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A Review Primer

Screenshot of review on Punter.net, the main escort review site for the U.K.
Screenshot of review on Punter.net, the main escort review site for the U.K.

The following is a quick guide to review practices and terminology across different fields and even countries, compiled by Tits and Sass editors and contributors including Jemima, Lori Adorable, and others.

Escort Reviews in the US: Though there are several popular American venues for reviews, one site in particular (The Erotic Review, better known as TER) has established clear dominance in visibility and popularity. Its insistence upon assigning numbers to a provider’s appearance and the customer’s overall experience have led to lists of highest “ranked” escorts across the country and within each major city. Many escorts advertise with this information (“Ranked in the TOP TEN of escorts nationwide”) while even more advertise with encouragements to “check out my reviews.” Because reviews are such a large part of escort marketing in both urban and exurban areas of the States, escorts may solicit write-ups from clients, write their own positive ones under a fake account, incentivize good reviews with discounts, or even pay someone to praise them in review form. (Review writers for hire will often spam escort email accounts with their own rates.) Despite claims to the contrary, there is no fact-checking that goes into approving submitted reviews, and so false reviews are published with some regularity, both those portraying the escort positively and those attacking her as ugly, unpleasant, or dirty. There is no review board that prioritizes escort and client concerns equally; all are skewed to favor the client and escorts are often ignored or penalized for speaking out against rude customer attitudes, dangerous practices, or retaliatory reviews.

Though academics and civilian observers regularly treat reviews as an indoor work phenomenon, reviews are not limited to women advertising online or using indoor work spaces. For over a decade, men have traded review-type information online about street workers as well, even when they don’t know the woman’s name or regular location.

In Canada: Escort review sites are common in Canada, though it is possible to go through your entire career without using them. In big cities like Toronto, a hub for business travelers, using review boards to find an independent or agency escort is more common than in other parts of the country and many escorts use them as a marketing tool. In Ottawa, the capital, recommendation boards are also common, possibly because of the perceived privacy concerns of those involved in politics. In Vancouver and Calgary, smaller and less central cities, the boards contain a tight-knit community of reviewers and hobbyists, but men who travel there don’t seem to rely on reviews as heavily to find an escort.

Ask A Pro: Immunity Boosters

Ask A Pro is a our column focusing on work and health, intended to share straightforward information about what you can do to keep yourself as safe as possible while on the job. Questions will be answered by sexual health expert Sarah Patterson, M.Ed. (See full bio below.) Questions you’d like to have answered can be sent to our info (at) titsandsass address. Full anonymity is guaranteed. 

Dear Ask A Pro,

My question is: what are the best ways to avoid getting sick when working? I find that when I am seeing multiple clients in a night it is emotionally and physically exhausting and I seem to be more susceptible to picking up colds or the flu. I’m sure this is a combination of a lowered immune system from the stress and pace of working mixed with swapping fluids and germs with unknown men.

Thanks,
Juliet

Dear Juliet,

Great question! You are correct in thinking that stress and exposure to infection can increase your chances of getting sick, but there are many things that can be done to deal with both stress and boosting your immune system.

On Stripper Burnout

Burnout is a beast with which anyone doing emotional labor is all too familiar. It can be devastating when you pay to work and your income depends on appearing… not burned out. Isn’t it wild how you think everything’s cool and then out of nowhere you find yourself paralyzed by the mere thought of approaching customers because you just know they’ll say something stupid and ruin your night?

Maybe you strip in a city where 60 strip clubs compete for a small market by continually raising stakes and lowering prices, desperately trying to lure business with $9.99 surf ‘n’ turf, $1 Pabst Blue Ribbon, dollar dances, free buffets, free porn, midget features, topless bartenders, topless waitresses, topless DJs, naked violinists. Your peers are diving headfirst into laps chasing single dollar bills like retrievers, two-girl tangoing, butt-plugging, Tootsie Pop-penetrating, and that’s just on stage.

Maybe you think about how much money you spend on the costs of being a Responsible Adult and divide it by $20 lapdances and it hurts your heart. Or you hear “Young Turks” and you think about how many times you must have heard that song when it was on the jukebox of your first club in 2003 but now you really understand “life is so brief/time is a thief when you’re undecided,” and the thought of having to shave is reason enough not to try today.

I’m sure you won’t be surprised to find out that I’m describing myself. But you might be surprised to know that I’m still a decent earner. All it takes is just a consistent conscious effort. I’m out here fighting the good fight against burnout. If your shifts are wastes of makeup and sometimes you make a U-turn in the strip club parking lot, I feel your pain. This list is for you.

Surviving Long Appointments

For lots of money, I bet she could! (image by Anne Taintor)

We all say we want them, but do we really? Longer appointments—all day, overnights, weekends or more—can be great money, but they can also be really taxing on your soul. No matter how much you like your work, staying in character and putting your client’s needs before your own for a long period of time can make anyone go a little crazy.

Whether you’re a stripper who’s committed to a couple hours in the champagne room, a dominatrix with a super-devoted slave, or anyone else who’s found themselves committed to more than they thought they bargained for, here are some ideas for making it through with your sanity intact.

If you have some other tricks of the trade to share, please leave them in the comments section.

Escort Evolution: 5 Classic Hooker Attitudes

Image from NabbCafe
Image from NabbCafe

Sex workers are a profoundly diverse group of individuals, with wildly different backgrounds, circumstances, and work tactics. But I’ve been around the block enough times to know that within this corner of our lives, our experiences often coincide. On a near-daily basis, I recognize another escort displaying the signs of an attitude I too once held. So without further ado, here are five common hooker states of mind that I suspect most of you will recognize, in others if not in yourself.

Everyone Must Know — The most embarrassing, cringe-inducing mindset is also one of the earliest to appear among a subset of privileged, politicized, very young sex workers. Think about the worst qualities of most middle class college kids: their naiveté, which they’re (naively) convinced is actually a very sophisticated and hard-earned understanding of the world; their youthful earnestness; their awkward, hyper-self aware social skills or lack thereof. Throw in a job at the local strip club/jack shack/full service incall and it’s a recipe for humiliating disaster. I was convinced that I could single handedly eliminate at least, like, 50% of the stigma around sex work by making it clear that I — a white, educated, intelligent young woman! — was selling sexual services and was TOTALLY EMOTIONALLY FINE and THRIVING and indeed, STILL WHITE AND EDUCATED in spite of it.