For everybody knows that it requires very little to satisfy the gentlemen, if a woman will only give her mind to it. - Margaret Oliphant
In a comment to my July 21st column, Imnoangel asked “How easy is it for a prostitute to play her part if the man concerned is personally unattractive to her i.e. smelly feet, bad breath, body odour, etc? That’s something I’ve always wondered about.” I gave her a short reply, but as I think it’s a question which deserves a full column I’ve decided to talk about that today.
For the most part, the customers of call girls are a higher, more affluent class of man with good sanitary habits who genuinely wish to make a good impression; I think most of them recognize that women are repelled by poor hygeine and they feel that offending the girl may result in a rushed job, which they usually don’t want at our price level. At least half of my customers were obviously freshly showered, shaved and tooth-brushed when I arrived, and even those who weren’t rarely had any noticeable problems. In my experience, the only customers with an offensive smell were those who were drunk and a few who clearly had physical problems such as extreme obesity or very advanced age.
There are, however, repulsive features which have nothing to do with hygeine; what about the obesity or age I mentioned above? What about physical deformity, massive scarring or just plain ugliness? Don’t these come into play? Paula, who started working for me on her 18th birthday, asked me the same thing: What if the guy is just really gross or ugly? My reply to her was, “You know who was the sexiest man who ever lived? Benjamin Franklin, and you get three pictures of him every time you do a call.” Paula took my meaning immediately and saw the truth in it, which is that this is a job for us, not a date; everyone who deals with the public has some unpleasant clients, and we are compensated much more generously than most for having to deal with them. It will probably be a lot easier for my female readers to understand this than my male, firstly because physical attraction is a much larger part of the male sexual equation, and secondly because men need to be aroused to sexually perform while women do not; on the most basic level, all that is required of a woman is her physical presence.
Obviously, it’s not a good idea for a call girl to offer that bare minimum; a streetwalker may be able to get away with just lying there, but a client expects something more for $300. Still, that’s no problem for most girls; my male readers probably don’t really want to hear this, and most of my female readers already know it, but here goes: It really isn’t that difficult to convince a man that one is enjoying sex, even if one would much rather be elsewhere. All it takes is experience and practice, which are also the requirements for honing one’s other professional skills; my stock answer to the oft-asked question “Where did you learn to do that?” was a smile and a “Practice makes perfect,” before returning to what I was doing. And that raises an important point: Since sexual service is our profession and livelihood rather than an expression of intimacy or a mere pastime, we have to be good at it; men are a great deal more critical of expensive services than cheap ones, and the call girl who performs no better than the girl next door will find she has little in the way of repeat business. A professional level of skill at anything only comes with paying attention to the work, carefully noting what accomplishes the desired result and what doesn’t, and concentrating on doing one’s best without the distraction of one’s own feelings.
And this, of course, is another part of the answer to Imnoangel’s question; the whore does not focus on the client but rather on the job. Yes, she’s trying to please him, but in order to do so she must concentrate on what she’s doing rather than on her own sensory and emotional experience as the non-professional woman does. This focus on the task rather than the man not only allows her to ignore any repellent features he may have, but also creates an emotional distance between them which serves to insulate her from possible negative feelings most women might experience in such a situation. It’s also why most professionals (especially in the lower strata) don’t kiss; it requires face to face intimacy which would close that distance. I have found that my professional detachment even helped me to get through the times I was raped by clients (as I will discuss tomorrow and Monday), though in those cases I was concentrating on relaxing (so as to avoid injury), keeping myself calm and planning my next move should he become even more violent.
I think the fundamental reason most men and non-professional women are so confused about whoring is that they forget that it is essentially a performance, no different from acting or singing. And given that many people cannot separate other performers from their performances, it should come as no surprise that they are unable to understand our essential natures either. When I was a little girl many people believed that Cher was part American Indian merely because she had performed the popular song “Half-Breed” in which her character was, and Leonard Nimoy was sought after as a documentary host because people associated him with his cerebral character Mr. Spock. And I daresay few Americans over 35 will ever forget the commercial in which an actor introduced himself with “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV” as though that qualified him as a medical expert. For most of human history the majority of actresses were also harlots, and though our professions have diverged to some degree the whore (especially the call girl) is still essentially an actress in a private erotic drama, with the customer as her audience rather than her equal partner.
It was the recognition of my role as entertainer which allowed me to bend the truth in performance of my profession. In case the title of my site hasn’t tipped you off, let me say that I consider honesty to be among the greatest of virtues; as I mentioned yesterday it even annoyed me to have to lie about minor details such as my weight or age. But an actress is not “lying” when she portrays a part, nor is a stage magician when he claims to have made a lady vanish. A film audience wouldn’t like an actress who broke character in the middle of a scene to talk about her personal life, nor do most people really want to know how the magician does his tricks; they pay to be entertained, and the illusion is intrinsic to the entertainment. At the same time, a good actress draws on her own personality and experience in order to flesh out a role, and the greatest performances are those which make the audience forget for a time that what they are watching is unreal. A great actress cares about her craft and her audience, and her audience in turn cares about the person she portrays in the play even if they intellectually know that the character they see does not exist in objective reality. There is a vast difference between truth and fact, and the persona and behavior of a whore or an actress can be true even if not factual.
I know this maybe a difficult concept, so I’ll try to explain it in another way. Many clients want to feel the sense of connection which can only result from honest personal interaction, the feeling that they are spending time with a real human being with hopes, dreams, loves, sorrows and quirks which make her a distinct individual. But at the same time, nobody wants to hear that his escort is having boyfriend problems, or that her kids are sick, or that she just found out her house is infested with termites; he has paid her to make him feel good, not to depress him. The competent professional knows how to strike the perfect balance between illusion and honesty which will give her client the most memorable and satisfying experience possible, and this is the secret of creating what “hobbyists” call the Girl Friend Experience, or GFE. As an unusually perceptive regular told me once, “I know that the face you show me is largely an illusion, but I love your illusion.”
Like a film actress, however, a great whore must draw upon her own personality and experience in order to create a true interaction with her client, and unlike her actress sister she must do so without either a script or a director to guide her. One of my male correspondents recently suggested that “although a prostitute enjoys getting money from men, she also very likely feels underlying dislike, contempt, fear or animosity towards them”; I told him that although this might be true of many streetwalkers, a call girl who felt that way wouldn’t be very successful. An actress who had such feelings toward her audience would unconsciously project them in her performances and thereby rob them of their essential truth, and this is even more true of the high-class whore. As I said in my column of July 13th, I genuinely like men and sincerely want to make them happy, so whenever I arrived at a call I tried to use the initial conversation to discover something in the client that I could truly love or admire and concentrate my erotic energies on that thing. And this of course provides yet another answer to the question with which we began today: If one can find something to love or admire about a client, one can focus on that and ignore things which might cause one to dislike him.
For the most part, it was rare that I lied to customers about anything other than my weight and age; if there was anything I didn’t want to tell him I simply omitted it rather than falsifying it, and I found this both simpler and vastly more rewarding. For example, I often heard girls lie about how long it would take them to arrive at calls, or come up with ridiculous excuses as to why they would be late; I just told the truth instead. “Oh, I’m in the grocery store right now and I’ve got cold things; I just need to run home and put these in the fridge, then I’ll be right over.” Or, “Oh, honey, it’s raining really heavily outside right now and I’m a bit afraid to drive in it; do you mind if I wait until it slacks down?” Once I told a customer I was baking cookies and I had one batch left to go, so I would leave as soon as I got it out of the oven in twelve minutes. He asked what kind, and when I told him “chocolate chip” he asked if he could have some; of course I said yes and he was that much happier to see me. Yes, these truths (and the many others I told clients about every conceivable subject) were unromantic and unglamorous, but they were real and honest and established me as a real, honest, true person rather than some con artist or a stripper type (long on flash but short on substance). And this not only gave my clients a richer experience, but also protected me from a very real danger I will discuss in tomorrow’s column.