I’d had six sexual partners when I met my now ex-husband at 23; by the time I left him 10 years later, I’d had nearer 106.
I didn’t realise it at the time, but our relationship was grounded on my ability to disassociate sex and love, and his madonna/whore complex. He kept me at arm’s length emotionally, but there was nothing he wouldn’t do to me physically.
As well as encouraging me to pick up one-night stands and visiting swinging clubs together, he encouraged me to become an escort. For several years, I spent my weekday evenings on trains to London where I was paid £250 an hour or £1,500 a night to have posh dinners and dull sex in expensive hotels. The money kept me doing it and I had some regular clients who were actually nice guys.
I separated from my husband after the birth of our only child. He had been gaslighting me and became very controlling. I’ve had partners since who wanted me to be ashamed of my past, but I’m not. I raised the money for a deposit on a house when my salary – working on a local newspaper – was only £14,000. I met my current boyfriend 18 months ago and told him everything. He thought about it, then said: “You’re still you.”
In the past, I’ve confused sex and intimacy, but it’s the intimacy that makes this relationship so fulfilling. I have never felt so turned on by simple acts of kindness and affection. Now I feel like nothing is out of bounds to talk about and share. And we want just each other. No one else.
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