A few weeks ago, I received an email from someone called Ingrid who would have once been called a Madam but is now called a Concierge. Doesn’t that sound unthreatening? Modern? Helpful even. Ingrid’s background is in advertising and marketing and she wanted to tell me about her new business built on a surprising premise.
It’s widely known that one of the top male fantasies is girl-on-girl action. But did you know it’s also one of the top female fantasies? In the nineties, women’s magazines jumped all over this phenomenon and ran dozens of stories about women who identified as straight but were keen to experiment a little. Bi-curiosity we called it and sales spiked whenever that word appeared on the cover.
Years later, 25 year old Ingrid has set up a paid service exclusively for this type of sex. No men allowed, not even as spectators. And there are no official premises because, as Ingrid explains, they’re unnecessary. Her ‘ladies’ don’t sit around waiting for clients because unlike men (who apparently require a couple of hours between wanting sex and paying for it), women make their bookings days or weeks ahead. And ‘dates’ involve socialising before sex. Just like real life.
I thought this would be an interesting story for Mamamia so I sent along our news editor, Rick, to interview Ingrid and one of her ‘ladies’, Milla. Lucky man, hehehe….. Actually, not so much. Rick is gay. And thus the only person who could bring absolutely no sexual baggage to the experience of sitting down with a hot bisexual sex worker and her hot concierge. I believe you’ll find a picture of Rick with Ingrid and Milla in the dictionary under “irony”.
A few weeks ago, after we published Rick’s story here, I asked him how it was going. Brow furrowed, he looked up briefly from his screen to reply, “Not at all how I expected.” More furrowing. “I’m totally thrown. Everyone says the girls are too attractive and that they’d be too intimidated to sleep with them!”
I wasn’t surprised. The Delicious Dalliances website does seem unexpectedly male-oriented with lots of uncomfortable looking underwear and pouty poses. Is that what women want in a girly fling? Some women perhaps, but many commenters were keen to state their preference for shots of the girls dressed. Maybe in jeans? Bonds undies and a singlet? Bare feet?
In a brief nana moment, I wondered if they should perhaps be wearing cardigans. They looked chilly.
In amongst the many “I’m-too-intimidated” comments, this one caught my attention:
“If my husband spent our money on a prostitute, exposing himself to STDs and demonstrating that making love with me is not enough for him I’d be devastated and furious. I suspect most husbands would feel exactly the same.”
But would they? I drilled into my contact book to ask my stoic friends: if a woman spends a couple of paid hours with another woman, is it cheating? A deal-breaker?
Friend A (female): “Yes, my boyfriend thinks it’s cheating but says it’s much more tolerable than the thought of me being pizzled by a man.” Pizzled? OK.
Friend B (female): “Nah, my husband and I would be fine with it. Sex is just sex. Relationships and love are different.”
Friend C (female): “My partner said that as long as he knew in advance, he’d be totally fine with me sleeping with another woman.”
Friend D (male): “Of course I’d consider it cheating. I don’t think the gender of “the other person” should negate monogamy. Think about it… how would my girlfriend feel if I went to meet a male escort?”
And this is invariably the point at which the conversation hits a wall. A giant wall with the words “double standard” scrawled across it. One by one, you can watch the sexually liberated people get whiplash.
Here’s what I learned this week: while people are divided on whether a woman having a female fling constitutes cheating, there is unanimous agreement on two things:
1. Kissing or sleeping with another woman does not a lesbian make.
2. Totally different for blokes.
“Because if it’s a woman, it’s experimentation, a wild fling. Something to cross off your bucket list, even. ” insists Friend C. “If I came home and said, “I kissed a girl”, Joe wouldn’t immediately think I was a lesbian in denial. But if he kissed or slept with a man I’d immediately suspect he was gay, in denial and doing the wrong thing by me. I’d assume he’d had gay sex many times before and had deceived me and I can’t imagine our marriage continuing. I have no idea why. I adore gay men, I just wouldn’t want to be married to one.”
Fair enough but returning to female bicuriosity for a sec, would you ever use a service like Ingrid’s, I persisted? “Forget sex,” she sighed. “I’d pay to have a woman listen to me complain about how tired and overwhelmed I feel. Actually, if she also unpacked the dishwasher and cooked dinner, I may just put out.”
Do you think there’s a difference between women ‘experimenting’ and men doing the same thing? Why do we have such double standards about this?