During hard economic times, some guys just want to cuddle.
You don't have to be former Gov. Eliot Spitzer's $1,000-a-night "friend" Ashley Dupre to be fretful of how Wall Street's plummet is effecting one sector of working girls: Slate.com wonders "What the Financial Crisis Means For High End Prostitutes?"
But what author Sudhir Venkatesh (who wrote the memoir, Gang Leader For a Day, which I'm told is incredible) discovered about high-end sex workers in hard economic times may surprise you: many pink-slipped former captains of industry (also known as Big Swinging D*cks) don't want sex; they just need the proverbial shoulder to cry on. Comfort, not condoms.
Makes sense when you think about it. These men might have wives, girlfriends and kids stressing them out about money or employment problems and they want to lean on someone outside their life. Or the man's pride has taken such a blow from his troubles that he can't face his loved ones, Venkatesh writes.
One thing I've learned is that economic downturns can be boom times for high-end sex workers. Sex workers of the past waited on street corners, outside bars, and around parks, and their transactions were fleeting and usually for a few dollars. Today's high-end sex workers see themselves as therapists, part of a vast metropolitan wellness industry that includes private chefs and yoga teachers. Many have regular clients who visit them several times per month, paying them not only for sex but also for comfort and affirmation.
A startling 40% of high-end sexual transactions do not involve sexual service. Instead, it's talking and cuddling—what's known as "emotional satisfaction" or "the gray zone." I hate to seem judgmental about other people's sex lives, but I do find this situation kind of sad for the couples. These men must feel rather isolated, depressed even, by not feeling that they can go to their loved ones for sympathy and empathy. Paying for sex is paying for sex. But even therapists don't provide the same kind of emotional support that someone who loves you does.
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