I received an email from a gentleman the other day who was VERY concerned with discretion.
“Are there any hotels that don’t have lift swipe cards?” he asked. “And is there some way I can book without making a deposit? I don’t want it showing up on my credit card. Also, do you ever show your face? I don’t want to be seen in public with someone that might be recognised as an escort. And tell me, do you keep all your client details private?”
As I was preparing to answer all these questions, he added “This isn’t my real name, of course. I hope you understand.”
I DO understand. In a society where visiting escorts is taboo, some folks feel anxious about the possibility of being ‘caught out’. This might be because they are concerned for their professional or social standing. It might be because they are married. It might be because they are well-known to the public. They might still be living with their parents and seeing escorts on the sly, like one guy I see! Or it might be because they’re spending their parliamentary allowance on seeing sex workers, like (allegedly) Craig Thompson – that one hasn’t come up for me yet, but I’m sure it happens.
No matter your level of concern, you need to know that discretion goes both ways. While you may be worrying about your job, marriage or friends, us escorts are worrying about our safety, our day jobs and our place in the wider community. Keeping us safe is also important. This is why we often require your mobile number, your name and/or your references. This is why we often ask for deposits – we do anything we can to feel safe.
If you’re being sensible then It’s unlikely that you’ll run into trouble. As a professional business-person, it’s in my interests to ensure your privacy. But here are a few common concerns, and my advice for addressing them.
What if my booking deposit shows up on my credit card statement? – Escorts who take deposits do so via a range of methods – bank transfer, bank deposit, BPay or gift vouchers. Some of these may show up on your bank statement. If this is a worry, you may be able to make a cash deposit directly to your escort’s bank account by visiting their bank in person. You can also use a Load and Go card (available from Australia Post), which functions like a credit card, to pay for items such as hotels.
What if the hotel staff see me? The fact of the matter is, most hotel staff don’t give a toss. They see us escorts go in and out of their establishments all day. People getting up to things in hotels is how they make their money – if they started getting nosy, they wouldn’t have any customers. If you need to walk past reception with a pretty lady on your arm, hold your head high and pretend it’s perfectly normal. They probably won’t even notice.
What if someone recognises my date as an escort in public? Although it’s possible in theory, it has literally NEVER happened to me, and I’ve been working for more than seven years. It has happened once or twice that I have run into personal friends while out on the town with a client – this is no big deal, and I simply say ‘hi’ and move on or introduce my client the same way I would any friend. I have a lot of friends of diverse ages and backgrounds, so nobody ever raises an eyebrow.
What if my wife reads my emails / checks my phone messages? My guess is that if your partner is checking up on your phone or emails, the game may already be up no matter what they find. I know that many guys see escorts while married for legitimate (or at least understandable) reasons. But it’s your job to do a risk assessment and work out what is going to keep you (and your marriage) safe. Some people use ‘burner’ phones so that their messages won’t show up on their regular device. Whatever you do, don’t:
a) Delete your messages, so that when we reply to your enquiry you have no idea who we are. Asking ‘who is this?’ when we get back to you is a sure way to ensure you don’t get the booking.
b) Sync your text/email messages between your iPhone and your iPad. Yes, many a married person has been caught out because their partner was playing on the iPad at home while they were at work texting a potential lover. True story.
Will my escort keep my details private? Honestly, escorts in general have absolutely no reason to disclose any of your details. We want discretion as much as you do, and we also know how important your privacy is to ensure repeat business. Also, we’re professionals – we’re too busy working to want to mess you around. Your secrets are safe with us.
There is an exception to this. If you harass, steal from, assault, threaten, defraud, or stalk an escort then it’s entirely possible that your details will end up in the hands of the police. If you treat an escort violently or disrespectfully, your privacy no longer applies.
Should I use a false name? Some of my clients have an ‘punting name’ that they use for seeing escorts, as well as for email and social media (such as Twitter). Although I don’t feel it’s necessary, if it makes you feel more comfortable then go for it. After all, I have a stage name, so why shouldn’t you? Just keep in mind as above, that if you behave badly having a different name will not protect your privacy.
After all this talk about privacy, I have one more request…
Sex work is a very stigmatised profession. Society’s bad attitude about workers and clients ruins the fun for everyone. The only way this will change is when more people – sex workers and clients – are open about their activities. When we show we’re not ashamed, everyone is forced to change their opinion. It’s a slow process, but it’s happening – and hopefully one day we’ll all be able to be open about our recreational bedroom activities.
If you’re in a position where you can be ‘out’ about seeing escorts, please consider doing so. Tell your close friends what you get up to on the weekends. Take an escort to dinner. Write a blog post about why sex workers are great people. Stand up for us when your community tries to shut us down.
I’d love to live in a world where we didn’t need to have all these secrets. If you have the chance to be open, please do…I’ll support you wholeheartedly.