Dear Tits and Sass: The Client Boyfriend

by suzyhooker on June 10, 2015 · 7 comments

in Dear Tits and Sass

(image via Flickr user frankieleon)

(image via Flickr user frankieleon)

My BF is a former client. When I first met him I was in my early 30s and really popular. I saw him once or twice… I missed a couple appointments and he stopped seeing me.

Over the years my business slowed down. I operated UTR, mostly relying on regulars…After almost eight years my client who would become my BF contacted me for a date. I didn’t remember him, but he showed me an old review he did about me back then on one of the boards. He started seeing me twice a week. We did some overnighters and we started spending social time together. He was open-minded and generous. At the time, I was barely making it. He started paying for dates in advance. He signed a lease for me and he wanted to move in.

I liked him, but I was still escorting. I wanted him to help me, but I wasn’t willing to give up my freedom. He said he could deal with me not living with him and me continuing to work. He was OK as long as we still saw each other regularly.

[But] after a few months, it was clear that the relationship was really stressing him out. There was tension between us around me not operating securely enough. He tried to give me instructions about running my business. After some arguments, he finally conceded that I had been doing this for a long time and that I knew how to take care of myself.

He never asked me to quit, but I knew every time I told him that I had an appointment it caused him pain. Bottom line, I told him I was retiring. He was so happy. I told him I would go to school and get my education.

So for nearly two years I have been lying to him. I did go to school, but my school closed down. I took down my old contact information, but my review site is still up with all the old information on it. I changed my stage name and I have been operating UTR for nearly two years. He still pays my rent but threatens to cut me off unless we live together. He looks for me occasionally on the boards, but my new name protects me and he wants to believe me.

He loves me. I love him like my generous uncle. His money is not endless and he wants a commitment or he is going to cut me loose. I have mixed feelings. He has been good to me and he has given me a lot. I have a five-year-old. My BF has been generous and kind to her.

I’m getting older, but I think if I was more public I would still have a good five to eight years to make money. Should I give him a break and let him go while he still has some money left?

Sincerely,

A

Josephine: This is certainly a humdilly of a pickle, friend. In sum: a former client turned into a quasi-boyfriend, he likes you a wee bit more than you like him, and now you feel like you owe him.

The first thing you need to do is risk assessment. What are all the probable outcomes of the different scenarios you’ve listed? How do you plan on negotiating them? What if your boyfriend discovers that you’ve been seriously misleading him for the past two years—will he leave you? Are you ok with that? Would he out you? What will you do then?

Let’s say you decide to keep Daddy Warbucks around. Might I suggest…another teeny tiny white lie. Tell him that while you’ve enjoyed your time off, you’d like to start escorting again. That while his generosity is appreciated, it’s not making ends meet. Gently remind him that he was once a client of yours, and he is a just a tad hypocritical in his demand that you stop sex working. Perhaps work a deal out with him—you can go back to escorting, and he can go back to seeing escorts (because while you were on sabbatical from your hobby, surely he was on sabbatical from his, right?).

Finally, would you really be okay with committing yourself a guy that you “love like a generous uncle”? Make a pro/con list: What are his positive and negative attributes? You say he pays your bills and has been good to your kid, those are plusses. What else? Maybe he’s a sexy vampire, maybe he makes a great Tom Collins. But could you handle his negative attributes, what are your dealbreakers? Could you handle seeing that muff of ear hair every day? Does he snore? Think hard about this.

It’s a tough choice. For many of us, financial stability will never coincide with lifelong happiness. Which do you think is more important?

(Image by Flickr user Enokson)

(Image by Flickr user Enokson)

Caty: I think it’s muddying the waters for you to call this man a “boyfriend.” Sure, you might have deep, complicated feelings for him, but when we get down to brass tacks, he’s a client whom you started seeing more exclusively, who gives you money on a conditional basis. A real boyfriend isn’t someone you compromise your freedom for. That’s something you do for an employer when you’re well compensated. And a real boyfriend certainly doesn’t threaten to cut you off unless you make decisions he approves of and/or give him the commitment he desires.

Sure, you might be grateful to him for helping you out when you were in dire straits, but he didn’t perform those services for free. You paid him back lavishly for his patronage, with your time, effort, and affection. So let’s take guilt out of the equation. You may have been lying to him, but he asked for something he had no right to. So as part of your package for him, you created the illusion of exclusivity for him to enjoy. On some level, even he knows that it was only ever an illusion—hence, his searching for you on the boards from time to time. Both of you know that he would have had to be giving you a lot more security and money for him to be owed the reality of your monogamy.

At best he’s a sugar daddy—a sugar daddy who’s running out of money, at that. You couch the decision to cut him loose based on pity for his pocketbook, but given your wistful desire to make the most of escorting while you still have confidence in your charms, I’d make that decision out of pity for your pocketbook. There’s no reason you should waste the prime of your life settling down with someone you “love…like a generous uncle,” dreaming about all the money you could be making if you were out there escorting.

I’d play it the way Josephine suggests above: an announcement that you’re returning to escorting. Be sweet and firm in your goodbye speech, so that you can pay due diligence to damage control and he won’t leave the conversation itching to out you or hurt you in some other way. Do it diplomatically enough and maybe he can still have some place in your life, as the more occasional client he was for you in the beginning.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

maryann660ac June 10, 2015 at 10:19 am

the above is so familiar suggest she do like me go back to wscort and save money

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Jess June 10, 2015 at 1:55 pm

This guy is getting way more out of you than you are out of him. I’ve tried to date two clients and in the end it wasn’t worth it.

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story June 10, 2015 at 5:30 pm

eeek. i respectfully disagree. i think even a “real” boyfriend has the right to not agree to pay his girlfriend’s rent if she doesn’t want to live with him anymore. he is setting up boundaries around his deal breakers and that’s what people do in honest relationships. we may not agree with the conditions if we sympathize with A’s position but all relationships have conditions and boundaries and it’s not completely out of line for this guy, who perceives himself as a boyfriend, to have conditions about what type of living arrangement he will subsidize.
A has not been honest nor has she stated her needs. to suggest her dishonesty is valid on the fact that the boyfriend should have known this was just a sugar daddy exchange isn’t fair (how was he supposed to know?). it’s also not fair to suggest that he has been paid back already because he was in an exchange for services that he did not consent to.
nonetheless, i do think the advice is strong. start being honest now and do what you have to do to care for yourself and young one. there’s no need for A to put herself at risk by copping to the last two years. i too think that a romantic life with a generous uncle would not be my preferred choice but, as josephine pointed out sometimes we don’t get our top preferences and compromises between finances and happiness have to be made.

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Aphrodite Phoenix June 11, 2015 at 9:15 am

If you fall in love with a client, I mean really head over heels, and he wants you to quit, you’re in hell.

That happened to me, and I sympathized with his feelings, feelings that I knew he couldn’t help. His feelings were natural. I wanted to quit, too, for our relationship. But I loved the great money I was making, and the power I felt in that scenario: the power of being in control.

When you fall in love, you’re out of control.

The tension between love and money, in sex work, can be absolutely horrendous.

I quit for a while, went broke, and he turned out to not be worth it (he said he was divorcing and would eventually move in, but he didn’t).

I fled him and went back to the money, and the wonderful sense of control.

I was hurt badly, however, and the memory relentlessly haunts me.

There are a few women I’ve known (like Norma Jean Almodovar) who had the luck to find lovers who can cheerfully accept what they do, and live with it in peace, even married. Such men must be gifts from the Goddess. Only such men can make it work. Other than pimps, who aren’t lovers but are users..they are probably very rare.

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Juliette September 14, 2015 at 4:11 pm

“The tension between love and money, in sex work, can be absolutely horrendous.”

Why is it that at the start of the relationship everything is always free and easygoing and as the relationship deepens one or both start to preoblematize the other’s lifestyle, habits, and sometimes even sources of income? Although my boyfriend was not a former client, he always knew about my work and just like with so many girls I’ve met in the business, at first everything is cool with the new guy, and then a few months later, drama ensues and there is the pressure to stop escorting, massaging, stripping, whatever. I feel punished for being honest. My co-workers always said I was naive for being so open to my boyfriend about what I do, but I could never live a double-life and be in a romantic relationship.

And like so many other women in the business, I quit because I didn’t want to lose him. I tell myself I did it for myself too, because I finally went out and found “proper” work that can I can slap on a CV, but after being out of the business for a few years now, I still have this stinging, guilty feeling that I allowed myself to be talked out of doing work that I was actually truly interested and invested in the whole time. I know I’ll go back at some point. It’s just somewhat sad that I’ll have to give up my relationship beforehand.

I still hope that maybe there are men out there who are capable of being in a gender-equal relationships with sex workers. It seems like sex worker boyfriend’s are generally either overblown alpha-male, abusive types or extremely submissive, cowardly types who are hard to take seriously as romantic partners.

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Angel June 19, 2015 at 9:02 am

I am grateful to you all for your insights. All of your advice is good advice. Thank goodness for T&S. I believe that my “BF” is as good as men get. He has never demanded that I quit escorting. I told him I quit because I didn’t want him to worry about me so much. He only wants what men want. He wants me to be his girl friend when I come home. After working the last thing you want is a man wanting more “loving.” Truth is and I have told him this, I don’t want a man in my home, in my private space.

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Felicia Elizondo July 30, 2015 at 10:13 pm

I have something to say, Yes some of us are still here that went lived in the t960’s, We were sex workers and stole and clip money from Tricks, We had to survive. While the Lesbian and Gay Men stayed in the closet made their money got their education, where we were fighting for our lives to be who we meant to be. and the riches go to the people that look down on us just because we are poor and low income, it because of us that you are in the position that you are now. The fight began in the 60’s and we are still fighting for our LGB Community to give us the respect, consideration and compassion that we deserve..

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