The Financial Confessions: “I Afford My Fabulous Life Of Travel With Sex”

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There’s something really dangerous about social media. It gives you these little tiny glimpses into people’s lives, convincing you that the best version of things is always the real one, that the person you’re looking at has no problems, no real sadness, no sick secrets. We know it’s a lie when it comes to our own lives and our own profiles, but we somehow forget when we look at someone else who seems so perfect that their online presence is also, to a big extent, a lie. At the very least, it’s a lie of omission, leaving everything out that isn’t flattering or doesn’t fit into the story they’re trying to tell. I am this way about so many people I follow, and I know that I’m this person for many people who follow me. I have a social media presence that’s all about travel, adventure, beautiful things, and changing scenery. But the truth is that, in many ways, this life is paid for by sex.

Yes, sex. I am not an “Instagram Hoe,” although that term is very fucked up and sexist in itself, because I don’t post sexy pictures of myself, really. But I am a pretty young woman, and I have met through my old job (I worked in real estate, and still do to a very limited extent) a lot of very wealthy older men who wanted to take me somewhere after me showing them a property. I spent years struggling to rise in the ranks of my industry, trying to be noticed by the macho partners at my firm, trying to build up the nest egg it would require for me to branch out on my own. During all that time, I rebuffed the advances of the wealthy older men who would proposition me, and I delayed all the stuff I wanted to do for my personal life, much of which was travel and adventure.

And then, late last year, I said fuck it. I realized that I was closer to 30 than 20 and nowhere near where I wanted to be, professionally. Why not start taking these guys up on some of their offers?

And what are their offers? Well, it’s not sex work. I don’t get paid in any kind of direct way, and they are guys I’m technically dating. My friends and family will often know about these relationships, and they are for the most part good-looking, charming guys, even if they’re 20 or 30 years older than me. But the truth is that the relationships we have are very one-sided. They are wealthy men and I’m a young woman who barely makes any money on her own these days, because my “romantic life” is keeping me too busy. I date these men with no intention that our relationship will last a long time, but with every intention that it will allow me to live a much more sexy and interesting life during the time we’re together.

And oh, how interesting that life is! When I’m in one of my relationships, I’m able to travel more than I stay home, fly business class (or first class!), stay in the best hotels, go shopping each day, dine at fine restaurants, and generally never worry about money. My old boyfriend Nicolas (let’s call him that, anyway), a divorced 50-something Italian businessman, paid my rent for an entire summer back in New York so that we could spend the whole time cruising around on his boat and exploring. Of course it didn’t work out “in the long run,” because I actually have a “long run” in front of me with things I want — marriage, kids, growing old together — and he can’t have those things. He still emails me pretty frequently, and we meet up when we’re in the same city (I will always feel a certain love for him, and he will always feel he’s “in love” with me, but we both know the deal). Sometimes he just sends me gifts to say “thinking of you.”

Now, I’m seeing two different men, for different reasons. One is my “home” boyfriend, who is great for nights dining at Le Bernardin and walks through some of my favorite shopping streets downtown. The other is my “vacation” boyfriend, who flies me to visit him in Brussels every month or so, where we do various fun things around the continent whenever he has the time.

Both of them are married.

My goals, personally, have been to increase my work life until I’m at about 30 hours a week at least, bring my total active investments (on top of my emergency fund) to about $50,000, and eventually go back to school. I will be 30 soon enough, and I know that the way I’m living my life right now isn’t sustainable. Even though there have only been about six men that I’ve seen this way, I know that they have all been a means of escaping into a life that isn’t mine for a while, and delaying something more real. Even the two of the group that have proposed to me in the past (yes, two, I guess I’m hot shit!) haven’t been right, and I knew that. I couldn’t never settle down with one of these older Prince Charmings, because they’re means to an end for me, and I don’t delude myself into thinking I’m much more for them. Even if we did allow ourselves to get swept off our feet and marry, how long could that actually last? I’m not a naive girl. I know that it wouldn’t work.

But in the meantime, their affection is affording me a life I wouldn’t have otherwise. Our temporary relationships are about luxury, escape, and pure fun. They get to feel 20-something again when we’re together, and I get to live a life most people won’t know. We’re all trading on something, and this is my thing.

My closest friends (who know the truth) have asked me before if I would tell a man I met and wanted to be with seriously about this time in my life. The answer is probably no, because I know how harshly society (and therefore most men) would probably judge it. But I also don’t feel ashamed, even though I know many people would think I should. I don’t have the money to live this picture-perfect lifestyle, and my relationships provide that currency in another way. I’m living and enjoying my life, and they’re living and enjoying theirs.

Money is valuable, but maybe youth and beauty are more so.

Image via Pexels

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  • Jean Livingston

    I know you’ll probably get crap for writing this article, but I actually enjoyed it. I think it’s refreshing to read something that’s not chock full of explanations written to avoid judgement. I like that you can separate your own morals from society’s.

    • Summer

      I agree with you 100%. I also enjoyed the article and the unapologetic tone. The writer clearly knows exactly what she is doing and is making the most of these unique opportunities.

    • Alexis

      I agree, I enjoyed the article for insight into an unusual perspective and life experience.

  • Hawaiilisa

    I think if you are not prepared to tell your future life partner about this time in your life then some part of you doesn’t think it’s totally fine. It just sounds like prostitution to me.

    • Yea, I wouldn’t go so far as to call this prostitution but it seems like not everyone is on the same page here (men proposing) and that her yolo attitude has the potential to hurt third parties (the wives and children of these men, who may not be ok with this arrangement). I know the men are responsible for their actions but we are all responsible for not maintaining relationships for financial gain that are built on misperceptions or behavior that hurts third parties. I mean we don’t know the whole story here but, because it involves dishonesty, it probably isn’t a good one.

    • jdub

      I agree. If I were to get into the headspace that I do something like this in order to live my life the way I want, then I would have to be okay talking about it with the people in my life — including any potential future partners.

      Can you imagine being with someone and building a life with them, then finding out they were doing something like this while you were dating, unbeknownst to you? Nevermind the sex, but that would just open up a whole other can of worms about the person and their values you might not have thought of before.

  • I guess my biggest thing is the the men she’s seeing now are married. I don’t take cheating lightly and I challenge her to put herself into the other women’s shoes. Sure, if not her – maybe it would be another young woman, but why be that woman on the other side helping destroy someone’s marriage? That’s where I struggle with this the most. I know too many people who have been on the hurt side of a cheating scandal. It’s not pretty. Let’s hope karma doesn’t come back to bite her in her future marriage.

    • LynnP2

      AGREED. I actually thought there were no problems with what she was doing – both parties understand what’s going on – until I read that the men were married. But there are third parties involved that she apparently hasn’t considered at all.

    • Hailey

      I agree. I was 100% cool with this until she mentioned her current relationships were with married men. (Which, I guess, she didn’t have to include, so kudos for her honesty.)

      When I was living abroad, I met some young women who were traveling around using the website MissTravel.com. The whole premise is that an “attractive traveler” gets paired up with a “generous host,” and the “host” can do anything from give them a free, lavish place to stay, pay for their flight, or anything in between. One woman I met had been traveling all over the world like this for well over a year and had yet to pay a dime in airfare. Of course, sex was involved, but everyone was on the same page, and everyone seemed happy with the arrangement. Honestly, I thought it was a pretty ballsy way to deal with wanderlust!

    • Lela Dixon

      Sleeping with other people isn’t what ruins marriages. Who’s to say these men aren’t in open relationships? You’d be surprised how many older, wealthy couples agree to this as a means of preserving their partnership.

      Not being monogamous does not necessarily equate being neglectful, lying, or heartbreak.

      Just another perspective.

      • Rosabella Alvarez-Calderon

        Open marriages/relationships are just that: relationships. However, one thing that I have learned from the few people I know who purseu these types if relationships is that honesty and open communication are essential – as in, you typically know that someone is in an open relationship and/or poly, and you accept the relationship/fling/whatever on those terms. What the author describes is basically being a prostitute/escort in my opinion- a way to make a living that can be perfectly legitimate as long as there is no exploitation involved, and health concerns and open communication are paramount. You are basically selling yourself as company (sexual/emotional) and as arm candy, and the men are paying well for it. She basically admits that the relationships are very one-sided, and it makes perfect sense since this is practically a business transaction in my eyes. There is a difference between having an open relationship/being polyamorous, and basically paying someone in money or goods for the benefit of their company.

    • disqus_XIxHJslPUz

      Well THEY are married but she is not. She’s not cheating on anyone, they are. They’re the ones with a commitment to their wives that they aren’t keeping, and they’re the ones cheating.
      She has made no promises to anyone, therefore I don’t see why she’d be the one to blame because they’re married. I mean, she’s not forcing them to cheat.
      Plus, if it wasn’t with her, they would probably still be cheaters, only with somebody else. If they don’t care about their marriage, they’ll find a woman happy to see them even though they’re married, whether it’s the author or not. She doesn’t owe their wives anything. They’re the culprits here, not her.

      I liked the article, obviously I think it’s morally dubious to see men only because of their money and use them as piggy banks, but I appreciate at least the honesty of the article and the fact the author didn’t try to disguise it for something else. I hope you find a way to get money that makes you happy and that things turn out well 🙂

      Violaine

    • I also struggled with that, but counterpoint: she’s not the one who’s cheating on somebody they promised to be loyal to.

  • Isabel

    I really enjoyed reading this. A lot of comments you get may be centered around people’s idea of the ‘imbalance’ of power in the relationship but I think telling your story honestly is showing your worth and your power so kudos to you!
    Also re: the marriage issues: nothing is ever black and white. I think what’s most important is your courage to share your story.

  • Lela Dixon

    If you’re going to be unapologetic, you should unapologetically admit that what you’re describing is good old fashion hoeing. Frankly, if you Aren’t getting large sums of money from these arrangements, that’s really quite a shame. Also, your followers know.

  • Adilah

    your lack of morality is appalling….even personal morality is appaling. Married men really? Sex for travel? at least your honest with yourself but man your lifestyle is so gross. I wonder why FTD would post something like this. You say you dont do sex work….but in reality you do its just a dressed up version.

  • grover

    So you’re a sugar-baby. Cool. I know and follow a lot of sbs. Please make sure you’re saving and investing a good chunk of whatever they give you. Make sure you’re actually getting money not just expensive shoes and “experiences”. Experiences won’t help you when you’re 40 or 50 and men your age have moved on to younger versions of yourself. These type of arrangements dry out pretty quickly and can negatively influence your emotional health. Protect yourself financially and mentally.

  • This is really interesting, and the relationships you’ve described seem to work for you. I’m just curious about how you would explain this gap on your resume – or would you still work in real estate on paper?

  • This is great. Honestly. I will admit about being a tiny bit judgey about the married boyfriends, but other than that I see nothing wrong with this arrangement. The facts of the world are thus: men have money and women do not. The easiest way for women to get money is for men to give it to them. People have material needs (and ok fine, lavish trips might not be material needs) but the idea anyone but you should be able to dictate the terms of either the nature of your sexual relationships or your ability to make money off the one commodity no one can take from you is incredibly patriarchal. I say, approach it practically and make sure you’re saving. Then find a way to earn a steady stream of income that isn’t dependent on their affections. In the mean time, enjoy yourself. You’re only young and hot once.

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