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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11 thoughts on “Could a High-End Escort Reveal Anything About Sex in Marriage?

  1. Anonymous for this one says:

    This is so true. After our last baby was born, I was in such a depression and so consumed with the challenges of raising so many children pretty much solo due to hubby’s career that I needed a LOT of care. Unfortunately, hubby was under a ton,of stress and needed care, too. Hubby hired a mother’s helper for me from our church. She was supposed to be a blessing to me, but it turned into a problem. Hubby really enjoyed her full-of-life, eager, ready-to-try-anything attitude about life. She was fun to be around! As innocent as she was about it all, she stroked his ego big time. Soon, he was hugging her and kissing her forehead, looking for her at church, making her sit with him, and looking for her to join him in activities. Now, he wasn’t looking for anything sexual, at least not at that point. He was “father figure” to her, but I and her mother saw it escalating and it was already crossing boundaries, especially since he was in turn treating me with no regard. When a man spends church with his arm around the babysitter and his wife is kept at the other end of the pew……

    Her mother put her foot down and no longer allowed her daughter to care for our children. We had talked and I agreed.

    I had asked myself and prayed why he was drawn to her. I was available sexually, eager, even. I believe it wasn’t sexually driven. The answer came in her vivacious companionship. She stroked his ego and was fun. I, at the time, was barely functioning as a human being.

    I don’t blame myself, but I knew it was important to understand why.

  2. Curious says:

    “But the woman said 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.”

    I may be wrong, but isn’t that exactly what most wives want also? They want to hear their husbands struggles, feelings, and emotions more than they want sex. Most women want to be available for more than just sex. Problem is, most men don’t know how to be authentic and emotionally open unless sex is somehow involved.
    I don’t think most men know How to experience deep authentic connection without sex. Most women do.

    We tell women to open up to the wonders of sexual intimacy. To do something about their sexual struggles or issues. To get help for past abuse or bad lessons, so their husbands can feel connected through sex.

    We never tell men to open up to the wonders of emotional closeness. We never tell them to do something about thier emotional issues and fears of expressing their feelings. We never tell them to get help for the bad lessons they learn about not crying, or feeling, or expressing their hurts, pains, and pleasures.

    I believe men can truly feel the wonders of emotional closeness (authenticity) even without physical intimacy, if we would just encourage them to grow and learn how. We squelch that learning opportunity when they are quite young.

    If it’s not just the sex men want and need, why do they keep looking for it through sex?

    Just curious

  3. Anonymous says:

    She’s probably seen and done things the rest of us can’t even imagine and she doesn’t miss the sex.
    I wonder how this woman’s experiences will affect her sex life with her future husband?

  4. Tom says:

    >>>I may be wrong, but isn’t that exactly what most wives want also? They want to hear their husbands struggles, feelings, and emotions more than they want sex. Most women want to be available for more than just sex. Problem is, most men don’t know how to be authentic and emotionally open unless sex is somehow involved.
    I don’t think most men know How to experience deep authentic connection without sex. Most women do.<<<

    You're making a *lot* of unfounded assumptions there, based on stereotypes.

  5. Anon says:

    Curious – True, that is probably what most wives want too, but when hubby shares those things, my experience is that wife usally puts him down or dismisses his needs and it causes him to clam up and look elsewhere.

    So, bottom line is “I agree”.

  6. Tony says:

    “I may be wrong, but isn’t that exactly what most wives want also? They want to hear their husbands struggles, feelings, and emotions more than they want sex. Most women want to be available for more than just sex. Problem is, most men don’t know how to be authentic and emotionally open unless sex is somehow involved.
    I don’t think most men know How to experience deep authentic connection without sex. Most women do”

    ===================

    I beg to differ. I don’t think most women do know how to experience authentic connection. If they did, they wouldn’t be trying to change men.

    If a man says he’s angry or horny, or whatever, we have women telling us we shouldn’t feel that way.

    Marginalization or dismissal of how someone feels is exactly the OPPOSITE of making a connection.

    Telling men that the feelings they express are somehow base, or not as developed or deep is again, the OPPOSITE of making a connection.

    In fact, it is my contention that many men stop sharing and connecting because they are told in one way or another by their wives that they are not doing it right.

    If it’s emotionally unsafe to share, then of course the sharing will stop.

    If a man has made enough of a connection for you to say yes to him when he asks to marry you, why would you think he’s unable to make a non-sexual connection? He’s already done that.

    Now that he’s married, it’s not unreasonable for him to want what was promised, that deeper, physical connection.

    What changed that his sharing and being open before marriage was good enough, but now it isn’t?

    Could it be after some time being married, he’s been given the message that it’s not safe for him to share, so he’s better off just being quiet than being told his feelings are wrong, Neanderthal, or whatever marginalizations are used on him?

  7. William says:

    Wow…Tony hit the nail on the head with his comment. Too bad that women do not understand that you slap the back of someone’s hand long enough a message is sent.

  8. Andy says:

    Yeah, I have to agree with Tony also contra “Curious”. I have experienced the exact dynamic that Tony expressed. I was a virgin when married. Now I find myself struggling to not gate-keep with my wife. And she’s gorgeous. But I have little desire for her because I no longer feel emotionally safe with her. She complains about how I don’t help enough with the housework, and when I do help, she complains because I don’t do it exactly like she would have done it. So, it’s not her way, therefore it’s by definition wrong. As for emotional connection, I keep trying to share my heart with her. And it seems like invariably, she answers my need for emotional connection with a one-upmanship story. How she feels what I feel, only more so. And how she is actually more upset about [pick your topic] than me. And just like that, I’m comforting her again when I reached out to her for comfort. She does this all the time. I can’t even share frustrations about my career because she finds a way to feel upset about my struggle, so then I’m comforting her fear of whatever. Consequently, I no longer desire to go to her first about my struggles. My parents, my work friends (all male), but not my wife. I don’t feel emotionally safe around her, so I clam up. And I want to share–but it always comes back to her being comforted when I need it too, sometimes. So why bother?

  9. Bonny Blue says:

    Well, this woman sounds a little bit like me.
    When we got married, sex didn’t do much for me so I decided to become a student of my husbands sexual needs. I guess you could say, “I honed my skills” to provide what one commenter expressed as a “deeper physical connection” that men seem to need. I think I’ve gotten pretty good over the past 35 years.

    The problem is, in doing this, I’ve cheated myself out of finding what a deep physical connection through sex looks like for me.
    I’ve never found it by providing sex the way my husband desires sex. Changing positions, providing oral, wearing lingerie, etc. has never made me feel loved and cherished like it does my husband. Fact is, I have no idea what kind of sex would make me feel sexually satisfied and loved. I don’t know what the definition of sexual satisfaction is. It’s definitely not having an orgasm. That’s nice, but doesn’t make me feel loved or more connected to my husband. Don’t know why.

    I guess I would have to say that my sexual satisfaction is the fact that I can make my husband happy sexually, which in turn makes him feel better about himself, about us, and about the marriage. That’s what brings me happiness, not the sex. Is that still considered transactional sex?

    To me, if we didn’t have a strong companionship, I could live just fine without the sex.

  10. OKRickety says:

    Curious said: “I may be wrong, but isn’t that exactly what most wives want also? They want to hear their husbands struggles, feelings, and emotions more than they want sex. Most women want to be available for more than just sex. Problem is, most men don’t know how to be authentic and emotionally open unless sex is somehow involved.
    I don’t think most men know How to experience deep authentic connection without sex. Most women do.”

    You are probably right that most wives “want to hear their husbands struggles, feelings, and emotions more than they want sex.” The problem I see is that some, perhaps most, wives insist that this is the correct priority and failure by the husband to prioritize acccordingly is met with strong, even extreme, disapproval. In some instances, this is exhibited with reluctance, even refusal, to have sex until the emotional intimacy desire of the wife is met acceptably.

    You make it sound as if it is wrong for a man to be “authentic and emotionally open unless sex is somehow involved”. Which is exactly the attitude I was describing in the previous paragraph. If emotional intimacy is so important for a wife, and she gets it from her husband if they have sex, then there’s a problem if, and only if, the wife insists that this is unacceptable.

    I hope that Curious has returned and read the responses to her comment. If so, then there is certainly plenty of opportunity to have that curiosity met.

  11. Jackie says:

    Please forgive my naivity, but how can a man become so blinded by his sexuality that paying an escort $5,000 to listen to him, pay attention to him, and provide him with unrequited sex, makes him feel it’s authentic intimacy?

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