It Happened To Me: My Boyfriend's Last Girlfriend Was A Hooker

How could my cherished and super-lovely professional boyfriend have pined for a woman who made a career out of selling sex?

 And if she fucked guys for a living, was she far better in bed than me?
Publish date:
May 16, 2013
boyfriends, exes, IHTM, hookers, call girls, M

It was one of those moments post-coitus -- naked, euphoric, crumpled and sweaty -– that I turned to my latest hook-up and asked an inevitable sort of question: “So tell me about your last relationship?”

I remember him pausing, a considered expression on his brow, before telling me: "Well, you see, the thing is... she was hooker…"

At the time, it didn’t really matter. After a day spent rolling around in musty sheets making shadow puppets of the beast with two backs with my hot new bed fellow, this little nugget of information from his deep dark past simply added a touch of excitement to my rather closeted and conservative existence. We were in the throes of passion and who knew how long our dalliance would last?

I rationalized: I’m a nu-feminist! I support all things female friendly! So what if he dated with a hooker? Right?

But 18 months later, a shared love-nest filled with Indian shabby chic furniture and a trip back to Europe to meet the parents, and I wasn’t feeling so cool about my beloved boyfriend’s romance with a call girl.

They met in a coffee shop he was working at. She walked in, they locked eyes, she slid him her number on a tatty napkin. He took her to the Magic Castle (fact), followed by dates to the movies. In a moment of intimacy, she told him about her profession, but didn’t matter to him. He had already fallen for her: Love would conquer all.

They spent every evening together for a month. But after a while, the acting work dried up and she ran out of money. She’d have to leave –- back to Australia, back to booking clients. 

He pined for her, emailed her every day, Skyped, recorded her little videos (I may stumbled across them :/), all while internally lamenting the fact that had fallen for a women whom he knew was sleeping with other men in a foreign city. He saved money and planned to fly out to stay with her.

A month before he was due to leave for Sydney, she called him to let him know it was over; the distance was too much for her and the self-torture too much for him. 

And just like that, she disappeared from his Facebook Friend List and his life, only to resurface a year later as a specter who would begin to haunt mine.

The real "hooker problem" surfaced one evening when I was at my girlfriend’s apartment, discussing my sexy new love over a bottle of pinot: “So tell me about his ex –- who is she? There’s nothing worse than a guy with an ex-girlfriend who’s still on the scene.”

Something in me held back. I made an excuse. But my very reluctance to reveal that he’d been happily dating a call girl continued to gnaw away at me on my drive home. What the hell was I so ashamed off? 

Let me explain a few things at this point before you get too judgey-judgey: 

I was raised in a girl-power-Spice-Girls kind of household, where my shoulder pad-wearing mom taught my sisters and I that, while it’s great to look feminine, gender should never feel like a limitation to what we could achieve professionally, that we were more than an equal match for any man.

As a result, I channeled my inner Maggie Thatcher, and strived to embody the antithesis of the aspiring actresses and wannabe TV personalities I’d see traipsing around LA; the tight-bodied hostess offering a cheeky bit on the side; the girls who were content with a whack on the ass, a flush of notes in the hand; the women that were gifted boob jobs, badly edited show-reels and porn-star portfolios; the perky trophy chicks with their cookie-cutter Tiffany jewelry, waxed pussies and precious smiles.

I was a bone fide career woman, a professional goddam it! I’d buy my own drinks, thank you very much.

In my feminist utopia, women who rented out their vaginas just didn’t exist!

 But the reality of what was unfolding in my relationship was somewhat different.

With each month my boyfriend and I spent together, surely and steadily reaching relationship milestones and growing closer, this once-"sexy" story continued to eat away at me, playing on a distorted loop:

 How could my cherished and super lovely professional boyfriend have pined for a woman who made a career out of selling sex?

 If my boyfriend could knowingly allow men to fuck his then-girlfriend, does he expect the same of me?

 And of course: If she fucked guys for a living, was she far better in bed than me?

Once calm and collected, I was quickly turning in to The Psycho Bitch GF From Hell, accusing my boyfriend of supporting female oppression. In moments of sheer madness, I threatened to give up my highly paid career as a producer, to work as a stripper: “See how you like me now!”

After months of arguments, and taunting my boyfriend about his confession (he grew increasingly bewildered that I was so insulted that he could have shared affection for both me and the hooker), I decided I needed to put a face to the name, and see with my own two eyes, the mythical sex worker who captured his heart and threatened to undermine Femalekind.

An hour spent trawling through his Facebook wall CSI-style (she was no longer on his Friend List), I found a single 2-year-old post on his wall from Her. Clicking on her profile, I was surprised by what I found: She wasn’t the raven-haired beauty I imagined, all red lipstick, smoky eyes and fishnet tights, legs akimbo and a pile of man-goo on her face.

Instead I was confronted with the image of a rather plain looking girl who must have been in her early 20s, with thin pursed lips, alabaster skin, a plump face and shoulder length bleached hair. Immediately, I felt sad.

Staring at her picture, I realized that my boyfriend’s ex wasn’t out to get me, or bitch-slap career girls for their Power Point presentations and sedentary office jobs.

She was a young woman, like myself, with parents, a sister and a brother; a girl with her own dreams, desires and passion, who like me, had cared deeply for my boyfriend. Whatever the reason behind her journey in to the sex industry, it was her choice, not mine.

I also had to admit to myself –- and my boyfriend, that while I had formerly preached a bunch of liberal pro-female rhetoric to anyone who would listen, when I was slapped in the face with the horror of a real sex worker who didn’t have a "proper" job, my lofty ideals were challenged. When it came down to it, I wasn’t so cool with acting cool about women, sex work and prostitution.

My boyfriend and I are still together. To this day, I cannot say I’m entirely comfortable with the idea of women engaging in sex work, or truly believe that "happy hookers" exist –- but I’m whole-heartedly exploring how sex workers feel about themselves and their work. My energy is spent less on berating my boyfriend for loving this girl, and more on educating myself.