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Letters from Johns: Men talk about losing their virginity to prostitutes

Letters from Johns was an online project created by Susannah Breslin, a journalist and blogger. Throughout 2008, Susannah posted letters from men discussing their experiences with prostitutes.

Included were letters from men who identified as virgins and used hired prostitutes to have sex for the first time. This issue has come up several times in our older virgin posts, so I asked Susannah if their letters were different from other johns. She said:

"I think they are mostly the same as regular johns, in that they used paid sex to resolve a situation that they felt unable to resolve otherwise."

Here are some excerpts:

Writer is 24 year old and has cerebral palsy:

…having sex with her (even if I had to pay for it) made up for a lifetime of rejection.

It was the most enjoyable experience I have ever had in my life […] For once I had gained control over my body, and it felt like I was in control of my life. The worst thing about having a physical disability is the lack of control I have in life.

Second, it was the first time I felt like I was being treated like a sexual being with desires and needs that were important. All my life I have been viewed as an asexual being whose desires should be avoided or neglected.

Writer is 30 years old and considering returning to a sex worker:

I couldn't do most of what I had in mind: couldn't undress her, couldn't kiss her, couldn't perform cunnilingus. She was also weirded out by my penis, I have a phimosis. Still, I was enjoying myself until she got on top of me. She immediately started to moan, and it hit me as incredibly fake. I lost my erection. We spent the rest of our time together lying on the bed, me holding her….

…For the next few weeks what I had done would hit me: sometimes it would make me happy, sometimes sad. Now it's just another memory.

Writer is a 29-year-old immigrant and sexual abuse survivor:

This was the first time I touched a woman in a sexual manner. I felt like a human being, and almost cried. We moved on to the bed, but she laughed at me. She positioned her body so that it was difficult for me to have intercourse and eventually she told me to stop when I began to do it with feeling…

…The experience was not pleasurable at all, but rather very nerve racking and riddled with guilt throughout the whole act. It was something to simply do it and get it out of the way, so that I would be just like other non-virgin men.

You can read all the letters here, as well as find links to her current project Letters from Men Who Watch Pornography, as well as Letters from Working Girls and Letters from Janes.

Big thanks to Chloe for this story!

*Thanks to Audacia Ray for pointing out that non-coerced sex workers are service workers, and are not being "used."