I think I'm in trouble...I've been getting some serious feelings for my regular lady. I think about her all the time. What can I do?
This is a tough situation. You’ve been seeing someone for a while, you really like them…and then you realise your feelings have gotten way out of control.
This can happen for all sorts of reasons. Maybe they’ve been listening to talk about your problems, and you miss having that support when they’re not around. Maybe you’re feeling an amazing connection with them, and you wish it could be a bigger part of your life. Or maybe you just have a big, fat crush on them – you think about them all the time between bookings, you check their Twitter obsessively, you fantasise about them day and night…
Look, I’m not going to criticise. Personally, I get massive crushes on people all the time, whether it’s clients or friends or hook-ups.
So what do you do, if you find yourself in this situation with an escort you’ve been seeing?
Feelings are fun, but they need to be managed
I think that having feelings for your escort is understandable, and it’s not a bad thing.
When you pay for an escort’s time, you’re basically paying to have a safe sort of mini-relationship – a relationship that only exists during your booking time. Being caring and connecting with you emotionally is part of the service we provide.
But if you want to keep on seeing your escort in the long term, you need to get used to the idea that your feelings need to stay inside the session time. That means keeping all those romantic feelings under wraps, unless you’re actually in a session.
I know that’s easier said than done. But if you don’t manage your feelings, you run the risk of making yourself miserable, or scaring away your sex worker.
Here are a few tips for keeping your emotions under control.
1. Admit to your feelings, even if it’s just to yourself
When we try to pretend this stuff isn’t happening, it comes out in all sorts of unexpected ways. You might find yourself getting depressed, blurt out your feelings mid-date, or start feeling resentful because your escort doesn't reciprocate.
To handle what you’re feeling, you need to face up to it. That means telling yourself, "Okay, so I have these feelings. What am I going to do about it?"
If you feel comfortable, you might even be able to tell your escort, and ask what they need from you to feel comfortable: "Just to let you know, I think I have a bit of a crush on you - is there anything you need me to do, so I don't make things awkward?"
It's not shameful to have emotions. The more you can admit to what you feel, the easier it will be to work with whatever's happening for you.
2. Set some boundaries
Boundaries are the lines we draw in our personal and professional lives to make sure everyone is being treated respectfully. By deciding what you do and don't want, you can create personal rules that will guide you away from further attachment or unacceptable behaviour.
Setting boundaries might mean:
- Making an agreement with yourself that you won’t contact your escort unless you’re arranging a booking
- Allowing yourself to be super romantic during dates, but understanding that once your booking is over, you need to avoid contact
- Limiting the number of sessions you have, so that you don't get too emotionally invested
Everyone's boundaries are different. Ask yourself 'What do I need to do, to limit my attachment to this person?' If you're really stuck, a therapist can help you come up with ideas.
3. Remember that we're professionals
Escorts are service professionals. It’s our job to look after you and make sure you have fun. But we can only do that if you respect our time and personal space.
Like any other businessperson, we’re not obligated to provide our services for free. If your feelings start to intrude on our personal lives, we'll wind up feeling resentful and emotionally exhausted. that's not fair. We have other clients, other work to do and of course our own private lives.
If you message your escort every day, or start pressuring them to date you, you might wear them out so that they don’t look forward to seeing you anymore. In a worst-case scenario, they might get uncomfortable and stop seeing you as a client.
Emotional awareness means more fun, and less drama
It’s possible to manage, and enjoy, the feelings of affection that come along with your escort sessions.
Admit to your feelings, set some boundaries, and - above all - remember that your escort is a professional who needs to devote time to both their other clients and their personal life.
Practice makes perfect, and although you won’t always get it right, you will find it easier.
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My guide 'Getting Started with Escorts' explains how to arrange a session with a hands-on sex worker.