Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Ask The Right Question

I got two emails today asking me for advice on personal questions. One I fired off an answer to right away. The other – well, maybe ya’ll can answer it, because I lack the time. I’ll show you what I mean. (Note: both letters were edited slightly for length and/or identifying details.)

Over the past months I've become a fan of yours, enjoying your "Control Tower" as I do. And your latest prompts a question, and though I don't know if you
respond to such individual inquiries, surely it can't hurt to ask.
On the matter of how to deal with a sex-worker, I don't want to offend anyone, and I much appreciate your advice….So my question is: would it be unreasonably risky
to ask of a lady advertising a "flat rate, incall," exactly how much of her TIME
I could expect to enjoy, for that figure?
It's been (many) years since I've visited such a professional, and the memory is pleasant, but I expect after this lapse of time, I probably need to be "schooled."

This is an example of a very good can-I-ask-you-a-question? letter. Why do I like it? For one thing, this writer lets me know he knows something about who I am, which is nice. I get tons of emails from people who don’t seem to know who anything about who they are talking to.

He also acknowledges that he’s asking me to spend my very precious personal time answering his question, which is nice.

But, by far the most important thing he did right is : he frames a very specific question that I can easily respond to. (The answer, in this case, is that it’s perfectly appropriate and reasonable to ask a sex worker how much time you get for how much money. After all, that's what we’re selling - our time.)

It took me no time at all to dash off exactly that reply to this gentleman. He got the info he wanted, and I was pleased to help out a reader. Everybody wins.

Contrast this with another letter.

My lady and I enjoy a bit of kink and have been interested in expanding on what
we know (and that isn't much). We both love it but it's getting a little
blah...We would like to know more about rope work and spanking/ using paddles,
crops, etc. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Now, understand – I don’t think this writer is a bad person, not at all. And it’s not all wrong - he does politely acknowledge me having taken the time to read his letter. Points for that.

But the trouble is, this man does not frame a specific question - at least, not one that I can easily see. He and his partner want to learn more about bondage and impact play. Well, that’s certainly a desire I support. But what exactly are they asking me? Do they want me to recommend a book to them, or videos they might watch? Are they looking for kink events to attend? But I can't help with that unless I know where they live, and he doesn't say. I don't think he's asking me about a couples session, but I suppose that might be it, too. I just don't know.

I do like to be helpful to people if I can. But the truth is, if answering your (I think) non-business-related email is going to take me longer than two minutes, your odds of getting a response are slim. I just don’t have time.

So perhaps you, my kinky readers, will help this second writer. What are your responses to his question?

Meanwhile, I have a column to write and boys to torment. Bye!

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