As if having one phone isn’t annoying enough, I have three. One is my personal phone; the other two are my escort phones. And for those who have no idea, the escorting industry is usually quite predictable – busy during the weekdays, quieter at weekends. School holidays and end of financial year pretty dead.
But since COVID-19 and this enforced isolation we find ourselves in, my escort phones have been ringing off the hook. Absolutely off the hook. As I am writing this column, I am texting the sixth gentlemen today to tell him my ladies aren’t working face-to-face due to this virus and if it’s an online service he requires…. ‘What, no connection?’ he interrupted. That’s right buddy. No human connection. He’s not interested.
I’ve lost count of the texts, calls, voicemails and emails from desperate men. Not desperate to bonk – we all know we can achieve orgasm on our own for free, but craving connection, company, cuddles and a non-judgemental ear.
Anyone who has read my two books or columns knows how I bang on about how escorting is rarely about the sex. The reason why men pay thousands of dollars for an escort is not because they want a quickie. Sex is available readily and easily with various online dating apps, and women these days aren’t that backward about coming forward about their sexual needs.
It’s the big C they are so hungry for – connection. Emotional connection. And since this virus hit, and they’re stuck at home, I can see and hear how they’re not coping. It worries me. It worries me a lot. I can hear the almost panic in their voices when I tell them business is on hold until this virus is over. Some ring up high or drunk, miserable and lonely. Others are itchy and uncomfortable with having no distractions and can’t face the solitude and mental chatter in their heads.
A dear client of mine, let’s call him S, is a terribly unhappily married man with two grown up kids says: “Yes, sex is involved with escorts, but it’s so much more about the intimacy and empathy that I am not receiving at home.” Enforced isolation he says, will only make the cracks in dysfunctional marriages wider.
Another client told me in no uncertain terms he is struggling ‘big time.’ “This is a f*cked situation. I don’t actually know how I am going to cope. Are you sure you can’t come to Melbourne?”
Another calls and texts me most days just to ‘check in.’ He’s says he just wants to see how I am, but I think it’s more because he needs to connect.
Escorts provide an outlet for men. We offer a judgement-free zone where men feel they can be vulnerable, real and honest. I’ve heard things from men that they haven’t told a soul about, from the sexual abuse they suffered as a child, to giving them a cuddle as they cry for their dead wives. I know men well. And I know for some, living alone or in loveless marriages with no escape is unbearable for them. (I know there are two sides of the story, but I’m talking about the men here).
With suicide in men being three times greater than for women at the best of times, organisations like Beyond Blue and the Black Dog Institute have special Coronavirus mental health services up and running.
I know what goes on behind the four walls of a hotel room because I’ve lived it. It’s no secret that men rate listening and compassion as more important than a perfect face and body. So much so I’m now studying a Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy so I can finely tune my skills to work with men.
When this is all over, and we return to normal life, business will be booming again. So gentlemen, hang on in there. We’ll be waiting for you at the other end.