The Persistent Savior Complex Of Johns
By Margot St. Vincent
I offer an enticingly different experience from the general geriatric sugar daddy. Message me for details!
What isn’t intriguing about that? I get tired of old dudes sometimes. They offer the most financial support — generally — but boy, can they can be a bore. Clingy. Emotionally high-maintenance. Which, don’t get me wrong, is usually fine. I do well being a mix of an emotional support creature and a high-class call girl.
“When can I see you again, my glamour girl?” S, my regular client, writes to me from his fake email address. We’ve known each other over a year. I have his address, know where he works, how he takes his coffee. I’d often spent the morning sitting with him in our usual hotel — a suite, steaming mugs in our hands. We were staring out the window at the estuary when he told me about his first love, who developed Borderline Personality Disorder.
I knew this story all too well; I’d heard so many like it. I knew when to pause and purse my lips, when to nod sympathetically. I knew to keep my palms up and open, in my lap, to show the capacity of my listening. And it’s all genuine, my compassion for these men. At the same time, it’s also an evolving challenge. If you become too much like a therapist, you risk losing them to reality to the pain and mundanity of the human experience. If you’re too much of a glamorous — but decidedly removed companion — you risk appearing inauthentic and may blight a connection.
This is all to say that after a good deal of emotionally intense interactions like these (some of which left me utterly drained and unable to manage much of my own life), I was ready for someone younger, someone straight forward about wanting a physical connection and No Strings Attached. I called the number, and a bro-y voice answered.
He made pretenses of wanting to know a little about me, which I diplomatically averted.
“I’m intrigued,” I said directly and with a calm demureness.
I could hear him shifting around, and knew that his response was not going to be one I’d be interested in. Still, I’d listen to him. I was smirking into the phone, standing in the middle of the sidewalk in a bustling, holiday-season city, with children in mittens walking around me. A man across the street held a cardboard sign that said, I NEED GLORY.
Bro was more long-winded than I had bandwidth for. By the time he’d lead me through a conversational labyrinth of explanations, propositions, and promises, I was avidly watching a small fight happen on the ice skating rink in front of me. A parent was pushing another parent for allowing their kid to slide around helter-skelter on the ice.
Essentially, Bro was saying something that could have been knocked out in a few sentences. He was broke, but he worked for a financial management firm. He wanted someone to blow him in exchange for financial advice.
“I want to make all of these women, who likely make bad decisions, into super humans, you know?” It wasn’t a question. I was rolling my eyes, which the ice skating parent took as solidarity, and flashed me a look of gratitude. Kids, am I right? She seemed to say. I nodded, and stifled a laugh. Meanwhile, the goddamn Bro was still talking.
“I like, want to forge them in my image.”
I nearly barfed. There is really only so much to my diplomacy.
“Well, that is certainly a lot to think about,” I made no move to mask my mocking tone. I considered hanging up, and then decided not to. It’s so rare that I get to lay into gross straight men in the way I so desperately want to most of the time. Taking a deep breath, I told him that it was likely that many hookers were already super human. That many had student loans, were putting themselves through school, or were single parents. That even if they weren’t those things, they were likely to never ever be able to find work that paid hundreds of dollars an hour elsewhere. That some were artists, and the low time commitment and high paycheck made it possible for them to do their work.
And what, I continued, made him believe that they’d made poor financial decisions? Likely the only poor decision they’d made was to not figure out sooner how to make the system work for them. And even then, they were free from blame for that one.
“Where did you go to school?” he asked when I’d finished. Taken aback, I’d told him the truth — something I rarely do with clients. But he was never going to be my client. “I’m just wondering how you learned such no-nonsense mental agility. You’re like a mean ninja. And,” he said, to my dismay, “really sweet when you aren’t tearing me apart.”
I hung up on him. The great ice skating debacle of 2015 seemed to be resolved, with one child looking only slightly red in the face. My phone beeped, and I saw I had a text message from Bro.
“Are you interested in a date, though? I’m not able to pay you, but I’m also looking for love, and you may be it.”