Jules: So I always like to kick off my interviews with a little astrology icebreaker. What’s your sun, moon, and rising?
Melissa: I’m a Sagittarius sun, Sagittarius moon, and Virgo rising.
Jules: Omg! Yasss, I’m an Aries so I love fire signs. And I had my life turned upside down by a Sag.
Melissa: My ex was a Sagittarius too. That fire-fire combo can be dangerous. When it’s good, it’s great but when it’s not, it’s bad!
Jules: Totally. So tell me a little bit about yourself! You’re from Italy, right? What brought you to London and how did you get into the game?
Melissa: I’m from a little village in Italy, just outside Milan. It’s very Catholic and conservative. I grew up wanting to escape to somewhere with more opportunities and have always been a city girl at heart. So I came to London when I was 21. Originally my plan was to move to London to learn English and then move to the US, but I fell in love with London and have been based here ever since.
When I first moved to London, I started working as a hairdresser and I still do that part-time. But a few years in, I started thinking, “I need more money.” I’ve always been very open sexually – which is something I was judged for back in Italy. So I started working in a strip club and I really liked it. In one night I could make the same amount I would make doing a week’s worth of haircuts.
I became best friends with one of the other girls who worked there. I really trusted her, so when she told me how much money I could make working sex parties, I decided to give it a try. Basically, men would pay an entrance fee at the door and then if you decided you wanted to have sex with one of them, you could. But there was never any pressure to do anything you didn’t want to do. I was provided with a price list of suggested rates to charge clients but was told that it was up to me to decide what I wanted to do and charge.
It was very empowering for women. Everyone was always very nice and no one was ever pushy. The parties were amazing, and they allowed me to explore a naughtier side of myself. The fact that they were held in places that were a bit dodgy looking made it even better because there was this big contrast between the smart-looking bankers who attended the parties and the dodgy setting.
Eventually, I stopped stripping altogether and just did the parties. I built a client base of men who wanted to take me out and get to know me, and that’s how I got my start as an escort. When the guy who had been running the parties for 20 years retired, another person took over but it wasn’t the same. So I started to advertise my services online. These days, I’m still working as an escort but not as much as I used to.
Jules: Amazing, I relate a lot to your story. I was totally that small-town girl who always knew she wanted to live in a big city. And then when I got to one I was like, “Holy shit! This is fucking expensive. I like sex so why not get paid to do it instead of having shitty sex with guys my own age who give me nothing?”
Melissa: Yeah, I was having so much good sex with the men at those parties – like literally best-orgasm-of-my-life sex. I’m not joking! Because I was feeling so free and able to express myself in a way I never had before. It was so amazing. I never felt like what I was doing was wrong. But when I started having boyfriends, it became a problem. They just never understood, so I had to start being more cautious with what I told them because it created so many issues.
Want to meet MelissaM in the real world? Check MelissaM sensuali profile.
Jules: Been there! It’s like they love a slut until they hear her body count. They think they want to know the details but then you tell them, and they can’t handle it. They become super insecure and then project their insecurities onto you by trying to slut shame you.
Melissa: Totally. One guy I dated said to me, “You’re allowed to go out with the clients but you’re not allowed to go out with someone who you just want to fuck around with for fun.” I like to be free and I don’t like people telling me what to do.
There’s this misconception of escorts being broken people who are depressed and who have no other choice. But I love what I do. Escorting is the fun part. The hard part is being honest with the guys who want to date you about what you do because they never understand. I think at some point I will have enough self-love to be like, “Fuck you, if you don’t like it, there’s the door.”
Jules: Amen to that! It’s so annoying when you’re like 100% shame free about the way you’re living your life and then some dude tries to make you feel bad about it or change your behavior just for him. Are you currently in a relationship?
Melissa: Yes, I have a boyfriend now. I’ve known him for 10 years. We were fuck buddies for a while and it was the best sex of my life. We had a connection from day one but over the last two years, we got really close. I never ever thought I would end up with this guy. I don’t know if he’s going to be the man of my life but I know we have something. We came into each other’s lives for a reason. So I’m just enjoying the moment. He accepts me the way I am and says he doesn’t want to change me.
Jules: Oh, that’s beautiful. I love that!
Melissa: We will see! Do you have a partner?
Jules: Not currently. I’m just like always in love with multiple people at the same time. I feel like I’ve finally accepted that about myself. I guess now they call it polyamorous instead of being a slut. Different men satisfy different parts of my soul. Right now I’m just traveling and having fun. I got a tattoo the other day and ended up fucking my tattoo artist.
Jules: Yes I’m definitely living my best life. So you mentioned you still do hairstyling part time. How do you balance working multiple jobs? In my experience, having sources of income outside of sugaring was really important because then I wasn’t totally reliant on sugar daddies for money. But it can be really energy draining interacting with clients and I often struggled to find a happy medium.
Melissa: I relate. It can be very difficult. Right now I have three jobs: hairdresser, escort, and recently, I launched my own lingerie brand. I find it challenging to shift my energy from one thing to another. I hope to one day be making enough money from my lingerie brand to not have to be reliant on escorting and hairstyling to support myself.
Jules: Oh my god, tell me more about your brand! Is there a link you can send me?
Melissa: My business partner and I are still in the early stages of production so I don’t have anything to share yet but I will definitely let you know when I do.
Jules: Cool, I can’t wait. I feel like a lingerie brand is such an amazing product line for someone with your background. Talk about cross branding opportunities. You already have this sexy persona and you can use that to market your lingerie and be your own model. Fucking genius.
Melissa: That’s the plan.
Jules: So how, if at all, did the pandemic affect your life as an escort? In New York it was weird because at first the lockdowns were bad for business but then when the markets started doing really well, there were all these daddies with money to burn trapped at home and dying for an escape. So rates skyrocketed for a while, but within the last year, prices have gone back down.
Melissa: It was half and half. Half of them weren’t bothered at all, especially after the first couple of months or so, and would come and see me regularly. They would say, “You know what, I don’t care. I’m coming to see you.” But I lost my main sugar daddy – a guy who started out as a client and then became something more.
He had been coming to London for work but then the pandemic hit and his company changed locations, so he had no excuse anymore to come. That impacted my income quite a bit. It was tough, but it’s okay. I got over it. I was honestly really attached to him. He was a very handsome man but in the end, I realized that it was probably for the best and that everything happens for a reason.
Jules: That’s rough! But it sounds like you have the right attitude. So what were your expectations going into escorting and how did they differ from reality?
Melissa: My expectation was that I would find a rich man to marry and look after me. Aside from the money, that’s the reason I started escorting. It was an open door to a rich society. But I found out that the people who were interested in taking care of me in that way wanted me to compromise too much of myself and I just couldn’t do that. I think if I had married rich I would have never gotten to the place I am now, making my lingerie dream a reality. So it all worked out in the end.
In terms of expectations with safety and all that stuff, a lot of people tend to be worried about getting hurt and some end up having bad experiences. But I’ve never had a bad experience with a client. I think maybe London is just a really safe place to be an escort. So ya, I guess the only disappointment is that I haven’t found a rich husband yet.
Jules: Yet being the operative word! I totally relate. I’ve definitely romanized just marrying some guy and being his little kept thing so that I can live an easy life. But in reality, those guys always end up being controlling and wanting to change you. It’s so dumb because the reason they fall in love with you in the first place is because you’re this free spirit who doesn’t follow the rules. No guy can put me in a cage, no matter how gilded it is.
Melissa: Yes, exactly!
Jules: So I tend to be pretty open about my sugaring past amongst my peer group, but my family is a different story. They know I’m a broke creative who charms rich men into nice vacations but they don’t know that I was straight up selling my pussy for money. How open are you about escorting with your friends and family?
Melissa: For me, it’s exactly the same. I’m very open with my friends and at my job. My boss at the hair salon knows. I’m open because I don’t think there’s anything to be ashamed of. My family knows that I date rich men who give me gifts and take me on holiday and help with my rent, but they don’t know the details. They are very Catholic and my parents are older, so what would be the point in telling them that I’m an escort when all it would do is upset them?
Jules: Yeah, my ex-boyfriend threatened to tell my parents and really shamed me for being this shady person who keeps all these secrets. I really internalized that for a while but I’ve gotten to a point now where I realize you don’t need to tell everybody your business. I don’t need to be broadcasting everything. That doesn’t make me a liar. It just makes me someone who cares about protecting the people I love.
Melissa: It’s all about boundaries. It’s not like we go around telling everyone we meet everything about ourselves. Sex work is a job. It’s a part of your life that you can share with people who you’re comfortable sharing it with but it doesn’t make you a liar if you decide to keep that information private. It just makes you a normal person.
Jules: Facts. So what’s the wildest adventure you’ve had so far?
Melissa: Wildest? Oh my god that’s a hard one. So when I first started escorting, my friend met this rich Arab guy and he told her to bring along a friend next time. He flew us to Dubai and we went straight to dinner to meet him. There was this famous plastic surgeon from a reality show sitting there with him.
It was so funny because I didn’t realize until after the trip who he was and I had always wanted to get my nose done, so once I realized he was this big time plastic surgeon, I was like, “Oh my god I missed my chance!” We didn’t end up doing anything with him but the whole trip just felt surreal. One minute I’m in London and the next, I’m in a foreign country having dinner with this kind of celebrity. So yea, I guess that would be one of the most unexpected things that I’ve experienced on the job.
And then I also just had the most wild times with the sugar daddy who I mentioned I lost during the pandemic. He was completely mental. He was taking cocaine every time and was always just out of his mind. He would invite all these girls to his room for orgies.
There would be these plastic body parts lying around and I remember one time this girl just kept saying, “I’m so into body parts, I’m so into body parts!” It was so weird. And then another time there was this girl and we went to shower together and then I saw she had a dick and I was just so surprised and told her, “You look more beautiful than me, I never would have known!”
Jules: Omg all this stuff sounds straight out of a movie! What about the most cringe experience you’ve had?
Melissa: So one time this guy texted me to come over to his house and he ended up being really OCD. I arrived and the whole house was wet with antibacterial spray. When I walked through the door, he sprayed me and then he made me take off my shoes and he sprayed those too. Then he made me put on slippers which had also been sprayed and were all wet. I thought it was a joke. I kept looking around for a camera to see if I was being pranked or something.
Jules: What the hell?! Also, why couldn’t he just ask you to take a fucking shower?
Melissa: Right? I even asked him, “Are you okay?” and he was like, “Yes I’m just very scared of viruses and bacteria.” I honestly don’t even know how I stuck through it. We had very quick sex, which was also very weird. I was surprised he didn’t try spraying my pussy. At the end, he paid me and even the money was wet with spray!
Jules: Oh my god! So I’m guessing you never saw him again?
Melissa: Never. It was just too weird. I have another weird client that I do see on a regular basis though. I go over to his house and he just licks my belly button. I take my clothes off and just lie there for an hour while he licks and touches it. And I just do my thing, like sometimes I even take phone calls while he does it. I asked him one time about his fetish and he just told me he thinks the belly button is the most beautiful part of a woman. So ya, no sex or anything.
Jules: You’re shitting me? You get paid to have your belly button licked? No sex?? That is fucking incredible. I need to manifest a guy like that into my life!
Melissa: Yeah, it’s great.
Jules: Have you ever fallen in love with a client?
Melissa: Kind of, with that crazy one I mentioned. I’ll call him the Dutch. I found him so handsome. He looked exactly like Allen Delon. He was so funny and giving too. He was always saying, “Let me buy you this and that.” I saw him for four years and I really, really liked him. At some point, I seriously thought he was going to leave his wife and we were going to be together.
I don’t know if it was love, but he was definitely obsessed with me. He wanted to see me all the time and would always spend Valentine’s Day with me. But he was super possessive. So when I got a boyfriend, he would stalk me on Instagram. He couldn’t accept that I had my own life. So I think in a way, us breaking things off during the pandemic was probably a good thing.
Jules: What a whirlwind. How old was he?
Melissa: He was 50 when I met him.
Jules: That’s the perfect age omg! I love a good silver fox. By that point, they just know themselves and are full of confidence.
Melissa: Of course! And also just having money makes them confident. He didn’t have a big dick and I would always tease him about it, like, “You don’t have a big dick but you’re confident because you have money.”
Jules: Amazing! So Dutch man aside, how would you describe your dream client?
Melissa: My dream client would be a normal Englishman – the kind of guy who is, in a way, over-polite and treats you really well. He takes you out for dinner and drinks, you have a nice conversation and then when it comes to the sex, he is easy to please and wants to make sure you’re enjoying it too. No over-kissing or over-touching. Just a gentleman.
Jules: Yess. That quick, vanilla sex is where it’s at. When a guy is addicted to porn and needs to fuck for an hour or do extreme things to get turned on, I’m not about it…especially when he’s a client. So what advice would you give to your younger self?
Melissa: I would tell my younger self to focus on my lingerie dream earlier on instead of waiting for a man to make me happy, and to focus on becoming financially independent instead of waiting for a man to come into my life and make my dreams come true.
Jules: Fuck yes! I need to take that advice myself. Tell me more about your lingerie brand and what you envision for your future.
Melissa: My vision is to be the CEO of my lingerie company. I want it to generate enough income so I can buy my flat and quit my hairdresser job. I would still like to see a few of my really good, long-term clients just for the fun of it, not because I need the money. Right now, I’m more focused on being happy with my career and having my independence than finding a long-term partner.
Jules: Love that! It’s like if the guy comes, cool. But fuck that Prince Charming narrative we’ve been fed since we were little girls. Prince Charming doesn’t exist. I’m going to take care of myself and let go of expectations around men, and then if a guy comes in and he’s perfect, cool.
Melissa: And that’s how it happens! I’m not really satisfied with myself in terms of my career, so I want to get to a place where I’m more fulfilled creatively. It sounds like you’re in a similar position. I think that once we really have achieved what we want to achieve, that’s when Prince Charming will come.
Jules: Yes! Because that’s when we have that creative, life force energy flowing through us, which attracts the kind of high vibrational men we deserve. We won’t be looking for someone to complete us anymore because we’ll be complete on our own.
Jules: So a couple more questions for you. What interested you in becoming a Sensuali ambassador?
Melissa: I really like everything Sensuali stands for and I was interested in participating in the creative process of building a new platform. If sharing my life experiences can help build a community where others can experience sex work in the best way possible, I’m all about it.
Jules: You mentioned how you felt really empowered by the sex parties you did when you first got into the game and I feel like that’s what Sensuali is all about. Fuck all the judgment and shame surrounding sex work. Sex workers who use Sensuali are proud of what they do. They are doing what works for them and helping to rewrite the victim narrative society tries to push on them.
Melissa: Exactly. We are happy to be sex workers. It’s safe to do in London and we are choosing to do it because we enjoy it. We are the ones in power, even though people think it’s the other way around. I’ve never had a bad experience with a client. People I’ve met on Tinder have treated me far worse than any client I’ve been with.
Jules: Same! I feel like with sex work, boundaries and expectations are much more clearly defined, which oftentimes makes for healthier relationships. It was so refreshing to meet people from all different walks of life whom I could authentically connect with back when I sugared.
Melissa: Yes, it’s been really cool meeting so many people from all these different backgrounds. My best friends are the ones I’ve met through sex work. Most people will never understand. But that’s a good thing because it means less people know about it, which means more for us.
Jules: True that. Their loss. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. It’s been a privilege and a pleasure getting to hear your story.