The hours of folly are measured by the clock, but of wisdom no clock can measure. – William Blake, from “Proverbs of Hell”
As I explained in December, I’m now answering reader questions in short columns (some even individually) rather than saving them up for the ends of months; I’m leaning toward making it a regular Wednesday feature, though of course it won’t appear every Wednesday unless there are enough questions to warrant that. Today there are four questions; if you have one of your own, please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.
Recently I met a lady who provides sensual massages; she is not full service, but does provide happy endings. We have become rather close and she has intimated that she has rather deep feelings for me; I feel the same about her, and over the past few months we have started to do things that she does not normally offer clients. Furthermore, I have seen her in a non-business setting where nothing sexual took place between us. How do I know that our relationship has moved from client/provider to other than business? I could ask, but I don’t wish to cause any undue stress to our relationship; also, she states that she has a longtime boyfriend. I want to believe that her feelings are also genuine, but how can I be sure I’m not being led on by a talented actress?
If she didn’t already have a boyfriend I would say that her giving you services that aren’t on the menu and seeing you off the clock would be pretty good signs that she is indeed interested in you; in that case I would suggest the next step would be simply to ask her out to a movie or dinner or whatever just as you would any other woman, and with as little expectation of her “putting out” in return. But the existence of the boyfriend makes it much more complicated; if she’s told you she has feelings for you and is giving you sex she does not think of as part of work, technically she’s cheating on him (with all that entails). I appreciate that you don’t want to press her, but at the same time she is sending you mixed messages and you need to sort it out before you get hurt. The best course of action would probably be to invite her to that same “non-business setting” again, and once you’re out of the work environment try to gently coax the story of her relationship out of her. I warn you that you may not like what you hear, but I think you need to hear it so you can make a sensible decision about how to proceed with her.
Can you give me advice on whether things have changed here in Ontario? Is it legal at an escort’s home now?
In Ontario, escort prostitution is legal. Until recently it was illegal to keep a location specifically for incall use, to accept money from a prostitute or to discuss the subject in public, but even those restrictions are in dispute right now; furthermore, even if the “bawdy house” law is upheld the prohibition is against “keeping” such a place, not visiting it. As long as you don’t cross over into territory ruled by fanatical American puritans, you should be safe from the police when contracting with any internet escort (most especially if she visits your house or office).
What advice can you give sex workers about underage clients?
Through most of my career I wouldn’t see anyone under 21, though I lowered it to 18 in 2004. I advised my girls to do the same, and many internet escorts have even higher thresholds (25, 30 or higher). Generally, we’re protected by the fact that young men generally don’t have that kind of money, though of course that doesn’t hold true for streetwalkers because they charge much less. I seem to recall once hearing of a hooker being charged with some absurd crime for seeing an underage client, but it doesn’t happen often.
I was involved in an online discussion about the discrepancy in reported sexual partners between men and women, and the question “what proportion of sex is with prostitutes?” came up. I figure if anyone knows of such a study, you would; have any idea?
Yep; the Potterat study is about exactly that. Some of the conclusions are erroneous because the researchers ignorantly assume all hookers are streetwalkers, but the client-side raw data is good and the prostitute numbers work very well as a streetwalker census, as I explained in “By the Numbers“.