The Complex Realities of Sex Work

Olivia Grace is a sex worker based in Toronto who took issue ~ make that issues ~ with a recent Vice interview with a sex worker hobbiest. She felt her original response to the piece wasn’t enough, so she sent this piece in too…

The other day, Vice released a very lazy reporting job that wasn’t edited and talked to precisely the wrong person. I am talking, of course, about the article “We Interviewed a Sex Industry Hobbyist – the Worst Kind of John.” This article is written in opposition to that.

The person they interviewed is based in Montreal, sees agency girls (I’m willing to bet real money for a half hour at a time) and then has the nerve to tell them to get out after the act is done. The organization seems to have decided that this person is worth listening to, although one of my followers on Twitter just couldn’t get through the article because the guy was too much of a troll.

By a troll, I mean a person who actually has nothing good to say, who the SP (Service Provider) is unsure if he engages in the hobby because he loves sex or hates women, is a misogynist and is only a customer of agency girls who are young and, for the most part, naïve. This is not the preferred type of client, and would definitely not get through my pre-screening process. There’s a slang word for that on Twitter: a slobbyist. Let me explain.

When you first start out, you really have no idea which way is up, and so the agencies do have a great deal of power over you. You accept the 60/40 or 50/50 cut, you’re young, it’s quick money, whatever. For some girls, they find agencies that are a perfect fit. That was not my particular path – I went independent a couple of years ago and, although I have to pay for my own marketing and self-care, I have been happier for it. I speak from my lived experience, however – I cannot speak for anyone else.

we-spoke-a-sex-industry-hobbyist-the-worst-kind-of-john-body-image-1434032816That should not be used to silence me. I have met several guys at events thrown by review boards – remember, this is an interview of a “hobbyist” who is actually a troll, but on a review board – and that is typically where they congregate. SPs (Service Providers) don’t have to like the boards, but they are good, safe spaces to advertise, to be heard, to be seen, and to communicate with other service providers about bad experiences, etc. It’s all about safety and advertising for me, as much as the big debate currently on (Caramel or Nutella? Which would you rather lick off an SP? To be clear, I voted Nutella).

These events (those thrown by review boards) are also often opportunities to network with other independent SPs, so I spend an equal amount of time chatting to colleagues and clients. Plus, it’s just a good time to look pretty, which is rare in the isolating life of an independent.

Now onto the objections I have with the article. He says that once a girl has been in sexwork for around 10 weeks, she’s seen around 100 clients, so I’m going to assume he’s talking about agency girls. After 10 weeks, he says, she loses her “authenticity.” She becomes an “actress” (which is repurposed bovine waste, because all of us – no matter the flavour – are actors: just choose your own fantasy). He says that mature indies “try” to market themselves. We don’t try – we do. The language used in the article (“hooker; whore”) was and is problematic and should have been replaced with “sex work” or “sex worker.” Specific words mean specific things – there is a movement going on to try to reclaim those words. Unfortunately, you can’t use them unless you’re one of us. Surely this organization can replace foul, outdated language with words that are more respectful and fairer to hear.

Many of my friends and clients on the review boards are decent human beings – they wouldn’t get through my screening process if they weren’t. To be completely honest, I don’t get a lot of clients from the review boards, but those whom I know and I trust are also, reasonably, upset. They treat the ladies they see with respect, and would never dream of buying into this guy’s dogma (see, lecture, leave). To interview one man on one board in one city with one opinion is wrong and doesn’t for a moment make that opinion true for all. It suggests that everyone on review boards is the same. Well, that simply isn’t the case.

Wait! There’s more. Besides giving out a misrepresentation of those involved on the boards, this article will have real-life impacts on the independent SPs and agency girls. This article plays straight into the rescue industry’s hands. It does all the workers who do sex work voluntarily a massive injustice, and the antis can say, “But we read Vice! That article with those poor girls! Remember when they interviewed a board member in Montreal?”

Listen, if we wanted the press (who, frankly, don’t understand the complexities of sex work) to paint a grim picture and lack of respect, then we would ask for it. What we are asking for is respect. I was on side with Vice until this article came out. I have worked with them. It puts their reporting back into the Dark Ages with regards to sex work. There is a lot of advocacy left to do, and I (and hopefully other SPs) will do it. But we will not do it in light of this article – it puts the whole concept of investigative reporting to shame. We do not need a further body count.

Hoping for more,

Olivia Grace

Follow me on Twitter: @OliviaGraceSP.

Ms. Grace would like you to know the following, sent from the Vice interviewer: “The language in the Vice Q & A (interview not a classic article format) is the hobbiest’s, and I unfortunately can’t alter quotes. I would never say ‘hooker’ or ‘whore’, for instance. Publishing this is in no means an endorsement of his views, I just want that to be clear.”

Image Credits: Photo by Cédric Puisney, via Vice.

More Blind Date & First Date Advice From Sex Workers

sex-worker-q-and-a-at-skWe began our very first Sex Worker Q & A series by discussing dating, asking the dating pros to share their tips for managing blind dates and first dates.

That dating series began at the very first and most important step by covering tips for dating safety. From there, we moved onto other dating issues: making a good first impression, how to address dating jitters, how to get and keep conversations going, dealing with dating mistakes, and even how to handle it when the date is not going well. Just to make sure I didn’t miss any gems, I ended the questioning by asking if the escorts, phone sex operators, and cam girls had any other dating tips or advice…

Addy Finch (an escort specializing in transgender/transsexual companionship):

As much as I can, I avoid giving out personal information (address, phone number) before a first date. In case things go poorly and they’re clingy or creepy, their only real means of contact will be how you met. If you’re dating online, you can always block them, and if it was through a friend, you can pretty easily let your friend know how the date went and that you’re uninterested.

If things go well, it never hurts to send a follow-up text thanking them for their time – unless their monogamous partner sees it, of course, in which case you’ve managed to set off a ticking bomb from a distance.

“Alice: (an anonymous sex worker with 17 years experience in erotic services, seven of them as a sex worker rights activist):

Plan your difficult moments ahead of time. For example: How will you handle the convo about safe sex?

A Slip Of A Girl (phone sex operator, specializing in lingerie fetish, crossdressing, and sissification):

We all have “baggage”, secrets, or things we worry might be deal breakers at some point; but don’t worry so much about carrying those thing or even sharing them now. Relax and enjoy your dates without worrying about the next steps and how it might all just blow up. There’s time for those worries later. *wink*

But seriously, enjoy the moment(s) and see if this could turn into something you might miss someday before you self-destruct things now.

Oh, and don’t be so concerned about being accepted that you ignore warning signs that this person is disrespectful, abusive, or otherwise dangerous. Safety first & always.

Claire Keeler (full service independent sex worker & award winning, published photographer working on a photographic essay called Whoretography):

Yes, eat god damn it. None of this eating a salad if you really want the burger. Eat the burger. It implies confidence with yourself and body and confidence is sexy as fuck in women. More sexy than flashing cleavage.

DiQld (a BBW MILF escort):

If in doubt don’t! Trust your instincts!

And on that date, go somewhere you have always wanted to go!

Holly (an independent escort, sometimes brothel worker):

Be yourself! The right person will like you just as you are! Smile! If you are having a good time, don’t be shy to let them know you are enjoying their company.

Oh, and don’t get wasted lol.

Kaylee Pond (geek culture and cosplay cam girl):

As cheesy as it is, BE YOURSELF! The best thing you can do for yourself is to be genuine and show them your real personality and interests. If what you’re looking for is love, or a relationship, you want someone to truly like you the way you are. If you make someone believe you’re something that you’re not, it’s likely that you’re setting both of you up for a bad time and just prolonging the inevitable. Someone who is right for you will love you exactly the way you are and it’s best not to dwell on those who don’t work out!

Also, remember that you are worthwhile and awesome! It’s easy to put someone you’re interested in on a pedestal and worry about being good enough for them, but you have to put those sorts of things aside because they can be very damaging. We’re all just people! Sometimes we’re not compatible with each other, but that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with either person, it just means you haven’t found someone who is right for you yet!

Confidence is very important, so just remember to be confident in yourself and try not to stress out or worry too much!

Secondhand Rose (a former escort, presently offering custom erotica and virtual companionship via text and telephone):

One of the best dating tips I ever got was from my dad back in those early teen years…

He said, “Rose, dating is not just the opportunity to learn about another person and evaluate how suitable they are for you; it is equally an opportunity to learn more about yourself.

Of course I think my dad is brilliant — and it’s partly because of advice like that!

Use your date time as a chance to learn about yourself. Even if that date turns out to not be with Mr or Ms Right, you might discover new people, places, things you do like. That’s a dating win!

Angela St. Lawrence (erotic fetish phone sex operator):

You deserve the very best person for Y O U ! Date casually and for fun, but keep your eye on the prize.

 

When That Date’s Not Going Well… Tips From Sex Workers

sex-worker-q-and-a-at-sk

Since sex workers are real pros when it comes to dating, turning first & blind dates into repeat customers, we’ve been asking them to share their best dating tips. We began with dating safety tips, covered making a good first impression, dished on dealing with dating jitters, exposed the secrets of how to get and keep those conversations going, addressed dealing with dating mistakes, and now we’re talking about what to do when that date is, well, a dog.

Let’s say the date is absolutely not going well for you; how do you handle it?

“Alice” (an anonymous sex worker with 17 years experience in erotic services, seven of them as a sex worker rights activist):

There are simply too many enjoyable people out there to waste time trying to enjoy someone you can’t.

I assess: Is this going poorly because we are in a place I don’t like, or is this person really the problem, or am I just not in the mood for this right now?

If the date is really just not compatible with me, I decide how gracefully I want to exit, and then I do it. Then I listen to loud music and tell myself I did the right thing, even if it was socially very scary for me. Ending a date early seems really hard, until you’ve done it, and realize how much better you can feel, and how quickly!

Angela St. Lawrence (erotic fetish phone sex operator):

If the guy’s a dick, I have no problem telling him so and leaving. But if he’s just boring or awkward, or there’s no chemistry, I’ll usually stick it out. Things could actually change during the course of the date, and if not, I’ve at least spared his feelings.

Addy Finch (an escort specializing in transgender/transsexual companionship):

First off, never hard schedule a time that you’re going to meet someone until; always leave yourself the option of going home early. This means not going to plays or movies or concerts. Again, transport yourself to your date.

Wrap up whatever you’re doing, finish your drink, or have your food boxed up. Let your date know that you have an engagement you need to get to and that you need to leave shortly. I normally check a clock with an, “Oh, gosh, that was quick. I’m supposed to meet up with a friend who’s in town.”

Whatever your excuse is, don’t allow for wiggle room on staying a little later. If they ask about getting together again, I tend to be courteous and let them know I’ll be in touch when my schedule’s clear. Unfortunately for them, there will always be something, even time alone, that’s more important.

Holly (an independent escort, sometimes brothel worker):

I always give myself an out… So I might go meet them at a bar, because I’m driving I can only have 2 drinks and then I have to go. If the date is bad, I will have the 2 drinks and then leave, thanking for the nice and time and tell them I will be in touch!

Claire Keeler (full service independent sex worker & award winning, published photographer working on a photographic essay called Whoretography):

Name the game and just say it the way that it is, “Look this is not going well,” a polite smile and exit stage left.

DiQld (a BBW MILF escort):

Thank them for a nice evening and wish them well in the future.

Kaylee Pond (geek culture and cosplay cam girl):

If I’m really not enjoying myself, I would probably still do my best to stick it out and give them a fair shot. If I’ve taken my own advice and met somewhere non-committal like a coffee shop then I should have a polite “out” fairly quickly. Once coffee is done I can just say that I have to go, thank them for the date, and say it was nice meeting them! I would avoid lying or acting like there will be another date if you know that there won’t be.

Goddess Audrey Rae (clip girl, occasional PSO and camgirl, specializing in Femdom and fetish):

I’m a big fan of the fake phone call. Both for safety issues and just to get yourself out of a situation you don’t want to be in anymore! If you really need to stick around for whatever reason, then try to save face as much as possible until you have an excuse to leave.

Secondhand Rose (a former escort, presently offering custom erotica and virtual companionship via text and telephone):

Be honest about it. Not only does that help avoid misunderstandings (and those repeated requests for dates), but sometimes it creates magic…

One time, I was on a date with a man I met on the Internet. We had great chemistry chatting there, and on the phone; but when we were sitting together at the restaurant bar, having drinks, the chemistry was just not there. It wasn’t even awkward and boring small talk — conversing was like pulling teeth! The thought of progressing to a table to eat with this man was an anathema to me. So I turned to him and said, “This isn’t going well, is it; let’s pass on dinner.” It was more of a statement than a question, but he agreed he felt the same. We decided to end the date — but a funny thing happened as we walked out the door…

We began talking about how awkward it was, how you never knew how things would be in person even if you thought you had great conversations online and on the phone, and suddenly we were laughing and dishing and voila!

We sat in the parking lot, sharing a beautiful summer’s night until the sun came up — and even then, we didn’t want to part. That date may have began as a “bad date”, but it led to a wonderful, committed, lovely, long-term relationship.

A Slip Of A Girl (phone sex operator, specializing in lingerie fetish, crossdressing, and sissification):

I usually try to make the most of it. Unless there is something creepy or unsafe, then I leave taking every safety precaution I can.

Typically, if I’ve had such a bad time that I do not to want another date, they are feeling the same way. But if they should call and ask for another date, I’ll politely but firmly decline so as to make it clear that I am not interested. It saves everyone’s time, patience, and feelings, really.

Dealing With Dating Mistakes: Tips From Sex Workers

sex-worker-q-and-a-at-skContinuing (somewhat slowly) our discussion with sex workers about first dates and blind dates

In this fifth part in the series, we’re asking the professionals to focus on specific dating mistakes ~ so that you can avoid some of the biggest and most common dating blunders ~ as well as when and how you may be able to recover from them.

What do you think are the biggest dating mistakes?

DiQld (an independent BBW escort):

Talking about your past as tho it is your present.

Angela St. Lawrence (a phone sex operator specializing in erotic fetish and sensual debauchery):

Overthinking. Overdressing. Over-compensating.

Kaylee Pond (a cam girl specializing in nerdy, geeky, cosplay fun):

Being fake and acting like someone that you’re not or lying to make yourself look cool. Ugh! That’ll just backfire so hard and really isn’t good for anyone.

Claire Keeler (an independent sex worker and award winning photographer, working on a photographic essay called Whoretography):

Not being yourself. Dressing in a way that does not feel like you. Trying to hard to impress. Coming across as too eager … slagging off an ex, its a deal breaker as is being married. You deserve a man who is full time not looking to fill a void in his shitty marriage, that’s why they pay me lol

Addy Finch (an independent sex worker specializing in transgender/transsexual companionship):

Being late, dirty, and inattentive. Take your date as seriously as an interview because it is exactly that.

“Alice” (a sex worker with 17 years experience in adult erotic services and sex worker activism):

People trying to figure out what the other person wants, trying to please a stranger, more than trying to figure out their own selves and how they’re doing with what’s happening in front of them.

Holly (a full service independent escort and, sometimes, a brothel worker):

People not being themselves. Saying things they think the other person wants to hear or portraying themselves in a way that isn’t really them. Be yourself. If they don’t like your real self that’s ok, they aren’t the one for you.

A Slip Of A Girl (a phone companion specializing in sissies, crossdressing, and other lingerie fetish work):

Not being yourself. That, after all, is what this is all about!

Secondhand Rose (a former escort, presently offering custom erotica and virtual companionship via text and telephone):

Not participating or making an effort at conversation is probably the most common sin. But being handsy, going for an unwanted kiss, or other aggressive sexual acts made after being rebuffed are the largest sins.

Once mistakes are made, can a person recover from them? If so, how?

Angela:

I think it’s very rare. Bad impressions aren’t easily erased. But humor can excuse a lot. Be willing to laugh at your own silliness and give your date room to do the same.

“Alice”:

Of course, but it often takes a little bit of courage to just be vulnerable and own your mistakes. I tell my dates when I’ve made errors in scheduling, or forgotten where I was supposed go, or whatever. I don’t lie unnecessarily and I don’t make excuses. Most mistakes I make are very embarrassing because I’m so controlling and “put together” most of the time, and it’s actually really good for me to have to take myself a little less seriously. So I just have to own them. When I do that, I’ve had almost always positive results. People like real people, even when they want a fantasy date! It’s very confusing!

Goddess Audrey Rae (a Femdom and fetish clip girl, camgirl, and occasional phone sex operator):

It really depends on how bad the mistake is. Honestly if your date is freaked out because you like spilled a glass of water or something, they probably aren’t the person you want to be going out with anyways.

Di:

Acknowledge the mistake, and move on.

Holly:

Everyone makes mistakes. It just depends on the size of the mistake and if they learn from it and how they fix the mistake.

Addy:

You can only make a first impression once, but with work you can overcome them, certainly. Apologize for whatever mistake, focus on not repeating it, and work wherever possible to do the opposite in the immediate future (ex: If you were late, be certain to show up early in the future).

Claire:

No, I don’t think so as you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. I am somewhat brutal about this when screening my clients and use the motto ‘if there is doubt, there is no doubt’ trust you gut, if something is off it probably is.

Rose:

Humor can ease if not erase most mistakes. However, it’s important to really consider the mistakes your date may make too. Continuing aggressive sexual acts past a single refusal are not “mistakes” and they should not be forgiven. This is a sign to leave — immediately & safely.

Yes, there’s still more dating advice from sex workers to come!

Hot Flash Fiction Friday: How To Seduce A Shy Guy Edition

Last week, erotica author and phone sex operator Secondhand Rose was challenged to write a a short erotic story based on 4 words. The words were “shy boy” & “sleepy girl”.

For weeks now, Jen had been visiting Jeffers at his apartment. For weeks she had been subtly giving him signals that she was not only more than a friend, but oh-so available. To no avail. Every night she left for his apartment, she was hopeful; but every night she left his place oh-so frustrated! She knew he was shy – but come on already! What was a girl supposed to do?

Don’t worry, Jen has a plan. And from the looks of things, it works!

Features a horny scheming woman in a school girl outfit and tugs at some somnophilia fantasies too. Read the whole story here.

stroking her over her panties

How To Get ~ And Keep ~ Those Blind Date & First Date Conversations Going

sex-worker-q-and-a-at-skOur Sex Worker Q & A Dating Series continues, this time with advice on talking your way through that blind date or first date more comfortably.

You’ll likely notice that the tips our team of dating experts share here are excellent companions to those pointers on how to deal with dating jitters.

(It shouldn’t be a surprise ~ these sex-perts are, after all, professional companions!)

Awkward silences are the worst. How do you get ~ and keep ~ a date talking?

Secondhand Rose (a former escort, presently offering custom erotica and virtual companionship via text and telephone):

I’ve never really had difficulty getting a person talking. It’s all about being interested, and I’ve always found people interesting! Let your curiosity lead the way, within polite reason, of course. Express genuine interest. A soft smile with a reassuring hand placed on their shoulder or arm now and then works wonders too.

Kaylee Pond (a cam girl specializing in nerdy, geeky, cosplay fun):

Find a subject that they’re passionate about that interests you, too!

Claire Keeler (an independent sex worker and award winning photographer, working on a photographic essay called Whoretography):

Ask them about themselves. People love talking about themselves. People are fascinating, we all lead interesting lives. So ask opened ended questions they can’t answer with a “yes” or “no”.

Angela St. Lawrence (a phone sex operator specializing in erotic fetish and sensual debauchery):

Ask questions. Who are his favorite authors? Is he from the area? College? Where? Pets? Where is his family? Career? Movies?

But don’t forget to talk about yourself in the midst of this, or he will feel like you are interrogating him and that is not good!

“Alice” (a sex worker with 17 years experience in erotic services and activism):

I am a question machine. It is difficult to come up with follow up questions, but they are the key to sustained conversation. I don’t just ask, “So what’s this trip about on Friday?” I also ask, “Do you enjoy working with the people you’ll see there?” “Do you have any favorite places in that city?” etc.

Goddess Audrey Rae (a Femdom and fetish clip girl, camgirl, and occasional phone sex operator):

I’m not much of a small talker, so I tend to make sure I know a few things about them to talk about first. Or take the first date as an opportunity to play 20 questions! This is a totally new person, you have an entire life time to learn about them!

Holly (a full service independent escort and, sometimes, brothel worker):

I tell stupid jokes lol. I try to get to get them laughing.

Addy Finch (an independent sex worker specializing in transgender/transsexual companionship):

Avoid yes/no questions and focus on open-ended ones, such as, “How did you wind up in your career?” and “What do you like about where you live?” If they’re still clamming up with really short answers, bounce back with your own answer to the same question. Hopefully your date will find something in your answer to latch on to. Once they get going on something, focus your questions there to encourage their passion. Smiling, nodding, and looking interested will go a long way toward making them want to develop their answer for you.

A Slip Of A Girl (a phone companion specializing in sissies, crossdressing, and other lingerie fetish work):

When you do receive a short response, share your own answer and elaborate a bit. For example, “I didn’t like that movie either, because…” Then pause for your date to add their thoughts. I think often, out of nervousness, people make the mistake of not pausing enough. To keep it a conversation, not a monologue, don’t carry on too long with your answers. And, if they have not already addressed the issue, add a friendly “And you?” at the end to encourage them to share their thoughts.

DiQld (an independent BBW escort):

Really bad awkward silences may be a tell tale that it is not the right person at this time. Say thank you, admit it isn’t working, and part friendly.

What subjects are best to avoid ~ at least at first?

“Alice”

Honestly I think there should be two categories: “Things I Notice My Date Wants to Avoid” and “Things I Will Not Discuss”. The second list I make before I leave the house. The first list is evolving as the date goes.

Kaylee

I’d likely avoid getting too deep into things on the first date, just keep things light and have fun.

Addy

Anything that can be controversial that you yourself aren’t willing to end a date over. For me, these tend to be politics and religion. I’m informed well enough, but, outside of a few issues, they absolutely aren’t hills I’m going to die on. Indifferent about urban/suburban divides, gentrification, and class/race warfare? Not worth it. Don’t care one way or the other about Israel/Palestine? Don’t touch it. However, if it’s absolutely mandatory that your date agree with you that German potato salad is better than Italian potato salad, though, then ruining a date early by emphatically advocating for mayo isn’t necessarily worse than getting roped into a second date.

Angela

Income, politics, sex, religion.

Claire

Politics, religion, ex partners, and sex.

Holly

Politics, marriage, how much money they earn.

Di

The date you had last night!

Slip

Other than past relationships, I don’t think anything is taboo… Sure, some topics are more controversial than others. But those may be either deal breakers or deal makers for you, or your date. So if it’s a “need to know” for you, ask about it. But then be prepared for your date to exercise their right to pass on answering this early on.

If your date asks you something you aren’t willing to share just yet, how do you handle that?

Audrey

I tend to answer vaguely and change the subject; or just change the subject if need be! If they aren’t a jerk, they’ll figure it out and drop it.

Claire

A simple, “Once we get to know each other we can share my thoughts about this.” It’s not okay to feel forced into discussing something you are not willing to share. If he does not respect that, then that’s a pretty surefire way to tell what he will be like in a relationship.

Angela

I don’t share. Period.

Di

Ask them a question back. Like, “Why?”

Holly

I’ll say, “Next!” Then laugh and then ask them a question.

“Alice”

If I’m trying to relax my date, I’ll flirtatiously say, “You don’t know me like that yet,” and then change the subject. Most people will follow this “out” because they don’t want to start a confrontation.

If someone is bugging me for something, whining and asking why I won’t just share myself with them, I am pretty strict about setting boundaries. I point out that I’ve already said the convo needs to change, and that they need to practice respecting my boundaries. Right now.

Slip

If they persist or insist, I’ll ask them why they really need to know that now. Usually they’ll accept that as a pause to wait and see how things go before bringing it up again. However, if it is something they feel they need to know, then I’ll either answer it honestly — or take it as a cue that this isn’t going to be a good match.

Addy

Usually I’ll answer vaguely or pretend I misunderstood their question to mean something else. If they persist, it’s always okay to simply say that you’re not comfortable talking about that yet and ask if you can change the subject. Leave the door open to talking about it in the future, and hopefully that should satisfy. If they won’t respect your boundaries on something that minor, quite honestly you should pretty directly end the date anyway.

Yes, there’s still more dating tips on the way! Stay tuned!

How To Deal With Dating Jitters

First you were excited; now you’re afraid, you’re petrified…

You got that date now what? Now you have to go on it.

To paraphrase the immortal words of Freddie Perren and Dino Fekaris (as sung by Gloria Gaynor), going on out that door, to meet your blind date or otherwise go on that first date now has you nervous. You might even be reconsidering if this date is actually a good idea…

sex-worker-q-and-a-at-skNever fear, our experienced daters ~ professional daters ~ are here to help!

Our Sex Worker Q & A Dating Series continues with tips on how to deal with the nervousness that accompanies those first dates. (Earlier parts in the series cover safety & making a good first impression.)

How do you deal with those first date jitters?

Addy Finch (a sex worker specializing in transgender/transsexual companionship):

Quite frankly, I haven’t had to in ages. One of the great things about sex work was that it has very blatantly revealed to me my worth in the dating market. On top of that, I haven’t had a conventional first date in a couple years. I would suggest remembering that your date is likely just as nervous as you are if not more-so.

Angela St. Lawrence (erotic fetish phone sex operator):

First dates — blind or otherwise — are always weird for me, as I prefer that my relationships develop naturally. Therefore, I tend to avoid blind dates altogether, although a family member or friend always seems to know THE PERFECT GUY for me. The few times I’ve given in (just to stop their matchmaking efforts for a while), I’ve felt very safe, since these guys were pretty well-known by my own personal Cupids.

But… Xanax … If you absolutely must.

Secondhand Rose (a former escort, presently an erotica author and virtual courtesan):

Jitters are just like stage fright and the like; it just means that the situation matters, that you want to do well! Keeping that perspective is often very calming by itself.

Kaylee Pond (a cam girl specializing in cosplay and geeky fun):

Try to remember that the other person is a normal person, just like you! They’re probably nervous, too!

“Alice” (a sex worker with 17 years experience in erotic services and a sex worker activist):

Dancing in my house, taking a long time to get ready, eating chocolate, packing my purse very carefully.

A Slip Of A Girl (a lingerie lover turned phone companion):

I like to arrive early (so I know I am not going to be late!) and then while-away some time cranking happy tunes in the car. It puts me in a great place emotionally — allowing me to walk in happy & confident.

Holly (an independent escort, sometimes brothel worker):

I know once I’m there I will be ok. I just remind myself of that.

Claire Keeler (independent sex worker, award winning photographer now working on a photographic essay called Whoretography):

Breathing and a shot of Vodka. Just because I spend all my time with men, doesn’t mean that when I am with someone I like I don’t get jitters — I do still get all girly about it.

Goddess Audrey Rae (a clip girl, PSO and camgirl specializing in Femdom and fetish):

I mean, they already agreed to go on a date with you, so obviously they’re into you! I generally walk myself through the worst case scenario (they hate you, they seem into you then you tell them about your job and they split, etc.) and remind myself that even the worst that can happen isn’t THAT bad. Like I might be slightly embarrassed; but really, why should I care what anyone else thinks about me? Especially if the date goes super poorly, it’s not like I have to see them again!

If your date seems nervous, what are some tips you have for getting them to relax?

Angela:

Usually (not always) the more relaxed I am, the more relaxed my date will be. Regardless, I can be quite charming. Just be sincerely interested in getting to know him. People are interesting and I absolutely love learning their story. Be real. Be authentic. C O M M U N I C A T E.

Claire:

Touch his arm and smile, it’s very disarming. Get him chatting about himself or name the game and call him on it. Just say, “Wow, this is a little bit awkward.” Said with a smile and a joking manner it works great.

DiQld (a BBW escort):

Mirror them. Or take control. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Audrey:

Crack jokes and smile a lot! It’s hard to be nervous when you’re laughing!

Rose:

I’ve dealt professionally with a number of socially awkward folks… Everything from Autism to those who have physical disabilities which have left them socially isolated, from widowers and the recently divorced to shy nerds — and many combinations thereof. One thing I’ve learned is to adjust your pace to the needs, abilities, and comfort levels of others. I’m not talking about pandering or being condescending – au contraire! What I mean is that those of us who are more socially comfortable, more experienced, often need to slow down our approach and allow a person time to warm up and become comfortable. Some people just take longer than others to open up and patience (encouraging trust while happily waiting) is usually greatly rewarded. Remember, this is not a race to see who can share or discover the most!

Holly:

Ask them questions about themselves (not too probing) and as soon as you find a topic that sparks them up, delve more into that topic. When people talk about things that they are passionate about or are very skilled at, they seem to relax.

Slip:

Find common ground. Typically you’ve both agreed to this date because you had something in common. For me, it’s usually — obviously — the lingerie. *wink* People often find it easier to begin talking about their interests rather than themselves.

Even with blind dates you have something in common — the people who set you up! So, when all else seems to be failing, talk about the people, place, or website that fixed you up.

“Alice”

Your own breath matters. When I realize there is nervousness at the table I don’t always know if it’s mine or the date’s, so I just take a deep breath and smile and imagine this is all the foreplay and try to enjoy it. This little practice actually tends to help other people breathe easier too. Nervousness can be transformed into excitement psychologically, I think.

Yes, there’s more to come yet!

Hot Flash Fiction Friday: Face Fucking, Masturbation & Forced Orgasm Edition

Pinkie is a real life submissive ~ and a phone sex operator who turns her money over to her Master, Blackie. She’s got a book out via Tit-Elation, and here’s a little excerpt for Hot Flash Fiction Friday. This takes place after Pinkie has served her Master’s Hong Kong business associates by being a face-fuck toy and she was forced to strip and masturbate for the group of men.

Blackie knows me so well, he knew I was close. “Go ahead and come, you little whore; you can squirt for them too yet.”

When he said “squirt,” the room filled with expectant “ahhs” as if they were a crowd at a Fourth of July celebration who had heard the whistles of the finale fireworks launched into the air.

…It seemed like hours, but I know it was only minutes that I lay there panting and screaming, tears running down my face, smearing my makeup and soaking the hotel bedding — while my body jerked and clenched and then finally just trembled while I lay there muttering something about “no more.”

Someone took the Hitachi from my hand and away from my twitching clit. The bodies began to disburse — except for one. The boss appeared at my face and ordered me to open it. “Now you tired whore, I fuck your face and you have no pleasure, no hope, no wishes other than for it to end.”

You can read the rest ~ and a lot more ~ in the ebook, Pinkie and Blackie: Tales of a Phone Sex Submissive.

pinkie book phone sex submissive

Dating Tips From Sex Workers, Part 2: Making A Good First Impression

Whether you’ve been cornered into that blind date your friend sent you on, have agreed to meet that guy or gal from that online dating site, or are finally going on that all-important first date with the person you’ve had your eye on forever, you’re now probably wondering about how to make a good first impression on that date…

Who better to tell you about how to make a great first impression than professional daters?

sex-worker-q-and-a-at-skAnswer: No one.

Not only does a sex worker’s livelihood depend upon making a great first impression, but they also are witness to many first impressions ~ good and bad ~ of their own. And, yes, that does mean that sex workers can reject clients who don’t pass their standards. Rejection in dating is a two-way street, paid or not.

We now continue our Sex Worker Q & A Dating Series with tips on how to make a good impression on that first date or blind date.

What helps make a good first impression?

Kaylee Pond (nerd culture and cosplay cam girl):

Dress nicely, put effort into your appearance, and be warm and genuine!

A Slip Of A Girl (a phone sex operator, specializing in lingerie fetish):

Wear appropriate clothing for the occasion. Women tend to over-dress, be “too dressy” or even too flashy, while men tend to under-dress and be too casual in their clothing. Over-dressed sends the message that you are high maintenance. Under-dressed sends the message that you just don’t care. Neither sets the right tone for a date. I’ve found the best way to avoid this is by discussing the place you’ll be on your date. For example, if you are the one suggesting the place, you can say something like, “If you don’t mind wearing a suit and tie, I love Chez Charlie.” If your date is suggesting the place and you are not familiar with it, you might ask your date about the dress code. If asking your date makes you feel uncomfortable, ask your friends, use the web to research the place, or even make a phone call to find out.

“Alice” (a sex worker with 17 years experience in erotic services and sex worker activism):

Showing up on time. Eye contact. Remembering details the other person shared with you about themselves and checking in. (For instance, if a person says, “I have to leave town on Friday, let’s meet on Wednesday,” I always ask about the upcoming trip.)

Goddess Audrey Rae (a Femdom and fetish clip girl, occasional PSO and camgirl):

Just being yourself really. I know that’s kinda overdone advice, but if you pretend to be someone you aren’t, that’s just an act you’re going to have to keep up and it’s not worth it. Dress appropriately for whatever event you’re going to, and making sure you have good hygiene helps a lot also.

Addy Finch (escort specializing in transgender/transsexual companionship):

Shower beforehand, show up on time, put your fucking phone away the entire time. Basically: be conscientious and respectful.

Angela St. Lawrence (a phone sex operator specializing in fetishes):

Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

Secondhand Rose (an escort who now works as an erotica author and virtual courtesan):

Showing up on time. Good hygiene. Proper dress. Paying attention to your date, not your cellphone, etc. In that order.

Oh, and don’t wear too much cologne or perfume. Fragrance should be something pleasant that draws you in further and then encircles in an embrace, not something that slaps another in the face and keeps folks at arm’s length. See: sillage.

Claire Keeler (an independent sex worker & award winning photographer now working on a photographic essay called Whoretography):

This will sound really simple and it has nothing to do with looks. Its all about manners, punctuality and politeness. The problem these days is common sense is not common and sometimes men forget to be gentlemen. There is no shame in having certain expectations of how you think its okay for men to behave around you.

More in the series yet to come!

Sex Workers Dish On Dating: Safety First!

While professional services are different than “real” non-paid dating, sex workers have plenty of dating experience ~ and therefore a lot of dating advice & wisdom to share.

As professional daters, it’s in a sex worker’s best interest to cultivate that first time into a regular thing ~ pending any nut jobs, of course.

Dating-Safety-TipsIn fact, screening for nut jobs and being safe is a first priority in any dating situation, paid or not.

Which is why we’re starting our Sex Worker Q & A Dating Series with blind date and first date safety tips.

What safety precautions should you take when going on a blind date or first date?

Angela St. Lawrence (erotic fetish phone sex operator):

I don’t use Tinder or dating sites. Way too impersonal for me. I really do cull my “prospects” from my social circle. So there is always some degree of familiarity when we step it up to that “Call me, baby” stage. Still, it doesn’t hurt to take your own car, meet in a public place, make it a daytime date. I may do that two, three, even more times … Until it feels right.

“Alice” (an anonymous sex worker with 17 years experience in erotic services, seven of them as a sex worker rights activist):

1) Have your own transportation.
2) Meet in public place–restaurant, bar, etc.
3) Have a person you check in with at a specific time. I usually check in after about an hour, on a trip to the bathroom, to tell my home base I’m ok, and what I plan to do next.
4) Plan your drinking/substances such that you are lucid and in control, and stick to your plan. You can always get drunk with the person next week if you really like them.

Secondhand Rose (former escort turned erotica author and virtual courtesan):

I’m sure the other pros will have more advice, but, even if you bring a friend along, always meet in — and stay at — a public place.

Even with friends, or having a friend covertly shadow you, tell other friends where you are going, who you are meeting, and arrange check-in times too. If you met your date an online (at a dating site, via an app, or even just at Facebook) send friends the URL and take a screenshot of their profile or page with photo and contact info. (In a worst case scenario, this is a vital lead.)

And always leave your mobile phone’s GPS on. (Definitely silence your phone; but keep it on!)

Goddess Audrey Rae (clip girl, occasional PSO and camgirl, specializing in Femdom and fetish):

My pro dates are all online, so generally I make sure to turn on a VPN, and make sure nothing behind me can give away my location.

For my personal life, I always make sure someone knows where I am, have pepper spray or something similar on me, and have a friend who I can text periodically to let them know I’m okay (generally I send a text while I’m going to the restroom or something).

Claire Keeler (full service independent sex worker & award winning, published photographer working on a photographic essay called Whoretography):

Absolutely tell someone where you are going; leave it written down somewhere in your home if you have no one to tell. Tell someone his/her name and contact details.

Never ever go to someone’s home. Nor should you bring them in to your home, as that’s your safe place. Always meet in public, no shame in bringing a decoy friend to sit in the cafe to make sure the guy safe.

Never leave your drink unattended or accept an open drink unless you see it getting made or the waiter brings it to you. If your date calls you on it, says you are being paranoid, a simple “you can never be too sure these days” said with a smile works. I think women are taught from a young age to be polite and humour men, and some men prey on this. It’s not rude to decline something if it makes you feel uncomfortable. If he’s offended, well, that’s his issue not yours.

Addy Finch (an escort specializing in transgender/transsexual companionship):

You should take whatever precautions you need to to feel safe. There shouldn’t have to be any; but, alas, sometimes it’s wiser to play by shitty rules than to pretend they don’t exist.

Tell a friend where you are going, who you’re meeting up with, and set up a time to check in with them. If the date’s going well, and you’re going to extend it, excuse yourself to the restroom and let your friend know and to set up a new time to check in (even if it’s to chat about the date in the morning over brunch).

And, as always, don’t accept rides from strangers. Ponies on the other hand…

Where is a good place to meet a blind date or go on a first date?

Kaylee Pond (geek culture and cosplay cam girl):

Definitely meet somewhere public with plenty of people! Even though it’s cliche, I would suggest someplace like a coffee shop because it’s low commitment and you can leave easily if you aren’t enjoying yourself. You also have the option to stay a long time or suggest going to dinner or something if you’re feeling comfortable.

Claire:

A cafe or restaurant on a Saturday afternoon always works best for me. I never meet in a place within a hotel in case they roll out the “lets go upstairs” line.

Rose:

I like to opt for familiar places, where I know the bartender, waitstaff, security, etc. — and know the layout of the place. However, if you are dating quite a bit, I do not advise going to the same place so often that you either get a reputation (in sex work, busted) or otherwise risk embarrassing yourself or your date with comments regarding your “popularity.”

My rule of thumb is any public place that you can sit facing one another, not side by side. Sitting face-to-face means you can have conversations in which you can see, observe, and learn a lot more about a person. It creates intimacy. Whereas sitting side by side, generally speaking, means you are watching a movie or otherwise entertained by some event, which means your attention is elsewhere. That means once the date is over, you are more likely to remember what happened during the film or basketball game than you are to remember anything about your date! Oh, and don’t pick places which are too loud to have conversations. While whispers in ears can be wonderful, they are not the best way to get to know one another.

I also adore walking dates, like visiting museums and art galleries. The pace is slow enough to converse, and the environment is not only conducive to conversation but prompts it too. (I’ll admit, it’s also a fine way to admire your date when they become absorbed in something they like!) You can stop and sit to sip coffee or wine as well. If you aren’t into history and/or art, consider other walking date options, including outdoor walks — even dog parks!

A Slip Of A Girl (phone sex operator, specializing in lingerie fetish, crossdressing, and sissification):

Public places you are familiar with are great; but don’t choose a place where all your friends hang out. Otherwise your date faces being grilled by everyone, can be overloaded with information from well-meaning friends, or end up feeling left out entirely. Besides, why not go someplace you’ve been dying to go to?

“Alice”:

Public places are not only safest, they give you a chance to see the person interact with the world. Are they impatient, or kind? Do they tip well? Do they seem like a control freak, or a more submissive person?

Angela:

I love coffee shops and bookstores. But you already knew that.

More active dates can be fun, too: whitewater rafting, skiing … putting a bit of activity in the middle of the “getting to know you” conversation isn’t such a bad thing.

More tips to come!