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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Learning from the Hooker Experience

Recently I had an email conversation with an escort by the name of Elle. She has a website here... and, no, I don't know what "Butterfield 10" means, unless it refers to the fact that Interstate highway 10 follows the route that John Butterfield's set for his Butterfield Overland Mail Company in the 19th century... but I doubt it's that.

Elle sometimes posts on ASPD HDH as a high priced escort. She is better educated and well-read when compared to most escorts, what many people would call classy, but more than that she seems to be very thoughtful about the role she plays in society and men's lives.

Obligatory disclaimer here: I have never "known" Elle in the Biblical sense. And I don't even know her real name.

So here's the relevant quote from her email, quoted with her permission of course:

Interestingly enough, have I ever told you my theory about the hooker experience (or rather, at least my experience with clients)? As you get older, you feel limited or constrained in so many ways--it becomes less possible for you to start-up in entirely new professions, change partners, and even "be yourself" in many situations because people expect or want certain things from you and you don't want to disappoint them. So, I think the hooker experience is about creating an actually free space with another person, where you can express all aspects of yourself at once to one another, including sexuality, which is often the most constrained part of one's social roles, and there isn't any fear of blame, shame or punishment.

I wrote about this on ASPD, but the strange thing, to me, is that all my hooker relationships seem actually better to me than my real-life ones. I think the structural setup where you don't have to take care of the other person's feelings in many ways creates a much more open and intimate experience. Relationships in the real world often become about controlling the other's behavior, and less about actually encountering the person.
I found this to be a provocative and interesting point of view. I have been writing about relationships that haven't worked because my needs and environments are very complex: girlfriend relationships and provider relationships fail under the load of this complexity. I have written wistfully about a hybrid relationship, like a mistress but more. But I have failed to really articulate what that relationship is, although I have proposed that it is transactional or contractual.

Elle has taken a similar view but from a different perspective. Whereas I categorized the new relationship type as transactional, focusing on the financial aspects of a mistress to differentiate it from a girlfriend relationship, she has categorized it in terms of the non-financial differences.

While I am hardly limited or constrained in the ways she mentions, I do resonate with the liberation of not having to be responsible for somebody else's feelings completely, in the way expected by a girlfriend or wife. This is not to say you don't feel for them or love them, because you do! But you aren't responsible for tying their feelings into every aspect of your life 24x7, and therefore you can feel more deeply for the moment, whatever that moment may be.

This implies that another way of looking at the goals of a new relationship is an attempt to combine freedom with emotional commitment, by factoring commitments into separable parts and avoiding the holistic all-encompassing (and perhaps all-suffocating?) love.

Is that it? Am I seeking continuous freedom?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The name "Butterfield 10" in undoubtedly a reference to the title of the movie "Butterfield 10," in which Elizabeth Taylor plays a call girl.

11/09/2006 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shit! I meant the movie is "Butterfield 9," with Elizabeth Taylor. And "is" instead of "in." I'm not really this retarded.

11/09/2006 5:30 PM  

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