Mod 5 closed SL's travel thread because it quickly degenerated into a pissing match between him and Regnad. I will reopen the subject on the slippery slope here but respectfully ask that both Regnad and SL think twice before contributing.
I want this thread to focus on the slippery slope. I really liked Doc Holliday's post because it captured the essence of what I wanted to explore further. Here was the exerpt from Doc's comment that I focused on and my response:
Originally Posted by Doc Holliday
Not that long ago, one of the several young ladies in the biz that i am friends with mentionned to me that she'd be unable to meet me for dinner on a certain date since she'd be spending time with a particular client for 3 consecutive days. "Three whole days??", i asked her. "Yes, three whole days with him", came the reply. "What's wrong with this?", she asked. Well, i took a deep breath and told her how i really felt about these arrangements. "To be honest, i find this very sad", i told her. "I'm very happy for you that you're able to get paid for this, don't get me wrong. But i find it sad that someone has to pay someone to spend time with him in some other capacity other than for sex. I mean...think about it....he's paying for you to stay with him. Ain't this kind of sad?"
(end of quote)
I am focusing in on what Doc has written above. Why? because I feel that it is at the heart of the matter. He is absolutely right: if you pay an SP to fill an emotional void in your life, then you are in all likelihood, doing a lot more harm to yourself without even knowing it and this is sad. This is where it's not just innocent fun but a serious lapse of judgement; it is sad that people feel that they can buy someone's friendship. Some SPs prey on these weaknesses; most don't.
I will let you in on a real life experience of mine. Last fall, I arranged a two hour session with an SP that I desperately wanted to meet. We emailed each other, we spoke over the phone and we just clicked in every possible way. I was extremely nervous because I really wanted to meet her and it was one of my first encounters. I get to the motel (Chablis on East Sherbrooke) where we arranged to meet and I had a memory lapse: I kept dialing the wrong number. I was stupid enough not to give her my cell number and I did not write her number down (I thought I memorized it)! I remembered to bring everything else, including two books that I wanted her to read, but I forgot her number by one god damn digit because I was nervous!
Anyways, after an hour of trying many numbers, I gave up and I drove back home to read my emails and call her (the motel had no internet access). I felt like an idiot and I was continuously apologizing to her. She told me not to worry and that she understood that these things happen. We then had a great two hour conversation. It was deep and pure. At the end, I asked her to meet me for lunch and she agreed.
It was a beautiful sunny day and we ended up meeting on St-Denis. We exchanged compliments and then had a lunch where we got into even deeper conversation. At the end of the lunch, I handed over the two books and the $400 I felt I owed her. She was shocked and said that she couldn't accept it. I told her it's the right thing to do and I insisted that she keep the money. (BTW, $400 is a lot of money for me - nothing to piss away).
She is gone from the biz now but she still emails me on occasion to see how I am doing and to tell me that I made significant difference in her life. "You gave me the courage to confront the demons from my past and to deal with my insecurities." I never had sex with her but I shared something a lot more meaningful. We shared an intense discussion on things that SPs rarely venture into. We exposed our deepest secrets to each other and we helped each other without ever having sex!
But as intense as it got, I never deluded myself into thinking she fell madly in love with me or that I can win her over with my charm and intellect. That wasn't my purpose. I just did what I thought was right. I saw a fellow human being who needed help and I responded. Again, I did not delude myself into thinking that I will fall madly in love with her and neither did she.
I am getting off track with this story. I guess what I wanted to write is that there is nothing wrong with meeting an SP for dinner, taking a trip with her or helping her out with a selfless act as long as you know where you stand. But you have to be honest with yourself and ask yourself whether there is a deeper emotional void that you are trying to fill. If this is the case, then it is sad. This is not the type of therapeutic effect that I am talking about. In this case, you need to consult professional help.
I think this is what SL was getting at when he writes about delusions. As for me, I try to cap my encounters to two or three hours to protect myself from slipping into this delusional state. As I previousy stated, there is a fine line between delusion and fantasy and many of us cross it without even knowing it. This is the danger of intense hobbying. When your emotions get too involved, you can easily slip into oblivion.