Looking back on my time as a professional male companion, I feel so incredibly privileged to have met many women from all walks of life as they navigated their way through significant, life-changing, and often quite heartbreaking events.
Most of my clients were single or had recently separated, or sadly grieving a loved one but there were also quite a few who were married. And as far as their friends, family, and social media followers were concerned, very happily.
After speaking privately though, it became clear that their social media posts and, let’s face it, everyone’s social media posts, reflected their most ideal life. Behind the carefully curated images of beaming smiles, PDAs with their husbands, and humblebrags about their extraordinarily talented kids, many of these women were hiding a sad truth — they felt miserable and trapped.
Days became weeks of school drop-offs, pick-ups, hours spent making meals, and trying to further their careers. Any remaining personal time was spent driving their kids to various activities on the weekends and as the years rolled by, their frustrations grew.
By the time they contacted me, it was almost always because they had lost their true selves or, more often than not, because their similarly frustrated husbands had become distant and may have even strayed.
Watch: Emotional Vs Physical Affair. Story continues below.
I’ve been told by my clients that after those awful images of their husband’s infidelity slowly begin to fade, the uncomfortable feeling of impermanence sets in as they begin to doubt whether that trusted team mate and lifelong friend is the person they thought he was all those years ago.
Few women contacted me on a whim though and in their patience lay their strength.
Emotions aside, I realise that when they had decided to contact me in my professional capacity, sex was often a titillating side thought, but that really was just one of many reasons.
I recall one client who had been following me on social media for well over a year before contacting me. She had two pre-teen children and her daily routine was almost identical to that which I’ve described above. She told me that she had already felt ‘invisible’ for many years but the real damage was done when her husband had an affair with a work colleague two years prior.
We spoke a couple of times before finally meeting and it was during those conversations that she helped me understand how much she missed the life she’d once had.
Her successful career had been set aside, her husband continued climbing his own corporate ladder, and she felt cheated out of a life she didn’t get to live. A feeling I could certainly relate to having been a reluctant, but eternally grateful stay at home dad myself.
Another client of mine was different altogether. She was a few years older — fifty from memory. Her three adult children had left the nest and moved interstate while her husband worked overseas and was rarely home. They’d faithfully been together for over thirty years. Something was missing though. In her own words, she said she felt she had ‘lost her place’ and felt ‘just, old’.
She was an empathic, caring and sexual person but she told me it was about far more. She said from the moment she decided to take the plunge she felt like she was out of her comfort zone, but in a good, exhilarating way.
Working in healthcare whilst also being a supportive mother, daughter and sister meant that she had always played the role of ‘giver’. Personally, and professionally. ‘Receiving’, to her, was the real buzz — and it was something she hadn’t experienced in decades.
Listen to No Filter, On this episode of No Filter Esther Perel speaks to Mia about why it has never been easier to have an affair, the reason happy people cheat and how infidelity can sometimes make a relationship better. Story continues after audio.
These stories aren’t unusual. I’ve been hired by many married women and reassuringly to me, very few described feeling any remorse.
I’ve since come to understand that when women are constantly being relied upon to run households with barely any praise or recognition, they’re either not fussed by it because they’re too busy, or they vent their frustrations and seek validation elsewhere. But validation need not be sexual.
I was booked many times to just talk and share stories. Non-physical bookings, I came to realise, gave my clients male friendship that they had long given up on reviving with their husbands. Even small gestures such as holding hands, discrete hugs, or the opening of a door made a big difference to someone who felt unloved or unappreciated. For some, it provided them with a much-needed sense of connection and support that they hadn’t experienced for years.
Life and love constantly change, and it’s a very difficult fact to accept, and an even harder one to embrace. It takes faith and vulnerability to truly believe that ‘this too shall pass,’ but I have seen it happen many times and in many relationships that seemed irreparable.
If my involvement as a catalyst for change, whether sexual or social, was broadly labelled as ‘cheating,’ then so be it. I believe that everyone deserves to be loved and supported, and I am proud to have played a role in helping people find their happiness.
Mitch Larsson is a former escort, relationship coach and author of ‘Time For Her’ — available here.
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