One day at 29, my two and a half year old friend turned around and told me he didn’t want a long term relationship. He lived in my house and everything seemed perfect, but he was three years younger and had a revelation that he still wanted to travel the world. It was predictable. It was painfully unoriginal. I was down.
He moved out to start his new life – drinking the same pints in a hotter climate – and while I wasn’t ready for another boyfriend, I longed for a few weeks of fun and excitement. I needed sex. I needed skin-to-skin contact and flirting.
I work in a 9-5 office for a marketing firm in Brighton, which has done little to distract me from my loneliness. That’s why I downloaded all of the dating apps. But it felt hopeless. Casual dating in the mid twenties is exhausting enough, but just before thirty? Agonizing. There were the men I was stuck with in constant pen-pal status with who made me eerie once I put the pressure on to actually meet. (Really, why is that?) There were men who showed up for dates and had nothing to do with their profile. There were others who I knew I ran out of sexual chemistry from the moment we closed our eyes. I felt defeated. Those apps only got me in trouble, and one-night stands were barely worth the awkwardness the next morning on the entertainment front. Was it too much to ask for a period of time that focused on myself, had fun with friends, but also was with a man I had imagined who didn’t want a commitment but who came around to meet me when he wanted and to satisfy your mood? It seemed so.
Four months after breaking up, my boyfriend convinced me to take a look at the escort site Envvy. She had worked on it as an escort for years and told me to consider ordering a man to get the sexual ball rolling. We went to a bar for a couple of margaritas and she assured me that people who pay for sex aren’t just losers who can’t get shit in normal life. “I’ve had young customers, also pretty hot ones,” she said, “it’s usually about the thrill.”
Later that night, I went to bed with the vibrator ready for another Saturday night of masturbation and took a break. I decided to take a quick look at the escorting site instead. Obviously I was curious. As I scrolled down through the infinite images of men around me, there were some guys I wouldn’t get close to, but there were some that I definitely would. The photos ranged from mirror selfies in underpants to professionally edited photos that spoke of experience. Abdominal muscles were abundant.
Could I pull this off? I’ve always found myself a little awkward, but maybe now was the time to push myself out of my comfort zone. Even if in the wildest possible way.
There was a commitment to my pleasures and needs that I had never experienced before
It was around 1am when I hit send to Reece *. He was 6ft 4inch with abs that a granite slab could rub on regardless of block of cheese. His face was kind enough and his smile kind – if it was really his. “What if these photos weren’t of him?” I thought. “What if a murderer shows up at my door, or worse, someone who is old and hideous?” The next day he answered and asked straightforward questions about time and date logistics. The exchange felt professional, like booking a PT session. I had Reece * send a selfie with a photo of my name on it and let out a sigh of relief. A look at how the vet escorts on site helped me relax further. He asked me what kind of fantasies I had in mind, but I told him I’d rather have a drink and get to know each other as “normally” as possible. Our session was scheduled for Friday evening, its price of £ 160 for two hours – cheaper than I expected.
I was distracted at work that day and had more butterflies than the average feeling on Friday. As soon as I got home, I swallowed a glass of wine and put on a dress and heels like I was dating. I was shaking with nerves, mostly from worry that he would see me and turn away. I heard they could do that. What if he thought I wasn’t worth the £ 160?
When he knocked on the door, I was a bottle of wine deep. I answered embarrassed and picked up an almost empty wine glass. He giggled and stepped inside, letting me know that this is the first time for everyone and that there was no need to be nervous. “You don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to. Let’s have a glass of wine, ”he said.
We talked about our lives, he asked me about my job and how I found it. It felt very much like an actual date, as if we were going back to mine after a Tinder meeting – except for the fact that I put cash in an envelope for him. The intimacy happened naturally. It started with a light arm stroke and a cheeky touch on my bum, there was nothing clinical or compulsive about it. He didn’t ask me how to turn me on, I just let him do his thing.
The sex was amazing. It was like he knew everything my body longed for before I did. There was a commitment to my pleasures and needs that I had never experienced before. It felt selfless. He didn’t expect anything in return and didn’t allow me to try. It was all about me. When he left I told him that his price seriously sold him short.
After that, I felt a little dirty. But only as you always feel in the back of your head with a one-time connection. I still worried that it was embarrassing. I was scared at the thought of finding out someone I knew. My search for sex had gone to extremes, but it was completely more satisfying than any idiot in a bar. The second time, I felt empowered and liberated. Overall, I’ve seen the same man three times a month, my self-care so to speak. Of course, I was fully aware that our relationship was purely business, but it was nice to feel familiar. We kept in touch and talked briefly while we arranged our next meetings. It almost felt like a friendship. There was no stress about what any of this meant, I wasn’t stuck trying to read ‘the signs’.
My fourth experience with the website was far more dramatic. Reece * was on vacation and I was disappointed, but my escort friend convinced me to give something in front of someone else. I picked a man again for his excellent abs but this time I didn’t ask for a verification photo. I still don’t quite understand why. At times I thought there would be some excitement if I didn’t know who was going to show up, and I think I felt silly when I asked how smooth it had gone last time. I assumed it would be the same this time. His body seemed good enough for his face, but his face was the biggest problem of all.
The sex was amazing. It was like he knew everything my body longed for before I did
It was my ex. Our jaws dropped. I asked him what the hell he was doing and he said in disbelief, “I’m Tom.” He was using a wrong name and even though I had used my real name on the website it was generic and I had moved apartments since we last saw each other so he didn’t recognize the address. It couldn’t have been more uncomfortable, but we started laughing hysterically and I told him to come in. I still left a box of his belongings during the breakup, so I gave it to him. That made us laugh more. We caught up and he told me about his short stay in Asia. Then he asked if he would stay or go. “Well, you’re here now, aren’t you?” I answered.
We had sensational sex, one of our best, and he told me not to pay him, but felt bad using one of his slots and wanted to keep this business-only. He was charging £ 70 an hour so I insisted on giving him £ 50 and jokingly deducted the money he owed me from our last gas bill. The experience was completely unexpected and fun, but after that I was in a blind panic and worried about how easy it would be for my secret to get out. I swore to Tom * to keep this between us, but the fear that one of our mutual friends might miss it still haunts me.
I obviously told my escort friend about these experiences, but no one else around me. The thought of reaching out to my friends, family, or colleagues makes me sick. I may feel empowered, but I know what you would think. I don’t want your pity, questions or judgments. It could change their entire perception of me. I want this to be my own exciting secret.
Tom * was the last one I could “order” before Covid-19 hit. At the moment I miss any human contact, no matter what sex I have in my life. I have to trust that my secret will remain safe and that it will be old news when we are “released”. Even so, the inner turmoil has never seriously made me quit. There were too many stress-free orgasms for that. I’m counting down the days until I can find my next solution.