After nearly three years of blogging about my sex life, I’ve developed a keen eye for the subjects that tend to be contentious. I know which topics are going to bring out the hateful comments and the howls of those who have a point to prove at someone else’s expense. I’ve learned the hard way which types of entries are going to elicit those little acid pools left by the dripping fangs of someone who only feels big when he’s anonymously venomous.
I almost wish I hadn’t figured it out. Because sometimes I’ll think about a topic, consider it for an entry, think about all the negative shit-storm that’ll follow, and just delete it from the list. And that’s no good, because it clearly causes me to write less.
But today I’m not so much here to write about the Negative Nancies and their desire to squelch anyone who thinks or lives differently from themselves, as I am to discuss a topic that inevitably raises their hackles. Because nothing brings out the irate and disparaging commenters as much as when I discuss the fact that sometimes I accept money for my sexual services.
It’s a taboo area of discussion or even contemplation for a lot of people. We have an cultivated knee-jerk reaction, as ‘nice people,’ automatically to assume a number of things about the people who get paid for sex. At best they think they’re hardened mercenaries who have no better way to earn money. They’re predators, out to make an easy buck. They can’t get a real job. They’re simply unfortunate. At the other end of the spectrum, they see sex workers as wicked, and evil. Diseased. Untouchables. They’re taught to think these things from an early age and taught so strictly not to deviate from a single way of thinking about people who are sex workers that it almost prevents any serious and critical thought about it. Hell, those in the sex trade aren’t even people to most folk. They become in many minds an awful, dreaded other, a subhuman species that’s disposable and forgettable and which should be ignored.
For the life of me I can’t figure out why my selling sex enrages and disgusts a small handful of (vocal) readers. It’s not like I’m telling them to fork over a twenty to read my sexual encounters. I don’t post on my profiles phrases like, LQQKing 4 generou$ men. I don’t hot men up and then suggest they make it worth my while with cold cash. In my youth and adulthood both, I never demanded cash for cock; I just accepted it when it was given me. I don’t claim to be an escort. (Hardly. Escorts are much better looking and have way better bodies than I.) I never suggest anyone pay me, I never demand it. I don’t have only an eye for the bottom line, and choose sex for cash over just good old-fashioned fucking.
To be totally honest, when my libido’s running on overdrive and my dick is hard and my pants barely holding onto my waist, exchanging sperm for cash is about the last thing on my mind.
Yet earlier this week, when I was contemplating my 2012 reported annual income for my tax returns, one thing that kind of leapt out at me was that when I compared the amount I made last year from pushing my artistic work to the amount I made from selling my body . . . well, it kind of made me half-wonder for a moment or two if I was in the wrong business.
If we look at the amount of income I’ve generated over the years from sex work, my life would look like a reverse bell curve. The graph would be high in my teens, start declining in my mid-twenties, bottom out to nothing during my thirties, and then swing back up to a new peak in my forties. It’s not something I think is an awesome accomplishment of my life. But I’m not ashamed of selling sex, either; I’ll talk about my experiences pretty openly. Mostly I just think it’s kind of a hoot that I’m racing up a half-century and still rake in pretty good bucks for my body.
Yet when some butthole of a reader decides to be snide and to write in a comment saying something like Aren’t you ashamed of having been a prostitute when you were a teen?, it makes me sigh, swat the irritation off my shoulders like a bull would a swarm of flies, and ask right back, Are you ashamed of having been a babysitter when you were younger? Because frankly, if one removes the stigma of the sexual component from the equation, the economic transactions are about the same. And there’s less puke to clean.
Though frankly I don’t know many people who would rather babysit brats for three or four hours when they could make four times the money in a fraction of the time getting a blow job. Nor do I know many people who made their first house downpayment with their babysitting or lawn-mowing money. Just sayin’.
As as bad as the misconceptions I think we have about sex workers, however, are those we have about those who buy it. I get those in my comments as well—the sneering implications that anyone who would pay for my time must be ancient, decrepit, blind, desperate, or some combination of the above. And probably leprous. People believe that anyone who would pay for sex must be unattractive, past his prime, and unable to get it any other way than preying on young victims. (Or me, if he’s really desperate.)
These people would be dead wrong.
Over the years I’ve found that men who offer to pay for sex fall into three broad types.
1. The Fetishists: These men get off on the little extra kick that the exchange of money lends to a sexual situation. Whether they’ve bought into the notion that adding a financial component to something they already consider sordid and dirty makes it doubly so, or whether they get off on the notion of being controlled through the wallet in the same way that some men like to be controlled with blindfolds, or restraints, or verbal domination, the exchange of money is vital to their enjoyment.
The cash slaves I’ve had fall into this category—that is the men who give me money to degrade and control them, whether or not we’ve actually met or not. So does the Latin boy I wrote about in my last entry, who empties his billfold into my pocket to prove how thoroughly I control him before I skull-fuck him and pound his little hole. So do the married men who fork over folded bills for my time and then breathlessly get off on a dick that other men have paid for.
2. The Justifiers: Some men, like the Landscaper, can only settle their consciences by rationalizing what they do in what is—let’s face it—a self-deluding way. They approach their sex not as a physical act, but as a financial transaction. To them, sex is best when it’s drained of all its implications of desire and need, and reduced to an entry in their Quicken ledger or the writing of a check. Everyone buys stuff. To these guys, paying a couple of hundred dollars to suck a dick is about as free of guilt and shame as a trip for groceries to Trader Joe’s. (In my opinion, the two are already equally shameless, but not everyone is as sexually liberal as I.)
3. The Businessmen: Some of these guys actually do have careers in business, but I use the phrase loosely. These are guys who feel their time is valuable; they’d rather pay someone to give them exactly what they want, than have to waste time hunting fruitlessly for it. They’re willing to pay a guy who has the look they want, or the dick size they want, or who can perform the specific act they crave. The money’s not a sticking point. Nor do they get off on paying a professional for his services any more than they might get off on hiring a guy to clean out the gutters on their houses in the autumn after the leaves have fallen. It’s simply a matter of expediency and guaranteed performance, for them. They get what they want, for a guaranteed period of time, with a minimum of fuss and complication.
I’d venture to say that the vast majority of men who’ve paid me for sex fall into this last category. The Texas department store magnate who forks over hundreds of dollars for three hours of my time in his hotel whenever he’s in the city is a handsome, virile, and surprisingly young man—but he’d rather have me come back time after time because I give him what he wants, and then some. The college professor in New Haven who could easily have just about any man he wanted, but who reads my blog and enjoys talking to me after the sex, pays me because I understand what makes him tick in bed and he’d rather not have to answer Craigslist ads for hours. The out-of-towners who contact me before their visits, pay ask me to reserve nights for them weeks in advance, pay me for the courtesy of arranging my calendar for them (and for the fucking).
Whatever it is, I have something all these men want. They consider it worth their money. So I pocket it, keep in mind the reasons they pay for sex, and attempt to exceed their expectations. They get what they need, and I have a little extra spending money for books and music and household expenses. Are they men unattractive? Lord, no. Not by a long shot. A handful of them are pictures of physical perfection. Are they old and senile? Most are mature enough to be earning a comfortable living, but some are young and barely scraping by, but need the thrill that saving up for a really good fuck can give them. Are they desperate?
Desperate for my dick, surely. But not desperate in the general sense of the word.
I know that many of my readers—probably more than most would suspect— have had experience with the sex trade. I’m curious to hear from those who have, in today’s open forum. If you’ve bought sex before, in what category would you consider yourself to be—or would you create a new category for yourself? If you’d sold it, how have you experiences compared to mine, with the types of men who pay for yourself?
I just ask that your comments be thoughtful and nonjudgmental. It’s not necessary automatically to preface your comments with a phrase like I’ve never paid for sex and never would, but. . . . I’ll probably delete comments like those. That kind of phrasing isn’t thoughtful. It’s just a way to to establish guiltlessness—which implies guilt for those who have paid, or received money, for sexual acts.
But insightful dialogue about money for sex? Bring it on, people. And enjoy your weekends.