Intimacy in Marriage

Encouraging Christian Women toward Healthy Sexual Intimacy

Could a High-End Escort Reveal Anything About Sex in Marriage?

Recently I was reading an article written by a woman who used to be a high-end escort in New York City.

She started when she was 19 and decided to get out of that line of work when she was 23, having saved more money than I care to mention.

I'm not linking to the article, because of the profanity and gut-wrenching transparency in it, but I found it fascinating.

And heartbreaking.

Fascinating not only because of her astute business strategy with it all, but also because the article offered a glimpse into how pervasive this line of work is in our society.

Heartbreaking because of those exact same reasons.

I have long maintained that the extent to which something God designed can be distorted, misrepresented and misused reveals the depth to which that same thing is stunningly beautiful in its right context.

Possibly nowhere do we see this more than with sex.

In the right context of marriage, sex ushers a husband and wife into God's gift of profound oneness, pleasure and joy. There are few things more holy than what happens in those moments of a married couple living out their covenant through making love.

I can get turned on just thinking of sex in its right context. I kid you not.

On the other hand, in a sinful context, sex becomes a devastating tool for manipulation, profit, control and abuse. In a sinful context, sex also may offer someone a way to avoid, numb or change the narrative.

There is nothing new under the sun.

Both this woman and her clients were trampling on something sacred, so please hear me when I say that I'm not condoning what they did.

A big reason I kept reading the article is I couldn't stop thinking of Rahab. And the Samaritan woman at the well. And others mentioned in the Bible who either offered their body transactionally -- or partook of someone's body transactionally. (You wouldn't have to cruise through the Bible for long before you discover how often that happened back in the day).

The exact same scenarios persist today. And just like then, God longs to redeem brokenness.

As easy as it would be to dismiss this former high-end escort and her clients with disgust, I kept thinking of her as God's beloved daughter and her clients as God's beloved sons. They are people He longs to redeem. People like you and me. Though the sins may vary, it is the same redemption addressing them all.

This former escort was quick to point out that she was not forced into this line of work. She saw it as a means to end -- make more money in one night than she could make in an entire month. Many of her clients spoiled her with fine clothes, gifts and trips, in addition to her fee.

The overwhelming majority of her clients were married (Like so close to 100%, it's ridiculous).

So what could her story teach us about sex in marriage?

1. People are hungry for authenticity.

What I am about to write seems a bit counterintuitive. It's hard to imagine that someone who pays upwards of $5,000 a night to have sex with a stranger is hungry for authenticity.

But the woman said often what her clients wanted was more than just sex. They wanted someone to listen -- to their struggles, their feelings of pride about their kids, their concerns about work.

She offered them a kind ear. They could have paid a lot less for a prostitute to simply give them sex, but this high-end escort had honed her craft so well that she knew how to flawlessly appear genuine. She knew how to be available for more than sex.

She offered the authenticity for which her clients hungered. (Skewed authenticity albeit, but from her clients' perspective, it was authenticity nonetheless).

So what does this have to do with sex in marriage? The hunger for authenticity is powerful. Amazing sex in marriage is rarely just about the physical pleasure. It's more so about being known in a way that is drenched in tender vulnerability.

I couldn't help but wonder if her married clients had been experiencing such deep authentic connection with their wives, would they have been as prone to dole out so much money to get that from a stranger?

Before you lob anger at me for what appears to be my blaming of the wives, notice that what I'm really pointing out is the lack of mutually-sustained authentic connection. Nearly all marriages start with two attentive people, eager to enjoy intimate and authentic connection.

Too many marriages, though, drift to a place of surface existence, where the marriage could easily be defined by the lack of intimacy rather than by the abundance of it.

2. There is value in companionship.

Many of this high-end escort's clients wanted a companion -- someone to go out to dinner with, to take to a movie, to take on vacation. Sure, sex was part of it, but often sex was not as much of a driving force as the companionship.

I would guess that the companionship is what made the sex better for these guys.

In a marriage, when a husband and a wife genuinely nurture their companionship -- the time they enjoy with each other with their clothes on -- it makes their sexual intimacy all that more intimate. But companionship doesn't take care of itself. A married couple has to be intentional about making it a priority.

This woman said her clients went out of their way to treat her incredibly special, and she would likewise do the same for them.

Husbands and wives could learn from that -- the value of nurturing companionship.

3. Transactional sex has no staying power.

What did the woman who wrote the article say she misses most about her former life as an escort? The money and things it bought. Not the sex.

What does this have to do with marriage?

When sex in marriage is reduced to obligation, eventually the person receiving it won't even want that. Sure, money isn't changing hands in a marriage, but if the sex becomes transactional (done out of obligation only), the person receiving it may ultimately end up despising it.

Sex of this sort has no staying power. I hear from countless husbands (and a few wives) who talk about their deep desire to be wanted.  To make your body available, but not your heart and soul -- well, the sex becomes almost unbearable for the person on the receiving end of that complacent approach.

Transactional sex has no staying power. She missed the money, not the sex.

Interestingly, the woman who wrote the article said that even though she missed the money, she is glad she quit being an escort.

Why?

Because she wanted to go to college. And because she eventually wants to be a wife and a mother. She knew being an escort would ultimately get in the way of what she really wanted.

For those of you who are married, what does this woman's former life as a high-end escort reveal to you about sex in your own marriage?

Are you hungry for authenticity? Do you and your spouse both value companionship? Is sex in your marriage soul-drenching or is it transactional?

Those can be candid, even hard, questions to unpack. But trust me. They are worth unpacking.

Copyright 2018, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.

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February 11th, 2018 by