Burnout. Every career has its version and sex work probably has higher rates because the work is so much more personal, because sex workers shoulder such a huge portion of the work individually. A stripper cannot outsource her work and make a living. An escort can outsource some of her administrative work, but has to make more money in order to pay for that luxury. We cannot clone our selves to go meet clients. Scaling up or out is impossible. At best, we can make and sell content for passive income, or raise our rates. We still have to do the actual work though, whether writing, photographing, interacting, and showing up.
This is a novella-length essay of my journey into and out of burnout. I’m still in the process but am through the worst and on my way out. Take what you find valuable, if anything, and I sincerely hope it helps you. This is not a “poor Amanda” essay, some of these issues have been self-caused and it has taken solid moments of clarity to realize this. Avoid my mistakes and do better.
There are many ways to organize this and I felt chronologically would be best for you. It’s not how the feelings and experiences are organized in my head, but you don’t live in my head. I’ve done my best to make the steps of the journey clear to both of us.
This particular rant is something I’ve been wanting to say for years (and has been sitting in my Drafts folder for a while; written in 2010 in Singapore so many of the things I say here don’t apply to the US). Other than a few adjustments to reflect the passage of time, the essay is unchanged.
What sparked it was two things happening on a discussion board in one week. One was a thread where some hobbyists reacted badly to a touring escort charging $350USD/hr (the nerve! the gall! the audacity! the envy!) and another was a PM to me, an attempt by a hobbyist to “help” me navigate the Singapore scene and make sure I’m not charging too much. (Russian girls at Brix are the “cream of the crop” and I’m not so I can’t charge more than they do, which was $300SGD/hr according to him. I wonder if he knew there were two non-Russian indies charging right at $1000SGD/hr in Singapore at that time. I charged a minimum $500SGD/hr or $800SGD/2hrs, depending.)
Despite the hand-wringing and general disbelief of hobbyists, my clients are usually pretty happy with me. I’m personable, intelligent, interesting, beautiful, mentally-mature and fully focused on their needs. I don’t have a pimp hiding in the corner, I won’t phone-stalk them at 4am, I don’t try to manipulate them into becoming my “boyfriend” or desperately taking risks to make a few extra bucks to support my starving extended family in some poverty-stricken country. I don’t chase extra money or presents: clients pay my fee and that’s it. Their responsibility ends (sometimes they’re spontaneously moved to extremely kind generosity). I’m with them because I want to be — they’re with me for exactly the same reason. To me, that’s all cream. For everyone. [Insert sex joke here, if you must.]
Just because hobbyists can’t imagine something doesn’t mean it can’t exist. I’ve been fighting this stupid battle since 2002. The narrow vision and nosy desire to control a stubborn, independent cuss of a woman just keeps on keeping on. Sigh.
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.
Another online advertiser that’s been around for years has never changed one highly offensive paragraph on their site. They offered me a free ad a long time ago but when I read through their site, I decided they weren’t for me. They’re still in business, so they must be doing something right. I’ve just wanted to write about this one for a few years.
Though they give some basic common-sense advice to potential advertisers, they offer to re-write your ad to appeal to “upscale clientele”. Fair enough. But do “upscale” clients visit this site? I question this because…they immediately follow the mini-advertising lesson with making sure a girl understands to price herself “reasonably” because clients aren’t going to pay good money to take her out on (movie, yachting, dinner, etc.) dates if she expects to be well-compensated for every hour even if she doesn’t “have to take her clothes off.” They think an escort should only charge a lot per hour if she’s entertaining a bachelor party of 30+ guys (and I guess a smaller bachelor party doesn’t count). Which every escort I know does every weekend (rolling my eyes).