Why do I need a phone number? An Australian Escort’s viewpoint on personal safety.
I’m due to tour Perth soon and received a lovely introductory email from a gent enquiring about making a booking. However when I asked for a phone number he declined to provide one. This blog post is about personal safety within the Australian sex industry – why an Escort will ask for a phone number and why you shouldn’t be offended when she or he does.
Unfortunately an email address is not sufficient for me to see a client. I have never taken a booking based on an email address alone and to this point in time, I’ve never faced a serious safety concern whilst working either.
There are several reasons why an email address is not sufficient for me to see you. I understand you may want to protect your privacy. So do I. We both have lives outside of our scheduled appointment time together. My business is built on trust, without it - I wouldn't have repeat clients like I do. I would say that 98% of my clients are married - so protecting the privacy of others is paramount to me.
I ask you to put yourself in my shoes.
If you had / have a daughter or another close female friend and she was working in the sex industry, what would you want her to do? Going by an email address only is like a blind date or buying a car sight unseen. The difference though in this case, the stakes are higher. Lives are at risk - my life is at risk.
To the person enquiring about a booking, you might be the nicest guy in the whole of Australia. You could be a top bloke. I don't know this though. We've never met. There is a dark side to this industry which involves the rape and bashings of sex workers. My screening process hopefully reduces myself being put in a situation where this is likely to happen. My screening process is not arrogance. It is putting safety first. I only get 1 shot at getting a booking right. There’s not much I can do after I’ve been raped or physically assaulted.
Your money and your booking are important to me and I would love to get to know you, but I will never sell out for the sake of the $ when my life is worth more. If I had seen you several times before and you flicked me an email asking to meet up again, things may be different (because by then I already have your phone number and know what you looked like etc). However, I don't know you and when my vagina and body are at stake, safety is paramount.
I am sure there may be other providers who would be willing and happy to see you and only go by an email address. It's just not for me. Especially when touring - I am in a State / Territory that I'm not familiar with. There are too many incidences of sex workers opening a door and being raped, robbed, bashed or all 3. Say this happens to me - what will the Police say when I ask for help? How silly will I look when I say "all I have is an email address"? What can they do to help me based on a email address alone? Spending time tracking an IP address and email account holder down wastes vital time in the investigation. A phone number is not fool proof either. If people want to circumnavigate the screening process, they will. It’s kind of like putting security screens on your house, it keeps honest people out but if the crims want to get in, they usually find a way.
There is already a stigma attached to sex workers within Australia and I am trying hard to break this down where possible. How can I expect respect from the law and the rest of society if I am not mature or sensible enough to be careful with who I see in the first place? It is not the job of law enforcement to clean up my mess. I have to accept some responsibility first and put appropriate safety measures in place. I want them to help me and work with me, not palm an assault off as something I deserve because I work in the sex industry. They need to know that I take my job seriously and regard personal safety with the utmost importance. It's a shame that I should even need to worry about being assaulted too - but unfortunately this undesirable criminal element remains lurking amongst us.
The other reason why a number is important is when I’m in a booking and it’s running over time. Your time is valuable to me and as a sign of respect (and because I value your custom) I will quickly send a text to say I'm running a bit over. Just like a hairdresser or beauty therapist or any other fee for service based provider may do. It’s a considerate, professional action but they’re not likely to send an email to advise you of the delay in appointment starting time.
WIFI may not always be available. There are sometimes ‘dead spots’ in buildings. Emails may not go through even though 'send' has been clicked. Sometimes a text is the only way of communicating. Again - what if you are running late to your booking or something comes up and you can't make it? A text from you will instantly alert me to this change in appointment status. Emails though - I would need to be watching my account and hitting refresh. If I'm busy preparing to see you, at the gym or grabbing a quick bite to eat, I might not have the time to see the email. Don’t assume that everyone has the same data allowance as you or notifications set up on their phone whereby it pips every time an email comes in. Different strokes for different folks.
When meeting a client for the first time, I may discreetly greet them at the lifts or in a foyer. A quick text from me saying something like "wearing a navy blue dress and beige pump heels" will help you easily identify me - thus allowing the meeting process to be smooth, quick and private. My time is important (as is yours). The biggest cause of appointment stress in this industry is "no shows". It wastes the service provider's time and quickly dissipates trust between the Escort and potential client.
As mentioned, you might be the nicest guy ever but I am sure that I and many other girls could regale you with stories of the sick and twisted things people will do to a sex worker (fake bookings and no shows being a big one).
If after reading all this you don't wish to proceed with seeing me or another sex worker who has the same rules, I and them completely understand. Perhaps this is your first time booking an Escort and you weren't aware of the general rules and etiquette associated with the industry - particularly in terms of making a booking. Perhaps you've seen girls in the past and only having an email address was accepted by them. Whatever your reasons for not wanting to share your phone number, I'm OK with that - just so long as you understand why I'm not OK with proceeding further.
Want to see what others are saying on the issue of personal safety and the screening process? Another interesting post entitled ‘Casting the Net’ was written in November 2015 by Melbourne based sex worker Miss Roxy and can be viewed on the Scarlet Blue Guest Blog also.
I hope that the explanations above help to clarify my reasons for needing a number / more than just an email address and why safety is so important.
Audrey Larsen ©
0491 107 133