An open conversation with a man who pays for sex, and why he does it:

Rumpus: With any other job, it would be “working an extra shift” the doing more in order to buy shoes or pay for a vacation, but you’re also talking about another aspect of sex work: The part where one crosses lines drawn in the sand. At several points, I had disdain for certain acts, but when I felt trapped or needed rent or wanted those shoes, I crossed those self-imposed boundaries. The result was unexpected: It made me feel a stubborn and unspoken alliance with women I’d previously judged. But it also felt like a relapse of sorts.

Max: Yeah, you go into this with a list of things you’ll never do. Lines you’ll never cross. You’ll never get a blowjob without a condom (until you find out how uncommon covered blowjobs are, and well, that’s an easy temptation to give in to.) You’ll never see a girl who’s being coerced by a pimp, and then you find out that, well, you’ve been doing it, and now what? Try harder to screen people? You’ll never see a girl who’s got a bad drug habit, but then you run into one, and now what? That list of things you’d never do becomes the list of things you’ve done.”