It hadn’t started as anything major — the dates. Some call it prostitution, hooking, fishing, whatever, but I reserve those names for the ones who are actually working the streets; I’m just a professional dater. Yes, most the dates entail sex, but to me, it’s just a part of the experience. People have needs and I’m happy to provide them for a fee in order to get what I ultimately want. It’s a win-win for all persons involved.
It all began three months ago, with Bill actually as my first date. My brother is correct in saying that I fall in love easy, but with Bill, I know it’s different. I fell in love with his kind heart at the start, and his generosity is just extra sweetener on the already over-iced cake. I am still unsure on how he really feels about me, but with each encounter it feels as if we are getting more and more comfortable with each other, even sharing and exchanging our personal lives and information. Every ounce of me wants to tell him how I feel, but every time I think about it, the wallet appears and reality sinks in. I am a whore to him, plain and simple, and that’s an idea that’s impossible to reverse.
I’ve met with a total of six men who have all been nothing but kind. It surprised me at first, but there is an almost certain outcome you get by playing the game online instead of the streets, simply by posting exactly what you want and letting them know exactly what they can expect. I’ve even found a community of people just like me out there who share their experiences on an online forum; people I can relate to and receive sound advice from, all of us driven by common needs and the willingness to explore man’s deepest, hidden desires. It’s a dangerous game, sure, but someone’s got to play. Plus, I need the money, which has turned me into a criminal in my own right, addicted to the lifestyle like America’s best thugs. All things turn ugly over time. Even ideals.
I wake up and I actually feel excited to have the day off — from everything. I get up and shower, having accidentally left on my makeup from the night before, already smeared by lust, then get dressed and sit at the computer, which beeps as if it were waiting for me. There are thirty new emails.
Upon closer inspection, twelve are spam, one is a bank statement, and the rest are all in response to my new online posting. They are all stamped as having been sent last night, which just leads me to think that maybe the freaks really do all come out at night.
Most of the responses are unprofessional and contain dick pictures and vulgar descriptions of what they would like me to do to them. Some are better, with actual faces, but a lot of them seem to be into weird stuff that I can’t see myself doing and are way beyond my job description and pay grade: fruit and foot fetishes, insertion fetishes, and even daddy-daughter type role playing. My ad states that I am mainly into vanilla sex but am open to ideas and kinks, which, to me, seems like just an open invitation to all sorts of weirdos, but the online community says that it would open me up to a mass of opportunity and money, so I obliged.
One email finally stands out. It reads:
‘Hey beautiful! This is my first time actually going through with this but I saw your pix and I couldn’t resist. My name is Eric, I’m 26, an explorer of life and everything fun, and I know I can show you a good time. Please let me know if you are interested. I’d rather get this done sooner than later, even tonight if possible, before my nerves get the best of me! I am fine with your rate and hope that I look like your type. Mail me back with some other pix of your sexy ass if you can 😉 My number is included in the attachment I sent. Hope to hear from you soon miss Robin Red.’
I click on the attachment and up pops his picture. He looks genuine enough, kind of country-looking; definitely the frat boy type. Part of me wonders what a cute, normal guy like this is doing online and wanting to pay for someone like myself, but the psychology of it is all beyond me, and I usually fare better by not thinking too much into it.
I click on the other link and write down the number to his cell, then text him immediately and say that if he is still interested, I will send another picture. The new post I had put up had included two pictures, standard overhead selfie and one with me in a skirt, but I have no problem sending more explicit ones for guys who pass my initial email screening. I stand and dress down quickly, slide on my sexiest thong, then set up the camera for the shot.
As I get into position, my thoughts turn to Bill and what he would think if he knew what I was doing right at this moment. Of course he knows there are others, but we never speak about it, nearly avoiding the topic altogether. Would he be jealous? Does he care? I go through this same ordeal every time I meet somebody new. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel as if I am cheating on my pretend lover.
My face isn’t as done up as I would prefer it to be so I turn away from the camera and let my wet hair drape down the length of my back. I place my hands on my hips and arch my spine so that my bare ass sticks out like a pose I have seen in magazines. Then I click the handheld shutter button, save the image to my computer for later, and wait for Eric’s response.
I am making eggs when I hear my phone chime. I pick it up and am surprised to see my brother’s name, only to then realize the promise I had made to him yesterday. I can’t cancel on him twice, so I call him back to confirm.
“You didn’t forget, did you?” he says right away, and I can already sense the irritation in his voice.
“Of course not,” I say, “but I might have to cut it short.”
His irritation rises. “What is it this time?”
“Do you?” I can now practically hear him grinning through the phone.
The phone beeps and I look to see that Eric has text back. It reads: “Yes, still interested. Tonight?”
“You there,” comes Chucks voice through the receiver.
“Yeah, I’m here. I’ll be there tonight. Ivar’s, as usual?” It has been the restaurant we have been going to for years.
“Be there at eight,” he says.
I glance at the text one last time and say, “Make it seven.” I hear him sigh as I hang up without giving him his chance at the last word. I hate doing this to him, especially on a day like today, but I am so close to my goal — every little date counted.
I text Eric back, telling him to check his email, then head to the computer to send the picture.
I spend the rest of the day basically waiting for night to come so I can morph into my alter ego, don my costume, and peruse the night to my heart’s content. It has become like what I can only guess as a drug addict’s high to me, pimping out my body and indulging in pleasures that only a select few take part in. This life, these activities, whether you’re on either the giving or receiving end of the services, are not for everyone. They have become my center-point, the core of me that produces the gravitational pull for certain healings for my dysmorphic mindset and damaged self-esteem. Nothing in life is forever but I am surely enjoying myself with this more than I should.
I set my clothes on my bed before leaving early to meet my brother, who is always the type to think that ten minutes early is on time. I had set the date with Eric for 8:30, which will hopefully give me enough time to finish eating and talking with Chuck. Eric had commented on my picture, saying how he couldn’t wait to handle “that” in person, but did not go into any real specifics at all about what all he would like to do. I am to meet him downtown at a hotel on 8thnear the federal courthouse, which is as good an area as any. It sort of adds to the game, being so close to the law building, and is almost a turn on in itself.
I get to the restaurant and make my way to the table where Chuck is already seated. “About time,” he says, in his brotherly tone. He had gotten all of the height in the family, and his broad upper body leaned over the table like he was an expectant mafia don awaiting an answer from a hard-asked query. His hair is more brown than red, like our grandfather’s, but other than the size difference, people always mistook us for twins. He stands and gives me a hug as I walk up, with his big arms nearly crushing my skinny frame. “You’re looking more like mom these days, you know that?” he says.
“And you, dad,” I jab back.
“I’m not sure if that’s good or bad,” he says as he lets go and we take a seat.
“By the looks of it, it’s bad,” I say as I check the scenery around us. I spot his drink. “I hope you’re not taking up his habits, too.”
“All in moderation,” he smirks, and I remember how much I loathe his near-perfect teeth. “What’ll you be having?”
“Whatever the hell that is you got. It actually looks good. What do mean ‘like mom’ anyway?”
“Well you know you got her eyes and nose already,” he starts. “And height, I suppose. But look at your hair!” I had kept it down for my planned date and he tries to reach over to grab it but I jerk back and almost slam my head into the approaching waitress.
“Whoops,” she says while dodging. “Can I get you something to drink to start?” she asks me.
“Whatever the hell it is he’s got,” I say again.
“Make it two,” Chuck says. “I’ll be done with mine by then.
I give him a look that hopefully speaks a thousand words but he says nothing. “My hair is fine,” I say finally. “The boys all love it,” I add in jokingly.
“Don’t say that,” he says, disgusted. “It’s weird. I’m your big brother, I don’t need to hear shit like that.”
I laugh, “Calm down. Don’t get yourself all worked up over nothing. I was kidding.”
“Well, you tell me you had a date, then you go and say something like that. You know how I worry.”
“It’s not love,” I say, and my eyes lose focus as I look down past him.
“I didn’t say that it was,” he says.
“You didn’t have to.” There’s a clash in the kitchen and the murmur of the diners dies down for a second, then picks quickly back up to a low roar. I look around; the place is busy for a Thursday night, even with the beginning winter months thinning down the tourist crowds. When I look back to my brother, his eyes are locked on mine. “What?” I say.
I sit back and roll my eyes. “Well, what’s new?”
“You seem, I don’t know, far off lately. And different.”
“I’m not quite sure what you mean.” Conveniently, the waitress walks up and hands us our drinks. Chuck finishes off what was left of his first and sits back in his seat. He looks tired, as if his gas tank were on empty, and I wonder if things are going okay with his family. We order our food without having to look at the menu, then as the waitress departs I say, “Look, you don’t need to worry so much about me. I’m actually happier than I’ve been for years. My confidence is up and work is going good for once. So I don’t know what the hell you’re seeing.”
“You’re changing,” he says. “I don’t really know how to explain it.”
“Then why even say it? I’m 31 Chuck. I stopped changing years ago.”
“That’s not what mom would say.”
“Well mom was wrong. The world is beautiful. People are the ones that are so ugly with their attitudes and all the judging. So please, I don’t need the same from you.”
He looks down at the table and I instantly feel bad for being so direct. He had always missed mom more than I did. “That’s not what I meant,” he says, then stops. His eyes jolt around as if they were piecing together his next words with care, then he sighs and says, “You always were the grass is greener type. But I have to disagree — people are fine, it’s society that distorts us.”
I squint and lean towards him. “Don’t you start to get all brainy on me,” I say. I follow his gaze down to my fork on the table with nothing else to really talk about.
“So what did you mean then?” he asks. “Who are you seeing, Robin?”
“Please just drop it Chuck.” I say it with a force that pushes through his defenses. He folds and looks back down. He is right though, he always is. I am changing. It’s why I value him so much in my life. His opinions are unfiltered and direct, which is also why I hide from him emotionally. It is always a rough road trying to get past him.
“I do miss her,” I say after a moment.
“She was a smart woman,” he says.
“The best, at most,” I end up saying.
“Our mother,” his voice trails off and the murmur of the restaurant comes to the foreground again. I lift my drink to his, and we drink to her memory for another year. Our food comes soon after and we eat and sip and laugh like we were kids again. We joke and talk of life in the past through words of joy, reminiscing as if the next minute could be the last. As the night goes on and the drinks keep coming, we speak as if we know that tomorrow will always come to be yesterday, and everything will ultimately be alright.