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I Had Sex With A Male Escort—And I'm In A Monogamous Relationship

My relationship was seemed irreparably broken. What harm could it do?
I Had Sex With A Male Escort—And I'm In A Monogamous Relationship
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I was so horny I felt lightheaded and breathless. I'd just arranged a hookup with a sexy guy and I was deliriously excited. 

I was desperate for sex. Alex* and I had been together for 10 years, yet the past two had been completely celibate. There was no intimate touching, no deep kissing, no watching, and nothing approaching a sex act. And despite being understanding and patient, my self-esteem and body image had completely imploded. I would cry for hours wishing we could go back to the way we were. I didn't know how much longer I could go on in that way. I believed our romantic relationship was over for good. But then I found Christian's* escort profile and I realized I was wrong.

I fell for Alex the first time I ever met them, at a mutual friend's party. They're beautiful, clever, gregarious, and laughed at my stupid jokes. After two years of Twitter flirting, we had our first date, which progressed from a few drinks at a bar to sex on our friends' living room floor all night. We moved in together three months later. For the first few years we were insatiable and experimental. Our sex life was pretty legendary; we used to feel sorry for our friends for not having as regular a sex like as we did.

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Mainstream society projects a narrow and heteronormative view of relationships: You fall in love, get married, have sex, have babies, remain devoted to each other until the very end.

Then, 2019 started with the realization that Alex was having an affair with a friend of ours. We broke up and I broke down. The next six months were a blur of them moving out, depression, tears, disappointing casual sex, and counseling. But, Alex and I worked our way slowly back to friendship and then more. We had sex (great sex) a total of three times before they moved back in to our shared home. And then it stopped. Mainstream society projects a narrow and heteronormative view of relationships: You fall in love, get married, have sex, have babies, remain devoted to each other until the very end. When a part of that chain fails you assume you've failed, along with your entire relationship.

As the months passed, I felt more and more like it was over, after all a relationship without sex is just a friendship, isn't it? Alex apologized to me constantly, reassuring me that they wanted to have sex but felt emotionally and physically broken. No matter how many times they said they were still attracted to me, I couldn't believe it. I incorrectly thought my body was the problem. Due to the affair I felt too ashamed to tell anyone that my relationship was troubled again and whenever our friends talked about sex, Alex and I would laugh along and share a painful glance. Over time my depression and dormant eating disorder worsened and I felt trapped in a cycle of self-hatred.

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I Googled male escort services completely on a whim. I had a trip alone to London coming up and had a graphic daydream about meeting someone there for wild, passionate sex. I briefly browsed some dating apps but felt too anxious about being recognized—and I didn't want Alex to be humiliated if I was spotted. I convinced myself that my hatred for my body could only be fixed with sex. In my mind, sex was validation and that's why it being missing from my life was messing everything up. Besides, my relationship was clearly irreparably broken. What harm could it do?

I picked the highest-rated agency website and Christian's profile stood out. He was cute and normal-looking. His profile itself was lovely and almost conversational, talking about his love of traveling and respect for women. I sent a message and he answered immediately. We spent a few hours chatting and flirting before we arranged the date. I chose to be brazen with my questions to make sure I understood exactly what would happen: what our sexual boundaries were, how I would pay him, what kind of date I wanted. I was able to book him for three hours, plus expenses (drinks and his travel).

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I was attracted to him, but there was zero passion.

As soon as I saw Christian at the bar, I knew the experience wasn't going to be what I wanted it to be. I was attracted to him, but there was zero passion. He was polite, attentive, and really funbut he was no Alex. After two drinks we went back to my hotel room. While we drank wine on the sofa, he moved closer to me and, leading my eyes towards the bed, asked me sexily what I wanted. I was suddenly paralyzed; what did I want? Everything I'd fantasized about suddenly didn't feel right because there were no vibes that he was attracted to me. To him, this was probably just business.

He kissed me and I suggested we get on the bed, but when he moved his hand towards my inner thighs, I closed them tightly, not wanting to be that intimate with him. I asked him what he wanted and happily went down on him, before he took me from behind. It was okay sex, but afterwards I was painfully aware I was still fully dressed.

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After Christian left, I lay on the bed for hours thinking about Alex. I felt so stupid; why had I thought that this experience would help? It would undoubtedly have been fantastic if I was feeling happy, confident, and didn't adore Alex completely. Sex hadn't magically fixed my body image issues after all. I thought about all the ways my relationship is actually incredible. We laugh daily, we're each other’s support and encouragement, and we're completely ourselves with one another. While there isn't sex, there is intimacy; we sleep every night cuddled together, my head on their chest. And whenever Alex kisses me gently, my chest tightens. We have passion without sex.

I built up the courage to tell Alex what had happened about two weeks later and they were more upset at themselves than me, despite my protests. I realized we shouldn't have any shame about not having sex, it's just a different phase of our relationship. It isn't failing, it's thriving. I feel more confident now about not conflating sex with my body image and am working on different ways to address those thoughts. Sex was an incredible part of our relationship, and I hope it will be again in the future with support and patience. But for now, I'm happy and loved and that's the most important thing.

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*Names have been changed

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.

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