ven the best of business relationships can take an unexpected turn. It happens more often in the escort business since the relationships are especially personal and intimate. There’s less separation between the customer and client labels since the latter is selling a fantasy to the former, and a fantasy cuts a lot deeper than a new fridge.
Just as I was busying myself in the virtual world — I hadn’t seen a live client in two months — I got message from a very alive one, Leo, a regular, who if he isn’t in Athens is, for whatever reason, in Stockholm.
Leo’s not a man I’d ever date or choose as a partner in real life, but someone an escort can appreciate: pleasant and generous, with a mind that invites good conversation. He’d become something of an old dependable — until the virus disrupted dependability itself, maybe changing its meaning forever.
But we remained in touch through these months, and he said he couldn’t wait to see me again when Mr. and Mrs. Corona finally decides to give the world a breather. Imagine my surprise when his next move (what relationship of any kind doesn’t have some chess in it?) took a twist, one I hadn’t expected. Some situations are worth writing about. Others are best left to speak for themselves. This one I’ll leave to its voices, his and mine.
Morale of the story: put a fantasy in brackets by trying to pin it down or adding a romantic ingredient and you risk puncturing your castle in the air. I admire my client for his honesty but I don’t envy him. Falling in love, or into infatuation, is easy: we can all tilt at windmills. But best to keep in mind what mad and romantic Don Quixote couldn’t: that a windmill is just a windmill, no matter what, and that won’t change no matter how gallant your charge.
I dared myself to do this, and now I cannot resist. I want to propose something, a change. You’re on my mind often, maybe more than you know. I enjoy your physical and spiritual presence.
But I admit to feeling stuck in the client/escort relationship, and I’d very much like to know if there might be a chance of revising our bond so that we share our time in a way that has a less transactional feel to it, at least materially.
It might be a “surrender” experiment in which, for some time, maybe a week or so, say, we enjoy each other without each time feeling the need to look at the clock and the wallet.
Go for a walk, have dinner or lunch together, be intimate as needed and get deeper into each other, and into ourselves. Introduce some of my friends.
I would take care of all your financial needs, renting an apartment and attend to all of your expenses. I am sure we could come to an agreement on that.
Sorry if by writing this I may be breaking the rules. I realize you may not have time for this kind of an arrangement.
But as I said to start, my inner self told me I had to act on my desire, above all to be true to myself.
I respect your job and freedom but cannot hide how I feel about you.
I have no hidden agenda in mind, nor any expectations. I understand you have an inner and an outer self you keep separate. Still. I very much want to get closer to the inner part. Love, Leo
My reply. It’s not in my nature to hurt anyone’s feelings, and I won’t start now, but “darling” and “love,” those I cannot do.
I want to keep our relation within professional limits as I don’t want to create a non-professional relationship with you.
For now, I am not prepared to have something like what you suggest, as it is too “dangerous” for me to have feelings for you.
I enjoy you as a fantasy partner because it makes me feel safer. I feel good with you, and I love our dates. But to change the status would be inappropriate.
Our relationship is part of my work. It’s not my personal life, and I cannot mix the two.
I hope you can understand and respect my feelings. I don’t wish to lose what we have as I do value it immensely.
I held my breath and sent it, assuming all would be lost. Not the case. I’ll be meeting Leo again soon, professionally. The “clock-and-wallet” tango continues, which to my mind makes it no less real.