A celebration of male escorts in the UK 2002

This is an article that was written by my favourite client who died in 2002. When told he had only a year to live he began a journey of intimacy and spend his last year spending most of his life savings visiting escorts, not for sex but for i suppose some distraction and intimacy. The actual names of escorts are not used in this article. Hope the men recognise themselves, especially the one’s that ripped him off. May he rest peacefully and continue to look after me, continue to be my guardian angel.

Dear Mr Cox, You asked me to write a bit about “my escorts”. Here it is – so far!!

Many years ago, James Hilton wrote a short novel about a guy called “Chips”. At least, that’s what he ended up being called. Chips (or rather Mr.Chipping) had the misfortune to teach Latin at a private school called Brookfield. During his time he married, and the effect of his wife on the marriage was to bring a total change in his personality – a bit like the gay “coming out’. It unlocked a”charm” in an otherwise dreary personality. The story is told as Chips reflects back in the last few minutes of his life.

An odd tale, you might say, for someone who is gay to be telling to other people However, you may remember how in your secondary school the register was called. I do. It was the same as at Chips’ school. At the exact place in the list, we had to shout out our names. Chips dreams through the list, and when I visited you a few days ago, something you said brought it all back.

You’re a nice guy, but at the start you frightened me a bit, but now I’ve realized I love you very much. It was the money which made all the difference, of course. You remember, I hoped you’d be available for four hours and I got the right amount of money from the bank. You were available – but you then refused to take all of the money. We larked around, whatever I asked you to do, you did it and didn’t winge; I couldn’t call it wrestling; we touched each other’s bodies; we talked; something happened. I can’t put my finger on exactly what it was, but there was something. I’d moved on just a little on my journey to get over my hangup about gay sex, and I began to be a bit less frightened of the sexual organs, and penetrative sex itself. Was it trust? I don’t know; I just knew I’d moved on. I even thought about taking up your offer of a quick trip between the sheets!!! The lunch the other week was lovely, and many thanks for the bottle of wine. Nat enjoyed it.

Talking of Nat, did I tell you he was my first escort and he had a blank front door ? I just stood petrified on the doorstep, but I need not have bothered as we got on very well from the start and I’ve been back to him several times. The wrestling is good and he’s easy to talk to. He invited me to a party recently, and lent me his flat to stay overnight. All I had to do was to mind Snaggles – a rather attractive cat (with a tongue which sticks out all the time, like the one in the James Bond movies) and distinctly better behaved than my own! I’m not a very sociable person but the party was fun and I met a number of people – just sorry I couldn’t keep awake until all the other escorts arrived! Too much drink, I suppose!!!!

But where does Chips come into all this? In Acts chapter 2 and verse 17, the Bible records that old men will dreams and young men have visions. It’s good if they are the same. However, when I am on the point of death and about to pass through that final blank door (the one with the spyhole on the heaven side so God can see who’s coming) , I’ll be able to look back to my escort friends and thank them most sincerely for the good times we’ve had together and the love that they’ve shown to me. There will be some sadness as well – for those things which have gone wrong and which proved too difficult to put right. The gay world is relatively small and by no means perfect. Those in it could do with showing more love to each other – there are just too many vulnerable people in the community. Yes in the last few months, money has changed hands (£14,000 to be exact), but everyone has to live, and escorting is a difficult business anyway – there’s no guarantee of the same number of clients coming every week. Nevertheless I’ve been so fortunate. Love has changed hands as well.

A few months ago, Bas – an escort friend aged 20 from the Midlands and a devout Muslim – gave up being an escort (or rent boy, as he chose to call himself). He wrote me a short email to say that he was ashamed of some of the things he’d done. Perhaps. But he saw only one side. There’s another side and I think it’s much more important. I wrote back to say what it was. The most important thing, I think, is that escorts give a lot of people happiness so – without the escort – there would be no one to provide this happiness, and there is enough unhappiness in the world anyway. I only had to look at myself – if an an escort had refused to help me, who else would there be to ask? Then, he’d learned something about people, he’d set priorities, he’d handled money. Whilst he might have matured in an unusual way, none the less there’s no doubt his job had contributed in a vital way to his growing-up process.

Bas would have had a number of allies in the Christian world as well. Yes, it may look as though Christians are forbidden to practise homosexuality, but Jesus was a great people-person. “Love your neighbour as yourself” and so on. The whole thrust of his ministry was about giving to other people. That’s what escorts do. They give something of themselves, sometimes at great risk to their own personal safety. Whatever official doctrine might be, I’d want to keep an open mind now.

Andy,who used to be my favourite escort, has taught me a lot about escorting and escorts. Andy is charismatic and is in the process of setting up his own agency. It looks hard work to me, and it was only too obvious one day when a “window” opened up and gave me a brief insight into Andy’s life. It was far too fast for me! But other things were fascinating – his vision, his care, his determination, and his fantastic business brain all fascinated me, and so they should! However, I was there at a time when he had his greatest challenge – a very mischievous bundle of fun, a dog called Shana. At the same time as assuring me that he didn’t “do stress”, he assured me that since I had last been with him (only a couple of days before), Shana had chewed a telephone directory, the paper cutter box, a pillow, a toilet roll, attempted the desk, a shoe, a trainer and a gold tub. I felt he had met his match at last and wondered just how “daddy” would react when Shana got some of his good clothes.

Andy has put a lot of money into the business, but please Andy may I give you just a bit of advice (as someone who worked hard himself) – do have a couple of days each week when you do nothing with the business. Go right away. Do something different. If you don’t, the business might spoil you as a person. It’s just impossible to go on at that speed for very long. Whilst escorting is a business, it’s not the same kind of business as buying a ticket on the train; it’s never finished and it’s complex in itself because of the literally thousands of personalities and “wants”.

As I say, Andy used to be my favourite escort; he isn’t any longer. There came a time when he simply couldn’t take a joke (I did suggest the business would spoil him), he reacted badly and basically that was the end of that! He cancelled a meet he knew I was relying on (deliberately and with the intention of hurting) , and then refused to put his anger into perspective. As he had promised to be with me until the end, he broke that promise and I was just glad that it had all happened when it did rather than a month later when I might have been more dependent on him. Much to my surprise, I have got over the distress very quickly but when I have died, I have asked Alison to send him a letter which will make the comments I wanted to at the time but felt it better not to. Having cancer does put anger and bitterness into perspective – it makes you realise that it achieves very little and detracts from the main purpose of live – to have as much enjoyment as possible.

However, Andy accused me of sending spiteful emails; I don’t know which ones fell into this category, but my pal Dave (from Scotland) had this to say:

I’ve not seen the correspondence so I can’t comment. But much of what you’ve written to me over time, and many of our conversations, betray not spite but – it seems to me – loads and loads of pent up rage. At the world in general and at people who don’t meet the standards you believe they should. I’ve always thought of you as a very angry man. Not with me, not on the surface, but underneath, and I suspect that’s what your guy is detecting, though he’s personalising it, and anger which is personalised can come across as spite.

I hope that I shall meet some of my escort friends in heaven; if so, we may have Andy to look after us – but by then he will have learned a lot more about people and may be a better person himself. When I first met Andy, I asked what he could offer (for £90 an hour) that other escorts couldn’t. “Charm” he replied, but I wasn’t very convinced and I said so. Of course, he was right, but he gave a lot more. Andy offered me confidence. As we wrestled, I found that I had the confidence to fight with him, and it never occured to me for one minute to set limits for what he might do to me. There was no fear. We’ve continued to meet and I let him do things to me I would never have dreamed of three months ago. You’ve got a lovely laugh, Andy, and you’re a nice guy, honest and open. I like your keen business sense and admire your business abilities. But please remember what I said about the business. The business is a part of your life, not your whole life. Even God had a rest after he created the world!!!

Patrick is away in Spain at the moment. He’s just lovely and has absolutely no “side” at all. What you see is what you get, and he’s intelligent as well. His best feature for me? Well he’s really ticklish. Everywhere. It must be hell for him when I go, but of course it’s great for me!!

I’ve been seeing more of Scouse in Newcastle recently. What I can’t understand is how such a skinny guy (four stones lighter than me) can be so strong. He says I’ve got stronger since last time, but I’m supposed to be ill. How can I have got stronger? He’s admitted that he’s got two weak ticklish spots; I was awake then so I’ve noted them and I’ve set myself a challenge. I’ll sort him out – eventually. Still we usually get through three bottles of wine in four hours; One day I kept on falling asleep on the way home – until, the final humiliation, I woke up to see the bus leaving my stop and I had a long walk back!! For some strange reason I – er – sort-of love Scouse. I don’t know why and we could probably never have a partnership, but there’s just something. In the course of time, I hope some decent guy befriends him and helps him develop all the good things in his nature. That decent guy will not be me, though at one time I hoped it might.

At the end of July I asked Scouse to make a choice about how our relationship should go. Should it be one of friendship (in which case there would be no money and no wrestling, but I would listen to his problems, and take him to places), of escort/client (in which case, money would be tight, but there would have to be wrestling for any money to change hands – and I wouldn’t be prepared to listen to all the stories of his anger) , or would it be an extension of the escort/client relationship to which an element of friendship would be added.

There was one excuse after another why he wasn’t able to reply. I felt I was spending a lot of money without seeing much in return, and simply couldn’t afford to continue to do that. I was also weary with all the anger – the anger which often turned into violence. He had taken a carving knife to neighbours who had attacked his ex-boyfriend, and in his last email he said that he had stabbed his brother. So I made his decision for him, and he was able to use my email against me, but by that time I had concluded that God had drawn me to Scouse to teach me something about anger. I didn’t like what I saw, and Dave (my pal in Scotland) had been right in drawing my own anger to my attention. You can read about it further up the page.

The sad thing is that Scouse claimed he had watched one of his boyfriends die of AIDS – so he should have understood a bit more about a guy with cancer. He claimed to know about the world, but for many people his “world” would have only been encountered on the TV. I fear for him in the future. For me, as an escort, his mind was elsewhere; as a friend, my perception was that he was only really there when he wanted money. As one of my other escorts remarked a week or so back – you’ll know who your friends are when the money runs out. Quite!

After I had updated the section on Scouse, he contacted me and said it put all the blame on him. He’s not to blame for it all because I should have known better. He said I made assumptions without all the facts – one assumption I made was that he was telling me the truth. Alas, he now admits that he lied – the guy who he said was his brother was just a friend. They had done it as this would have had an impact upon my reaction to them. Perhaps it did. I don’t know, but it’s nothing to do with me who he shares his flat with. So now I don’t know what to believe – except that the anger was always there, as were the excuses. Who knows whether he will ever put his life right.

I can’t stop without mentioning Pete and John in Manchester. When they heard that I was ill, they offered to come to Bxxxxxxxx and not take any money. They wrestle for me, as the pair of them are too strong for me to take on, and watching is as arousing – if not more – than taking part. Today, I’ve met Tom for the first time and we had a really good session together. He’s from Manchester, too, He’s a really interesting guy and I’m glad I made the effort to get in touch…of course, he’s much bigger and heavier than me and I could never hold him down, or could I…we shall see! Thanks, Tom.

In so many meetings, there are always failures as well as successes. I’m really sorry about John, where the relationship broke up for some reason I couldn’t understand at the time. I admired him very much, and fancied him a lot. Though his partner had been killed in a car crash, John is still a handsome guy at 35 and a lot of guys would be pleased to “catch” him, but this was not for me. I can’t accept your spiritualism, John, not just because it’s forbidden in the Bible and, therefore, out of bounds for me, but because I know that at some time in the future you will be lonely. I can say that with some certainty because I’ve spent most of my life in that situation. When you find out it will be too late.

I didn’t really know where I was with Rob from Nottingham. He was fantastic with the wrestling – we were an excellent match. I think I’ve upset him by making an assumption too quickly. I always was impatient and it’s too late to change now! But if he reads this, perhaps he will see that I’ve been perfectly open with him and treated him in the same way as the others. Rob is a nice guy but I hope he thinks again about the odd request from his client – if he doesn’t help, who will? [I’ve got an idea, Rob, why not give him to me, let me see now what would I like…oh yes I know…]. Well, a few emails later, I’ve learned that Rob doesn’t take criticism easily and refuses to be reconciled. It’s such a shame; nothing has been achieved and two people are hurt where no one should have been hurt at all.

Perhaps the most sad thing was meeting Amman and Chalo who live in a block of high rise flats in Halifax, overlooking Sxxxxxxxx’s. I’ve never met people so accident-prone as them. They conned me, and I knew it was happening, but I allowed it to continue because I got a lot out of it – until, that is – when I needed Amman’s support and asked for it. Then the support vanished; the train fare I had given Amman to travel to London was lost because, they claimed, they were mugged at the station; I paid their very expensive hotel room because, they claimed, they would repay me the same evening when they had a client. The client refused to pay. £200 of my money vanished and nothing to show for it. That was not the end, the greedy hand was still extended a couple of days later, but this time nothing was put in it. They said they were giving up being escorts and they had asked for their names to be removed from one website. Unfortunately for them, the owner of the website concerned was not able to substantiate their lie. Now everything has gone quiet, presumably because they refused to accept some basic standards which I asked – or perhaps they are looking for someone else to con!

I console myself, if “console” is the right word by remembering Christ’s comment about judging. Judge not lest you be judged, he said, and I have no doubt that, as in Christianity, whoever the Muslim God is will deal with Amman in time. The difficulty here and now is that they set a bad example and other clients will think all escorts are like them.

Before closing I want to tell you about Bill; he’s a counsellor and you can read about his influence on me in “Safer in the closet?”. We’ve had a funny relationship; referred to him by another friend (who had never met him) I fell in love the very first time we met. But, to me, counsellors are always like red rag to a bull. So we argued, and argued – until the day I described in my article, and then I asked which he preferred – the guy who argued or the passive one who agreed with everything he was told. I was quite relieved to hear it was the argumentative one!!! Bill is one of those very precious guys. He doesn’t always say much, but he listens intently and is very perceptive. The last time we met, I’d upset him quite unintentionally by sending round an email to say that I would try to spend an hour with everyone on my email/address book list in the next few weeks. He thought I didn’t want to see him after that hour – as if I’d ever miss a chance to see Bill!!! Almost unthinkable.

Micky, this is as far as I’ve got now. There are one or two other people I need to mention but I’ll leave them for another night.

Roy (04 08 2002)

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