“I’m seeing someone else now.” he wrote.
It was a very short message, a one-line email from a client I had been seeing for two years. It was a response to a friendly greeting I had sent out – I do this periodically for my regular clients, to touch base and see how they’re going. As soon as I saw the words, I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach.
It wasn’t that he was my most frequent client, or my biggest source of income (he wasn’t). It wasn’t that he was particularly good-looking or entertaining. His departure from my client list wasn’t going to ruin my life. So why did I feel so hurt? This is the question: when a client (or an escort) moves on, do they owe an explanation?
A common adage among punters is “You don’t pay a sex worker for sex, you pay them to leave afterwards.” And this is true – part of the appeal of seeing an escort is that you don’t have to worry about all the emotional work and ongoing drama of having a fuck buddy, wife or girlfriend. Escorts respect your private life, and your personal time. They will never make demands on you that you aren’t able to give – all we ask for is that you are polite and courteous, turn up on time and pay the fee we have requested. Outside of your booking, we have no rights to your time or attention and you have no right to ours.
Accordingly I don’t get upset if a client stops seeing me or chooses to see someone else. This comes with the job, and it’s an important freedom for people who may not get to choose so freely in their personal lives. And I run a business, so nobody owes me any moral obligation. Everyone has a right to say no, and to move on.
The sex industry has a high turnover of workers, too. so it’s not uncommon for a lady to retire – sometimes with advance notice, or sometimes suddenly. Once an escort has chosen to stop working, their clients have no rights to further time or communication. I’m a big believer in everyone’s right to step away from the sex industry whenever they see fit.
I love it when my clients grow as people through our sessions, even if it means they eventually leave. I remember an interstate client I often saw, who didn’t get in touch for six months or so. when I sent him an email to say hi, he informed me that we wouldn’t be able to see me any more because he’d gotten engaged to a lovely woman. I couldn’t have been happier for him! I care about my clients, and considering the effort I put into them, it’s good to see them go on and find their life-loves, or explore further afield with their new-found sex skills and confidence. All this makes me incredibly happy, because it means I’m doing my job: building my clients up as people, and encouraging them to challenge themselves.
And perhaps that’s why I was so upset by the client I mentioned earlier – their short, one-line response. Despite the fact that escorts and clients come and go, nobody in this industry is disposable. Every one of my lovers is an individual, and they all require individual attention. When I meet someone new, my first thought is how I might best benefit them, whether via support or teaching or gentle discussion about what they want to gain from our encounters. It’s never just about the sex and the money – it’s always about exploration and personal growth.
When someone leaves, it’s just another part of the journey. But when I’ve been seeing someone for a long time, there is a sort of relationship there. It’s not like a romantic relationship – I’m not calling them on the phone every day. But there’s an understanding, a trust and acknowledgement. I come to trust them as people, and they come to acknowledge the benefits of our working relationship.
There’s nothing wrong with moving on to new things or ending something that isn’t working for you. But when someone treats our relationship as easily disposable, I feel as though they aren’t acknowledging the months (sometimes years) of good work we have done together. I take a lot of pride in my work, and to have a relationship ended with just five words devalues the trust and openness we have shared together.
It definitely depends on the relationship. Someone I have seen a few times might choose to see a different escort, or many others (variety is the spice of life after all), and I wouldn’t take offense. Or a long-term client might drop off the radar for entirely understandable reasons. I don’t think that anyone owes me an explanation – just as, if an escort retires, I don’t think they owe their clients an explanation either.
But I like to be compassionate. I feel that if there is a long-established relationship, it’s nice to say something. We’re all insecure beings on the inside, and the sudden end of what is basically a long-term relationship (even if it’s a professional one) can leave some folks doubting themselves and feeling sad.
I’m always prefer to say something. And if you’re going to say something, the message should be more than just one sentence.
“Thanks for being my client,” I would have liked to say to him “I hope you go on to have many amazing new experiences, but please know I’ll always value the time we spent together. It was lovely watching you learn to be a better, more confident person. I wish you all the best.”
Breaking up is hard to do, even when you’re an escort.