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Maggie, have you written an article about why sex workers prefer older clients? You’ve mentioned this several times but I don’t recall you ever detailing why this is.

older man & young womanI don’t know that I’ve ever detailed it, either; in fact, I’m pretty sure I haven’t, because it’s such a given in our world that it may never have occurred to me that it actually needed detailing.  But since a very regular reader asked after last week’s Q&A, and another seconded the question, I was obviously incorrect in that assumption, so here goes.

I think there are four basic reasons why sex workers prefer older clients; two of them are purely pragmatic, one is related to professional satisfaction and the last is merely an amplification of a typical female preference.  Let’s take that last one first:  I don’t think anyone will disagree that most women tend to prefer men who are older than they are.  For most women it’s just a few years, but others prefer a larger gap and some tend toward a very noticeable disparity.  Yes, I recognize that there are exceptions to that rule, and y’all can argue whether the reason is nature or nurture if y’all want to (though I will most certainly not be participating).  But in general, I think most people will agree that at least part of the reason is that men mature more slowly than women, and (sorry, guys) never quite catch up.  So if a woman wants a sex partner of a comparable level of maturity, she’s generally going to have to select someone at least a few years older.  Since whores have to deal with a lot more men than the average amateur, we also have to put up with a lot more irritating male behavior than she does; since older men are more mature, they are much less likely to act like annoying boys than young men are wont to do (reread last week’s column in light of this and I think you may see this reflected in it).  And that makes our jobs easier, less stressful and much more pleasant.

Another thing about older men which makes them easier to deal with is that maturity tends to make a man appreciate quality over quantity.  Older men generally prefer better to more; in other words, the experience a sex worker gives him – her conversation and/or service, the atmosphere she creates, the subtle things she does that make her different from all other women – tends to become much more important than how many positions she is willing to try in one session or how many times she can bring him to climax.  On the one hand, that makes her job physically easier; having sex (or conducting a BDSM scene, or giving a sensual massage or whatever) can be both physically strenuous and emotionally draining, and that is multiplied when one’s partner is very energetic and demanding.  Consider that a sex worker may have to perform anywhere from several times per week to several times per day depending upon the kind of work and her price structure, and I think you’ll understand why clients who want to spend more time talking or cuddling than they do expecting her to turn handstands are so welcome.

sloppy eaterBut there’s another factor involved here as well:  sex workers whose professional model relies upon creating a holistic experience (such as courtesans, dominatrices, GFE escorts, tanrikas and many others) often spend considerable time, energy and effort on working out the minutiae of that experience, and it’s incredibly gratifying for that effort to be recognized and appreciated.  Imagine how a chef might feel if he were to see some hungry young athlete dump ketchup all over his lovingly-presented cuisine, wolf it down without pausing, belch loudly and then complain that the portion wasn’t big enough, and you might be able to grasp the reaction of an escort whose client does something very similar.  Mature men are much more likely to get it, and I don’t just mean appreciating the skill and savoring the experience; there’s a far greater chance that an older man will understand that sex workers are professional entertainers who deserve to be paid well for our mastery of our ancient and venerable art.  Young men are far more likely than mature ones to haggle, try to fuck for every minute of a session or even willfully misunderstand the nature of the transaction (“I’m young and good-looking, do I get a discount?”); older men are much more likely to tip, book longer sessions and honor the economic basis of the transaction rather than merely tolerating it.

That last, of course, is certainly due at least in part to the fact that as a rule, older men are more financially healthy than younger ones; they can afford to be more  generous and don’t need to squeeze every last Jackson until it bleeds.  And that brings us to the other pragmatic reason most sex workers prefer older clients:  in general, they have more money.  They don’t haggle, are less likely to short the fee, book more often and for longer sessions, tip better, bring more generous gifts and can often be counted on to come through in financial emergencies.  And even if all other factors were equal, that one would heavily tip the scales to age.

(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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Age Before Beauty

I’m thinking about calling an escort for the first time; do they take young guys seriously?  Or would I be treated differently from older men?

Some ladies have a lower age limit of 30 or even 35, but if one does it’ll be marked clearly on her website.  If a young man wants to see an escort, there are some very simple steps he can take to ensure she takes him seriously:

  • Read her website carefully and approach her exactly as she says she wants to be approached.  If you don’t have references, you need to find a lady who specifically advertises as “newbie friendly” or else you’re just wasting her time and yours.
  • Be clear, honest and polite about being young, and understand that this is a liability for you rather than an asset; one of the most asinine and annoying things a would-be client can say is something like “I’m young and good looking, so you’ll enjoy it” or “Do I get a discount because I’m young and fit?”
  • Don’t ask prying or lurid questions, and don’t try to get dirty talk for free; be polite and respectful.
  • Be patient if she expects you to jump through some hoops; give her whatever screening info she wants.
  • Read my “Advice for Clients” column and follow it.
  • If she won’t see you, tell her you understand, thank her for her time & try another lady.
  • If she does agree to see you, make sure you’re on your best behavior and tip her extra; the next time you want to see someone you’ll be able to give the first lady’s name as a reference, and she will speak well of you.
  • Treat all the first few escorts you see this way, and I promise you won’t have any trouble after that as long as you respect the wishes of those who have a posted lower age limit.  If you try to approach one of the ladies who do, she will take your ignoring her boundary as a sign that you’re impolite & disrespectful, and you still won’t get in to see her.

Good luck!

(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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Fireworks

I’m looking for a way my wife can learn the ways of seduction.  We married at 19, had our first child at 23 and have been married for 27 years.  When we were young she did not have to do anything special to keep my attention, but as I’ve aged I’ve grown to desire sexually confident women.  In recent years I’ve been living and working in a developing country and had an affair with a much younger woman; it isn’t that the sex with her is dramatically better, but rather her confidence in her beauty and sexuality, and all of the little subtle seductive things which I long for.  My wife is a good woman who is kind, thoughtful, and caring, but we have very different love languages and have grown apart over the years.  I confessed the affair to her and we’re talking very openly about the situation; we both want things to work, but I need the things I mentioned, which do not come naturally to her.  How can my wife learn such things so we can connect?  Or am I just being a selfish ass?

fireworks heartTalents of any kind, from music to leadership to skill at a sport, start out as natural aptitudes and are then shaped by a person’s environment and education; such skills grow if encouraged and atrophy if discouraged, and if pursued diligently can be developed to a professional level.  And yes, that includes the talent you’re calling “seduction” but which I would call “sensuality” or “lovemaking”.  People in the modern West like to pretend that sexual interaction is like some kind of magical energy field which arises instantly, spontaneously & mutually when two people are “in love”; romantic stories and Hollywood movies pretend that all two people under the influence of the temporary neurochemical derangement we incorrectly label with the exalted word “love” need do is get naked together and POOF! Fireworks.  The “abstinence only” form of sex miseducation even teaches this idiocy as fact, lying to young people that suppressing their natural sexual urges and denying all sexual expression for the better part of a decade (or more) will magically result in the best sex imaginable when the two of them clumsily grope each other in the dark without either of them having the faintest notion of what they’re doing.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking I mean mere technical proficiency, though; there’s a school of thought diametrically opposed to the spontaneous-generation dogma which is equally absurd and ignorant.  You might call it “Cosmo sex tricks” thinking: the idea that the human body is a machine not dissimilar to a power tool or electronic gadget, and that if one just turns the right knobs and sets the dials correctly, POOF!  Fireworks.  And I’m here to give you a big ol’ NOOOOOOOPE on that idea.  The art of sensuality starts with a natural aptitude which is then shaped by environment, education and practice; lots and lots and LOTS of practice.  It doesn’t magically appear after a lifetime of repression because a preacher says “I now pronounce you…”, and it can no more be learned from a book, magazine or video than “Learn Guitar in Ten Easy Lessons” will turn you into the next Jimi Hendrix.  Given equal aptitude, a woman with a better formative environment and more practice will still excel over one with worse and less; given the same environment and amount of practice, a man with higher aptitude will still surpass one with lower.  We can’t all be master chefs, basketball stars, or prima ballerinas.

But here’s the good news:  We Don’t All Have To Be.  Your wife doesn’t have to be Maggie McNeill; she just has to demonstrate love and affection as you need it.  And though we only have your side of the story, your very first line is “WE married at 19…”  We.  She and you.  I suspect that neither your natural aptitude for sensuality nor your early experience was very different from hers, or else neither of y’all would’ve done anything as foolish as getting married at 19 (no offense; remember, I got engaged at 20 and I’m supposed to be the wise one here).  You say, “we have very different love languages”; I certainly believe that, but why is she the one who needs to learn a new language on the near side of 50?  It seems to me that both of you could stand to acquire some new skills in that department.  You both need to try to demonstrate love and sensuality in a way the other can respond to, and you both need to try to appreciate what the other is trying to demonstrate.  It’s not going to be easy; nothing worthwhile ever is.  But there are counselors and workshops and the like who may be able to assist you; you’re going to have to find them in your area, and you may have to try a few before you find the right one.  You say y’all both want this to work, and after investing 27 years in each other that sounds like a good idea to me.  There is no Royal Road to proficiency in anything, but a burden shared is a burden halved, right?  If you work toward being her ideal lover as hard as she works toward being yours, y’all may be within hailing distance of each other sooner than you think.The Mysterious Distance Between Man and Woman by Valeria Giachetti (2009)

(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 Friday, Dan Savage tweeted a question he’d received to get the opinion of several sex workers, namely Mistress Matisse, Mike Crawford and me (plus anyone else who cared to chime in).  The question itself is interesting, and I found it fascinating how much the answers diverged.  So although Dan already published the question and answers on his Stranger blog, I’d also like to feature it here:

man courting womanI’d appreciate your thoughts on a matter of sex worker etiquette and social boundaries.  Someone I’d describe as an acquaintance/casual friend recently let me know that she is working as an escort.  I’ve known her for a few years, and have always been more than a little attracted to her.  We dated very briefly when we first met and have had an intermittent friendship in the years since.  We’re close enough to talk about subjects like sex work and our mutually non-judgmental attitudes toward it, though this is someone I bump into fairly rarely—maybe a couple of times a year.  If there’s an appropriate and respectful way to bring up that I’d be interested in her professional services, I’d love to do it in the right way.  Or would you advise me to leave this alone?  We’re well enough acquainted that I could broach the subject in an in-person conversation or by text (as opposed to, say, booking an appointment anonymously and saying “Surprise! Remember me?”).  Any thoughts?  –  Friend In Favor Of Compensating For Benefits

My answer:  It’s a delicate one. If they had never dated I’d say it was pretty straightforward. But as it is she could conceivably feel awkward. My advice: He should tell her he’d like to see an escort and ask if she has any recommendations. Then IF she’s comfortable, she can volunteer her own services, and if not he’ll get a very good recommendation to another.

Matisse:  I personally do not accept people as clients if I’ve been friends with them socially. But that is partly because I’m a dominatrix and some fantasies and D/s rely on a certain level of mystery and distance. Definitely via email, NOT in person. Tell her it’s cool if she doesn’t feel comfortable. And accept it will change things.

Mike Crawford:  “How’s business? Are you taking new clients? Would you be open to seeing me professionally?” Best approach I can think of. As mentioned, the prior relationship could make it awkward. As any client should, if she declines to see him, FIFOCFB should accept that graciously.

Lara Belle:  I would choose one of the zillion other SWs where boundaries are not an issue. The question can be broached: “Are you open to seeing clients who are part of your personal life,” etc., but don’t even go there at all if he expects her to keep it a secret and have a whole range of new pressures forced upon her with her other friends/acquaintances.

Conner Habib:  Yes, he definitely has the right to ask! But I want him to ask himself why he’s asking, too! I’d ask: Out of all the escorts in the world you can hire, you chose one whose boundaries may be problematic for you and would need negotiation. What does that tell you about yourself? Self-investigate & move on.

Rosemary Lashes:  I had a friend ask this of me when I came out and frankly I find it insulting. For me, I want compartmentalization. I do not mix business/clients w friends. It complicates too much, and $ creates power dynamics regardless of intention.

Ava Grace:  Definitely don’t surprise her with a booking without notice. But considering the history of the friendship you can always ask the question. If she’s not ok with it she will say no. And you need to be prepared for and ok with accepting that no if it comes. Good luck.

Daddy’s Princess:  It would be awkward to see him professionally & maintain a friendship.

Melodie Nelson:  Sex -paid for or not-can change relationships. But he should ask simply. No more stigma 1 day.

Sensual Muse:  IMO no on this-personal life is sep from work: 2 mix risks never having down time.  it’s personal I think…just my boundary pref. no clients in personal spaces

Mandy Mitchell:  every SW is different but to me the “used to date” part gets a little dicey, there are plenty of other pros to seek, always

Sophie Darling:  I NEVER EVER mix business into my personal life. Just my MO though…

Buttercream Bombshell:  My view is to face to face express interest politely and let her decide.

Violet Baudelaire:  IF she says yes, he needs to realize that all her normal work rules still apply, even though they know each other.

There were also a good number of conversations on the topic; Matisse especially had some good discussions with a number of the respondents, as you can see by following the links.  It just goes to show you:  everyone’s different, and on matters of sex work etiquette there’s sometimes no one “correct” answer.

(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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Ordinary Men

Not long ago you linked to a piece about what sex workers want from their clients, and I was deeply depressed by it because of the very low bar for client behavior that it seemed to set.  I cannot imagine showing up dirty, nor behaving meanly unless I were greatly provoked.  Is that so terribly unusual?  What is the percentage of clients who are honest and courteous men?  I grew up as a “local” in a coastal resort community, surrounded by wealthy retirees and summer vacationers, and spent several years in retail there.  Some of these people were outright asses, some were oblivious or self-absorbed, and some were kind and interesting people.  Is it really as simple as that?  To some extent, is all service work the same?cartoon guy

In a word, yes.  The clients of sex workers are neither paragons of humanity nor the cartoon villains imagined by prohibitionists; they’re just ordinary men.  I would say that the fraction of them who are really awful is extremely small; the majority are polite and honest, and anything they do to offend is mostly unintentional (born of social awkwardness, poor habits or a bad sense of sexual boundaries and/or practices).  That having been said, it’s a well-known observation that the less a guy pays, the more he wants; girls who charge less probably see a lot more misbehavior than those at a higher price point.  I don’t think that has anything to do with wealthier people having more “class”; you and I both know that rich people are very often boorish, rude and unpleasant, and poor people are very often polite and gracious.  No, I think it has more to do with the fact that the more people pay for things (and that includes experiences), the more they value them; nearly every whore I know has remarked that men who pay here usually treat her much better than those she dated for “free” before starting her career.  Furthermore, I’ve noticed that as I’ve aged, the clients have become much more polite and respectful; part of that may be that older men are on average more mature and better understand how to treat a woman, and part may be that my own presence has developed to the point where it silently demands more respect.  Nobody’s ever done a survey, but I suspect that younger sex workers, inexperienced ones and those who charge less see a lot more misbehavior from clients than older ones, those who charge more and those who have the self-assurance that comes with years of experience.

(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 a retired madam who used to post often on a well-known review board; I knew quite a few escorts fairly well, and some even worked with me while visiting my city.  But when persecution of sex workers increased, my nerves were shot and I retired; that was five years ago.  I thought I had enough to retire on, but a few months ago I lost a lot of money in bad investments, and now I find myself needing a source of income again.  Although I am no longer interested  in taking on the all-consuming responsibility of an agency, I would be very interested in becoming a booker/screener for another agency or for a number of independents.  I have tons of experience, intuition, and good judgement, plus actual empathy for the women I worked with.  Do you have any suggestions on where and how I could get established in this business?

gatekeeperI’ve met several ladies who work as bookers & screeners, and some of them do quite well.  Personally, I wouldn’t approach an agency; instead, I would look for independents who would be willing to pay you a fee for every completed gig.  After you get a few happy customers, I think more will come looking for you; it’s the first few that are going to be the hardest.  Do you still have a presence on any escort advertising/review boards?  If you do, you could contact the owners or moderators and ask if they’d mind if you advertised your services there.  You could also call or email the ladies you know, and pitch it to them; you might even advertise on Twitter.  It’s even possible you might get some business advertising on Backpage, and Aphrodite knows many of the ladies who advertise there could use an experienced assistant; however, as we all know that site is crawling with cops, and I’m afraid you might be setting yourself up to be targeted by predatory “detectives” looking for a big “sex trafficking” bust to add to their resumes.  It may take you a little while to get this rolling, but once you do I think you’ll not only have a very decent income, but also help a lot of our younger sisters to stay safe.

(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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Amateur Night

I’m a 33 year old man who was the victim of more than 20 years of physical, emotional and non-penetrative sexual abuse; as you might imagine this has impacted my sexuality in pretty negative ways.  But thanks to more than a decade of therapy, I believe that I have put the most of the worst behind me and I would like to lose my virginity.  I respect prostitutes a great deal, but there’s a part of me that doesn’t want that as my first experience.  I could go out and get a girlfriend (I’m actually quite comfortable with women), or I could attempt to have a one-night stand, though I don’t know the first thing about doing that.  I could go back into more therapy, but at this point I’m leaning towards doing the deed itself being the best form of that.  I would appreciate any assistance you might possibly render with your wisdom and experience in this field.Amateur Night

There’s nothing wrong with taking the slow, socially-approved route of getting a girlfriend and losing your virginity to her, provided you

A) aren’t in a rush;

B) are reasonably sure you won’t have any extreme reactions if she accidentally does something that triggers a traumatic memory; and

C) don’t really care about the quality of the sexual performance itself.

If, however, you feel a sense of urgency about this, like you “need” to lose your virginity right away, it’s probably much better to get a professional.  With a pro you can control the time and pacing; it will happen when YOU are ready, not when an amateur decides she’s ready.  And while navigating the dance of consent and the give-and-take of a romantic relationship is probably something you should learn at some point in the future, learning it right now, at a time when you aren’t yet sure you’re completely over your trauma yet, might be more than you can handle.  Furthermore, I’m a little uncomfortable with the way you say, “go out and get a girlfriend”, like “go and get takeout food”.  It makes it sound like you plan to use her to lose your virginity, and then…what?  What if you have a traumatic reaction, as I touched on above?  What if you get really needily-attached to her, or have a bad experience and reject her?  While those are things an adult woman should be able to handle, it’s just not ethical to dump your garbage in someone else’s yard without her permission, and frankly, most amateurs really have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to dealing with any sexuality more complicated than the typical vanilla “love” or lust-based interaction (which is why their STI rates are so damned high).  To me it’s a lot more honest, ethical and sensible for you to pay a seasoned professional (choose one who has a long internet history and a reputation for patience) for a multi-hour session, take her to dinner, get to feel comfortable and tell her about your issues so she can be ready.  Once you’ve got that troublesome first time out of the way, you can decide how you want to proceed in the future.  But given that most amateurs are barely even competent to give an untraumatized person a decent first time, I think your reticence runs counter to your best interests.  At one time it was quite normal for young men to have their first experiences with a whore; the modern preoccupation with amateur initiations is based in foolish romanticism, not good sense and a sober analysis of what would provide the best results.

(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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