Love & Sex
I was moments away from getting it on with a woman for the first time in my life. I had to prepare. I changed my dress three times and I wore a bit less make-up. I didn't skimp on the perfume, though.
"Samantha, your couple has arrived. They're in room B. Don't worry - they look normal. I think. Take them up to level two, and bring a bottle of champagne for them."
Okay, here goes Samantha, showtime. Put on your best performance. At least if all else fails I can just get pissed instead.
Keith and Ann were very normal. Married for 17 years, from the western suburbs. They were lovely. I could have kissed them both when their nervous eyes lit up as I walked into the room. In fact, I think I did.
I'm not going to go into too much detail as Keith and Ann probably wouldn't like that. A mum of five, she felt insecure about her body and wouldn't take her towel off until I told her how beautiful she was and what an amazing woman she was for coming in here with her husband. Her gratitude was warming.
"And you!" I said to Keith, as I undressed him slowly, my eyes still on Ann. "You are one lucky husband to have such a wonderful, sexy wife."
"I know. I'm the luckiest man alive," he said, staring at Ann adoringly, barely noticing I was there. It was, if anything, refreshing.
It was Keith's birthday and he'd had no idea he was being treated to me until an hour earlier, when Ann handed him a gift voucher with my photo on it, accompanied by the caption: "An hour with Samantha and your wife", and the loveliest message: "Thank you for loving me so much and making me feel like the only girl in the world xx."
They marvelled at how posh the room was. "Just like a fancy hotel, isn't it, love?" Ann said, her eyes widening as I showed her around.
"Free drinks? Really?" exclaimed Keith, as I handed him a flute of ice-cold champagne. "Wow, we weren't expecting that, were we?"
Ann, still timid, looked at my body as I undressed. "If only I looked like you!" she breathed as I slid off my stockings.
"Hey, you know this lighting is ultra-flattering, don't you?" I replied.
I told her my real age, that I was divorced, had kids, and that outside here, I was really just another normal person. I wanted her to relax, to make her feel at ease. And humanising me seemed to do the trick.
"We've never done this before and we're not sure what to do," Ann said cautiously, looking at me shyly.
"Let me take control," I replied and beckoned them to the bed.
The next bit is private. While I don't mind talking about my male clients, I respect this couple's privacy. What they had together was something special, something sacred, and I will not cheapen it. But what I will tell you is that they talked about how much they loved each other, how great their sex life was, and Keith even whispered to me that he had never, ever been with another woman and was finding this all a bit hard.
It was the most touching thing, and while I did my best at being the goddess, I couldn't help feel I was intruding on this beautiful couple.
"I love you, baby," Keith kept saying, holding his wife's face close to him.
"I love you too, darling," Ann replied, and they spent most of the time making love on the bed, while I sat perched on the corner, watching them, with my glass of bubbles for company. And as I watched them kissing, a feeling came over me, one that I'd been beginning to feel more and more often: loneliness. Why couldn't I find what this couple had?
All I was used to hearing in these rooms was how unhappy men's marriages were and how it wasn't working for them. This couple taught me that there were good marriages out there; they can work. But it takes exactly that: work. Not all men are pigs.
The love that radiated from our room that night glowed inside me for days afterwards. I had been lucky enough to witness it. The trust Ann held in Keith was enormous and I respected her for that. How many women would beckon another woman into the arms of their husband? I admired Ann for her inner confidence and the security she must have felt to let another woman into their marriage. She was busy with children and full-time work, yet her marriage seemed to me one of the healthiest I had seen in a long time.
And I admired Keith for not going gaga when I took my clothes off, for not pawing all over me but instead concentrating on his wife, focusing on her needs and her well-being. I was really the third wheel, the outsider. And that was just fine with me.
It ended just as sweetly as it began. Ann lit up a cigarette and grinned at me in post-coital bliss. "Jeez, Samantha, that was bloody awesome," she smiled as her cheeks flushed. "Can't wait to tell the girls at my Monday morning coffee group at Macca's!"
Edited extract from Hooked (Random House, $35)
- Daily Life
Do long-distance relationships work?Related story: (See story)