verified vs reviewed

The Suzy Hamilton scandal begs tons of comment, mostly about the civilians who can’t wait to wag their tongues on something they know nothing about. If I’ve read the articles and comments correctly, it appears Suzy is insane and not only invented the concept of prostitution, she is the first prostitute in America, the first escort who is a mother and wife, the first American female athlete to be involved in scandal and certainly the first Olympic athlete to make money by using her body…oh wait, nevermind all that.

One thing that did cross my mind was the matter of her reviews. I’m tossing out an idea in the hopes that someone will run with it. Over the years, I’ve been contacted by people wanting to start review/discussion boards or advertising malls. I’ve never been completely enthused with any proposed idea because it’s all been done before. Please, for once, steal this!! (Instead of just posting somewhat-altered excerpts of my books on your site for content.)

verified escorts

This is a very simple concept that requires very little start-up capital, relatively little in the way of operating expenses and will turn a profit because the concept will be embraced. Instead of reviews — which get reprinted in a scandal or used as evidence for arrest — an escort gets verified as legitimate. All that means is the “verifier” (not “reviewer”) checks a few Yes or No questions. The questions would revolve around the concept of paying for time, not sex. Selling time is perfectly legal. Selling sex is not. The only thing being verified is that the escort sold her time as promised. Verification without incrimination.

The concept would attract almost all escorts. Everyone wants to be seen as legit. The problem with reviews is that it cuts out a lot of escorts who are averse to having intimate moments splashed all over the public domain. It’s a very sane concern. Being verified as legitimate without public embarrassment is an idea whose time has come. I haven’t seen anything like this yet, but would certainly like to.

There isn’t any real point to review sites, other than providing circle-jerk fodder for the hobbyists who live and die by what another man says. A lot of escorts don’t enjoy being part of that, even if they allow reviews. They go along with reviews because it supposedly legitimizes their business, while giving up a lot of autonomy to the individual reviewers and the review site itself. The solution is obvious: a site that legitimizes their business without degradation or incrimination. Of course, such a site would get a ton of backlash from hardcore hobbyists because it removes a lot of their power. I imagine a lot of escorts would like the site for that very reason.

But I can also see the site attracting clients who aren’t hobbyists and aren’t enchanted by the review culture either. If they can discreetly verify an escort without having to write a porn-script about their time together, I think they would. Good clients have nothing against helping out the business of an escort they like, they just don’t want to leave an incriminating, embarrassing trail of their own. It’s a very sane concern. There are a lot of those men out there. I know, I’ve met them. So have other escorts.

the site

The site would keep it simple. No forums, no private messaging. Everyone has a public profile, there are no hidden portions of their profiles or anything else on the site (except, of course, personal control panels). The whole point of the site would be simplicity and as much transparency as possible.

A bare bones site would keep administrative costs down. No memberships would be sold; money would be made by selling ad-space (banner or badge ads) to escorts. No ads for sex sites, porn site, cam sites or sugardaddy sites because these things not only trash the appeal of the verification site but escorts are tired of competing with these other sites for attention on escort-centric sites. (I could see this branching into the sugardaddy territory because that industry needs something like this, desperately. Would be best as a separate site since some of the concerns are different.) Do nothing that requires ID, nothing that requires any sort of 2257 statement, nothing that requires monitoring and censoring text. Make the escort directory extensive but extremely affordable. Make receiving payments simple and as diverse as possible: money orders, Moneypaks, wire transfers, prepaid credit cards, Paypal.

The yearly costs of operating such a site would be low compared to the typical huge review/discussion site, so a profit could probably be turned in the first year. Though the site probably won’t make the money a huge review site does, neither would it get as legally complicated for everyone either. As with anything in life, the more complex something is, the more people involved, the more problems will arise. Keeping it simple cuts a lot of that risk.

Everyone’s public profile would have an automatic running tally of positive vs failed verifications (a No to any question is a fail). The idea of making the profiles public creates transparency and removes finance from the equation. The site makes money from its advertising space, not by skewing the verification game or treading the lines of public incrimination.

Granted, this site would run into the problem of false verifications. But so what? Offering a free membership in exchange for reviews leads to rampant fake reviews. Review boards aren’t perfect and so far, they’ve caused more problems than they seem to solve — usually due to the interactive nature of the boards and the explicit, public nature of the reviews. Take away those issues and what’s left should be a much smoother experiences for everyone.

The beauty of simplicity is that the same Yes or No questions could apply to all sorts of adult entertainment providers: social-only escorts, BDSM, massage, private dancers, etc. Every provider’s public profile would link to their main ad or their website, which takes all the guesswork out of how they entertain. It means the site isn’t responsible for deciding who does what based on a set of possibly-incriminating criteria.

The site, by its low-key nature, would probably attract a slightly more discreet crowd than the average review site, but that’s okay. There’s a market for it, one whose needs are absolutely not being met.

the verifiers

Verifiers could choose the names they have on review boards, if they wished. They would be allowed a public profile page where they could list other boards they’re members of, if any. They would answer a few key Yes or No questions about the provider:

  • Was she as described?
  • Is she who she says she is?
  • Did she screen you?
  • Did she arrive on time?
  • Did you feel safe with her?
  • Did she require tipping or upselling?
  • Is she legit?
  • Would you recommend her to others?

Once positively verified (by a Yes to all the questions), the provider would get a badge she could put anywhere on her site.

To me, the screening question is important. Responsible providers screen (the word itself is open to broad interpretation). A responsible provider is likelier to not only be legit but overall safer and more secure for her clientele. Most clients agree some level of security and risk-minimization is important to them.

If the site wanted to be really simple, it would just ask the “legit” question and leave it at that.

the escorts/providers

Escorts would be allowed to create their own public profile and even enter themselves on a list of those who wish to be verified. Men often get a lot of an escort’s details wrong, so it’s just easier to allow escorts to enter their own info. Naturally, they get to verify the verifiers. Their questions would be similar in nature:

  • Was he as described?
  • Is he who he says he is?
  • Was he on time?
  • Did you feel safe with him?
  • Did he pay as agreed?
  • Would you see him again?
  • Would you recommend him to other escorts?

Once positively verified by an escort (by a Yes to all the questions), he gets a positive verification in his public profile.

The site wouldn’t be a substitute for proper screening, not if the site is kept simple. It helps verify a particular man, that’s all. There would be no way to enter any particular man as a bad client because it doesn’t function as a blacklist either.

can’t wait for someone to run with this idea

No, I’m not interested in doing it myself, I have more than enough on my plate right now. I’ve no doubt there are issues I haven’t thought of yet, though I feel the basic concept and outline I’ve provided here is sound. It’s at least as sound as what’s currently going on, and certainly not any worse!

I like the “less is more” approach because it usually yields the best solutions for an issue. I like the Gordian Knot solution to many problems. This is kind of both. It cuts right to the heart of the matter: legitimacy, without all the extraneous complications that can make everyone’s life miserable. I’m not claiming this site would somehow magically lift Internet escorting to a whole new level, only that it would solve an obvious problem that has existed for a long time and shows no signs of improving.

22 thoughts on “verified vs reviewed

  1. Aspasia

    Yes, a thousand-times yes! Naturally, starting out not wanting reviews has made it difficult for me to expand past the clients I had already made before I decided to be officially professional.

    I am a very private person and I don’t think being in the sex industry automatically means that I shouldn’t have privacy. Or even clients for that matter…obviously within reason for us both. But I would absolutely support and participate in a basic verification platform as the one you proposed. That is one I have also thought of “putting out there” as a suggestion to reduce reviews.

    Reviews can remain for those who like that…for the exhibitionists among us. But it needs to stop being a make-or-break part of the industry. I feel that Date-Check comes closest to this.

  2. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Aspasia — I’ve been wishing for something like this since I started and finally realized no one was going to grant my wish.

    Part of the reason any woman having sex in any circumstance isn’t allowed to have privacy is because, in this society, it means she’s public property (e.g. rape trials). Sex workers? Even less of a chance of humanity and basic decent treatment. That’s a whole other post or two.

    That said, I don’t think Date-Check is anywhere close to this. Don’t get me wrong, I like Date-Check and have paid for a lifetime membership but…it doesn’t fulfill the requirements I’ve listed here of verifying and legitimizing providers and clients. It has a good start, now that you mention it, and with a few tweaks it could be this site, but the info would also have to be freely available to the viewing public (like most review boards).

    Miss Dior — I’m glad you like the idea!

  3. Elsa Caroline

    I feel that review boards should be limited to what you described in your post, with a mention about whether or not lady was enthusiastic about meeting the gentleman. Review boards could have been a great tool to promote honesty in this industry but the way they have evolved over the years just hindered that. I am a member of one board that only allows positive reviews, so that mitigates some of the problems bred by review boards in general.

    About legitimacy: I would assume that the fact that a lady advertizing under the same name with the same domain name (whose registration date can be verified in any whois database) for years would give her that legitimacy. Someone who wants to be in business for some time would not engage in deceptive practices, would they?

  4. The Lusty Chick

    Reviews have been an evil necessary for me. Although I don’t want them, I tend to needed them to make my weekly goals. I remember how I stopped clients from reviewing me for a year, and my business slowed up tremendously. But as soon as I allowed them again, I started to BOOM again. It’s crazy

  5. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Elsa — A review board only allowing positive reviews? Nice!

    One would THINK that a lady long established under a given name would be legit, but guys get wary about the stupidest things. They have no issues calling someone with bad pictures and only a phone number at 3am to come over for 30 minutes; but think a well-established lady with proper advertising and website and screening requirements is an undercover cop.

    A legitimacy board would certainly help those ladies starting out.

    (Note to men reading this: cops don’t need to screen, they’ll get all your info when they arrest you.)

    Lusty Chick — I stopped allowing reviews a long time ago and the lack of them has never hurt business. It’s all on how you handle your business, and perhaps your target market. It can be done.

    I’ve got nothing against the women who love having reviews but if you’re not one of them, then work on taking that power back for yourself.

  6. Claudia Christophe

    They have no issues calling someone with bad pictures and only a phone number at 3am to come over for 30 minutes; but think a well-established lady with proper advertising and website and screening requirements is an undercover cop.

    Oh but Amanda, we’re not supposed to be independently intelligent enough to set up a business in such a way. Ergo, we must be a cop. Just flighty and randomly horny at 3am.

    (Note to men reading this: cops don’t need to screen, they’ll get all your info when they arrest you.)

    Exactly! I mean, why would a cop need to do that when they have all sorts of technical internet tools and gadgets, and armed backup?

  7. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Claudia — Good point, re: being professional.

    Not only that, but cops rarely do undercover reverse stings online. It’s just easier and safer for the cops to do reverse stings on the street than go through all the hassle that Internet escorts do just to make a couple arrests. Go figure!

  8. GFE Desires

    Damn it Amanda, that’s a helluva idea. Soooo tempted to run with it and incorporate it within my site.

    Alot more work for a one man operation, specifically because I handle the creation of all profiles because I’m an SEO nut, but I’m thinking it just might be worth it.

    Great post and great comments by the ladies…Gonna try it.

    Dom

  9. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Dom — I’m glad you like the idea. I hope you understand the spirit of it.

    Yes, it’s a bit of work for one person to do, but like everything — one step at a time. I don’t think it’s insurmountable. :)

  10. Ambar

    After pondering it for almost 3 years, I finally purchased the first volume of your book, Amanda, and I LOVE IT!!! I really, really hope we get to hear from you more often or get more quality material from you. Thank you for writing in such a professional way, you’re quite a captivating woman. Thank you for being so awesome! Also for including advice for black girls (will work great for my caribbean ethnicity).

    Sorry for the length of the comment, I’m just overall excited!

  11. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Ambar — Thank you so much for being a reader! I’m very glad that you feel my book is worthwhile, it’s more gratifying than you know to hear this from other girls. I’ve put a lot of effort into my books and it makes my day to know my work is appreciated.

    Working on upcoming projects, I just work at a glacial pace. :)

  12. limegreengirl

    What rankles me is that your performance score is held down on review sites by default unless you are willing to perform unsafe acts. And pretty much we all have to in order to prevent a bad review or because the hobbyist review boards amount to selling the idea that to be unsafe is glamorous and worthy of praise yet, to be unsafe is considered lesser performance.

    As an escort that takes pride in her performance and in quality it leaves me with a major hair up my ass that I have to either risk my health and my clients health to get a high score or look like a vapid escort who doesn’t care if I want to be safe.

    I hate review boards.

    And as you said Amanda. When do we get to publicly review clients?

  13. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Limegreengirl — That rankles me too. (Let’s not even get started on the male idea that sex is a “performance” to begin with.)

    For now, I guess sex worker blogs are public reviews of clients. Though certainly not in the review board sense.

  14. limegreengirl

    Rankling me even farther are the f’ing reviews in which the client lies about what the provider did or was willing to allow.

    I can deal with bad reviews or some jerk writing a fake bad review. Par for the course.

    I have a couple of reviews which the clients grossly exaggerated what I “did” or let them do. Which arguing with TER that the review puts me in danger because others will expect it did absolutely nothing.

    But some prick saying she let me do ___________________ and then other guys try it. Rankles me to say the least.

  15. limegreengirl

    That they review it in terms of “performance”. First I hate the way men use the term “perform” as it applies to sex in any situation.

    But that they review a provider on “performance”. The irony is stunning since 90 percent of clients haven’t a clue on what is actually going on.

    Imagine if they were rated on performance………..

  16. limegreengirl

    I truly have a hard time to hold in a laugh when they discuss it as them performing. It is always such a surreal “are you kidding” moment.

    Which they always seem to find my giggle response at that moment as coquettish fascination with their vast talents and manhood and miss that I’m struggling to contain astonishment at someone saying something that unrealistic and believing it.

    I think I have had two clients from the US that actually got that they were simply being with a woman. The rest……

  17. Amanda Brooks Post author

    Limegreengirl — I’m with you on the legit reviews that lie about what really happened, I’ve had that too. It’s almost worse than a bad review because at least that can be chalked up to personality conflict.

    No hobbyist would want to be rated on “performance” even though so many seem to think that’s what they’re doing. I prefer the clients who are secure and mature enough to realize they’re NOT performing, they’re simply being with a woman. Not enough of those to go around.

  18. Ann Gallerie

    Hi Amanda,
    Thank you for this.
    I am new, but it has been my observation that the whole review board concept is starting to unravel.
    There are more than twenty of these boards now, all claiming to be the authority, and all claiming to have the inside do-do on escorts. A man truly looking for feedback is going to be overwhelmed, and out of pocket.
    What they don’t want him to know is that entries could be made by spurned clients, quarreling escorts, someone’s wife, and a horny 13 year old.No matter who or what posts, a man is going to run into public disclosure of real or imagined acts, and toilet bowl humour.
    Any man who values discretion will not take this seriously. And I daresay some are as frustrated as we are.
    I ask for no reviews. If I get one, good or bad, I delete it. And while I am new, I seem to be attracting a client that appreciates the elegance, and discretion.
    It’s really up to us to change this. and I for one will support any initiative that supports freedom in this business.

    1. Amanda Brooks Post author

      Ann — Agreed that a whole lot of review boards are now scrambling over each other for a share of the pie and the pie is us no matter how you look at it. That’s why I’m throwing out the idea of a very simple way of verifying legitimacy — which is really all that truly matters. A lot of escorts are going the no-review route out of disgust with reviews but it does slow down their debut, another reason why I hope something that allows offers legitimacy would help in that arena. Thank you for your support! This project might get rolling soon, we shall see!

  19. Ann Gallerie

    I wanted to add that you have been a great inspiration and a wonderful source of knowledge to me. I don’t know what I would have done without you.

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