Sunday, March 4, 2007

An Honour I Dream Not Of

I love it when the sun shines in my window in the mornings. It increases my mood exponentially to wake with light, and this morning I lay in bed with Husband for quite some time, enjoying being warm and cuddly and slowly waking up together while the cats attacked our toes. One of my favorite ways to start the day is to go over my to-do list in my head (no, really) and put in order the day’s tasks. The secret: first start an ongoing chore (like laundry), then easy job, easy job, breakfast, all the computer-related stuff, one hard one, lunch, then all the leave-the-house errands, followed by the promise of writing as a reward. It especially helps if I have something good to blog about – I can entertain myself through the other jobs by planning out what to write.

I had no idea what to blog about today. But then, like an early Easter egg in the new-mown grass of my inbox, I found this charming proposal from Circus Guy:

Hello [whorename/realname]. Hope you are well. [...] I've been thinking about you and I. I'm looking for a real relationship with someone. And I'm thinking you just might be also, I could be wrong! If I'm right, I don't want to be a John to you and I don't want to consider you to be a prostitute to me. It would be nice to date you (take you to dinner, baseball game etc.) or whatever you want to do. I'll pay for everything, and even give you gas money when you come down this way. I really love being with you. I'm hoping we can make this a long term relationship and have lots of fun together. Please just consider what I am saying here. Take a few days to think about it, don't just read this email and make a quick decision. Again I really love being with you and the love making is wonderful, my other parts are tingling as I type this :).
p.s. please think about it for a few days. If it is not what you want I'm sure you will let me know. I would really love to have a real relationship with you.

Gentle Readers, I will leave it to you to decide whether I could ever have a "real relationship" with a man who misuses “you and I.” But let us step back from mere grammatical concerns and consider, instead, the eggs already nestling in my little hand-woven basket:

Giant Hollow Chocolate Egg (Candy-Encrusted): I habitually work a 60-80 hour week for my artistic job(s) and the management thereof, with whoring as a small part of my working time.

Solid Dark Chocolate Bunny: I maintain a full-time relationship with Husband, with whom I live. I also serve somewhat as his muse, consulting on his artistic work and managing much of his career.

Mini-Box of Champagne Truffles: I have a part-time relationship with Lover, including daily emails, mostly-daily phone calls, and the associated thinking about him, as well as consulting on his artistic work and advising (when asked) on his career.

Assorted Candied Fruits: I have occasional relationships with Guitarist, Folk Rocker, Big City Lover, and Man Who Loves the Stars (not yet in the blog), and close friendships with Beautiful Girl, Power Girl, Best Friend and a few more.

I can’t afford to break even.

Sure, Circus Guy is reasonably nice. He’s clean, I find him physically attractive, and yeah, if I had met him in another context, I might fuck him once. But you know what? He’s neither intellectually challenging enough nor emotionally stimulating enough to make him part of my life for free.

Greenwoman posted a great comment in response to my ethical dilemma about developing a paid-but-real relationship with a potential client/friend:

If your massage therapist or your doctor or your art teacher became a dear friend with you, would you be asking yourself these same questions? Would you still pay them for a massage or for a class or a visit...? Even if your friendship became more than platonic?

I would expect to continue paying a platonic friend. If it became more than platonic, I might have to start seeing someone else for my professional needs, work out a system of barter that made us both comfortable, or else keep compensating them fairly for their services. I don’t expect my musician friends to play gigs for free (I wouldn't insult them by asking), and I’ve slept with some of them. I’ve contracted with Lover to commission some of his work for a project of mine, for cash – and in fact, we defined it all in a written contract, so that no-one felt taken advantage of.

What I think Circus Guy doesn’t understand – and I do think it’s a misunderstanding rather than an insult – is that relationships *cost*. If you’re married or in a long-term situation, they cost more heavily on the emotional side than on the financial side (yes, it’s arguable that the costs of matrimony are high, but let’s assume the SO financially contributes, too.) You pay the price of dealing with bad moods, owing daily allegiance and commitment, sharing household tasks, raising children. On the other end of the spectrum, hiring a whore costs relatively little emotionally – she never has a bad day, she doesn’t want you to take out the trash before bed, and surprise! she likes all the same things you like in bed! She comes every time! And if you’re tired, or an efficient ejaculator, well, hey, she doesn’t mind! Couples therapy? What’s couples therapy?

I’d rank extramarital affairs somewhere in the middle – you get some of the new-relationship smell without the high per-hour cash cost. Your emotional risk is a bit high – s/he might get tired of being second and threaten to tell – but you don’t have to put in the kind of daily maintenance necessary to a full-time relationship. And because the side-lover isn’t getting you full-time, nor are they getting your cash, there needs to be a strong payoff: they think you’re amazing, you give them serious sexual thrills, whatever sates their sweet tooth.

In the end, it boils down to this: I don’t have any more of my personal life available to trade for emotional payoff. For me to give unpaid time to anyone new, they’d better be spectacular enough to displace someone already there. I have a select amount of time I’m choosing to sell for cash, and it’s not cheap. So, sorry, Circus Guy – it’s not you (mostly). We’re out of stock on the Champagne Truffles and Candied Fruits, and it looks like you can’t afford a piece of Candy-Encrusted Egg.

Yes, they are my favorite.


Al Laddin said...

This is exactly why you are my favorite sex/relationship blogger right just nailed (for me) the paid fuck to committed relationship matrix that I have been churning over these last few months. You didn't really miss a stop along the way either.

Thank you. Great writing, too.

Tom Paine said...

Teuscher is excellent, you have good taste.

Hmmmm, I'm not sure that C. and I would like being classified as candied fruits-- though I call her a "creamy center" because of, well, you'll have to read "Afternoon Delight."

Can we be champagne truffles individually wrapped for special occasions?

gentlereaderofthemuse said...

Sounds like our beloved Circus Guy has boundary issues.

Anonymous said...

titillated and tempted- dearest friend you never cease to expand my horizons with tales of the expansion of your own. shocked, yes. awed, unsure, concerned, yes. loving you no matter what, of course. a given. were you nervous to tell me, i wonder? i was nervous to read about it, truth be it known. and amazed, (with a giggly 'but of course', in thick fauxfrench accent) to realize that the people/clients/johns... shall we call them patrons? to realize that your patrons are falling in love with you. *laughs with slightly scandalized delight*

how i do adore you!

dexplorer said...

Well, on the one hand I'm feeling good about how I reasoned and what I suggested in response to your similar dilema a few posts below re: Guy Who Wants to Fly You Heft Expenses Paid (but fee unpaid) to Interesting City You'd Like to Visit, and whom you internet dig quite a bit.

And on the other I'm feeling foolish for venturing such a clumsy and utterly un-poetic response, when you come up with your delightful boxes of candies to capture your time/attention/income considerations.

btw, I'm DYING to know what your artistic independent business(es) are, but understand why you don't want to get specific here. Oh well.

You are a rare and fascinating creature indeed.