This week’s prompt for #WickedWednesday, “Authentic”, was one I had wanted to tackle for a while. Here is my dilema. As much as I try to present in my writing the person I truly am, I cannot deny that I spent years of my life pretending to be the person others wanted me to be. That’s what being a fetish escort is all about.

I’m not quite sure where to start. I became an escort long after I had fallen in love with latex and the Berlin club scene. It is all to easy to believe that being an escort is all about the money. And to some extent, certainly for an impressionable 23 year old, that is true. But I never fit the mold or a regular escort. There are a lot of rules that I never followed. For those who are interested, there is an excellent series ‘Ask an Escort‘ on Youtube. It describes what it’s like to be an escort in the US. Well, either I’m different, or Europe is different. Probably both.

The image, probably not far from the stereotype, is one where the business transaction – time for money — dominates everything. Being an escort is watching the clock, not taking any chances, and being good at what you’re doing. The better, the higher the price tag.

Well, my reality was a bit different. It’s has to be different for the niche area of ‘fetish escorts’. The obvious question is: What’s a fetish escort anyway? Don’t all escorts indulge in their clients fetishes to one degree or another?

The answer is yes, and no. First of all, all regular escorts will go along with some requests for kink and fetish, often for an additional fee. The demand, for reasons I don’t fully understand, is much more on the side of having a strong female dominant escort, who can play out the submissive fantasies of the typically male clients.

For those looking for a date with a dominate female escort, there is typically an option to have a public date with a professional dominatrix that does not involve any sex and may not even take place in her studio.

One reason that there is such an imbalance in catering to the male submissive side may be a very simple one. Safety. Let’s remember that as consensual and consenting any date with an escort is, we are still talking about two strangers spending time together in an often enclosed, non-supervised environment. Who would you rather be, the one doing the tying up, or the one being tied up?

What does this have to do with being authentic? There is no faking a fetish or kink when you’re the bottom.

Being a fetish escort is an entirely different category. When I was working in Europe, one of the biggest expenses was clothing, equipment, repairs, and replacements. Your regular escort is likely to get undressed, whereas the point of being a fetish escort is to live out the fantasies that clients would like to see in their female partners, not necessarily themselves. That often involves seeking out a willing submissive. And since the fetish is more important than the sex, it frequently means overnight stays.

No amount of money in the world will make a sub subject herself repeatedly to kinks she does not enjoy. No amount of money will make her invest in the equipment and clothing if she doesn’t have a genuine fetish. No amount of money will make her go on a date where there is not a quick chemistry that establishes the fetish as the shared experience. Let’s face it, being in a room with a stranger, being tied up, would be a frightening experience for anyone.

If I didn’t truly love latex in all its forms, I would never have gone from discreet and elegant to hard-core heavy rubber. If I didn’t enjoy public humiliation as a kink, you couldn’t drag me out of the anonymity of a hotel room into the public.

Being a fetish escort is no place for experimentation. I’ve heard from long-time clients who went out with a different girl about disastrous dates. The match was just wrong. His (and sometimes her) fetish was just not something she was into. One very delicate example is the public display of the status of a sub. Many fetish escorts are very submissive in private, but would not want to project the same in public. They may be much more into floggings than I am, but few are comfortable displaying their fetish in public.

This is where authenticity is irreplaceable. Even when I was still in Europe, I always enjoyed wearing latex in public, going to clubs, getting the items I liked. Now that I am no longer ‘active’, I really had to ask myself: would I do the same if no money was involved?

I’m fortunate enough to have met people, including former clients, who enjoy inviting me to go along on their business trips. With those few individuals, the last bit of faking has disappeared. They know my real name, have my phone number, know where I live, but respect that what ties us is a shared desire to live out our fetishes. They are not long-term partners; more former clients, who have become friends, some even mentors. Friends I trust. They know my past, but don’t mingle in my current life.

That left the task of figuring out who I really am to myself. Do I want to wear my collar because it has become a part of me? Yes, not as a sign that I’m a submissive, or have a Dom. Simply as a reminder of who I am, even when the rest of me looks more like a elegantly dressed professional. That’s my ritual. It doesn’t matter who I’m with or where I am, my collar goes with me. Just seeing myself in the bathroom mirror when I brush my teeth, knowing that I’m not naked, but am wearing my collar, is a constant reminder of who I am.

Depending on the situation, I’m willing to pull my o-ring to the back where it’s hidden from sight. That’s a compromise I’m willing to make to avoid offending anyone. But that’s as far as it goes. Even then, I know it’s still there. No leash, not attached to anyone or anything. Yet still with me, all the time.

There is a downside to finding my own authenticity. I don’t fit into a box. I have a natural mistrust of people. I’m not social, not looking for new friends outside of what I’m doing in my ‘regular’ life right now. I send very mixed signals. I’m bossy, but naturally submissive. I want to fit in, but am not willing to compromise. I want to make it in New York, but miss Berlin.

I wished I had a loving dominant partner, male or female, as so many other happy D/s couples do. For now, though, I’m at a place in my life where I have to come to terms with my own authenticity, my own past, which keeps spilling over into the present. To make it in a new country, learn to give people a chance to get to know me as a person, build trust, is a tall order for me. I’m not there yet; I’m still damaged goods. But I know who I am, imperfect in more ways than I can count, and where I want to end up. Just the path to get there remains a mystery to me.

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