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Archive for the ‘Q & A’ Category

I’ve seen a fairly common complaint in hobbyist forums — apparently some providers will be deliberately vague about their services (as they must be), and sometimes it’s not until the actual appointment that a client realizes the provider does not offer “full service”.  Do you think providers do this purposefully or is it just an unfortunate effect of the industry being underground?  Do you think these providers have a responsibility to communicate their strict limits before an encounter, or should clients not assume anything about what they’ll receive?

smoke and mirrorsI do think that the vagueness about services is a direct (and wholly predictable) result of criminalization.  Since our society wants to pretend that it’s moral and legal to criminalize thoughts (because that’s what motives are) in the case of sex, we arrive at the bizarre and absurd situation of two totally benign and legal activities (offering sex and asking others for money) becoming illegal when performed together.  It’s therefore necessary to break the link between the two in situations where one suspects armed busybodies might be skulking about with intent to ruin peaceful people’s lives, either by being straightforward about the sex but coy about the money, or straightforward about the money but coy about the sex.  The well-known Backpage nonsense about “roses” and common euphemisms such as “donation” are attempts at the former, while the standard “time and companionship only” disclaimer is an attempt at the latter.  I say “attempt” because this evasive language fools absolutely nobody from escort to client to cop to judge; it’s part of an elaborate pantomime our society has concocted to pretend that persecution of private sexual behavior can ever be legitimate, and sex workers participate in it as a means of whistling in the dark and skating just below the strict evidentiary standard a judge who recognizes prostitution laws as evil (but dares not say so aloud) might impose upon cops and prosecutors.

Prostitution laws, and the arse-backward morality which supports and nourishes them, create an environment which rewards duplicity and punishes honesty; many sex workers who might prefer to be honest in their advertising are afraid to be, and some dishonest practitioners are thus easily able to hide amongst them.  Ethically speaking, an escort should not take money for a service she doesn’t actually provide, nor lie about her services, nor allow clients to believe she offers things that she doesn’t; practically speaking, a client shouldn’t assume that absolutely everything he might want will absolutely be on the menu.  Absolutely nobody but fraudsters and prohibitionists benefit from this kind of poor communication; a sex worker who doesn’t offer a given service doesn’t really want clients trying to push her into providing it, and a client who wants a particular service doesn’t really want to end up with someone who can’t or won’t provide it.  The review system is an attempt to bring some sort of transparency to the process by establishing how individual escorts have behaved over time, but there will never be a wholly open and honest marketplace in our trade until we can do away with the smoke and mirrors created by criminalization and the demimonde’s attempts to protect itself from persecution.

(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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Not With a Ruler

I’m a have a micropenis, described by a urologist as “infantile” in size.  In “All Shapes and Sizes” you stated:  “…even a man like that could be compatible with a woman who loves cunnilingus above all else.”  That’s true in theory, but my experience has been that women who are spontaneously aroused and who have strong sexual appetites, even if they prefer pleasures other than vaginal intercourse, will eventually find that element to be missing and pursue it elsewhere.  Would the probability of meeting a woman who really doesn’t care about penis size really be higher than of finding a woman who is only two inches deep when she’s aroused?  Or one who is willing and who can enjoy sex, but who is also not all that interested in sex to begin with, or who is highly responsive rather than spontaneous in her desire?  

tiny man leaving a womanI think you’re reading far too much into that particular bit of advice.  It was not intended to be the only situation I could think of in which a woman might be happy with a man lacking in the size department; another might be a very dominant woman seeking a man for the sort of kink play that doesn’t require him to be well-endowed, and still another a sex worker or polyamorous woman who doesn’t equate sex with exclusive partnership.  I can tell you from firsthand experience that the situations you describe would not be solutions for the monogamous, because I fit both of those categories.  I have an exceptionally small, tight vagina…and a two-inch penis would still have no effect on me.  And though my sex drive is entirely reactive, that doesn’t mean a tiny cock would do anything for me once I am aroused.  Stated more generally, I doubt there’s an adult vagina small enough that a micropenis would fit it snugly, and how a woman gets aroused has nothing to do with what it takes for her to be satisfied once she is.  I therefore feel your best bet is not to try to find a woman who wants nothing other than a very small penis (which seems to be the track you’re on), but rather one whose feelings of commitment for you cannot be measured with a ruler.

(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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Thing of the Past

Once I let a man wing by without references; he claimed to be a lawyer who would bring his business card along.  But instead of a safe, elderly client, what I got instead was a whole squad of cop cars and repeated pounding on my door.  I wasn’t stupid enough to open it, and eventually they left.  I moved immediately, and never again will I trust an unscreened client.  But with MyRedBook gone, I am leery of references; I’m desperately looking for an alternative, but my hopes aren’t high.  Do you have any screening procedures you could recommend, now that references are becoming a thing of the past?

magnifying glassReferences are a great method of screening, but not the only way.  You could try running a client’s name through Intellius or a similar “background check” service, or simply Googling it; alas, you can only get really good results from either of those if the client is willing to give you his full name, age and address, and anyone who is reluctant to give references may be equally reluctant to provide other screening info.  P411 uses employment screening, and you can do it yourself just as they do; simply call the client’s work and ask to speak to Mr. So-and-So, then make sure the man you’re connected to is the one you spoke to before.  If you have never heard of the company, you need to check up on it in the phone book and online; cops can create fake companies, but such fakes won’t have any kind of history in public records.  The most important kind of screening, though, is your gut; talk to the man on the phone and see how you feel about him.  If he seems creepy, cocky, suspicious or overly interested in details, or even if he just sets off your alarm bells in  way you can’t adequately define, you may want to pass on seeing him.  Of course, some cops are such practiced sociopaths that they can lie to their victims and seem perfectly normal while doing it, so you will probably want to take the final precaution of not revealing your exact address until he arrives nearby at the proper time and calls you.  Not giving an exact location in advance makes it much harder for cops to organize the kind of nasty trick they pulled on you before.  If you really want to be cautious, you could even meet the client in a nearby cafe or the like, so that you can look him in the eye and feel him out before taking the final step of letting him in your door.

Remember, long before the advent of the internet, we relied on our instincts to screen clients, and we mostly did pretty well.  And now that our enemies are attacking the external methods by which we protect ourselves, the old ones supplied by Mother Nature are becoming much more important again.

(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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Fadeaway

I’ve never been very confident with women, so at the age of 28 I lost my virginity to a sex worker.  I continued to see other professionals since then as time and money allows.  Then two years ago I met a sex worker who was exactly my type; she soon gave me her personal phone number, and we texted a lot about upcoming meetings and about other things.  The last time we met in person she trusted me enough to let me take pictures of her (she advertised without showing her face), and invited me to karaoke with her.  A few weeks later I texted again, and her sister replied to me, saying she was in hospital and wouldn’t be working.  I wrote to her booker (who knew she liked me) and asked if she knew more, and she led me to believe that the problem was mental health related.  Not knowing what else to do, I’d send a little “get well soon” text to her every few weeks.  Eventually she responded, saying she was out of the hospital but unlikely to ever work again.  She seemed to appreciate my messages, and we continued to text for most of last year.  Eventually, I offered to take her out to a platonic dinner in August.  She said yes, and I made arrangements.  A couple of days before, she pulled out and begged forgiveness, saying she still didn’t feel physically up to anything.  I took this well, and continued to text her every other week as I had been before, but she soon stopped replying.  She’s been out of hospital for a year now, and I haven’t heard from her since summer.  I’m wondering if there’s anything else I can do.  I just don’t know how to deal with silence.  If she told me to “please stop” I’d absolutely respect that, but I’m worried she may have had a relapse or something like that too.Ghost Woman on Train Track by epica3

Human beings are complicated creatures; not only is it possible for us to feel multiple conflicting emotions at the same time, but we do it with astonishing frequency.   What this means in your case is that, though the lady does seem to have been genuinely interested in you, it’s also pretty clear that she doesn’t want you in her life any more.  Why?  There’s no way to know for sure, but I suspect it isn’t coincidental.  If the reason she ended up in hospital was indeed mental health-related as you suspect, it could be tied in with burnout or with ambivalent feelings about her work, and if that’s the case it’s no surprise that she no longer wants to communicate with a client, even a cherished one…especially a cherished one, really.  My guess is that she wants to break entirely with her old life, and that includes you.  But since she really does like you, she doesn’t want to hurt you and is instead pulling a classic feminine move called the fadeaway.  In a way, this breakup method is even more cruel because there’s no closure for the one rejected; however, it feels less cruel to the one doing the fadeaway, and in her mind that’s what counts.  You don’t have much choice but to move on; at this point all you’re accomplishing is hurting both of you.  Enjoy your memories of her, send her prayers or good wishes, and then close that chapter in your heart so you can be ready to love someone else.  Because she did give you one priceless gift: your first love.  And you may find that, painful as the experience was, it has prepared you for other intimate relationships, paid or otherwise.

(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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Contract

I am curious whether you or any of your friends has ever signed or formally negotiated any kind of employment contract with the man involved?  My husband and I are considering taking me out of the workplace to keep the house and raise the children, but he’s expressed doubt about my ability to do a good job as a housekeeper because I haven’t in the past while working full-time.  I told him I like the idea of a formal contract, so that we have expectations on both sides absolutely laid out, but he sort of rolled his eyes and said it wouldn’t have “legal weight.”

Willy Wonka contractWhether such a contract would have any legal weight depends a great deal on where you are.  Prenuptial agreements are very enforceable in some jurisdictions, while in others they’re very easy to break; in Louisiana a court once declared them null and void on the grounds that only the legislature can define the conditions of legal marriage (I do not know if this decision was later reversed).  And in New York, unusual and even extreme conditions are relatively common in the prenuptial agreements of the wealthy.  If I were you I would consult a local marriage & family law expert to find out what the legal landscape for such agreements is like where you live.

It’s interesting that you asked me this question, because sex workers’ situation is if anything exactly the opposite; our contracts with our clients are understood rather than spelled out, and spoken rather than written.  Even if a whore made such a contract, it wouldn’t be enforceable anywhere in the US due to criminalization.  Where our work is legal sex workers can usually expect the police and courts to give our agreements a similar level of respect as they would give other informal contracts, and where it is decriminalized we have the same legal recourse for a broken contract as anyone else.  This is but one of the reasons decriminalization is so vital to the rights and safety of sex workers, but I’m sure you’ll agree it’s an important one; the enforcement of contracts is one of the few legitimate functions of government, and denying it to sex workers makes our work far more precarious and dangerous.

(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 have friend who dated an escort, and he said she liked to pay for things; she always grabbed the check at dinner, and also bought him gifts.  Later I read a Reddit post which described the same thing, and a Google search then found other, similar results.  Is there a reason for this?  One commenter said that it was because she wanted the relationship to feel different from work.

woman getting moneyI’ve never had that impulse myself; in fact, quite the opposite (and I know a lot of girls who feel as I do).  I’ve only had the one non-commercial relationship with a man since I started full-time sex work, but even in the dilettante days of my youth I felt the same way:  I’m already bringing something of economic value to the table, and it’s up to him to match it with financial support.  I’m only talking about the economic dimension of the relationship; I see the emotional and social dimensions as totally reciprocal by necessity.  But frankly speaking, if I were to pay a man’s way I’d feel as though I were paying for his love rather than for sex, and though that may be perfectly OK in some women’s minds it certainly isn’t in mine.  Now, it’s completely different in my lesbian relationships; with another woman I feel as though we’re both bringing sex and love to the table, and the question of “Who pays?” has less to do with the mating dance and more to do with the pragmatic question of who can afford it.

That’s not to say, however, that my way of looking at it (in either heterosexual or homosexual contexts) is “correct” or even typical; everyone has to do what works for her, even if it’s unconventional or would be seen by many others as “wrong”.  And if being the paying partner works for some of my sisters, who am I to judge them?  Perhaps they like the novelty (“she wanted the relationship to feel different from work”) and/or perhaps they get a sense of independence or even control by paying.  Or perhaps they simply view it pragmatically, as I do when I’m dating a woman.  And be sure to watch the comment thread below, because if any of my sex worker readers have other reasons she may tell them there.  If it were me, I’d worry that a guy I was paying for all the time might only be there because I was doing that, or that he was developing a sense of entitlement to it, or that he secretly resented it or felt emasculated.  However, I’m the Princess of Paranoia and often overthink such things; none of them might be true, and even if one were it might not matter to the lady in question as much as it would to me.  The most important thing is that both partners feel comfortable with an arrangement, whether it’s “normal” or not; it’s only when one or both of them isn’t (or allows outsiders to convince him or her that he or she isn’t) that problems arise.

(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 am 27 years old and still a virgin; I don’t think I know much about sex, except in theory.  I have a crush on a former Facebook friend’s boyfriend; he flirts with me sometimes, calling me “darling” and saying I’m “sexy” and “pretty”.  We have not met in person yet, because he’s Canadian and I’m a Hindustani living in South Africa, but he recently sent me a picture of his penis and told me he’s about 19 cm long, and that scares me.  Is sex painful the first time?  I kind of dread ever having to have it in real life; I’d much rather just fantasize about it.  However, I really love this boy; I dream about him all the time, and I wish he would bring me to Canada, marry me and give me a baby so we can live happily ever after.  He’s younger than me (only 21) but very mature for his age; he really is my dream man!  But I don’t know where I really stand with him; it seems like he only talks to me when he’s bored, and he punishes me by ignoring me when I make him upset.  I’d really like to know what you think about online relationships; I value your opinion very much since you’re so sexually experienced.

I wish I could tell you that sex isn’t painful the first time, but it very often is and every factor you’ve mentioned – his size, his (much too young) age, your (advanced for a virgin) age, your inexperience and your fear – will tend to exacerbate that.  So will the fact that he is NOT, despite what you think, mature for his age; punishing love-interests by ignoring them or just using them to alleviate boredom are NOT the marks of a mature or caring man, and frankly neither is sending out dick pics to women he isn’t actually involved with.  I know that you won’t believe me when I tell you that you aren’t in love with him; you’re infatuated  with him, which is a horse of a different color.  You aren’t especially drawn to this man for his personality or self, but because he pays attention to you, and for a woman who hasn’t had that kind of attention often enough, it can be extremely intoxicating and judgment-eroding.  I’m not saying relationships that start on the internet can’t work because I know some that have, but I am  saying that such relationships involve many difficulties that you, inexperienced as you are, are unlikely to handle well.  My suggestion is that you open yourself to meeting men locally in whatever way is acceptable in your culture; you still might fall in love too quickly and end up with a man who treats you badly, but if that happens you’ll at least be close to friends and family rather than stranded on another continent with a man you’re completely dependent upon.  Ironically, you’re afraid of the part – the physical sex act – that is really no big deal, yet ready to rush pell-mell into the part – marriage and childbirth – which can really get you badly hurt or even killed.  Sure, first-time sex can hurt; in fact, ten-thousandth time sex can hurt, and since my vagina is quite small I experience pain nearly every time I have sex with an unusually large or rough partner.  Sometimes it’s even a lot of pain.  But physical pain is transitory and, unless severe and chronic, doesn’t really have much effect on one’s life.  Emotional pain, by contrast, can be both devastating and have long-lasting and far-reaching effects.  I suggest you re-examine your priorities, try not to dwell on fear or simple physical pain, and instead think long and hard about the real and profound danger of severe emotional and spiritual (and sometimes physical) pain that accompanies a bad, hastily-made marriage to a poorly-chosen man.

(This question originally appeared in the form of a comment on a very old post, “All Shapes and Sizes”; some of you may find it interesting to compare the original with the edited version, and understand that this is typical of the way in which I prepare questions for publication.  One difference: I usually leave out location, but since this lady already shared it in the comments it seemed pointless to leave it out here.)

(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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