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What’s your gender? Man
How old are you? 44
What’s your race/ethnicity? White / Caucasian
What continent do you live on? North America
What country and/or city do you live in? USA/Orem, UT
Highest education received: Some college (not currently in college)
What’s your occupation? Real estate agent
What’s your current relationship status? Engaged/Married (monogamous)
Religious affiliation: Mormon
How religious are you? Very
What’s your sexual orientation? Mostly heterosexual
Any other term(s) that describe your sexuality or sexual identity? I’m primarily heterosexual, but I have had gay fantasies that turned me on. This usually coincides with heavy porn use.
How many sexual partners have you had in your life (including oral sex)? 84
How many hookup stories have you here posted before? None

PAID SEX

How long ago did this hookup happen? 15 years ago.

What was your relationship status at the time? Single

How would you best classify this hookup? Paid sex

How long did you know the person before this hookup? For 1 to 3 years

Tell us about your PARTNER(S). What did they look like? How well did you know them, had you hooked up before? How/Where did you meet them? How did you feel about them before the hookup? Sterling (I used to know her real name but have since forgotten it) worked as an escort in Salt Lake. I knew her for about three years total. We met when she began working for a company whose escorts I’d hired many times before. The encounter I’m describing was our seventh and final encounter.

How/where did the hookup BEGIN? What led to it? Was planning involved? Who instigated it? The hookup was in a hotel in Midvale, Utah because it was outside of the downtown area. This was necessary because Sterling had been busted for prostitution in SLC and thus wasn’t licensed anymore to work in the city as a Sexually Oriented Business (S.O.B.) worker.

What happened DURING the hookup? What sexual behaviors took place (e.g., oral, vaginal, anal, kinky stuff)? How did you feel during it? How did they behave toward you? Were they a good lover? What did you talk about? How did it end? She came to the door, I answered, wearing only a towel. I offered her a wine cooler. She drank it. (I’d already had two.) She stripped and we began making out, but instead of the usual hand-job, she appeared to want vaginal sex (for the first time; i.e., the first time for us (she definitely wasn’t a virgin), but I didn’t, so instead we engaged in a vigorous rubbing/grinding session that culminated in mutual orgasm.

There were two reasons I didn’t want to have sex. First, for the prior two years I had steadfastly avoided vaginal intercourse with any of my various sexual partners. I got off, to be sure, but not vaginally. This was because I didn’t want to risk pregnancy in any way, shape, or form. Call it an ethical decision. Second, something was wrong with Sterling, physically, chemically. She was all but certainly doing hard drugs, and her body smelled chemically weird, almost fecal. (That’s, at least, my memory of it; it’s been nearly 15 years.)

How sexually satisfying was this hookup? A little

Did you have an orgasm? Yes, one

Did your partner have an orgasm? Yes, one

What happened AFTER the hookup? How did you feel about it the next day? What are/were your expectations/hopes for the future with this person? How do you feel about them now? Afterwards, Sterling cleaned up and left. After she left, I took a very long, very hot shower. I regretted the encounter, somewhat. I didn’t expect to ever see her again, although I hoped (in the intervening years) to run into her around town. There’s a decent chance, given her life’s then-present trajectory, that she’s dead. But I hope not; I hope she’s doing well.

What precautions did you take to prevent STIs and pregnancy? (Check all that apply) No penetrative sex happened

What were your motives for this hookup? Fun, pleasure, horniness, Attraction to partner(s), Intoxication, To feel better about myself, To cheer myself up, I was feeling lonely, Boredom

How intoxicated were you? A little tipsy/high

What substances did you consume? Alcohol

How intoxicated was your partner? A little tipsy/high

What substances did your partner(s) consume? Alcohol, I suspected that she was on other drugs, at the time, because of the weird chemical smell coming off her, but I didn’t ask her about it.

How wanted was this hookup for you at the time? A little bit

Did you consent to this hookup at the time? I gave enthusiastic consent

How wanted was this hookup for your partner at the time? A little bit

Did your partner(s) consent to this hookup? They gave enthusiastic consent

To whom did you talk about the hookup? How did they react? No one, other than the guys in my sex addiction group. They were sorry that I’d “acted out again” but this didn’t change how they related to me.

How would you best summarize people’s reactions about this hookup? Neutral

Did you get emotionally hurt as a result of this hookup? Not at all

Did your partner get emotionally hurt as a result of this hookup? Not at all

Do you regret this hookup? A little bit

Why do you regret this hookup? I was rear-ended on the freeway while driving to the hotel for the hookup. This caused me some consternation and money. Also, this was yet another instance of me giving in to my desire to act out sexually with an escort. I was actively trying to stop hiring escorts. I saw my first escort on 30 April 1994 and my last one on 25 August 2002 (the encounter I’ve just described).

What was the BEST thing about this hookup? That it was my last time hiring an escort and acting out with her sexually. (I almost hired another escort nearly 8 months later but was so drunk at the time, facedown on the bathroom floor, that I didn’t have it in me to answer the hotel room’s door when she knocked.)

I’m glad that Sterling was the last escort I acted out with. We had grown kind of a little bit friendly over the prior few years, so this was more than a strictly business relationship. I looked her up online a few years later and saw that she had switched to specializing in BDSM escorting, from the looks of her photo. She looked lifeless and depressed in her photo. That made me sad.

What was the WORST thing about this hookup? That she stank, physically, that her life appeared (to me) to be spiraling downward. That made me a little bit sad for her. I hated too that I had acted out with another escort after not seeing one for the prior three months (this after eight years of more or less monthly escort use).

Has this hookup changed the way you think about casual sex, sexuality, or yourself in general? Not really, but it did confirm for me that I didn’t want to continue hiring escorts as sexual partners. It also confirmed for me that when drunk or “in the mood,” I’d act out sexually despite warning flags or compelling reasons to the contrary. I really can’t ever fully trust myself.

All things considered, how POSITIVE was this experience? A little positive

All things considered, how NEGATIVE was this experience? A little negative

Anything else you want to add about this hookup? I remember Sterling saying (at some point in the encounter) that she’d done gymnastics as a little girl. She even did a nude cartwheel for me. It was a decent cartwheel. I have three daughters now, and two of them take gymnastics. They are constantly performing cartwheels — in the house, in parks, at the mall, etc. It makes me sad to think of Sterling as a little girl (which she most certainly once had been) with hopes and dreams of her own. I’m nearly 100% certain that she was sexually abused; some of the stories she told me would certainly indicate that. It also makes me sad to think of any one of my own girls growing up to, one day, become an escort. I pray that doesn’t happen.

What are your thoughts on casual sex more generally, the role it has played in your life, and/or its role in society? What would you like to see changed in that regard? First, the best and most satisfying sex of my life (hands down, no exceptions) has been in the last three or so years of my 14-year marriage relationship. But I couldn’t have known that if I hadn’t had a whole lot of bad or marginal casual sexual experiences.

My childhood certainly informs my views about casual sex. I was sexually molested by a babysitter when I was very young and first saw porn when I was five years old. Since then I’ve seen enough porn to fill libraries. I masturbated nightly, sometimes twice a day or more, from about age five till age 18.5. I don’t know that I would have been as sexual a creature without porn or without growing up in a society as weirdly pornified yet puritanical as ours is. In my view, porn promotes a casual sex lifestyle, and not to our betterment. Likewise, vehement religiously based anti-sex campaigns created an equally toxic sex landscape. Absent porn, absent sexually-charged advertising, absent cartoonishly puritanical denouncements of “free love” lifestyles, I imagine that casual sex would be, perhaps, less common, and definitely of a different quality. Absent porn in my life, given my intensely religion upbringing, I likely never would have had casual sex, and certainly never would have hired escorts. At the same time, I likely also wouldn’t be happily married (or maybe even still alive).

But here’s where it gets a little complicated, I was raised in a nearly fundamentalist religious home. My mother taught me that sex was something that men did to women against women’s wills and that the act almost always caused them emotional and sometimes physical pain. At some point, still in childhood, I read in the Bible about prostitutes and concubines, and I immediately cottoned to the idea. How would it be to meet women who actually wanted to have sex! (NB: I had no idea about sexual slavery back then, but certainly know about it now; and in knowing now, I can never view prostitution with the same “innocence.” Yes, there are empowered, sex-positive sex workers out in the world. But I somehow doubt they constitute a majority.) Fast-forward to age 22, fresh from a Mormon mission to Germany (think Book of Mormon: The Musical minus the catchy songs and engaging story but add to it a whole lot of tasty food), I visited my first strip club then hired my first escort and had sex with her all in the same night. I subsequently hired a whole lot of escorts (even if not a Sheen-ishly large number). I didn’t force myself on the escorts; I respected them as people. I figured that the payment of my fee bought me the opportunity for, but not the absolute entitlement to, a sexual encounter. In that time, I came to know women as sexual creatures. I came to own my sexuality. I became confident, to a point. These were all good things. But towards the end of my escort-hiring days, I felt myself getting, for lack of a better word, spiritually darker. I began feeling a little more entitled, a little less willing to see the escorts as people with their own hopes and fears. I’m glad that I no longer participate in that world; I’m glad that I no longer pay directly for sex.

But casual sex? I’ve had one fling with a married woman, and a few flings with non-paid professionals. In every instance, I found the encounters to be anything but emotionally casual. There’s usually a lot of anxiety and trepidation, followed by a little bit of relief, a little bit of regret, sometimes guilt. On the other hand, I didn’t experience them as the great evil that my mother and church leaders warned me they’d be.

What would I like to see change? A few things. I think people deserve the right to discover their sexuality on their own and with as much freedom as possible, to explore their preferences while remaining cognizant of the dangers of improper partnering (for lack of a better term). Casual sex should never be criminalized; but sex itself shouldn’t ever be trivialized. Sexual encounters aren’t always safe for the weaker partner (be it a man, a woman, or someone in transition); we should, as a society, train our members to see sex as a privilege and responsibility not a right. Every escort I talked to had at least one rape story; every one of them talked about dudes attacking them. I don’t think that porn helps us here; I think it causes more harm than good. It contributes to rape culture and it contributes to sex slavery. But I don’t think we should outlaw porn or censor it; but I do think we should tax porn the same as cigarettes and alcohol and use the proceeds to educate the public about how unhealthy and unreal porn’s portrayal of sexuality is. I think that prostitution should be legal, which would at least give sex workers more rights and support than they presently have. I think that religion should support safe-sex education. I think that abortion should be legal but that adoption should be made easier and advertised more. Last, and what I’m about to write may seem an unrelated tangent, but it relates in my mind: I’d like to see same-sex marriage advocates join forces with those who oppose same-sex marriage and use their combined powers to advocate for marriage as a healthy institution for society. Not everyone will get married or should get married, but marriage, as a healthy institution, is the necessary foundation for a society that allows “casual sex.” Put it this way, casual sex works best in societies where a majority of people live in monogamous relationships. (I don’t have the word-count space, the time, the education, or the interest to expand on that assertion here, but I feel it to be a valid one.)

What do you think about the Casual Sex Project? I think it’s great. Keep it going!

You have a hookup story to share? Submit it here!