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Monday, August 02, 2004

Mistress Seeking

I first became interested in mistresses back in February and wrote about it then. I had a very interesting experience interviewing a mistress, which I wrote about here in April and here in May (although the events were actually March and April). It was interesting enough that I briefly thought of looking for such a relationship more actively, an activity I pursued mostly in June. So this is a catch-up posting (originally authored July 18, updated today).

By mistress I am referring to a contractual relationship. The contract is that I provide living expenses, and they provide companionship. My framework was an annual renewal, with an understanding that emotional attachment was actually preferred. This is generally not the case with providers, where emotional attachment is a no no. And as I have written before, full living expense support often creates a relationship strain with traditional girlfriend-boyfriend relationships.

Traditionally a mistress arrangement exists to supplement a marriage relationship. Whereas marriage (traditionally, again) was a public social contract, and a socioeconomic imperative for raising children in the context of society up until the industrial age, a mistress is a relationship between adults. In some cultural contexts a mistress is quite socially acceptable, but this is becoming less frequent with the globalization of the Disney-eque expectations of lifetime solitary mating. Indeed there is a tort of "alienation of affections and criminal conversation" that addresses damages upon an innocent spouse against a person who knowingly engages in sex or other affairs with a married person. This tort allows the "wronged" spouse sue the mistress for damages (although this tort has been recently abolished in most states.) At the same time, the mistresses role has become an interesting part of the social milieu of modern Western civilization, one that many women accept and enjoy.

So in April I tried a variety of approaches to finding a mistress:
  1. Providers looking to reduce their exposure in the market by restricting to a small number of clients or a single client, for emotional, financial, or personal reasons.
  2. Civilians looking for a "sugar daddy" without long-term commitment.
  3. Experienced mistresses looking for their next patron.
  4. Civilians who would fall into the mistress category willingly due to the asymmetry in financial means.
My goal was to have an idea of a mistress contract by the fall or end of the year at least, to address at least one New Year's hope. Although my crtieria was long, because I could cast my search globally, I found many candidates. But only a small set, about a dozen around the world, looked promising. Nine were US based, two in Europe, and three in Asia. Four were providers, two were retired ex-providers, three were ex-mistresses, and five were civilians. The age range was 21 to 38, with most between 26 and 28.

A surprising number of civilian candidates were students or had just graduated and were looking for patronage to support a lifestyle, and had no issues with checking out of their native social scene for a while. I don't know if this is a modern trend or a community that was hidden from me prior to on-line networking... but as a consequence of this, they tended to be very young (but there is some truth to beauty in youth!) and naive. Only two in this category seemed interesting: one was 21 and in school, the other was 24 and at a sales job. The other two civilians was not explicitly looking for a mistress situation, but the situation seemed open to it. Both women from Asia were ex-mistresses, that is, they had experience and were somewhat older. Two providers were contemplating this in lieu of retirement, one was seeking a one-year fantasy fulfillment, an opportunity to create a novel form of sex-based relationship. I had not met either. The two ex-providers were looking for a long-term mistress relationship. I knew both of them well.

I met these women, predominantly in May and June. Most I was able to encounter sexually. It became clear that there was an unfortunate separation between sexual ability (to please me) and social ability. The Asian women, for example, were fantastic at sex (I may write more about this later, it's not just the physical act or skill), but could not speak English nor appreciate my culture and humor sufficiently to pass my social bar. Another example of this was the 21 year old student, who was sexually very dynamic, but socially a dud. Like a young wine, perhaps another six years of exposure would help, but I wasn't that interested in providing that myself (although perhaps there is a business in doing that, a revival of the very traditional madam business). Since I am difficult to please sexually, I found the sexual ability a highly-weighted attribute, but for the very same reason I also needed the social connection.

There was also an interesting financial stratification. The civilians and Asians required far less income to be a mistress, and they were more careful with their spending probably as a result of having been "spoiled" less. Why this is important to me is unclear; perhaps it is a fiscally conservative upbringing, or a paranoia that people are "out for my money", or a worry that fiscal irresponsibility is a high liability if I am the sole financial support, or perhaps it makes my generousity look even more generous so it's a vanity thing... but for whatever the reason, I find it attractive. The range was $50k to "at least $300k" per year, and the clear dividing line between the "wants" and "want-nots" was around $100k per year. This is only the stipend, so the figure does not cover entertainment, travel, gifts, and the like. Despite my caviar tastes, I couldn't help be swayed by the 6:1 range into carefully considering the "value for dollar" proposition. (Consider, for example, this (PDF) paper that finds the economic value of sex to be equivalent to $50k/year income based on a happiness metric.)

After my initial meetings, I had narrowed the list down to four: three US based and one in Hong Kong, one provider and three civilians. The provider implied a very high rate mistress stipend, but had interesting and intriguing scenarios, and a certain strange but attractive mystique. The civilians were comparatively inexpensive and more transparent.

I was in the process of scheduling multi-day meetings, and I started to run into difficulties. This was now June and July. The provider wanted, not unreasonably, to charge her ordinary fees during this period. Two civilians were nearly impossible to schedule. One was in a city that was difficult to reach, but was unable to travel on my schedule due to commitments. The other was in a convenient city, but kept breaking appointments due to her chaotic sales job, and then went with friends to France.

And then fate delivered me into the hands of Paulina, the topic of another posting.

Paulina poses an interesting dilemma, although a pleasant one. Although it's unclear what relationship I may be pursuing, there is an interesting and unspoken question of commitment. This is always an issue with me. When growing up, I didn't have many relationships, but I was exclusive, i.e. dated only one person at a time from an early stage of the relationship, to such an extent that friends would make comment. It was never clear to me when was the right time to become exclusive. In school there was a "going steady" transition that I observed but never really experienced. In college you could "pin" a girl or trade rings or some such, but I never understood that either. Later it seemed like an increasingly serious commitment to become exclusive. So to this day, I don't really know the protocol. Personally I have taken a more hedonist attitude to the whole thing in the last few years. I spent years in the play it safe exclusive mode, and it gained me little. (Note that the previously-cited paper also notes that more money buys more partners not more sex.) It may sound awfully self-centered, but I am on a search, and computer science tells us that parallel search is more efficient, although it can produce contention and conflicts. Hmm.

An interesting second question is one I brought up in an earlier post about mistresses: I had hypothesized that one reason my experience with the ex-mistress T didn't work was because I was not previously committed to a social relationship, for example a wife and children. Mistresses seemed to base their compensation and model on being the other woman, not the woman. So it is quite fascinating to consider if a mistress would be bothered by my having a girlfriend relationship, but also to think about the other way around. Is there a pretext for an open relationship with a girlfriend? Open relationships was a fad of the 60's that didn't seem to really take off.

Consider for a moment the concubine model. A man who could afford to keep a harem or multiple wives or concubines would do so. On the other hand, in most all such societies, the multiple partners were ordered, that is, there was a clear first or dominant wife. (In this sense, open relationship is different from polyamory.) The concubine model is not the model I would advocate in relationships, but to bring it to the modern context, consider the girlfriend who cannot travel to all the places I go, due to financial, scheduling, work, independence, or other considerations. Should she allow me to have contractual relationships in other places? In other words, is it ok to have a girlfriend and contractual relationships (a pattern I seem to like, as I noted here)? Or is that too modern? To what extent are we socially or genetically programmed to be greedy about our mates?

Interestingly, if what is good for the gander is good for the goose, I would have a problem, as I have stated elsewhere. I am jealous of other men, I think (my experience with women cheating on me with other men is very limited, thankfully). But given that symmetry in my relationships tends to be broken from the beginning, should this be a limitation?

Thoughts to ponder.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My god man do you really exist? Your either an amazing liar or a fucking idiot. why spend all this time? Just fuck them all!


8/09/2004 7:37 AM  
Anonymous Madoka said...

As a student of economics, I find the financial, social and sexual sums you do very interesting.

Bascially, you have managed to encapusulate the various gender roles into various category; based on the worth of each variable factor.

It must be lonely to have to pay for companionship even though it should be a good bargain on both sides.

Don't women develop real feelings like love for a man after close contact for some time?

6/04/2005 12:55 PM  

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