Twitter Poll - Client wants escort to be girlfriend

Ask Annie: Client of Escort Wants “Girlfriend” Not “Girlfriend Experience”

Posted on Posted in Ask Annie: Advice from an Escort about Escorts, Intimacy, Relationships, Sexuality, Sex Work, and "The Hobby”

A reader sent a question in the other day dealing with the topic of the escort/client relationship and how to deal with any inconvenient “feelings” that may develop:

I just found your blog here and think it’s great. I’m not new and don’t easily open up to people. I’ve been seeing a provider about the same age as me very regularly for the past several months and feel like we have developed a special relationship. I would like to broach the subject of a relationship outside of her profession but don’t want to ruin a good thing and am a little scared of rejection. I’m not looking to try and “rescue” her or anything. She is a very competent woman and doesn’t need rescuing from anything. She truly enjoys her calling and I wouldn’t ask her to stop doing something she enjoys. I’ve thought about just not seeing her anymore to save myself some heartache down the road. I would appreciate your thoughts and perspective.

Signed,
Reasonable but Torn

Dear Reasonable,

So, I know how I would answer this, but of course, I can’t speak for every escort,, nor are my clients represent all clients. So, naturally, I turned to the escorts of Twitter for advice.

As you probably know (but just in case you don’t), Twitter only allows you a limited number of characters per “tweet” (post). The same goes for Twitter polls. So, I had to present a significantly abridged version of the situation in order to get my point across in such a tight space. Here’s what I hope people understood:

Question: Escorts: If a client feels he has a “special connection” with an escort close in age to him, should he attempt to pursue a romantic (non-escort/client) relationship with her?

  • Yes. The client should ask her out.
  • No. I appreciate and enjoy my clients, but that would be inappropriate and I never, ever want a client to suggest a non-professional relationship.
  • If he believes the feeling is mutual, then he should wait for her to initiate a romantic relationship.
  • Something else (please explain).



117 ladies were up to the task. Here are the results:

Screenshot here, just in case.

Soooo that’s pretty much what I was expecting. Not a whole lot of us want our clients to pursue a non-professional relationship with us.

The Danger in Having a “Regular Escort”

I talked about this a little bit when a client wrote to me asking whether I thought it was better for clients to see a variety of providers or to stick with one “regular” escort (spoiler alert: it depends on the individual client’s needs and his reasons for going the “escort” route). That client was interested in the intimacy and connection that’s only possible when you’ve known someone for longer than a few minutes or hours, but he wasn’t interested in having an actual girlfriend–just the “Girlfriend Experience.” And, most importantly, he “(understood) the basis of the provider/client relationship.” In other words, he was committed to maintaining boundaries, respecting the relationship for what it was, and not trying to make it into something more.

As for him, well…I know him, and I know his situation, and I’m pretty sure he can be trusted not to deviate from those intentions. But anything’s possible, I guess, and that’s one of the risks of choosing the “regular escort” route instead of the “variety is the spice of blah blah blah” route. Feelings can develop. Endorphins, familiarity, sex, and oxytocin are funny things, and they can interfere with the plans we came up with back when we were thinking rationally.

A Question of Authenticity

This is a tough topic for me to discuss because these relationships are unique–every relationship is–and I don’t want to be misunderstood. I don’t know you, and I don’t know the escort you’ve been meeting with, but I’m willing to bet that the special connection you feel with her is real. The fact that these relationships involve financial compensation doesn’t make us unfeeling automatons (Automatonettes? Like a Motown girl-bot group?). Sure, there are probably some girls out there who can “fake it” pretty well, but you also mentioned that you’re a regular client of hers. Very few escorts are willing or able to maintain the illusion of a real, deep connection with someone regularly, continually, and indefinitely. It would just be too labor intensive. Either you like someone, or you don’t; either you get along and “connect,” or you don’t. If you’re only going to be in their presence for an hour and then never see them again, it’s not all that difficult to overlook a personality conflict and pretend it doesn’t exist. But if it’s someone you’re seeing regularly, without any plan to end contact? Not so much.

So, it’s a real connection. You like her, she likes you. It’s understandable that you might start considering making it “real”–less “GFE” and more “GF.”

Boundaries

And that’s why we need to be really, really clear on boundaries before we enter this little subculture, whether we’re entering as escorts or clients. A huge advantage to this type of relationship (perhaps the main advantage) is its lack of complexity. These relationships are clearly delineated and can therefore be (more) easily compartmentalized: Yes, I will be your lover, your partner, your friend–within the confines of the time we’ve agreed upon. After that we part, and you don’t have to think about, interact with, or acknowledge me. The time we spent together and the experiences we had are ours and ours alone, separate from the lives we lead on the “outside,” and therefore the intimacy we shared doesn’t pose any threat to or conflict with with your life, the people in it, and the responsibilities it entails.

And clients should respect those same boundaries for the escort(s) they meet with. She too has a life outside of the experiences she has with you–she has friends, family, responsibilities, hopes, desires, goals, problems, heartache, struggles. She may or may not have children, or a partner, or a “straight job.” Regardless, she (presumably) became an escort as a means of supporting herself, and hopefully she chose escorting because, out of the options available to her, this was the one that seemed most enjoyable and best fit her needs. Very, very few of us become escorts because we want to find someone to love. And when you offer that to her, you put her in an exceedingly awkward position of having to remind you of that.

Heartbreaking, I know. I’m sorry.

…But wait!!


If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

So, this girl is fantastic, right? Your absolute dream woman–beautiful, sweet, affectionate, funny, always horny, and great in the sack. And the best part is, she actually *gets you* and LIKES YOU!

It sounds like you’ve got a great thing going. That’s something that not a lot of people get to enjoy, and here you are, luxuriating in that type of intimacy on the regular. So…why do you want change it?

You acknowledged this when you said you “didn’t want to ruin a good thing,” so I know it’s part of your conundrum, as is the fear of rejection you mentioned. But what if she doesn’t reject you? What if the two of you do become an item? Is that necessarily the “happier ever after” ending/beginning you imagine it to be?


The Difference Between “Girlfriend Experience” and Plain-Old “Girlfriend”

What you’re enjoying right now is probably not what you would have in a non-professional relationship. That’s not to say that this isn’t authentic–it is. But there’s a fundamental difference between “GFE” and “GF”: “As professionals (escorts, professional companions, service providers, whatever), we’re compensated not because we can do something a girlfriend could do, but because we can do something a girlfriend can’t. We provide an idealized Girlfriend Experience: the experience of having an AWESOME girlfriend who is horny and fun and interesting and respectful for the entire time you’re together. A real girlfriend can’t do that. Why? Because you’re around her for more than a few hours. No one can be awesome 24 hours a day. A real girlfriend lives with you (or spends lots of time around you) for days, weeks, months, years. You’ll have serious conflicts. You’ll have minor gripes. Grudges will be held. Disappointments will happen.”

Right now, you’re both on your best behavior, and you don’t have time to get bored, or for your flaws to get on each other’s nerves. So you leave the toilet seat up when you’re at her incall–no big deal; you’re a guy, and guys forget to do that sometimes. But once she’s your girlfriend, there may be hell to pay. Why can’t you just fucking put the toilet seat down?? We’ve been dating for five months and I crash here at least three nights a week and I am so. fucking. tired. of falling into ice-cold toilet water at 4am!!! This is like the TENTH time!! Dammit, John, you’re SO INCONSIDERATE!!!

Yes, it’s a cliche, but it’s a stand-in for all the mundane, boring, irritating conflicts that go on in an normal relationship. You’ll have to change habits to accommodate her (put the damn toilet seat down, don’t leave your underpants on her bedroom floor, quit picking your nose when you think she isn’t looking). And she’ll do things that will bother you as well (rolling her eyes when you ask if you can borrow her car, checking her phone while you’re talking to her, fucking men who aren’t you because it’s her job). And then there are the responsibilities and obligations that come with a relationship. When you share your life with someone in a partnership–or even if you’re just dating long-term-ish–you make room in your life for them. And that means shifting other things around or even letting some go. It means making more of an effort. Is it worth it? For the right person, sure. But it can still be a pain in the ass.

I don’t mean to imply that you don’t actually want what you think you want. I just want you to consider that the Sally you see for an hour or two at a time a couple times a month is not the *whole* Sally in all her complexities as a person. You’re seeing Sally, Curated. And no one can keep that up forever. She’s showing you her best traits and hiding her not-so-great ones until you’ve left. And she’s consciously shaping the relationship the two of you enjoy together: her goal is always to make you happy and satisfied. Were the two of you dating in the traditional sense, that would not always be her goal. Your needs and desires would cease to be more important than (or even as important as) hers, and she would expect much, much more from you.

However.

The Richard Gere to her Julia Roberts? If it’s meant to be…

I’m not going to say it never happens, because it does. Boy, does it. Not for me, but I know several escorts who have dated their clients, with varying results.

Look, maybe she’s just as into you as you are into her, and she’s been fantasizing about a “traditional” romantic relationship with you–heavy on honesty and commitment, free of compensation. Maybe she’s in love and she’s a wreck right now trying to figure out what that means for her, her professional relationship with you, and her professional relationships with her other clients.*

But you can’t be sure. And even if you ARE sure, you still should respect the boundaries that are an integral part of the escort/client relationship. No, I do not think you should pursue a romantic relationship with her. If you truly, truly believe that she wants that with you, then let her make the first move. In other words, leave your balls in her court, heh.

*I know you said that you’re not looking to rescue her, that she enjoys being an escort, and that you wouldn’t ask her to stop working as an escort, but once a significant other is in the picture, that can throw even the happiest hookers for a loop. I know, I’ve been there.

Where Do We Go From Here?

So, what now? You like her a lot, and you want to be around her, but keeping mum about how you feel can be torture. Do you keep scheduling appointments with a girl you have feelings for? Is that fair to you? Is it fair to her? That’s for you to decide, but ultimately, one of the following will happen:

  • You’re going to continue seeing her, and pine for something more.
  • You’re going to recognize that this situation breaks the cardinal rule of the escort/client relationship, take a step back, and maybe start seeing other escorts instead.
  • You’re going to be honest about your feelings, she won’t feel the same way, and she will likely stop meeting with you.
  • She’ll admit she has feelings for you, and the two of you will try the whole relationship thing.

(I’ve listed them according to how likely I think they are to happen).

Whichever you choose, I wish you luck.

Because I don’t pretend to speak for all escorts, here’s what other ladies had to say on the topic:

Danielle Evans (@MeetDanielleE) isn’t opposed to dating an FBSM (Full Body Sensual Massage) client, but she draws the line at an escort client:

Zoe Valentine (@MsZoeValentine) also speaks from experience:


(Twitter abbreviations can be hard to decipher, so just in case you’re lost, “nrg” = energy)

Giselle McPherson (@VIPMcpherson) has seen it work, and she’s also seen it…not work:

And then Melody Memoirs (@MelodysMemoirs) brought up something we haven’t really focused on–the escort’s ability to balance the unique nature of her job and her relationship:



Good question.


Hey! I’d especially love to get other opinions on this topic, so please feel free to comment below (you can even do so anonymously, if you prefer).

3 thoughts on “Ask Annie: Client of Escort Wants “Girlfriend” Not “Girlfriend Experience”

  1. Thank you for the time and effort you put into replying to my question. I appreciate it, even if a lot of it wasn’t what I wanted to hear.

  2. As a mental health professional as well a client of sex workers, I have decided to share a few thoughts.

    What Annie has written about is called transference / countertransference in my profession. Transference meaning the client transfers stong feelings he has for someone else to the counselor. Countertransference means that the counselor responds to the client transference as if he were someone other than the client. Often this happens without either being aware of it. It is the one of most discussed issues in my profession. I am struck by the similarities of the sex work profession and the mental health profession. Both involve the sharing of of intimacies that are time limited for the session.Both the variety and length of the relationships are very similiar as well. The types of intimacy are different in that one is largely physical and the other is largely emotional / intellectual. In both cases the client is very vulnerable.

    The problems in these relationships occur when one or both parties violate the boundaries. In mental health the boundaries are set forth in the first session and revisited as needed. I believe in the direct address approach when these issues emerg from either party. Sex workers are often remiss in explaning boundaries to regular clients. My advice is when a teachable moment occurs do not let it pass. The beginning of transference likely begins with excessive texting , emails and phone calls. When this occurs I suggest you say something like , ” Hey Jim let’s talk our professional relationship and how it is going. “. You might point out out the expectations of lawyers , doctors, and accountants are similiar in that they would
    expect payment for their time. The client’s reaction should help you decide to continue with the client or not.

    Regards,
    Jim

    1. Hey, thanks for your input, Jim! Great to get the perspective of someone who’s a mental health professional and a client.

      Someone on Twitter drew parallels between those two types of relationships as well:

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