The original article ‘Iris (31) spreekt regelmatig af met een gigolo‘, from the Dutch magazine ‘Linda’ can be read here. The translated text of the article is written out below. Also included here is Iris’ experience story she sent me after a number of successful dates.
By Ellen Hensbergen
Iris* has been sexually abused and now, four years later, has found a way to deal with that experience. She regularly meets a professional: not a psychologist, but a gigolo.
Iris explains why she chooses this and what effect it has on her life.
In 2019, Iris is put on edge: someone from her circle of friends passes away. She realizes that she is very happy with her life: everything is fine, but she is missing one thing: intimacy. And she won’t just solve that with a one night stand, given her experiences.
Iris: “Four years ago I was assaulted by two men during New Year’s Eve. I didn’t defend myself then, I was frozen with fright. That bothered me for a long time. I found it very difficult and it made me angry, I wasn’t a pleasant person for a long time. After that I did have relationships and intimate contacts, but afterwards I was always left with an empty feeling. Is this all because of me, I wondered. You don’t easily lose such experiences, but I wanted to learn how to deal with this better.”
Eventually she comes up with the idea of contacting a gigolo or a male escort. “I don’t like to just go out and pick someone up in a bar or nightclub or something like that. I don’t want a new boyfriend every weekend either, so this seemed like a nice middle ground. Another might go to a psychologist, I chose this.”
Online I quickly found more than enough supply, but also gigolos that really don’t make you happy. That is why I read carefully, searched thoroughly and thought long and hard until I found someone who felt right. Between my first e-mail and the first date, there were two months. I had to get used to the idea myself.”
At the first date, it is always a matter of getting to know each other a little. Iris and her gigolo start off with a cup of coffee and a chat about everyday things. Easy does it. Then he asks her what she likes or doesn’t like. Is he allowed to touch her hands? Her knees? Her breasts? Rather yes or rather not? In this way, they figure out what works step by step, and there is room for conversations in between.
After four dates, however, that caution is gone, says Iris.
“He now knows very well how far he can go, but in the beginning he was really more careful than me. For example, he suggested not having penetrative sex on the first date, while I was okay with that. It was clear that he was really here for me and understood my situation, that took away the tension. He also brought condoms himself, without any hassle or discussions. That was very considerate, after all, you are aware that he also meets others. It feels safe that way.”
And … Quanto costa? Iris pays three hundred euros for a three-hour appointment, including travel expenses. Her gigolo does not charge extra for overtime: the appointment can easily run over half an hour. When it’s fun, it’s fun.
After four dates in eight months, Iris notices a significant difference. “It’s like I can face the world again. I feel calmer and more confident. I did not expect this effect at all, the first appointments mainly revolved around intimacy and physical contact for me. But that it has such a psychological effect as well? That’s a surprise.”
She is not afraid of falling in love, even though she experiences the contact during the dates as quite intense. Iris has framed the contact clearly: she pays him, he provides a service. The expectations are clear. “We always have a day or two of app contact afterwards, but that is always about the appointment and how I feel about it. I will never text him that I had a bad day at work, the boundaries are too well defined for that.
Her friends know about her gigolo escapades. At first they joked that picking someone at a bar is ‘a lot cheaper’, but after an explanation Iris actually only gets a positive response. Fortunately, they understand very well why I do this. And look, if we never talk about these kind of things, people can never get used to it either. Otherwise it will of course always remain a taboo.””
For now, Iris is happy with how it is going. As long as it is fun, she will continue with this, until a possible new relationship presents itself. “I am in favor of honesty. I wouldn’t mind telling a new partner that I once dated a gigolo too. But this immediately raises a dilemma: won’t the other person become insecure about his bed skills? Then you need to clear that doubt again. I’m not sure yet.”
What she does know for sure: do what is right for you and don’t worry too much about doubts, whether they come from yourself or those around you. Have a nice date with a gigolo if you feel like it.” Of course it takes some courage to take this step, but I don’t regret it. If you’ve been through something, you have to learn to live with it. You have to go on. Sometimes you just need someone else’s help with that.”
*Iris’ name has been changed. Her real name is known to the editorial staff.