Paying for Sex in Vegas and More Advice Column Ennui

Among life’s many decisions — should I wear a hat? would it really be that bad to use an expired condom? should I get a rabies shot for petting that raccoon? should I do my taxes? cake or pie? — “should I pay a professional to give my genitals a good airing out?” is quite possibly the most self-effacing (and maybe honest) question to ask oneself. Or, in the case of one lonely gentleman steeling himself for a wet ‘n wild weekend in the vagina of a Las Vegas sex worker, the most self-effacing (and maybe honest) question one can ask a man-woman duo of advice columnists.

Opening his lonely soul to the advice oracles of San Francisco’s 7x7, a 40-year-old single dude taking a break from serious dating to “just enjoy myself and let some time pass after the breakup of my 10-year relationship,” asked whether he should, for the first time ever, hire a prostitute during an upcoming Very Bad Things bro trip to Las Vegas. His concerns, frankly, make it sound more like he’s shopping for an flatscreen TV:

I figure, why put all that energy into the pickup, drinks, dancing, conversation, when I can just skip all that and get to the sex? I don’t have any moral qualms about prostitution, but I do have a few sexual ones. What if the woman isn’t attracted to me and just goes through the motions? What if she looks nothing like her photo on the escort site and I’m not attracted to her? Most of my friends who’ve done it say it worked out great, but one or two have had bad experiences.

Whatever existential anxieties this guy might have harbored before resurfacing in the dating pool after a long relationship have obviously been dealt with, and what he really wants to know about hiring a prostitute is what every conscientious would-be consumer wants to know before plunking down hard-earned American money on goods or services: Is it worth it? Because I’m hooooooorrrrnyy. Well, if it’s sex he’s after, than the first half of the “Two Sense” advice doling duo has some fantastic advice: be like the gays!

My straight male friends complain about your predicament all the time. Days and weeks spent in the seduction process only to realize that the sex wasn't even all that great—or was just plain bad. For all the indignities that gay men must put up with—family rejection, nutty preachers, second-class citizenship—they don’t have this problem. They easily negotiate entire weekends worth of sexual escapades in a few keystrokes with nary a dime spent on food or wine (maybe a few vodka tonics!). In fact, the biggest problem they face is getting a second date or a repeat performance, when the other guy is likely to say, “Sorry, man, not looking for a boyfriend.”

It’s like that Marianne Moore poem, “O To Be a Dragon,” except instead of getting to fly and breathe fire, what the straight man really pines for is the unfettered sexual promiscuity of Grindr hookups and judgment-free butt-play. Like, bro, wouldn’t life be so much easier if you could just have sex with your best buddy? Bitches, man.

In other words, hiring a prostitute gets a greenlight from one part of “Two Sense,” who, unlike his more diligent counterpart, fails to mention that, oh btw, prostitution is illegal in Vegas, so the bro odyssey could totally end with a mugshot and public humiliation amongst suddenly sanctimonious friends. Then again, this guy’s ex-girlfriend most likely faked interest in sex at some point over the course of their relationship, so shouldn’t he be used to sleeping with someone who’s not interested in his inverted nipples and faintly oniony body odor?

On the other hand, going pro brings the assurance you’ll have sex but costs much more than a few drinks, and since prostitution is actually illegal in Vegas, you can never be completely sure that all will end well. As far as the woman not looking like her photo, I’m thinking it’s less likely when dealing with an escort site than on a dating site such as Match.com—and definitely less likely than on Craigslist. I also wouldn’t worry overmuch about her “going through the motions.” She is, in essence, a performer after all. Surely your ex-girlfriend occasionally just went through the motions, as happens in most long-term relationships from time to time. Was it really all that bad?

That sounds like more of an amber light waxing green, but the verdict is undeniable — this guy should totally hire a prostitute when he goes to Vegas. Maybe there’s nothing to arranging a sexual liaison except choosing, paying, and hoping that everything works out just the way it doesn’t in every movie about grown adult men going to Vegas for a few days of tomfoolery. In fact, that sort of dispassionate consumerism — of treating sex work like any other service that one pays for — is probably the optimal way to go about hiring a sex worker, just so long as somewhere over the course of being a discerning prostitute-chooser, this guy doesn’t forget that he’s transacting with a human person, a person who has every right to not be genuinely attracted to him just because he recently pulled a Clark Griswold money-grab at the casino’s check-cashing desk.

Should I Hire a Prostitute? [7x7 SF]

Image via AP, Joe Cavaretta