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I’m a successful professional woman who has been married for 20 years, but over the last few years I’ve been growing more bisexual.  So I hired an escort, and later we started dating (around the end of October).  I’m not her “sugar mama”, although I do try and help her out a little bit here and there.  I suppose when a relationship starts out as escort/client, there are hurdles to overcome on both sides; being that you previously married a client, I figure you might understand what I mean.  Obviously, by hiring escorts, I was not looking for a serious relationship, and it’s been kind of intense; any advice (or words of caution) you have on this situation would be appreciated!

You’re right about the hurdles; sometimes they can be overcome, and sometimes not.  In my case, the marriage eventually broke down for reasons only tangentially related to my work, but 14 years isn’t a bad run for any marriage nowadays.  From the information you’ve given me, I don’t think your girlfriend being an escort will really matter one way or another (though it usually does with men), unless you become jealous of her clients, but since this is (I assume) your first lesbian relationship there are a couple of things you may appreciate my mentioning.  In lesbian relationships, sexual interest tends to ramp up quickly (“What does a lesbian bring along on the second date? A U-haul”) as you discovered firsthand, but often dies within a year (the dreaded “lesbian bed death”), and you’re already past four months.  Of course, this isn’t always the case, and even when it is lesbian relationships can go on for years or decades after that due to shared intimacy & deep emotional bonding; for some lesbians that’s enough.  But if you were the kind of woman who can be satisfied with a relationship devoid of lesbian sex, I don’t think you’d have been intentionally seeking out an escort in the first place (regardless of what actually happened when you met one you “clicked” with).  So while it’s true that there are special difficulties in any relationship with a sex worker, what I’d be more mindful about in your specific case is how you’ll feel when the sex dries up.

(Have a question 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.)

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Prolong

I would like to be able to “hold” longer; I am not a premature ejaculator, but I’d definitely would love to have the whole exercise last longer.  I am always amazed when watching porn film clips, to see these actors last so long, even with hearty stimulation going on.  What is their secret recipe?  Are there any pills/medications that would help?

I have a simple question: Why?  For what reason do you want to last longer?  A lot of men seem to think sex is some kind of endurance contest, and the longer they can go without orgasm, the better.  To be sure, cultural messaging is part of that; the media can’t handle subtlety, and so “not instantly” is transmogrified into “going on and on and on for half a bloody hour”, when in actuality most women don’t want the act of intercourse to last more than five or ten minutes.  Of course there are exceptions; some gals just adore being pistoned into for 20 minutes or more,  but I can assure you that they are in the minority.  When women say they want sex to take a long time, they don’t mean they want intercourse to be some kind of porn marathon; they mean they want the whole process, from the initial hand-holding and kissing until the final parting or sleeping after cuddling, to be unhurried and natural.  The actual pumping is only a small part of that.

As for porn, please remember that it’s no more realistic than any other form of video entertainment.  In real life, people don’t generally fall in love within two hours and live happily ever after; problems aren’t neatly tied up in time for the end credits; doctors and cops don’t have exciting, important cases every week; and the heroes & villains aren’t totally distinct and distinguishable by the color of their hats.  Porn actors’ most important talent is being able to perform under the weird conditions required for the filming of porn, which are anything but sexy; however, you also have to remember that porn (like any other movie) isn’t filmed in one real-time take.  There’s a lot of stopping, starting, redoing, multiple takes, editing, cutting, etc; the scenes may not even have been filmed in the order you see them.  Just because it looks to you that Dick Dongmeister fucked for 40 minutes straight doesn’t mean it actually happened that way, and just because the actress seemed to like being fucked for that long doesn’t mean she actually did (or that she actually was).  It’s called “acting” for a reason.  Furthermore, in real life, very few women can get off from just penetration; they generally want more clitoral stimulation than pounding.  So if the actual endurance is for some reason important to you, there are numbing creams and sprays (containing a topical anesthetic, same as in toothache remedies) available at adult stores (or, according to Google, regular pharmacies) that may do the trick.  But if the reason you want to last longer is to increase your partner’s pleasure, you’d be much better off just learning to ask her what she wants and giving her more of whatever that is.

(Have a question 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.)

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Getting Started

I am a 24-year old in the US who has been interested in becoming an escort for a while, but I don’t know how to get started.   How does one screen clients to make sure they aren’t dangerous (including cops)?  I see your escort booking form asks for occupation & references, but what if they don’t have them?  When is the appropriate time to talk about what sexual acts they are looking for?  Where is the best place to start advertising?  I just wish I had a step by step guideline.  I wrote to a girl who’s highly reviewed in my area, but the response came from a guy in another state who said he is her “persona management.”  He said that he books her clients, a woman does the screening and, they spend over $3000 per month on advertising for her.  If I were to join they would take a percentage but I would be responsible for getting to all of my appointments.  Have you ever heard of people doing this?

First, absolutely DO NOT make any deals with people you’ve never met.  While there are still agencies, they’re going the way of the dodo in most markets and as a former service owner myself I’m telling you that you don’t need them (especially ones that try to hard sell you from the get-go with fancy talk of thousands of dollars a month in advertising).  Frankly, this sounds to me like a scam, especially since you’re an unproven quantity at this point.  The best thing for you to do (especially now that Backpage is kinda crippled) is to find your local escort boards and join.  If you have a little seed money, it’s a good idea to get some professional pictures right away; if you don’t, find a friend you can trust who takes decent pictures to do your first ones, then after you get a couple of gigs you can hire a pro.  You definitely want to make sure you like the work before you invest too much.  As for screening, references are the best way to go for a beginner; as you go on you’ll talk to other girls and learn more tricks, including whitelists like Date-check and blacklists like Verify Him.  It’s not a good idea to talk explicitly about sexual acts up front; this is partly because of cops, but also because some guys just want to jerk off while talking to you and you don’t want to give them free wanking material.  Please check out my Mentoring tag, and the “Mentoring” section of my FAQ page; there’s a lot of stuff there and I think you’ll find many of the posts useful (including a number of them on screening).  But probably the best all-around advice I can give you is to buy and read Amanda Brooks’ Internet Escorts Handbook; it’s a small investment and you’ll get a lot out of it.

(Have a question 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.)

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Upscale

What is meant when girls say “upscale”?  Does it have some meaning outside of the donation rates?

minkWhen the word is used to describe an incall, it’s basically intended to assure prospective clients that they aren’t going to a squalid apartment in a seedy neighborhood.  But when words like “upscale”, “high-end”, “luxury”, “sophisticated” and “VIP” are used by escorts to describe themselves, they don’t really mean anything specific or quantifiable; they’re just branding words, used to convey an image and attract the kind of clientele the user believes such words attract:  wealthy, generous, and unlikely to haggle.  Of course, they’re just as likely to attract solidly middle-class guys out to treat themselves to a luxurious experience, which is why soap is described as having “luxurious lather” and chocolates are described as “decadent”.  Personally, I try to avoid empty words like that in my marketing; as a writer I prefer words that actually mean specific things, and distrust emotive words with little semantic weight (especially those that seem a bit snobby to my ears).  In reality, most sex workers will see whichever men can pass screening, pay our rates & treat us properly, “upscale” or not; I doubt very many really care whether a good client is a neurosurgeon or a bricklayer as long as he behaves like a gentleman.  Mind you, I’m not criticizing the ladies who use that kind of ad copy; if it works for them & brings in money, good for them & long may they prosper.  The fact is, some guys respond to “puttin’ on the Ritz” kind of words, just like many of the guys who call me are responding to my perceived intelligence & sophistication.  Or my huge tits.  And we all use the branding that keeps the money coming in.

(Have a question 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.)

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Hither and Yon

20140605_212044Now that I’m able to fly again, I’m much more open to traveling for speaking purposes; in just the past few months I’ve done two talks (counting the one I’ll be giving day after tomorrow) and a number of interviews.  As you can probably guess, that means I’m being asked more often (because these things tend to snowball), and people want to know how to go about getting me to speak at their events.  It’s easy; just ask.  No, I’m not being facetious; all you have to do is send me an email, tell me about your event and when and where it is, what you’d like me to speak about, and who you are.  That last is important because, while I ask a $500 speaking fee for most events, I’ll donate my time to sex worker events pro bono (except for lodging and board, and honestly I’m not especially persnickety about that; I’m perfectly happy being put up in one of the organizers’ guest rooms and fed from their table).  Thanks to the generosity of a patron, I can easily get around by air at no cost to myself, which lets me help sex workers all over the country without running myself into poverty.  I only ask one favor: whether you’re paying or I’m donating the time, please ask me well in advance of the event; I want enough lead time to advertise for clients wherever it is I’m going.

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Live fast ’cause it won’t last.  –  Chris Stein & Debbie Harry

In Monday’s column “Crystal-Gazing” I wrote, “I don’t think it’s likely I’ll be around to see [the mid 2030s], but many of you will be.”  Several readers asked me why I believed I wouldn’t make it to that point; after all, I’d only have to live to 70, and the average white American woman born in the 1960s lives to about 75.  Now, I could point out that statistically, my chance of dying before 70 is roughly equal to my chance of living past 80, but that wouldn’t quite be true; a lot of the reason the life expectancy keeps increasing is that infant mortality keeps decreasing, so anyone who survives childhood isn’t statistically likely to live as much longer than her ancestors as it might appear just from looking at those life expectancy figures.  Also, most of the female members of my family live into their ’80s, even if the male ones have an odd tendency to die under strange and often newsworthy circumstances (ask me about that if we ever get drunk together).  That having been said, a fair number of relatives of both sexes have contracted cancer or more-exotic terminal diseases, some of them at early ages (like the maternal uncle who died of leukemia in his late teens), and I’ve had several close brushes with sudden death (two of them of the “hushed-nurse-saying-I-shouldn’t-be-alive” variety), so I don’t think my familial or personal life expectancy is quite as high as that of the general population.

And thereby hangs the tale.  As I’ve stated before, I have absolutely no intention of ever enduring chemotherapy; if I develop cancer I’m going to seek out palliative care, put my affairs in order and let the disease take its course.  I’ve seen more than my share of people I love spending their last days hooked to machines in sterile institutions, dying in infernal contraptions surrounded by shouting doctors and nurses pounding on their chests and shooting chemicals into their veins, or electrically shocking their soon-to-be-corpses, instead of expiring quietly in their own beds surrounded by loved ones.  So I have a DNR order; if it’s respected I will die when I die rather than being dragged violently back across the threshold because mere humans have decided I’m not allowed to leave this plane yet.  Furthermore, though the more strictly-rational among my readers may scoff, I’ve never claimed to be strictly rational; my several close brushes with death (and a frank assessment of the chances I have taken in the past and those I continue to take on a regular basis) have led me to feel that I’m living on borrowed time, and Death knows that “when he at last come to collect me it will be a rendezvous rather than a capture“.  Death and I are old friends; he was gracious enough not to interrupt my work before it was done, and it’s the least I can do to return that favor when the time comes.  He’s passed me by on several occasions when he probably should have taken me, and I’m not such a fool that I think he’s going to keep doing that indefinitely.

Nor would I want him to.  I’ve clearly stated my philosophy on this subject many times, including in my fiction; it’s mortality which gives life meaning, and I think it’s a bit rude for those whose dance is done to keep hogging the floor rather than making “room for the new dancers who are always waiting for their turn.”  And besides all of that, I’m far too independent to be able to enjoy a life of decrepitude and dependence, and far too vain to desire a life in which I’m no longer the object of desire.  The song below has always been among the larger group of my favorites, and I don’t feel any differently about it at 50 than I did at 15; when I go, I want people to still be able to honestly talk about how beautiful I was.  Shallow?  Probably.  Silly?  Maybe.  But my friends will tell you I rarely ask for anything, so I don’t think it’s greedy of me to ask that no one begrudge my wish to not have to endure years or decades of life after the things I like best about it are gone.

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black-nightgownI don’t believe it’s likely to have escaped the notice of anyone reading this blog for more than about three minutes that I’m a whore.  Besides the fact that it’s in both the name and the subtitle, and sprinkled liberally all over the blog, and discussed with great frequency, there are all those nude photos and hooker comments in the Twitter feed, and Google is your friend.  Every so often some rando “slides up in my mentions” (as the young people say) on Twitter without apparently noticing that I’m a bona fide, card-carrying, earning-my-living-on-my-back prostitute, but I hardly think it’s possible for any person to visit this blog without working that out in fairly short order.  I’m not just mentioning this as an exercise in the bleeding obvious; I’m bringing it up because it seems that occasionally someone loses sight of what that actually means.  And what it means is this:  I am a paid entertainer.  I make my living by pleasing people, by diverting them, by giving them comfort and relief and solace and even advice (please note that last).  Yes, we speak of “selling sex”, and certainly most of my clients are looking for skin-to-skin contact, whether that culminates in orgasm or not.  But not all of them are, and unlike the pathetic control freaks we ludicrously refer to as “authorities”, I am not a pompous bean-counter who thinks it’s vitally important to draw firm and legally-binding lines between sexual and non-sexual activities.  If I’m capable of doing a thing that makes you feel better physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually or whatever, and you’re willing to pay me for doing that thing, we can probably strike a deal.

Please reread that penultimate clause.  Obviously, I expend a lot of time and energy doing good for others that I don’t expect to get paid for; I do favors for my friends, I give money and time to good causes like SWOP Behind Bars and Toys for Tots, and my activism is almost entirely pro bono.  On top of that, I answer reader questions (most of them requests for advice) nearly every week, and the only price I ask for it is that I be allowed to share the answer so as to help others and build this blog.  But if you think the amount of my time donated to helping readers is inconsequential, I invite you to count the number of questions I’ve answered in the past, assume an hour of time to answer each question (it’s often two or more), and multiply that by my professional rate of $400/hour.  Then try not to choke.  This is not a complaint; Aphrodite gave me a mission, and I’m not going to stop doing it until I board the ferry.  However, until that day comes, I need to eat, clothe myself & keep a roof over my head, and that requires balancing work I do for earthly rewards with that I do for heavenly ones.  Part of the way I do that is by refusing to duplicate my own efforts just to please the lazy and narcissistic, and part by avoiding matters that stress me out.  But I recently received a request for advice which went far beyond the limits of what I can afford to give, and I realized this column was necessary.  Most of the requests for my advice are reasonably short and can be answered in an hour or so; others are similar enough that I can direct the reader to previous columns in which I’ve answered it.  But this one was so incredibly long and complex that I couldn’t even take the time to read it all; I had previously answered the reader with links to earlier columns, but he wasn’t satisfied with those and sent back a missive longer than all those linked columns put together.  A quick skim revealed that this person isn’t in anguish or deep confusion; he merely seems to be looking for me to provide justification for a course of action he’s already decided to follow in keeping with his pre-existing belief system.

While it’s not for me to judge another person’s value system, it’s for nobody else but me to make judgments about mine.  And I judge that letters like this, which ask me to spend an entire evening of my increasingly-precious time to lend validation to someone on an issue about which he’s clearly already made up his mind, are not a worthy use of my limited pro bono resources.  If you have a question you don’t think I’ve answered before and you genuinely want my help, it’s yours for the asking.  And if you want to pay me for my time (I only charge $100/hour for phone calls in which I’m not required to come up with sexual fantasy talk), I’ll talk to you for as long as you want about whatever it is that’s eating you.  Because if your issue is too complex to explain in a few hundred words (especially if your first few hundred are spent in telling me why I’m wrong about something I said in a previous letter), you’re going to have to pay somebody to listen to you and give you advice on it, whether that somebody is me or a professional therapist.weighing-of-the-heart

(Have a question 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.)

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