Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Had Gone On A Bender

The first time I paid for sex I was twenty-four years old at a business convention in New Orleans. After finding out that my wife had slept with one of her co-workers while I was away, I had gone on a bender through the French Quarter. The last place I ended up at was a real dive, and I bought a "champagne room dance" from a woman working the bar. The champagne room was the antithesis of glamor; it was just an empty room with a couple of chairs, a red light bulb, and a blue plastic tarp that covered the doorway. When she seated me in the chair she noticed my wedding ring and asked if I'd ever cheated on my wife before. I hadn't realized until then what I had purchased, but I decided to go ahead with it.

I can remember it vividly; what she was wearing, the songs on the jukebox, and mostly talking to her afterward. She had a story about losing her husband in a car wreck and ending up in New Orleans. Even though the bartender had delivered the two splits of champagne, neither of us touched it; she was drinking peach schnapps from a bottle out of her purse. I didn't really feel anything about the experience, and to this day I still don't know what to make of it.

There was a five year interlude before I paid for sex again. By then, it was a lot easier to find "erotic services" online, and I saw perhaps a dozen providers over a few year period. Some I saw repeatedly; one I ended up dating for a few months. She was still working while we were together and it didn't bother me.

It's been over a year now and I don't really miss it. The sex itself ranged from at best okay to downright mediocre, and the experience didn't give me what I really wanted. It never really cut through the lonely feeling in my life, and I stopped trying to fill that with sex, paid or otherwise.