Bad Advice From “Ask A Dude”

by Bettie on July 25, 2011 · 8 comments

in Prostitution, What is Sex Work?

by smcgee on flickr

At The Hairpin they have this thing where they “Ask a Dude” to give advice on matters of all sorts. Most fall along the lines of “Should I leave this relationship?” or “What does it mean when a guy does this?” type of questions. Last week, though, the featured Dude told a girl that turning a friend into a client by sleeping with him for money was a good idea—forward-thinking, even—and it was horrible advice.

There’s a reason most of us use pseudonyms, screen, and even blur our faces: We don’t want to have relationships with our clients beyond the actual transactional one we will already have. Clients can’t be friends, and friends can’t really be clients in the long run. When you actually know someone and they know you, they anticipate feelings (or you do), but somebody is doing a lot more thinking on the experience than “This is amazing, it feels so good!” In this girl’s case, that would be what her Mom might think and how he can use this as leverage to get more attention from her.

I have been asked many times both on my personal blog and in real life about getting into sex work, almost always by people who are in bad situations and really need the money, and I generally say they shouldn’t. I have a feeling most of us, if we are out to anyone, have been asked the same thing. This work is seen as an “all-in” sort of thing: Once you are in this world it’s something you don’t come back from in the eyes of other people, as evinced by some of the commenters asking if she’d be fine with her future husband finding out she had sex one time for money in 2011…because men ask about this sort of thing I guess. You kind of have to be committed beyond trying to pull together this month’s rent, and most of them aren’t. And beyond that I wouldn’t advise anyone to make a friend a client. Especially not a guy who is only willing to pay her because he knows she won’t spend time with him any other way, and that she needs the money (and is feeling desperate), because that kind of guy is a guy trying to take advantage of a bad situation. This guy sounds like a creep, not a friend. That’s not how you want to begin your career as a sex worker, nor is it how you want your first and only experience to go, right?

But, then again, I’m a Professional, not a Dude.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Cecilia July 25, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Most of your post is spot on but I’d like to add this. That it is, in fact, quite possible to have clients turn into friends, genuine TRUE friends. It’s incredibly rare and has to involve two very mature, very honest, very self-aware people. It’s incredibly rare. It is, however, quite possible.

I don’t recommend anyone try it who doesn’t have many years experience with escorting AND many years learning about human nature in general (their own included). I have both, and the number of clients I call my friend (past & current clients, because both are possible) can be counted on one hand, and it took many years to get to that place, in most cases.

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Art July 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Just like to say, I have to agree with CECILIA. It is possible for Dancers/Custys to become true friends, very rare, but it happens. I fall into the client side of this argument, but like CECILIA said it must involve “very mature, very honest, very self-aware people.” Just like to add must be excepting of the boundaries, between work and private lives, and maybe the most important thing of all RESPECT. Without respect for yourself, and the dancers how can a true friendship ever really form, let alone make it.
I am very happy and proud to be a client in the “rare” category who has made true friendships with dancers. Some of them even live in other states now, and are retired from dancing, but they are still my friends and I am theirs. I do run off don’t I? Just wanted to say “Yes, CECILIA I agree with you. :)

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Bettie Bettie July 26, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I understand the desire to remind folks that it is in fact possible to be friends with clients, but you do realize you are the absolute exception and definitely not the rule, right? And when you say friends do you mean awesome clients you are friendly with, or do you mean people who know your real name and you spend time with outside work without requiring some sort of compensation, because that’s what I’m talking about when I say friends.

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Thais July 29, 2011 at 7:41 am

Yes, friends means “people who know your real name and you spend time with outside work without requiring some sort of compensation”. I have several of them after approximately 4 years of escorting (now retired – and yes, they remain friends). And I know at least a couple of other escorts who have at least one such friend as well.
So perhaps, it is not an absolute exception – but a question of one’s circle and attitude.

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Charlotte Shane Charlotte Shane July 29, 2011 at 9:08 am

Becoming friends with someone after you knew them on a professional basis is completely different than turning non-professional acquaintances into clients. I cannot imagine how strange it would be to rely on my pre-existing male friendships as a pool for guys who pay me for sex. (Granted, the letter writer probably wouldn’t call the guy she was sleeping with a “friend” since she doesn’t even like him.) But I think those of you saying “clients can become friends!” are missing the point of the original advice, which was the reverse: turn your (shitty) friend into your client.

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Cecilia July 29, 2011 at 11:42 pm

I understand what a real friend is and yes, these men know my real name, my home town, my parents’ names, my siblings real names & professions (one of them has met my entire family), my home address, my real/main phone number, etc. And yes, we spend time together (lunch, movies, etc) for free, off the clock – I take no money from them in any way, nor favors of any kind beyond what any friend might do for another. We don’t flirt, talk about sex (in regard to our relationship, anyway), play head games or want anything from each other beyond friendship – not money, not sex, not attention, sexual validation, etc.

They are genuine friends, exceptionally savvy, evolved, enlightened, liberal, respectful, cool as fuck men who just happen to “get it.” Like I said, incredibly rare.

Now, I have never taken a close friend and THEN made him a client. But have had acquaintances (twice) become clients. One still is a client (as well as a friend, one I expect to have for life), and the other is back to being an acquaintance (but a closer one, more of a “friendly acquaintance” now). Both these men know my real name, address, phone number and personal history. One is a doctor, the other a real estate broker. I bump into one of them at Whole Foods all the time and the other stops by to chat whenever he’s in the neighborhood.

Seriously, I do know this is rare. But so am I.

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Bettie Bettie July 30, 2011 at 12:10 am

I will concede that it is possible then. I don’t want anyone reading this thinking it’s going to be their reality though, you guys are exceptions, not the rule. Anything is possible, but not everything is likely. I do have clients I think are wonderful, and I keep in touch with them off the clock, checking in when they’ve mentioned a health issue or whatever, but the kind of friendship I am reading about here just has not come about. I have only been working a few years though, so who knows? I definitely like having a line between my work life and my…life-life. Different strokes I suppose.

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