Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Said Yes

I placed a personal ad with the offer to meet a client at a hotel for a private lap-dancing session. I had been a dancer for three years, but had started to hate going to the clubs. I enjoyed the sensuality and intimacy of the job, but hated the crowds, noise, and cigarette smoke. The ad stressed that the sessions would be dancing only. I got many. many replies to the ad. I sent them all a list of "rules" saying that they would not be allowed to touch my breasts or vagina, had to keep their clothes on, etc. I also asked that we meet first in a public place for a cocktail or coffee. I phrased this as "us getting to know each other" but it was basically to give my gut a chance to tell me whether I would be safe with the person. I was polite, but firm about all of my requests. Very few of the initial responders followed up with me after this, but the ones who did sounded respectful and sane.

The first client I met was a guy from out of town, M. He sounded very nervous in the e-mails we exchanged, and I wasn't sure he would actually keep the date we made that evening at an upscale bar downtown, but I dressed up and went anyway. I had sent him a picture, but he had not sent one to me. When I got to the bar, I wasn't sure how to find him. I took a seat at the bar within sighting distance of the door and waited. A few different men were making eye contact with me but it was hard to tell if they were just flirting or if they were expecting me. After a few minutes, a man sitting at a table by himself waved at me. I went and introduced myself, and it was M.

The first thing he told me was that he was not going to go through with our date, but he felt bad about standing me up and would buy me a drink and tip for my time. We had a drink together and I drew him out about what he was looking for. As a dancer, I know lots of ways to set men at their ease and encourage them to open up to me.

He told me a familiar story: his wife, whom he described as "gorgeous" and who he said he still loved, was no longer interested in sex. He, of course, was still interested. I've heard many versions of this story over the years, and it always makes me sad. I have no judgement for either person in the relationship -- I don't enough to judge -- but I feel for anyone who wants intimacy and closeness and isn't getting it. I've been there myself.

He told me that I was too young; I was 28 and he was 53. He said he wasn't looking for a "model type", but rather, a real woman. (Um, models are real women too, for anyone who doesn't know.) He talked about how much he missed touching and holding and looking at a woman. We kept talking about the human need for intimacy, and I could tell he did want the meeting. I asked him he was ready to go the hotel ("assuming the sale" like this is an old technique I always used to sell $250/hr Champagne Room visits at the strip clubs) and he said yes.

I met him at his hotel and we went up to his room together. It was a very nice room, in a nice hotel, but not an ideal situation for lapdancing. There was one big arm-chair and a bed. I would have preferred a sofa or loveseat to dance on, but we made it work. It was much more intimate than dancing in the club, where there are lights and noise and distraction. He closed his eyes and barely looked at me, just wanted to hug me and touch my skin. I took my time getting out of my clothes and down to the nice lingerie I had underneath. We did about an hour of slow, quiet dances, and then he asked if we could stand up and hug. I said yes. He held me like that for several minutes.

Then he asked if we could lie down. I thought it over and decided I was comfortable with it, but when he asked if he could undress I said no. We lay down together and he continued touching my back and legs. He was very gentle and attentive, and it felt good. I got somewhat turned on physically, and made sure to let him see my response, since I could tell that was very important to him. However, I was much too much on my guard to really get into what was happening. For the most part he was very respectful. At one point he tried to kiss me, but stopped when I asked him to. Later, he tried to reach inside my panties, but I moved his hand away and he didn't try again. I appreciated his respect for my boundaries. Because he was so respectful, I was able to relax and enjoy his touching.

We had a pleasant, playful time together, and ended up spending several hours. I was charging $200 an hour, and it added up to a lot of money. He paid me at the end and counting out the money seemed to kill the mood for both of us a little bit. I made a mental note that if I did this again I would ask for the money up front. (I had seen him get the money out of the ATM next to the bar, so I knew how much he had...otherwise I wouldn't have proceeded with the session.)

Afterwards, he offered to drive me back to the bar and I felt safe enough with him to accept. The drive was slightly awkward. He seemed to feel odd about dropping me off back on the street. I wondered if he was having regrets about the session. He was rather cold when he said goodbye, and I was surprised to notice that I felt a little hurt. This was the only time during the session when I felt "dirty" about what I'd done. I felt he was judging me. I made a conscious decision not to let this bother me: I probably wouldn't see him again, and it was just a business transaction, so it doesn't really matter what he thinks about me. I would offer this advice to johns though: be nice to your hooker, even after you pay her. You're not the only one who has feelings about what just happened.