I am a 40-year-old guy in a loving relationship with a girl I adore and know I want to build a future with (we’ve already agreed to move in together). I lost my virginity when I was 19 to an escort on holiday while with my best friend and another friend. It wasn’t my decision and I wouldn’t have gone through with it, but already lacking confidence with women (went to a boys’ school) and not having had any girlfriends up to this time, I agreed to go through with it as I was sexually curious and thought it might help boost my confidence. Up until this time I’d already been looking at lots of pornographic magazines and this was my only release. I can’t remember how I felt after the encounter, but the experience wasn’t great, I fumbled a lot and it was over in a few minutes.
I smoked a lot of weed during my university years which didn’t help my self-esteem. Again, I was introduced to it by my best friend even though I hadn’t felt curious about it before. Coupled with this was the fact that I couldn’t talk to my family about my relationships (parents had an arranged marriage) and was still thinking I was gay (even though I didn’t have the physical feelings towards guys). I had a nervous breakdown at university and developed alopaecia; I went home crying one day, but I couldn’t tell my parents my real problem. I didn’t tell anyone at uni apart from the doctor who prescribed my Prozac.
A bit after I turned 30, having slept with more escorts since my first and still smoking weed but less regularly, I was traveling through India and found myself in a hotel where I was smoking and saw myself as that guy in university falling apart. I didn’t want to bottle up my feelings anymore, so I called my mum and told her I thought I was gay. However, she didn’t really have a conversation about it with me and we haven’t had one since; I think she’s even forgotten about.
Fast forward 10 years and in that amount of time I’ve slept with probably up to 100 escorts. I slept with one the other day, having gone without for nearly a year as I’ve been really working on my inner growth. But I haven’t been feeling fully satisfied with sex with my girlfriend, and my eyes have been straying. While last night with her was really good, I can’t help feeling guilty that I have cheated on her. I know that if she’d been sleeping with a male escort, I’d feel betrayed, but I can’t tell her about this or my past as I know she doesn’t approve of guys sleeping with escorts.
I want this predilection to be out of my life so I can love my girlfriend fully, but I have become so used to compartmentalizing my feelings and hiding things that it’s become part of me. My girlfriend never talks negatively towards me and neither do I of her, something hard to find. I’m kind and loving to her and she with me; we have a great foundation. I don’t know when the next urge will come, but I can’t give in again and look my girlfriend in the face.
P.S. I recently had an STD check and am clean. — Addicted to Escorts
It sounds like you’ve spent at least the past 21 years running away/ hiding/ escaping from something. You’ve used at least weed and escorts, two things you claim not to enjoy, as a release, when I think what would truly set you free is the truth. So, what is your truth? When you find that and embrace it and share it with the people you love and care about and trust, I would not be surprised if the urge to sleep with escorts disappears. But, you need help. Professional help. Find a good therapist and start searching for your truth.
Twice in your letter you allude to being gay. You even went so far as to tell you mother, which I’m sure couldn’t have been easy, but as quickly as she dropped the issue, you seemed to have, too. But… ARE you gay? Or was that simply an attempt to name the truth, and not necessarily accurate? What made you think you were gay?
You say you haven’t felt fully sexually satisfied with your girlfriend. Have you talked to her about that? Obviously, that’s a better solution than cheating on her. But I’m curious: Have you ever felt sexually satisfied with a woman? Do the escorts satisfy you? Have you ever had sex with a non-escort woman and felt satisfied?
You used several nice words and phrases to describe your feelings toward your girlfriend and your relationship: you “adore” her; you’re “kind and loving” with each other; you “want to build a future with her.” But you say nothing about being in love with her. Are you? Do you feel passionately attracted to her? Is your desire to build a future with her based on wanting to grow old with her, or is it based on your desire to be conventional/ “normal” and she’s a nice enough person to fulfill that want with?
You begin your letter avoiding responsibility for the first time you slept with an escort, saying it wasn’t your decision. Of course it was your decision. Unless someone was holding a gun to your head forcing you to screw the woman, you had free will. You’ve employed free will every time you’ve hired the 100+ escorts you’ve slept with, including most recently when you cheated on your girlfriend you say you’re so loving toward. It’s time for you to take responsibility for your behavior — to be honest with yourself… and with your girlfriend. She deserves to know the truth. And you owe it to her and, most importantly, to yourself, to find as much of the truth as you can. Who are you? And what is really driving the decisions you’re so obviously ashamed of? Please work with a therapist to help you find the answers to these questions and guide you to a more authentic way of living and being. The hard personal work won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.