This isn’t really the post I’d been re-writing in my head over the past few months. And it has nothing to do with the recent scandals.

Things haven’t been going well in the relationship for a while. Some of you know that, some don’t. There really is no good way to write this, so I’m just writing and posting, no editing for weeks (which I usually do).

My retirement will come to an end soon. It’s harder to say in public than I thought. It really is. I still am not ready to articulate everything I want to publicly share for anyone else who might be going through the same thing. I have anxieties and fears I did not have the first time around. I have a plan, as always. That’s not the problem. But I can’t plan against my own concerns.

I doubt the tone of this blog will change much. I’m not going to turn this into a typical escort blog where I dissect my clients in public. That’s not me. It’s not going to happen. If I do discuss work, it will be in my usual oblique way.

This has been brewing since October. And it became clear in early February that the relationship was irreparable. It’s sad and painful. More than I had thought it would be. I’m feeling bitter and that’s a first — possibly in my entire life.

A few months ago, when discussing this with a sex worker friend, she told me that everyone who retires for a relationship eventually comes back. I don’t see this as a statement on the people involved so much as a statement of murky waters of relationships and expectations in this society.

I tried to be something I am not. And what I am is not what he wants.

She told me I would have to deal with the pain on my own, and she is right. She also told me that she (and others) would catch me when I stepped through the door. There’s a mythic-journey aspect to changing one’s life (again) and a doorway is the right metaphor. It’s now open and all I have to do is step through.

See you on the other side.

please note

This post was removed with days of posting. I’ve re-posted it as of 7/2/08 because I would rather have my blog uncensored, even if it means I misstep every now and then. Plus, I’d like to think I’m the captain of my own ship again.

36 thoughts on “un-retirement

  1. Most serious relationships fail. Most people have one or two serious relationships before they marry, and 50% of marriages end in divorce. When we enter a serious relationship, we always feel like “this is it”, so when they fail, it feels like a personal failure. But most of them fail, regardless of the characteristics of the people involved.

    We don’t need to know about your clients, except in oblique ways. You don’t need to turn this blog into something else. You’ve got at least one reader who’s happy with the blog the way it is. 🙂

  2. What can I say? I will be among those volunteering to catch you. And I too know well how having a plan helps little when coping with pain.

    I also agree that it’s about relationships, not industry involvement. Or rather, perhaps, the same personal traits that lead people to enjoy the industry also tend to further complicate relationships.

    Hold on. Keep up. And take care!

  3. KD,

    Thank you. I do feel like a failure, on many levels and for a number of reasons. I haven’t felt like a failure before in a relationship either. This is a new feeling and not one I wanted to experience.

    Glad you like the blog as is!

    Ian,

    Thank you too.

    Thais,

    Yes. If I had not been an escort, not only would we not have met, I would not have been the person he was attracted to. Trying to change that was a mistake we both made. That makes the life lesson no less difficult.

    Thank you for your support. I know you’re speaking from some experience too.

    XX

  4. Oh my!…so sorry to hear that you are sad and things are shifting. I echo Thais..I don’t think it’s the industry, per se…perhaps it’s that those of us attracted to the industry have certain predlictions that preclude monogamy??? Or the people we attract through aren’t as suited to commitment as they wish they were. In the end, does speculating matter?

    Whatever the case, I wish you well, I wish you peace, I wish you all the best in your re-emergence. Stepping off into the unknown isn’t easy. I feel you will do so with grace.

  5. Gillette,

    Thank you. “…perhaps it’s that those of us attracted to the industry have certain predlictions that preclude monogamy” — that would be part of it.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. It does feel unknown again and is not easy. Sometimes it seems like the answer, other times I have a lot of fears and worries. Guess there’s only one way to settle that.

    XX

  6. Amanda,

    My sincere condolences.

    But rest assured, you are not a failure — only the relationship is. When you’ve made every reasonable effort, you’ve succeeded — because you now know that it wasn’t right for you. And there’s no way to know that and protect yourself in advance without closing yourself off from the world.

    Best wishes,

    Chevalier

  7. Chevalier,

    I didn’t get to thank you for your comment before as the post was pulled.

    I can’t say I feel like a success, but this was a learning lesson. Closed off from the world? I felt that way for the past four years. It’s nice not to be anymore.

    XX

  8. “I tried to be something I am not. And what I am is not what he wants.”

    I have been there, RIGHT there. It is not a fun place to be when you realize that it doesn’t work.

    I know it’s been a while, and hopefully time has helped to mend what you feel, but *hugs* to you anyway. If you’re anything like me, it still hurts, even after a long time has passed.

  9. Jen,

    Welcome!

    Yes, it does still hurt and sometimes it catches me in weird ways. I am on the mend — but I’ll never fend off a hug from someone who’s been there, done that!

    I really want more public discussion of these relationship issues in an effort to teach and learn — but since we’re all dealing with real people, I also know it’s not always possible.

    XX

  10. “I tried to be something I am not. And what I am is not what he wants.” (I hope I got the quote format right.)

    That very little says a lot. You must have come to a crossroads. Truly, what does not kill you should make you stronger, but it must not have been easy.

    I don’t entirely agree with your friend about sex workers retiring, relationships and returning. From my obervation and experience, it seems that women get into the business, stay in it and return to it foremost for the independence in so many parts of living and the good money. Those things are hard to give up and tempting to return to, and it is not easy for women to find enough positive trade-offs from a marriage or relationship to make up for losing these things or part of them. I’m sure there are women who are sex workers primarily for the sex, but I can’t believe that they are more than a small minority, and that for most sex-working women, the sex is a secondary, intermittant benefit.

    On the other hand, for a sex-worker to keep working while she is in a relationship requires a man who is either (1) very open-minded or (2) a mooch of a loser or (3) very patient and secure in himself. Or, if the woman is lying to him (and there are certainly those who do), very naive and gullible.

    I do not think it is society or culture that makes men so adverse to non-monogamy in their spouses or girlfriends, but a much deeper part of nature. Look at how men in every part of the world fight in one way or another over women, and how they always have from as far back in time as we can know. Look at in how many animal species, especially mammals, the males fight over women. It seems to me to be universally common, and part of it is also about competativeness with other males. I am sure that if a women told her man that she was, had been or wanted to be polygamous, but the other person was another woman, not a man, in the majority of cases, the reaction would not be nearly as bad (except maybe in men infected with crazy religious delusions).

    Having said all that, these relationships can and do work, as I have seen them with my own eyes do so. It just takes a well-enough matched man and women to overcome the inevitable, difficult hurdles, and those kinds of matches are not easy to find.

  11. Lee,

    Yup, a lot of pain in that one sentence. Not sure that making one stronger in this case is good. But I won’t go into that here.

    My friend simply said that if a woman retired for a relationship, she would return. You pretty much echo that because a traditional relationship (that would cause one to retire) does NOT offer the freedom and independence escorts grow accustomed to.

    It’s hard to find someone who is stable and capable of having a relationship while an escort is working. Certainly. However, I’m now holding out for that. I don’t try to control anyone else’s life, I have no more desire to have someone control mine.

    Nature or not, that society approves the idea of a man controlling a woman’s sexuality is a very bad thing. Causes a LOT of problems — and not just in relationships (I’m sure you’ve read my post about visual sexual harrassment). Males fighting over women though…I don’t take that too seriously. Males fight over a lot of stupid things. Still, they don’t own the pussy and they should not EVER assume they own it. I have increasing problems with this concept. Yeah I know, banging my head against the wall.

    XX

  12. I know there are men that would accept you as you are and not ask you to change. But the question is what would they expect from the relationship that they would not get in a “traditional relationship”? It’s always a give and take, and having an escort as a partner is a fairly big give. They are out there but it certainly does narrow the possible choices.

  13. David,

    I wouldn’t say it stinks, but it can sure be a problem.

    Robert,

    That you think my being an escort is a “pretty big give” in the relationship says a lot. I’m looking for someone who does not feel sex work is some sort of compromise, only a job. Yeah, it narrows the field but I’m okay with that. I’m no longer willing to change my life just to protect someone’s ego or fulfill their societially-based expectations of what their lives should be like.

    XX

  14. I wasn’t thinking about myself when I made that statement but rather the general population. I would like to think I would be OK with my partner being an escort, but since I have never been in that position it’s hard to know exactly how I would feel. I do agree with you that people should accept their partner for who they are without wanting them to change.

    Yes it is just a job, but there are many jobs not related to sex work where compromises are required. Just an example: there are some jobs that require travel three weeks of each month. There are some people that are OK with that and others that are not. The ones that are OK with are probably getting something out of the relationship that offsets the fact that their partner is gone 75% of the time. That is really all I was thinking about in the previous post.

    Also, I didnt’ mean to imply that there was anything wrong with sex work. I certainly don’t. I personally think it should be legalized and regulated to make it safer for everyone involved.

  15. Robert,

    Thank you for clarifying. Obviously, this is one of my sensitive areas.

    In the case where someone has full disclosure about someone else and they decide to start a relationship, it’s more than a little unfair to later decide they don’t like something about that person (something they knew to begin with). It happens with a lot of escorts. Asking someone to change their whole life or their view on life — when you already knew what they were like going into it is a problem.

    And I also realize that this is true of many relationships, regardless if sex work is involved. People seem to have the desire to change their partners or stop accepting everything about their partner that they used to. Sigh.

    XX

  16. I can understand how it would be a sensitive area.

    It is an interesting area of discussion though, since males in most species have a biological drive to keep other males away from their “mates”. Could be a good discussion to have over a cup of coffee. 😉

  17. Robert,

    I’m not entirely sure how much of that “biological drive” is real or simply sanctioned by society. Course, I’m not a guy so I’m having to assume a lot. Seems to me that truly secure men can share and same take enjoyment in sharing and knowing who their mate REALLY goes home with. And again, not just talking about sex work. Have certainly seen this with some swingers.

    And it goes both ways. Some women get their hair up at the mere suggestion that their mate is spending attention on another woman.

    XX

  18. Amanda,

    I agree, I think sharing can work. The reason I think there is a biological drive is not because of how humans react but rather by looking at other animals, specifically mammals. Lions, elephant seals, big horn sheep, apes, all fight for the right to mate, and some will fight to the death for that right and to keep other males away. Now that is not to say that we cannot overcome basic biological drives, I think we can, but obviously not everybody.

    I did not mean to imply that women do not also feel a similar drive, I know they do. Again if we look to the animal kingdom instead of human behavior, because societal pressures do tend to get in the way, we see similar processes but perhaps with different motivations.

  19. Robert,

    Not all animals behave that way. Bonobos are the finest examples, but not the only ones.

    And I just read a science article in Newsweek that questioned this whole caveman-biology thing anyway. The reasoning was — if human beings are still evolving and changing to their environments (and we certainly are), then why on earth do we assume we still have the same genetic blueprint from 50 or 100 thousand years ago? I’m paraphrasing and it was better put than that, but it was a great point.

    XX

  20. Amanda,

    Of course not all animals behave the same. The only reason I mention the animal kingdom is because they don’t judge each other based on arbitrary rules. In general everything they do is for one reason only, survival and prorogation of the species. There are exceptions of course, one example is the bottlenose dolphin which appears to have sex just for fun, and I am sure there are other examples. My only point was that there are biological reasons for males to be possessive of females. Whether it is or is not part of human biology I don’t know, and I am certainly not qualified to give a definitive answer.

    The problem with trying to determine what is or is not a biological instinct with humans is that humans tend to let society dictate the choices they make, or at least influence the choices. Without these pressures, which I think are mostly religious, things would probably be quite a bit different.

    As for whether or not humans are still evolving, that is a very interesting question. I’m not entirely convinced that we are. There are over 6 billion people on the planet, and almost every one of them has or will find a mate. And a very large percentage of the offspring from those unions will survive, mostly because of very good health care. I just don’t see any external pressure for any sort of natural selection among humans. Of course this is way off topic now. 🙂 Not that I mind, I like a good discussion, especially on such esoteric topics.

    You are an extremely interesting woman.

  21. Robert,

    The higher animal species (mammals and birds) do indeed have a social structure and most have rules of behavior. The behavior usually centers on status, which is a survival thing, but who knows how arbitrary some “rules” are? Since I don’t live with these groups and follow their rules, who knows what I would think? And there are primates who have obvious displeasure with the concept of “cheating” even though they will cheat just almost as much as humans do.

    Now, if they catch a cheater, the cheater gets beaten up or killed. Far as I know, they aren’t called names or are subject to jail or other weird things we humans do to each other. And I don’t know if the cheater (who lives) has a reputation from that time forward or if it’s simply a clean slate. It’s certainly the males who have a problem with the female straying and the females who insist on straying. My beloved bonobos though, have it right. The females are absolute sluts and the males sit around, partake and enjoy. Waste not, want not.

    I will agree that animal lives are simpler because (as far as we know) they don’t have religion, care even less about broad government and so they’re pretty free to act in a natural way, instead of being contorted by their own society. It is very hard to untangle what is social or biological in humans. But if I can believe there are people born gay, I can believe there are those born non-possessive too.

    Humans are evolving (dig up the article, it was good and made its point better than I am doing). With children on computers from birth, what will humans be like in 50 and 100 years? I’m betting, at least in First World countries, very different from those of us born in the 1970s! Or how about the sense of timing in crossing the street? There is no evolutionary precedence for dealing with really fast-moving objects, yet we’ve handled it pretty well for the past 100 years or so — much better than the animals. Maybe we’re just using the potential of our amazing brains, or maybe we have adapted at a genetic level just the tiniest bit. Evolve doesn’t have to mean a huge leap.

    It’s an interesting argument to me because it gives me hope. Maybe one day we’ll evolve beyond the need for wars or withholding food or killing those who simply believe differently. If there was no hope of evolution, well, things would look pretty damn bleak.

    XX

  22. Amanda,

    Yes, many species do have complicated rules and social structures. I have seen the studies done on chimpanzees (it might have been monkeys, I can’t remember) in regards to fairness and it was quite interesting. I have not seen any on cheating, I’ll have to see if I can find that one. Though I do think these rules and social structures have evolved for the survival of the group, and of course there are exceptions.

    Yes the bonobo’s do seem like they have it right, sexual intercourse as a greeting, very nice. Can I be a bonobo in my next life? 🙂

    I am sure there are people who are born non-possessive just as there are people born gay. This is where my initial comment about ‘give and take’ comes back in to play. If someone is born non-possessive, what else about this person’s personality might be affected by that change? Perhaps the person that accepts their partner as an escort, and sees it as just a job will expect their partner to allow him to keep seeing his favorite escort because he is just a client and thinks it no different than seeing a masseuse. Maybe it’s something else, maybe nothing else at all is different, who knows. Just a thought.

    I am going to try and find the article in Newsweek that you mentioned before I comment about the evolution portion. Otherwise I’ll be at a disadvantage, not that I’m not already, I think you read more than I do.

  23. Robert,

    Oh yes, male chimps take it quite badly if a female mate cheats. Chimps are generally rather hot-headed — much like humans.

    I’d like to be a bonobo in my next life too. I think Veronica Monet and Suzy Block are on the list as well.

    I’ll find the article link and send it to you. Sorry I’ve been behind on that.

    XX

  24. Amanda,

    No worries, take you time with the link, I’ll continue to look for it as well.

    I know chimpanzees can be very violent, especially when they run in to neighboring clans. They are one of the only species other than humans that kill just for the hell of it. I didn’t know about the cheating behavior, that is very interesting I’ll have to look that up.

    If we have enough people interested perhaps we could just start our own bonobo-like society. 🙂

  25. Robert,

    A society of human bonobos. There would be some volunteers, I’m sure. But can we honestly set aside everything we’ve been inculcated with and really be like a bonobo? I don’t know. I’d hope.

    XX

  26. Amanda,

    I don’t know either, but it would be interesting to try.

    One thing that does come to mind though is the the experiment with capuchin monkeys, having to do with fairness. In one experiment they gave one monkey a piece of cucumber for some amount work and another monkey was given a grape for the same amount of work or no work at all. The monkeys were able to tell that they were being treated unfairly and then refused to do the work or in some cases threw the cucumber back at the person conducting the experiment. So I think some sort of sexual fairness would be needed in a bonobo-like society. Perhaps this is one reason why monogamous relationships exist, they promote a sense of fairness.

  27. Robert,

    You’re not getting it. Bonobo society IS fair — to bonobos. And they’re not in the least monogamous. Share and share alike is their credo. Read about them. A beautiful photo book by Frans der Waal is my first recommendation. It’s mind-blowing how peaceful, loving and wonderful they are. Those that think man is the pinnacle of evolution are missing the bigger picture, I think.

    Monogamy is only fair if both people agree to its fairness. And most humans don’t feel it’s fair — otherwise most humans wouldn’t cheat. Likewise, non-monogamy is fair only is everyone involved thinks it is.

    XX

  28. Amanda,

    Yes I know the bonobos are not monogamous, I was referring to human society, that was my fault I did not make my self clear. Actually that whole last post was in reference to a group of humans that might try and emulate the bonobos.

    My point was that unless all get to participate, and close to the same level of participation, there will be problems. If there is a portion of the society that is not included in this “share and share alike” situation they will try and change their position by what ever means necessary. Humans are picky they don’t just have sex with anyone, males less picky then females, but there are limits with males as well. So I guess I see other problems other then just possessiveness that would keep humans from having a society like the bonobos.

  29. I love what Marlon Brando once said about past relationships….”The past is ancient history…”.

  30. Lots of interesting things in this posting. You sound so melancholy, I can feel it. Nice that you have support from your readers/friends. Count me in if you need it. Bonobo society, sounds like utopia. Making love to say hello? That does get all of the tension out of the way immediately. Monogamous relationships are not for everyone, as I have finally discovered. I think what is needed is that non monogamy should be taught in schools so that everyone could be aware that it is a possibility. I personally have been blindsided by feeling the way I do. Part of my current journey. Glad you are in a better place now!

  31. Michael — It was a difficult time, both when I originally wrote the post and when I re-posted it. Lessons learned is all I can say. (The truly amazing thing is that I’ve run into men who want me to repeat those lessons and get offended when I tell them “Been there, done that, no thanks.”)

    Monogamy or non-monogamy works when it works for the two people involved in the relationship. Period. Just that very few people are able to be open, honest and let go of what they’re taught to want, as opposed to figuring out what they REALLY want.

    And what one wants changes as one’s life and self changes too. Self-awareness shows one the way, it always does. Knowing one’s self opens up one’s life. Doesn’t mean the answers are easy but the way is there if one is willing to look for it and follow it.

    Probably more Zen than you were expecting on an escort’s blog, but there you go. 🙂

  32. Are you kidding? Too much zen? I like reading your perspective on things because you are refreshingly honest, open and genuine. The experiences you are willing to share here are so different to what I experience, and that is also why I like reading what you have to say. I also like it because I can feel your emotions through your writing, and it is never jaded, often funny, and always genuine. You seem far from “typical”, escort or not, which is what makes you so appealing. Thanks for the insight, as usual, and can not wait to see what micro-finance project you have planned!

  33. Michael — Thanks! Glad you can appreciate. I’m getting more Zen in my old age (in many aspects of life, but not all).

    I appreciate your comments on my writing. It’s something I work on and I try to be genuine or I don’t bother posting it. I don’t want people coming here and reading some sort of blather that sounds fictional.

    Sometimes I think I’m an atypical escort, sometimes not. Who really knows? Lots of very diverse women are attracted to escort work for a lot of the same reasons I am. (And then I go on Backpage and sigh deeply.)

    I need to do more research on the micro-finance project. I have a question I need answered first. It’s been in my mind for 2yrs now — this is how fast I work. 🙂

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