“The Ravishment Option” and owning our sexuality

I was sent me a link a while back to this sex work themed comedy short film. It’s hilarious and sweet, and very entertaining. I want to talk about one scene near the start – so you have been warned, spoilers ahead, I suggest you watch it before reading on (it’s only 15 minutes long).

https://youtu.be/8iCW7aLc8bQ

The story opens with a young woman Enid researching male sex workers and booking Ricky. When Ricky arrives he sweeps Enid up in his arms and kisses her deeply – much to her disgust! Ricky apologises and tells her he thought she selected “the ravishment option” when she booked (which she did not).

Now it’s a funny scene and well played in the film – but it also made me chuckle because this is literally a real thing – not a check box when you book, but I have had several clients will sometimes ask (in different words) for The Ravishment Option.

The vast majority of women who come to see me, whether it’s the first time or the 20th time like to have time to relax, chat, and connect before anything more intimate happens. That is totally understandable. Some women though, when they are in the mood want something different – and if they feel comfortable and secure with me then they may well ask to be “ravished” the moment they walk through the door.

I think that this is a good thing – not just individually, but more broadly. Many people don’t feel that they can ask for what they want. Worse I think that many people can’t even give themselves permission to want what they want.

Which is even worse and possibly harder to change. So lets talk about that.

I have come to the conclusion over my years working as a straight male escort for women that there is no such thing as “normal” and “abnormal” when it comes to a person’s sexuality. Just distributions of people who like similar things.

While I am sure that there are some traits, like being gay, or gender dysphoria that are rooted in biology, I think that much of our sexuality is created through our experiences. Like a man who, having the experience of being captured and sat on by some girls his age when he was going through puberty, to this day finds being sat on by a dominant woman to be a powerful turn on. I have come across many cases like this that while at the more distant ends of the sexual spectrum serve to illustrate how someone like me ended up with fairly “average” sexual inclinations. I never had unusual or extreme experiences of sex and sexuality when I was younger and so my tastes and preference now reflect that.

I like to compare sexuality to a book. When we first open our book there are certain things written in there – personally my book has always said “straight male”. But most things that come after that I can look back on my life and my experiences from early teens into my twenties and find correlations between what I experienced and what I now find interesting/arousing/motivating/distracting sexually.

It took me a long time though – until my early thirties to reconcile what I wanted and responded to instinctively and what I thought I should want. That gap was a source of unhappiness that I wasn’t really aware of. When I did finally “come out” to myself and start to accept and embrace my sexuality I found a kind of inner peace that I had never had before.

I didn’t have to hide what I wanted anymore. I didn’t have to pretend to be something I’m not. It was a revelation. And it was without doubt one of the things that lead me to sex work as a career, something that has changed and improved my life in many ways.

So what is the lesson? I think it is that we need to listen to ourselves. Hear what our bodies and minds are asking for, then find a way to give that to ourselves. If we can do that then we will be happier, healthier, and better-rounded people.

John

Towards a healthier view of our sexuality

Drawn in by the headline of this article “Bizarre sex challenge men need to stop” I clicked and I read…

Apparently there are men out there who abstain for ejaculation during the month of November. 

They claim (with no evidence the article says) that it has sex/health benefits. Which seems unlikely. After all we know that regular ejaculation is good for prostate health if nothing else (reducing lifetime risk of prostate cancer by 33% and that benefit is greater the older we get).

While the article is rather all-over-the-place it does make the point that fads/challenges/rules etc about sex are more likely to encourage unhealthy thinking about our bodies and sex than they are to improve our sexual function.

That seems like a reasonable statement to me.

We all have baggage from our lives, from growing up, to learning about sex, to relationships, to marriage, having children. It all effects us, shapes who we are, including sexually.

Abstaining from sex for one month each year isn’t going to solve anyone’s problems or give them god-like powers in bed.

What will help though is looking inside ourselves and listening to the voice that tells you what you really want in your sex life. it took me personally fifteen years from puberty to really accept my sexuality and embrace it (then another ten to become a straight male escort for women, but that’s another story).

That voice may be telling you that all you want is some basic sex every now and then, or it might be saying that you want wild sex with multiple partners every weekend – and it doesn’t matter where you are on that spectrum, it’s all valid. What matters is that you listen to it and accept where your sexuality is at right now (because its going to change throughout our lives).

This doesn’t mean you have to act of those feelings – but the act of accepting that our sexuality is a certain way, rather than denying it can be a powerful thing. There’s a release to be had from not constantly denying ones nature – even if you never indulge that nature.

And I think that is probably the right message to be taking away from all of this

John

Consent training and education – we are taking a step forward

As a male sex worker for women, consent – giving it, getting it, and ensuring that it is still there – is something that I have to do with every client, especially when I don’t know them well, or with women with disabilities who may not be able to communicate effectively.

I also go out of my way with women who have little or no experience – or sometimes bad experiences – with sex and consent to try to help them learn how to ask for what they want and reassure them that they are allowed to say no, to withdraw consent for things that they may not want.

I believe that I do this well and provide a service that is safe and respectful.

That this is even worthy of note indicates just how big a problem “consent”, its practice, and our understanding of it is in this country.

So I am delighted to see (via this articlehttps://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-29/consent-education-mandatory-australia/101375564) that the teaching of consent is to be federally mandated in all schools in Australia.

This is exactly how we make our society a better place. We teach our children in school and it creates generational change. Over time the young people who have learned what consent means, how to ask for it, and how to give it become the majority and “the old ways” die a natural death.

Some people fear this sort of education by the state and will claim that it’s the job of parents to teach these sorts of values. To that I say “You can’t teach what you don’t know”. Which doesn’t mean that all parents don’t necessarily understand consent – just that knowing something that you probably learned more by watching what other people did than actually being shown isn’t a great basis for teaching that thing effectively.

We very obviously have issues with consent in our society – I literally hear it from women regularly – and I for one am very happy that we are taking real steps toward addressing it.

It won’t be an easy road though. As mentioned in the linked article teachers involved in this kind of education need to be taught themselves about how to provide it, how to be sensitive to the impacts that what they are teaching may have on students who have suffered abuse for instance.

It’s a complicated problem that requires sophisticated thinking and solutions. It won’t be resolved over night, but every year that students receive this training we will be making a better society and giving kids the chance to live better, healthier, safer lives.

John

A male contraceptive pill – part two

Well the results are in and no it wasn’t just me. Several women have let me know in no uncertain terms that they would not trust a man to take responsibility for contraception by taking a male contraceptive pill – none have said that they would.

I thought this would be the case, but it’s good to get confirmation. One woman even related her story of a male partner attempting to sabotage her contraceptive pills, so the fear is definitely justified.

While more contraceptive options can only be a good thing I still don’t see the mass market success that the manufacturers are probably hoping for.

This also highlights the importance of our society investing in education around sex, sexuality, relationships, and most of all – respect. If we spent half as much money on educating children about these things as we do on pure science research (as important as that is) then we would be a much healthier society – and perhaps a male contraceptive pill might be more palatable to women…

John

We need to talk about labiaplasty – again

Way back in 2012 I wrote this:

https://john-oh-escort.com/2012/04/02/more-women-opt-for-genital-plastic-surgury/

Back then I lived in a hopeful place where sex work (both by and for women) was becoming increasingly accepted and I felt that as a society we were making real progress around issues of body image, sexuality, and acceptance.

Now it’s 2022, much of the western world is busy trying to go back to the 50’s socially and here we are again…

https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/beauty/cosmetic-surgery/jessica-was-just-18-when-her-designer-vagina-surgery-was-botched/news-story/bad2451f4dfcea94735c80f6c8ac4fba

I’m less naive today than I was ten years ago when when I hoped that my words and efforts might have a wide impact on the issue of body image and unnecessary labiaplasty, but I think that it is still worth speaking about this subject.

To cut to the chase – my message last time was:

“Ladies, whatever shape your genital are, there are men who adore them. Please don’t go cutting them off.” – unless it’s for medical reasons.

My message this time is much the same.

If you are feeling embarrassed, or ashamed, or unhappy with the size, shape, or colour of your labia (or any part of your body) but they don’t cause physical discomfort or other medical problems, then you don’t need to get cosmetic surgery for it – you need to get help to change how you perceive your body.

Because – lacking a physical medical problem – that’s what it’s about – perception, not reality.

From the article about botched genital surgery:

“Since I began puberty at around 12 or 13 I started developing longer labia minora, and when I started comparing my vagina to those I saw in porn, I started feeling really self-conscious and like I wasn’t normal,” she says.

“I never told a soul that I had larger labia because I was honestly so embarrassed and upset by it growing up. I didn’t let my boyfriends or anything growing up look at it or touch it and I refrained from actually having sex until I was 18 in my first serious relationship.

“I have never once had anyone tell me that it was ugly or bad throughout all my relationships and sexual encounters, but in the back of my mind I always thought they would be thinking about how ugly and awful it was.”

As in my previous post on this subject I think that what this woman is experiencing is “body dysmorphic disorder” or BDD – “a mental disorder characterized by the obsessive idea that some aspect of one’s own body part or appearance is severely flawed and therefore warrants exceptional measures to hide or fix it” (from Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_dysmorphic_disorder).

I’m not a doctor or mental health professional so my advice is – talk to one. Ideally one who understands and has experience with BDD.

In the past I have specifically suggested seeking out positive validation to combat these sorts of issues, but the woman quoted above had those positive validations and it didn’t fix the problem for her. So while I still think that positive validation of body image is useful and important, I think that it is necessary to see a health professional who understands BDD and can help get to the root cause of the mental distress and change that.

The other thing to note here is that even young teenage women are comparing how their bodies looks to the bodies of women that they see in porn. Which brings us to how we might prevent these problems from developing in the first place. Education.

There is no way to put the Internet/porn genie back in its bottle – just as printed porn couldn’t be regulated away. Young people will continue to see it. So the only realistic option available is to educate young people about their bodies (and porn) and what is “normal” so that when they do look at porn they are able to make better judgements about themselves and what they are seeing.

I’m not holding my breath for this sort of frank and in depth education to happen – but we have enough evidence just from this article that it is necessary.

John

We’re back baby!

So NSW is back in business and the easing of covid restrictions means that sex workers like me are allowed to work again.

It feels good to be back!

In the interest of everyone staying healthy and safe, these are the rules for seeing me:

  1. Get vaccinated! I am fully vaccinated (since June 4th) and will be getting a booster when I am entitled in early December. I won’t be seeing anyone who isn’t vaccinated – unless they have a health restriction that prevents them for receiving the vaccine. I’m sorry if this is a problem, but I have to put my health and everyone else who I see first
  2. When I’m out in public I will wear a mask (except in a restaurant where that’s not practical)
  3. I will continue to get tested for covid regularly. I encourage anyone who is coming to see me to do the same. If you are immunocompromised or vulnerable in some other way, please let me know and I can provide a recent negative covid test result before we meet
  4. If you are visiting me, please wear a mask in my building. It’s a rule of the building and everyone has to follow it

And that’s it. I hope that we can all work together to protect everyone’s health.

John

Feminism and sex

I seem to be saying this a lot recently – it’s a symptom of being in lockdown and having limited external input these days – but I read something online that I felt the need to comment on.

Can I be submissive in the bedroom and still be a feminist?
If I exert control during sex, I don’t enjoy it. I prefer to lie back – but how do I square this with my beliefs?

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/aug/19/can-i-be-submissive-in-the-bedroom-and-still-be-a-feminist

When I read the headline and then the article it made no sense to me.

“Can you be a woman and a feminist and still enjoy being submissive during sex (with a man)”

The short answer is “Yes”.

The longer answer is “Yes of course you can. What turns you on has literally nothing to do with politics and social justice. Your personal sexual arousal is yours and yours alone”.

The real answer is “Why is this even a question?”.

I have over my years as a sex worker spent a lot of time listening to mostly women talking about feminism and what it means to them.  Here’s what I have taken away from all of that:

Feminism is about fighting for equality for all people.  It is not about “female dominance”.

Female dominance would be some kind of “matriarchy” – the opposite of the “patriarchy” that feminism fights.  It is perhaps telling that so many people see others fighting for equality and assume (perhaps in bad faith) that what those people really want is dominance rather than equality.

So this is why the question seems to me to be a total non-sequitur.  Nothing in feminism (the fight for gender equality) says that a woman, man, or any other gender identity can’t engage in what they enjoy in bed.  The only way you could come to that conclusion is through a terribly misguided reading of feminism.

How can fighting to live in a society where no-one is treated differently because of their gender lead you to think that you can’t engage in a power exchange with your partner in your personal sex life?  The two have literally nothing to do with each other – except if one person is deciding what is appropriate and what is not based on some assumption about gender roles in sexual relationships.

The irony here is that many powerful people regularly seek balance in their lives by expressing a submissive side of their personality through BSDM and other means.

We need to be more sophisticated in how we think about feminism and what it means to us and our personal relationships.  With questions like this we are allowing ourselves to be drawn down to the level of the people who oppose equality – be it based on gender, race, ethnicity etc. 

The people who oppose equality want to appear as the victim so that they have clear lines to object along – it’s literally impossible to call equality unfair, so they have to recast the demand for equality into a desire to oppress – the very thing that they themselves do to others.

So yes – you can be submissive, or dominant, or a switch, or none of the above in bed regardless of any other beliefs you may hold. It’s sex. Please just enjoy it.

John.

Getting enough sex

The Guardian runs a regular column called “Sexual Healing” and while I rarely find anything more than safe platitudes in the columnist’s replies to readers’ problems, I do think that the topics are often important and deserve a better response than “Partners have to teach each other how they like to be pleasured”. I think we worked that out back in the sixties, possibly the seventies… We know that and it has precisely nothing to do with the woman in question’s dilemma.

In this particular article the reader raises a very difficult topic

I left my husband because the sex was boring and nonexistent. I’ve since met another guy and while our sex life was great for a while, when we moved in together it all but disappeared.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/jul/14/i-left-my-husband-because-the-sex-was-boring-now-im-having-the-same-problem-with-my-new-partner

This is a problem that I as a straight male escort for women I hear all the time – and I know that female sex workers hear it from male clients too.

This is a universal problem for human beings – mismatched libidos.

So lets start with some fundamentals:

  • You may naturally have a low libido, or a high libido – neither is “right” or “wrong”
  • Your libido will change during your life. It is effected by hormones, stress, sleep, work schedule, age, and more
  • Attraction between people changes over time and with that the sexual relationship almost certainly will change as well

Here’s the most important one:

  • Societal norms including marriage, monogamy, the “nuclear family”, education, and career are almost always prioritised over our sexuality and as a result we rarely have happy, fulfilling sex lives

So that’s the groundwork laid. So lets go back to the reader’s problem:

  • She has a high libido
  • Her husband wasn’t interested
  • She left her husband to get the sex that she wanted
  • She found a guy and was having great sex with him
  • She moved in with him and the sex died
  • She found out that he looks at porn
  • She is back to square one in an almost sexless relationship

I’m pretty sure that you can see that the columnist saying “Partners have to teach each other how they like to be pleasured…” does nothing to untangle this woman’s mess. They were having good sex, so I’m pretty sure that they both knew what each other wanted.

So here’s how I would reply to her:

It appears from your description that you aren’t hungry for variety and novelty in your sex life (as some people are), but that you would happily have lots of sex with one partner.

The problem isn’t your partner’s libido – at least it’s not fair to blame that – the problem is monogamy and the expectation that one person can give you all of the sex that you need (and to be clear this applies equally if the genders are reversed).

Many people automatically assume that sex means relationship means marriage means happily ever after. It’s a lie. A lie that makes most of us more or less unhappy in our long term relationships (just look at divorce rates if you reflexively disagree with that statement).

The hard reality is that long term relationships almost always change the way that we see our partner (and ourselves), how we feel about them, and the way in which we are attracted to them. The changes may be positive or negative or something else altogether. But we will change – and that includes how we feel about our partner and ourselves sexually. So expecting the fire and intensity and frequency of “new relationship sex” to endure beyond the “new relationship” is not reasonable and may well wreck the good things that do endure or grow with a partner.

One of the primary reasons for married women coming to see me is that they are generally happy in their relationship with their partner, but they just can’t get the sex that they want. So rather than blowing up their lives (and their partner and often children’s lives) “just” for sex, they find a different way to fill that need. For some women that means coming to see me – but that’s not what I’m advocating for here, it’s just one solution among several.

I’m advocating for changing the way you look at sex and long term relationships. Requiring a long term partner in a monogamous relationship to fill all of your sexual needs is usually going to end up with you wanting more than they can give – based on what you have said. The only difference between one partner and another will be by how much you feel you are missing out on.

Then that frustration spill over and poisons the rest of the relationship and… well you have lived the experience of where that leads.

The solution is: accept that if you want to be in a long term committed relationship that, because you have a high libido, you won’t get all of the sex you need from that one person so you are going to have to work out an arrangement with them that lets you get it with someone (or more) outside the relationship.

Of course this means that you have to extend your partner the same privilege. In that lies the opportunity to perhaps do it together – which might be its own kind of fun. I have known a number of clients who went down this path, initially seeing me to fill a personal need for sex, but eventually negotiating with a partner to explore their sexuality together with other people. Other clients have negotiated with their partners to play separately. Some simply choose to see me every month or two.

The point is that if you have a high libido you need to look for solutions beyond expecting one person to give you everything that you need sexually to be happy. It’s not easy. It’s not convenient. And it will require significant effort to make it work – and you won’t be able to make it work with some partners. But if you can then you might just discover an entirely new life that is rewarding in more ways than just giving you the sex that you need.

John.

More than just sex…

I would like to share a message with you that I received from a client (with her permission).  I have seen her several times over eighteen months or so and helped her to explore her sexuality.  But there was more going on there than either of us realised…

“Hi John

I wasn’t sure weather you’d like to hear this or not.  So I went on a date on Wed night, like first proper date.

I had the confidence to it & I was able to hold a conversation over dinner (maybe a few nerves), it felt normal to do. I never thought I’d ever have the confidence to do any of that and I would like to think having seen you a number of times has given me that confidence boost to be able to do it.

Sometimes Have wondered if seeing you has been a good idea but last night proved that, yes it has definitely been worth it (wouldn’t have guessed talking so much would be so much help). So thank you! so much for it.”

(Side note here: this person lives outside of Sydney and isn’t subject to the lockdown here, in case anyone is wondering why they were out of a date given the covid situation)

This was a delightful surprise to receive – because while I like my work and I love that so many of my clients choose to see me regularly, I also enjoy seeing them grow as people and become more confident. And eventually move on to new things and relationships.

I love that sometimes I am able to be a part of that growth.

John.

More about pregnancy, sex, and seeing a sex worker

After I posted a few weeks ago about women who are pregnant and wanting to see a sex worker I had a conversation on the topic with a woman who is a midwife. Since she is a medical professional I thought I would share some of her thoughts about sex while pregnant – with the warning of course that you must talk to your doctor or midwife about these issues and not rely solely on anything I write here. While this information may be relevant generally, it may not be right for you, so please take the time to discuss it further with the professionals you trust. Hopefully it can act as a starting point for an informative conversation.

So the main point that was made to me was that I made it sound like having “sex while pregnant is inherently risky for everyone whereas there are really only a couple of specific conditions where we recommend not having sex”. I may have made it sound more risky with my disclaimer, but I do so because I want to be quite clear that I’m not giving medical advice and not qualified to do so.

So there you have it – what you need to be doing specifically is determine if you have any specific condition that might make sex a risk to your pregnancy.

Some more directly practical things I was told to be aware of included: breasts and nipples can be extra tender. This can actually be a good thing for enjoying sex as it can equate, for some women, to greater sensitivity and pleasure.

Breasts can leak colostrum. Certainly something to be aware of, it might give your partner a surprise if they/you like having your nipples sucked!

Orgasm can cause painless tightening of the uterus. I have read in the past that this is one of the bodies ways of helping to recover from pregnancy and childbirth.

Importantly – the cervix can be more vascular, so inadvertent touching of it – say through deep penetrative sex – can occasionally cause superficial bleeding. This is a very good thing to know as I expect that unexpected bleeding could be concerning.

Another problem with deep penetration, especially later in pregnancy, is that it can become uncomfortable. So if that’s something you and your partner like then expectations may need to be adjusted for a while!

Lastly – and this I was not aware of at all – is that when a pregnancy is very advanced, laying on your back for extended periods can cause a drop in blood pressure due to weight of the uterus pressing on the major blood vessels. So laying on your side for sex is a good alternative to missionary position later in a pregnancy.

For my part I want to add this – whatever your situation is and needs are, if you want to see me then I am very happy to discuss them and work with you to give you a safe and enjoyable experience.

John.