Casting the Net
I'm going to talk about something that might be uncomfortable for some guys – the issues around my personal safety as an escort.
I have a whole lot of great clients whom I value and adore. Many of them have a good understanding of this topic, so please don't think I'm maligning the male gender indiscriminately. But it's a serious issue, and one I would love to share my thoughts on; perhaps with a little less joking around than I normally manage! (You never know, I might find time for a joke in there somewhere.)
Escorting is not a typical retail transaction. It's not a discrete product that is being purchased: hiring an escort is a complicated negotiation for a service to be provided. Sometimes it feels more like making a friend than doing a money-making transaction. Negotiation takes place to work out what my clients want and what can be provided to them. Personal experiences and feelings are shared, before we ever even meet face to face. What is possible changes from person to person and from situation to situation.
Alongside working this out, there is also another type of negotiation which is less obvious but just as important. I'm talking about the building of trust between people who plan to be intimate together.
Regardless of whether money changes hands or not, sex is fraught with danger for women in general. From an early age I was taught to see men as the number one risk to my personal safety. The incidence of harassment, assault, sexual assault and murder committed by men against women is astronomical when compared to when the genders are reversed (that woman who ate her husband in Germany is one of few notable exceptions to the rule – okay that was a joke but it was in pretty poor taste!)
But seriously. I'm not even considering the isolated nature of sex work (which is similar to many other professions where people may be working alone at different locations). Just the risk of spending a lot of time in the company of the opposite sex is huge for me. No matter how much martial arts I learn or how strong I am, the fear remains.
This means that every time I meet a new guy, I need to establish enough of a relationship with him to know he is safe to be around. The nature of escorting means that some of the guys I see may not have all the social skills and awareness required to manage this process. Others see it as just a simple retail transaction and don't feel they should put too much effort in. I sometimes get the impression that some guys think it's like making an appointment at the dentist – they can just book themselves in without needing to engage in too many pleasantries.
Often I'll help the process along, asking personal questions and making small requests that ascertain whether a potential client is agreeable, friendly and treats me like a person rather than like a purchase. I'm not going to reveal my secrets (I don't want anyone to crack the code!) but basically my system is designed to let the good guys through and stop those who have a bad attitude.
The net is good, but not perfect; I'm not a mind reader after all. Very occasionally someone might slip through despite being an otherwise lovely person. Usually this happens because they have poor communication skills (have trouble expressing themselves via email or text message) or don't know how to deal with escorts (they think it's ok to get sleazy in the first email, or they ask for things I don't offer because they haven't read my ad thoroughly enough).
It only takes a couple of warning signs for me to (politely) back away from arranging a booking. I'd rather offend someone occasionally than even once end up alone in a room with someone who is dangerous.
If you find yourself in a situation where an escort declines a booking with you, try not to take it too personally. It's not the end of the world – there are plenty more fish in the sea! I'd ask that in future you do the following: read everything you can about punting etiquette. Put in the effort to help us know you are one of the 'good guys'. And no matter how nervous you feel, remember that I'm always more scared of you than you are of me!