What type of client are you?
I recently published a blog to my website, which told the story of my journey in learning not to put up with poor client behaviour. Those of you who read it may or may not have been vastly underwhelmed to find that it was not, in fact, a comprehensive list of things not to do as a client. Having since received a number of queries about which factors belong to this sort of list, I thought I might identify my understanding of a few key ‘red flag’ stereotypes and explain how I would manage the ending of the escort/client relationship in each case.
1. The Abusive Client
I find the word ‘abusive’ to be pretty visceral. It makes me think of black eyes, screaming matches and other forms of physical violence. However, not all forms of abuse are physical, and these are not the only examples of abusive behaviour. The abusive client neglects physical and psychological boundaries; focusing solely on personal gratification at the cost of another’s safety or wellbeing. He or she does not ask permission before enacting certain fantasies, or fails to give regard to safe words or other expressions of the words “slow down” or “back off.” This client justifies their poor behaviour by reminding a sex worker that they have “paid for them,” or doesn’t justify or apologise for it at all. A client does not need to be violent to be considered abusive, and it is my belief that this is where sex workers are often victim blamed for complaining about those who made them feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or caused them pain.
In my experience, ego and entitlement are key components of the Abusive Client’s personality. Having previously wanted to be diplomatic and respectful in all of my encounters, I have attempted to explain the wrongdoings of these clients, only to be met with denial, false apologies or rolling of the eyes. So, in an effort to avoid ever being put into a situation where I would need to meet those clients again, I simply walked away. However, I still employ a ‘three strike’ rule. If after two attempts at correcting my client’s behaviour I am still ignored, I will (and have) simply collect my things and leave - even if it means stepping naked into a lift. Rest assured that this client’s number will be blocked before I have the chance to step back into my underwear. A phone call will then be made to police if necessary.
2. The Intrusive Egotist
In positive, functional relationships, friendships and special connections are able to be formed between an escort and their client. There is a certain amount of trust exchanged between these parties, which has sometimes led to exceptions being made and closeness being formed - and sometimes more. Of course, this is never something that should be expected or assumed.
Intrusive egotists expect to be the exception. They carry their experience in seeing sex workers like a badge of honour; collecting names and other forms of personal information like trading cards to be swapped with other people (clients and escorts alike). These people consistently probe for information like real names, and expect local laws to be ignored for them. They demand booking dates and times instead of asking for them, and pry for intimate details of a sex worker’s everyday life, regardless of whether or not it was going to be volunteered. You’ll soon find this information circulate through the community, either through word of mouth or online forums and social media.
Having experienced a situation like this, I realised that I learned my lesson the hard way, and have since become significantly more protective of my privacy. In early 2016, I met a client who saw fit to publish the name of the institution I told him I was studying at in a review. To my relief, I had lied about the name of the institution, and counted my blessings that I had. Another outed my identity after following me from our rendezvous location to my home. It is such a shame when trust cannot be respected by both parties, as some of the best friendships I’ve made have come out of this sort of connection. Ah, c’est la vie.
It’s unlikely that I will ever explain the wrongdoings of the Intrusive Egotist to them, be that in person or via some other form of communication. In the interests of avoiding conflict, these clients are either blocked immediately (such as the client who followed me home) or informed that we aren’t a good match, and that no further bookings can take place. I don’t believe that these conversations have to be aggressive, but feel that ghosting if often not the answer - especially with a person who sees fit to gain knowledge from you in your presence. Imagine what they could do when spurred by insatiable curiosity?
I imagine that you were expecting this list to be longer. In truth, it was going to be. However, as I wrote this I began to think of all of the escort/client relationships I’ve terminated, and could not think of reasons beyond the ones I’ve mentioned. The aim of the game is, fundamentally, all about respect. While it’s not difficult to show respect towards others, there are some who find it challenging, which is a real shame. Of course, there are always going to be situations where clients and escorts either don’t get along or don’t have chemistry, but I didn’t feel the need to mention them here. Simple annoyances or idiosyncrasies don’t, in my opinion, make for ‘red flag’ stereotypes, however it is the right of any sex worker to see whomever they choose. These factors may result in a second booking never eventuating, which is a simple and well-known part of the punting experience - and in life. If for any reason you feel insecure about your integrity or conduct as a client, I invite you not to seek reassurance from your favourite sex worker. Instead, consider your behaviour and ask yourself if you have ever done something that fits within the two stereotypes listed above. What type of client are you?