I got the crazy idea to hire an escort, strictly non-sexual. I used to think this was pathetic, because it’s all an illusion and you have to know that you’re just there for the service. But now it seems more appealing to me. A companion experience where I chill out with a dude for a few hours, and then go on my way.
What do I fantasize about? I fantasize about just hanging out. We have dinner, play a few video games, and then he tells me about his extreme daredevil hobbies. There is no interest in me as a sex object, and I’m not interested in him as one. Only in that he is male and provides me with a mimicry of interest. He has to be convincing and a little stylish.
Although, in a weird twist I did fantasize about buying a ring from Tiffany’s and presenting it to myself as a surprise! And at the core, I know this is all outrageous. My SO could do this for me, but I don’t want it from him. I feel like his deceit makes it more palatable to pay for companionship. And I almost feel like I’ve been paying for it all along. I could throw out $300 or $400 here or there, skip those couture pieces I like and just pay some dude to spend time sitting in the park with me.
And how do I rationalize that in my belief that if the roles were reversed, I’d find this to be disgusting. I’d rail against capitalism forcing people to have to become emotional companions to earn ends meet. That emotions are something that shouldn’t have to be paid for. And yet a part of me desires such a controlled response to meeting someone who is interested in me and disengages when I want to.
I told him about it and felt that in this case, explicitly because of the non-emotion and non-sex, I felt like it was going to a therapist. As a feminist, this should heavily interfere with my own beliefs and I know this, it’s just incredibly hard not to participate in it. But everything in this culture is a commodity. It is why they hire young women at Starbucks (and in food service and hospitality industries) and you pay money to talk to them (tips, for the drink that’s not worth anything) for 5-10 minutes a day (if you’re that type of person).
It’s why we want doctors with good bedside manner, and nurses and nannies that are emotionally involved or at least can fake compassion well. I could do this with any of my friends, but I want a new person that is NSA. Someone who doesn’t need to know me, but can interact with me for a few hours out of the week.
There are so many male companions out there, but I’d need one who could at least fake being as non-sexist as possible for 45 minutes, whose read bell hooks, Combahee River Collective, Audre Lorde, Cherry Moraga, Gloria Anzaldua, Andrea Smith, etc.
I’m down with being catfished. Just sell me a dream that involves my interests. Sell me a dream that doesn’t say you love me, but that says it’s okay for me to want to spend time with you. Sell me a dream where our conversation isn’t a list of facts about things I’m not interested in, but that starts with a mutual interest and listen when I tell you I’m not down with that. Sell me a dream where you don’t dominate the conversation. Sell me friendship, where I get to be the friend and I get to participate and I’m not just watching from the sidelines anymore.
But I know that friendship is not for sale. It’s just so appealing to think maybe it could be.