I walked into the introduction room. His hands were clumsily wringing the bag that he had brought with him. His hair was grey and receding, his body was thinner than mine, and he was sweating bullets.
“Hi there, how can I help today? Are you looking for anything in particular?” I asked.
This was the moment that I met probably my most memorable client; not because he treated me with respect, not because his nervousness and vulnerability left him naked, but because to this day he is the one person I think of when I want to be reminded of my mortality.
“I, uh, well I was hoping to come in here and find a girl that I can wrestle with. I’m not looking for sex, I swear – but, uh, it’s been a long time and – I mean, I brought a costume as well if that’s OK”.
“Sure, sounds like fun. I’m in.”
After he booked me, we moved into one of the establishment’s rooms. I donned probably the craziest outfit I have ever worn at work…. A red and blue G string lycra leotard and sheer tights. Honestly, I felt like a bonified superman. I laid a sheet out on the floor. Retiring to our respective corners, I eyed him off, smirked cheekily, and launched myself at him in a low crouch.
Man, is wrestling fun. I never thought of myself as a fighter; other than an orange belt in ju jitsu, my game plan when I was younger had always been to hide in the corner and hope that confrontation didn’t find me. There is something very empowering and erotic, however, about pinning a man to the floor, seeing him unable to get up. The feeling of his full weight on your body when he flips and pins you instead; feeling his hands roaming your body, groping you, feeling his heavy breath behind you but not being able to see him. It was exhilarating, and raw, and so much fucking fun.
Half an hour later, after trading moves and laughs, we collapsed on the floor and he pulled out an unopened, chilled water bottle from his bag.
“I brought this for you, I thought you might want some”, he said as he passed the bottle to me.
I gulped down a few mouthfuls between heavy breaths, and turned to him.
“I reckon this is probably the most unusual thing I’ve ever done here before, but thanks so much, it was great fun. It’s awesome to be doing something not so vanilla for a change”.
He laughed. “No, honestly thankyou”, he replied as he sat next to me on the floor while catching his breath. “I’ve been wanting to do that for so long.”
“Why not? You’re obviously very good at it, why has it been so long? How did you even get into it?”
His reply was a sad one, and one that I still think of often.
“I used to wrestle actually years ago, a friend got me into it. A bunch of his mates would meet in his garage where they had set up this huge wrestling mat, and we used to just take turns together. Men and even women. And I loved it; I went every week. It made me feel invincible. But I got cancer, and my doctor told me it would be too much on my body, so I stopped; I’ve missed it so much. And I just woke up today and got sick of feeling sick, you know – I just wanted to feel invincible again. So I looked up this place and decided to come in – I was so nervous though, I’ve never been to a brothel before”.
It was only then that I noticed the balloon of the dialysis catheter under his left forearm; the rips in his fragile skin that he didn’t feel in the moment; the drawn nature of his face. He was sick. Really sick. I felt horrible for not noticing earlier, and mild panic that maybe I had hurt him.
Well, who knows to be honest if I did any serious physical damage. I never saw him again and although I’m not one to pray, I do wish with all my heart that he is OK out there in the world somewhere, and he is better, wrestling up a storm in some dark garage with a beautiful girl pinned beneath him and a beaming smile plastered to his face.
Fly with it. Even if it does involve a brothel and a lycra leotard.
This is the thing that people don’t know about my career. It’s not always about sex, even though sex occurs in the majority of bookings. In fact, its very rarely about sex; even the guys who think that it’s what they are looking for aren’t really coming for that. It’s for connections with other people; for intimacy and companionship; to take some part of you that is broken or hurting, or to take that loneliness that consumes us all in some way at some point in our lives, and give that to another person in the hope that you will be made whole again. You give it in the hope that you might feel the way that you used to, before a bad break up or a loveless marriage or before you took that job that consumes every minute of every day. At the end of the day we all have that thing that, when we’re sitting with just ourselves, makes us feel like we’re the only person on the planet. It humanises us. And my job, purely and simply, is to recognise this, even if I don’t vocalise it to you, and to try and give whatever I can to make you feel like you’re not alone. Like you’re invincible.
I think about him all the time; is he OK, did I make him sick enough to stop coming, has he passed on… I’ll never know. But I do know that he is a constant reminder to me that life is short and you can either sit back and wait for life to ease up on you, or you can take what you love in life and run with it. Fly with it. Even if it does involve a brothel and a lycra leotard. If it makes you happy, makes you feel on fire, makes you feel whole…. then screw what anyone else thinks and just do it.