We warn our kids not to do it. Never to get involved in private chat to total strangers on social media. Not ever. You don’t know who or what they might be – sex pest, serial killer, stalker … And now – now I’ve gone and broken the rule. What can I say? He’s a man in a kilt. And, it turns out, a sex worker. Well, a male escort – but let’s not allow semantics to get in the way of a good story.
When I saw the notification of a new follower I did what I usually do – carried out a few checks. He wasn’t an American Army General and he wasn’t a lover of ‘my country, Trump and God’; the ones I automatically block. So far so good. His bio was inoffensive: climbing and walking in the Scottish Highlands. Nothing about being a sex worker. I saw we had a number of mutual followers (quite a few are writers; some are even followers of this blog!). Besides, who can resist a man in a kilt? I followed back.
He sent a DM saying thanks for the follow, then a merry Christmas wish a few days later – and a picture of the drum kit from his sister – and then we were talking about Hogmanay celebrations. I was going to a party for oldies and he was joining the Edinburgh New Year’s party – in his kilt. He’s young.
Well, I say he’s young but how would I know? He could, as I pointed out to him, be fat, bald and fifty (or sixty or seventy). He tells me he works in a gym and also has a personal fitness trainer. Sends me photographic evidence of bulging muscles, which, of course, I immediately delete – but, hey, it could be a photo of anyone, couldn’t it?
On social media how do we know? How can I tell if this person is a fantasist, a pervert or actually quite a nice guy? And why would a fit young guy want to keep chatting to a decidedly unfit woman twice his age? Brigitte Macron, I am not! Although if Emmanuel came knocking on the door…
Occasionally, he would be a bit flirty, making suggestive remarks I didn’t like. I told him once he came across like a sleazy Donald Trump. He apologised and promised not to cross that line again. Just in case he turned out to be a stalker, I made a point of telling everyone about his existence, including the DH. When, a few weeks ago he suggested we meet to walk together I actually found myself thinking about – ‘til I woke in the morning with a vision of a newspaper headline in my head – ‘Body of 64-year-old woman found on Highland mountain.’
When he told me he worked for five years for a male escort agency I was a bit taken aback. Before then (or maybe at the same time) he played rugby until an injury put paid to that career option and left him with recurring back problems, which require visits to the physio and chiropractor, especially after a weekend of escort duties. I’m guessing those duties don’t only consist of wining and dining or attending business functions – which is what the articles about male escort agencies I’ve read would have us believe. He’s freelance now.
When I said I was going to a fancy ‘ladies who lunch’ fundraising event he suggested sending me some business cards to distribute. “I’d never be invited again,” I said.
“Oh, I’m sure you would be,” he replied. Did I mention he’s very sure of himself? Totally up himself to an overwhelming degree.
“Besides, wouldn’t that make me your pimp?” My son has since informed me that if the business cards are only advertising escort services then it wouldn’t be pimping (note to self: how does my son come to be so well informed about such things?). Of course, by now I’m fascinated. I’m a writer, I’ve never met a male sex worker before; how could I not be?
I say met but, of course, we haven’t met. I vetoed the walk on the mountain. If we ever meet it will be in public, surrounded by lots of people. He was going to come to my next book launch – but before you all clamour for an invitation, he’s not going to be there. A change of date meant it clashed with a family celebration for his sister’s birthday. That made me think he quite possibly is a nice guy. And sometimes he makes me laugh.
Oh, if you aren’t already following him on Twitter let me introduce you to PeaSea: