Tuesday, May 02, 2006

When I stop and think about it, I know a lot of other sex workers. I mean – a lot. Sometimes for me, looking through the “Eros Guide” site for Seattle is like looking through MySpace or Tribe or Friendster. “Oh, look - there’s Claudia, she’s back in town and doing incall…. And Grace got some new pictures, very nice, they look like Tommy Edwards’ work. Huh, I didn’t know Meredith had switched from escorting to doing massage, interesting…”

I was thinking about this because a woman I know, who isn’t a sex worker, has made a remark to me about wanting to ask a few questions - the implication being that she’s considering a foray into the industry herself. I’ve given professional advice to a lot of friends over the years, and I’m always happy to do it. I sort of consider it my way of paying the universe back for giving me such overwhelmingly positive sex work experiences myself.

So I was thinking, considering what she might ask, and what I might tell her, when the phone rang. It was another friend, who is a sex worker, who also wanted some advice.

“I got this voicemail on the business line,” she began. “And I thought I recognized the voice, and then I realized – shit, I know this guy. I mean, I know him socially.”

“Wow, that’s unusual.” I replied. “Does he know it’s you? I mean, was it just coincidence or…?”

“No, he knows what I do, and he must have hunted around and found me somehow. But he wants to see me, and I just can’t – that’s too weird, I can’t do it.”

“I don’t blame you, it would be kinda strange.” I thought about it. “I’m not sure I’ve ever known someone socially and then had them as a client. But I’ve had people as clients first and then started seeing them around the community. You have to be careful not to out them, but it’s never been a problem.”

“Well, that’s the thing – he said he’s never done this before, and he went on and on about how confidentiality was really, really, super important to him, and how it was like a big deal to call me and give me his number to call him back at, and like that.”

“Let me get this straight – confidentiality is the biggest deal to him, and so to preserve his anonymity he called a sex worker who knows him in his real life? Oh, that’s not so smart.”

She paused. “Yeah, I hadn’t thought about it that way, but I guess that is kinda dumb, isn’t it?”

“I would guess that he’s thinking that at least he knows you’re not a cop. Guys who aren’t very experienced always worry way more than they need to about that. And he probably feels reasonably sure you won’t have some killer pimp hiding behind the door, either. But he’d have done better to ask you for a referral.”

“Yeah, because I definitely don’t want to see him.”

“So just tell him nicely that it’s too close to home and send him to someone else. Or if even that’s too weird, just point him towards one of the escort review boards and let him pick someone from there.”

“Okay, that’s what I’ll do. Thanks, Matisse.”

We hung up. It’s really nice to be at a point in my career where there are very few professional situations that I feel I have no solution to.

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