face or no face?

Vanessa D’Alessio wrote a great piece over at TitsandSass around the issue of showing your face in conjunction with your online escort work. My response got eaten by the Intertubes, I think. Instead of reposting, I decided to expand on it a little here.

This article has been at the back of my mind since I read it last week. My arc has been slightly different than hers. When I started stripping, I was fairly out and allowed myself to be photographed, topless, for one of my club’s websites (back when the Internet was indeed tubes that connected computers using gerbils and string). They never removed the picture despite repeated requests, even after I left stripping and began escorting. (It was later removed only because they redid their site.)

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reactions vii

electronics and water don’t mix

Though I’ve made efforts to maintain my smartphone-virginity, that may change. I killed my beloved Nokia 3600 Slide worldphone that I’ve had for years. I can’t buy a replacement anymore because they don’t make them. I will likely have to get some sort of damn touchscreen thing. I like my electronics as simple as possible. And I have fingernails. Studying Nokia models as we speak. I still require an unlocked quad-band GSM phone.

facebook vs sex workers (again)

I’m not the only one getting kicked off Facebook. Porn stars are too. Facebook is fine with violence, not with sex. Got it.

real virginity

This essay by a real-life virgin shows how unhealthy an absolute focus on virginity is for a woman. History is full of tales of women who were seduced or raped and then had to turn to prostitution because they had no societal value as an unmarried non-virgin. It would be nice if we were beyond that, but clearly not. There’s nothing wrong with saving good sex for someone you love, but putting your whole value as a woman and human being into a state you’re unlikely to maintain if you live your life is whacked. It doesn’t lead to a better sex life if you’re told how horrible and dirty sex is until that magic day when it isn’t. Human emotions and self-image don’t work that way.

If you know someone who wants to take an abstinence pledge, please show them this article and talk to them about it (if you can). And don’t encourage them to faux-marry their father. Ick.

non-pickup artist

One woman has decided to draw the men who irritate her online. I have no problem with that done a personal level to vent, but then she shares it online (with the men and the world). I think that’s a bit much for the level of offense given. It does make me wonder if an escort completely fed up with hobbyists is going to start doing this? It would not be pretty.

male escorts as therapists

A woman who hired male escorts, lost weight, and felt better about herself throughout it. Female escorts have essentially been saying this for years — how we often end up being therapists. I like that it shows professional companionship can be good for either gender. It’s also a great weight-loss plan.

escort photographers are better

After spending the last couple years purusing boudoir photographers and escort photographers, I’ve come to the conclusion that (good) escort photographers are better. I can think of one boudoir photographer I would like to have a session with. Escort photographers not only understand sexy better, they’re more creative on the whole. They’re more into showcasing the individual woman in front of their camera because of how important it is to that woman to have unique pictures. Plus, when you know the pictures you take are going to be plastered all over the Internet, you probably work a little bit harder to impress random viewers. There are a fair number of good escort photographers scattered over the country, each with a unique style, capable of producing beautiful, individualized photos for every escort in their portfolio. I can’t say the same for boudoir photographers.

reactions vii

woman at window — escort photo criticism

There’s an escort-photo trend that’s taken off to the point where it’s become…strange. That would be the escort-at-the-window picture. Most of the time, they’re staring wistfully off into the distance. Worse is when their hands are on the glass, actively trying to escape. Or at least that’s how it looks.

I view tons of ads and websites and the trend continues to grow and all I see are women trapped in hotel rooms, wearing lingerie and heels, trying like hell to get out. Usually there’s a cityscape in the background, far back, blurred and indistinct. These poor women are trapped in the here and now, forever stuck trying to reach vibrant life rather than the undersaturated room around them, yearning to breathe non-canned air, take off their shoes and really stretch their legs.

I'm guilty of this too
I’m guilty of this too

Window shots look great — the lighting is natural and superb and it doesn’t take much photographic talent to take a good photo. With strong talent the photo turns into magazine-quality work. A little figure-flattering posing and you have a beautiful, artistic shot that doesn’t require much editing.

Except…when you have seen hundreds of these shots, as I have, the claustrophobia descends and it actually starts to get disturbing. I start to wonder if anti-trafficking crusaders have also OD’ed on these “woman at the window” shots and base their entire perspective of escort work on them.

There are some shots where a window is in the background, giving light to the scene, but the woman isn’t interacting with the window or smashing herself against it. These shots are just your basic “room” shots and don’t have that “I’m dying to escape this boutique hotel” feeling. I’d like to see some escorts breaking the glass and getting free of the hotel, though I guess they probably wouldn’t be allowed to ever stay in that hotel again. And escaping the window might lead to a trend of “woman on the ledge” photos, which would be even worse.

It’s a little bit like the “woman laughing alone with salad” shot, only for escorts.

persona-building, backwards and forwards

I enjoyed this SEO article because, buried in the middle, was a nugget of gold for escorts. The section on cohorts, segments and personas is an easy breakdown of how to figure out who you are. It’s not that you have to fit yourself into the Smurfland example, only that you figure out what land you do belong to, then see where you fit.

The true beauty of this section is reversing this process gives you your ideal client. Yes, we’re talking broad strokes here but most people live their lives very broadly and very routinely, most especially clients. It’s nothing I haven’t mentioned in Book 2, but this guy does a better job of explaining the process, as well as using pictures.

authentic politics

My new favorite word to hate has invaded France. Paris’s first female mayor is authentic. She calls her election “A victory for authenticity.” I’m sure it is.

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reactions ii

anti-porn parenting tips

A porn actress found Jesus and now finds Jesus for others. She provides helpful hints for parents as to why their little girls might become a porn actress. She and I agree that bad parenting (especially abuse), contributes to problems. She almost gets it in #4, except she decides to define prostitution vs pornography (in order to let everyone know she’s not a prostitute), instead of focusing on the fact that juvenile prostitution is nearly always caused by abusive parents or parents who have kicked their children out of their home. I’ve said it for years: underage prostitution could be eradicated almost entirely by focusing the law on abusive parents and having more readily available resources for abused or homeless children. (This would also remove underage trafficking and lots of people would be out of well-paying jobs and grant money.)

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longer tweeting II

Created Nov 15, 2010
I’m going to name my next escort persona Betsy. She’ll offer golden showers and be Betsy Wetsy.

After a long private discussion on creating a test-persona for international work, I was stumped on a name. Many suggestions were made and then I came up with this one. I thought it was funny enough to Tweet and strangely, it actually grossed some out. I’m not sure why, doesn’t everyone remember the Betsy Wetsy dolls? I never had one but the name has always stuck in my head.

I still think this is funny. Escorting doesn’t have to be all serious, all the time.

Created Oct 30, 2010
Dudes — don’t wear your “No Money No Honey” t-shirt when you’re out with your girlfriend and into heavy PDA.

In Singapore, the phrase “No Money No Honey” is synonymous with prostitution. While I feel the phrase is self-explanatory, it’s popularity seems to be mostly due to a book written by an English journalist describing the huge prostitution scene in Singapore. Yes, I saw several of these t-shirts for sale and wanted to buy one but never did. However, I think my Tweet speaks for itself (the kids mentioned in my Tweet were teens and I’m pretty sure she wasn’t a hooker and he wasn’t a client).

Created Sep 26, 2010
@EroticPreview Try London, Rio, Tokyo, Hong Kong or Singapore for serious shopping! 🙂

I was responding to another escort who wanted tips on great places to shop. This innocent Tweet sparked a semi-argument because she wouldn’t go to Asia because she was black and feared prejudice. She took offense that I wasn’t taking her ethnicity into consideration when I made my suggestions (I hadn’t realized I should).

Let me reassure everyone, especially black people, that Asians generally dislike anyone who is not from their specific country. I really don’t know that American blacks would get worse treatment than, say, Bangladeshis. Being Western gives some status, though being female lowers your status more than your race will.

Created Sep 27, 2010
In case you ever wondered: my breakfast every day http://bit.ly/b3ygwe and my favorite poster in Singapore http://bit.ly/bcfV3r

I still miss kaya toast and muddy river-water tea (one write referred to it that way and he was corrrect). My favorite place offered this breakfast for $2SGD, which is less than $2USD. A great, tasty deal no matter where in the world you are. [Since the first link no longer works, here’s photo of the kaya toast breakfast set like I had.]

Kaya toast is served with a giant pat of butter on each piece of toast. I always requested it without butter and rarely could they understand my insanity. When I ate somewhere other than my usual place (the counter ladies had become accustomed to my weirdness), I often got butter anyway, or toast with only butter, or toast with nothing. Once, I watched the counter boy remake my toast three times in an attempt to get my order correct and when he finally gave it to me, it had butter on it. He was exhausted and stressed, I smiled and said “Thank you” anyway.

Yes, they strained the tea through a long piece of pantyhose (the “sock”). It worked well and was always fun to watch. A street-level art form, I never got tired of the ritual of preparing the tea. The tea always perked me up in the mornings. My heart needed the extra push to be able to pump through the sludge of kaya blocking my ateries, I’m sure.

Oh. A word on eggs. While the Chinese have had chickens for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, they have not yet figured out how to boil an egg. The first few days in Singapore I was confused when I hungrily cracked open my breakfast eggs. Then I learned to simply ask them to “boil” for 6 or 8 minutes instead of their usual 2-4. “Boiling” means they put the eggs in a small container of very hot water, cover it with a plate and let it sit. I never got an actual boiled egg in Asia but I learned to live with the yolks just hard enough to pick out when I broke the egg. It does take some time to get used to the texture of semi-warmed whites. I’ll just leave it at that.

Created 21 Nov 11
@Ishfery Coming soon…serious work begins in Jan 2012. Finally.

That was in response to a question about Book 3. Ahem.

No, the serious work did not start January of 2012. Sorry.