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Testosterone Ain't Hormone Pollution
DECEMBER 20, 2012 7:12PM

Understanding Olympian + Escort Suzy Favor-Hamilton

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The Smoking Gun posted a report today revealing that former US Olympic runner Suzy Favor-Hamilton has spent a year working part-time as an expensive Las Vegas escort. Thanks to the Internet, we now know what everyone thinks about this particular situation. The comments on news sites and Twitter are not terribly original or insightful.


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There are weak puns involving various kinds of “Favors”. Lots of individuals enjoying the opportunity to employ synonyms for “prostitute”. Many helpful suggestions that Ms Favor-Hamilton’s husband should divorce her. And thousands of expressions of utter shock, disbelief and disapproval. Not much in the way of attempts to understand, however.

Well, let’s try that.

First, a few facts as reported: 

  • ·         Ms Favor-Hamilton is 44, competed in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics as a middle-distance runner, and remains a fitness enthusiast.
  • ·         She and her husband, a lawyer, also attractive and fit at 44, were high school sweethearts. They have a seven year-old daughter.
  • ·         The couple work together in their own successful real estate brokerage, live in a $600,000 home, and appear to be financially comfortable.
  • ·         She had been working occasionally for a year, as an escort in Las Vegas and other cities, through a very high-end agency.
  • ·         Her husband was aware of her activities, was not supportive of her escorting career and had tried to get her to stop, but did not leave her.

 So why did she do it?

She has offered a few hints. Struggles with depression, including post-partum depression. The Smoking Gun also said she told them, “the escort business [w]as ‘exciting,’ an illicit midlife diversion from her routine existence”. On her Twitter feed, she said: “It provided an escape from a life that I was struggling in. It was a double life.”

Now, people have lots of ways of responding to, dealing with and coping with difficulties in their lives. Some develop an unhealthy relationship with drink or drugs. Some seek professional counsel. Some withdraw. Some even become violent.

Ms Favor-Hamilton took a different path, and it seems to me her entry into escorting is most likely explained by what that business offered – things that, for one reason or another, she felt she didn’t already have, in a life of significant achievements.


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It was a second life. A fantasy life. It’s an attractive concept for a lot of people. In “real” life, she was a real estate broker, motivational speaker, wife and mother. But in that other life, she was someone different, and decidedly more glamorous.

And then there’s the matter of affirmation. Being paid $6,000 per day to be a temporary girlfriend to wealthy men is a whole lot of affirmation. It tells her that, at age 44 (or I suppose at any age), she is extremely desirable. There are studies galore that suggest few things make women feel happier – or more aroused – than being intensely desired by the “right” person or people.

For all we know, she might have enjoyed the sex, too.

It’s easy for us to disapprove, make jokes, point out the potential risks involved even at the highest end of this business, and even to say she was naïve in thinking that none of her clients would ever “out” her to the media. 

But it’s only a little harder, if we try, to potentially understand why she did what she did.

It was an “exciting” secret life, and a departure from everyday reality. It was glamorous, illicit, and turned her on. It was affirming, and made her feel better about herself. It was a fantasy made real. She didn’t feel it was dangerous, and believed she could keep it private.

Ultimately, at least on the last point, she was wrong.

Of course, you and I would never make Ms Favor-Hamilton’s choices, would we? Even if we thought we could keep everything completely secret, and keep our nice, comfortable “real” lives perfectly intact. Even at the prospect of being paid $600 per hour, or $6,000 per day to have sex with wealthy people in fancy hotel suites. Even if it seemed to make us feel good, and fill some perceived hole in our lives. 

None of us would ever even consider that. Right?


You can call me sympathetic. The public storm coming down on her right now has got to be brutal. I hope she comes out the other side okay.




Now saying odd things on Twitter:


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Check out her Twitter feed. Thus far, she's been pretty frank, and hasn't tried to blame anyone else for her situation.
Her body....

Her choice....

Her life.....

It's not for me to express - or even to have - an opinion. Just not any of my business.

I think she has enough internal issues to deal with without anyone else shoveling more on top of the existing state of things. No one knows what they would do until they are in the same situation. They just don't. I am not a judge, and I say, "Let those without sin throw the first stone."
rated because I can . . . today
Hmmm… Very Belle de Jour! Luis Buñuel was examining at this very phenomenon — sympathetically — in the mid-60s. I suspect Ms. Favor-Hamilton must be a Catherine Deneuve fan.
she looks like a quality female to me. escort or not. with an alter ego. can understand that.