Regrets, I’ve had a Few…

Yesterday I came across a piece in the Guardian, written back in 2007, called I was a Male Escort. I have no idea if it’s genuine, I actually suspect not, but taken at face value as an honest piece of writing it’s actually pretty depressing. The article was supposedly written by a well-educated young professional who got into the gay escorting scene in London. In his words, despite making lots of money, escorting was an empty experience that left him feeling sometimes scared, but ultimately cheapened and full of regret. How very sad.

It was through my job that I first came into contact with an escort…he worked for an agency that served some of the richest men in London. Within a month, I was on the books. I’d kept secret the fact I wasn’t comfortable with my sexuality.

I’ll be upfront before I go off on one: I really have no idea how the gay escort scene compares to the female equivalent in which I have earned most of my money. It could well be entirely different, or the escort that wrote the article could have simply associated himself with the wrong type of clients (Boy George, for example). Then again, it could be that he was just the wrong guy for the job. Certainly, being uncomfortable with your own sexuality is not a great way to start a sex-based career.

The sex was always empty. Being an escort is not about intimacy and certainly not about love. It is simply a transaction. There is no flow, no shared experience, just buyer and seller.

He’s right about one thing – escorting is not about love, unless you count love of the thrill and the money. But it IS about intimacy and shared experience, how can it not be? The sex I had was rarely empty…in reality, it was unusual for me to leave a booking without having made a connection with my client. I always enjoyed myself. OK, not always – some guys were selfish lovers, others boring, one or two were just the worst type of smelly munter imaginable – but on the whole the experience was a massively positive one. I met plenty of wonderful men and I had a lot of fun.

I was being asked to parade around a warehouse apartment wearing nothing but a pair of Speedos and a smile.

Oh, come on man! Parading around in your undercrackers is escort 101. I know a girl who used to wear a motorcycle helmet to keep one client happy, and a WWII gas mask contraption with another. THAT’S unusual, weird and just a little unnerving. Speedos on a cute gay guy? Standard issue.

Escorting is not so much a job as a lifestyle, and your boundaries get tested and reassessed very quickly.

As an agency owner, it’s not easy to lead a normal life (understandable). But as an escort I lived a very normal life. In between bookings I studied, had a day job and spent the weekends with friends and family who had no idea that a couple of evenings a week, I turned into a raging strumpet. It does not need to be an all-consuming career choice. Admittedly, I had to make big efforts with my diet and exercise to stay slim (I’m a natural chubber), but that was it.

Regarding boundaries, it goes without saying really, but these only get moved if you allow it. This is not trench warfare. When I first started I would only offer covered oral, but I soon moved to oral without when I realised the guys I was seeing were, on the whole, a clean and cautious bunch health-wise. Other than that, I never deviated from my original ‘will nots’ list, regardless of money offered. If you’ve started off vanilla and within a few months you’re being double-penetrated while another guy shits in your mouth, for God’s sake get out and don’t look back.

….while on the surface we were there to enjoy each other’s company, the unspoken assumption was that I had been paid for and so would do as I was told.

WRONG. It’s comments like this one that make me doubt the author’s authenticity. Yes there are bad places and bad people in the sex industry, but it would not be the norm, as a middle class, educated escort working at a high-end escort agency, to come across a client who would make such an assumption. In reality, clients find out services in advance and understand that there are limits. If the escort doesn’t offer what the client is looking for, the client will generally look elsewhere given the amount of choice. Punters do not turn into rapists the minute they meet an escort!

…in recent months, the phone has been turned off. The truth is, I’ve never felt cheaper. Valued against my morals and my dignity, the cash didn’t seem so great.

Ah. If you’re morally against paid sexual encounters, getting a job as an escort is, frankly, ludicrous. It’s like being morally against the barbaric imprisonment of baked beans in tins and then getting a job at Heinz. It will fuck you up. No matter how skint you are, no matter how much you are struggling, if you have a moral aversion to sex work don’t get into it.

I’ve sold myself for sex and will have to live with that for the rest of my life.

This is such a dramatic statement to make. It’s the sort of statement reserved for ‘I got drunk, drove my car and killed someone – I will have to live with that for the rest of my life’. Or possibly, ‘I got drunk, went on Ticketmaster and bought some NDubz tickets. Then, I got drunk again and turned up at the concert – I will have to live with that for the rest of my life’. I find incredibly hard to believe that something carried out repeatedly, of his own free will, and not being fuelled by a horrible addiction or situation, can be worthy of such a statement.

Escorting will never feature on my list of regrets. The money I earned allowed me to bring my sometimes turbulent life under control, it was an utterly empowering career choice and one of my best life decisions to date. If anything, my only regret is that I didn’t start it sooner.

I’m aware that I’m starting to sound like something from a multi-level marketing brochure – you’re no doubt expecting to see a picture of me gurning and holding one of those massive cheques. I’m also aware that as someone considered a ‘pimp’ by certain groups, my opinions will be viewed with scepticism. Nonetheless, I thought I would defend my industry, and in particular my patrons, who are too readily slammed.

Despite the negative article referred to above, the honest truth about the ‘high-end’ escorting world that I have frequented is this: most of the escorts are happy with their work, and most of the clients are nice, if not lovely. The clients may have their kinks, their perversions, they may even be cheating on their wives, but they are good people. There will always be bad clients, and there will always be the time wasters, con men and nutcases that we have to sift through (see last blog), but they are not representative of the many genuine users of escorts in the UK.

Now, who’s for a group hug? No, not you. You smell.

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