Once per month or so, we’ll use this space to answer reader-submitted questions about sex, sex work, porn, and gay stuff. I’ll share what I know, and source the answers to stuff I don’t.
If you’ve got an Uncomfortable Ask, share it with me and I’ll do my best to find some truth for you.
I see escorts and dancers regularly and am quite familiar with some of them. We seem to get along well at first but they drift away and later start avoiding me. I try my best to be respectful, and take care of them. What am I doing wrong?
Welcome, Anon. This is a surprising amount to unpack for just a few short sentences. I have a general idea about what you’re describing, but without any specific details (or knowing you or these gentlemen personally), it’s tough for me to give you a read on what you might be doing “wrong.”
Broadly speaking, though, it’s very possible that there is nothing you’re doing wrong.
If I may talk realistically for just a quick moment, and peek below the gloss of Commercial Sex™ to deal with the human men underneath it: whatever form this work takes – stripping, dancing, or something more full service – it is often just as loaded, emotionally, for the providers as it is for someone like you, the audience or client. But their job is not to display that, however aware of this emotional charge they happen to be.
There is a breadth of emotion, exposure, and ego that goes into sex in any format, but performative sex in particular carries all sorts of weight for the performers: are they hot enough, are they hotter than that guy, will the audience like them, will they make any money, will somebody cause problems – you name it. They are, comfortable as they might seem with their perfect-looking bodies, quite literally exposed and might be working to offset some of that with overconfidence or distance. Mix any kind of alcohol or recreational drugs into that brainspace and you have a recipe for unpredictability out the wazoo.
Men aren’t taught or conditioned to address any of this well, and the bravado and machismo required of strippers or escorts can be an exhausting energy suck.
It is quite possible that once they get to know you better, they are truly put off by something you do or say, or a way that you engage them physically.
But it is also possible that it’s nothing at all to do with you or who you are. It could be part of the emotional baggage that comes along with what they do for a living, and they may not even realize they are treating you unkindly. They are too wrapped up in their own stuff to think about how you might read their avoidance of you.
In answer to your question, there might not be a satisfying answer to your question. The best you can do is (as you said) be respectful. Play by the rules set out by the guys with whom you choose to deal. If that’s dancers/strippers, they’ll usually tell you exactly what is allowed, and when enough is enough. It is important to remember that they are at work, and these rules help keep them safe and help keep their workspaces open. Also, because they are at work, you should pay them. If it’s escorts, then you should be mindful of the fact that some may develop rapport that goes far beyond your time together, and some are done when the buzzer dings. You will have to see how your engagements go, and cultivate connections with guys who treat you the way you prefer to be treated.
The bottom line is that it’s a two way street: if you can keep in mind that guys come into these situations with their own insecurities and fears and egos, no matter how cocky they act, you’ll probably get more of the attention you’re after. We’re all just human and we’re all doing the best we know how in the moment.
If you have a question you’d like answered, pop it in the mail and I’ll be glad to add it to the pile!
Tyler Dårlig Ulv is an Ontario-based blogger and professional companion. He has worked for Rentboy.com, Manhunt, and contributed to publications like Queerty and Thought Catalog. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram, or find out more about his work at his website and blog. Tyler lives full time in Toronto.