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Posts Tagged ‘Mentoring’

I often get questions from women who are interested in becoming sex workers.  Sometimes they have specific questions, but more often they want general advice; you can find past questions like this in my Mentoring tag, or on my “Previously Asked Questions” page under “Mentoring”.  But while I was answering last week’s question I realized that I cannot in good conscience continue to advise young American women to enter full-service sex work (i.e. escorting or other forms of prostitution) at all until “sex trafficking” hysteria has imploded and the ramped-up persecution of sex workers, our clients, our loved ones and our associates has at last died down.  Every day I read stories of women being raped, beaten, humiliated, locked in cages and even murdered by cops who claim either that they’re “rescuing” us or “abating” us (like a disease).  Every day I receive communications from time-wasters and psychos, and read other ladies’ complaints of similar incidents.  Every few weeks another advertising site or escort service falls victim to a high-profile pogrom, and a constant stream of new surveillance weapons are deployed against us (and this doesn’t even count the shockingly-invasive amounts of information websites like Eros are demanding as a condition of carrying escorts’ ads).  On top of all that, I myself keep advising gentlemen to stick to contacting well-known and well-established providers, and to avoid unknowns; that’s excellent advice for them, but very bad for new ladies just getting into the business.  And while the vast majority of clients are probably unaware of my advice, it would be pretty shitty of me to help women get into the business while simultaneously warning men to avoid them.  No, I’m afraid that for the duration of the moral panic I’ll have to limit myself to helping those who’ve already crossed the Rubicon, while suggesting that those who haven’t consider taking up a branch of sex work that hasn’t been criminalized…yet.

(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’m an 18 year old virgin, barely making ends meet at my dishwashing job; I’m interested in making money with my body.  I’ve thought about stripping but I don’t think I have the body for it and I have self harm scars on my thighs; maybe porn or escorting might be another avenue to explore.  Would it be a good selling point that I’m a virgin?  How would I go about advertising that?

Since stripping and porn performing are more visual than escorting, you may be right about the latter being a better path for you than the former two.  I wouldn’t worry too much about the scars if I were you; I have some fairly noticeable scarring on my left arm, and I know a lady with pronounced Cesarean section scars, and both of us are quite popular escorts.  There are three things in your letter, however, which do concern me and you should consider them deeply before attempting to pursue sex work.

The first is your youth:  while 18 is of legal age and I’ve known some ladies (including me) who did sell sex at that age, the ongoing hysteria over “child sex trafficking” has made being so young a liability rather than an asset.  Advertising sites are going to subject you to extra scrutiny, webcrawling programs run by the government and its prohibitionist cronies will flag you for increased surveillance, and your local cops and/or the FBI may even target you for “rescue” (i.e. arrest and use as a propaganda subject) in one of their pogroms if they decide you might be underage or vulnerable.

The second is your use of the phrase “make money with my body”, which to me indicates you’ve absorbed some harmful myths about sex work.  What you’re doing now is making money with your body; unless commercial dishwashing is very different from the home variety, it doesn’t exactly require a lot of mental work.  Escorting, on the other hand, requires considerable emotional labor; creating ads, screening clients and building a brand also require a great deal of head work.  It may be that you’re up to the challenge; since I know nothing about you I can’t say.  But even some very bright people don’t really like expending the kind of mental and emotional energy necessary to succeed as an escort, especially in these times of vanishing advertising sites and increased screening difficulty.

The third is your virginity.  You didn’t say where you live, but your spelling and word use seem American to me.  So unless you’re planning to go abroad, the only way to openly sell your virginity without bringing down hordes of authoritarians attempting to “save” you from a sensible decision (because you’re supposed to give your virginity for free to some stupid, penniless boy who may inflict an STI or worse, a pregnancy, on you) is to make a deal with a Nevada brothel to market that, and they’ll take 50%.  Furthermore, none of the high-profile virginity sales of the past few years have gone well, which rather makes skeptical of the whole concept in the 21st century (though it worked well in the 19th and early 20th).  Furthermore, I don’t think it’s an especially good idea for a young woman who doesn’t even know how she’s going to feel about sex with men to try to make a living at it from square one.

My advice to you is this:  get a bit of sexual experience under your belt (no pun intended) before considering any kind of in-person sex work.  Try doing phone sex (there are some services such as Niteflirt which are quite popular) and see if you like that, then maybe move onto camming.  Do some research and talk to sex workers, and then after you’ve been doing the not-in-person stuff for a while you can try dipping into escorting if you still want to.

(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’ve been a sugar baby for nearly a year now, but I really just want to switch from sugaring to escorting. I’ve used SeekingArrangement to meet clients but this will no longer work for me as they have a very strict anti-escort policy.  Do you know of any real sites I could use, and do you have any advice for a new girl starting out?

Sugaring, as you have obviously figured out, is just underpaid escorting.  This isn’t to say that it’s impossible to find decent long-term patrons on Seeking Arrangement and other such platforms; I have an ad there myself, as do several of my friends, because their “no escorts” policy is a laughable smoke screen designed to hide the fact that sugaring is a form of sex work.  Brandon Wade, the owner of Seeking Arrangement, is pissing himself so thoroughly over the possibility that he could be attacked with anti-whore laws like FOSTA that he not only makes videos filled with asinine whorearchical bullshit, but also employs full-time propaganda writers to convince sugar babies that they’re not whores, because if they understood that they were they wouldn’t sell their time so cheaply.  The engine which drives sugar sites has two pistons: men who want to pretend they aren’t paying for sex, and women who want to pretend they aren’t whores.  So the problem with SA and similar sites for sensible women like you and me is that first piston:  some dudes are so terrified of admitting they pay for sex that they don’t want to give their dates anything useful, like cash; they just want to buy designer bags and shoes and take you on pricey vacations (that aren’t worth nearly the time you need to spend with the sugar daddy).  As you’ve discovered, escorting is more honest, more lucrative and much less time-intensive, and therefore a better choice.  I’m afraid the options for advertising are more limited than they were last year; many sites have self-censored for fear of FOSTA, and Backpage was raided and shut down by the government using astonishingly sleazy tactics.  But there are still Eros, Slixa, Escort-ads and many local escort boards (many of which are free).  The easiest way to find the ones in your area is to do a Google search for “escorts + [your city]” and see what comes up; that’ll also show you what most escorts in your area charge.  As for advice, I recommend you visit my “mentoring” tag and read everything in it, then join Twitter and Switter and follow me and as many other sex workers as you can find.  That won’t exactly give you a textbook, but it’s a good start.

(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 all of the effects of the recent US government censorship drives are at the macro level, such as the castration or destruction of websites; some affect only individuals or smallish groups, but are still annoying and/or frustrating, and make work more difficult and less pleasant.  I’ve read that some Backpage girls who formerly worked on the street are now getting harassing phone calls or texts from pimps and pimp wannabes, offering them beaucoups clients in the hope of enticing them into a relationship.  And since the guys who used to use Backpage now don’t know where to go, they’re inflicting their ham-handed “Hey sexy” and untutored “qv* avail?” texts on sex workers who aren’t used to dealing with that (and in my case, lack the patience).  But worst of all, these police-state shenanigans have emboldened toads who want to harass & frighten sex workers.

A week ago yesterday, I got one of the automatic emails produced by the booking form on my escort site, and as soon as I saw nonsense like “Desired appointment length: forever” I knew I was being harassed by a troll.  And although I found his rather pathetic attempt to frighten me kind of amusing, I’m also aware that this sort of thing can be very disconcerting and upsetting to young, inexperienced escorts.  So I’m sharing this because if anyone reading this gets similar messages, you’ll know they’re from losers and not get upset or scared.  Anyway, below the gobbledygook he put into the fields for name, phone number, etc, I found this in the note field [all sic]:  “you are a dumb whore. prepare for your site to be shut down immediately. Dumb whore check out cabuyerbeware.com that is my work. Your information has been reported and forwarded to the proper authorites in seattle washington, FBI feild office”  Soon after I was done sharing this on Twitter for others to mock, I checked my emails again and found another one, clearly from the same lackwit, timestamped 41 minutes after the first; the note field contained this scintillating gem: “You are a whore. Your site will be taken down. You are a whore. THe proper authorities in the FBI field offices of seattle have been notified of your whore activities. good luck whore.

First of all, it’s apparent this moron has absolutely no idea who he’s dealing with, else he’d realize that the FBI undoubtedly already knows who I am and has a fat file on me, including my website address.  Secondly, the idiot apparently doesn’t get that the whole “buyer beware” scam is intended to scare clients, not sex workers, hence the name; of course they also want to scare whores, but indirectly.  To threaten us directly is to make their lies about wanting to “save” us transparent, and they don’t want that.  Thirdly, even if due to FOSTA my site’s domain name were to be seized by the feds at some point in the future (LOL at “immediately”), I would simply yawn & switch it over to the overseas domain name I’ve already prepared.  In fact, just before seeing this childish wanker’s pathetic attempt to frighten me, I was completing the last step to move my actual site files to a new overseas host; I’m sure most ladies are taking similar steps to protect their professional sites.  Lastly, it’s really quite pathetic that this wart seems to think that repeatedly telling me what I do for a living is some kind of insult; one wonders if he emails physicians with “You are a doctor” over & over.

It’s also possible this is the same fuckwad who texted me three days earlier from a Rhode Island number ending in 8550 (first name DeAndre, with listings on Verify Him as a psycho and harasser)**, ludicrously approaching as though he were a BDSM top and apparently expecting me to play along; he swore revenge when I humiliated him, and maybe he thinks this will accomplish it or at least make me nervous.  That guy kept calling me “bitch” over and over just as this one repeatedly used “whore”, and the writing style and self-important delusions are very similar.  But even if they’re different people (the two forms came from different IPs, so he was probably using a VPN and I can’t trace it to Rhode Island), the “bow to your king” dork is yet another example of the kind of loathsome vermin the government’s actions have caused to come crawling out of the woodwork.  During this time a lot of sex workers are nervous & jumpy, with good reason; assholes will use that in an attempt to get off on terrorizing women.  Don’t let them get to you, and even if you can’t help being frightened, don’t let them know you are or you’ll have a devil of a time getting rid of them.

*Quick visit, also known by the more vulgar term “blow & go”, is an extremely short (usually 15 minutes), very low-priced session favored by cheapskates.
**Ladies, if you think you may have been harassed by this nitwit and want his full info, email me.

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Last summer I saw a client whom I have good reason to believe is quite capable of violence, and he is now stalking me.  For about a month now he has parked in front of my house and watched almost every night; it may have been longer, because it took me longer than I am comfortable with to notice.  Last week he switched up his game: he got out of his car, prowled around my house, and left much sooner than he usually does.  Then later, I found a ladder and a flashlight near the easiest entry point to my home.  I called my attorney to tell him I wanted a restraining order, but he told me to first file a police report; I stalled a bit, but when I finally went to the cops they refused to take a report.  After that, I immediately fled town in terror and am writing to you from several states away from my home.  I want to return as soon as I can and get a restraining order, but is there a way to file such an order under a stage name?  Please tell me you have some advice.

I’m so sorry to hear about this horrible situation.  I’m not at all surprised the cops wouldn’t do anything to help you; cops don’t give a damn what happens to sex workers, and commonly write “NHI” (“No Humans Involved”) on reports about violence toward us.  I would also advise against putting faith in restraining orders; they don’t have magic powers, and can’t stop violent people from being violent even when the cops are willing to enforce them (which in your case they won’t be).

I think it was a very good idea to leave town for a while; that won’t get rid of him, but it may put him off your scent temporarily.  You’re going to need help from friends and associates to deal with this, and if I were in your place I’d contact the local SWOP chapter (I know there is one in your city) right away in addition to informing all the friends you can trust.  I think it would be best if you find another place to live; if possible, get a friend, family member or trusted client to sign the lease for you, and you may want to consider not living alone for a while.  In fact, if you’re not especially tied to the city you’re “currently based in” (that sounds like you might not plan to live there permanently), you might consider moving to another city entirely (one where you have friends).  If your stalker has a regular job (it sounds like he might if he only sits outside your place at night), send your friends (do NOT go yourself) to move your stuff while he’s at work; if you can’t be sure when he’ll be tied up, you’ll have to be sneaky about this because you CANNOT risk his following them.  And even after you move, I would suggest being very watchful for at least a year; he’s already proven he’s obsessed enough to follow you for over half that long.

Once you’ve ensured your physical safety as best you can, I suggest being extra-cautious with new clients from here on out.  If you’ve been a loose screener before, it’s definitely time to change that; he knows your stage name and contact info, and once he can’t find where you live he’ll almost certainly try contacting you through work, possibly pretending to be someone else.  So it’s absolutely imperative that you get good references from every new client, that you make sure you know his name & job so you can be ABSOLUTELY sure it isn’t the stalker, and that you talk to every new client on the phone so you can hear his voice before meeting him, to be sure in your mind that it really is a new person.  Finally, if you can afford it, you might also consider renting a separate place to be your incall, so that even if this dangerous person figures out where you work, it won’t automatically let him know where you live.

I’m going to publish this on Thursday (with identifying details removed for your safety) and ask readers for input as well; please look at my blog and Twitter feed on Thursday, because one of my readers may have been through something like this before, and may have some good advice.  That’s all I can think of at the moment, but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not go home until you have a plan in place, and friends on alert who will come to you instantly if called.

(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’m an experienced sex worker who started out years ago on the street, and in more recent years escorting for an agency.  Now I’m back in school, working to change my previously-difficult life for the better, and I’d like to shift from working for an agency to working independently; do you have any advice for me?

The internet has enabled sex workers to advertise much more easily and cheaply than ever before, without the help of third parties such as escort services or brothels.  Of course, that means having to do the work of advertising and answering messages oneself, but it also means saving the agency fee and setting your own hours and the like.  My suggestion is that you spend some time looking at the escort advertising resources in your city; one good way to find them is to Google “escorts [your city]” and look at what sites come up.  Eros, Slixa, Cityvibe and others are pure advertising malls, and there are also many local review boards which allow advertising as well as putting you in touch with other sex workers in your area.  You’re also going to want to start a Twitter account under your stage name so as to follow and interact with other sex workers; by looking at other sex workers’ ads and Twitter feeds, you’ll be able to see how they market themselves, and shape your own marketing accordingly.  Don’t try to call too much attention to being new on the indy scene; besides the fact that you aren’t actually inexperienced, cops and their busybody stooges now use “new in town” type ads to ensnare careless clients, and you don’t want the good guys who will be your best clients to be scared off by thinking you’re a filthy pig jerking off to the thought of busting him and ruining his life.  I also suggest you take some time perusing my “mentoring” tag; while I’m sure you have the actual work down by now, the essays in that tag contain a lot of advice and links which may help you shift to doing your own advertising and screening.  Finally, I suggest you try to find out which activist and social organizations such as SWOP may exist in your area; as you already know, this work can be very isolating, and being able to socialize with other sex workers in real life will not only help you to learn more about our trade, but also give you the emotional support you’ll need as you embark on this new stage of your career and life.

(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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Only Time

I’ve heard of escorts pricing individual acts, but have no idea how the prices are communicated to the client without possibly exposing yourself in front of an undercover cop.  I don’t think a handjob should be priced the same as anal considering the disparity in risk and effort between the two.

In general, it’s a really bad idea for an escort to charge for anything other than time, though most escorts have a lower social rate for dates without private time (in other words conducted completely in public such as dinner or drinks).  It’s true that BDSM and fetish are generally priced a little lower than full service, which I personally think is stupid; dommes take a long time to learn their craft and they need to invest a great deal more energy and imagination in a session than GFE escorts like me have to.  Furthermore, they need a lot of expensive specialized equipment in addition to the lingerie, makeup, beauty costs, condoms, lube, etc that escorts need.  So they should charge more than regular escorts, not less!  But I digress; other than the disparities I mentioned, no escort I know charges a la carte, or if she does she doesn’t tell me.  Flat-rate pricing generally operates in the sex worker’s favor anyway; would you really want to have to give a refund if a client pays for full service, but then climaxes while you’re warming him up with mouth or hands?  Because I sure wouldn’t.  If you feel a particular menu item is more effort than you want to expend, either don’t offer it at all or only offer it to regulars you like.

As for cops, I’ve said this many times but it bears repeating:  You cannot actually protect yourself from a cop trying to trick you, because cops lie; if you let one in your door or go in his door, you will be arrested no matter what you say or do.  He will simply claim you said whatever the local DA requires to press charges on you.  The only way to be safe from a cop is to detect him before you meet him or even talk very much.  If you meet him, you’re going for a ride no matter what you said or didn’t say, so proper screening is your best safeguard.

(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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