“I’m seeing someone else now.” he wrote.
It was a very short message, a one-line email from a client I had known for two years. 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. 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?
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 – all we ask for is that you are polite and courteous, turn up on time, and pay the fee we've 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 generally 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.
I run a business. Nobody owes me. Every customer has a right to say 'no', and move on.
It goes the other way, too. The sex industry has a high turnover of workers; 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 aren't entitled to any further communication.
I love it when my clients learn and grow through our sessions, even if it means they eventually leave.
I remember one in particular - a guy I often saw when I travelled interstate. After a break of sic months or so, I sent him an email to let him know I was travelling his way...and he informed me that we wouldn’t be able to see me any more. He’d gotten engaged to a lovely woman. I couldn’t have been happier for him!
I care about my clients. It’s good to see them go on and find their life-loves, or explore further afield with their new-found sex skills. All this makes me incredibly happy, because it means I’m doing my job: building them up, and encouraging them to challenge themselves.
And perhaps that’s why I was so upset by the client I mentioned at the beginning of this article – and their short, one-line response.
Despite the fact that escorts and clients come and go, nobody in this industry is interchangeable. Every one of my lovers requires individual attention. When I meet someone new, my first thought is how I might best help them, via support, teaching, or a gentle discussion about what they'd like 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 genuine relationship. 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 an acknowledgement of our journey together. I come to trust them, and they come to appreciate our working relationship.
There’s nothing wrong with moving on to new things or ending something that isn’t working for you. But when a long-term client treats our relationship as casual and disposable, I feel as though they aren’t acknowledging the years of good work we've done together.
Don't get me wrong - I don’t think anyone owes me an explanation. If I chose to retire tomorrow, I wouldn't feel I owed my clients an explanation either. But I like to be compassionate. We’re all insecure beings, 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’d always prefer to say something. And if you’re going to say something, it's worth using 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 amazing new experiences. Please know, I’ll always value the time we spent together. It was lovely watching you learn to be a more confident person...and I wish you all the best.”
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