuser was RRESPONSIBLE for her verbal and emotional abuse, but my inaction the first time it happened emboldened her to continue for about 4 years and my inaction was my RESPONSIBILITY.

    I am curious; in what scenario would you say that the victim should permit the abuse to continue?

  96. Hobbyist

    I know, Amanda: we’ve all been exposed to it. I’m not saying it’s not real (or even personal for some of us here), just that we’re talking about the issue in general, not facing an actual victim and discussing his/her specific case to torture them.

    To me, taboos and complexes are smokescreens put up by people (consciously or not) to remain in denial or conceal a truth. It’s a defense mechanism that works to an extent, but whether thinking on my own or involved a discussion, I like to get to the bottom of it and investigate all avenues, so I tend to try and lift those veils. “Let’s not go there” is a red flag waved in front of me.

    Otherwise, I share Margaret Thatcher’s belief that “truth always is the same old story”, so I’m never overly concerned about saying anything new or original. And I’m convinced that stereotypes and cliches all have a core of truth so I’m not afraid to use them either.
    What varies and matters is the intention and understanding of the speaker/writer, because we’re all using the same words in the end. Dismissive brushes such as “The views […] are common” or “I’ve heard these arguments before” (the “An Arrest Story” entry) don’t take anything away from the validity of somebody’s points.

    But as enjoyable (or frustrating :)) as exchanges of viewpoints can be, I also think that a blog is a medium for personal expression, not drawn-out arguments with the host. So although we’ve only scratched the surface, I feel it’s more than time for me to lay this one to rest.

  97. ant

    Weeks old from your response to my last post, but i have to disagree with you. Just because i might struggle with something, and may or may not be able to do it, doesn’t mean i don’t have an open mind about the subject. There are an awful lot of things i have no problem with if other people want to do, but just don’t to do myself.

    And i can see why fwb or fb wouldn’t be easy for you to find…

    After all, who wouldn’t want to have more with you!

    XOXOXO

  98. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Ant — Fair enough. But…if you really do have to struggle to handle or accept the full concept, then your mind is truly not open to it. Theory and practice are two different things. Being open to various sexual questions means not having problems with the concepts. I’m not saying you’re a prude, just not as okay with things as you think. Nor do you have to be unless you’re dating a sex worker. You can support sex workers without having to be personally involved with anyone (there are only so many sex workers to go around, anyway!).

    My mother accepts my life decisions but she is NOT, by any stretch, open-minded. Boyfriends who claimed to accept my life yet struggled and struggled with it, were not open-minded where it was important. Lovers who have no issue with the concept and generally don’t even think about it are perhaps open-minded, or perhaps just really do not care either way (I find younger men more capable of this).

    I say this because I have my own areas where I can understand the theory and have no issues with friends who practice the theory; but in my own life I cannot put aside my own feelings or beliefs. I am definitely not open-minded about everything.

    XX

    PS: Been thinking about writing a post about coming out to my family, actually.

  99. ant

    oh I don’t struggle with the concept, and I have no problems with the concept either. I just don’t know if emotionally I would be able to do it.

    there was a compliment in there too, or at least it was meant as 1 !

  100. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Ant — :)

    Emotionally-speaking is a heavy thing. All I can say (and I think I’ve said before) is that no escort I know confuses her partner and clients. It would be like a doctor confusing his family for that of his patients.

    XX

  101. Larry

    Amanda,

    In my opinion, a better analogy would be actors in movies where erotic love scenes are involved. The boundary lines of emotional involement are sometimes blurred even when both participants are professionals.

    You, as the professional, want to create a fantasy for a client and if you are successful in creating that fantasy, then the boundary lines sometimes are bound to get blurred, at least from the client’s perspective. To repeat what Ant said; Who would not want to have more time with you?

    In all the years you have been an escort, what would your estimate be of the number of clients that you have had to remind exactly what the boundaries are?

  102. Hobbyist

    Wow, does this entry have legs or what?! :)

    Larry, I brought up actors somewhere else – again we think alike. As you said, those are trained pros and they still get a bit confused at times and have on-set flings that often only last the time of a shoot (the time for the fantasy to dissolve). Not so easy to tell what’s real and what’s just a job, it seems! You get close, you simulate or summon feelings, and lines get blurred. If it happens to them…

    But in the case of escorts, I think that a better analogy is: they are the artists and we are the fans. We’re not on equal footing. They create the fantasy, entertain and seduce us, and it’s a job to them. We’re expected to walk away satisfied, like after a good show or movie, fully aware that the singer wasn’t actually singing to us (even though her job is to make us BELIEVE she was) or the actress magically projecting feelings for us through the screen.
    Since it’s a body-to-body show, some clients don’t have the maturity to tell the difference and that’s obviously an annoyance to the sex worker, like fans who won’t respect boundaries and think they can walk up to their favorite star and hug her or worse in public because they bought a few movie tickets.

    Some porn stars provide escort services. Their most ardent fans are then able to enjoy their one-on-one time and company and that’s great… but not free or cheap! It’s a profession – the meter is always on, unless THEY want to turn it off.
    Escorting is vastly a female domain and there too, “woman disposes”, which means that clients have to accept that if anything “else” is to happen… it will be up to HER, and her only.

    Unlike in the medical profession, there’s no ethical code prohibiting emotional involvement to protect the weak. I think the line is drawn simply due to all the potential pitfalls of escort-client relationships, regardless of how human it is to feel, project, and confuse feeling good for being in love.

    Like Amanda, I don’t think it’s that sad: there’s so many other situations where the objects of our desires aren’t appropriate or available. It’s part of life.

  103. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Larry — A doctor provides an intimate level of care for his patients during their time of need, which is why I chose that analogy. It’s quite different from acting, as most clients are not actors (only the provider is providing a fantasy).

    Ant — :) Got it!

    XX

  104. Celeste

    Hello Amanda, my name is Celeste.

    Today I discovered a short portion of your rant about my blog title “Sex and the Single Escort” by googling my name. I actually couldn’t read the entire post…. all I really read was “I’m glad Salacious Celeste is a blog reader and obviously really liked this post since she titled her blog the same. My copyright notice is to the right, Celeste . I’m not really flattered. Googling the phrase brings up … It felt like she was lodged under my right ribs and stomping on my bladder..”

    Wow I’m sorry I caused your bladder so much pain, but I didn’t actually read your blog. I was just playing around with some words on Googling trying to find my blog title, and kinda stumbled over the phrase. So i didn’t actually get to review your copy write notice. If you would have emailed me I would have had no problem with changing it after realizing my mistake. Any way just wanted to clear that up, because I was quite surprised to read what you wrote. Ill change it this weekend….. Hope your ribs feel better

  105. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Celeste — I don’t believe I brought any of my internal organs into the statement. Not only do I not appreciate being ripped off, I don’t appreciate being misquoted or having words put in my mouth. (The post where I mentioned you is here: http://www.texasgoldengirl.com/afterhours/updates/)

    Do understand that anything you find online is probably copyrighted. This is what happens when people create something. Online does NOT equal “free for the taking.” There is no excuse for this ignorance. Generally, people on the Internet are quite willing to share their ideas if asked permission. No one likes their work taken from them.

  106. meg

    Amen re “relationships in general are hard” I’m back at University right now, and, since I’ve always been the bitching-about-sex-and-dating-go-to-girl, I’m starting to wonder whether escorts don’t just have problems dating because…everyone has problems dating. 50 percent of women in the US live alone, and every sociologist/pop-news source out there is discussing how much trouble 20-something women seeking a long-term relationships/marriage are having.

    At any rate, I don’t think being an escort is necessarily a bad thing for dating in the real world; you aren’t going to have casual sex with someone you aren’t remotely attracted to because you are horny or need an Aren’t-I-Pretty pick me up; you aren’t going to confuse having mildly ok but mainly awkward causal encounters with love and become forlorned and heart-broken when the guy doesn’t return your calls; and you’re going to be a lot more selective with regards to who you date and whether you date at all. I think that being an escort might rule out legitimate guys who want a monogamous relationship. Vis a vis looking for a monogamous relationship as a former escort, I guess there might be 3 categories of guys:
    -religious/conservative guys who don’t believe in casual sex
    -guys who have casual sex, and a lot of casual sex, but think you’re a dirty whore for having sold sex.
    -guys who have/have had a lot of casual sex and aren’t stupid.

    Honestly, I don’t think I could ever totally click with type A. If I ever do, I’m assuming my values will have totally shifted and that conversion bells will be ringing and that I’ll conceptually reframe sex work, anyways, as something I did in my dark, non-found past…and religious guys looking for marriage, I’ve found, are really understanding and tolerant.
    -Type two guys are hypocrites and not worth the time. Re type two, if a guy has had casual sex and has issues with me having financially benefited from having had good casual sex, then it’s just not worth it.

  107. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Meg — Relationships are hard. Period. Escort work just adds extra toughness to something that’s difficult enough already.

    I agree about the positives of being an escort and trying to date: I am WAY pickier and I don’t waste my time with guys. I can smell a time-waster civvie just as easily as a time-waster non-client type.

    Your typing of guys of very accurate! I tend to be looking for type 3 guys myself. They’re out there. Generally, European or military. :)

    XX

  108. Liam

    Great post, in what I can only imagine to be a very difficult scenario. As you say relationships are always difficult, no matter what the circumstances are!

    At the end of the day, I believe it comes down to a lot of factors if to proceed with such a relationship (but again I guess this is the same in any world)

    Follow your heart is a philsophy I’ve always considered and I think in this case, this could be a useful thought

  109. Pingback: After Hours | Amanda Brooks' personal blog -- escort, author, advocate » Blog Archive » married clients

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