Dear Ms. Harm Reduction,
I am transitioning into full service work, and need help getting clients to use condoms. One sugar daddy in particular has had a vasectomy, and a recent clean test, so he prefers no condoms for any activity. But I still feel uncomfortable with this. How can I negotiate to protect myself? On a related note, do you know where low income/uninsured women can get the HPV vaccine for free? I am over 26 years old, in California, if that matters. I really want to be as safe as possible while still earning money in this industry.
Need ‘Em Wrapped
Ah, those French letters, those raincoats, those jimmy hats. Just can’t do without ‘em. We harlots were the ones who innovated their use in the first place, you know. But it was still difficult back in my days as a taxi dancer to get my various beaus to use them. Some things never change.
With new clients, it should be easy enough to enforce a frenchie wearing standard. Put your dainty high-heeled foot down, and set a firm precedent. You should be aided in your resolve by the fact that almost nobody these days except for naive greenhorns in both the escort and street sex worker communities regularly does–what are you girls calling it these days?–oh, yes, bareback full service. If your client starts telling that hoary old fib about how Girl X doesn’t make him wear a johnny, call his bluff and tell him to go frequent Girl X’s incall, then. Faced with your inviting beauty, no man in his right mind will leave your boudoir abruptly when asked to adhere to perfectly reasonable safety standards. And as for the one in a hundred who does find it a deal breaker, that’s the sign of a man who will ever be a thorn in your precious side, not worth your time and labor.
As for your regular benefactor with the vasectomy and the clean bill of health, though. Try to frame the knotty dilemma in terms of the risk *he’s* running—sure, he’s spotless as the driven snow on the STI front–as of his last test, anyhow—but how does he know that since your last examination, you haven’t contracted something nasty? Being the morally upright woman you are, you could never forgive yourself were he to catch something from you. Then do your best imitation of a perfect doll, sit on his lap, and purr, telling him that you’d just feel so much more comfortable if he were to wear a happy hat, and the more comfortable you are, the freer you feel to be frisky.
You younguns have so many new, frightening indoor sports-related diseases to contend with, but you’ve also revolutionized prophylactics as we know them. That is to say, if you really can’t imagine the tete-a-tete I described above with your sugar daddy going well, then take preemptive action and wear a female condom the next time you see him. Present it to him as a fait accompli. In fact, don’t even mention it until you’re intimately entwined and he can’t help but notice it. Then, nonchalantly and prim as you please, tell him that you thought about the topic and decided that condoms were necessary for your comfort, and would he rather you wear one, or should he? That gives him the illusion of control in the making of that choice—and you know how those men folk just love to run things—while leaving the ultimate choice to use protection entirely in your capable and shapely hands.
Speaking of new fangled innovations in both sexually transmitted diseases and their treatments, let’s go on to your next question. HPV and HPV vaccines! Sometimes Ms. Harm Reduction’s mind just boggles when she thinks about the contrast between her salad days, when all she had to worry about was not catching the syphilis and going off her rocker, and now. But you young things have the right idea, with your attention to preventative sexual health. Unfortunately, I hear from my friends in the medical profession that it’ll be difficult for you to get that vaccine, being over the age of 26. Not that Ms. Harm Reduction would ever advise you to go against established medical wisdom, but let’s just say she wouldn’t blame you for lying about your age in this instance at your local harm reduction clinic. Alternatively, you could ask your physician about something called the Mercks Patient Assistance Program, which you can ascertain your eligibility for here.
Maybe also suggest polypropylene condoms, like SKYN brand (NOT polyurethane condoms which feel like you dipped your junk in Minwax and let it dry). I’m allergic to latex so had to find something else and they are the best. They feel great, better than anything else I’ve ever used.