Years ago, I paid her. She sucked my cock. I licked her clit. We had adventures with several other women. She wanted to be hit more, harder, than any woman I’d been with previously. She taught me a lot about submission and, along the way, about dominance. I introduced her to the world of “massage” parlors, where she earned her keep for several years, and, where she met a man with whom she had a years-long affair.
I stopped paying her six or seven years ago, and we stopped having sexual encounters, but we stayed friendly. I was clear that I remained interested in sex with her, but not paid. She presented her rejection as circumstantial, born of her relationship status. Perhaps she was sparing me the harder-to-hear (and -to-deliver) rejection that wasn’t circumstantial, that was essential. (In retrospect, it seems clear that this was the case.)
Recently, her circumstances changed. I had believed (she had allowed me to believe) that the rejection HAD been circumstantial. Now that circumstances had changed, I had hoped I would once again feel her red lips wrapped round my cock as I pulled her red hair, as I squeezed her pale, pale breasts.
We had talked, extensively, about each of our pasts, about our relationship to paying/being paid for sex, and I had believed (she had allowed me to believe) that she understood that, while I have nothing against people paying for or being paid for sex, for me, the inclusion of compensation in a sexual interaction is toxic, at best. I’ve written previously that I don’t think I was often fooled by women I paid. Maybe I was wrong.
She knows I write this blog, but she’s forgotten/misplaced the URL, and recently, she’d asked for it again. “I’ll give it to you,” I said, “after you suck my cock again.” We playfully flirted around this possibility – there were coy emoticons, subtle innuendos, flowing in both directions – but, when push came to shove, she said, “I require a donation.”
She said this in a message that self-consciously trumpeted our “friendship,” the value she placed on it.
I was devastated.
Not because she rejected me sexually (I told myself), but because, years after we’d had the whore/john relationship, after we’d (I thought) become bona fide friends, friends who understood one another’s sensitivities and concerns, particularly around sex, money, and commercial sex, she revealed that she’d NEVER seen me as a friend, that she’d NEVER considered a straight-up sexual relationship with me, and, worst of all, that she’d never actually understood anything I’d said about my relationship to the intersection of sex and money in my life.
No, to her, I’d just been a long-term prospective customer, doomed forever to the role I’ve spent much of the last decade trying to understand, trying to transcend.
A little more self-examination, though, and I see that while yes, all I’ve written is true, the REALLY devastating thing for me was neither the rejection nor the false friendship. No, what really hurt was the loss I suffered. I thought I had something, the prospect of a hot sexual encounter or, better yet, relationship with a sexy, smart, beautiful woman whom I knew to be a good sexual fit with me. But with those four words – “I require a donation” – she unceremoniously informed me that not only did I not have the prospective hotness I’d come to believe (she’d allowed me to believe) was in store for me, but I NEVER DID. The fantasy I had was always a fantasy.
“I thought I’d made it clear I wasn’t interested,” she said. Perhaps she did think she had made it clear, but, evidently, she hadn’t.
Was this a failure of hers? Of mine? Of ours?
I can’t really know.
I do know that our exchange leading up to the four stinging words sure does look flirty, sure does look promising, even in retrospect. But I also know that, if I take her at her word, if she never intended to suck my cock without a wad of twenties changing hands, the exchange makes no less sense.
I don’t have anything against whores. Or johns. I don’t judge sex work, or its consumption. But the twin loss – of the fantasy that I’d get to enjoy sex with her again, and of the fantasy that she saw me as other than a john – really, really sucks.
I suspect that she felt as betrayed by this as you did.
You were friends, well past the sex worker/client thing.
YOU raised the ‘suck my cock’ thing (as a transaction, no less, and yes, I do understand that it was all flirty-fun-jokey: doesn’t change anything), relegating her (again) to convenient sex toy.
SHE raised the money thing, relegating you (again) to customer.
For me, male ‘friends’ who see and take opportunities to ask/hint/push for sex are devaluing our friendship. The first thought for many women is ‘is THIS why he was pretending to be my friend? Just waiting around for this opportunity? Was he EVER my friend?’
So perhaps she feels hurt EXACTLY like you in this.
Can I *like* this? 🙂
I absolutely agree with Ferns. I was a tad insulted on her behalf when you mentioned a blowjob. I’ve had to distance myself from a lot of lovers-turned-friends when they again push for sex years later, far into what I believed was a genuine respect and friendship.
I’m with all the other ladies on this and I also have to say that I’m disappointed in you on this post. In other posts you uphold and defend the position of sex workers, avoiding terminology like prostitute and whore derogatively yet here you blatantly use the derogative term more than once in context with her. You say you don’t judge but the use of that terminology proves that you do. So just because you don’t get free sex you put her on a level that is lower than yourself?
I think that guys who assume that just because women are friendly (and flirty) to you means they want to have sex with you is getting really old. And even more than that, I’m sure sex workers have dozens of guys who want to be their ‘friends’ with benefits. What would it cost you to just be her friend and let her come to you if that’s what she wants? You’d have saved yourself both fantasies. You could have kept both the fantasies going, flirting and thinking she wanted to fuck you and hoping it was because she genuinely wanted you. Maybe, keeping it up long enough she would have come to you for sex. Maybe, just maybe proving that you can be a friend without sex on your mind as the first thing, maybe then she could have come to you as a lover and not as a sex worker.
Meh. I’m not those guys. And we were friends, and she did come to me. Sorry, Cande, this isn’t the story you’re telling yourself. That’s my fault for not telling it well, but it’s not.
Lollll. You’re not those guys. You are SO those guys! You are not special.
I’ll add this to the bucket of comments I just don’t understand. I don’t think I identified a group of “those guys” in this post, or excluded myself from any such group. What am I missing?
Ah, I see. It wasn’t in the post, it was in the comment.
I think, in this particular instance, it was complicated, and I’ve done a lot of thinking about how that all went down (and she and I debriefed after it).
I think the bottom line is that I may not have communicated to my readers very well. I’m certainly a guy who sexualizes women, who objectifies them. At the same time, I’m certainly a guy who “can be a friend without sex on [my] mind.” What CAN be hard for me is to transition a relationship from one type to another, from a primarily sexual one to an utterly platonic one.
If I had all this to do over again, I would have handled it differently – rather than say, “You can see my blog after you suck my cock,” I would have said, “Look, you know my policy – that the people who see the blog are people either who a) don’t know my legal name, and/or b) suck my cock. In our current configuration, you know my legal name, and you’re not sucking my cock. Please let me know if you plan to change categories, but, assuming the way things are is the way you want them, I’m not comfortable sharing the blog.”
So I fucked up. That’s a thing I do a lot.
I understand what you girls are saying, and I can see how it appears disrespectful. You may have a point – maybe this woman was offended by the request for the blowjob and she reverted back to their established relationship.
Here are some points that make me more sympathetic with N, though. He says, “I had believed (she had allowed me to believe) that she understood that, while I have nothing against people paying for or being paid for sex, for me, the inclusion of compensation in a sexual interaction is toxic, at best.” It seems like he established with her that paying for sex is something that he equates to poison. Yeah, there is a barter here – she wants the URL, he asks for a blowjob in return – so maybe that triggered her. I don’t know. But I feel like he told her, straight up, that he won’t pay for sex.
He also says that, after asking for the blowjob, “We playfully flirted around this possibility – there were coy emoticons, subtle innuendos, flowing in both directions.” If she’s flirting, doesn’t that imply that she’s entertaining his suggestion? Or is it more mercenary than that – is she building up his hope and then leveling him with the request for money?
The entire exchange is unsettling, on both of their parts. But I can’t blame N more than I blame her.
I’m still not convinced. First, saying that paying for sex is toxic doesn’t mean you won’t do it. Saying you won’t do it is much clearer. There are a lot of people who have addictions, and this, for some men is one of them. Just saying it’s toxic isn’t enough. In this case we don’t know his exact words to her and we’ll never know both sides of the story but if she asked him for money, there was a communication problem along the line somewhere and I’m betting it wasn’t her misunderstanding that he’ll never pay for sex again… I’m also willing to guess (though I may be mistaken) that this wasn’t his resolve. He just didn’t want to pay HER for sex and that really sucks for her, she’s a sex worker. I’m sure she’s flattered by all the Johns that ‘fall in love’ (not saying he has) with her and want to have meaningful ‘free’ sex with her.
The blowjob in exchange for the URL conversation bothers me too because I’ve had similar conversations with guys… so I’m projecting here but I see it like this: You start flirting, and playing, especially in messages, a chat or online, it’s all fantasy and fun, and then the guy starts pulling out the real deal, real life questions like when, where, can we… I can just imagine that she doesn’t want to get real so this is her solution. She needs to keep her distance. Maybe she doesn’t want to be in any kind of relationship right now and this is her way of separating life from work. Who knows what her reasons were. Just because you’re flirting online/messages/chat doesn’t mean you want it to go anywhere. Plus a blowjob in exchange for the blog’s URL? Thar hardly seems like fair barter.
The last alternative is that she’s playing him hard. She is a sex worker after all. It’s her job to manipulate men into thinking she wants them. She still can’t be blamed. It’s her job, he’s the one ignoring that.
You’re right. Saying its toxic is not the same as saying it won’t happen. I guess I construe it as such, but that’s a mistake on my part.
I interpreted this as a relationship that evolved into being friendly, if not quite friends. There would be occasional flirtatious chatter between two people originally linked by sexual need – his for the blowjobs and hers for cash. But the flirtation remains. The URL request comes, he gives what he thinks is a playful demand (albeit one rooted in that first connection), and she demands payment, either intentionally shutting down any sex act between them or asking for a fair trade or she’s playing him. He, though, thinks they’ve established this friendly repartee and is hurt that she would go for the wallet.
I think I see this exchange as sad more than cruel – sad for both of them. Neither seemed to understand the other, and it leaves me feeling melancholy.
I agree it’s sad, and no, it’s not cruel. I do however think that men tend to assume too much (or maybe us women shouldn’t flirt without putting out *jk*). I think men need to come to terms that if a woman flirts with them it doesn’t necessarily mean that they want to have ‘real’ sex with you, or (especially) should have sex with you. And this is even more true for a sex worker. It should be obvious but the manipulation she pulled obviously obscured that for him. Yes, it’s very sad.
A note on flirting and not putting out: I don’t, for a minute, think that a woman (or a man) ever OWES another sex, or at any point, in any circumstance, abandons the right to say no.
But flirting can be playing (in the playful sense) or it can be playing (in the cruel sense). I don’t think this was the cruel sense. I don’t think she INTENDED to play me. But I do think that there was a disconnect between what she said and what she (evidently) meant. I want to choose my words carefully here, but if she KNEW that she was flirting, that she was creating a certain expectation in me, and she had no intention of even entertaining that expectation? That’s certainly something I wouldn’t do. And it’s something I’d hope my friends don’t do, to me or to others. I think it’s not nice.
To be clear: I don’t think that’s what happened here. I think this was a more complicated breakdown of communication than I’ve been able to communicate well. I don’t impugn her motives or her intent. I think we just communicated badly.
But I don’t think it would be nice if she did play me. In the terms offered by Cande above, of course, flirting isn’t consent, nor does it create an obligation. But flirting in a manner that’s intentionally misleading about one’s intent and expectations IS intentionally misleading. Not that that in any way justifies anything other than disappointment in the eyes of the disappointee. But still.
Finally, the “seasoned sex worker manipulation” suggestion isn’t right here. Sorry. I know too much about this particular story, both generally, and in our two cases.
FWIW, I did say I wouldn’t do it. Many times. Including, most recently, in the conversation that immediately preceded the exchange I reported here. I told her, not with respect to her, but generally, “I can’t do it, and I won’t.”
And you don’t think my blog’s URL is worth a blowjob?!?!? In other contexts, it certainly is. But evidently, not in this one.
I fucked this all up. Main point: I wrote badly, and communicated badly with her. But yes, I do think there was a bit of the “building up/leveling.” Not in a manipulative way. But that is, I think, a bit of what happened.
(I just saw that I left out an apostrophe. The grammar nerd in me is soooo ashamed. )
Lol I’ve got a ‘thar’ at the end of my reply… I blame it on the white text on black background 😉
Well, these mistakes certainly are not OUR fault.
I got rid of it for a while, but more people complained than liked it!