Surprises in Consensual Transactional Sex (part 1):
Friendships in the Community
I’m sure there are many aspects of the sub-culture of Consensual Transactional Sex (CTS) that would surprise people who are not a part of our community. One of the biggest ones would probably the the friendships that we can develop with each other.
The outsiders view of CTS is that it is all about anonymous, no-strings-attached, casual sex. And that certainly does describe a large portion of what goes on. Many people are just in it for quick sex and/or quick money. But there is another side to our world. A side where deep, honest, and meaningful relationships are formed and fostered.
For most of the years that I enjoyed the company of paid companions I have not been a part of any community setting. I was the “lone wolf” hobbyist. I picked up “street walkers”, enjoyed the occasional “call-girl” or “escort”, and frequented some “massage parlors”. The closest I came to having regular (consistent) contact with others like myself was when I would go to strip clubs. But even then I usually kept to myself. I occasionally would get to know one of the dancers a little bit, not usually I was very casual.
So when I finally joined the online CTS world I was very surprised to find the real sense of community and relationship that I did. People on the websites had known each other for years. Many of them were long term friends. There were guys who hung out with each other, ladies who traveled and shopped together, and there were real friendships between clients and providers. I quickly wondered whether or not I fit in with this community. Turns out, I did.
It wasn’t long before I started to develop friendships. I started to build a favorable reputation within the community. I attended some social events and met many people face-to-face. I even met a lady who would become very special to me.
These days my best friend is a woman who works in CTS. We don’t get to see each other very often due to living far apart, but we have become great friends. We share about our lives. We help each other as best we can. We are each other’s emotional support. When we are together it is rarely a transactional event. We talk, we eat, we laugh. We just enjoy being around each other. We actually have a type of love for one another. I’m sure that would surprise a lot of people.
It isn’t anything like the movie “Pretty Woman.” As enjoyable as that film was (Julia Roberts certainly got the world to fall in love with her in that film!), it was a fiction. My friend makes far more money than I do, and certainly doesn’t need me to “save” her. She is a smart and savvy businesswoman. She is a great mom, a fierce friend, and a caring human being. That doesn’t exactly fit the stereotype of a “sex worker”, does it?
Our community is full of similar stories. Some men and women have enjoyed transactional relationships that have gone on for years, even decades. Sometimes these have even led to “real” romantic relationships, even marriage. But mostly they remain within the confines with which they started. But though the sex may be transactional, the friendship and caring is real. And it can be the most honest of relationships.
Let’s face it, people lie. All the time. And this includes in romance. Men and women can both be dishonest in their pursuits of sex and relationships. And when people lie on a first date, it can often come back to haunt them if the relationship progresses. This isn’t an issue in CTS. There is little reason to lie to someone in our community. No need to stretch the truth in order to attract or seduce. Unlike in the “civilian” dating world, we all know what we are looking for. Even in the case of husbands who are cheating on their wives, the men can be honest. The providers know that many of their clients are married men. But in “real” world, married men will lie about it in order to cheat.
We can also be honest about our lives. “Sex workers” often fill the role of therapist AND friend to their clients. Men can open up to these women much more freely and honestly. And this openness creates real connections, real friendships.
So what is the point of all that I am writing about? Simply this: we in the CTS world are a real community. We have real, honest relationships here. Perhaps if the rest of society was as honest as we are there would be more love and friendship between people. Or maybe not. But it is certainly something to think about before judging our community for what we do. We are not who most people think we are.