woman at window — escort photo criticism

There’s an escort-photo trend that’s taken off to the point where it’s become…strange. That would be the escort-at-the-window picture. Most of the time, they’re staring wistfully off into the distance. Worse is when their hands are on the glass, actively trying to escape. Or at least that’s how it looks.

I view tons of ads and websites and the trend continues to grow and all I see are women trapped in hotel rooms, wearing lingerie and heels, trying like hell to get out. Usually there’s a cityscape in the background, far back, blurred and indistinct. These poor women are trapped in the here and now, forever stuck trying to reach vibrant life rather than the undersaturated room around them, yearning to breathe non-canned air, take off their shoes and really stretch their legs.

I'm guilty of this too
I’m guilty of this too

Window shots look great — the lighting is natural and superb and it doesn’t take much photographic talent to take a good photo. With strong talent the photo turns into magazine-quality work. A little figure-flattering posing and you have a beautiful, artistic shot that doesn’t require much editing.

Except…when you have seen hundreds of these shots, as I have, the claustrophobia descends and it actually starts to get disturbing. I start to wonder if anti-trafficking crusaders have also OD’ed on these “woman at the window” shots and base their entire perspective of escort work on them.

There are some shots where a window is in the background, giving light to the scene, but the woman isn’t interacting with the window or smashing herself against it. These shots are just your basic “room” shots and don’t have that “I’m dying to escape this boutique hotel” feeling. I’d like to see some escorts breaking the glass and getting free of the hotel, though I guess they probably wouldn’t be allowed to ever stay in that hotel again. And escaping the window might lead to a trend of “woman on the ledge” photos, which would be even worse.

It’s a little bit like the “woman laughing alone with salad” shot, only for escorts.

persona-building, backwards and forwards

I enjoyed this SEO article because, buried in the middle, was a nugget of gold for escorts. The section on cohorts, segments and personas is an easy breakdown of how to figure out who you are. It’s not that you have to fit yourself into the Smurfland example, only that you figure out what land you do belong to, then see where you fit.

The true beauty of this section is reversing this process gives you your ideal client. Yes, we’re talking broad strokes here but most people live their lives very broadly and very routinely, most especially clients. It’s nothing I haven’t mentioned in Book 2, but this guy does a better job of explaining the process, as well as using pictures.

authentic politics

My new favorite word to hate has invaded France. Paris’s first female mayor is authentic. She calls her election “A victory for authenticity.” I’m sure it is.

amazon’s continuing issues with sex

Amazon has a history of purging books about gay sex or alternative sex or just sex. Now it’s starting to purge the Wish Lists of sex workers because…sex. Nevermind that all the products on their Wish Lists are sold by Amazon, it seems Amazon is afraid of contributing to prostitution, at least that’s the subtext I get from the reading of this article. The obvious answer is to make sure everyone knows that they can buy you anything off your Wish List and that they get absolutely nothing in return, not even a thank-you card. That way your Wish List is motivationally-pure: utter, complete, materialistic greed.

Consider this my announcement to all: should you ever buy anything for me off my Amazon Wish List, never expect anything from me. I won’t acknowledge your existence or your gift, lest Amazon think that prostitution entails the buying of books for gratitude.

help a real trafficking victim

Michelle Knight’s book is out and selling on Amazon. If you’re the least bit interested in hearing what a trafficking victim has to say or helping support her, buy her book.

Yes, she’s a trafficking victim. She was a kidnapped sex slave. If that doesn’t fall under the definition of trafficking victim, then I fail to understand why independent, consenting, adult escorts do.

cognitive dissonance in action

Dylan Farrow, Wood Allen’s stepdaughter, came out about being sexually-abused as a child. It wouldn’t even rate a mention from me except that Nicholas Kristof — savior of sex trafficking victims, especially girl children, especially brown girl children — can’t bring himself to believe (white) Dylan’s story, even though the sexual abuse of children is far, far more common in every culture than child sex trafficking. Granted, he clearly has deep-seated issues surrounding women and sex, and he trots them out very publicly in his commentary introducing Dylan Farrow’s story. Maybe he doesn’t quite believe her because there’s not a chance he can “save” her?

In Kristof’s world, Dylan Farrow is lying about her abuse, I guess because she wasn’t being sold in a Third World brothel. Woody Allen is an old perv who is presumed innocent because…I’m not sure why. Clients — a lot of whom are older, white men like Allen or Kristof — are disgusting evil perverts who glorify slavery. Sex workers are victims except when they’re not, but Kristof knows the answer for all that and plans on saving everyone. Except for the lying sluts, I guess.

what it’s like to come forward as a victim

This piece from Amanda Marcotte is a commentary on the Dylan Farrow story and is a very accurate portrayal of what happens when a female victim of a sexual crime comes forward. Contrast this with Kristof’s comments in his link, above.

What happens next is what people don’t talk about much: The guy gets to go about his business as usual. Since people don’t know, they don’t feel right shunning him. He continues to go to parties, to social outings, to family dinners, etc. The victim realizes that this makes all these occasions unsafe for her. She doesn’t want to be near him, because his very presence is upsetting. Plus, a lot of abusers, excited that they’re getting away with it, will continue to abuse when exposed to their victims, saying cutting things under their breath or, if they’re lucky enough to get them alone, doing worse. So the victim has no choice but to give up her friends and possibly family. Anyone who buys into the narrative that “we can never know” and keeps bringing him around has to be basically cut off. Or, in some cases, people “give in” to the victim and schedule occasions without him, but she will often feel their judgment on her for “making” them do this without the hard and fast evidence that puts his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Or maybe they just start liking him more than her because he’s always happy to be at a party with her, acting like a big, magnanimous man, while she is a drag when he’s around. The squeaky wheel is just easier to toss.

After going through this for awhile, the victim gives up and just stops seeing her friends and family, anyone who refuses to “take sides”. This is why victims of domestic violence and rape often find their friend group disappearing in the weeks and months after the accusation is made. One reason victims often keep their suffering to themselves is they know that telling their story means, in a few short months, they’ll be sitting at home wondering if they have any friends left at all.

Amanda Marcotte

My comment to the “we can never know” argument is: surely you can guess, right?? Everyone tries to plot the endings of movies they’ve never seen, bets on sports, predicts the outcomes of elections years in the future; the behavior of two people they know shouldn’t be that difficult to sort out.

because when premarital sex happens, only girls are doing it

When living in Vegas, I worked overtime on sampling the goods (why not?). One of the weirdo-scary respondents to one of my personal ads was a guy whom I believe was one of Vegas’s finest local Nazis — a police officer. He was intrigued/repulsed by my offer of no-strings sex with a like-minded partner. He tried to interrogate me about condom usage, how many diseases I had, number of sex partners and other creepy questions. I blocked him. Looking at his pix and reading his messages just sounded like a vice cop with a massive amount of issues. He probably helped present on this panel about sex for teenage girls (another story on it). Certainly would’ve given him lots of angry, self-loathing-filled jollies.

Sin City — what a misnomer.

“pranking” a waitress

A group of people decide to give a deserving soul the best waitress shift ever. I’d love to see that happen with a sex worker, or other waitresses.

If you want to do something nice to your favorite waitress and can’t afford a $1000 tip or new car, give her an extra $5 or $20. That small amount is probably going to be enough to make her day (and helps offset all the non-tippers before and after you). Want to do something nice for your favorite sex worker? Double her rate and give it to her without fanfare. Trips and jobs and cars are fantastic, but the easiest way to make a difference to someone is by making a financial difference — especially if they only make $2.13/hr.

7 thoughts on “reactions vii

  1. About the window photos: of course, I could only guess at what message the women, or their photographers, were sending. However, as an occasional client, I can provide an authentic, genuine, and real client’s-eye-view of the message as received by the target audience. The woman’s gaze out the window is a wistful one, but what she’s thinking is that a short, bald, hamsterishly-endowed, semi-old guy who nonetheless has been exfoliating, moisturizing, and sun-screening diligently is just exactly what she’d like to see right now, and where is he, anyway? I don’t know why I think that, but somehow, I’m just certain of it. Just as, in the other fairly standard shot where she’s reclining on her side on the bed, one might think that she’s just tired and sleepy after a long photo-shoot, but somehow, I have no doubt that she’s showing me where my place is (right beside her). Oddly, of the few escorts I’ve seen, none uses (currently, at least) a “window” shot on her site; but you’re right — you do see those quite often.

    Also, I certainly hope the Amazonians cease purging working women’s wishlists. When you see a lady as seldom as I do, it’s good to be able to send her some small gift on her birthday or just as a thinking-of-you thing, and we lack the usual way of doing that, not knowing her “real” name or residential address; the wishlist solves that problem. So, yeah, I expect Amazon will probably ruin that. It’s the perverse way of this world.

    Finally, I had never realized it, but salads really are very amusing!

    1. Jim — Your interpretation of the window shot made me laugh. That was good! For once, I actually didn’t see it that way. I’ve seen so many of these that they’ve become very claustrophobic for me. Never thought about the empty space on the bed either — next time I do that sort of thing I’m going to make a video of me patting the bed and beckoning, just in case the men viewing the picture don’t get the idea. 🙂

      I don’t know why companies get big and then get morals. I mean, come on, Jeff Bezos hasn’t hired a hooker in his life and tried to “trade” for shit from Amazon? Also, the way of the world is very, very confused if they think a hooker is going to provide free sex for a few books, movies, or sex toys from Amazon? Seriously, people, understand how prostitution actually works!

      Oh, in case anyone cares, I always accept Amazon gift cards as a gift as I buy all sorts of stuff on Amazon (and I’ll thank you for the gift card). In fact, an Amazon gift card in lieu of Wish List purchases might become the next big thing for sex workers. Then I guess Amazon will just prevent known sex workers from being customers, like Chase bank.

      There are the salad pictures, pictures of women who can’t drink water, women climbing stairs, women stepping on men’s heads in pointed shoes (these are corporate images, not fetish shots), women lifting weights and several more themes. If you Google around, you’ll find articles linking to stock photos of women doing things that start to seem really weird if you view the pictures all at once.

  2. Michelle Knight was not only a sex trafficking victim, she was also completely abandoned by her family. I think parental/familial abandonment is as dangerous as any creep who preys upon them. I was abandoned by my family as a youngster and my scars run deep. The only saving grace for me was to break the cycle with my own successfully raised child. As long as the U.S. and other third world thinking countries continue to devalue women in any society, children will suffer unspeakable atrocities. Thank you for speaking out on these issues. I know you get the proverbial bitchslap for doing so. Living well is the ultimate revenge. The U.S. mindset is in the gutter.

    1. Sherry — You’ve raised a hugely important point. Predators find victims and victims are created by their families. Stop the abuse of children (no matter what type of abuse) and you stop almost all genuine sex trafficking.

      I once heard an enlightening and scary talk about child sexual predators’ victim-grooming techniques once. It focused on predators who find victims, not the families who create them, but the very first step for a predator is seeing and targeting a likely victim. You know how they pick them out? Children with low self-esteem — and that comes directly from their families.

      Parents who abuse their children set them up for a lifetime of hurt. It doesn’t always happen to the child, but it makes it far more likely. What parent wants to do that to their children?

Comments are now closed.