It’s hard finding new clients in this business.
I have been an entrepreneur for a long, long time. I’ve been a photographer, a designer, a personal trainer (no dirty jokes, thanks! Or I’ll make you do a hundred push-ups.)
In my other types of work I have found, without exception, that ‘word of mouth’ referrals always get me the best sort of business. When someone recommends me to their friend / business partner / mum / whatever, I know I’m getting a good client because the referrer is inevitably a good client of mine – someone who’s happy with the sort of work that I do. And the new person – the potential new client – knows I’m trustworthy. The new person will treat me well because they don’t want to risk their friend or associate’s disapproval (no bounced cheques!)
When it comes to the sex industry, things are different. Despite the fact that a huge percentage of guys (and quite a few girls and couples) see escorts, there’s a certain shame around actually talking about it.
Netflix has helped me understand. I’ve been binge-watching ‘the Crown’ – a drama series that describes the life of Queen Elizabeth II. Why am I watching this? I have no idea. Watching aristocrats play lawn tennis definitely doesn’t turn me on. It’s instructive though; it’s fascinating exploring a culture that so strictly controls the sexual behaviour of its citizens. The English aristocracy of that era were extremely morally proscriptive. Sex out of wedlock, divorce, and same-sex shenanigans were all frowned upon. Despite this, everything that was forbidden still went on behind closed doors. ‘The Crown’ is a demonstration of the way that trying to control sexual behaviour is doomed to failure, even if everyone is doing a jolly good job of pretending they’re being virtuous.
It might have changed a bit since Victorian times but it hasn’t changed nearly as much as you might think. The mismatch between what we say we do and what we actually do is the source of all modern tragedies, soap opera television shows, and embarrassing trips to the emergency room.
This is why marketing is harder for escorts than for regular business-folk. Although we have many clients who appreciate our services, it takes a special sort of bloke to say to his best friend, “Mate, I slept with an incredible lady last night, let me give you her number.” I suspect more people would seek me out if they had moral support. Asking your mates for dating advice is one thing. Asking for advice before you see an escort for the first time? That’s a harder conversation. Learning how to interact with sex workers is a process, and there aren’t many sources of information. There are probably lots of people out there who would love to see an escort but aren’t confident enough to bridge the gap of inexperience.
This is why my blogs exist – I want to help inform anyone who might be thinking about seeing me. But it’s not the same as having friends who support your right to have an interesting sex life.
How do we fix this? We need to be a more open and tolerant society … don’t hold your breath for that one, but I’m working on it, as are many other good people. One way to further the cause is to come out as a client, if you’re able to do so. Not everyone is able, but if you can manage to nonchalantly (and appropriately) slip your escorting adventures into a conversation, good on you! If you have friends who celebrate your sexual adventures then you’re a fortunate person indeed.
Otherwise? Try Twitter to find support from some like-minded folk. And leave a review after we spend time together – word of mouth is still the best way to find good people, even if the recommendation comes from someone you’ve never met in person.