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суббота, 25 марта 2017 г.

'I slept with a male escort'

‘How we rewrote the heartbreak rules’ We've all maxed out the credit card or had a rebound romance after splitting with a man. But these three women chose more unusual ways to restart their hearts
Francesca felt empowered thanks to her surprise night of passion

'I slept with a male escort'

Francesca Morris, 22, is studying beauty therapy at college and lives in Northampton.
"I'll never forget the moment my world fell to pieces. My mobile rang - it was a friend calling to break the news that my childhood sweetheart, Ben*, had been sleeping with someone else. I confronted him and he admitted it straightaway. He said she was a mistake, promising it wouldn't happen again. But I couldn't even look at him. I told him to leave the flat we had made our home just two years before. Although I had built my life around him, I knew I never wanted to see him again.
We'd been together since I was 14 and he was 16. I lost my virginity to him. When I was 17, my parents bought me a flat in Edinburgh so I could finish my A levels while they moved to Dubai for work, we set up home together.
I'd always been jealous of his close friendship with his mate, Kelly*. But he was adamant they were just friends. Turns out I was right to be worried, because when my back was turned they'd slept together - more than once.

Francesca spent the night with an escort on holiday
Throwing him out didn't make me feel better. It made me feel worse. Without Ben, I didn't know how to exist. It took all my effort to drag myself out of bed to go to work as an administrator. And for the first few months, I hardly slept or ate, dropping from a size 8 to a 6.
In an attempt to cheer me up, four close girlfriends booked us a five-day holiday to Amsterdam in May 2008, eight months after Ben and I split up.
It was a real eye-opener. I couldn't believe there were prostitutes in shop windows openly offering their services to men. When one of my mates, Rachel, 22, a PA, suggested I hire a male escort to get over Ben, we all laughed. On our last night we were enjoying some cocktails when the most gorgeous guy started chatting to me. I had no idea he was a high-class escort my friends had secretly hired for me. His name was Charlie, and he towered above me at 6ft, with shoulder-length dark hair, tanned skin and piercing green eyes. He looked like he should have been on the cover of a magazine.
We had so much in common - our parents both lived in Dubai, we were well travelled and shared a love of motor sports. In fact, we were so deep in conversation, I completely lost track of time until I heard my mobile phone beep in my handbag an hour later. It was a text from Rachel: 'Have fun and don't worry about the money.' It dawned on me that she was referring to Charlie as an escort. I assumed she was joking, so I was horrified when he admitted it was true. I was really disappointed. He'd been paid to chat to me!
But after I got over the shock, I decided another drink wouldn't hurt. I was having fun, Charlie was fit and I had nothing to lose. We had loads in common too - it couldn't all be an act.
One drink led to another and, by the end of the evening, we were flirting outrageously. For the first time since the break-up, I realised I hadn't given Ben a second thought. The four glasses of wine I'd drunk helped give me the courage to invite Charlie to my hotel room.

With her ex-boyfriend Ben
That night, he proved you don't have to be emotionally involved to have good sex. In fact, we had great, safe sex. It never once felt like a business transaction. Charlie was loving and affectionate - he kissed me on the head after we'd had sex, and cuddled me while I slept. And he stayed the whole evening.
When we woke up the next morning, I busied myself packing for the return flight that afternoon. Charlie gave me a kiss goodbye and left. It felt strange not exchanging numbers, but I knew that wasn't part of the deal. I didn't feel dirty, but just as I imagined with any one-night stand, I did feel a bit awkward now that I was sober.
An hour later, I went to meet the girls in the lobby. They cheered as they saw me coming down the stairs looking dishevelled. We all dissolved into giggles as I recounted the details. I was shocked when they admitted they'd paid £800 for Charlie's services, but it was money well spent.
I came back feeling empowered and ready to move on with my life. Two months later, I went on a blind date with Andy, 29, a racing driver, and we've been together ever since. I haven't told him about Charlie though - I'm too embarrassed. I often wonder whether I'd have moved on as easily if I hadn't had the experience with Charlie. I'd definitely recommend it as an uncomplicated way to get over an ex."
'My husband's designer gifts bought my new £10k body'

Di Cannon, 43, from Liverpool runs her own wholesale company.
"The person staring back from the mirror in the luxury spa looked nothing like me. Deep worry lines furrowed my brow and dark circles hung heavily under my eyes. I'd split up with James*, 43, my husband of 11 years, just a month before, but I looked - and felt - like I'd aged 10 years.

Di has eBayed her way to a new body
There was no big bust-up, but I'd slowly come to realise I wasn't in love with him any more. The spark we'd once shared had gone. Things hadn't been right between us for months and I felt he always shut down when I needed to talk. He'd stopped complimenting me and I felt lonely.
Agonising over what to do, I decided to leave. We both deserved to be happy. We had no kids together, and I knew I'd only be making us both more miserable by staying. My heart broke as I told him and he couldn't even look at me ¿as I piled my belongings into my car. But he let me go. As I drove to my best friend Colette's house - where I was staying until I found my own place - I couldn't stop crying.
Four weeks later, I decided to get away from everything, and booked myself a spa week in Spain. There, surrounded by glamorous women, I felt haggard and old. When some of them confessed that they'd had facelifts and Botox injections, I was surprised. They all looked so natural. Maybe this was what I needed to give myself a boost?
Back home, I decided to try Botox, but I needed to find a way to pay for the procedure. I'd left my job in banking and had used all my savings to set up my own company selling African crafts. I wondered how I would find the cash.
Sitting in Colette's spare room, I was surrounded by designer bags and shoes bought on holidays with James. They were all reminders of the unhappy end to my marriage. James worked for the Post Office and had always been generous, but now his gifts made me think of my old life. Why didn't I sell them and use the money to help me get over it with a body overhaul?

Di with her ex-husband, James in 2000
Logging on to eBay, the first thing to go was a pair of £600 gold and emerald jewelled Jimmy Choos that James had bought me one anniversary.
They sold for £350, enough to pay for Botox to my eyes and forehead. As I made my way to the clinic in Liverpool for my first procedure, nerves coursed through me. But I had nothing to lose.
A couple of days after the procedure, I looked years younger. All the furrows in my brow had completely disappeared. I couldn't believe what a difference a few injections had made - not just to how I looked, but how I felt inside - so I immediately booked in for temporary Restylane fillers in my smile lines. To pay for it, I sold a £1,000 Dolce & Gabbana saddlebag James had bought for me on a romantic trip to LA. This time, the results of the fillers were instantaneous. I was hooked.
Next came liposound, a non-invasive procedure that uses ultrasound waves to break down fat and eliminate cellulite. A pair of Sergio Rossi stilettos sold for £400 and bought me six sessions, which knocked off at least two inches from my thighs and bum. I was gutted to part with my shoes, but every pair I sold moved me a step away from the heartache of splitting with James. Over the next few months, I sold five handbags, five pairs of shoes and several designer dresses.
The money meant I could afford a total body overhaul. I had my lips and eyes tattooed with semi-permanent make-up, my teeth whitened, injections of Botox under the skin on my hands to make them look younger, microdermabrasion on my face, my lips plumped and more Botox around my eyes. I wouldn't go a month without having something done. Over the last three years, I've made £10,000 from selling the things that remind me of my break-up and I've used it all to pay for surgery.
James and I are divorced now. I don't have a man in my life at the moment, but I do get chatted up in bars, and I've even been stopped in the street - mostly by younger men! I'd like to meet someone new, but I'm in no hurry. I'm enjoying being free and single, and all the attention I'm getting.
I think I might be a little addicted to Botox - I have it done every three months. Who knows what else I'll get done in ¿the future? I don't think it will be too long until I start to think about a facelift.
I love my new confidence and my friends have noticed the change in me, too. Now I might only have one pair of pink Louboutins left - I'm sure they'll fund a few more Botox sessions! - but I look a million dollars. "
'I fled to the other side of the world'

Shop assistant Nicola Appleton, 25, moved from Bristol to Sydney, Australia.
"I thought I'd be with Alfie* forever. I saw us getting married, having kids, the works. I was so convinced we were meant to be together, I did everything I could to make it happen - even changing who I was for him, putting aside my dreams because they didn't fit into his plans.

With new man Andrew
I'd visited Australia in my gap year and was desperate to travel and live in Sydney, but Alfie, 32, didn't want to, so nor did I.
We'd met at a gig in 2006 and I was instantly attracted to the handsome, funny man next to me in the crowd. We started dating and I quickly fell madly in love. In previous relationships, I'd always been the one in charge, but Alfie was different. I'd have done anything for him. An artist, Alfie had an infectious energy. When I was with him, nothing felt impossible.
A year after we met, we moved in together. He was passionate about his work as a painter and I stepped back, eager to let him achieve his ambitions, even if it meant abandoning my plan of beach life in Sydney. I told him he could do anything he wanted and that I'd be there to support him. Now, I realise I was burying my head in the sand, and I can't believe I put my dreams aside for his.
As the months went by, Alfie and I lived increasingly separate lives. He was often too busy to meet my family and friends, and we bickered. I'd end up in tears, desperate to make him happy. When he told me it wasn't working and asked me to move out in August last year, I tried everything to make him change his mind, but nothing worked. I went back to my parents' in Bristol, hoping once I'd gone he'd realise what we had together.

Nicola loves her life in Australia
On my own, I fell apart. I couldn't concentrate at work, couldn't sleep, tormenting myself about what I'd done wrong. I'd text Alfie every day, hoping he was as lost without me as I was without him. Instead, he'd answer coldly, telling me to forget he existed. My parents begged me to see what I'd gained from the split, rather than dwelling on what I'd lost. I couldn't see a way out -then I thought about my dream trip to Australia. Maybe if I went, Alfie would come after me.
So, last September, I booked a ticket to Sydney. With no plans, no idea what job I was going to do or where I'd live, I felt exhilarated as I handed in my notice at the solicitors where I worked as a secretary. I phoned Alfie to tell him my plans. He wished me luck - then told me not to call him again.
Arriving in Sydney a month later, I found a house on the beach and a job in a surf shop. With so much to keep me busy, I thought less and less about Alfie. Three months after I arrived, I met Andrew, 35, a professional skater, through work. We went out for dinner in February and have been together ever since. He makes me feel good about myself in a way that Alfie didn't.
Now I can't believe I spent so long running around after Alfie. In the five months since I put the distance between him and my broken heart, I'm finally seeing the sunny, happy girl I used to be emerging again. I've realised I don't have to change the person I am to hold on to a man. I should have packed my bags years ago."

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