Every man wants a woman to appeal to his better side, his nobler instincts and his higher nature-and another woman to help him forget them. – Helen Rowland
Cynthia was probably the best girl I ever had; she was a nurse who had developed a morphine addiction after a serious auto accident, and after kicking the habit had enrolled in a special program to reinstate her nursing credentials. While in that program she obviously needed income, and as for so many of us (especially medical professionals, as I’ve mentioned before) whoring came easily to her. She was pretty, busty, friendly, dependable and very intelligent, and often said witty things (such as the time she described a customer’s penis as being “of truly mythical proportions”). We sometimes socialized with each other, going to dinner or clothes-shopping, and I really liked her and wanted her to be happy.
Well, Cynthia had a very dedicated regular; he was in town a great deal and always asked for her, taking her for multiple hours, to dinner or concerts or overnight stays, and even bought her nice presents. She always enjoyed their dates and was excited when he called for her, and since a similar customer of mine had eventually turned into my boyfriend (now my husband) I thought perhaps this gentleman might do the same for her. So I asked her if he was married, and she replied with a rueful sigh, “They’re all married!” And while that is a bit of an exaggeration, it’s certainly true that an extremely large percentage of our customers are; one day I’ll do a column (for the benefit of my female readers) about why your men come to us, but for today I would like to talk instead about the way wives react to the knowledge that their husbands have been doing exactly that. You might think it’s universally negative, but you would be wrong; it actually runs the gamut from divorce to enthusiastic acceptance.
Since the negative reaction is the one most people expect, I’ll start with it. I have heard from customers that such reactions can be very ugly indeed, and generally involve a great deal of crying, screaming, accusations and the like. I have even heard of divorces resulting from such discoveries, as in the recent highly-publicized Tiger Woods case. Usually, however, all we ever see is pretty much what everyone else sees; it’s rare that one of us actually witnesses such a blowup, though there are exceptions as I’ll discuss below. For the most part, our contact with wifely discovery takes one of two forms; either a suspicious wife calls to question a credit card charge, or else the credit card company informs us that the customer has reported the transaction as fraudulent.
Customers would sometimes ask me what I would say if a woman called to ask what sort of business we were, and I always told them that I would have to be as truthful with her as I had been with him. This is not generally the response he wanted to hear, but really I had no other choice; there is no way for me to know positively that a woman calling is a suspicious wife. She could be looking for work, or trying to set up a couple call, and I would lose those calls if I lied (in addition to being forced to do something I hate). But that really didn’t happen very often; most women lack the self-control to call the number first, and instead confront their husbands with the evidence. This of course results in denial on his part, followed by an angry call to the credit card company to demand the offending charge be removed. There was only one problem with this strategy; escort services take precautions against just such an eventuality. I instructed my girls in the science of taking a clear card-impression, and in addition we had a separate disclaimer form on which the client’s name, address, telephone number and identification number (driver’s license or passport) was recorded; this form clearly stated that the customer had received an entertainment service and was completely satisfied and agreed not to attempt cancellation of the charge. Until he signed it there was no service provided, and all forms were kept for a year in the office. On those rare instances when a skunk tried to turn a business transaction into a rape by stealing his money back, all I had to do was present the credit card company with clear scans of both documents and the issue was instantly decided in my favor.
I only had such a chargeback stick once, and that was due to American Express’ bizarre “customer is always right” policy. Have you ever wondered why so few businesses accept the American Express card? It’s partly because though they don’t advertise it, Amex has a policy (or at least had; it may have changed in recent years) that basically made it impossible for a merchant to foil a chargeback if the customer was persistent enough. With Visa, Mastercard or Discover the process goes like this: The customer complains; the company informs the merchant of the complaint; the merchant provides proof of the transaction; the customer is informed that the charge was not fraudulent. But with American Express it went like this: The customer complains; Amex withdraws the money from the merchant’s bank account without telling him; Amex sends a letter letting the merchant know what was done and asking him to prove the transaction; the merchant provides proof; Amex shows the customer the proof. At that point most customers know they’re caught red-handed and give in, and the money is returned to the merchant. But if a customer still maintains fraud, the merchant has no recourse but a lawsuit (which of course small merchants cannot afford), and the cardholder gets away with whatever goods he stole.
This may sound unbelievable, but I saw it happen. The owner of a gas station and garage was a regular of one of the other girls at Doug’s agency, but when he called once for her she was on vacation and so I saw him instead. It was a horrible experience; because his wife was at home he saw girls in his office after hours, and he didn’t even have an inside bathroom! Then weeks later, Doug informed me that Amex had charged back the calls, one for me and four or five for the other girl. His wife had discovered the charges and demanded Amex reverse them; she refused to even look at the evidence provided and continued to insist until Amex closed the case and we were out of luck. I only lost $200 on the fiasco, but the other girl lost over $1000, and all because a wife refused to see reality. You may be glad to know that this weasel was henceforth blackballed from every reputable agency in New Orleans; his name and address were on a list everyone had copies of. By the time Hurricane Katrina had come and gone his wife had left him, and he kept trying to call every agency in the book for company, only to find that I was literally the only escort in town. I repeatedly refused his trade until he demanded to know why (I suppose he thought I had a short memory), and when I reminded him he offered cash and an extra $300 to repay the old debt. At that point I shrugged and said “what the hell?” and made quite a bit of money from him over the next few months, though it was never easy since A) he was a cokehead (see my column of July 14th) and therefore wanted to see me in weird places like a band’s tour bus he was customizing; and B) I considered him loathsome.
This freak’s wife obviously preferred to blame the whores than to believe her husband had called us, but I remember one case which was the exact opposite. I’ve previously mentioned Paula, the girl who started working for me on her 18th birthday; well, she went on a call to a wealthy neighborhood one day, and less than half an hour after checking in she called me and asked in a trembling voice if she could come over. I immediately asked if he had hurt her, and she replied in the negative and said she wanted to talk in person. When she walked in my door she asked for a drink, and once she had taken a few sips she told me that his wife had come home unexpectedly and caught them in flagrante delicto. According to Paula it happened like this: The woman started to scream at her husband, who had instantly gotten off of Paula when she entered. She was like a Fury, and Paula was terrified the woman would attack her, but instead she suddenly turned to Paula and in a gentle voice said, “Oh, honey, don’t be scared! It’s not your fault, it’s his; you were just doing your job.” Paula was dumbfounded, so the woman added, “Why don’t you get dressed and go, baby, this is between me and him.” Needless to say Paula got dressed as quickly as possible while the woman resumed her attack against her husband. Then just as she was putting on her shoes the woman suddenly turned to her, her voice again gentle, and asked “He did pay you already, didn’t he?” When Paula nodded, the woman added “I just wanted to make sure you didn’t go through this for nothing.”
Obviously, this was a woman who understood; though Paula was more concerned with getting out of there as soon as was humanly possible than with listening to the tongue-lashing, she thought the gist of it was that they couldn’t afford his hiring call girls. She clearly had nothing against our profession; perhaps her reaction might’ve been just as vehement if he had purchased a new television set. But whatever the reason for her anger, it was directed at the customer rather than the service provider. This attitude isn’t unusual; though I never told casual acquaintances what I did for a living because it wasn’t their business, I made it a policy to tell my gynecologist, dentist and other medical professionals because I felt they should know. And not once did any of them, male or female, ever react negatively; in fact many of the women were fascinated and asked me questions. Some even told me they had fantasized about doing it themselves. Now, these were medical professionals and I’ve mentioned before that a significant percentage of escorts and call girls have such a background; also, we were in New Orleans, which is much more laid-back about sex than most of this country. But not all of the women who arranged couple calls for their husbands (see my columns of July 16th and 17th) were locals, and clearly they had no problem with their husbands seeing whores, at least not as long as they were present.
The most understanding ones of all were, as one might expect, whores themselves (either active or retired). On more than one occasion I got a call from a professional in another city who wanted to arrange a treat for her husband while he was in New Orleans (and made the call herself to ensure quality). Other times I went to couple calls in which the wife was such a woman, and often in these cases she would insist her husband finish up with me because “he can have his wife anytime.” I myself made such arrangements for my husband a number of times, but our most memorable experience was shared with the lovely Cynthia; he still talks about that day! And though the ladies who become hysterical over whores could never understand it, I’m happy when he does because that afternoon was my love-gift to him.