“Can you call back later? My hands are full right now.” This is what I said recently to Michael, who had finally called to ask me out on a date. Little did he know that they were indeed rather full - with another man’s penis. Michael is handsome, sweet, funny and a talented artist, and I was excited to hear from him, but I had no time for casual chit-chat that day. I took one look at the balding, middle-aged American writhing about on the massage table in front of me, and realized that the matter at, um, hand had become critical. Clearly, this was yet another case when two hands would be better than one! Five minutes later, the guy zipped up his flies and beamed at me in sleepy satisfaction, and I was $120 richer.
When my friends call me they often hear that “my hands are full” because, for the last two years, I have been working as an erotic masseuse in the US while paying my way through university. This is far from being my first foray into the sex industry, though, as I’ve worked as an escort all over the world. My degree was in Modern Languages and this gave me the opportunity to ply my trade in many different countries. I’ve bonked Bavarians, fornicated with Frenchmen, had nookie with New Yorkers and even wanked off Weegies – but I’ve never let myself be eaten out by an Edinburgher. Hell, even sex workers have standards!
Maybe you’re asking yourself why a nice Glaswegian lassie would do such a thing? Right now, I do it because of the money, but this wasn’t always the case. When I started out as an escort at the age of nineteen, eleven years ago, I loved the thrill of meeting strange men in hotel rooms. Their looks or personality didn’t matter to me – the taboo of illicit sex was enough to get me off. Some may say that such behaviour makes me a fucked-up nymphomaniac or a self-deluding victim of the patriarchy, but many women have prostitution fantasies. I just had the guts to make fantasy reality.
The only problem with giving into one’s every sexual desire is that reality soon replaces fantasy. After a while, shagging strange men for money became routine and boring. In fact, I almost began to dread going to work because it was emotionally draining to cater to the men’s needs and pretend that I was always in the throes of orgasmic bliss. I switched to massage because the money’s still good but I don’t need to give so much of myself. If I’m tired or having a bad day, I can let my wrist do all the work and let my mind wander.
I like looking at the men’s faces when they orgasm, lying naked and vulnerable on my massage table. Certain feminists would like to see this as ‘female empowerment’ but I don’t buy such facile arguments. Sex work has allowed me to better myself by paying for my studies, but it has taken me a long time to carve out a niche for myself in this industry where I always feel in control.