Catherine Townsend: Sleeping Around

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The Independent Online

After five great dates with Glen, things were going perfectly. Maybe a bit too perfectly, as I discovered after I initiated "the conversation" about past relationships over paella and red wine. I knew that he was divorced, with two kids. But that was two years ago.

"Since then," he said, smiling, "I haven't dated anyone", although he did "see girls regularly".

He told me that since the break-up, he's been a regular client of high-class escorts. I almost choked on a prawn when I asked how often. He sheepishly replied: "About five times a week."

I have no problem with grown men going to prostitutes, and I'm in no position to judge people for their sexual appetites. I'm grateful that he trusts me enough to be honest with me. But Glen was being a bit shady about his Tantric timeline, which made me worry that he'd been seeing the escorts while still living with his wife. I really don't do "don't ask, don't tell" relationships.

So I put it to Glen: could he be faithful? He admitted that his escapades had begun during his marriage. Apparently, his wife wasn't into the "deviant" sex that he craved.

I raised one eyebrow. "When you say deviant sex, do you mean...?" It turned out that Glen merely wanted to experiment with bondage – I breathed a sigh of relief.

I asked him why he hadn't asked his wife to tie him up. "I couldn't do that – she's the mother of my children, for God's sake!" But he assured me that he's deleted all of the escort contacts from his phone.

Still, I knew that my relationship with Glen was doomed. He was a perfect example of what Victoria and I call the "Madonna-Whore Men", or MWMs.

According to Freudian psychology, an MWM usually goes for women who remind him of his cold, distant mother. The wife becomes the Madonna figure, and he saves his desire for "dirty" women. These guys are almost always repressed weirdos – think Norman Bates in Psycho.

I didn't want to end up as a piece of human taxidermy like Bates's mother, so on our next date I did something that I never advocate: I flipped through his phone while he was in the loo and noticed that, oddly, ALL of the stored contacts were men.

I tried three numbers at random. One was his brother, and the other two were breathy women asking when they were going to see him again.

I left before he came back, He'd blown it with a girl who would have given those escorts a run for their money in shagging him senseless. His loss.

independent.co.uk/sleepingaround

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