What’s the first thing you’d think if someone said they were going to see a sex-worker? Do you imagine them driving through King’s Cross and picking up a streetwalker for £20? Or diving down an alley, walking up some dark steps to enter a red-lit, smoke-filled shadowy room where the girls line up for selection?
Do you ever imagine your friend walking out of a tube station into a tree-lined street in a suburb in London? He walks up to a discrete house, that looks just like any other, and the lady who answers is smiling and welcomes him into her warm home that smells of fresh coffee and baked biscuits..
Ok, so maybe it’s not that into the realms of suburban fantasy (although an escort friend of mine once asked why she had loads of appointments, but they hardly ever showed up. ‘I’m ever so nice,’ she said. ‘I always send the directions, and finish the text with ‘I’ll put the kettle on!’. This was met with both howls of laughter, and a small lesson in Suspension of Disbelief. Basically, the client is coming for sex, not popping round to his friendly next-door neighbor for a cup of tea.)
But my point is that sleeping with a sex-worker isn’t the dingy, seedy, salacious process you might think. It can be bright, cheerful, and just a lovely way to have some intimacy when none is forthcoming.
Like it or lump it, Sex-Work is here to stay. Always has been. So let’s give a small lesson in How To Stop Panicking and Love The Girlfriend Experience.
What’s that you say? The Girlfriend Experience? Qu’est-ce que c’est?
Yes, that’s what we call it. The Girlfriend Experience is basically sex, and all the foreplay, licking, snogging, sucking, groping, fumbling, and fingering that comes with it. It’s not Domination – so no gimp masks, dog collars or ball-gags needed – and it’s not the Porn Star Experience where limbs fly from pillar to post to get twenty-three positions in a one-night stand. No, we’re basically doing what most couples do when they’re at the height of the honeymoon period. No equipment or even experience necessary.
But some people still can’t get their heads around it! They still can’t see why women who offer The Girlfriend Experience enjoy it.
But what’s not to love?!
Certainly, there are women out there who are working against their will, and it’s sad I have to put this caveat in. Believe me, I wish they weren’t as much as the next person. But the world has got to realise that it’s not the case for all sex-workers. So don’t go off-topic – stick with me and my brethren of ‘happy hookers’
But back to your friend – although, we should establish who he is. You’re probably imagining it’s the extrovert one, who talks about sex all the time, tries pulling everything in a skirt, and always flirts at the office party. He’s the one you probably think is most likely to see a Sex Worker. Now imagine one at the other end of the scale – quiet, shy, a bit of an introvert but perfectly pleasant and polite. Now he is most likely to see a Sex-Worker. Mainly because number one is pretty confident that he doesn’t need to pay for it!
So get Mr Shy in your head for this exercise, and we want the best for him, right? So he’s done his research; picked a fine looking lady from the internet, read her website and reviews, and asked all the right questions to see if he thinks he’ll feel comfortable with her. He’s happy he’s made the right decision, and here’s a few reasons why.
They’re not always cheating
Contrary to popular belief, not all men who visit sex-workers are sex-mad perverts cheating on their wives. Some just want a bit of intimacy they wouldn’t otherwise be getting. Yes, some are cheating in their relationships, but you can’t use that brush on all of them. Some find it difficult to find partners for a variety of reasons; they might be a bit too old to stand at the bar of Jumpin’ Jacks and hope to pull, they might have mobility issues, they might even just be a bit shy. Some *sharp intake of breath* might just not be very attractive. Or at least they don’t think they are.
I’m not saying all our clients are disabled OAPs who looked like the back end of a bus, just that everyone has needs. And we’re here to fulfil them.
But most of the time, it’s average looking men, of every age, who just wanted to have sex. Imagine your friend has been single for a few months, and he wants to have something he can spend his day at work thinking about, something that will help him escape, something to look forward to.
We’re not from a porn movie.
I have nothing against porn, don’t get me wrong. But we’re not fembots made exclusively for sex. We have lump, bumps, bellies and muffin tops. I’m a BBW – at my largest I weighed 25 stone, so we don’t all need to look like we’re leggy blondes built for twerking. As for the myth that we should be hairless from the eyebrows down, save for shaving my legs and armpits, the rest of me remains completely au natural and that’s the way clients liked it. One of the main things clients would ask me on the phone was about my bush, and I’m proud to say I’m a power-muff girl.
The one time I tried a Full Wax lead to disappointed clients, itchiness, and a nasty bout of thrush, so I decided to leave it as is ever since. I feel sorry for girls growing up today who think that’s what you need to look like I’m not sure where your body image would fit into the petition for sexual education, but if it was up to me I’d have leaflets, booklets, and a powerpoint presentation on why girls shouldn’t emulate the stereotypical women in the LA porn movies. Generally ending in the summary of ‘cos it’s not what all men want.’
Hell, it’s not even women in Porn. Watch any reality TV show set in LA and the women are too skinny with massive breasts, tweeked faces, straw-like hair, plastic teeth..some before they’ve even hit 20.
The appointment is a transaction. It’s happened for an hour, and afterwards we let it go. You’ll hear nothing from us.
Let’s go back to your first friend – the loudmouth. He’s pulled a girl on a night out, told her how gorgeous she is, bought the drinks in, took her back to his where they chatted about mutual interests. She’s really digging this funny, outgoing guy. He wants to get into her knickers. Sex happens, and it’s the next day.
‘Of course I’ll call you!’
Maybe he says it, maybe she does. But if one of them believes the other one will, and they don’t, they might feel a bit put out. Texts, calls, social media messages…a general air of ‘I thought this was more’ ensues.
Gosh. Pretty rubbish feeling, that. Probably from both sides; that feeling of guilt when a message comes through, or of being used when that message isn’t replied to.
Maybe it’s my simple mind, but I never could understand why a guy would spend a wad of cash on going out specifically to pull – maybe new clothes, taxis, drinks, food – when he could have spent the same amount on picking from the plethora of lovely ladies who are sex-workers, and enjoyed a moment of safe, sober and very satisfactory sex without the emotional hang-ups.
We Take Pride In Our Work.
We do! And not just because of the threat of a bad review. But why wouldn’t we want you to enjoy it? If you’re digging it, so are we. A good escort will establish what the clients needs are, what he wants, what he wants to try and we’ll do our best to fulfill them if we can/want to. Obviously he might ask for something we’re not prepared to do, which is why I tried to establish their requirement during the initial phone call. It saves a stern ‘No’ during the heat of passion later on.
Also, we want the environment to be safe, clean and comfortable. Lots of fluffy towels, warm water, clean sheets. Not only do we have the things they need (condoms, lubricant, wet wipes) but we’ll try and have everything they might want; from drinks to shower gel, I’ve even had a pack of spare toothbrushes on hand, just in case.
It’s important to research who you’re seeing – check how long they’ve been working, if they have reviews, or even a blog you can read. If they’ve just got one profile on a listing site with badly written text, a stock picture and a price that’s too good to be true, chances are you’re walking into something you don’t want to.
It’s common sense really, you might be paying a lot more for a lady with a long background, well worded website, up-to-date blog, but it will be worth it.
Put it this way, if you saw a Lexus on Ebay for £70, do you think ‘I’ll have that!’ or do you think ‘Something dodgy going on there’?
It’s amazing how that logic flies out the window when the possibility of sex with a pretty lady is on the line.
We’re good…but still human.
Well, we are!
But we’re not mind-readers. Neither have we all studied the Kama Sutra on top of a mountain in Thailand for several years. We just have…experience. And that experience gives us initiative. Coupled with the fact we don’t have to see them again, it can also lead us to take risks. Sexy risks, not stupid ones.
For instance, if a client calls me up and just so happens to drop into the conversation that he’d like me to wear red nail polish on my toes, I have a fair inkling that he’s got a foot fetish. So I can tease him with them, say ‘Hey..do you like my toes? I did them especially for you…do you want to kiss them?’ They say yes..and Boom! We’re away into something a bit more dominant (a foot fetish being the basic, most popular request I get from sub guys), or they say no like they have every right to, and we carry on with the GFE.
But that’s from experience, from learning, from listening and talking to clients. Before that guy came along, there was probably a dozen clients who gave me that request but I never picked up on it until No. 12 said ‘Hey, I have a foot fetish.’ Once something like that clicks, I can use that approach on another client who just thinks I’m being Bloody Awesome.
It’s like being a magician. You think I’ve just pulled that trick out of my hat, but in reality it took several years and a lot of clients before I had the confidence to pull it off.
You’re not paying for nothin’…
Ahh, the great myth that escorts are there to hang on someones arm for the evening, looking pretty.
‘Sign up to our agency now! Millionaires want to take YOU for dinner*!
*Subject to a £300 admin fee.
Let’s get this straight. Never, EVER in my years as an escort have I know ANYONE who was just taken out for dinner. The ‘implication’ is, was, and always has been that Sex Will Happen.
The only time I’ve ever actually been taken our for dinner was when clients specifically booked a Dinner Date, but even that comes with two hours ‘Private Time’. (That was more popular with clients visiting from overseas. They wanted to go out, feel like they were on a normal date, but have a guaranteed fuck at the end of it. Fine by me! But I would always try and split it so I met them for the first hour, had dinner, and then we had the second hour. It gave them time to recharge the batteries.)
If you see an ad for ‘Escorts wanted, no sex involved’, they always come with an admin fee. An admin fee you’ll never see anything from, ever.
…unless you want to.
Ok, despite sex always being on the menu, not all of my clients wanted it.
Some had just wanted light foreplay.
Some were happy to play with themselves whilst I spoke to them.
One just wanted spooning – without it even turning into a fork.
They were few and far between though, so that’s why this bit’s really short. But it had to be noted.
An unlikely friendship.
Believe it or not, some sex-workers and their regulars can become friends. I’m not saying we go to giving freebies, but I – along with several working girls I know – did actually strike up a bit of a Thing with some clients.
It’s hard to explain – I never contacted them unless they contacted me, and if the conversation was obviously happening because they were horny, I’d tell them they should book an appointment. But I’m quite stern that way – I like things on the level. Some of the best working girls I knew who had regulars by the bucket load were ones who would take the ‘out-of-hours’ calls and texts, and sure enough would get the business, but only because they’d treat them kindly, they’d like the flirting. They weren’t doing it to get an appointment, they were just doing it because it was fun for them.
Even though money wasn’t exchanging hands, they were still getting something from it. It fascinated me because I just wasn’t prepared to step over that line. But ones who did got a lot more from it then just extra bookings. One girl got snowed in, and when a client saw it on her twitter, he came round and dug her out. Another mentioned she was going to a Christmas party, and a client dropped a little extra in her postbox the next day. I can think of other examples, but when I describe them I can feel your mind wondering how they twisted these men round their little finger, or pleaded poverty so the clients felt sorry for them. It was nothing like that. They were just…friends. They were nice, without any want or desire of remuneration.
This was something that both baffled and surprised me. I seriously wasn’t expecting escorts to make friends with clients without there being something in it for both of them. I was often tempted to explore this myself, but could soon see my patience wearing thin, and quickly losing it altogether!
It turns me on.
There. I said it.
It took me a long time to come out with this, the most basic fact of Why I started, Why I Continued, and Why I Miss it.
Sleeping with strangers, for money, turns me on.
It fulfills quite a lot. Despite Domination being a popular request from clients, I’m quite the sub. Knowing that for that hour I belong to that person, I’m there to do his bidding is a bit of a knicker-fizzer. I never could quite let myself go though, sense and sensibility always prevailed. I never put myself in a dangerous situation, nor did I actually take Dom clients. For me, being a sub and actually experimenting with what that is involves trust and knowing the other person. (I guess that’s why it was always really confounding for me when clients asked for Domination sessions, but were always really vague with what they wanted that to involve).
I can’t say it’s the same for every escort out there, but I imagine there are a lot who feel the same.
As I see more and more what sex-worker rights activists are doing, I understand the cry of ‘Our bodies, our choice!’. This feeling I have, this desire, this urge isn’t something that should be taken away from me just because a few people out there think it’s morally wrong. That’s a form of castration. That’s like saying people can’t be gay because they find members of the same sex a turn on. Isn’t it my right to be able to carry out my fantasy with someone whose more than happy to consent? That’s just two people, minding their own business, doing what they enjoy.
So there we go. Do you feel a bit better for your friend now? Do you see that it’s not the sad, desperate, lonely choice people think it is, for either of us?
I always get asked why I left, if I enjoyed it so much, and the simple answer is Things Change. First and foremost, I wanted to get into another career.
But building up to that, I also noticed more and more men comparing what I did and the prices I charged to those of more shady dealings. I grew more upset that they would ask me to lower my prices to match them, when their prices were set by racketeers who wanted them to be cheap so they could be on an assembly line to get more clients in. The reasons I’ve set out above are what make me a luxury, they are what set my prices (as well as most Independent Sex-Workers) at a premium rate. Lower the prices, and you lower the service.
I’d love things to change, for clients to see The Girlfriend Experience is something truely worth paying the money for, not a quick cheap deal from someone who is less-than-enthusiastic. And I’d love it if you out there saw the effort we put in, the pride, the work – because that is what it is. It’s still work. It’s a job. We’re very lucky in that it’s work we enjoy.
So what do you think about your friend? Has he made the right decision? Will he hurt anyone by coming to see someone like me? Or perhaps we’re just two people, doing what we enjoy…
Miranda Kane blogs at http://www.coinoperatedgirl.co.uk/ Follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/miri_kane
This post was first published in Cliterati in June 2015 and reprinted in February 2018 in the wake of the death of Miranda’s fellow advocate for the rights of sex workers, Laura Lee.