Thursday, February 23, 2006

Pick and Choose

Today on a local escort-review board, a new escort was apologizing for not being able to answer all of the hundreds of emails and many dozens of phone calls she’d been besieged with every day since she began offering her services. She was so overwhelmed, she said, she was considering quitting.

I’m not surprised she got that reaction. Her pictures show a pretty young blond girl, and ladies like that always get a huge response, especially when they first appear on the escort scene. And it can be really overwhelming. As a pro domme, I do not get the same enormous volume of calls and email that a lot of escorts do. But I remember what that was like, and I still get quite a lot even now. I don’t know this young woman, and I tend not to proffer unasked-for advice. But if I were a friend of hers, here’s what I’d say:

Darlin’, you really don’t need to answer every single phone call and every single email you get. Yes, in a perfect world, you’d at least give everyone the courtesy of a, “No thank you,” and if you have time to do that, go ahead. But the truth is you could spend hours on the phone and the keyboard only doing that, and it’s not a profitable use of your time. What you need to do is categorize them into “Yes, Answer ASAP”, “Maybe” and “No”.

The No category will be big. I have mentored a few sex workers and I usually tell them they should be turning down at least half of the new clients who contact them, and sometimes more. There are just that many not-right guys out there.

Here’s who goes into the No category. Anyone who isn’t polite and appropriate when communicating with you. Anyone who says anything about sex. Anyone who flips you shit for not answering email instantly. Anyone who sends you a one-line email that says something like, “hey sxy wHen RU availbe?” Anyone who claims to be a pimp. Anyone who mentions drugs. Anyone who pressures you. Anyone who sounds like he’s drunk and/or calling from a bar. Anyone who says he wants to pay you with an iPod or a computer or a diamond ring. Anyone who acts like you should jump when he snaps his fingers. Anyone who calls and you hear a lot of other voices in the background. Anyone who elicits the response, “I don’t think I like this guy,” after listening to his message or reading his email. Boom, straight to the curb. Don’t return the call, don’t answer the email.

Does that sound mean? Hey, baby, it’s a survival skill. A lot of the unsuitable guys will take it as a challenge if you call/email back to say no, and they’ll keep coming back, trying and trying to change your mind. You don’t need that.

Besides, if you don’t get a good vibe from the guy, don’t take his money, because you won’t be able to give him a good experience if you don’t like him. If he’s a genuinely okay guy, he’ll move on and meet someone else who’s a better fit for him and have a better experience with her anyway, so you’re doing him a favor in the long run. And if he’s not a genuinely okay guy - well, then…

The Maybe list is composed of guys who you had a mixed reaction to. First-time clients are often nervous and can sometimes come off badly when in fact, they’d be fine if they just relaxed a little. I suggest stringing out the screening process with guys like this. Get a few additional calls/emails from them and see how your response to them evolves. Don’t be afraid to say, “You know, I’m new at this and I get a little nervous sometimes. Would you might just chatting with me on the phone for a few minutes so I can kinda get to know you a little bit?” And then ask him where he’s from, what he does for fun – just make innocuous conversation for five minutes, it’ll tell you a lot about him. If he reacts to this like you’re being hugely unreasonable, then he’s a No.

Also on this list: anyone who says he wants something you don’t provide: incall or outcall, or overnight dates, or half-hour dates, whatever it is you’d generally prefer not to do. If they seem okay in other ways, it’s worth trying to steer them towards your preferred method, but be prepared to let it go.

The Yes men are guys you’ve seen before and liked, and guys who you liked in the initial communication and who’ve gone through whatever screening method you’ve chosen: references, personal info, gut instinct, whatever. Answer them as soon as you can, but I don’t consider a few hours to be an unreasonable length of time before returning voicemail/email. I often take longer even with guys I really like, just because I’m so busy. Fortunately they’re all pretty patient with me.

I recommend you don’t use instant messaging or text messages to process appointment inquiries. Calls and emails are enough to keep track of.

Now gentlemen, I know how sensitive you all are, but I don’t want you to get your feelings hurt by anything I've said here. If you’re a nice, honest guy who treats ladies fairly, then you shouldn’t take any of this as a slight to you. And just to keep things in balance, I will be writing a follow-up piece for the gentlemen about how to choose an escort who will provide a safe and satisfying experience, because I know that it’s challenging for the guys to find reputable and un-flaky ladies as well. All the more reason for me to give a little guidance to the professional women who you’d like to stay in the game.

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