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The Arrangement

We met in the summer. It was hot and sticky; blinds were drawn, and the air conditioner was on. A dim lamp and my sexy playlist low. A standard hour session with a much older gentleman. He seemed sweet. Unassuming. Shared some red wine. 

He was in his 80's. Married for nearly 60 years. He had rough skin. He was mostly bald, showing the last short bits of his hair on the back of his head. Tall. The struggle with skin cancer was on display as I slowly removed his clothing. That part is always a little awkward. I try to be sexy while doing it, so I clumsily try to undress someone while giggling and kissing and making eye contact to offset my inability to do it smoothly. He said, "I don't know why I haven't seen you. I've been on p*** for a very long time." 

And he was HOOKED. The sex was unremarkable. Honestly, I can't remember if he climaxed. I know I did not. I do most of the time. But sometimes, regardless of my best efforts, there is not enough foreplay or guidance in the world I can give someone. Enter IOP (illusion of passion) here. 

There is always a time, continuously over one's career, that the concept of an arrangement enters the dynamic. This was one of those times. The last time. 

Our hour became two hours, and a trip to Vegas became the offer for a semi-exclusive arrangement. In hindsight, it needed to be a more significant offer for the emotional labor required and something on par with what I could earn through session work. He didn't want me to see anybody else. I told him my personal life was off limits, but I would remove myself from the platforms and stop escorting. This should have been the first red flag. The second red flag was when he asked me to wear a pretend wedding ring while we were together. Many red flags ensued.

X amount monthly, x amount of time agreed upon each week with a trip sometimes, and access to a credit card with a specific limit. Gifts. Flowers sent to me. The gifts were impractical, and I'm not that into flower bouquets. The occasional one, yes. Absolutely lovely when you are surprised. What am I going to do with a Diamond necklace? Especially when I found out later that it was worth nothing because he didn't know how to buy them correctly? I would have preferred a new car to my beat-up Honda Fit at the time. 

The relationship lasted about 6 months, from that hot summer day to the final email sent reiterating, once again, that I was not available for what he wanted. I did not want to be his girlfriend, nor did I want him to leave his wife and marry him. I wanted a simple arrangement. But simple, it had not been nor could be. Every conversation became the exact reiteration. I am available for XYZ with you, but I am not available for XYZ with you. I thought I was being clear. I left out essential information for fear of losing him as a client. I had shut down the business I had been building and relied upon him for my livelihood. The piece created a hole in my boundaries, giving him the illusion of possibility. 


But I thought he would hear me if I was clear enough in every other possible way. I didn't usually withhold that piece of information from my clients. I started to reflect on why I did that. And how it contributed to our dynamic. 

I had told him I was committed. I had told him I had children. I had told him I was happy in my committed relationship and had no desire to change anything. I had told him I had other sexual partners and the occasional romantic partner. (My husband and I are monogamish.) Hence, my personal life was off-limits. 

Didn't matter. He became increasingly delusional. I became increasingly resentful and averse to him touching me. He wanted to divorce his wife and lock me away in a tower. 

A conversation while negotiating the arrangement while having dinner in a Casino:

"I don't intend to be hurtful by saying this; I want to be clear, direct, and honest with you. You have nothing other than money and some fun experiences to offer me. You are much older than I am. I enjoy a lot of different kinds of sex with a variety of people. You don't have the physical ability, nor a strong desire, to have sex. I have a long life of possibility ahead of me. I also love my life the way it is."

"I understand. I could give you a baby?"

"What? No! Absolutely not. I have children already with my much older ex-husband. I know what that's like. It would be unkind and cruel to do that to me and a baby. So, what, we would have a baby, and then you would die soon and then leave me with yet another child to raise on my own without a father?" (I would also later learn he did not have enough money to afford what he offered me, so that offer would be doubly cruel, leaving me to fend for myself yet again.)

I began to drink heavily when we were together. Smashed his deluge of flower vases into the creek in the back of my home. Started to detest him. 

In the end, I received an email one day saying he could not afford to give me my allowance that month. After we had been in NYC for the Opera, having some of the most decadent dinners I've ever had, I had to start covering some of the expenses when he could not move his money around in a way that allowed for his desires. The email came as no surprise. 

So, it was over. There were many other moments of emotional tumult and manipulation. Like when he got angry with me, left me in another city, and returned to Austin without me. Then, two more emails one year apart with the news of his divorce and the offer to run away to Belize. He offered to have dinner at his home and try again. I declined.

I have learned so much about myself through being a sex worker- about relationships, boundaries, pleasure, communication, and personal responsibility. I appreciate the opportunity for introspection to learn how I contribute to an experience. Because I am in the business of creating experiences. When things go right, I do it again. Build from there. When things go wrong or not to my liking, I ask, "What is my part?" 

There are often things out of my control. There are just as often things I have said/not said, done/not done, that are in my control. This is where I can make a decision that will change what I am experiencing. Places I manipulate the truth for my own gain. This is not inherently wrong or bad. It simply is. But seeing it clearly allows me to adjust my reality however I want. 

Coming Up Next…

Things I've Learned About Having An Arrangement

Photo by Mimipic Photography on Unsplash