As someone who writes a lot about sex work, I receive questions from clients all over the world. They land in my email inbox, sneak into my Twitter DMs, or arrive via the anonymous form on my website. I love it. It’s a secret glimpse into the minds of escort enthusiasts everywhere: what matters most to you? What do you worry about? What do you need to know?
One issue appears over and over…a persistent fear of being scammed.
Guys ask me:
“How can I avoid getting ripped off by an escort?”
“What happens if I turn up and they don’t look like their photos? Do I have to stay?”
“How do I know who to trust with my personal details?”
I think a lot of clients are worried about getting scammed by escorts, because they assume the sex industry is disreputable. The media, our community, our leaders, our religions…they all say sex is bad, and sex for money is worse. When we’re told that everything to do with sex work is wrong, it seems logical to assume that everyone involved will end up getting hurt.
Over many years in the biz, I’ve learned that this isn’t the case. Sex work isn’t inherently dodgy. In most states of Australia (where it’s mostly legalised or decriminalised) escorts advertise for clients, pay taxes, and follow fair trading laws, just like any other small business.
Even in places where escorting isn’t legal, I suspect those workers are just as concerned about professionalism – perhaps even more so. Repeat business is the cornerstone of our work, and an escort whose clients don’t come back often struggles to make a living. Treating our clients fairly is essential, if we want to be successful.
Of course, all businesses, it’s important for buyers to do their homework. If you were looking for a builder or mechanic, you wouldn’t open the classifieds and pick the first person your finger landed on, would you? You must choose someone with the right skills and level of professionalism.
It’s your job to research your escort before you commit to a booking, to ensure they’re right for you. Just as you wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive, you shouldn’t commit to getting naked with someone until you’ve done your due diligence.
When it comes to being scammed, I think it’s much less likely than a lot of guys assume. The real risk here is feeling worried, and having it interfere with your enjoyment. Doing your homework requires a bit of extra time – and sometimes, a bit of an extra investment. But it’s well worth the effort, to banish doubt and anxiety before your session.
Here are a few ways to research your escort, avoid mishaps, and give yourself peace of mind.
- Check how long they’ve been in business – how far back does your escort’s Twitter account go? How many reviews do they have on escort ad sites? Have you seen them around for a while? An established pro knows how to act professionally, and chances are they’ll be interested in treating you fairy and keeping your business.
- Check their ads, website, and social media for selfies. I understand why guys might worry that their escort won’t resemble their pics – but it’s impossible to know how someone looks from all angles by checking out two or three photographs. If this concerns you, seek out more information by following your worker on social media or checking their website for a ‘selfie gallery.’ Seeing more images will give you realistic expectations of how they’ll appear in person.
- When enquiring, be honest about what you want. Some clients are so nervous about seeing a sex worker that they can’t bring themselves to ask for a specific service. Others get distracted during the booking process and forget to mention exactly what they have in mind. If you turn up to a session and your worker doesn’t provide what you wanted, there’s a chance you weren’t clear about it from the start.
- Pay for a social booking or chat on the phone. If you’re considering a long encounter, a coffee date, short social outing, or phone conversation can help you work out whether you get along and confirm that your escort will treat you kindly and respectfully. Of course, this is your escort’s professional time, and it must be paid for. But it’s a good investment, as it helps relieve anxiety before the big day.
- Don’t self-sabotage. On the few occasions where a customer has received a bad service from me, it’s because they’ve behaved in way that made it impossible for me to do my job. Getting drunk before the date, not following my directions, or demanding a huge ‘shopping list’ of sexual acts that will leave me exhausted, are all sure-fire ways to have an unsatisfying session. Sometimes clients don’t realise this is happening because they’re unfamiliar with the etiquette. If your session isn’t going well, try asking your escort what they need from you to make it better.
‘Doing your homework’ might not sound very exciting. It means holding off on your ‘I want this right now’ feeling. Instant gratification isn’t always conducive to finding a great play partner! Although you might be tempted to book someone at the last minute, or make a snap decision based on a great arse or beautiful eyes, it’s important to use your big head as well as your little one. As my gym coach says, ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.’
Do your research. Book a social date or phone chat. And above all, don’t assume your escort is letting you down – if your encounter doesn’t feel right, always ask. You might discover that all it takes is a bit of conversation to get things back on track.
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The Satisfaction Project is Georgie Wolf's comprehensive guide to sex workers, for clients just like you. Get the know-how for life-changing encounters with escorts and other independent, hands-on providers.