Most people I’ve met are understandably very intrigued by how I used to make a living, and when meeting someone new and having them ask the inevitable – "What do you do?" – my answer evolved over time.
Initially, I would tell the truth, proud to answer and eager to explain the industry and challenge its misconceptions. What I did felt surprisingly normal, and I was more than happy to share. As time passed, however, I began to respond by saying that I was a photographer – a fact, but not my primary source of income.
Finally, as I neared retirement, I opted to either steer conversations away from work or simply state, "I prefer not to discuss it if that's okay." I never intended to be rude, but I've never been comfortable lying, and after a few years in the job, the novelty and stigma associated with the role became a bit tiring.
Watch: The things you want to know about escorts. Post continues after video.
Now that I'm usually in comfy clothes as opposed to expensive suits, quietly writing at home instead of swanning around in lavish hotels, and my frequent flyer benefits are becoming fewer and fewer, a question I hadn't anticipated has piqued many people’s curiosity:
"Why would a physically fit, single, middle-aged heterosexual man ever turn down the offer of being paid significant amounts of money to have sex with a woman?"
Or, to put it more concisely, "What sort of client gets turned down by an escort?"
If the mysterious and fascinating world of paid male companionship has sparked your curiosity and you’ve pondered the same question, I'll share some common deal-breakers with you. And I think you might even be a little surprised by what I have to share!
Clients who were too young.
What?! Too young?! Isn't the ultimate validation of a middle-aged man's virility and sexual prowess his ability to bed women half his age or younger?
Well, when your sole income relies on you providing exceptional service, establishing and maintaining an excellent reputation, and everything you do and say is for the benefit of the client you are with, the answer is no.
Men in the industry all run their businesses differently, of course, but being in my forties, I didn’t feel comfortable being with clients where there was a significant age gap, so I chose not to accept bookings from clients under 30. While every individual has their own level of emotional maturity, my experience taught me I could better connect and serve clients within my age range. It wasn't a matter of me feeling old or outdated, but about recognising the dynamics and rapport that could be established with clients who shared similar life experiences and perspectives as I did – and it made my work a lot easier.
Clients who weren't ready.
During my pre-meeting conversations with potential clients, I sometimes sensed an undercurrent of self-imposed pressure. While nervousness was understandable (and pretty much inevitable), some women exhibited a level of apprehension that concerned me. My commitment to providing a safe and comfortable experience required me to ensure that clients were fully prepared for our encounter and not coerced into something they weren't ready for, so if I felt as though the client was looking for a sales pitch, I knew things weren't right.
Many women I spoke with had experienced life-altering events such as infidelity, recent separation, or losing a partner but sometimes, and often after some very lengthy conversations, the client would acknowledge, and often with much relief, that it was too soon for physical intimacy. Sometimes people just need a good chat – and that was perfectly okay with me too. I always made sure they felt welcome to reach out again once they were in a better space – and many did.
Experienced companions can recognise a time-wasting client from a mile away, whereas newcomers to the industry often fall into the trap of over-investing in every inquiry, hoping to secure an income in an incredibly competitive market.
They may engage in lengthy conversations over days or weeks, only to realise they've become somebody's pen pal or free therapist. These sorts of clients would typically initiate contact through social media and often late at night after a few drinks. They would shower me with praise and would often paint bleak pictures of lacklustre love lives and inadequate partners, and express feelings of loneliness in general. When it came down to committing to a booking though, phrases like, "I wish I could afford you!" or, "Do you offer discounts?" became a standard response. As any experienced customer service or sales professional knows, dealing with these sorts of clients is particularly frustrating.
On this episode of No Filter, Mitch talks to Mia about what it's like to be a male escort. Post continues after podcast.
This doesn't quite fit into the 'client' category, but I lost count of the number of guys who would contact me to sleep with their partners. Most of them wanted to watch, while some claimed that they wanted to 'buy' me as a present for their wives or girlfriends. These enquiries never resulted in a booking. Firstly, I wasn't interested in being watched by any third party, and in many cases, the women involved had no idea their partners had even reached out.
All I could assume was that these men's fantasies were fuelled by porn, and my involvement made the whole scenario seem more 'real'. In the early days, these inquiries would usually stop as soon as I insisted on speaking with their partners, but eventually, I didn't answer at all – as with any troll, I would just ignore and block, ignore and block, over and over again.
Mitch Larsson is a former escort, relationship coach and author of ‘Time For Her - A Memoir of True Romance’ available here.
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