by Conor Friedersdorf

Reader number one:

I am a Professional Eroticist. Some call that a prostitute, whore, escort, call girl, whatever.

What people don't know or understand about my job is I LOVE my work, only do what I want to do, meet who I want to meet, and feel it is a spiritual experience. The main reason I do anything in life at this stage is A) it feeds my soul, and B) it makes my pussy tingle. I get just as much pleasure out of it as my clients.  I can't imagine any other motivation for work, art, life.

This is not my only job, but it is my favorite job and the one that is most reliable particularly in this economy. I would have a hard time giving it up. I would miss it and I would miss my clients. Most people would be surprised to find out the 49 year old former housewife who raised 2 great kids to adulthood and has several college degrees, weighing in at 300 lbs, and living in the nice suburban home with the dog and the pool etc. is a prostitute.

Reader number two:

I am an escort in Manhattan (though I live in Jersey City). That means I am a prostitute, a masseuse, a psychologist, an actress, a doctor -- last time I saw a regular I felt a lump -- and if a client prefers, a schoolteacher, a nurse, a Catholic school girl, a cowgirl, or Sarah Palin (just once, for a client I never saw again).

What don't people understand about my profession? That my married clients basically all still love their wives. In fact, some of them talk about little else: they're guys who excel at everything about marriage except the lifelong monogamy part (let's be honest, most guys are more hardwired to like novelty and variety than their wives). One client who I see twice a year when he's in town for business says he started to worry he had ED because he couldn't stay aroused with his wife like before. AND that after a night with me, he goes back to her as a better performer for the next three months. 

I am sex for hire. No client is every going to fall in love with me, or run off with me, and so I think I perform a valuable service in the lives of the unhappily married, and that lots of couples would be better off giving their significant other an occasional pass, not with the secretary or the aerobics instructor or the next door neighbor, but with someone where it really is just about sex. The guys I fuck really WANT to be better husbands. (Whether this job is good for me is another question. I used to think it wouldn't have any effect. But I think I was naive about that...)

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.