what are you really paying for? 3

Though I repeat (ad nauseam) that you pay for my time/energy, I have now figured out how to prove it!

I don’t sell my body — it’s still with me when I leave. Though I have occasionally left possessions behind, I’ve yet to leave behind any bit or piece of me. When I’m naked, my body is very conveniently made so that it’s all attached into one smooth package. It’s awfully great in a business like this because I don’t accidentally leave important working bits behind without payment, so nobody can steal my body either.

Now that I’ve proven I’m not selling my body, here’s how I prove I’m selling my time: when I leave my client, I leave behind part of my day (or evening) that I will never get back. In my life, time only moves forward, therefore the time I’ve spent with my clients is gone, never to be regained. I have effectively sold my time.

The personal energy I’ve expended with my client goes with him as well, though I can replenish my personal energy. So maybe I don’t sell my energy after all. I most certainly sell my time. The sex is always free.

Though I’m speaking of my own perspective, I honestly don’t believe any sex worker sells her body though some clearly do sell sex acts. I do believe unhappy sex workers or those in coercive situations are selling their personal energy and it’s not being replenished. (Or it’s is being sold for them without their consent.) Being psychologically-drained leads to problems, regardless of the job. Of course, all are selling their time because they, like me, will never get that time back.

Please note: Zombie sex workers or those suffering leprosy may have body-containment issues I do not.

69 thoughts on “what are you really paying for? 3

  1. Amanda Brooks Post author

    It’s so not cool to be the first to comment on your own post, but anyway, just a bit of pride at being able to use the phrase “zombie sex workers.”

    XX

  2. Sarah

    We aren’t selling our bodies, because as you rightly say we take them home when we leave.

    We do sell an experience though in the same way as the theme parks do. The punters get a ride on the ‘oblivion’ as an example, but at the end of the ride they go home..LOL

    It’s a bit like paying rent. We rent our body out for the duration, and then at the end they give it back to us!

  3. The Aussie Flatmate

    I must comment on this I am sorry. Most sex workers are FAR more reliable than a theme park! The sex worker is functioning when they arrive, Theme park not so much and I really have to say I am yet to visit the theme park that is anywhere near as much fun. Hehhehehhh…….. Amanda really Zombie sex workers? You got the idea from Halloween with all the zombie escorts walking round didn’t you?

    Another great post and just makes me laugh. Inside jokes and all.

  4. Hobbyist

    I see sex workers as entertainers or performers, the way most people see strippers or pornstars. Geisha does mean “artist”, after all.
    So, to me, what I pay for is an experience, a fantasy. Because there is “audience participation” (:)) the fantasy is very real, of course.

    And like most interactions, it can be perceived as an exchange of energy. I think that whether any party feels drained, or why, is probably a complicated matter. But we all generate energy and feel the need to share it.

    And although there is a price for admission, once invited to the show nothing is actually “sold” in my view.

    This being a light entry, however, I’ll add that I sure hope to never find out exactly what a zombie sex worker is!

  5. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Sarah — Interesting idea. I could run with that: advertising myself as a theme park. :)

    The rental idea is one I’ve toyed with, I just don’t feel I’m being “rented” per se. I agree with the concept though.

    Flatmate — Ha! Yeah, Sarah has NO idea! The zombie thing was just a way to work in zombies. Just so happened to be Halloween-ish.

    Maggie — :)

    Aspasia — Should’ve guessed you would like it!

    I did see Zombie Strippers. There were major plot holes and after a while it got boring. I liked it, but I also want those 90 minutes back.

    Hobbyist — We ARE performing! Though people don’t realize it and it’s not the type of “performance” they think about.

    The exchange of energy is complicated but very, very real. Sex workers probably have the most issues with this. Even if done well, this work can be draining. If done wrong, this work can be very draining. No way around it, really.

    Interesting idea that nothing is sold. Though…she really did sell her time. You bought that time from her because she won’t get it back when she leaves. And you bought that time out of your life for your own purposes.

    re: zombie sex workers…just rent Zombie Strippers for an idea!

    XX

  6. Hobbyist

    I think you’re right. Since the interaction is not quantifiable or tangible, the transaction has to be on the only objectively measureable thing: time.

    I’ve had experiences that were wildly different from other hobbyists’ with some providers (another issue with reviews, right?), and things have also varied greatly with given providers seen at different times. One should expect as much when humans are involved.
    The only real constant being the time spent, if a rate has to be assigned, it must be on that.

    And if sex workers were “selling their bodies”, so would anyone holding a job involving physical activity. And intellectuals would be selling their mind and artists their souls… pretty bleak!
    I often say that we’re all slaves or no one is.
    That “selling your body” business is done to single out sex workers as having a demeaning occupation, which is only possible for those who have hang-ups about their own sexuality – all others know how ridiculous that is. Or so I hope… :)

  7. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Hobbyist,

    One of my core issues with reviews is that SO many reviewers seem to expect this very human interaction to be like interacting with a machine who behaves the same all the time. They especially forget to factor in how THEY behave and how that might just possibly influence the behavior of the escort they see. Not sure how this very simply logic escapes all of them so consistently.

    Everyone sells something about themselves in order to make a living. Basic fact of life. And yes, you are RIGHT ON when people single out sex work as physical labor in order to demean it.

    XX

  8. Amanda Brooks Post author

    I’m posting this comment on behalf of Critical Alpha. Something about his wording made my site reject his comment in its entirety, so I’ve posted it for him one paragraph at a time. Very, very odd, but this has happened a couple times before.

    Critical Alpha
    “I spent 10 years in the services industry” and now I’m back here. I think that’s the same industry that you are in Amanda -;) I charge by the hour and I bring along my expertise, my wisdom, my sparkling wit and my capacity to achieve amazing things for my clients with seeming ease. I help them do what they cannot do alone. I jest of course but you get the idea! It would seem remarkably similar to your job description – particularly given our mutual advancing decrepitude.”

  9. Amanda Brooks Post author

    “The thing about that is that for many years I thought that I was selling my time: you pay me I’m there, you don’t pay me I’m not. That seems simple enough. Now I’m not so sure. Now I think that I charge a fee for service and if my client and I have got ourselves together then that service will yield a nice outcome. If we aren’t on our game then the outcome is entirely unpredictable – it’s not hard to deliver a flop in those circumstances.”

  10. Amanda Brooks Post author

    “I guess my point is twofold: Firstly a comment really on your previous post about the haters. I cannot for the life of me see the difference between what I do as a corporate tart and what you do as a not-so-corporate tart. Both roles are equally valid and both of us charge the same way: A happy ending is not necessarily guaranteed.”

  11. Amanda Brooks Post author

    “Whilst we bring a different set of skills and qualities to the job the mode of delivery and the financial exchange is on exactly the same basis. So why does the world have people who hate you because of your job whereas the me-haters just hate me for myself? In my view it’s to do with two things: The whole Judeo-Christian morals thing where protecting the core economic institution – marriage – is the most important thing (and “they” think that you are a threat to that whereas I’m not). Along with that comes the standard bearer and key corporate text for that worldview: the Bible. No Bible, no negative views of prostitution.”

  12. Amanda Brooks Post author

    “That was a small diversion so now to the key point: I long ago decided that I don’t “sell” anything. I charge my clients a fee to bring along my undoubtedly very special qualities and to engage with them in a joint experience. Just the same as you do. regardless of outcome!”

  13. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Critical Alpha,

    Interesting philosophy and one I agree with. When it comes to these types of interactions, no outcome is a given. Though I would LOVE to use your concept in advertising (because it is honest), it would give the typical client a heart attack and would inspire insipid emails about asking for scripted details of what’s going to happen (because so many, many men lack imaginations).

    Your point about the lack of Bible-based moralizing in the corporate world is right on. Many people would argue that the corporate world needs a lot more moral guidance than your average sex worker.

    Yeah, I’m not a threat to marriage. I support it 100%.

    XX

  14. Hobbyist

    Yes, it’s funny how much religious zealots concern themselves with people’s sex lives, when they stay deafeningly and suspiciously silent about so many other areas of life where a little moral and ethical guidance would be in order. Makes one wonder how they assign their priorities. Well, it’s no secret, actually. 😉

    Amanda, I agree with you on reviews. As I’ve said before I use them as a research tool, but don’t partake in them and roll my eyes a lot reading those.
    Being a guy, I of course understand where most hobbyists are coming from: men are goal-driven and tend to focus on concrete stuff like numbers and stats, rather than more intangible and subjective considerations. Women can be more about process than outcome, and don’t get the obsession with detailed descriptions of various acts or “guaranteed” results.

    It’s also a very western thing to try and reduce the human experience to mechanical causes and effects, so I’m sure that the American male is probably one of the worst offenders in his pragmatism: “what do I get for this much?”.
    There’s also some male immaturity in focusing on details (bra size? Age?! Who cares!?) like a kid, instead of embracing the totality of the experience (“gestalt”, a European concept, of course). I’m convinced that women are better at this – their perception is different.

    It’s your third entry on this topic and I think it’s proof that men and women have a hard time seeing eye to eye there.
    I definitely think that men believe they are paying for a service, and that time is only secondary. There is time involved in any transaction, of course, but paying for time alone is a little foreign to most consumers, period. I think that’s why some raise an eyebrow when told that, no, they can’t just have a coffee with you off the clock. And I’ve admitted struggling with that a bit myself.

    But the thing is, as you said, since so much falls on each party to create the experience, and since no outcome should be taken for granted (any provider has the right to set limits and eventually say “no”)… stating that the client only pays for time sounds like the best way to thwart unreasonable demands and expectations (the kind apparently on most hobbyists’ minds, in evidence in their reviews).
    Of course we all know that if time was all we ever got from sex workers, the business would quickly fail…

    My personal attitude is to be open for anything and expect nothing. The “donation” is the fee to access someone’s playground – what will happen afterwards is up in the air and up to all involved.
    I do try to hedge my bets by doing some homework, but accept that the interaction cannot be controlled and predetermined, and that I may end up just compensating the provider for her time, and that alone. Losing the focus on “results” is actually freeing, and many good things can be gained, especially from women, by not applying any pressure. God knows there’s enough of that in our lives.

    My many attempts to communicate this with other hobbyists have mostly fallen on deaf ears, I’m sorry to say, but have read online from some who seem like-minded.

    [And my apologies for the logorrhea, but I think you’re touching on a crucial point, and a frequent source of friction and misunderstanding between sex workers and clients.]

  15. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Hobbyist,

    Maybe some men reading your comment will value it more than coming from me. So no worries about taking up space here.

    BTW, in my first book I say that men are statistic-obsessed (giving the example of sports scores) and one academic male reviewer took exception to that. I still think he was being overly-sensitive and wrong.

    Eastern men will ask for details even more than Western men. They lack serious imagination, believe they are paying for a specified set of activities (often not even a “service”) and want to know how I’m going to script the entire hour. Often makes me wonder why they’re bothering to see a live human in the first place. (I tend to scare these guys off. Not really the experience I’m looking for.)

    Time is the most important thing in anyone’s life, really. It is so limited and so of course has the highest value. Naturally one is paying for time. And as I pointed out in my original post on this topic, guys wanting to just “hang out” don’t really want to “hang out”, they want me to be “on” and act just like I would normally as an escort (not myself). Which, of course, means I should be charging. In this case, not for time, but because I’m still providing a skill set that they desire. Very, very difficult to get that point across without ruffling feathers.

    I should probably note: if I want to hang out with you as myself, for free, I’ll tell you.
    As another girl put it, do you feel the need to “hang out” with your dentist or electrician or mechanic after they’ve successfully taken care of your needs? Likewise, do they want to spend time hanging with you for no reason and no pay?

    Many men just can’t wrap their heads around this and I’m not sure why. It doesn’t have to be insulting to either party to treat each other with respect (one as a professional, the other as a valued client).

    It’s funny that you say losing the focus on results is “freeing.” That’s actually a recommended solution to certain sexual issues during sex therapy: non-goal-oriented sex play. It’s true of a lot of things in life — letting go means enjoying things more. I can tell when I walk in the door if the client has let go of expectations (other than enjoying himself in an undefined way). I ALWAYS have fun with those clients because we can just be two people interacting. It may shock clients to learn I don’t want this to feel “transactional” any more than they do.

    I’m sure there are more comments to come on this issue. It IS a biggie for providers/clients. It shouldn’t be, but it is.

    Oh, the religion comment. Totally right on. Of course if someone isn’t getting laid that’s their point of obsession! So Puritan.

    XX

  16. hobbyist

    “BTW, in my first book I say that men are statistic-obsessed (giving the example of sports scores) and one academic male reviewer took exception to that. I still think he was being overly-sensitive and wrong.”
    I don’t know what the man’s problem was because it’s absolutely true and obvious. Stereotypical, maybe, but true nonetheless.
    It is the male approach to nature, reducing it to objective and quantifiable clues and measurements that gave us the scientific method, applied in such male-dominated fields as sports and law enforcement. VERY useful, but smart men know that you only get 50% of the equation that way…

    “As another girl put it, do you feel the need to “hang out” with your dentist or electrician or mechanic after they’ve successfully taken care of your needs?”
    Eh… sometimes! When my dealership service advisor gives me her card with her personal cell number handwritten on it, I have a feeling she isn’t planning on teaching me how to take my engine apart in private. Wait, was that smile purely professional? It’s never that clear! 😉

    People are people and meet under all kinds of circumstances. But I’m especially circumspect with providers due to the high potential for misunderstanding. Whatever chemistry might be present, I pay attention to that little voice in my head that keeps saying, “You may be walking on air right now, but it’s business, remember?”. Still, with a brain soaked in endorphins, it’s not always that easy to think straight!

    I completely agree that if someone requests your presence and wants you to “perform”, they should be prepared to compensate for an escort’s company and time.
    I do the opposite and definitely want a “human” interaction, not a show, act, or number. So I do what I can to put the provider at ease and ask her to drop all the usual pretenses that clients expect.
    When seeing them non-professionally, usually at their request, I also make a point to treat them as I would any other woman, albeit with more discretion and respect for their time.

    Otherwise, I think it’s funny how some guys can be so fixated on scripted interactions when you hear all the complaints about “mechanical” service from providers. I’ve had that, of course, but most sex workers have seemed more than willing to be free and “non-transactional” with me too. The business part gets taken care of and put aside so we can just be two grown-ups having fun. Simple!

    I think that what you observed about males from more patriarchal cultures comes from their need to be in control of females at all times, and how can they be open and playful that way?

    Again, I think that some men can’t let go of details (self-imposed blinders, in part because of insecurity) and end up missing the bigger picture. They inhibit the provider with their stifling guidelines and routines, and then are shocked to hear how much better another hobbyist’s experience was with her. Sigh.
    Pay the nice lady for her time and enjoy the ride, guys!

    [Oops… talking about respecting people’s time, I went long again!]

  17. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Hobbyist — It was a stereotypical example, sure, but it was in a discussion about posting measurements in ads. I felt the point was more important than worrying about offending non-sports-loving men.

    Basic rule for all clients to follow: if the lady is interested in you on a personal level, she WILL let you know. If she never, ever lets you know directly, then yes, it’s all in your head because she’s really good at her job. Tip her. :)

    “Again, I think that some men can’t let go of details (self-imposed blinders, in part because of insecurity) and end up missing the bigger picture. They inhibit the provider with their stifling guidelines and routines, and then are shocked to hear how much better another hobbyist’s experience was with her.”

    Hear hear!!! I used to tell potential clients that the quality of our interaction depended on them, but I gave up trying to plant that idea. It wasn’t computing because they seemed to think I was a trained seal and would behave exactly the same for anyone holding 300 fish in a bucket (so to speak). Sigh.

    Or maybe they had no idea what a truly good interaction was. Or how their behavior (and odors) influenced my behavior because they forget I was a real, live woman.

    The Eastern men who actually desire scripted sessions are indeed controlling to an nth degree and quite possibly scared of what I may do (left to my own devices) AND want to make sure they “get their money’s worth.” Instead, they should think about approaching things in a different manner so that they got MORE than their money’s worth. Again, another idea ahead of the curve, I guess.

    Don’t worry about long comments at all. You’re not the sort who just blathers on.

    XX

  18. Hobbyist

    Ah, thanks for your patience – I can be wordy… :)

    My “stereotype” comment was made in the name of intellectual honesty… but I do subscribe to your theory 100%.

    And I know how frustrating it must be for providers, that attitude that the person is a pro and therefore should just do her job no matter what. You’ll find this in many professions, and it’s always unrealistic and unfair.
    There is an ugly, dehumanizing element to it, no doubt.

    I really don’t get how men can think they can act like jerks, undertip (how insulting), haggle, be rude, drunk, or of dubious hygiene, AND still get a great experience from another human being!

    “Basic rule for all clients to follow: if the lady is interested in you on a personal level, she WILL let you know. If she never, ever lets you know directly, then yes, it’s all in your head because she’s really good at her job. Tip her.”
    Now that’s probably the best advice I’ve read in a long time!

  19. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Hobbyist — :)

    Those of us who do consider ourselves professionals in a job we choose and love suffer MASSIVE frustration when clients get in the way of what we KNOW we can achieve — if they just let us. Nor can we just steamroll over them in order to get them to behave properly because that wrecks the fun as well. While we do pride ourselves on being able to roll with everything, sometimes it does make me sit and wonder why should I??

    Long and short of it: real professionals take pride in their work and really do want to give a great experience. Limited imaginations and controlling expectations ruin the whole thing. (I know you know this — for any lurkers.)

    I always want to ask the men who are getting in the way of their own fun if they would want to date themselves. My guess would be “no.”

    XX

  20. Jason

    “I always want to ask the men who are getting in the way of their own fun if they would want to date themselves. My guess would be “no.””

    Interesting point there. WHOLE new topic, I know. BUT I’ve often wondered how I would feel about myself, if I was able to meet me as a stranger and not know it’s me. If that makes sense? We all think we are “cool” because if we weren’t we’d “fix” it, right? But let’s say you met YOU, with out knowing it was you, would you think the other you was “cool”? Or “fun”? Would YOU hang with you?

    Personally, I suspect I would have murdered me a long time ago. Especially when the first batch of practical jokes are done… 😉

  21. Jason

    Sorry forgot to add…

    Along those same lines, would YOU employ you? Because if you can’t say yes to that, perhaps you need to look at the reason’s you wouldn’t…

    Wow, ANOTHER whole new topic. Sorry about that. My mind jumps to random topics. Hope you having a good day… 😉

  22. Jason

    Nuts! Now I’m wondering about that apostrophe in “the reason’s you wouldn’t” and wondering if it IS possessive and not a mistake. Can we edit our own posts? Or is it there for everyone to point fingers at? :-/

  23. Casey

    Awesome post & comments. Here’s my .02 cents:

    I had an amazing psychologist for 7 years. We eventually had a very close bond and deep affection for each other. Clearly, she know more about me than I her, but still after 7 years she felt like family, in a way. We always would greet and part with a big hug. One time, when I bumped into her at a Walgreens with my new beau, I introduced them and we all chatted for 10 minutes in the parking lot. I sent her Christmas cards and emails whenever I got published or something great happened in my life. She always sent back sincere congrats and well wishes. I adore her, always will, and love knowing she feels the same about me.

    That said, I never once asked for an “open-ended” or “off the clock” session nor tried to pretend her fee was a “gift.” I never felt awkward about paying her but instead handed over the money with joy in my heart that I could compensate her valuable time and healing emotional energy. I never once asked her to “hang out” because I respected her too much to put her in that awkward position, plus I respect MYSELF too much to be so delusional! All relationships have boundaries but they don’t discount the genuine, heartfelt bonds people may share, whether it’s client/provider, stripper/customer, doctor/patient or whatever…

    I find it offensive and absurd that all men don’t approach sex work with the same awareness. For the love of god, grow up already. There’s NOTHING wrong with the transactional aspect of sex work and once I count the money, that part’s kinda over anyway, 30 whole seconds later. Jesus

  24. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Jason,

    No worries, let your mind wander. (I think I’m the only one who can edit comments, sorry.)

    Women tend to be more empathetic than men, i.e. we can put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. Which explains a LOT about male/female behavior. In something like dating or paid companionship, it would raise men’s success-rate if they could take a few minutes and do that. Even with really basic things like clean teeth and clean body.

    Providers continue to dream…

    Casey,

    “All relationships have boundaries but they don’t discount the genuine, heartfelt bonds people may share, whether it’s client/provider, stripper/customer, doctor/patient or whatever…”

    Very true. People often miss the VERY obvious about sex work: it’s based on relationships. Granted, these aren’t traditionally-defined relationships but they ARE relationships and should be treated as such. Mutual respect, mutual trust, mutual appreciation.

    I say over and over again that “boundaries” is not a bad thing. The typical hobbyist has turned that word into a dirty one, but it is not. (Just as J-O-B is not a dirty word.)

    Lots of men swing to one of two extremes. Either they “forget” that they need to pay me for my time, forcing me to rudely pop the fantasy; or they act like they are paying me to obey their every whim. There’s a middle ground that’s very, very nice for all involved, that so many miss.

    XX

  25. Hobbyist

    Glad you mentioned empathy, Amanda, because I didn’t for fear of being too long already… but it’s a crucial point. You’re right, we men are not only genetically less sensitive and empathetic (predators with tunnel vision), but we’re often socialized to suppress our own feelings and disregard others’ (you can’t TCB if you spend your time sensing and emoting).
    Doesn’t make for the best lovers or clients, I’m afraid, and you ladies have to be aware of our limitations, even if there’s no need to give a guy a pass for being a jerk.

    What Casey said is true, of course, and we’ve talked elsewhere about other professionals running into the same rudeness: lawyers, doctors, and cops get hit up for free advice all the time and HATE it. I’m sure we’ve all at least bitten our tongue while sitting on a plane next to one of these guys, trying not to ask a burning question, but wondering what would be the harm, though.

    However, the very nature of the service that escorts provide is bound to cause confusion, let’s face it. We all build a rapport with our doc or accountant, but we don’t spend much time skin to skin with them (I would think).
    There’s also the (male and female) misconception often brought up by Amanda that escorting is not a real job that one has to get training and degree for. So some men can get the impression that the lady is NOT really working while with them, just getting paid when she feels like it. Fluctuating rates and freebies only reinforce this mindset.

    The bottom line to me is that since I go into it knowing that the interaction is both fantasy and business, I have to be a grown up and flip the switch as soon as I walk away, regardless of any lingering thoughts or feelings on either side (“it’s the endorphins!” lol).

    You guys can claim that professional distance goes without saying, by the way, but I’ve had to put my foot down enough times with escorts to think that confusion is a natural two-way side-effect of a great session (I turned down a provider’s offer to pay the house fee for extra time in a brothel once – now what was I supposed to think of THAT? I ended up seeing her outside, and it got even more confusing, but that’s another story).

    Look, some people develop entirely one-sided crushes on actors they have never met and seem to think it’s OK to rush/touch/hug/kiss them whenever they run into them in real life. That’s an even worse transgression and lack of respect of boundaries that many women go for, just to make the point that feelings-confusion is not a simple gender thing… :)

  26. Casey

    Hobbyist, I respectfully disagree with this statement: “However, the very nature of the service that escorts provide is bound to cause confusion, let’s face it.”

    Money is the great equalizer so if you’re paying her, what’s the confusion?? I never confused my psychologist with my mother or a gal pal because I WAS PAYING HER.

    If anything it’s the ladies allowing this ridiculous fantasy of payment as a “gift” who perpetuate the confusion. However the confusion STEMS from the man’s WILLFUL denial. Which stems from his entitled attitude (ie; “women should give it to me and I shouldn’t HAVE to pay for it”). For some men it’s conscious entitlement and for many it’s subconscious but it’s there and it’s real and it’s at the root of this whole problem, IMO>

  27. Hobbyist

    I was talking about something that can take place with any kind of therapist: it’s not unusual for patients of either sex to develop (inappropriate) feelings for a doctor, psychotherapist, or anyone helping them feel better, physically or otherwise.

    I brought up the example of entertainers to show that when one creates a powerful fantasy, some audience members get the wrong ideas too (like that one’s panties thrown at a singer would be welcome). Are female fans entitled to the idea that male entertainers would be receptive to any kind of advance from complete strangers? I think it’s rather a sign that when people are made to feel intensely, they can mistakenly believe that the empotion is real and shared.

    My hunch was that the phenomenon that you ladies have observed (men thinking that more could happen than a simple transaction) was neither limited to sex work, nor a gender thing.

    It’s very possible that I have a blind spot on this, though. In my case it would be subconscious, and therefore not willful, I can assure you as much.

    And I do realize that some men have no respect for sex workers (or women in general), and think that sex is owed to them. Rape wouldn’t be possible without this despicable mindset. Please keep in mind that not ALL men share it, however!

  28. Larry

    Casey & Hobbyist,

    IMHO,you guys are having a meaningful and informative debate for the benefit and enjoyment of all – keep it going.
    From my viewpoint, it is very difficult for men to mentally equate having an appointment with a dentist as the same thing as having an appointment with a high-end escort when the escort greets the hobbyist either in some fantastic lingerie for an incall or in a sensual yet appropriate outfit for outcall. Regardless of both being a business transaction, the mental, emotional, and visual attachment to the escort by the hobbyist just blows any similarity right out the window. Think about it; the same beautiful woman in scrubs and using an instrument on a man’s teeth that was developed during the Inquisition does not have the same effect on a man as that same beautiful woman greeting him in a garter belt, stockings and stilettos. The reconcilliation of the different mindsets or the lack thereof is the difference between a good experiece and a bad experience, again IMHO.
    Gradually and painfully, we men are being pulled into the notion of the equality of sexes. I know it has only taken 50 million years or so, but give us time and all men will be able to act as is hoped of us in all types of male/female relationships.

  29. Casey

    Larry, I’m sorry, but this weak & tired rationalization that men need even more time to evolve beyond their current entitled, ignorant selves, just doesn’t fly with me. And I know plenty of evolved men who would take issue with it too. You even admit you know what I’m talking about yet for some reason are still rationalizing and making excuses for it. WTF?

    And please don’t insult me with this dentist analogy when that scenario hardly parallels the provider/client scenario the same way my example does, that of my psychologist/patient.

    A provider offers her client an intimate experience, emotional connection and a certain kind of nurturing along with a physical release in a safe environment. A dentist offers an uncomfortable experience during which the patient is not in control of the situation whatsoever, feels no nurturing, connection or physical pleasure/release. The two appointments couldn’t be more different – which is of course why you chose to use it as a smoke screen for the real issue.

    A psychologist, however, offers an intimate experience, emotional nurturing, connection and physical release (crying, usually) in a safe environment. The role a shrink plays is very much like a parental figure which is, in fact, a void most patients have, including me. Yet I NEVER had or needed the fantasy that my shrink was my mother. She filled that void for me, but I didn’t feel entitled to create some deeper fantasy about it.

    A client goes to a provider for a similar connection, to fill a similar void and get that endorphin release. Sexual needs and emotional healing are VERY close parallels!! Maybe I’m comparing apples to oranges, but your comparison was like apples to polar bears (or some kind of primitive ape-like creature anyway).

  30. Larry

    Casey,

    Humor check and you did not pass! A lot of what I wrote was tongue in cheek or at least I thought it was. What I intended to convey was that an emotional connection can occur between a client and his provider that does not occur between a patient and psychologist; at least not in the same way. Don’t you believe that some hobbyists have personal fantasies about their providers? And, believe that the provider is going to be so infatuated by his performance, good looks, personality, etc. that she is going to solve all his marriage/personal/business problems – not all feel that way, but some will always feel that way. BTW, I do not make excuses for anyone; I just know that neither you nor anyone else is going to fast-forward your expected actions/attitude/thinking of every man you come in contact with whether as a provider or psychologist or dentist.
    Is there a chip on your shoulder? Life is too short to not go through life with a smile on your face, if not a grin.

  31. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Great discussion everyone!!!

    Larry — You did make me laugh. I have never thought about dental implements as instruments from The Inquisition. Though I LOVE my dentist for taking care of me, the only painful part comes at the checkout counter when I’m leaving.

    Casey — I do get what Larry is saying. Good providers work VERY hard at creating an atmosphere of warmth, seduction and connection. It becomes very easy for men to take that far more personally than intended. Escort work tramples all over boundary lines — or at least gives the appearance of it.

    From what I hear from successful male escorts, they face the exact same issues with female clients (don’t know why I didn’t bring this up earlier). It’s the thin line between fantasy/reality of the work itself, rather than a straight-up gender issue. I don’t know what issues gay escorts deal with, my guess is that the “BFE” type probably have the same issues too.

    And…

    Hobbyist — You are right too. We’re all human in this equation and providers sometimes give conflicting signals. I can tell you what’s going on in her mind if she does: will this really work out? (You’ve read my “sex and the single escort” piece, I think.) I’ve been guilty of this, though I have my own mantra: clients see me for a REASON. That usually draws me back to reality.

    I’ve never understood the screaming, panty-throwing fervor of female fans. It’s not me. But there is a long, fine tradition of women being mad party animals (Dionysius, anyone?).

    People who totally disrespect celebrities’ space probably have a lot of problems in their personal lives because they clearly cannot empathize with another human (and clearly do not see the object of their obsession as fully human).

    XX

  32. Hobbyist

    “People who totally disrespect celebrities’ space probably have a lot of problems in their personal lives because they clearly cannot empathize with another human (and clearly do not see the object of their obsession as fully human).”
    Precisely. I’ve been exposed to stalkers (who come with skirts too) and can confirm that these folks are prisoners of a gone-wrong fantasy of their own creation. They take the simple enjoyment of someone’s performance to a sick and dangerous level of delusion, after NONE of the contact and intimacy that takes place with sex workers!
    Celebs encourage fans, get annoyed by those who can’t respect boundaries, and are terrified of stalkers. I think it’s VERY MUCH the way you ladies feel about clients.

    I was trying to show the universality of the experience. Denial is a powerful and common thing; we are usually blinded by forces in our own psyche; and this makes us deny the reality of others and their own experiences, shutting down our empathy and dehumanizing them, as you said.

    Finally, if we, male clients, are aware that escorts (just like any other therapists) not only have rules against dating/befriending customers, but are also afraid of breaking taboos and getting humiliated and burnt in the process… I can see why some of us would try and make the first move themselves if they felt a connection beyond the professional.

    “I just wonder what it would be like if everyone was honest with themselves about what they really want out of a relationship.”
    (A quote from your great “Sex and the Single Escort” entry that I just re-read.)
    You see, I think that most people, smart and sophisticated or not, don’t aknowledge enough how difficult it is to remain rational and objective while feelings arise and naturally evolve. Hard to assess something in constant flux and that feeds various chemical and hormonal flows to our brain.

    Having done some homework, I’ve long known that hobbyists and providers DO get involved, and that the whole “business” is fraught with problems (as laid out in your excellent piece).

    Knowing about all the above pitfalls, and not looking for relationships myself anyway, I never pursued any escort. I did experience confusion (some of you ladies ARE hard to just walk away from – no, it’s not like the dentist or shrink’s office!). And I did observe much confusion on the other end, too. As I said, my M.O. has been to play dumb and deny that anybody’s feelings were anything but artifacts, always making everything a new transaction as tactfully as possible.
    And I’m pretty sure I’ve screwed up a long (4 years now) friendship with a favorite of mine, by insisting on maintaining distance.

    This is where I’m coming from when I state that things aren’t so simple or one-sided as: “It’s a business, ya big ape!”.

    If one is bent on viewing the male gender as a bunch of pigs refusing to evolve (and how dehumanizing and reductor is that?!), I don’t know how one can harbor any hope to reap anything but problems when it’s clear that even people with a minimum of sense and maturity struggle with the issue.

  33. Casey

    Larry, every woman who stands up to male entitlement doesn’t lack a sense of humor or have a chip on her shoulder (we’re just TOLD we might as a way to try to get us back in line). A man standing up for himself is “strong” and admired. A woman standing up for herself?? Clearly a humorless shrew with a chip on her shoulder.

    I call bullshit, again, on your transparent bullying tactics & smoke screens(charming as your attempts to make them). And you were doing so well there for a minute, until you just had to get in that one last jab. *sigh*

  34. Larry

    Casey,

    I never said you had a chip on your shoulder. I believe I phrased in the form of a question. You do not know me well enough to make generalized statements that you believe apply to me. My lifestyle and treatment of ladies would be an absolute contradiction to what you have implied, if not outright accused me. My whole premise is that you nor any other female should expect every male that you come in contact with to act as you believe they should. Amanda seemed to have gotten what I was trying to say. Anyway, I do not want to make this discussion a personal debate between you and me. If you would like to discuss this further, I hereby give Amanda permission to provide you with my email address and you can contact me, if you wish. If not, no big deal.
    FYI, I have never been with a provider on any type basis and have talked to less than ten. Just being a “hobbyist” does not appeal to me; being in an exclusive arrangement with the right provider does. I just moved into my seventh decade, do not have an ego that needs stroking and have several other characeristics that, I believe, would blow your impression of me right out of the water.
    Have a great day (and that is meant with honesty and affection).

  35. Casey

    You say I “implied” something about you but I clearly responded solely to the exact verbiage of your comments. However asking me if I have a chip on my shoulder IS, in fact, a pretty strong *implication* you think I do.

    And I can keep nailing you on your manipulative wordplay all day but am as bored with it as you claim to be. So your ‘offer’ to take it offsite, (in which case you’d conveniently get the last public word) is respectfully declined.

    Just try to remember we ladies are not all as gullible as you seem to want to believe (serious implication there, sue me). Also, your advanced age is completely irrelevant (since when is misogyny just a young man’s game) and your supposed “treatment of ladies” in the real world doesn’t give you a pass to distract from my very valid points with your ‘oh she has no sense of humor’ bullshit, which, by the way, is actually ALSO part of your “treatment of ladies.”

  36. Larry

    Casey,

    There you go again; making statements about me when you have no idea who I am. Saying that I have a hatred of marriage is a total mischaracterization of me. Nor do I suffer from gamophobia. I completely approve of marriage – it is just not for me and I have an ex-wife who will probably agree. What I do not approve of are hidden agendas and ulterior motives. Please do not think, for a moment, I am talking about you; I do not know you well enough to say that about you.
    If you believe you are “nailing” me on my manipulative wordplay then do so, if that is what puts a smile on your face.
    Nor did I imply that you have a chip on your shoulder. I wanted to know if your distain of my thoughts was just your dislike of me or was it of men in general.
    By suggesting that you and I move this debate offline, I was only trying to be considerate of Amanda and not monopolizing her blog – not to get last public word.
    In my initial comment addressed to both you and Hobbyist, I stated that this was a great debate and would like for you guys to continue it. Amanda got what I was trying to say and I apologize that I was unable to covey the same to you. I believe that your vitriolic condemnation of me, personally, and what I was trying to convey is/was unwarranted

  37. Casey

    Marriage? Dude, what are you talking about? I never said a word about marriage or your feelings about it.

    I do stand by my comments that accusing a woman of “having no sense of humor” in regard to your irrelevant/ridiculous analogies is a pitiful attempt to derail serious debates on important topics. You want to be considerate of Amanda and her blog, stop trying to distract from the issues.

    And for the record, nothing about entitlement in action puts a smile on my face. I don’t enjoy this crap one bit. But it’s a HUGE issue in my life and work so I cannot side idly by when I see it in action, LEAST of all on Amanda’s blog. No one else was calling you on it so I did.

    And YOU made this personal with comments like “chip on your shoulder” and “no sense of humor” so stop acting like a wounded (privileged male) child. There, now I’VE gotten personal too…and guess what? I’m STILL not fucking smiling about it.

  38. Larry

    My bad; twenty lashes with a wet noodle for me. I misread my dictonary – misogamy instead of misogyny. So, if you imply that I suffer from misogyny is it okay to imply that you of misandry? All this repartee doesn’t make you smile, at least a little? I have been grinning since our first “thrust and parry” and still am with your last reply. You have made my week and I will cherish all this for a very long time…..LOL.

  39. ant

    I think you people have gone off on a tangent and missed the real point:

    That Amanda would look great in a set of scrubs and reclined on a dentist’s chair!

    sigh 😉

  40. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Ant — Ha! Does your fantasy include the little spit-bib too?

    I’m not stepping between Larry and Casey. If you blog about this Casey, you’re free to post a link here.

    Hobbyist — You’ve brought up several juicy points about psychology. Will be chewing on them later.

    As far as relationships go, I think EVERYONE on this planet would be well-served with brutal self-honesty about what they want. Of course, even if YOU know what YOU want, doesn’t mean everyone you interact with is as clear-headed. Most problems I meet with are because of this.

    Relationships of any sort are tricky. How many of us have ruined a same-sex friendship by being stupid or not respecting them in some fashion?

    And yes, clients/providers try it out on a regular basis with usually-predictable results. Still, the general rule of thumb is: she doesn’t really want to date you. It’s a starting point that will give better results than always assuming “I like her, I’m going to try and get her to hang out with me for free!”

    Kind of like when I buy a lotto ticket — I’m amusing myself. I don’t start picking out what mansion I’m going to buy after my winnings clear.

    XX

  41. Hobbyist

    I’m with you Amanda, and I think that your lotto analogy can be successfully applied to life in general. I know that many aren’t on board with this, but I find that the zen attitude of expecting nothing reduces much stress and disappointment. This is my approach to The Hobby. Providers seem to like it, but I can tell they’re a little thrown, too… :)

    As much as I strive to strip all pretense and BS from my thoughts, feelings, and life… I still catch myself in denial or contradiction with my principles on occasion, however. Only human.
    Because you know what they say: if we were truly enlightened, we’d be taken out of this world (“Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.”, as Richard Bach said).

    The above realization actually makes me more tolerant of others. As much as we like to think it is, life is never that simple, and we never know what kind of battles those we encounter have to fight.

  42. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Hobbyist — I like men who know what they want, but also don’t sit there and EXPECT me to do any of it. Kind of a hard combo for less-experienced clients to achieve. Often, clients with a laundry list of expectations don’t actually know what THEY really want, they’re just going by what they THINK they’re supposed to want. Talk about a disaster in the making.

    None of this means I’ll do everything a client wants, of course. It just means his chances of enjoyment go up.I know that talking about wanting something yet not expecting anything seems contradictory but it’s not. The clients I get along with best come to me knowing what they want and I deliver. They just come to me w/o demands and let me do my job.

    I read a t-shirt once that said “I was put on earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I’m so far behind I’ll never die.”

    Ant — :) You’re cute.

    XX

  43. Hobbyist

    “I know that talking about wanting something yet not expecting anything seems contradictory but it’s not.”
    You’re right and I thought about going into that, but it’s a complex concept to explain and probably a bit outside of the scope of escorting. We’re kinda back to that Camus quote about charm that you like, I think.

    It doesn’t always pan out, but in my best sessions, good things happen organically, surprises are welcome, and everybody gets what they want without much talk about it at all. It’s actually gratifying to have an experience like that with a complete stranger. Pros can read us very well and it helps.
    I find that things can get complicated with regulars, though. That’s when some previously held-back questions can come up and confusions arise.

    On a personal note, I’m so atypical in so many ways that I gave up on trying to make things work with women long ago. Might as well be from another planet, and if knowing (mostly) what one’s want is key, ignorance is unfortunately often bliss in this world so… it’s hard to make things work on those terms.
    Sex workers offer a much simpler and more satisfying alternative. We’re all still human and it can’t always be perfect or drama-free, however. “Can of worms” entries like this one show that well.

    I’ve stuck so far to the oft-repeated here mantra that “she’ll let me know”, and that’s kept me out of trouble! I sure do have a lot of things to understand about what providers do or say, but a lot is probably left unsaid in the end. On blogs like this one, I get a chance to explore those issues safely – so thanks for that!

    I’ll leave you on an unexpected source for a quote you could try on those clients a little too stuck on routines and menus: “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” (Patton) :)

  44. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Hobbyist — Actually, it has nothing to do with the charm of the client. It has to do with me being a professional mind-reader. All I need to be able to do my job is a man who knows what he wants. As long as he has no visible attitude about it — it will all be good.

    Regulars are both good and bad. It’s hard to keep things from going so personal that they become truly personal; as opposed to regulars who become friends and everyone can stay at the same level of friendship. Of course, this all about dealing with actual humans. It’s the best and worst thing about this business. It’s easily the most intriguing and most stimulating part of it too.

    Your self-expression on here has been interesting and welcome, so enjoy!

    Agree with Patton’s quote, though this is something best left unsaid in an actual appointment. If he THINKS it, I’ll know. SAYING it just ruins everything. Yeah, I know I know. All these delicate little interactions.

    There’s no way in hell anyone can quantify all this into a review and a 1-10 score! It’s so pathetic that it’s even attempted.

    XX

  45. Hobbyist

    “If he THINKS it, I’ll know. SAYING it just ruins everything.”
    Well, see, that’s what I implied when I brought up charm and you had to go and burst my bubble! The best things (like jokes) shouldn’t be spelled out. So if the client knows what he wants, and the escort reads his mind, you have a recipe for a good session without the need to say much.

    The whole concept is rooted in eastern philosophy (and even freudian theory), with its insistence on letting go of the conscious control of the self to be really free and creative. Words are crutches.

    I agree that guys who insist on following a script are actually prisoners of their routines, and therefore do not actually know what they want, BTW.

  46. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Hobbyist — To me, charm is someone who verbally can get anyone to agree to anything without ever leading to a confrontation. Not the same as merely desiring something without ever hinting at what one desires. Two completely different concepts (to me).

    The problem with so many, many men is that they do not actually know what they want, both clients and civilians.

    XX

  47. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Hobbyist — Good point! Guess that would probably make this little series my #1 posts.

    Wow. Of all the stuff I’ve written on here, this topic really isn’t the most important point. Ah well, the “crowd” has spoken.

    XX

  48. Hobbyist

    I do think it’s a hot button issue that’s on a lot of people’s minds, and hardly ever brought up for obvious reasons (highly sensitive and risky).

    When I entered The Hobby I “butterflew” like crazy on purpose and brushed off any fleeting feelings or concerns that a provider might “like” me as illusions. I had been alone for very long and was afraid to hurt, get hurt, and otherwise be a complete fool.

    But then I got comfortable and started having regulars (and requests to become one), and signs on both sides became harder to ignore.

    Still dismissing most of it for all the reasons you have made clear, but I’m convinced that humans, no matter how resolved and self-aware, are weak and have a natural tendency towards attachment.

    Whenever we like something, we try to make it ours. That’s how we put rings on people’s fingers, birds in cages, leashes on dogs, etc.
    Now I’m a “rolling stone”, I try to just “walk the earth” (lol), and I fight all possessiveness (especially when it comes to people, but I apply that to everything)… but as long as we’re alive, I think we’re still in “the game”, whatever it is. And that involves a level of confusion and foolishness.

    Some folks are definitely more clear-minded than others, but they’re just one-eyed men in the land of the blind. The truly, fully self-aware, would be insufferable and/or removed from this world (maybe by themselves), I’m convinced of that.

  49. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Hobbyist — I try hard as I can to hold everything in an open palm. Most people don’t seem to like to do that. It’s scary, sure. Binding ties are often scarier, IMO. Being self-aware (and I think I’m quite self-aware) doesn’t make life easier, it does make it simpler.

    One thing I notice again and again is men’s fear of being a “fool.” No need for that fear, really. Just treating all with respect usually alleviates “being a fool.” Though how one is a “fool” for having softer emotions is beyond me, but anyway…

    In this realm, a man appears a lot less foolish to the provider if he doesn’t try to bargain or assume too much (note to lurkers, you seem to have a handle on it).

  50. Liras

    Hi Amanda. As a long time reader (but very very rare commenter) I must sat that a client is paying for time and attention. To think anything else is not useful and further the distorts the point of spending time with an escort.

    It is always about spending time and gaining attention. Always.

  51. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Liras — I certainly think so! It’s especially obvious when time-wasters keep on writing emails because what they’re looking for is attention, not sex. Most men are looking for attention.

    XX

  52. Tom

    Hi, Amanda. It’s been a while since I read your site and I’m now just catching up on a few months of your blogging.

    I have to admit the thought of buying an woman’s body is terrifying… When you buy something you have to take care of it and women’s bodies are complicated things to take care of, as any look into a womans bathroom or purse will tell you.

    Ok, now to be serious, after reading this post my first thought about what I wish for when I see an escort is akin to a chemical/nuclear reaction.
    I want that personal energy she expends to react with the personal energy I expend and cause a reaction that generates it’s own energy. Hopefully enough is generated to cause a beautiful experience and will give us both back more energy than we put out.

    The women I have this type of reaction with I call multiple times and found the reaction better each time.

    Thanks again for putting your thoughts out there, they are an excellent source of “food for thought” for me.

    Tom

  53. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Tom — Nice to see you back here again! Sounds like life is being good to you too.

    Agreed on all points. You define that mysterious thing called “chemistry” very well.

    ESPECIALLY agreed about the part on men not wanting the upkeep after buying a woman’s body. Any woman can tell you these things look great but do NOT come with warranties of any kind. The maintenance is killer.

    XX

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