Would you be my mentor in sex work?
I get this question very often, and I’ve never actually answered it. Oh, I’ve answered specific questions about sex work many times, and will continue to do so; the “Mentoring” tag is full of them. But when I’m asked this question the petitioner usually wants an ongoing, potentially paid relationship, for which the answer must be “no”. Again, I’ll give specific help to other sex workers, either by email or in person, nearly every time I’m asked. But if it’s an ongoing relationship you’re looking for, that simply isn’t going to happen.
There are several reasons for this, of which three stand out; the first of these is that I simply don’t have the time. As I’ve explained on many occasions, things are so tight for me now that many columns (including this one, incidentally) are finished mere hours or even minutes before posting. There’s just no way I could make room in my schedule for another major obligation; right now any new time-commitment requires that I give up something else. In other words, I couldn’t mentor anyone if I wanted to.
The second reason is that, believe it or not, I’m not really qualified. The market has changed considerably since I learned the trade, and I really haven’t kept up; the only reason I do as well as I do is that I’m Maggie Fucking McNeill, a widely recognized sex symbol. In other words, my brand is already built, and all I have to do is maintain it. But if I had to give someone else advice on web development, tailoring one’s ads to the clientele one wishes to attract, and all that kind of thing, I’d be utterly hopeless; unless you’re willing to devote over half your waking hours to become a well-known blogger for six years while making practically no money at all, I just don’t think my experience is transferable to your situation. Sometimes this should be painfully obvious, but I guess it isn’t; the letter which inspired me to write this column was from a man who wanted me to mentor him in the nigh-impossible task of becoming a heterosexual male escort. Now, I’m often called a saint, but I can assure y’all that theurgy is not in my skill set; it would require a bona fide miracle for me to train someone in something I not only lack the biological qualifications for, but have repeatedly stated is essentially a fantasy.
The third reason is that such relationships are fraught with sexual, emotional and even legal land mines. The people who ask me this question sometimes just want regular mentoring, but sometimes what they actually want is a manager (and I don’t need to tell you what society calls those in our line of work). Ofttimes there’s more than a whiff of groupie about the person asking, and it’s pretty clear that she desires to be guided in a more, shall we say, “hands on” fashion. And though I’ve got a running joke on Twitter (with several women young enough to be my daughters) about “Miss McNeill’s School for Wayward Young Ladies”, in truth there’s absolutely no way I’d risk such an intimate relationship with a young whore any longer; not only is there too much risk of sexual and emotional injury (and not just to her), but also our culture has entered a period where such relationships are nearly always viewed as predatory and/or exploitative. In other words, injured feelings could potentially result in public accusations or even criminal charges, and I’m sure Dan Satterberg would just love to have a reasonably-credible “sex trafficking” case against me courtesy of a heartbroken girl who claimed I had manipulated and seduced her into prostitution. No, thanks. So while I’m flattered by the requests and wish I could give everyone who asks all the help she needs, the answer is, must be and will always be a resounding negative.