Alex Haley, American journalist and author of Roots, said, “Racism is … learned behavior toward persons with dissimilar physical characteristics.” Within the escort industry, varying physical traits are prevalent. From skin color to hair texture, escorts look very different from one another. Usually, this diversity is seen as a good thing among both escorts and their clients. However, racism is an issue that escorts encounter during their careers, and its effects are significant in both traditional and unexpected ways.
Many escorts and clients both exhibit racist attitudes, whether intentionally or not. These attitudes affect interpersonal relations, communications and career success in the following ways:
- Escorts may attract clients interested in dabbling in the “taboo” of interracial relationships. Some people have always found others who belong to a different race extremely attractive, but, because of social attitudes, they were afraid to date people different from themselves. However, when these kinds of clients know that their relationships with an escort will be kept secret, there are no limitations on who they choose to interact with on an intimate level. Society has always placed a “hush” on the relations between people of different races, even though it’s nothing new for people of different heritages to mingle. During the revolutionary years of the U.S., it is well-known knowledge that many of the founding fathers had intimate dealings with their slaves. During colonization, men overseas indulge in affairs with native women. Despite it being a common experience, interracial relationships are still somewhat taboo, which makes them even more attractive for some clients. As a result, many clients seek out diverse escorts as a way to indulge their fantasies.
- Many clients just want diversity in their lives. They are open to new cultures, traditions and opportunities. They want to learn about differences between races and are eager to explore new possibilities. They appreciate dissimilar traits unlike their own and find beauty in them. They pride themselves in being liberal in their attitudes, but many of them place too much emphasis on how worldly they become through their experiences with different races and cultures. Often, escorts find clients who wear their conquests like badges and boast about how broad-minded they are about race. It’s almost as if these types of clients are racist in a different way: they make visiting with an escort who is of a different race a way to demonstrate that they are unprejudiced. (Which is, in fact, untrue, because the only reason they seek out diverse escorts is for their racial status, in the first place.)
- Clients exist who will only visit specific races. Some escorts have unique heritages that mix cultures and diversifies them even more. Many escorts will market themselves with labels including their mixed race background. However, some choose to not disclose this information for personal reasons. If an escort looks as though she could come from a multi-cultural background, some clients will ask her about her race. If a client discovers that an escort is part African-American or Caucasian, he may cancel his booking with her. Clients who will only date Latina, Caucasian, African-American or Asian escorts exist in significant numbers. (There are many who are open to some races, but exclude others from their search criteria, altogether.) Escorts who are multi-cultural may experience discrimination from clients. Of course, single-culture escorts who simply don’t meet a client’s race criterion will be denied attention, too.
- Racial role-play is commonly requested by clients. Especially in kink communities, the master/slave race-play experience is a popular request where an African-American escort is ordered around by her white client. Sexual activity may occur, or mundane tasks may be the focus of the encounter. Racialized sexual situations are extremely common, according to Jezebel.com writer Anna North. “A bitchy white woman belittling her black maid. A Latino man being tied up and called racial slurs. A black woman being offered for sale at a slave auction. All of these are awful in reality, but for people who are into race-play — or racialized sexual situations — they can be extremely hot,” according to North. Some escorts accept these types of encounters; others don’t. But, it’s a fact of life that these racial fantasies exist and impact the escort industry.
- Race-related stereotypes influence clients and their expectations of escorts. Male African-American escorts are expected to be more fully endowed than their counterparts of other races. Asian women are expected to be obedient and intent on serving their male clients exclusively. Irish escorts should be short-tempered and red-headed. Italian women speak with their hands and are hot-blooded. French women really know how to kiss. Regardless of how ridiculous it sounds, many escorts have actually altered their images to match their racial or heritage stereotypes more closely. But, they shouldn’t have to. Just like in the “real world”, women don’t necessarily match the stereotypes placed upon them by their race, culture or appearance. However, the stereotypes exist and should not be dismissed.
Clients wonder what it would be like to explore the body of someone who is unlike themselves
Some clients are simply curious about having sex with someone of a different race. They hear that “once you go black, you never go back” and they think that intimacies with an African-American escort must be phenomenal compared to any other race, for instance. So, in order to avoid shame or ridicule from their friends or families, they choose to seek out an escort of a different race to learn more about their desire. They are quite excited for the encounter, but these clients often don’t return or are extremely paranoid about being discovered. Their main goal was simply to satisfy their curiosities.
- Some escorts who belong to minority races can’t command premium fees as easily. It’s common knowledge that throughout the industry, most white female escorts can successfully request higher rates from their clients than their peers who are Asian, African-American, Latina or other races. Client demand for upscale Caucasian escorts is highest among all races. However, this is not to say that escorts of other races cannot be paid well. It’s all about the personality of every individual escort. Many make several hundred dollars per hour for encounters, but they experience client reluctance to pay their rates from time to time. Clients may expect them to charge less or accept their reduced offers. Even if a client doesn’t seem to be racist, his attitudes are programmed in by society to expect a woman of color or another race to value herself less.
- Annoying racially-related pet names are used to refer to escorts. Escorts, themselves, may use descriptors such as “smooth dark chocolate skin” or “milky white breasts”. “Chocolate Drop” and “Creamy Caramel” are also often used to describe darker skin. Many clients may refer to an escort using slang pet names that aren’t really intended to offend, but are meant in an affectionate manner. Regardless whether they are offensive or affectionate, they still refer back to race and skin color. Ethnicity plays a huge role in how clients see escorts and what they call them.
- Racially-rooted violence and verbal abuse is prevalent in escort/client relationships. Escorts whose ethnicity is considered a minority race may experience violent assaults or abuse from a racist client. Being beaten or raped are common ways that prejudiced clients use to debase their escorts. Additionally, verbal abuse is common. Men often call their escorts by racial slurs and tell escorts they are of worthless due to their ethnicities or cultures. All escorts may experience this abuse if they see clients who come from different ethnic backgrounds, regardless of the socio-economic status of the client.
- Escorts have their own racial preferences, too. Due to a number of issues, many escorts limit their client lists to people of certain heritages or skin color. It’s extremely common for African-American escorts to only see men of color; many white escorts exclude clients who are not Caucasian from their bookings. Whether it’s for professional reasons, security threats or personal opinions, escorts have the right to designate who they will and will not see, denying bookings from races they are not comfortable with. However, most escorts who have racial limitations do not openly market their preferences for fear of sounding prejudiced.
- Some escorts accept bookings from clients of different races simply because they fear offending others. Despite their personal reservations about including men of other races in their own intimate relationships, many escorts will book encounters with clients of any ethnicity. They feel that they cannot advertise their preferences due to offending someone, so they take any and all bookings, as long as security checks come back clear. Knowing that some clients are extremely open-minded, these escorts are afraid they will give the impression that they are racists. Inferring a racial bias could decrease the number of clients who call inquiring about booking encounters, which certainly isn’t good for business.
- Escorts have their own racial expectations about clients, too. Unless they’ve been in the business for several years, many escorts are surprised when they book an encounter with a wealthy African-American client who is a nerdy software engineer. An escort might automatically assume that an African-American client will love her new hip-hop playlist. Race stereotypes are common for everyone, including escorts. An escort may think she prefers older, white guys because they have more money, forgetting that many young men from India and the Middle East have vast fortunes and successful careers, too. Escorts may be selective about clients of differing races due to their own misconceptions about stereotypes. Additionally, when they accept bookings from some clients, they are extremely surprised to discover they appear to be of a different race then they expected due to how they sounded on the phone or their career information. Assumptions about speech, grasp of the English language and voice often influence escorts incorrectly and unnecessarily.
Regardless of the way that you look at it, race and opinions about it have huge impacts on an escort and her career. The most successful escorts learn to be flexible and never assume. They view all clients equally, as long as they are willing to pay their rates and are not security threats. The most successful escorts learn to be open-minded about all things related to their careers early on, and that includes the ethnicity of their clients. Things like manners, good hygiene and kindness become the most important factors for an escort (after money, of course). Race is a minor concern when you consider all that an escort should be worried about.