Japan, emotions, and... socks.

I think that I’m suffering from Post-Japan Melancholy.

The usual symptoms- wanting to stay in bed, reluctance to unpack, wanting to go home to my parents, procrastinating in regards to work, and consulting webjet.com to see how soon I can feasibly leap on the next JAL flight back to Tokyo.

Although, the chance to meet up with a gorgeous gentleman friend on my second evening back in Sydney has absolutely taken the ‘sting’ out of returning home. And for that, I am extremely grateful.

I’ve been on a kind of ‘escort hiatus’ since February. There are several reasons for this. I moved to Sydney to start a new job in late January; one which I had sort of been ‘headhunted’ for. My new boss was very specific- I had been hired to ‘tighten things up’. I was expecting a challenge, but absolutely nothing like I have encountered. Hence, much of my time has been spent either at work, or thinking about work.

In addition to work issues, I had felt a ‘connection’ with a man that I had met last year. Until I can get some sort of idea as to whether our friendship will go anywhere, I decided to take a break from actively working as an escort.

I was surprised by the depth of loneliness and homesickness that I experienced as soon as I moved to Sydney. I guess that over the past few years I have been blessed to have my parents, siblings and close friends all living or working within arms’ reach of me. In Sydney I have no family, but am extremely lucky to have my friends C and K close by.

The loneliness that I encountered when I moved reminded me of one of the reasons that I began escort work in the first place. Obviously, money was the greatest driver, but the true breakdown went something like this: money 60%/ altruism 30%/ adventure 10%. I don’t mean ‘altruism’ to mean charity. I use it in the sense of wanting to make connections, make people laugh, listen to their stories, and try to ease some of their loneliness if I can. I have spent a significant chunk of my own life in a relationship where I often felt invisible. I assume that many others can relate to that feeling, and may enjoy experiencing something different for an afternoon/evening. In addition, I have never dealt well with being alone in hotel rooms, and I imagine that men who travel often for business feel the same. I also often ponder the isolation that men can experience throughout their lives. If I am struggling with something or having a ‘Depresso Latte Day’ (a term coined by my sister), I have any number of female friends that I can text or call. I sometimes wonder if men are more solitary creatures who have plenty of ‘acquaintances’, but maybe not as many close confidantes.

It was the late Grace Bellavue who once said that, as an escort, she’d “been given access to the greatest minds in the world.” This is absolutely true. I have been truly blessed to have encountered men who are at the top of their field. One such man I met in person last week.

We connected initially online. I was convinced that he was some sort of time-waster from India. Due to the lack of nudity and face pictures on my website, I think he had dismissed me as a part of some sort of bait-and-switch scheme. In a moment of boredom (probably for both of us) we spoke via FaceTime last year. I was in Brisbane, he was in Nagoya. A short-yet-pleasant conversation about Japan and then no contact since.

Anyway, as fate would have it, we both happened to be in Tokyo at the same time, and he reached out to me and invited me to lunch.

Unfortunately, I had been running errands all morning which left me no time to change into heels and a dress. I also got lost and ended up at the building next to where I was meant to be. Thank you, Nihon Kotsu Taxi Company. Not a great start to any engagement- late, lost and underdressed. In the end, he had to come and rescue me.

Do you know how some people just have an imposing presence? That was him. He strode towards me, looking like he had stepped straight off the cover of GQ Magazine. Early 40’s, an immaculately groomed executive at the top of his field. Huge watch, custom-fitted suit, perfectly matching belt and shoes.

After rescuing me, he guided me into this incredible underground restaurant. The decor was simple-yet-dazzling, the place littered with expensive champagnes and huge rock crystals. The staff bowed in succession as we walked past. He was clearly a regular here, as no words were exchanged, yet a waiter led us to a private dining room.

Over lunch, no topic of conversation was off-limits; global oil prices, Saddam Hussein assassination conspiracy theories, cats, Ramadan, natural resources, travel, his wife and child. The amount of knowledge that this man had was astonishing. I was grateful that he had made time to meet me, especially as I could see the screen of his phone filling up with email notifications.

Before long, an hour was up, he had to return to his office for an afternoon of back-to-back meetings. He escorted me out of the restaurant with a thank you nod to the staff. I realised that we hadn’t been presented with a bill. What an untold luxury that must be, to have an account at your preferred lunch location. While he has/had no interest in engaging me as an escort, it was in all, a fascinating lunch.

A little while later, I messaged him to thank him for lunch.

“I didn’t think that you would be interested.” He replied via text.

“Why? Because it’s not a booking and you’re not paying me? I’m more about experiences than money. Meeting you and eating in that restaurant were both experiences.”

Speaking of experiences, I’m trying to put some real effort into crossing off #BucketList items in 2017.

Setting off fireworks has always been high on my list. So, where better to go in Japan than south to Yokosuka? I could spend my birthday by the sea and possibly find a landscape that would be more conducive to setting off fireworks than the centre of Tokyo.

The purchasing of said fireworks was remarkably easy. I was even partway to getting them included in my duty free items until the store manager wandered over and explained (with the assistance of Google Translate) that fireworks could not be taken on airplanes, so therefore could not be duty free. Damn.

Adult toys, on the other hand, can be included as duty free, on the proviso that you leave them sealed and unused until you return home.

Visiting a Shisha/Hookah cafe was another #BucketList item that I managed to tick off during this trip, as was participating in the favourite Japanese pastime of karaoke. Sadly, there was only one Kanye West song on the menu. The operators should really do something about that.

I was also fortunate to see the work of Tatsuo Miyajima in Nippori. I was first introduced to his work in Sydney and loved it. Therefore, I was determined to seek out more of his work in Tokyo. A quick warning though- his work makes soooo much more sense if you do your research first. See if you can find an interview with Tatsuo Miyajima online- the interviews that I have seen make his art even more poignant.

Another marked highlight of this trip was the chance to encounter one or two seriously smart Australian expats. I've often wondered how difficult it would be to live and work in Japan for a significant period of time, so it was great to hear their experiences.

To a quick personal note for a second.

When in escort mode, I have very few clients. I couldn’t operate any other way.

It can be a hard balancing act for both client and escort, how much to reveal, how much to keep private. For me, revealing my real name, address, employer, and real life occupation are all off limits.

It takes a great deal of trust to completely open up to someone. In fact, I’m more comfortable revealing my naked body to someone, rather than revealing much about myself. Sometimes you will meet someone that you just ‘click’ with, and you will feel comfortable sharing details. I like the idea that the amount of effort you expend towards another person will produce a relationship that is proportionate with the energy that you’ve invested. This idea certainly works in academia- the more energy and effort you put into your studies, the better results that you can expect. However, when you’re dealing with relationships, there are simply too many variables involved to guarantee any kind of outcome.

Being an escort has taught me things that I could never have anticipated. I’ve been extraordinarily blessed. But my greatest hope remains- that over time any ‘hurts’ that I experience will ‘harden’ me to be less affected by the next hurt. That over time, I will develop a much thicker skin (as opposed to thicker thighs, which I have already achieved). :-)

As Shakespeare himself wrote, ‘all’s well that ends well’, and like most things in life, open and honest communication can often smooth out any understandings. However, there have been times in my short career as an escort when I have experienced hurt. As no one in my real life is aware of my work as an escort, it can be hard to move on when you have no one to 'debrief' with. Most escorts may present facades of steel, but ultimately they are people with emotions too, whether 'on hiatus’ or not.

There is a great line in the Natasha Bedingfield song, I Bruise Easily that goes, “anyone who, can touch you, can hurt you or heal you”. This line could almost have been written specifically for the client/escort relationship.

Additionally, there is a line in the Puff Daddy song, Come With Me, that goes, “can’t stand nobody like you”. This line can be applied to the person who ‘liberated’ (i.e. stole) my hair straightener from my hotel during my last 24 hours in Tokyo. :-(

I apologise if this blog post appears disjointed. I wrote most of it in Tokyo and intended to post it from there. However, I simply ran out of time. So, I’ve tried to rearrange it as best I can and am posting it now that I’m home.

Speaking of home, winter is approaching! I recently read a 2012 study that looked at brain scans of men and women taken during sex. One unexpected discovery of the study was thus: by wearing socks during sex, it is easier for both sexes to achieve orgasm. If you take anything away from my ramblings, make it this: keep your socks on when going to bed this winter.

x Mischa