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Archive for the ‘Q & A’ Category

Why are you trying to avoid talking about Jeffrey Epstein?

What would you have me say?  Perhaps you missed “Overripe“, in which I wrote…

…when a powerful, wealthy, well-connected person is accused of a crime (especially a complex one), the result is invariably dueling volcanos of accusation & defense vomiting megatons of obfuscation into the atmosphere.  Moreover, when the crime “just happens” to fit into a moral panic in full eruption, the result is a firestorm that makes it very difficult to separate truth, lies, prevarications, opportunism, excuse-making, police-statery, and outright bullshit from one another…

Epstein, like many men, was attracted to women younger than the law allowed him to have.  And unlike most men, he had the means to get what he wanted and no moral compunctions against it.  Do you want my thoughts on why the government suddenly revisited the case a decade after it was over, even though Liz Brown’s analysis (synopsized and linked in the above-referenced column) covered it better than I could?  Perhaps you want me to explain the obvious, why a well-connected billionaire who hobnobbed with at least two US presidents and who-knows-how-many other powerful people, got a slap on the wrist for crimes a poor man would’ve been crucified for?  It’s possible you might want me to titillate you with pointless and lurid speculation about whether Bill Clinton or Donald Trump or whoever shared in Epstein’s predilections, in which case I would point you to my “Elephant in the Parlor” tag, tell you that I don’t write porn, and remind you that even if I did I wouldn’t do it for free.  Or maybe you’re asking me to virtue-signal about age of consent laws and infantilize young women, pretending that they are equivalent to six-year-olds because they haven’t yet reached Magic 18 and shouted “Shazam!”?  If so, you’re definitely barking up the wrong tree.  Of course, you could be asking for my speculation on whether Epstein really killed himself or was “suicided”; if that’s it I would observe that while his “friends” had both the means and the motivation to silence him, he also had extremely good reason to spare himself the ordeal and show-trial to come, and the US prison system has a long history of letting people die in cages, sometimes at the hands of sadistic cretins and sometimes by monumental incompetence.  At the end of the day, the one person who could’ve answered all of these questions is dead, and everyone else who could answer any of them is highly motivated to keep his mouth shut.  So even if you’re just dying to know the answers, I’m afraid you’re going to have to learn to live with disappointment.

(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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As a sex-positive professional offering accounting, financial planning, business services or the like, what is the best way to communicate with and obtain SW clients?  I’m a regular client myself and I’m in the process of building a website, but how can I attract sex workers to that site?

Well, I’m going to be honest with you:  providing professional services like accounting for sex workers when you’re male is an uphill climb.  Unfortunately, too many professional guys will try to turn a sex worker client into a trade situation when that isn’t what she wants, or in some cases even use the info for soft extortion; even when they don’t do that they sometimes make pervy comments & creepy innuendoes, so a lot of sex workers are understandably wary.  I think the best way to begin would be to start a Twitter account with your business name (make sure it’s clear what kind of services you offer) and put the link to your website in the bio.  Then follow as many sex workers as possible and keep retweeting a lot of sex-work-positive stuff from them; eventually a few sex workers are bound to approach you, and you can be sure to give great and discreet service and avoid the no-go behaviors I mentioned above.  Once you have some satisfied customers, they will undoubtedly recommend you to their friends, and then you’ll be on your way; it’s getting your foot in the door in the first place that’s the tricky part.

(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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I recently heard you speak, but was unclear on your point that the criminalization of prostitution suppresses the sexuality of women in general, not just the sexuality of sex workers.  Could you please make this connection clearer?

The criminalization of sex work is nothing less than the criminalization of thought.  Sex outside of committed relationships, even with total strangers, is perfectly legal for motives such as fun, excitement, relief of boredom, experimentation, gratitude, friendship or whatever; it’s only when the woman has a “bad” motive, ie profit, that the act becomes illegal.  Criminalization of sex work therefore gives cops the “right” to guess what a woman’s motive for sex might be, and if they decide (correctly or incorrectly, with or without proof) that her motive is a pragmatic one, to brutalize, rob, abduct and cage her, and in most places even to rape her to “collect evidence”.  Prostitution laws therefore suppress all women’s sexuality, because women who dare to be sexual outside of committed relationships, especially women of color, are always in danger of cops deciding to harass or violate them under the premise of “investigating the crime of prostitution”.  And in the aftermath of FOSTA, we are even beginning to see an erosion of women’s right to go unescorted in a public place without being discriminated against or even accused of “prostitution” or being a “sex trafficking victim”.

(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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Last week, I mentioned that I had done a lecture at the University of Michigan via video link.  Unfortunately, our connection was poor, so I had to keep restating points that were lost when the signal dropped; this ate up the time we had for questions, so I asked the teacher to collect student questions and I would answer them via email.  Most of the questions were ones I’ve answered in other places, and though that’s also mostly true of this one, I don’t recall ever directly answering it in one go:  How does violence against women change with different regulatory regimes?

When the demand for anything is inflexible, as in the case of sex and drugs, prohibition does nothing to curtail that demand; what happens instead is a black market develops to supply the commodity.  And because black markets are illegal, there is no way for those involved in them to call upon courts, lawyers, etc to settle trade disputes.  That means violence, and such markets also tend to draw people who aren’t afraid of breaking the law (which of course includes career criminals).  Alcohol prohibition is a fine example: in the 1920s, if one wanted some booze one had to deal directly or indirectly with bootleggers or smugglers, and turf wars became very bloody indeed.  But after Prohibition ended in December 1933, that all ended practically overnight; when was the last time you heard of a turf war between bars or liquor stores?  Similarly, sex workers who are raped, robbed, or otherwise harmed by violent men cannot go to the police at all under criminalization because they will be arrested for prostitution.  Under most forms of legalization they usually don’t dare, because even though selling sex isn’t illegal the cops may spy on them afterward to catch them in some prohibited behavior such as working together for safety or having dependents.  That’s also true under the Swedish model, and in addition the cops use sex workers as non-consenting bait to catch clients; that in itself increases violence against street workers in particular because the clients are afraid of busy, well-lit areas so they need to move to darker, quieter ones.  All these factors also draw rapists, robbers and serial killers, because they know it’s less likely they will be caught if they prey upon women the law defines as “criminals”.  Only under decriminalization, in which sex work is treated as work, are sex workers free to take whatever precautions they feel necessary without violating some law, and can call on the police if they wish (though I personally advise against that course of action).

(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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In “Bad Advice”, a man was concerned about losing the image of his wife’s body as the years rolled by with no sexual contact with her.  Several readers noticed I didn’t say anything about that aspect of his question; the truth is, I didn’t feel I could answer it because men are much more visual creatures than women, and I honestly wasn’t sure what I could’ve said that wouldn’t have sounded either Pollyanna or dismissive, so I left it alone.  But one regular reader has had similar experiences himself, and last week he sent me this short answer and told me it was OK to share it.

Maggie gave me some excellent advice over 6 years ago in “On a Mountaintop”.  I took that advice, and am very glad that I did.  Seeing sex workers brings touch back into my life, affirms my sexuality, and makes me feel more whole.  My mind is more clear and focused, my mood brighter, my outlook better.  It’s been a wonderful set of experiences and I have no regrets.  But I can tell the man what will happen, or at least what happened to me.  This rejection of a man’s sexual being, coupled with his continued love and desire, creates a wound that never heals.  It’s been 10 years since I last had sex with my wife, but when we are watching a movie or TV show and a romantic scene is shown, it can penetrate my armor; when the scene suggests a happy and fulfilling sex life between an older married couple, it pierces my heart like a hot needle.  There’s nothing a sex worker can or should do about this; I am responsible for my decision to stay and endure this occasional injury.  Long term marriages are complex things, with economic and familial ties and obligations, vows and trusts and all manner of complications known only to the couple.  I have no advice for the man who wrote, just the knowledge that he will probably experience the same pain.

Here is a wound that never will heal, I know,
Being wrought not of a dearness and a death,
But of a love turned ashes and the breath
Gone out of beauty; never again will grow
The grass on that scarred acre, though I sow
Young seed there yearly and the sky bequeath
Its friendly weathers down, far Underneath
Shall be such bitterness of an old woe.
That April should be shattered by a gust,
That August should be levelled by a rain,
I can endure, and that the lifted dust
Of man should settle to the earth again;
But that a dream can die, will be a thrust
Between my ribs forever of hot pain.  –  Edna St. Vincent Millay

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One of the most common questions I’m asked is, “Why don’t you ________?” where the blank is filled with some thing the questioner would like me to do, such as  “Why don’t you tour?“, “Why don’t you advertise on such-and-such site?“, or “Why don’t you do morning appointments?”  And the short-but-not-entirely-satisfactory answer is always the same:  “Because I don’t want to.”  As regular readers know, I’ve been doing sex work for a really long time: 34 years in all, almost 22 years as a career, and almost 20 years as an advertised escort.  And as one might expect, I’ve learned a great deal in that time, and one of things I’ve learned is that it’s easy to burn out if one isn’t careful.  It happened in only two years as a stripper, and as an escort I burned out several times and had to change my work style in order to maintain an income while giving myself time to recover (the longest break of this sort was from July 2006 to July 2010, during which my sole client was my then-husband).  But now, the stakes are much higher; I’m much older and much more realistic, and I know very well I’m not likely to score any gig that’s both more lucrative and less stressful for me than harlotry.  It isn’t that sex work is in and of itself uniquely stressful; it’s just that running a one-woman business of any kind is, and criminalization heaps an extra load of stress on top of that.  So a sex worker, like any other businessperson, needs to prioritize, pace herself, and figure out the right work-life balance so as to make it possible to continue bringing in a solid, dependable income year after year without burnout.

One important part of that is figuring out what things cause one the most stress and/or resentment and eliminating (or at least minimizing) them; another is its counterpart, maximizing the things that one enjoys or finds rewarding.  And as you’ve probably already guessed, most of the things I don’t do are things that I find stressful and/or annoying.  I’m slow to awaken and hate waking up to alarms, so I have always refused to do morning appointments.  I am not good at navigating formal systems, and since that includes filling out forms it’s rare that I can motivate myself to create a new ad.  I tend to be very set in my ways where work is concerned (note how slowly the format of this blog changes, and how some features never change), so I only like to travel to see overnight clients or to do incidental shorter sessions in a place I’m visiting for some other reason, like a speaking engagement.  Last year I realized how much I’ve grown to hate taking cold phone calls, so I stopped doing it; I also realized I need more time to unwind before bed than I used to, so I stopped scheduling sessions to end later than 11 pm.  And because the inability to know my schedule in advance was probably the number one factor in my big burnout in ’06, I’ve been reluctant to take same-day sessions since the beginning of this decade and now don’t do it at all anymore unless A) it’s for a regular or by request of a sex worker friend (last-minute duo, that kind of thing) and B) I have at least a few hours’ notice.  I think you get the idea; if I don’t do something, it’s probably because I dislike doing it, and asking me to do it anyway is not likely to win my favor.

(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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Lately I’ve been getting a larger-than-usual number of enquiries from guys who’ve never seen an escort before.  Some of them find me through this blog, some via my Twitter, others via my articles in Reason or my various interviews, and still others via my ordinary escort advertising.  Some of them want to see me in particular, while others are just looking for general first-timer advice, but nearly all of them are nervous (or even full-out scared) about the possibility of falling into a trap set by the pigs.  That’s why they contact me; even the ones who discover me via my escort ads usually notice that I’ve got a strong decade-old social media presence under the same name, and as I myself have said many times that’s a very good indicator that a lady is the real deal rather than some pervert cop pretending to be an escort so he can have the fun of destroying a man’s life for the terrible “crime” of loneliness.  Most of these guys, however, are not regular readers, and this blog has become so enormous it’s a bit daunting for the newcomer.  Hell, it’s sometimes even intimidating to me, and I wrote the damned thing!  So I think it wouldn’t hurt to pull together a “best of” collection of resources for new clients that I can then simply link when one of these new gents contacts me.

The single most useful essay on the topic is undoubtedly “What To Know Before You Pay for Sex“, from the July 2018 issue of Reason; I wrote it specifically for guys who are neither regular clients nor regular readers, so it contains all of the information I consider vital in one brief and easily-digestible article.  It draws in (small) part on “Advice for Clients“, which I think still holds up despite being a decade old.  And then, of course, there are a number of Q&A columns about the basic mechanics of finding sex workers:

And some about more specific issues that could be of especial interest to newbies:

I think that’ll do for starters, but if you want more there are links to scores of essays on my questions page.  And if you’d like to see me specifically, all the information you need is on my escort site.

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