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.
In 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 apps for casual hookups. 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.
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.
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?
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?
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!