As a new escort, you may think that physical boundaries are the worst you’ll have to deal with. Unfortunately, as the case may be from moment to moment, they’re not. What is more exhausting and what will wear on you over time are the moments when you’ll find yourself feeling hurt, uncomfortable or just sad because of an action or conversation with a client. Often it may be something you don’t expect, or something that may not seem completely apparent to the client, and you’ll have very little chance to right the situation once your time together has passed. Or it might not be appropriate or necessary to even bring it up with the client. What is most important for your emotional health and sanity is to be prepared as possible as to what you’ll do to protect yourself when emotional lines are crossed.
Here are some things to consider:
Political and social issues that really affect you emotionally
These are different than your opinions on those issues, ones that you can debate upon, but that don’t stir any emotional leanings in you. Let’s say you grew up on a farm or in a rural area where you dealt with the lives of animals from start to finish and have an emotional reaction to hearing of their abuse. If you’re out with a client who, maybe, used to go to cock fights or is telling you the details of a bull getting killed in the ring during a trip to Spain, it might do more than push your buttons: it might pull up some deeply emotional reactions in you that have more to do with your own history than animal rights.
What to do? In reality, the conversation is obviously not that big of a deal. The practical thing is for you to try to steer the situation in another direction before it gets to a point that it upsets you. But if it’s gone too far, you have a decision to make: do you tell the client a bit about yourself personally, exposing the situation to friction, or do you let it go and deal with it later? Remember, the client is your focus and your profession means that you cater to their pleasure. But only in a way that is also safe for you as well.
How will you brush this off later? Can you prepare yourself for such a situation but maybe listing “hot-button” topics that you know instigate really negative reactions in you and so that you’re ready to see them coming and avoid them or somewhat tune out if they come? Sometimes just being aware is helpful and a sign of victory.
Your opinions on your profession and its value
Escorting can be a very liberating profession for human beings, so much so nowadays that it’s not uncommon to hear stories about educated, successful persons who either started as escorts or joined the industry when their careers flagged for economic reasons. But it’s one thing to believe in your opinion of the industry, and another to deal with a client who is disrespectful of this.
Hopefully, this doesn’t happen often, and most likely it won’t happen blatantly and to your face. But there are signs—subtle ones—that can affect you emotionally. When a client shortchanges you, they are basically telling you that your profession is not as legitimate or valued as others (would she ever not give her dry-cleaner a full amount owed?). When she uses words, either socially or intimately, that have generally negative connotations, she assumes you’re cool with them when maybe you’re not: some people get turned on by being called a whore or a slut in bed, others find it very off-putting and offensive, it all depends on the person. When he or she doesn’t treat you with proper respect in public (simple things like remaining attentive etc.), she’s showing you where you lie in value in their sight.
These lines are different for everyone. If you’re very secure in your opinions and can roll with clients easily, it may not be that big a deal to hear, see or be treated in certain ways. But if one of those situations happens and you feel cheated or belittled, how are you going to brush it off to move on to the next client. Will you refuse to see them again? Be verbal with them as to your discomfort? As far as your longevity in the escorting field goes, respecting yourself and making your working environment as comfortable as possible are the most important things to consider, as well as making sure you respect and value your client as much as possible.
Physical boundaries great and small
There are a variety of sessions you may be having with clients, from the Girlfriend Experience where you’re out socially, to private dinners, trips, or simply hotel time for two.
How will / do you feel when a client is both negligent in paying you attention or physically all over you in public? Does he try to hide you and ignore you when there are other people around or is he liberal with his public displays of affection? How do you feel about either end of this range?
This will change depending on the client, as well it should. Your physical comfort levels and boundaries are yours to determine. When you work in a corporate environment most managers make it clear when sexual harassment policies are explained that the same physical touch between two people may be completely appropriate whereas completely inappropriate with others: it depends on the level of communication, comfort and the relationship between the two parties.
The same is true in the escorting industry. It is never right for a client to assume that they can do what they want with you physically. Nor is it right for them to hire you for company and then try to avoid you completely physically when together. Escorting is an extremely personal profession: how to you plan to present yourself in regards to what you will and will not take from a client physically? What are your limits? What do you enjoy and what repulses you? Have an idea of this so you can avoid those lines being crossed.
How to let it all go
Emotional lines are going to be crossed at some point, no matter how prepared you may be. So here are some ideas as to how to check out at the end of the workday.
- Have a meditation or breathing sequence that helps you physically let it all go: If you drive away from appointments, have a ritual that maybe thanks you for your time together with that person, and then helps you to release that time into the cosmos. Maybe breathe in and out deeply, put on some music that calms you, and say a mantra or prayer. By the time you’re done with the ritual, tell yourself that the session is over, and it’s time to move on, either to your next client or your personal life. Exercise is also a great way to get it all out physical.
- Have a friend to mull it over with, but give yourself a time limit: If a client really pisses you off and you need to vent about it, talk to a trusted friend and let it all out. But at the beginning of the bitch session, tell him/her “I need to get this off my chest but only for 15 minutes, then we’re changing the subject and you can’t let me go back to it”. When it comes down to it, your time is your own, and you’re the only one with the power to let the client occupy your thoughts and time or not. So let it out, then let it go.
- Journal on what you’ve learned: Maybe a line was crossed that you didn’t know you had. What can you learn for the future? How could you have handled the situation better? Keep a journal of this experience so that you can refer to it later when the same line is crossed, so you’ll know how to better react.
- Appreciate what you have. If you don’t know how to be happy with where you are and what you have, more—time, money, friends, square feet, independence—will not make you happier.