I’m a lesbian. I paid a woman for sex and it was the best I’ve ever had in my life.

It was so many things I didn’t expect it to be. It got me thinking about all the ways we gay women deny ourselves sexual experiences. This was my one-woman protest march.

My reasons for hiring a sex worker could be like anybody’s: I’ve been single a while and wanted someone hot to kiss me; I’m in a long-term relationship without sex, or I just wanted to try something different and sexy.

I found her on the internet and we arranged a date. Her name is Alexa. I’d seen pictures of her, but none were totally clear, so I had no idea what she looked like in the flesh. Between that and the idea of paying for sex with someone I’d never met before, my heart was pounding and my hands were shaking. I stopped at a nearby hotel bar to steady my nerves. I was about to cross a threshold, one that many of my gay male friends — but none of my women friends — already had. My head filled with doubts: “Who am I?” “This isn’t me!” “I’m a serial monogamist feminist, for God’s sake!” “What’s happening here?”

The first thing I noticed when she opened the door was how beautiful she is: sweet and soft and sexy with the most gorgeous blue eyes I’ve ever seen. She has a lovely and welcoming smile. I couldn’t have dreamed up someone better if I’d tried.

I had a shower and we got to it. And let me just say: if you want something done right, you should really go to a professional. This was a completely different category of sexual experience. I felt things I didn’t even know my body could feel. She picked me up off the floor — she’s small but powerful — slung my legs around her waist and slammed me against the wall, kissing me. It was fucking incredible. And that was just the start.

She lay me down on the bed. Oh my God, holy shit, Jesus H Christ and wow. I don’t know what that first thing she did was, but it involved her mouth, hands, a pair of gloves, a bottle of lube, penetration, massage and a vibrator. I have been having sex with women since I was 17 and nothing has ever felt like that. I thought I would be getting some pleasant sex with a hot woman. I didn’t expect mind-blowing sex with a completely gorgeous creature who, when she wasn’t ramming something inside me, was kissing me passionately, looking sweetly into my eyes, or saying lovely, dirty things in my ear.

And there was no time to catch my breath. Just when I thought I couldn’t take any more of whatever she was doing, she’d flip me over, drag me down the bed, swing me around into another position, and do something else incredibly hot. Really, what have I been doing these past 20 years? This was amazing, mind-blowing sex. The kind of sex men get to have: lusty, hot, powerful, penetrating.

But it was more than that; it was connection. That was something I didn’t expect. I looked into her eyes and was hers. Simple as that. We were two people connecting through an erotic experience. You can be with someone for years who doesn’t give you that, and here we had it after five minutes. Talking to her afterward was incredible and just as sexy as the sex. She is sweet, smart, fun and lovely to talk to. Totally dreamy.

The next day, in a happy haze, I got to thinking: “Am I really the only gay woman who’s done this? That can’t be.” So I asked around.

“I have considered hiring an escort for many reasons: to play out a fantasy I’ve always had and to get lucky with absolutely no strings attached,” Lisa, a 35-year-old lesbian, told me over the phone. “I’ve never gone through with it, mostly because the marketing of it is so geared towards men that it intimidated me.”

But marketing isn’t the only thing stopping us. Chris is 48 and has been with her partner almost 20 years. They have three kids together. She says that, like many long-term couples, she and her partner haven’t had sex in a long time. “We talked about the idea of hiring someone,” she told me. “I’ve even thought of going to someone on my own. But for us, one of the issues is the fear of falling in love with the person.” This is where it becomes a uniquely female equation.

I wondered what it was like on the other side, how an escort might feel about women clients. Felicity Scott is an independent escort in Toronto and has clients who are women. “Seeing a woman is very different than a guy because of the different ways people connect,” she says. “In my experience, part of getting turned on for women is the emotional connection. Personally, I feel very happy when I am contacted by a woman client because, being queer, I get excited about being with a woman.”

Carlyle Jansen, owner of Good for Her, a sex shop for women, summed it up for me one sunny afternoon over coffee in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood. “For some people, seeing a sex worker may be a way to give themselves permission to ask for what they need,” she told me. And that fits with me. I sought out my experience with Alexa — despite what others told me about what I was supposed to want and how I was supposed to act — in response to a single seemingly radical thought: “I want sex. Not in five dates or three weeks — I want it now.”

I chose to write about this experience because it is something I felt I couldn’t really tell anyone about in casual conversation. If women aren’t supposed to want sex without attachment, we certainly aren’t supposed to pay for it. However, as Felicity told me, “When you find the part of yourself that says it’s okay, that it’s fun and exciting to have sex with someone who is there only for your own sexual pleasure, then you unlock a part of yourself. For women to do this could be very liberating.”

I’ll say.
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