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Archive for the ‘Q & A’ Category

How does one go about finding an escort if he lives in a small town or rural area?

As with so many things, that depends on a number of factors.  If you’re financially comfortable and have time you can spend as you like, you can search the internet for a lady you like just about anywhere, then simply travel to her city and spend the night in a nice hotel; maybe you can do some sightseeing or take in a show or sporting event or the like while you’re at it.  If you travel for business, that’s even easier; just contact the provider of your choice in the city you’re visiting and arrange for an outcall to your hotel.  If you know your travel dates well in advance, I’d suggest making the arrangements as early as possible; I can’t count the number of times I’ve been contacted by gentlemen who are really excited to see me…but wait to call on the last day of their stay, and I’m busy or out of town or otherwise unable to see them.  If you’re traveling with co-workers and fear discovery, just ask to see the lady at her incall; a short cab or Lyft ride will buy you privacy and peace of mind.  And if you’ve got more money than flexibility, many escorts (including me) are willing to travel to your location for the right price.  If you choose this option, she may require airfare, accommodations and/or a minimum date length, and will almost certainly ask for a deposit; these requirements can vary a great deal from one lady to another (for example, I require accommodations and a minimum date length, but I handle my own airfare or fuel costs).

If you’re on a budget and can’t travel freely, your choices are a bit more limited; if the nearest large city isn’t too far, you could drive there and return in the same day, seeing a provider at her incall (a few months ago a gentleman drove from Spokane to see me, four hours each way).  And even if it is far, you could wait for an opportunity when you’re traveling there anyway.  Some review sites do cover small cities and the area surrounding them; when I lived in Oklahoma I still saw gentlemen part-time despite being two hours from either Tulsa or Oklahoma City.  This isn’t unusual; many of the escorts in less-populated places are part-timers.  If there isn’t a review board which covers your area, you’ll need to go to Backpage or Craigslist; though these sites no longer have designated adult ads due to the “sex trafficking” witch hunt, you can still find them in the “women seeking men” section, ads for personal services such as massage, etc.  But please be very, very careful with that; sociopathic cops adore using those sites to entrap people so they can rob them, post their pictures in the paper and destroy their lives.  If quickie ad sites are your only option, ask the lady if she has a website or a presence on an escort board in another city; just because she lives in a small town doesn’t mean she doesn’t tour or take frequent trips to a nearby city.  If you just want sexual services and don’t require companionship, you might consider a massage parlor, but beware; cops have been known to raid them and even to set up fake massage parlors to entrap men.  So only go to one if you’ve seen it continually in the same location for at least a year, and have never, ever seen police cars there or heard of it being raided.  And no matter which of these strategies you choose, tip well and be a perfect gentleman, so you will be able to count on seeing her again in the future.

(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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The Scent of Money

I’m an older gentleman who wants to start a blog, mostly about my erotic adventures.  I’ve read your “staying anonymous” article but I’m confused about how you can do that when accepting donations by PayPal.

The article you’re talking about is hosted on my blog, but was not written by me; it’s by my friend Brooke Magnanti, whom you may know as Belle de Jour.  I’m not anything like an expert at remaining anonymous online, and honestly I don’t even try any more; I’ve gotten used to complete strangers greeting me by name or telling me they saw me on TV or whatever.  However, I will tell you this: when there’s non-cash money transfer involved, you can’t be completely anonymous, period (no, not even with bitcoin).  The federal government has a sick, pathological need to peer into the business of every single person in the world, trebly so when money is involved.  So if you take donations via Paypal, Patreon, Google wallet or anything else, that is going to be linked to a bank account with your name on it.  Even if you form a corporation in Delaware as I did, thus keeping your legal name out of the public record, your corporate agent still has your legal name on file because Uncle Sam demands it.  So even though stalkers, reporters and other garden-variety Nosy Parkers can’t easily discover my legal name, I can guarantee you as sure as the sun rises that if any government actor of sufficient power really wanted my info, all he’s have to do is present a “warrant request” to his trained pet judge and they’d have my name before you can say “Holy police state, Batman!”.  Actually, I’m reasonably sure my FBI file contains all that info anyway (up to and including my legal name, street address, IQ, psychological profile, bra size and close-up photos of every one of my scars*).

All this having been said, I doubt you’re trying to hide your identity from the IRS or FBI; I assume you’re probably just trying to hide it from friends, associates and family members.  In which case, you’ll be just fine because ordinary folks can’t easily discover which bank account the PayPal account (or Google wallet) for a given email address is connected to.  But if it’s the government you’re concerned about, you might as well hang up that idea of taking donations right now, unless you plan to go around the country on foot picking up anonymous cash donations left in nondescript satchels in bus-station lockers.

*The answer is “quite a few”.

(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 notice that a lot of escorts whine about criminalization, yet don’t want to do anything about it.  How are we ever to evolve change if we attack each other, or if we won’t speak up, or at least get behind someone who is out on the front line fighting for our rights?

It has been said that trying to organize sex workers is like herding cats.  I’ve always found it darkly amusing that prohibitionists paint us as meek, passive, spineless creatures at the mercy of anything with a penis, when in actuality sex workers in general are the most stubborn, willful, independent and even defiant women I know.  In fact, if you look at anti-sex worker rhetoric from prior to about a century ago, you’ll notice that these exact characteristics were used to support the claim that we are “bad” women, because the Establishment likes women meek, passive and spineless and we’re the opposite.  We like to do things our own way, on our own schedule, by our own rules, and we’ve been well-known since Biblical times for rebelling against authority and refusing to jump when told to or speak only when spoken to.  I’m sure you see where this is going: the very characteristics that drive women toward sex work in the first place, the same characteristics which enable us to succeed in a profession without structure, bosses or trade unions, are the very traits that make us difficult to organize.

There is hope, of course.  The submissive or weak-minded are easily driven from the rear by “leaders” who don’t actually lead, but rather stay in safety and shout orders while others take the risks.  But the ornery and self-motivated can only be led from the front, by those willing to take the risks and model the behavior they’d like others to adopt.  Nor can these leaders be motivated by the desire for power, glory or adulation; most sex workers are keen judges of human behavior and can smell hypocrisy and manipulation a mile off.  The only way we’re ever going to win our rights is by ceaselessly fighting the lies prohibitionists tell about us, and relentlessly opposing the police state’s desire to control us.  The best way to do that is by speaking up and being out, by refusing to hide our light under a bushel, by fearlessly living our lives no matter who tries to threaten and terrorize us into submission.  If we do a good job of that, others will follow our examples, and those gifted with the ability to organize will take on those roles.  It won’t be a fast process, but it’s already well underway; there are strong sex worker organizations in many countries, and though criminalization makes that harder in the US it’s gradually happening here as well (albeit at a maddeningly-slow pace).  In her book The Love Project, Arleen Lorrance wrote, “Be the change you want to see happen instead of trying to change anyone else.”  This quote is usually shortened to “Be the change you want to see in the world” and misattributed to Gandhi, but I prefer the original phrasing and try my best to live by it.  I don’t have the power to change anyone else, and I wouldn’t want it; however, I do have the power to behave in the way – independently, fearlessly, honestly and ethically – that I’d like others to behave.  And I can only hope that by so doing, others will like what they see and want to do it as well…not because anyone forced them to, but because they want to in order to win rights for themselves, their friends and all their sisters.

(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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When the Mirror Lies

Is it normal to feel like a failure when you’re 21 and you still haven’t finished high school, even though your parents don’t make a huge deal out of it and are very supportive of you?

Very, very normal.  Many people are our own worst critics, including me.  When I look at myself in the mirror or in pictures, every flaw jumps out at me, and other people often praise essays of mine which I thought were lackluster and phoned-in.  In my personal life, I tend to blame myself for everything that goes wrong, every time there’s a bump or rough spot in a relationship, every time something doesn’t turn out quite as planned; I apologize so often for things that aren’t my fault that the people who love me sometimes fuss me about it and insist I stop apologizing.  The number of times Matisse or Lorelei or Grace or someone else who loves me has said, “Maggie, you are not [bad thing I just said about myself],” are literally countless.  And I feel like a failure so often I doubt I ever make it through a week without experiencing that at least a couple of times.

The truth is that, we all have strengths and weaknesses, and we ourselves are often very poor at weighing those against one another.  There are many things I’m extremely good at (like sex and writing), and many things I’m extremely bad at (like keeping quiet or dealing with formal systems), and I often feel that the bad things outweigh the good.  But people who love me are there to tell me the truth, and to help me keep perspective.  It may be that you’re not very good at doing the formal education thing, but I’m sure there are plenty of things you didn’t mention in your letter that you’re very good at.  And if the people who love you (in this case your parents) are supportive and don’t think it’s important that you haven’t yet finished high school, then try to draw some balance from them.  Focus on the things you’re good at and work to get better at them, and try to remember that our brains often lie to us about ourselves, and that you aren’t alone in that respect; it is, I’m sad to say, part of the human condition.  But fortunately, we don’t have to rely only on our own perceptions and thoughts; we also have people we love and trust, and they can help us to recognize ourselves as lovable and valuable human beings even when we ourselves can’t see 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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Sandwich

I recently contacted a young lady advertising her services in an internet forum dedicated to a certain fetish to make a custom video for me, and gave her what I thought was a detailed list of instructions for what I wanted in the video.  She said that one of my requests was outside of her comfort zone; I told her that was OK, that I still wanted to hire her, and offered a substitute for the offending request instead, which she found acceptable and agreed to.  But the resultant video then wound up having just that one substitution, and none of the other elements we’d previously discussed.  I feel unhappy that I didn’t get what I was looking for; she’s already been paid of course, but has asked me how I liked the video, and I’m unsure what to say.  What’s the proper and appropriate way for a client to express dissatisfaction with the service they’re getting?

I think this is one of those cases where a “compliment sandwich” is the right approach:  compliment her, then express your criticism clearly and without rancor (and putting the blame on yourself), followed by another compliment.  Something like this might work:  “You’re very beautiful and the video you sent was very sexy!  I’m afraid I didn’t explain myself well, though; the substitute request was only for that one element you weren’t comfortable with, and I still wanted the other elements we had discussed that you were OK with.  Next time I’ll be sure to explain better, so the results will be even sexier.”  It’s possible she may reply with an offer to redo the video, or to give you a discount on the next; however, even if she doesn’t, you’ve at least expressed your feelings and learned that in future, it’s probably best to spell things out clearly & double-check after making a change.  “So we’re going to change that one element and leave the other ones as I first expressed them, OK?”  Something like that.  And with any luck, this will also teach her to pay a bit more attention to the details of requests, which in fetish work are often very specific and can ruin the fantasy if left out.

(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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Although lucrative, this is a very isolating career.  Your website eases that some, but I was wondering if you ever offer business coaching for providers?  If not, perhaps you are aware of a reputable coach you could direct me towards?  Although I’ve been in this business for a few years now, and I have a stellar reputation, I feel there is room for improvement.

You’re exactly right, this career can be extremely isolating; one of the reasons I moved to Seattle is because of the amazing sex worker community here, which is unlike any other I’ve ever seen in any other city.  We communicate with each other, socialize with one another, help each other out and even date one another; I really wish it could be like this in every city, especially in criminalized regimes like the US where that kind of interpersonal support is vital.

Unfortunately, I’m actually a terrible person to ask for advice on this subject; though I’m a top-notch sex worker, I’m not a very good businesswoman and I’m pretty bad at internet marketing, too.  If it weren’t for my natural gifts and talents, literally decades of experience and the attention my writing brings, I probably wouldn’t make enough to live on.  As I wrote in “Teacher’s Pet” (which is worth reading in its entirety, BTB):

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.

The only three ways in which I might be able to help are 1) I’m going to post this as Thursday’s column, and maybe someone may pop up in the comments to offer help; 2) If you like, I can forward your information to a screener/booker who may be able to assist;  3)  I can pass your info on to a friend of mine who helps new girls get started in Seattle; I can’t promise she’ll be willing to help or that she’ll be able to tell you anything you don’t already know, but it’s a possibility.  So here’s #1 (keep your eyes open to Twitter today, too) and if you want me to put you in contact with either of those other ladies, do let me know.

(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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Made To Be Broken

My dominatrix is bright, a great listener, and knows her trade well; I’ve been seeing her for several years.  A couple of months ago, in chit-chat after the scene was done, I asked her about her school and made an offhand remark about how she seemed to like unstructured events.  She was offended, said I didn’t know her well enough, and left without a word of goodbye.  Later she texted me saying I was intrusive and needy, and that it wasn’t her job to give me attention.  Now she is ignoring me.  What did I do wrong?

Different people have different boundaries, and sex workers are no exception.  We’re a lot better at policing our boundaries than most people, but we all have different ways of doing that.  Some of us, especially those relatively new to the profession, have extremely firm and rigid boundaries and strict rules about how we maintain them (which often includes rules about the consequences of boundary violation, up to and including “firing” a client who transgresses them).  Over the years, many (perhaps most) of us get more flexible about our rules; we develop a better sense of which boundaries are serious deal-breakers and which we’re willing to negotiate for the right client under the right circumstances, subject to intuition.  For example, when I first started I absolutely never gave out my personal phone number or legal name; now there are clients who know both.  There were also things at first that I’d never do for anyone, but now don’t mind if I know the gent well enough.  It’s not that I’ve become jaded or don’t care about my boundaries any more; far from it.  It’s just that I’ve internalized my needs well enough, and have such a finely-honed sense of how I feel about a situation from moment to moment, that I don’t always need the rigid rules as I did 17 years ago.  However, not everyone is like me; some ladies maintain strict rules for their entire career, and it’s their right to do so.  Nobody can determine what works for any individual but that individual herself.

It’s pretty clear that your lady is one whose boundaries are both firm and non-negotiable, and you broke one of them.  That isn’t a criticism of you; it may be that if I were in your place I’d have unknowingly done the same thing.  And it’s equally clear that your offense, however unintended, was serious enough in her mind that she is willing to forgo the income to maintain her principles and/or avoid the possibility you may do it again.  My advice is that you move on and find another domme; it may be that she is being manipulative and will contact you when she decides you’ve been punished enough (or when she wants your money enough).  And when and if that happens, you get to decide whether that kind of treatment is forgivable or whether it violated one of your boundaries, and whether you should go back to seeing her or tell her where she can stick her moodiness.

(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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