Sex: Very Desperate Housewives

A man willing to pay for sex in the city can find it easily. But for a woman looking to buy erotic pleasure, it’s not so simple. Then our writer found Brian, who will come to your home to deliver a certain sort of massage

Betty [Client names and identifying characteristics have been changed.] lit all the candles because the electricity had gone out due to a thunderstorm raging through the Delaware Valley, not because she expected the massage to be particularly romantic. She’d found the massage therapist online, and scheduled the appointment for a night when she knew she’d be alone, with no kids or husband to distract her from this simple bought pleasure that, at 46, she was just starting to feel she deserved. Betty didn’t realize exactly how pleasurable the experience would be. When Brian showed up at her door with his massage table and waited for her to take her clothes off in the other room, it was all business. Betty was so self-conscious about her body at first that she almost didn’t want to step out into the living room without clothes on. She was the first to admit she was no supermodel, no size two or four or six or any of those trim little numbers that women are always striving to diminish themselves into. But she reminded herself that Brian was a professional and surely had seen worse. And what this whole thing was about was how badly she needed to be touched, a need that had lately begun to overrule all self-consciousness, all fear, all propriety. When Brian began to massage her, whispering in her ear, “It’s all about you,” Betty’s enjoyment must have been obvious. “I have another website,” he told her. “I offer a full body massage, where every part of your body is touched, with a full release.” Same price; a hundred bucks. Was she interested? The answer was yes, oh God, yes.

I first stumbled across Brian’s ad buried in the something-for-everyone circus of Craigslist while researching the options available to women for erotic pleasure of the purchased variety. When men want sexual gratification, they don’t have to look very hard to find it in Philadelphia, in almost any price range. What I was looking for was an equivalent just as readily available to women. I wasn’t expecting to find much. As I clicked around on Craigslist, though, I realized I really wanted to. Not so much for myself right now. I was thinking of myself all alone at 60, or married to a husband who was impotent or uninterested, or me on a business trip to some lonely town, or in any number of situations where it would just be more practical to pay someone to get the job done than to go out and find it. As I’d suspected, there wasn’t much out there that fit my basic criterion: It had to be easier and no less dubiously safe than anything I could arrange for myself at the local bar.