My friend Dr. Faustus called my attention to podcaster and essayist Dave Booda, whose article Why Sex Workers Should Replace Dating Coaches struck me as very much the sort of thing I like to highlight here at ErosBlog:

Going food shopping hungry can be a bad idea. When we’re hungry we make poor decisions about what to buy because we’re preoccupied trying to satisfy our urgent needs.

This is also true of dating, it’s hard to be calm and collected when you haven’t gotten laid in a while. I have a lot of love for the men who hire dating coaches, so what I’m about to say is said with a massive amount of compassion and understanding.

Most of the men who seek out dating coaches are desperate as fuck.

Many of these men are at the end of their rope, feel completely helpless and are excruciatingly lonely. Now imagine that guy trying to have relationships with women from that place. It’s a massive hurdle to overcome.

It’s also a catch twenty-two, because that desperation is precisely what’s stopping him from getting his needs met. “Relax and act cool” is an easy thing to say when you have an abundant love life, but it’s ridiculous advice for a man who hasn’t gotten laid in a year. The best male dating coaches can do is help that guy “fake it ’til you make it” but that process is slow and frustrating, not to mention it trains him to repress things like authenticity and honesty.

Now imagine that instead of finding a man to help him he goes to a quality sex worker. She can help meet his physical and emotional needs on day one, so now when he goes out into the world he feels nourished and fed versus starving and desperate.

I am middle-aged and old-fashioned; a lot of my mental baggage around sex work was formed decades ago in a society that could not discuss sex work without spitting. So I’m perhaps too aware how much freight is carried by the word “quality” in Dave Booda’s phrase “quality sex worker.” (His essay goes on to address this.) It’s far too easy for me to summon mental images and stereotypes of sex workers who would not — to put it mildly — outperform dating coaches by any metric. These tired attitudes of mine are balanced, fortunately, by my whole Twitter feed that’s full of bright, funny, compassionate, skillful, sexy, and talented sex workers. And I think the man has a real point: for many a desperate young person, these professionals would offer better value than a dating coach could ever hope to.