After trying to meet people through free social networking websites, I finally got wise and paid to be on a niche site- the kind that says it’s tailored “just for you."

I tried Twitter first. Of course it was my more...pasteurized persona there. My personal account never even hinted at sex work in the slightest and I quickly found myself falling into a small but powerful subgroup of a subgroup of people on the site. They are not well known by the whole, but a little infamous among ourselves and a few others. During my stint on Twitter (I’ve since taken my leave), I found myself the target of many secret communications from guys and girls who weren’t really available, but found me attractive and wanted to touch base (and other things, I’m sure) with me. I remember tweeting something like, “If ur not single, PLZ do not DM me! LOL”

I’ve since learned two things:

  • If you’re serious about something, don’t put LOL after it and,
  • That tweet was the biggest and probably most hilarious mistake I ever made on Twitter.

Almost immediately, Mac* sent me a private message. I’d seen him post before. He had a dry sense of humor that really came through his tweets. He did, I had to admit, seem a little thirsty for fame and recognition, but still, he seemed kind and genuine so I let it go much, much further than I should have. After all, we’re all thirsty for something aren’t we? In hindsight, I should have seen the end before the beginning because in every photo I saw of him, he was wearing a sweater vest. He even wore Kangol hats in some of the photos. In 2012*, Kangol hats and sweater vests?

Within twenty-four hours, we were talking on the phone. He moved fast, but I didn’t notice how fast because it seemed like everything he said was exactly what I was looking for in a partner. He was 15 years my senior, 6'2" and he worked out. He had a shaved head and cute goatee. He loved fashion, had pets, wanted kids and marriage. He was religious, funny, well-read, had great taste in movies, books, and music. He had big dreams and the drive to achieve them...the list went on and on- he was perfect for me. So of course I gave him my information and waited for his call.

When he called me that night at an appropriate time, made no mention of sex, responded appropriately to my coming out (yes, too soon), and by the end of our conversation I was already imagining talking to my friends and planning crash diets in order to fit into a Vera Wang wedding dress. He had a really lovely, very gravely voice and made me laugh for over an hour. Everything was so...appropriate...until he gave me the, “I can’t believe how comfortable I feel with you,” talk. He said, “I just can’t believe how perfect you are. It’s honestly making me feel like saying things about the future. I know I shouldn’t get serious so quick but… you’re just perfect. You’re who I’ve been looking for, I think.”

Now, at this point, I should have seen all those red flags waving Run, Bitch! in front of me, but I chose to ignore it all and dive in to whatever was going to happen with Mac.

Fast forward six months, and I finally begin to feel ignored after weeks of not being able to get him on the phone or to answer a text message even though he's on Twitter all day, every day peddling the same tired jokes he was tweeting before I met him. I can't ever get him to respond to anything and I'm about to just call it quits when I tweet, "I'm amazed."

That's it. Two words.

It seems two words can burn down an entire forest.

A few hours later, I checked my private messages and a beautiful girl had messaged me to ask what/who I was referencing. I told her about "this guy" and during our talk, she somehow knew exactly who I was talking about- without me ever saying his name. After we talked a while and ended up calling each other to discuss the guy we were both dating online (though neither of us knew it) we eventually decided to take it public. We later found out we were two of over 20 women he’d been juggling for a long while -- all who he met through Twitter. During this whole thing, many of the ladies got together (I still talk to many of them through email) to share memories and stories.

The truth came out:

Mac wasn’t 6’2”. He was a little over 5 feet tall.

He was not 42. He was nearly 60.

He didn’t work out every day and he clocked in at quite a bit more than 190lbs.

Even through all the phone sex he eventually talked us all into, we found out from a few of the ladies who’d met him offline, he was unable to achieve or sustain an even those romantic moments were fabricated.

He was unemployed, lived in a relative’s basement, and, to make things worse (if they could be worse), the photos he used on his profile were almost 20 years old. He was absolutely nothing if not studious about collecting information on the women he scammed through Twitter. He later, in attempt to get revenge for my outing him as a player, outed me as an independent escort to several people and hastened my exit from the site. To add insult to injury, at the last contact I had with him, he was also still wearing sweater vests. Yes.

So what did I learn from this? Well, honestly, not much. I’m still trawling the paid sites for potential dates and weeding through what seems like tons of ridiculousness in hopes someone somewhat normal will think I’m also somewhat normal, be okay with my sex work and the knowledge I’m not leaving the business until I’m ready to leave it. I’m not sure if I’ll ever find that person.

I will, from now on, find out exactly how tall they are and their true age before I start dreaming of wedding dresses. I did learn that much, at least.

*names, dates, and other identifying information have been changed