Guest Blogger: Inara Part 4 – Why Not Me?

Just after we hit the one-year mark, Matt accepted a new job.

This job was in the next state over. It was a dream position and it was in a city where his wife agreed to live. This meant he could be back with his kids more than 8 days a month.

In the three months between his accepting the position and actually leaving, his stress level skyrocketed. I found myself resenting his wife as my needs were ignored and his needs became the focus of our relationship.

I wondered why she got to go on trips, taken out to nice dinners, and be his spouse while I was the one dealing with his insomnia and panic attacks. I should have spent more time wondering why I stayed to do those things at all.

It seemed like every other conversation we had during that time was about what the future held for us. Matt said he thought the move would fix a lot of their marital problems, but also that he didn’t know if he could even be married anymore. He was selling his house in our city and moving into a rental in their new town so he could sort things out.

I started hearing variations…

“No one would understand, she’s not a bad person.”

“We’re being nicer to each other, we have the same interests.”

“She’s my best friend, but it isn’t like it is with you.”

At one point he said he thought about marrying me if he was able to get divorced. I clung to every “I don’t know” and “Maybe”, using them as fuel not to snap, not to leave. I wanted to prove that I could be a supportive partner.

He moved first, with his wife and kids to follow a few months later. He was lonely, of course, and asked me to visit but the chance of getting caught in his new city, where they had friends and family, was too high. I also didn’t want to see any piece of his new life.

I researched escorts in his area and sent him links to a few who seemed kind and professional. I’d much rather he sleep with a provider than with a civilian girl or his wife. His response was that he didn’t have any desire to be with someone other than me, but if that changed he’d let me know. It had been at least ten years since anyone had felt that way about me. It felt too good to be true. As much as we tried to keep things going without seeing each other, it was starting to feel like an uphill battle.

A month after his wife moved in, I snapped and stopped returning his emails or texts.

Eventually I wrote him a letter explaining that I was tired of constantly comparing myself to her and coming up short. I told him that I wanted a life where I wasn’t a secret, with someone who was willing to fight for me and who didn’t want to be without me. That I didn’t want to be temporary. I asked that he not contact me unless it was to show me a copy of a divorce petition.

Not wanting to be temporary wasn’t a new feeling for me. I’ve been a sex worker for a long time, and I’ve done well. I’m not drop dead gorgeous and I’m not a porn star in bed, but I am very good at occupying the kind of middle ground that’s required to do well in this industry. I’m pleasant enough that the clients keep coming back, but not exceptional enough for them to become attached. We are paid to be disposable, to be interchangeable vessels for fantasy and companionship. That is the job description.

It is ok and appropriate that my clients don’t have attachments to me; in fact it is largely preferred. But as I’ve gotten older and I listen to my clients go on and on about how much they love their wives, how they would die if she ever left him, it leads me to wonder how one gets to that place. How do you become the kind of woman that someone wants to hold on to? It sounded like something that would be impossible for me to achieve.

My fear of being replaceable, disposable, of only being worth what’s between my legs would come up again and again, but my work and how we met didn’t have a significant impact on our relationship. It helped that Matt had been on the other side, so my work wasn’t a novelty to him as it had been with other men. That made it easy for there to be space for my other passions and interests.

Jealousy did occasionally rear its head. After we’d been together for a while, Matt confessed that he felt very jealous at times, not of the physicality of my work but of the dinners, social time and affection he knew were a big part of what I do. He struggled with feeling that way because he knew it was his fault that he didn’t get to do more of that with me. It was hard to balance acknowledging his feelings – telling someone not to feel a certain way because it’s illogical doesn’t help – and feeling like they were totally unjustified.

I started intentionally censoring what I said. It felt unfair but necessary. I’d been talking about wanting to retire since we’d met, and I think he took a bit of comfort in that.

I was asked frequently if I thought he’d cheat on me, too, if we were to really be together since I met him as a client. I didn’t think so, mainly because he knew I did not expect him to be monogamous. Despite what I do for a living, I love monogamy for myself. I far prefer being committed to one person. But I knew that Matt would not be able to look at one body for the next 40 years, so I told him that I would be fine with him seeing escorts alone or with me, which I thought would be a really fun thing to do together, if he wanted to.

We talked many times about why he started cheating and how it made him feel. He said over and over again that it had been exciting at first, but that the thrill of having a secret turned into a burden. He seemed almost relieved when he saw that he didn’t crave anyone else when we were together.

Knowing what I know now, I don’t believe that he doesn’t enjoy having a secret life. I think he truly wants to be the kind of man who doesn’t enjoy lying to his spouse and having various sex workers and online flirtations in his pocket, but he just isn’t.

I remained silent.

To be continued…

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Roy says:

    Reading your story in its entirety, I sense your love for him was not equally reciprocated. He was clearly smitten by you, but not committed. And it doesn’t seem like he put as much into the relationship as you. If he felt the same connection you describe, I don’t understand how he could walk away from that, which makes me wonder if he did. Either way, it’s a heart-wrenching experience, and I hope you’ve been able to lick your wounds and recover. Yours is the classic scenario that is the reason those boundaries exist. The good news is we survive, and if we’re crazy enough, we’ll try again.

    Like

    1. uehobbyist says:

      This is only half so far. There are a few more chapters to publish yet. I should have set that expectation .. I forgot the “TBC…”

      Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    There are indeed some more twists and turns to come but ultimately, yes, you’re right. Putting it all in writing has helped me see how much magical thinking I was doing to convince myself I was anything other than a hobby or, at best, a special friend. Even all the drama was, I think, in a twisted way something he enjoyed because it was different from his every day life. But it wasn’t actually painful for him, you know? Kind of like role playing a soap opera.

    But I think that most people would want to believe it when someone out of their league tells them that they’re the person’s super big love. Even when logic is saying “this can’t possibly be real”, who doesn’t want to look in the mirror and think “This extraordinary person loves me! ME!!!”. Ego is a powerful thing.

    I am in the process of licking my wounds and reframing my focus. I’ve been chasing this dream of being wife for a long time but I never seem to stick for people. Not in a “all relationships end” kind of way, even, but more in a “we were together for 2/3/5 years and now that it’s done I’m totally fine with never talking to you again” kind of way.

    I hear enough about other people’s relationships, and have enough female friends, to know that there are a lot of people who are super sticky. I think there is a kind of woman people like to hold on to, and there is a kind of woman who is, for whatever reason, more temporary.

    I learned a lot of lessons from this experience, but I think the biggest one (aside from the obvious of don’t date married men for free) is that I need to embrace my temporariness instead of fighting it and focus on being the best, most successful provider I can be instead of hoping to be someone’s one and only.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Inara says:

    Oops – I think it’s obvious, but the above post was mine…just forgot to put my name on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Roy says:

    Its ironic to hear a provider express feeling a client is out of their league. I would have guessed it was always the other way around, with clients frequently falling for the provider fantasy. I certainly have felt the amazement and disbelief that Jane is into me, and she has expressed similar feelings. Curious that we both feel somehow undeserving at times, but I like to think that will make us more appreciative of one another.

    I cannot agree though that temporariness is simply an innate quality of yours that you must accept. You simply haven’t met the right person. There is someone out there that will appreciate and cherish everything you are. There is no singular trait that enables one to be loved, love is an interaction between two people. “Its not about finding the perfect mate, its about finding someone who is equally fucked up as you”

    Providers take some of their most vulnerable qualities, beauty, attractiveness, sexuality and sexual performance, and then place it in the limelight to be openly discussed, critiqued, and judged. That sort of voluntary exposure takes a tremendous amount of courage and strength. Then add to that the pressure of being flawless, someone’s perfect fantasy. Most people would fall apart under that kind of scrutiny.

    Don’t underestimate your worth, or worthiness, to find the happiness and life you desire.

    Like

  5. chrissysugar says:

    Your feelings are normal for any career type woman. Just because you’re a sex worker does not mean you are anything other than a woman craving the attention of one man who only craves the attention of you. So interested to see how this story unfolds.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Inara says:

    @Roy:

    Clients are just men like anyone else. In all my years in this industry, I’ve only heard of one client falling for a provider, pursuing it and it ending badly. Which isn’t to say it doesn’t happen, but I don’t know how common it is. All the other heartbreak I’ve heard of has been the reverse. There are a handful of couples in my social circle that met this way, and in all of them the provider fell first and hardest.

    I’ve always known that the persona a client presents is part of his fantasy. I think the hardest part of the work is not absorbing the promises of travel, the effusive compliments, the “you’re my favorite” lines without making the client feel invalidated. Even gifts aren’t about us but about how it makes the client feel to be seen as generous and thoughtful. No one likes to be called a liar and in the moment they might mean it but these men don’t see us because we’re out of their league. Or, at least many don’t. And there are those elusive 10s, the Ivy educated Playboy bunny types who are out of *everyone’s* league.

    But for most, it’s because they want to spend an hour or a day with someone they would likely never want in their “real” life. That, and being able to play at being a romantic without strings being attached. For some men – maybe many men – there’s a tremendous fantasy attached to laying in bed, telling a woman how wonderful she is that has nothing to do with her at all.

    I appreciate your other comments but I suppose we will have to agree to disagree. It was actually a comfort, to realize that if I just accept that I’m not a “keeper” type woman, I can stop fighting it and find the value in it, like when the failed rock star finally gets a solid career track day job. There is worth in being able to hold temporary space with people and thankfully it can be utilized to create a solid financial reward. I might not get to go to Bali with a husband one day like I used to daydream about, but I will be able to afford to take myself without panic over the cost and I’m learning to find the value in that.

    Like

  7. Anonymous says:

    Inara, I am a husband who has seen escorts and currently Sugar Babies -I love them all at the time they are in my life. But if you truly desire a connection and ultimately a “forever” guy , I think sex work emotionally detracts from the focus and effort that is necessary to attract a true love into your life . “Always a bridesmaid -never a bride—” comes to mind . From a man’s viewpoint seeing other women outside the marriage also detracts from the ability to focus on an ailing marriage . I find myself drifting away from sex workers because I can not compare my wife to a beautiful younger woman who is totally focused on my needs -if only for the moment . What wife could compare ? Real life taints the ideal experience . For me to be a better husband I need to leave the lifestyle I crave ,and you might consider that too if you seek that for yourself .

    Liked by 1 person

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