In 2009, Psychological Science published an odd study. Researchers found that the act of handling money reduced anxiety and made people feel better about themselves as they approached stressful situations. Pop psychologists quickly extolled counting cash as a new cure-all for depression. It’s hardly a radical discovery — as any whore will tell you, nothing feels better than a wad of cash in your hand after a job well done.
I’m not immediately sure what to make of Dave. His emails are composed in ALL CAPS without punctuation. He wants a three-hour BDSM session with the works: bondage, hard spanking, fucking and fisting. I quote him a rate and he doesn’t balk. Apparently, money is no object.
His apartment is tiny, two rooms with an adjoining kitchenette, which seems even smaller because of how full they are. Every square inch of wall is covered with photos, posters, magazine clippings and Catholic paraphernalia. He has two cabinets full of dusty porcelain figurines, three giant glass candy dishes sitting on doilies on the coffee table, and a huge ceramic sculpture of a smiling panda bear with fists full of bamboo in one corner.
And then there are the nutcrackers. I scan the place as we chat and count roughly 300 of them, in all different sizes. There are plenty of the typical Christmas-decoration type, arranged in rows along the bookshelves and around the TV. Some are dressed in Halloween costumes. There’s a grouping styled like the characters from the Wizard of Oz. Some are small enough to balance on the end of a finger. A trio that are each about three feet tall stand along one wall. I can’t immediately decide if it’s creepy or endearing. Watching me glance around, he smiles. “Oh I just love my nutcrackers,” he says. “I collect them whenever I can.”
He leads me onto his balcony where he has an ice bucket with a bottle of Baby Duck and two plastic glasses waiting. It’s similarly packed with mobiles, pots of fake flowers and plastic butterflies. He hands me a glass and then awkwardly tries to wrap his elbow around mine. Arms linked, we sip our fizzy pink champagne substitute as he gazes into my eyes.
I can tell from his slightly slurred speech that something’s not totally right with him. I wonder initially if he’s high, but as we sit we sit together watching the sun ease toward the horizon his life story begins to pour out. He’d worked in maintenance position for a government agency until his late 40s. At that point he fell into what he describes as “the depression.” His doctor put him on some kind of serious drug combination in the hopes that he could return to work. But he could still barely get out of bed. He opted for early retirement and went on disability.
Until this moment, I’d assumed the people who spend a lot on sex workers had a lot of money to spend. But I suddenly realize that’s not always true. Of course you have the lawyer/financial service types who live in penthouses and get off on flashing their cash around. But here I was with a guy on disability who’d offered me $600 for a few hours of my time.
We spend close to an hour on the balcony before I finally suggest taking things to the bedroom. It’s similarly crammed with tchotchkes and a whole choir of the creepy ornaments overlooking the bed. He has two small televisions, three clock radios and a table next to the bed with a box of latex gloves and an array of huge dildos. He’s arranged a set of ropes under the bed with restraints attached. He strips, lies face down and instructs me to strap him in.
Spanking him with my hand produces no response, so I extract the leather belt from his jeans heaped on the floor and start hitting him with that. He doesn’t wince at all, but moans with pleasure. He has a surprisingly great ass and my cock gets hard easily. As I’m fucking him, he keeps saying, “That’s so nice,” over and over, as if he’s just received a thoughtful birthday card.
Pounding his ass, I glance around the room, taking it all in and detaching myself from the situation. It’s a technique I’ve discovered over the years to achieve that delicate balance of staying hard but not cumming too fast. The nutcrackers stare back at me from the dresser, with their lacquered regalia and shaggy beards, mouths slightly open.
After about 15 minutes I pull out and move on to the dildos. Everything goes in easily, like he’s anaesthetised. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do, his response never changes: either “That’s so nice,” or “I like you,” in the same, slightly slurred speech. Even when I move on to punching his balls he doesn’t flinch. I start to wonder just how medicated he actually is. His body seems impervious to pain.
As the clock slowly edges toward our completion time, I unhitch him and instruct him to turn around on the bed so his face is under my cock. He licks my balls while I jerk off, shooting all over him. His cock isn’t remotely hard so I don’t bother asking if he wants to cum. I just push him over, crawl into the bed next to him, and put my arms around him.
“That was so special,” he says. “I want you to be my special friend.”
He tells me about the plans he has for our relationship, how he wants to take a bubble bath together and have a picnic in the park. He had a special friend once before, he tells me, but the dude was a fake and took all his money. I start to get a twitchy feeling in my gut. This guy obviously has some cognitive challenges in addition to being heavily medicated to counteract a paralyzing depression. I’m in the business of selling love by the hour, but the parameters and power dynamics of the situation have always been clear. I begin to wonder, am I taking advantage of him?
Glancing at the clock, I realize I have another session in an hour. I extract myself from his embrace and head to the washroom to wipe the dried cum off my chest. He’s still lying in bed when I return and I gently tell him I have to leave. He pulls a pair of sweat pants on and follows me to the living room.
“I want to show you something,” he says, guiding to me to the couch. I sit next to him, awkwardly, worrying about the time and whether I’m actually going to get paid. He points to a framed lightbox photo of a waterfall. “Sometimes when I’m really sad, I just like to look at it and imagine I’m there,” he says.
I take his hand, lead him to the door and give him another kiss. “We just need to take care of business,” I say, and he seems confused. I suddenly wonder whether he’s forgotten to get the money together. “I just need to get my cash,” I say. “Oh right,” he smiles. He walks to the bedroom and returns with a thick white envelop. It has my name written on the front with a heart drawn around it in red marker. I don’t bother opening it, because I want to leave so badly while things are still good. I give him a squeeze, open the door and step into the hallway. He stares down the corridor at me as I wait for the elevator. It feels like forever before the doors open. I blow him a hurried kiss and step in.
A few minutes later, I’m standing at a bank machine and open the envelope. Inside there’s a single hundred-dollar bill and a huge stack of fives. I count it carefully, deposit it into a new envelope and insert it in the machine. Usually the point when I count my cash is elating, an acknowledgement of a job well done, a validation of my attractiveness, a nod to my skills in bed. But this time, it’s tinged with sadness. He’d obviously had to save up for months to afford three hours of my time. But when I think back to the light in his eyes at the end of our session, I’m left with the hope that perhaps the tiny moment of joy I brought him was worth every cent.