Not only am I late with this post, but I’m honestly not doing much of anything about it this year. Last year I was in Hong Kong, marching with Zi Teng (still need to post about that). This year, in Dallas, going to spend the evening with someone I’ve just started seeing, someone who I feel isn’t sex-worker-friendly. So there is only so far things can progress. A good friend’s relationship just went down the toilet, due in part to issues surrounding her being a sex worker.
Though none of that compares to the lives lost this year. SWOP-USA has put together a great Dec 17 site, so please peruse at your leisure.
Expendable can happen in so many ways. The job can overshadow so much: who the sex worker is, their basic civil rights, their claim to humanity.
I need to get back to writing again, so I’m doing a couple posts about online escorts issues.
getting what you really want at a lower rate
I received advertising spam from a combination info-blog/advertising mall except they don’t seem to actually have any escorts signed up with them (they also seem geared toward agencies, not indies). I’m not sure why I got spammed, but the site was entertaining nonetheless. Their stated purpose is to teach clients “learn how to negotiate with escorts the right way to get what you really want. Don’t risk getting ripped off or going to jail.”
Escorts have an adverse reaction to the word negotiate. It’s a business. You pay what the businessperson is charging or seek to engage another businessperson. If you can’t afford Escort A, then there is probably the very-affordable Escort B advertising in Escort A’s city — all you have to do is reach out and email. Don’t haggle with Escort A because that won’t get you anywhere except possibly a complaint on a ladies’ board; just email Escort B and arrange a booking with the escort you can afford.
As for teaching male clients how to “get what they really want” I would highly suggest finding an escort whose personality turns you on, go in without heavy expectations and let the experienced professional do her job without getting in her way (she’s going to try to make you very happy). See her again and again and pretty soon you have exactly the experience you want — quite possibly surpassing your original expectations. (I touch on this subject a bit more here.)
Or…you could send an escort a detailed letter of every little thing you expect from her and every little thing you want her to do — and never see her. She may post this letter on a national ladies’ board for the laughs (or you could live in infamy online as a time-waster), which could mean you don’t see any escort in her city. Or you send copies of this letter to every escort in a single city, effectively screwing yourself out of seeing any escort in that city.
That’s how “getting what you really want” really works in really real life.
This is a very quick post. I’m sure I’ll think of better things to say this weekend.
a little background
After Craigslist fell, everyone’s attention turned to Backpage. The attention cranked up but Backpage wasn’t saying much, however it instituted new advertising policies that just got in the way of adult sex workers advertising there.
The point of intersection came with the Superbowl in Dallas and the hordes of underage girls being trafficked into the city. Like, so many of them every single hotel in the metroplex would’ve been booked solid with working girls under the age of 18. The Dallas Observer, part of Village Voice Media, made much of the non-event that was the Superbowl (not including the ice storm — which was an event).
Meanwhile, over on the West Coast, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, along with assorted other female celebrities, have been braying about the problem of child sex trafficking in the US. They’ve been raising millions, attempting to influence legislation and are making a lot of noise about this huge “problem” that even they admit has no solid numbers.
The Village Voice ran a story making fun of Ashton’s “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” campaign and questioning the numbers of underage trafficking victims. Ashton took offense and started a Twitter war. He has a scary number of followers who are not sex workers yet consider themselves experts on underage trafficking because they follow his Tweets. Um, yeah.
At this point, it’s faded into dust. Old news. Everyone’s moved on. Except me, obviously.
a personal history with craigslist
I’ve used Craigslist to find living quarters, household odds and ends, sold/swapped items, attempted to navigate the Personals (and still read them just for the laugh, not for the penis pix) and yes — advertised my Erotic/Adult Services on there, both in the US and several other countries.
Any provider will tell you advertising on CL was hit-or-miss. Not only was it stronger in some cities than others, it was certainly stronger in some countries than others. And sometimes the geographical differences were distinct for non-financial reasons: like the number of thick-skulled, hyper-romantics in Asia who confused the Erotic Services section with the Personals vs the crudity of London punters responding to the ads (they were not confused, BTW). One thing never changed: a literate ad with a decent picture stood out in every city, every country. (And then I got to watch how literate the other ads would suddenly become, usually mangling the English worse than their own, original writing.)
It was very much an open market and in many ways, the Internet version of standing on the street. Or perhaps sitting at the bar. At best.
My sister is an LMT (licensed massage therapist). As I’ve stated here before, she has never had a desire to enter the adult industry in any capacity, though she too is drawn to service-industry work. (My feeling is that sex work straddles the entertainment and service industries, depending on what aspect of sex work we’re talking about.) She is happy doing fully-legal and non- wink wink nudge nudge massages. She offers a new perspective on the wisdom of criminalization. Okay, not totally new, but the way she put it was new to me.
Recently, an Asian massage parlour in her small city was busted. Of course the community crowed about getting rid of “those women” and naturally — since the women were “gone” then so were the men; who, of course, are members of the community and live right next door. Since the men seeking Happy Endings suddenly had nowhere to find women who consensually offered those services, they started haunting the local LMTs in hopes they would find a much-cheaper substitute.
All this does is annoy the LMTs or perhaps makes them feel threatened. LMTs do not want to fear permanently losing their license or dealing with an irate man in a small room. It certainly doesn’t make them happy to have to deal with a situation they do not want, time and time again. My sister prefers for a Happy Ending massage parlour to exist in her city because the men who wish to have that experience know exactly where to find it. The women who wish to offer it know where to go to make their living. Everyone does exactly what they wish and no one is forced into situations with very unhappy endings. The stupid laws making such consensual activities illegal just made her life a bit more difficult.
We talked extensively about advertising and the psychology of rates. Though she wishes to raise her rates comparable to the basic massage rates of a large city, her main fear is that her male clients will suddenly assume the higher-than-local rates mean there’s something “extra,” even though her wished-for higher rates don’t compare to Happy Ending rates.
Of course another Happy Ending parlour will open up eventually, and the men who wish to have that will drift back over. Until then, she’s stuck dealing with situations she does not want. I almost suggested she get a good riding crop to quell their enthusiasm, but too many would like it and pester her to provide yet another service she has no interest in.