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Why I Call Myself The Naked Therapist

I had a session with a psychic last week who quite specifically told me I had saved 15 men from suicide. Take it with a pinch of salt if you will, but she also told me my love life was “romantically dead” and she sure got that right.

But back to the 15 men; I didn’t talk them off the ledge nor did I call the cops. I’m not a university educated therapist, and I most certainly don’t sit in a chair, and nod “mmmmm, I hear your anger..” for the best part of an hour.

For those that don’t know my story, I was a journalist before, at the age of 37 I ditched the 9 to 5 and became an escort, and wrote a few books about it. I also decided it would be a really good idea to reveal my identity on TV. The reasons behind my choices are complex, but that’s a different column.

And while I have no regrets, what I do has come at a cost personally and publicly. The thing that keeps me in the adult industry is not the lingerie and high heels (terribly uncomfortable), nor is it really the money (but that’s a huge part of it, I wont lie) – it’s the connection I have with men.

I am privileged to see and hear men from all walks of life open up. I get to hear their story, I get to hear their pressures, about their relationships and what’s going on – and wrong – in their lives. The secrets men confide in me inspired me to write my two books (Hookedand Back On Top), and quite often men book me because ‘they need to talk.’

It’s bad manners to discuss money but I charge a lot. In the thousands. And it always, always shocks me that men pay my fees when sometimes really it’s a counsellor they need. In fact, I’ve quite often mentioned that seeing a therapist would be a hell of a lot cheaper but they look at me incredulously; “why on earth would I see a therapist who will judge me?”

(By the way, a good therapist doesn’t judge).

So when my psychic told me I had saved 15 men from suicide, I was absolutely thrilled but not entirely shocked. I have heard some awful stories; to my client who was sexually abused by his priest as a kid and he hasn’t told a soul, not even his wife, or another client whose wife died in a car crash leaving him to care for his three very young kids when he tearfully told me he couldn’t even “boil an egg.”

One that sticks in my mind the most is a client who I called American John. There was nothing out of the ordinary about American John; an engineer, separated with a baby. But in the three times I met with him, I saw his demeanour change. The bed he once scattered with rose petals, he was sitting on slumped facing away from me. “I don’t think there will be another date Samantha, I don’t think I am going to be here for much longer.” He told me he couldn’t cope with the divorce (she was taking everything and restricting access to their child) and he didn’t see the point in living.

Like I said, I am not a cop or a therapist. I am not trained in how to deal with these situations. The only thing I know how to do is to sit there, listen, and give them a great big hug. Of course I talked about what a loving and loveable man they are, how I would miss them terribly and how everything passes, especially pain. American John is still on this earth and occasional we will have a chat over the phone. There are many more like John and no doubt more I haven’t met yet.

And while it’s lovely to know I can support these men in the small way I know how, it would be really nice to come home to someone who can support ME. But according to my psychic, it’s going to be two long years before my love life picks up. Two years!!

Until then, it’s me, my clients and their stories, and that’s fine by me.