An encounter with a Russian call girl leaves our sexual ambassador suffering an attack of conscience

 

A warning before we start. This month’s column has a rather gloomy, poignant feel to it, as it involves me failing to have an orgasm while in bed with a high class prostitute. That would be bad enough on its own, of course, but my sadness has nothing to do with the £300 I wasted. It doesn’t even spring from the crushing Catholic guilt I’m usually afflicted with after sexual encounters of this kind. No, this was all about the Russian girl, and what she showed me of herself without even meaning to.

Using whores at all… I know it’s bad. But it’s a product of my midlife crisis. I’ve simply been through too many hard break-ups over the years to risk having another proper relationship. Whenever I used to meet a girl, I’d wonder what it would be like to go out with her, to be a couple holding hands and having fun, to roll around the sheets a bit. Now all I think is, “Why bother trying? Sooner or later, you’ll be listening to each other cry.” There’s just too much pain involved. And I don’t want to hurt anyone any more, including me. Plus, I’m depressed. I’m flabby and broke and 12 months into a novel that may never get finished. Prozac might be the answer but I don’t want to try it. I don’t react well to chemicals.

So it happened again. I found myself in front of the computer, browsing through the escort agency websites. These women, they look so beautiful. They have their photographs shot quite professionally, in proper studios and sometimes even on beaches. They pout and arch their golden bodies. Their job is to entice you. It’s like the whores you see in the windows of Amsterdam’s red light district, except these ones only had to look sexy for the time it took to press a camera shutter, so they don’t seem weary and soiled and wasted. Looking at their perfect smiles, you can actually believe they’re happy.

I like to think the money they charge makes a difference. In fact, even though I’m a notoriously cheap man who tips badly in restaurants and would rather walk a mile in the pouring rain than shell out for a taxi, I prefer them to be expensive. The higher the price tag, I figure, the less likely it is that they’ve been forced into the trade. Lots of men can happily sleep with a hooker who’s doing it for her next crack fix, or with some poor Oriental girl who’s been trafficked over here in the back of a lorry to stop her family from starving. But I can’t. This doesn’t make me a great humanitarian, I know, but it’s something. I prefer to feel that I’ve scrimped and saved to spend my money on a species of businesswomen, a smart, independent female who’s using her physical gifts to get ahead in the world. If anyone’s going to feel exploited, I want it to be me.

Perhaps there’s an element of snobbery, too. If I have to share a hooker’s body, I’d rather her other punters were clean and respectable. Men with decent cars and nice clothes and a bit of taste. The fact is, I know there was probably someone else in her bed only ten minutes before I arrived, and I don’t like to think that he was a dirty yob in a West Ham scarf whose breath smelled of lager and pork pies and Rothmans.

Anyway, I made my choice. Her name was Roxana. A stunning girl with brown eyes and high Slavic cheekbones, flat-stomached and firm-breasted. Perfect in the way that only a 21-year-old can be. Unruined by experience. Not wanting to travel all the way to her flat, I requested an ‘outcall’ and gave the agency’s booker my address.

I still had a couple of hours until she was due, so I ran a bath and wondered what to wear. It was like preparing for a date. I laid out some shirts and trousers and picked the nicest combination. And I decided to wear my new underpants. Even though I’ve switched from Y-fronts to boxers to briefs at various times in the past, I’ve always stuck to the colour white. But for my latest purchase, I’d chosen some black, snug-fitting ones from Banana Republic. Black is supposed to be flattering, and with a 36-inch waistline I need all the help I can get. After I got out of the tub, I tried them on and posed in front of the mirror. I sucked in my gut and thought, “Not half bad.” What a loser.

Dressed, I poured a glass of wine and turned on the TV. There was a programme which featured secret cameras set up in a house so the audience could watch as a string of dishonest tradesmen overcharged an old lady. I quite enjoy the bit where they confront the conmen in these shows, so I paid full attention.

Big mistake. It turned out that the focus of the show was identity theft, and the presenter kept saying how easy it was for someone to visit your home and steal personal information. There were interviews with weeping couples who’d turned their back on a plumber for a moment and had their life savings siphoned away. As someone who habitually leaves cheque books and pin numbers and bank statements lying around, I started to get paranoid. I was about to let a strange woman, a prostitute, through my front door and I didn’t even know her surname! Even her first name was probably a fake! Anything could happen. She might put Rohypnol in my chianti. By the time I woke up, she could be safely back in Siberia with my entire Abbey National savings account to keep her warm.

In a panic, I telephoned the agency and changed my booking to an ‘incall’, where I’d go to visit her. They texted me an address and I hurriedly set off for the Tube, emptying my wallet of everything except cash.

Arriving at Roxana’s flat in Chelsea, I quickly checked her out to see how she compared with her photos. She was beautiful, if not so tanned. Then, nervous as always in these situations, I asked to use her loo. I didn’t so much need a pee as the chance to marshal my nerves and have a quick spruce up. In the tiny bathroom, I took some deep breaths then undid my trousers to make a last check of my genitals, chiefly to ensure that they hadn’t shrunk too much during the cold walk from the station.

Once again, the sight of my sleek, new, daring black pants gave me confidence. I wasn’t even worried that having the word BANANA stitched above my penis would lead to disappointment or accusations of false advertising. But when I tugged them down I was faced with a sudden disaster. Perhaps because I’d put them on so soon after a hot bath, when my body was still damp, some bobbles of the dark cotton had come loose and adhered to my foreskin. I tried to wipe them off, but they had dried in the meantime and now it was as though they were glued on with Araldite. Aaargh! It looked like I was suffering from frostbite. My cock was black, one-eyed and hideous. It was like having Sammy Davis Jnr hiding in my trousers.

It took some serious rubbing with wet loo paper to clean things up, by which time I was even more flustered than usual. Perhaps this alarm heightened my senses in some way, because when I went back into Roxana’s room I seemed attuned to everything around me, not just the sight of her in lingerie. She spread a towel over the duvet then lay me down beside it, but I couldn’t relax. Even when she peeled off her top and began to rub me artfully through my jeans, I wasn’t paying much attention.

It was the decor in her flat that bewitched me. There was a dresser by the bed and on it were some photographs of three young, smiling children, presumably her brothers and sisters in Russia. On the single bookshelf were arranged a row of postcards from the homeland, pictures of horse-drawn sledges and old churches with onion domes. Next to them was a tiny gift basket of potpourri.

In an instant, the tragedy of her life became clear. She was out here for them. All the hours she spent fucking fat Englishmen were so they could have a better life. Little Olga and Natasha and Alexis, they’d get food and education because she had sold herself. That’s why her flat was so tiny, I realised. She didn’t want to waste any precious money on rent, so she lived in a place barely larger than a caravan. The kitchen was built into a corner of the bedroom, and the bed we were lying on was a fold-down one. It came out of a wardrobe.

She began to fellate me. It was glorious, but I couldn’t stamp out the images of the children playing in the snow. There was a battle in my head. One army was focussing on the allure of her now naked body, the other wanted to burst out crying. Slowly, helped by me closing my eyes, the contest tipped in favour of the first army. She reached for a condom and we began to fuck.

She must have thought me odd, paying for a beautiful woman and then not even looking at her, but she said nothing. No doubt she’d had weirder clients. And if I’d carried on keeping my eyelids together, I might just have got what I came for. Sadly, as I approached a climax ten minutes later, I manoeuvred her into the canine position and began to thrust vigorously. I tipped back my head and looked upwards. After all, what could there be on the ceiling to put me off my stroke?

Well, nothing actually. But perched on top of the wardrobe which the bed came out of was a massive yellow teddy bear, one of those almost life-sized ones you win at fairgrounds. It had a smiling face and it was wearing a T-shirt with the slogan ‘I Miss You!’ At once, my penis collapsed. My sperm scurried back to the warm hell they come from. The teddy bear’s biography appeared to me fully formed – the rare visit to London by Roxana’s ageing mother, the lies about working as an au pair, the parting gift to “remind you of me”, the present that could never be thrown away…I didn’t weep on the way home, but I came close. Maybe I will try Prozac after all. Not for depression, you understand, but because I hear it also shrivels your libido…