Affair Help: Hookers and John Who?

Infidelity: ProstitutionOne of the reasons we prefer to use the term ‘infidelity’ instead of ‘affair’, is because the term ‘affair’ traditionally conjures up an idea of a long-standing emotional and physical relationship, meticulously hidden and carefully arranged. It’s often typified in its portrayal and glamorization on film and television.

However, not all infidelities involve a mistress, a hotel, red silk lingerie, and lipstick on the collar. The cheater who engages in short-term, even one-off, sexual infidelity might not even consider themselves to be having ‘an affair’. In the traditional sense, they may not be … but it’s certainly sexual infidelity.

Affair Help: The Sexual Infidelity


The NSA (no strings attached) affair is generally initiated as a sexual arrangement only, without any emotional involvement, often found in the Classifieds. The more contemporary version of this is the ‘fuck buddy’, where both parties are known to each other and make the mutually agreed sexual arrangement, for convenience. Whilst the NSA affair can mutate into an emotional romantic entanglement for one party (or even both parties), its intent at the outset was specifically and exclusively sexual in nature.


The typical ONS (one night stand) is usually a one-off, purely sexual encounter (often between delegates at work conferences, for example). It’s opportunistic, and often fueled by alcohol and the sense that ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ (a rule that, shockingly *gasp*, also seems to apply to places such as Washington D.C. (listed by AshleyMadison as America’s least faithful city), and other cities that aren’t Vegas but where there is infidelity … who knew?!).

If this ONS does repeat, it generally ends when either the conference finishes, or when the departure flights arrive. Whilst this might be a ONS between those two parties specifically, it is likely that those who engage in these extracurricular conference activities will make a habit of it at every conference they attend.

The Prostitute

Another form of sexual infidelity is the use of paid sexual services, by going to a prostitute. Many might prefer to conjure up images of the meth addict prostitute, or the Julia Roberts Pretty Woman prostitute, in a secure but cliched view of what a prostitute is - the reality can be very different.

This one-dimensional view of those who provide sexual services for a fee does not allow for the male prostitute, or the ‘ordinary woman’ that you chat to sometimes when you’re both at the checkout of the local grocery store. Escort services are fairly prolific, and high profile cases involving madams (e.g. Deborah Palfrey and Heidi Fleiss) indicate that the seedy motel or the back alley prostitute are not the only options available. Let’s not even get into the Craigslist hooker.

The exposure of the local Zumba dance teacher’s (Alexis Wright) escapades in Kennebunk in 2012, also went some way to smashing the stereotypical idea that the ‘Johns’ are balding misfits in an anorak, cruising the red light districts ‘looking for a date’, with a chainsaw in the back seat.

Her client list was filled with the husbands, fathers and public figures with whom anyone in Maine might have happily chatted while at the grocery store checkout. After all, the term ‘John’ in this context is a nod to the fact that John is one of the most common names in America … a John could be anybody.

Who Goes to Prostitutes?

An article by Megan Gannon explores some of the demographics and research results surrounding the male use of prostitutes.

A 1948 Kinsey report found that up to 69% of American men had paid for sex, but more recent figures report that only 14% of American men said they had ever paid for sex. 1% said they visited a prostitute in the past year (2010).

The newer research not only concluded that fewer men used prostitutes, but it compared the socioeconomic position of those who participated in the study.

“The researchers also found that the average john doesn’t look all that different from the average man who has never paid for sex — clients are more likely to have served in the military, only slightly less likely to be married and white, and only slightly more likely to have a full-time job and be more sexually liberal.

More distinct characteristics, however, emerge among avid customers of prostitutes who self-identify as “hobbyists” and post on message boards that review call girls. A survey of men in this online community revealed that a substantial portion of them are married, white, earn over $120,000 per year, have graduate degrees and think about sex more (and feel less guilty about it), compared with other groups of men, including those who have been arrested for hiring prostitutes on the street.

Men of this more privileged class that cruise the Internet instead of the sidewalks for sex also have different views about prostitution. Compared with men who have been arrested for soliciting a prostitute, the “hobbyists” are more likely to say that prostitutionshould be legal, that they would marry a prostitute and that prostitutes enjoy their work, the researchers found.”


I will re-state, for the record, that I do not have a position against prostitution or the legalization of it. I have no issue where single people use prostitutes, and would support safer (for both parties), more organized, health screened, and legal prostitution.

I do have issues when people in committed, monogamous relationships cheat, whether it is with a prostitute or a romantically involved affair partner.

~ Wayfarer


“I'm not a teacher, only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead - ahead of myself as well as you.” ~ George Bernard Shaw