When Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) hired the fiery curly red head Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) in Pretty Woman, his character portrayed one third of men in real life that ‘secretly’ deep down in their hearts, not dicks, seeking something more than just physical exchange and hoping for the big L, Love. [Heavy Sigh.]
Everyone of us who saw this romantic comedy fold out into a prostitute’s love story is actually not just a tale Hollywood pulled off with huge success, but CBS Las Vegas (so appropriate) reported a study of men who pay for sex and their surprising emotional designation in doing so.
Christine Milrod and co-author Ronald Weitzer of the study analyzed 2,442 postings from TheEroticReview’s online discussion board between May 2006 and July 2011, where clients of sex services anonymously discussed their interactions and experiences with sex workers and commercial sex.
Approximately one-third included a discussion about emotional intimacy between sex workers and their clients, many of whom expressed a desire to grow their relationships beyond the physical level in the form of sharing private feelings and mutual love, CBS Las Vegas reports.
The press release from the study states:
“While it is commonly believed that men who pay for sex are attempting to avoid emotional commitment, a new study finds that men who become regular clients of sex workers often develop feelings of romance and love.”
We all knew Edward the unemotional ballin’ businessman didn’t take Vivan, the class A hooker out to personal functions for no reason. Yup.
The research, which was published in Men and Masculinities, a journal geared toward the evolving roles and perceptions of men across society, also revealed other reasons why men paid for sex like “difficulty finding a partner for simple conversation to fantasy role-playing and abuse targeting” and many who “expressed emotional elements lacking in a pre-existing relationship.”
“Our study shows that regular clients of a particular sex provider often come to experience feelings of deep affection, which can progress into an authentic love story,” said Milrod.
So there it is, prostitution and the unknown love story, y’all. Except in Pretty Woman, of course.