Earlier this year I got into a huge debate during a photoshoot with an escort. It started when she asked if I had ever booked an escort before, and when I said no, I hadn’t, she asked why, and when I tried to explain why she raged and by the end of our heated discussion and shoot she insisted that she book me an escort (she even insisted that she would pay for the experience!).
What was my why? Well I’m a bit foggy on exactly what I said, but I’m pretty sure I said a few of the following things; that I’ve never felt I needed to, that when I was younger my friends would go to brothels together but I’d never join them in fear of catching an STD, that I wasn’t cool with married men booking escorts and that one of my best friends is an escort so I know what it’s all about.
She hammered me, suggesting that I was disrespecting sex workers, that I thought I was better than sex workers and their clients, and ultimately, that I wasn’t experienced… And BAM! That got me, that fucked me up as I’m a huge advocate for being experienced. Whilst I disagree that not booking an escort because I’ve never felt the need to means I’m disrespecting escorts, speaking from experience and about experiences is at the base of everything I do so it wasn’t something I could argue.
Let’s just say she planted a seed.
Earlier this month I hopped on an escort listing site and started browsing profiles. OMFG. It felt like window shopping. There were way too many women to choose from, women of all ages and all races. Most of the escorts had their faces blurred out which made me feel like I was body shopping, the thing is, most of the photos I saw were highly edited which made me feel a little nervous. Before too long I found myself much more at ease with profiles of escorts who actually showed their faces as I felt that they were owning it, that they felt more real.
I was having an internal battle between trying to choose an escort I would have a connection with, or choosing an escort that portrays my fantasy woman. I ended up short listing a few girls; some had amazing bodies, some had amazing faces, some had well written profiles (some had not so well written profiles!) but in the end I chose a girl who had a really nice smile.
OK, so I needed to send her an SMS. Fuck this was harder than I thought. What do I write? Do I tell her my age? Do I tell her that I’ve never booked an escort before? Do I give her my entire life story?! In the end I kept it really short and punchy. Hi, something about the warmer weather, wondering if she was available for a booking this weekend, kind regards Justin.
She replied! She was fun and flirty, we locked in a date and I paid her a deposit. The days leading up to the date I got more and more nervous, so nervous that I started breaking out with zits on my face (FFS!). On the morning of our booking she called me, she was crying and told me that she just got some news which totally fucked up her day. Damn! She was really sorry and wanted to refund my deposit. Hey shit happens, right? On the one hand I was crushed and felt that all the nervous energy I’d racked up over the past few days was for nothing, but at the same time I felt for whatever it is she was going through too so I told her to keep the deposit and to get back to me when she felt better.
I felt rejected. Extremely frustrated. I drank a whole bottle of wine to myself that night. I felt like it was a sign and that this wasn’t meant to be.
A few days later she messaged me, apologised again, and we got back to fun and flirty messages. We locked in another date and the whole nerve-racking build up started all over again.
I booked an outcall so on the day of the booking I felt like Tom Cruise in Risky Business (where he waited an eternity for an escort to show up). Every minute felt like an hour. When the doorbell rang I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t help but think of the situation she would be in, not knowing who I was, what I looked like and all the risks involved (I know escorts who insist on hotels as at least they have surveillance cameras and emergency buttons on bedside phones), but as soon as she saw my lounge room she knew who I was, my photography and the other escorts I shoot with. My cover was blown!
In some ways her knowing of me wasn’t a bad thing for either of us. We sat and talked for what felt like ages and then we did the thing.
So was it what I expected? Well I didn’t really know what to expect so I’m not so sure. Was it fun? Yes. Was it worth the money? Yes. I booked her for an hour but we talked for an hour before doing it, then we talked for an hour after so she gave me three hours in total which I’m grateful for. Am I worried I caught an STD? Not really, she was really safe. Am I OK with married men booking escorts? Not really, but I’m not so black and white about it anymore now. It’s complicated. Do I think differently about escorts now that I had booked one? Yeah, for sure. In some ways I feel a bit of relief, like I ticked a box, or achieved a goal on my bucket list but I also can’t quite shake the risks involved for an escort in meeting new clients. Sure, being good at screening would help, but I still worry about my escort friends. Would I book her again or would I book another escort in future? Probably not, but I’m not saying never.
Overall I feel that a stronger connection was what was missing from the experience. I’ve gone for dates with a few women that I met on Tinder that I had really strong life connections with, but not so strong physical connections, and I find this experience similar.
It’s now been three weeks since the booking. We’ve not talked at all since, but I still get (very visual!) flashes from the experience from time to time and when I do it feels… for a better word, good?! It’s definitely something not nothing and might just be the addicting factor for many men who book escorts, but hey, end of the day I’m hyper aware that one experience doesn’t mean I’m experienced. I’m now in discussions with one of my close escort friends about creating a short viral video project about escorting, not to find answers, more to ask questions. More on this project soon!