When I graduated college with a liberal arts degree in a small field. I was very passionate about the study but I also fell in love with the people who worked in the industry. Everyone was so fancy and beautiful and refined. Unfortunately, as I came to realize, they were also extremely particular.
I couldn’t find a job. There weren’t that many to begin with but I guess two summers of interning weren’t “enough” experience for an entry level position. I don’t know what the mysterious factor was that somehow separated me from the chosen others were were working in my dream field. I spent two years working for free at a place I would have loved to be hired at, always hoping they would, but actually paying my bills (barely) selling high end jewelry at a retail store. I was exhausted from working all the time and spending every spare night combing websites and attending events where I hoped to network my way into — at this point — anything related to what I wanted to do.
Two years of this would make anyone desperate. I felt like my life was at a standstill, like I was waiting in a forever line until I could get it to start. I was supposed to be in my carefree 20’s but I couldn’t ever afford to go out in the little free time I had.
I was on my couch alone on a Friday night while my roommates were out at a bar, feeling sorry for myself and browsing the internet. I stumbled across the Tumblr blog of a girl who said she was an escort. She modeled designer clothing in faceless pics and talked about the hot older men who were her clients and how they paid her thousands of dollars, bought her gifts, and complimented all the time. It sounds so trashy but I was so sick of my life, of doing everything the right way and getting nothing for it, and here was this girl having the time of her life and she wasn’t even doing anything that bad.
So, I reached out to her. Not really expecting her to respond, I sent her a message asking how she found her clients. I didn’t want to be an escort, but I was really curious at this point, and I had an idea. Maybe instead of dating older guys for money, I could find one that could help me out professionally. From the sound of it, her clients were too rich and old to be disrespectful or weird about it. To my complete surprise, she actually responded (probably because she could see I was desperate). She told me how she actually reaches out first to most of her clients, finding through their company’s websites and then asking questions related to their field.
A little buzzed on the cheap wine I was drinking and fueled by being at the end of my rope I looked up every man I could find in the next city over that owned or frequented places I wanted to work. I figured it was less of a risk to do this outside of my own city where I was trying to break in already. One in particular stood out to me. He was handsome in a silver fox kind of way, and owned his own minimalist business in the city’s financial district — I was absolutely in love with it.
I found his email address and spent the next hour constructing the most flirtatiously vague email I could think of and attached a photo. It felt extremely weird to attach a photo to a seemingly professional email requesting that he have lunch with me to help me in my endeavors to enter his field, but I felt like it sent the message I couldn’t spell out — and we’ll discuss more too. He responded almost immediately and accepted. I hadn’t told him I’d have to drive hours to meet him, but I felt like that was a detail he didn’t need to be bothered with, I set a date and a time and asked him to choose the place.
A few days later I found myself in my best (and kind of too slutty to be professional) work dress at a nearly empty lunch spot in a residential neighborhood. He wasn’t meeting me in the neighborhood he worked, it was a promising sign. I was really nervous — how would I bring up that I wanted a “deal”? It seemed so easy to “sleep your way to the top” in movies and TV, men were always offering it up, but I was going to have to figure out how to get this on the table myself.
When he arrived and we made our introduction, it was awkward. Fortunately that thing happened to me where I was so nervous I was almost on autopilot, and it helped me be bold. I told him I’d asked him there because I’d love whatever advice he could give me about breaking into a business exactly like his. He smiled a bit, picking up on where I was going with this.
The rest is history. We had another awkward “professional” dinner a week later in which we “randomly” decided to get drinks after. After a bit too much we taxied to a hotel and slept together. It wasn’t bad or terrible. I didn’t feel used. The sex wasn’t great or anything but it actually felt pretty good because he was super into me and my body (I guess, being that he probably didn’t sleep with young girls that often). He gave me an entry level job at his business and paid me enough that I could move to accept it (though, honestly, the salary is nothing crazy, it’s probably around what everyone else makes).
I don’t know how to say that this experience changed my life for the better, since it’s something you’re not supposed to do, but it did. This guy is like a mentor to me now, often taking me to dinner to discuss my future and how I can improve and be more visible in the industry. Sometimes we still sleep together but I don’t feel obligated to do it in order to keep my job the way I feared I would. It just feels even, like something that’s nice to do to thank someone who’s done so much for me. I think there’s a lot of cautionary tales about women using sexuality to get ahead and guys taking advantage of them, but I had a great experience with it, it was just two nice people helping each other out.