Recently, I received a message that made me feel sad.
It said, “How do I stop getting emotionally attached? I’m a lonely guy and will die alone and unloved, which makes me desperate for an attachment. A friend convinced me to hire an escort so at least I wouldn’t die a virgin, but not only did that not work out (my issue, not hers) but I ended up getting emotionally attached to a professional offering a service.”
Loneliness is a universal human experience. We all know what it’s like to feel alone – we’re born alone, and we die alone. But what happens when someone doesn’t experience even the slightest human contact?
This can happen for all sort of reasons – disability, trouble with social skills, illness, geographic isolation. It can happen when they don’t have support networks, such as family and friends. It can happen when they struggle with mental illness. When someone is lonely, we might assume there’s something wrong with them…. whereas often, it’s due to circumstances that are completely outside their control.
Escorts – along with many other types of sex workers – are accustomed to meeting lonely clients. Guys are often taught that it’s only okay to talk about their feelings with a sexual partner. So in my career, I’ve heard many personal stories, simply because my clients felt safe enough to tell me. In this way, escorts often provide an essential service to those who feel as though they don't have anyone else to talk to.
Obviously, not all customers are in this situation; there are as many reasons for seeing escorts as there are people. But the work I do with lonely clients is particularly satisfying, as I know I’m making a big difference to someone’s life. However, escorts are people too…and sometimes clients bring us problems that are simply too big. When it comes to loneliness (or any other kind of psychological crisis), escorts aren’t always the best people for the job.
As I said earlier, guys are often told that as long as they’re having sex, they should be happy. But the truth is that touch, company and intimacy need to come from a variety of sources. Establishing ongoing relationships with friends, family and co-workers is just as important (if not more important) than whether you’re getting laid.
If you’re hoping that your escort will cure your loneliness, you may find yourself left wanting. And that can lead to attachment issues: the more you try to get attached (and stop feeling alone) the more pressured and inadequate your escort is going to feel. This can lead to some very awkward dates, and sometimes causes an escort to cut off contact entirely.
So what are the alternatives if you’re lonely, depressed, and worried about getting attached to a sex worker?
1.Find a good therapist
First things first – have you had a mental tune-up lately?
Sometimes it’s helpful to talk the situation over with a trained therapist. Counsellors and psychologists can help with everyday problems, and seeing one doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you. (Of course, if you do suffer from depression or another kind of mental health issue, seeing a therapist is the first step in managing things and often makes a really big difference.)
People sometimes feel bit weird when I talk about getting a brain tune-up. But if we do it for our cars, why not do it for our heads? When it comes to intense feelings, therapists are safer to talk with than escorts, because you’re less likely to freak them out.
If loneliness is really getting you down and you’re living in Australia, it may be possible to access government-funded mental health care by seeing your doctor. Other services such as Lifeline (13 11 14 in Australia) are available in a pinch, for those times when things feel particularly bad.
2.Build your social network
Humans are social creatures - we don't generally function well without friends, family, and community. Even if you have a romantic partner to rely on, there's no guarantee they'll be around forever. One person (whether it's your sex worker or your girlfriend) isn't enough!
What this looks like will be different for different people. Some folks have wonderful families whom they see often; some of us don't get on well with our biological family, but have a 'chosen family' of close friends. You might bond with your team at work, or with the people who post on your favourite online forum or Facebook group. You might have gym friends, or volunteer for a charity.
But none of this happens automatically. You need to put some effort into building relationships, even with the people you're related to. Otherwise things eventually go stale.
This task is difficult for a lot of people, especially for those guys who've been told that showing people you care is 'unmanly'. My advice is that there's no such thing - we all need our people, and the sooner you start practicing the social skills that allow you to build those networks, the sooner you'll start feeling supported.
3.Save your escort encounter for last.
A session with a sex worker is like a tasty slice of cake - it's not designed to keep you alive! Rather, it's a pleasurable experience that can add a little extra to your already well-balanced life.
By getting help from the right places, you’re taking pressure off your escort and allowing us to do what we do best. It means less drama, more genuine pleasure. And when you do get intimate with the pros, you'll be able to concentrate on having fun.
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My guide 'Getting Started with Escorts' explains how to arrange a session with a hands-on sex worker.