Since the beginning of the culture of prudishness, it has been shameful to have sex out of wedlock. Thankfully that is now coming to an end, and unattached flings are now socially acceptable (for men...), but it's still shameful to pay someone for sex. Seeing a sex worker is just like hiring a contractor to build your retaining wall instead of your handy neighbour, Dave. You're more likely to have a great retaining wall at the end of it if you hire a professional. You still might not - they could be a dodgy contractor, and Dave might be really good at yard work and masonry, but the odds are more in your favour if you pay the person who makes a living out of it. So why, then, is it shameful to hire a professional when it comes to a sexual experience?
You should be able to do it yourself
This assumption is unkind. Maybe the person choosing to pay sex workers can find sex all on their own - the majority of people can - but certain emotional obligations fall by the wayside when you employ a sex worker, not to mention it's a guaranteed lay without many hoops to jump through. It's not sad if you really don't want to have to do all the work to get someone to sleep with you and then leave in the morning without expecting a return call. Or, if you're a woman, sleep with someone and have a reasonable guarantee that they aren't a predator, and that they aren't expected to go through with any sex acts at all if they don't feel they can. Maybe you're not actively trying to find sex because you simply don't have the time or the emotional energy - people should not feel ashamed about that, it's honestly such a huge problem in the workaholic culture we've managed to land ourselves in. Not having the time for it does not erase the urge for it, and physical intimacy with another human is something we actually need for a healthy existence.
And so what if you're too awkward to get sex on your own? Sex workers are also a great resource for you to learn! Having interactions with us calms your nerves about trying it out on people you aren't paying, which means that you can now go out and chat up people with a touch more confidence. Some people are just awkward, there's really nothing strange about that.
Oh jeez, here she goes. Feminist bullshit. Ha, I'm not sure you know what toxic masculinity is if that's what you're thinking! Toxic masculinity is the aspects of being a man, specifically behavioural, that actively harm men in general - that cause you to have higher suicide rates, and higher rates of dangerous behaviour - and that actively harm women. The relevance here is that maintaining the appearance of masculinity to your mates often involves bragging, and sometimes that bragging is an... exaggeration of the truth. So everyone is being presented with a reality that isn't always true, and comparing their own life to it. So all of your friends are saying they have perfectly functional relationships apart from the usual gripes, they have bulk sex with lots of hot women every weekend etc etc... Meanwhile, you can't even get more than two matches on Tinder, and neither of those are much for conversation, so you feel pretty useless and unwanted. You can't brag about seeing a sex worker, because your friends might think it's pathetic that you can't get women to like you, since you're supposed to be a massive stud at all times - and that's why you feel ashamed to see us.
This is also something that causes you to feel bad about booking people for strictly platonic dates, or dates that have few expectations of actual sex - if it happens, it happens. If you feel pathetic having to pay for sex, it's understandable that you might feel worse about having to pay for companionship. Don't. Have you noticed that women tend to get a lot of intimacy from each other? If I feel crappy about something, I can go to my friend's house, in my pyjamas, with my dog and a bucket of ice cream, and be met with open arms, and invited to sleep in their bed and watch trash TV with them. We hug, we snuggle, and all of that releases lots of those same feel good hormones that you get from intimacy with your romantic partner, without the need for or expectation of sex. Most men do not ever do this with their friends, and therefore that means that outside of a romantic partner and their parents, men are getting zero intimacy. Intimacy is something humans actually need, this has been proven in multiple studies (and here is one, because you know I had a look at this). If you have no partner, and you live out of home, where are you getting your emotional needs satisfied? This is why people like Sarah exist - she does great work, and her service is an interesting one that really helps people.
This one requires a certain amount of cultural change to overcome. Once men start to grasp that they don't have to be the perfect masculine man, that men can cry, can need physical and emotional intimacy, that they can be hurt, and that they can have difficulties in their personal lives, then I think it will be easier for people to admit to seeing sex workers. You're not pathetic for not getting 200 Tinder matches in your first week!! If you're interested on reading more about toxic masculinity, Terry Crews is a big supporter for ending the stigma around men having feelings - he's also one of my favourite people in the world, because he's generally amazing (even though I think he supports the Nordic Model... We'll get to him).
Society kind of hates us
For those who follow my blog, this one might be a little difficult to grasp. "But I love you guys! What is not to love?" - are you about to recommend to your friends (the ones who don't know you see escorts) that they book a sex worker? Assuming you're not married, would you tell others that you see us on the regular? No, I didn't think so. Society's view that sex workers are dirty whores is still very much alive. We understand why you're not going to shout from the rooftops about the benefits of booking one of us, don't worry. We know that you face some of the splashback of that stigma. Not nearly as much as we get ourselves, but enough to make you think twice about being publicly supportive, and enough for you to feel ashamed for seeing us. If you want a few tips on how to sneak around, I did a write up on that a little while ago.
Society isn't too fond of the people who buy sex, either - they're always men, apparently, and usually monsters who like assaulting and abusing women, and don't care about trafficking. I know I wouldn't really want to own up to it if that was my stereotype! But heads up - this is in your power to change as well, you can't just let us workers do all the advocacy while you stay silent! Many clients in my niche are in quite influential positions, interestingly...
We know that sometimes you feel shitty about seeing us, and it sucks. We do our best to make our meetings as fun, discreet, and positive as possible, so that you get what you need and can forget about society/your job/your problems for a while. But please know that you're not pathetic, unworthy of affection, or too ugly to date - it's a valid choice to see sex workers, and that is not a smear upon your character at all, no matter how much society wants you to feel that way. We're still here for you, no matter what laws they pass or what judgements are thrown our way. Acknowledge those feelings of shame and let them pass. Just enjoy our time together.
Edited to include client stereotypes.