I don’t think it’s wrong that I lie to my boyfriends about what I do.
The short answer is: Of course it is! I get that. Relationships are built on trust and most people consider trust the single most important component of a successful marriage. Despite this common sense logic, I’m here to tell you why I don’t think it’s wrong that I lie to my boyfriends about what I do.
Let’s begin with my personal back story. It’s important to note I'm an anonymous internet escort who blurs my face in photos. If this were the pre-internet age, I wouldn't do this job. The web is a shield where I can avoid risky appointments by verifying guys before meeting them. In my six years on and off of doing this, I’ve never once dealt with a violent client, just a couple of addicts and one nutjob alcoholic who got seriously pissed when he couldn't cum within our allotted time.
In my real life, I haven’t had many long-term relationships and tend to have shorter intense ones, because I grow indifferent.
I also avoid long-term relationships because how I earn my income is usually a deal-breaker, in addition to the fact that I suffer from bipolar II (the milder form) and I'm an alcoholic. The bipolar disorder isn’t my fault; it’s my brain chemistry. However, failing to combat my love of booze and settling for escorting (despite having a valuable college degree) are conscious decisions I admit to.
I mention my other issues because having a mental health disorder that's relatively "high functioning" (compared with paranoid schizophrenia and dementia) makes it's difficult to hold a job. I can’t deal with office politics and I find escorting much easier than water cooler small talk and the worry that I'd blurt out inappropriate things and be fired.
Plus, in this industry I’m able to make more money in less time, which is empowering.
I can take an entire month off without being fired because I’m my own boss. When my mental health is in a state of flux, I can take a sabbatical or partake in mental health treatment. People like me can check into a hospital for suicidal thoughts or dry out at rehab without losing their job. Plus, it’s a good thing to stop earning money for a little bit so I don’t spend it on my drug of choice or surround myself with other addicts at a strip club or brothel.
Because I have a brain with messed-up wiring, I feel like a loser sometimes. I find myself fake-laughing at Family Guy "dead hooker" jokes so that I give off the impression that I'm not like those hookers, nut jobs or addicts. Secretly charging $500 per hour is actually extremely validating so despite the stigma, I privately give the middle finger to those who judge me.
I charge 5x per hour what my therapist and accountant charge. I don’t have to work all that many hours per week (4-10 is typical, not including prep time and emailing prior to the appointments.) Working such a light schedule allows me to focus on my writing, education and personal life that includes dating and volunteer work, while still getting 7-10 hours of sleep most nights. Because my starting rate is $500/hour and most bookings last multiple hours, I get by easily on just 2-5 appointments per week.
In 2014, I grossed almost six figures, somewhere around 90-95K.
If I were at dead-end job, one that bipolar people find easier to handle, I’d be reasonably stress-free but living on a shoestring budget. If I wanted to fully resign to being a loser, I’d claim disability and live off Medicaid. Long story short, I feel justified doing what I do, having stripped and dabbled in sugar-daddy relationships before going professional. I provide a service, I’m discreet and I have a blast doing it.
I travel to fun new cities like Nashville and Chicago for work, “paycations” as they call them, therefore plunking money into many local economies. I don't rob or extort clients. I respect their boundaries and don't fall in love with them or call them when I know they're with the wife and kids. I claim my income and pay my taxes. I feel that I make an honest living.
But back to dating in real life.
I don’t think it’s wrong to tell half-truths and lies to men I date. Professional sex workers are already subject to stigma, marginalization and downright discrimination, plus who wants to scare a guy off right off the bat?
When I did come clean a month in to a relationship with a man I was dating once, he instantly became revolted and didn't want to see me again. A Marine I dated was chill about me stripping (and I wasn’t lying, since I was on hiatus from escorting at the time), but when I let it slip to a law student that I did occasional "for profit" dating on the side, he was beyond disgusted. After leaving my apartment, he left me text messages the next morning about how disgusting it felt to wake up knowing he’d slept with a prostitute.
I'm different than the average sex worker most civilians picture working in a corner or being crass and pimped; the seemingly low hanging fruit with no other options and no education. I'm college-educated, I benefit from white privilege, and I'm solidly good-looking. Omitting the fact that I escort when I'm on a date with a guy, or even well into a relationship serves two purposes for me:
First, it’s a defense mechanism.
I don’t feel my means of income should negate all my amazing qualities. I’m giving, smart, funny, ambitious, trilingual, well-traveled, open-minded, attentive, caring and respectful of all cultures (unlike many escorts who flat-out refuse to see black men, Middle Eastern men and certain men of other backgrounds). I’m a hell of a lover and love being someone’s "rock," though that role rarely lasts long with my IRL dating.
I plan to move on from this line of work within 2-4 years (though I admit there's a high "recidivism" rate with most girls when financial strife strikes). This business has a short shelf life, unlike my career goals of being a writer and/or professor. I'd much rather move on than become a washed-up hooker who starts an agency to staff fresher girls or keeps working until middle age, gradually lowering her rates out of desperation until she's dried-up and menopausal. I have more potential than that.
The second reason I keep my occupation a secret is I've seen girls go through the nightmare of having an ex "out" her to friends and family out of revenge. If the relationship goes sour, you can be totally f*cked. This is a huge part of why I only let guys get so close to me. Usually, I'll have a hot and heavy physically intimate relationship for a month or two, in which I totally evade talk of work, but then the relationship always runs its course either because I get sick of the guy or it's a mutual fade-out. Guys I truly develop feelings for are ones I tend to scare off as a defense mechanism. Because I know he'll ultimately dump me, I eventually start acting psycho to expedite the process.
So how do I get away with lying?
I basically play up my freelance income and try to steer attention away from my other income source. I also avoid talking about work by instead talking about books, movies, food, craft beer, sports (which earns me cool girl-next-door brownie points!) or asking the guy questions so the conversation's focused on him, not me. The lying gets annoying, but it’s also kind of fun to reinvent myself everytime a dude at an airport bar wants to know my story. One day, I ghostwrite YA novels! Another day, I’m an interpreter of a foreign language! The next day, I’m a flight attendant or hotel concierge. Obviously, it’s one thing to lie to strangers at hotels and another to lie to a boyfriend. I get that.
A huge fear for me is that I'll expose skeletons in my closet when I eventually fuse finances with my future husband. If I marry soon, that will be a larger concern, but if I’ve fully left the business when the time comes (say two to four years from now), I can show my deposit statements as non-cash based!
I do still plan to date while remaining in the business, but I don't see myself pursuing something very serious unless it hits me like a bullet and Mr. Perfect just sweeps me off my feet. Until then, I have no qualms about abusing Tinder and OKCupid for casual relationships.
Client sex and IRL sex are two different things and both have their pros and cons.
In my real life, I can tell a guy, "Just fucking pound me, I don't care if you cum quick" whereas with clients, I have to endure unbearably bad and dragged out oral sex, pretend to orgasm all the time, and try not to roll my eyes when a guy slows the pace because he wants to last longer (i.e. get his money's worth).
Yes, I occasionally wonder if I'll never find a life partner of my own. I'm starting to watch everyone my age marry off and realize that most guys not yet married, engaged, or in a long-term relationship are either crazy or a deadbeat loser. But I haven't lost hope yet. I'm in a good place in life, but I need to find a way out of the industry to truly move forward with a marriage because my absolute greatest fear is dying alone. (That, or being "outed" as a prostitute to those closest to me.)
Maybe I'll end up being half of a "cool couple" where the fact that I once escorted turns my husband on and we go to strip clubs together and have threesomes. Maybe the guy will be a writer-type who considers me his muse. No matter what, there's a certain kind of man out there for me - I just need to find him.