Sex workers on Reddit are sharing their saddest customer requests from the job. And while some of their stories are heartbreaking, they also underscore just how essential — sometimes even lifesaving — sex work can be.
It all started when u/rishabwarr posed a question to sex workers on the internet: "What is the saddest request/story you have with a client?"
Here are some of the top-voted responses:
1."This guy wanted me to hold and rock him while he just cried, like he didn't have another safe place to show emotion. I usually ended up crying too."
2."I was hired by a middle-aged woman who just wanted a companion for the evening. I met her at the bar, she gave me her credit card, told me to treat her, and told me my name was Bill. So I bought her drinks and paid for her meal. We went to watch a movie. Then we took an Uber back to her place. I only found out why she does this after we spent the night. Her husband and son died about four years ago, and she likes pretending when she's having a bad day that she's on a date with someone who reminds her of her husband."
3."I have a client who gives me an allowance just to go and see his mom. Absolutely nothing sexual. I just have lunch or dinner with her a few times a week, hang out, and talk. She doesn’t live alone (he’s got a whole staff to care for her), but she gets lonely. Honestly, if he stopped giving me the allowance, I probably wouldn’t stop coming. It makes me kinda sad when I think that this dude can afford to spend a lump sum on me but can’t afford to lose a day of work to see his mom."
4."The 'birthday' is always the worst for me. I have a couple of guys a year who book me for a few hours and tell me it's their birthday and they want to spend it with someone because they have no one else to spend it with. It's very sad to me when you have to spend money on someone for them to spend your birthday with you. I at least show up with cake and a small gift. I hate those dates the most."
5."An elderly man would come in whenever he'd saved enough money to afford an hour or two. He didn't speak much but always had the kindest smile for me. All he wanted to do was hold me in his arms and sway gently to the music. Nothing else. After a couple of months, he shared with me that he used to do this with his wife before she died and that he misses the intimacy of their moments together."
6."The young man who came into a rural brothel I was working in didn't want sex, he just wanted someone to hold him and touch him. For two hours. He barely spoke, but he did tell me his story: His parents lived in a farmhouse at the front of his property, and he lived at the other end of the property in a smaller house on his own. Like most farmers, he worked dawn till dusk most days. He rarely spoke to other humans, and he didn't have time to go out and meet women. I felt sad for him because this was his life, and he had pretty much lost his social skills."
7."I had a regular who was an older gentleman. Yes, we did do some deeds, but 95% of the time, he just wanted company. I’d go with him grocery shopping, out to eat, to his apartment to cuddle and watch movies. He’d tell me stories about his family that had passed, stories from when he was a kid, stuff he learned when he got his pilot license. I was at his funeral when he passed. I’ll never forget such a sweet, lonely man who just wanted human companionship."
8."It was in South Korea. Someone requested me to come in the middle of the night for a very high rate. I arrived there — the guy just wanted to take a rest on my knees."
9."I had a call through an escort service at about 6:30 a.m. (way too early for me; I was sleeping). I show up to his room at about 7:30 a.m., and to my surprise, he’s a tall, fit guy in his late twenties. I could tell he had been drinking. We’re sitting on the bed, and I’m trying to ask him questions to keep the mood light and friendly. And he starts to cry — like, he’s bawling his eyes out. He told me he was in town for his father's funeral and his emotions and feelings were just hitting him and he wanted someone to be there with him. So I stayed the whole time, and I let him talk and grieve and held him for a bit."
10."Online sex worker here. I do a lot of fetish stuff (semi-weird fetishes, too — tongues, burping, wedgies, feet, hiccups, farts, etc.), and I feel a little sad when guys say that they can't open up about their fetishes in real life or could never find a partner willing to do them."
11."Stripper here. Had a young, attractive, wealthy guy take me to VIP for an hour just to listen to Bruce Springsteen songs. He just sat back, closed his eyes, and sang along to every word. He told me he grew up in a really oppressive household where his likes and interests were discouraged and totally disregarded. He listened to Bruce, and his lyrics gave him the hope and strength to eventually run away as a teenager. Since then, he's had so much success and joy, but he just really wanted to share his story and the music he loved with somebody that night."
12."When I was working as a stripper, I had a customer (mid- to late forties, reasonably attractive dude in business clothes at first glance) pay for a private room, only to begin taking their clothes off. It turned out that this person was questioning their gender, and underneath their 'male' clothes, they had taken to wearing a bra, panties, etc. It wasn't a fetish thing but an identity thing. They had a wife and told me the wife had no idea, no one knew, and basically the situation was just eating them up inside and they wanted to chat to someone about it. We spent the time they paid for hanging out and talking about fashion."
13."The saddest for me was the older Greek Orthodox dude, a tough, tradesman type with a family, who was a regular — mostly to live vicariously through trans women. They desperately wanted to transition, but between their body and their family responsibilities, they knew they wouldn't ever be able to. Nice person, very sad situation."
14."I had a client who was a newbie. He booked me for a dinner date. During dinner, he started crying. He broke down and told me he had just gone through a terrible divorce. It sounded like he still loved her, but she was already engaged to her new man. ... I didn't hear from him, and life became busy for me. A few years later, I thought of him randomly and looked him up. I found his obituary, and it was a few weeks after the last time I saw him. I think he killed himself, and I really feel terrible about it. It really haunts me."
15."Someone told me they wished I was their best friend. One line, one hard punch in the sentiments."
16."I'm an online sex worker (meaning no IRL clients), and I think, for me, the saddest part is the number of people who are basically totally isolated and reaching out for any sort of connection with another human. COVID has taken a real emotional and social toll on people, and it sucks to see."
You can read the full thread of responses on Reddit.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.