I have a bit of an infatuation with sex workers.
Every one of them has a distinct story to tell, but of course, there are overlapping themes in every sex work experience.
Creeps, for example. Clients who fail to respect the boundaries that sex workers set to keep themselves safe.
Risks of violence and sexually transmitted disease are assumed to be “risks of the trade.” Protection from police isn’t promised in a legal gray-area industry, so sex workers bear the full responsibility for themselves.
It doesn’t matter whether a problem client’s behavior comes from a misunderstanding of consent, a fundamental lack of respect, or a delusion about their romantic relationship. These women won’t tolerate any of it.
Their strategies for handling creeper clientele range from delicate to downright aggressive.
CONTINUE THE FANTASY
Fulfilling sexual fantasies is an essential part of sex work. But what to do when those fantasies go too far?
Chelsea, a professional “girlfriend experience” provider, gets paid the big bucks to blur the lines between a paid exchange and a real relationship. It’s no surprise that clients often lose sight of their professional relationship and attempt to shift into an actual relationship.
“If a client starts crossing my personal romantic boundaries I have to make a decision about whether to perpetuate that fantasy or destroy it,” Chelsea tells me.
Lea, a phone sex operator, often felt compelled to entertain fantasies that made her skin crawl. “Incest, assault, pedophilia, beastiality,” she says, “clients would demand, ‘Tell me you’re my daughter.’”
In both these women’s professions, it’s not easy to maintain the steady clientele that promises a consistent paycheck. Sometimes, playing along with the fantasy is necessary to keep clients on the phone or keep them booking appointments.
Other times, a fantasy is like a flaming bag of shit on the front porch, and needs to be stomped out, no matter the mess it makes.
DESTROY THEIR DREAMS
At some point, every sex worker has to draw a line in the sand. No, you can’t take off the condom. No, you can’t meet my daughter. No, I won’t poop on your chest.
“I prefer to be honest with my clients. Our relationship should be straightforward and you shouldn’t be getting too attached,” Chelsea says. “But I’ve had plenty of clients who want to rescue me from the industry. They want me to quit, and they’ll take care of me.”
In the years that Chelsea has been a girlfriend experience provider, she’s found that clients have an average “shelf life” before they get too emotionally attached. Catch the feels, and she’ll cut you off.
Asami is a nude model and Snapchat premium provider, which means she charges Snapchat followers for access to her X-rated content. Her loyal cult of fans have zero respect for her privacy. “They want 24/7 access to my life. They want the fantasy that we could possibly be together someday,” she tells me.
Asami tries to stay hidden behind her screen. “I can post to Snapchat premium at a distance, and I think it’s nice that there’s separation,” she says. “No one can touch me without my permission.”
However, she’s not entirely insulated from creeps. Followers turn into near-stalkers, and manage to track her down in real life.
For sex workers, allowing fantasies to get carried away can be dangerous, even when they don’t work face-to-face with their clients. Even Asami has to push fans away when they come too close.
DODGE THEM LIKE BULLETS
Many sex workers rely on a personal screening process to weed out the bad apples before they can cause any trouble.
Chelsea, for example, screens over email and requires references from other escorts. If a man is the type to “accidentally” jam his cock in your bum, another sex worker in her network will surely share that information and ensure Chelsea protects her own ass.
Mistress Victoria, a Denver-based dominatrix, meets potential clients over text or email, then needs to talk over the phone.
“They also come with a reference. I need a reference from a sex worker so I can know who they are behind closed doors,” Victoria tells me. “I’ll contact their reference, then I’ll contact their work. I might call as ‘their dentist’… just to be discreet.”
Like any other job, sex work comes with its fair share of terrible clients. If they can’t be screened out from the start and their fantasies are too terrible to endure, sex workers cut ties. The men lose their service, their intimate relationship, and are robbed of their role-playing phone calls, spanking sessions or naked Snapchats.
In violating the boundaries of their sex workers, creepers face a cruel fate.