Review boards aren’t for us. They’re for sad, sad clients to commiserate with each other and get back some of the power they feel they’ve lost by having to pay for sex in the first place. But I didn’t always know that. Once upon a time, I was a review board junkie. That only lasted until I forgot the reason I was there in the first place (to make money,) forgot that everything you post is essentially an advertisement, and started being a little too vocal about my opinions.
I complained about a thread entitled “Best Asses On [That Particular Board],” writing that it was problematic for these clients to post photos of escorts without their permission—taken from their websites or from their photo albums on the board—and that reducing us to bits and pieces was dehumanizing. I was met with many defensive responses from clients claiming that this thread (and others like it) were simply celebrating the female body. I replied, “I’ll believe you when you start posting some fat asses.” (Because believe me, you are never going to see a BBW escort in any of these stupid threads.) A few of us started trolling the thread by posting male asses and monkey butts. That’s when some of the so-called “elite” members—they have more than 1000 posts—started to complain that the site “wasn’t what it used to be” and boo-hoo, the women are talking when they should be sucking cock. (Ok, they didn’t literally say that, but that was the message they conveyed.) One day, I logged on to discover I had been suspended without warning for six months.
This site was my primary source of advertising, as it is completely free to have a profile with photo albums, and to post ads. At first, I panicked that I’d have no clients and wouldn’t be able to pay my bills. I had become convinced that my presence on the board and the reviews I was getting were integral to my business…but they weren’t. In fact, getting booted off the board increased my business because now I was getting clients who wanted to know what had happened. I was getting clients who wanted to see me just because it was their way of fighting back against what they saw as the injustice of how it all had gone down (no warning, etc.). A few even came to see me because other board members had talked shit about me and they wanted to find out for themselves what I was really like (fucked up, but I still took their money).
You don’t need reviews to succeed. It is absolutely not important to your success that you have extensive, explicit, detailed, often HIGHLY EXAGGERATED reviews. Half of the shit that clients have written about me either didn’t happen or is extremely overblown. I don’t need clients to advertise for me, which is essentially what reviews are. Between the overt fat hatred and body-snarking, and the assumption that an escort should provide the same acts (e.g. bbbj or cim) with every client, they’re soul-sucking, and should be avoided at all costs.
—Berlin, in Ottawa
Whenever I get a message from a hobbyist, the first thing I do is sigh and roll my eyes. These are the guys who promise they’ll be regulars and visit you every Monday night, so please reserve it for them. (And since they’re booking your Mondays in advance for all eternity, the nice thing to do would be to provide them a discount even before meeting.) The general attitude of the man who calls himself a hobbyist is that he’s somehow special because he spends a lot of time posting on message boards. My immediate reaction to such a man is, “you have nothing going on personally or career-wise, so you have plenty of time to critique some chick’s ass and whether or not she kissed you passionately enough.” Let’s face it, hobbyists: If you had something substantial going on, you wouldn’t be shooting the shit in a chat room all day and night, preoccupied with if some chick has a “poor attitude” (won’t see you,) has gained 10 pounds, or didn’t give you the best blow job of your life even though “HugeDick888” said she gives banging’ head in a review.
While I do advertise and participate on boards regularly, I don’t depend on reviews. If I did, I would be out of a job. I’ve been at this for almost 4 years, and had very few reviews, probably because I’ve never gotten over the weird factor of having my body and kissing skills rated. I never ask anyone to write one and most of my clients don’t want to put their business out there like that. My rule is to stay away from the hobbyists as much as possible, and instead see the lurkers who use the boards only to verify that the sex workers are actual humans.
—Elke Coleridge, in Western New York
Hobbyists: they have done this before. A lot. They’ve been on the boards and they have a great understanding of what they truly want in a companion. That should make for a perfect afternoon, but I find they usually end up being pushy and self-righteous, without much thought to how they represent themselves as clients. Intangibles are what make a great escort: the way she touches the back of your neck before she unbuttons your shirt, the way she makes a client feel like he is her true boyfriend by remembering his tastes and interests. Review boards encourage clients to think about a booking in measurable elements, but rating a blow job on a numerical scale? How does that work? Eye contact—one point. Deep throat—one point. Hummed the Star Spangled Banner while doing a handstand and balancing a tea cup on her foot—one point. Great meetings are about experiencing something that leaves you breathless. If all you’re thinking of is what you’ll write for the review board later, you will never be swept up in that moment.
—Lila, in Vancouver
Not too long ago, I found out through the magic of Google that while I haven’t been reviewed on MaxFisch, the main go-to spot for domme/switch review in NYC, I have been reviewed on TER, back when I was a house girl at a dungeon. It seems I was amazing enough to be one of the few house girls who gets that swag! (Haha, just kidding. I was actually just unlucky enough to get the clients who thought he was walking into a kinky massage parlor.) His comments were jarring to read, as a lot of what switches do varies client-by-client and is very much not advertised (e.g. level of nudity.) The brief parts of the reviews I could read without a membership, though, were pretty positive, so I linked to them on my shiny new independent site.
A few weeks later, I got an email from a client asking me if I’d read the full reviews. I admitted I hadn’t, and he sent them my way. Holy fuck, guys. The intimate details were shocking, but much worse were client’s repeated insistence that “I’m sure next time she’ll be giving me a hand job.” That clinched it for me. I’d dealt with clients who were obvious “hobbyists” before, and they were always rude and pushy. I’d also dealt with wannabe clients who tried to exchange reviews for discount rates, which is obviously gross. But reading this guy’s deluded, rape-y comments about me really drove home the fact that clients steeped in review culture view sessioning with a pro as equivalent to buying new stamps for a collection: drive a hard bargain and take all you can get.
Whereas before I mostly ignored them, I now actively avoid TER and prolific reviewers. I want clients who see me as a person to interact with, not a trophy to be put on the shelf. That said, I do ask for reviews to post on my site, and I think having reviews as a pro domme is vital to proving you know what you’re doing and won’t accidentally rip someone’s balls off while doing CBT. The next guy to wonder aloud, in public, if he can coerce a handjob out of me will definitely be getting his testicles removed, though.
—Lori Adorable, New York
I was barely able to introduce myself to this customer before he inquired, “Oh, you’re the sassy one?”
“The sassy ONE,” I contemplated “I don’t know about that.”
“Yeah, you’re Betty,” he said. I normally don’t let customers steer the conversation, but he was talking about me so I was intrigued. He noticed my confusion and quickly explained that he’d read a review of my strip club that mentioned how rude I was to the anonymous reviewer. Though Mr. Anon claimed to dislike me very much, he apparently described my looks and attitude in great detail.
“Yeah, that’s me,” I said with pride. I asked him if he wanted a VIP dance. He did, and as I lead him by the hand to the private rooms in the back of the club I beamed. I must truly thank that online hater. For unintentionally making this one customer super stoked on me, and quite honestly making me seem a lot cooler than I really am.
It’s the best review I’ve gotten since a pimp called me “too spicy.” It’s like the opposite of a back handed compliment, and I appreciate it very much.
Hi, StripperArmy. You’re my new dream BFF.
[…] WITH THAT IN MIND, here is an article from Titsandsass…apparently a lot of ladies aren’t partial to reviews…I DO NOT SHARE ALL OF THE OPINIONS, but there are threads of truth weaved through this. https://titsandsass.com/on-hobbyists-and-reviews-providers-sound-off/ […]
I hate the reviews – especially the long, meaningless form templates that seem to be the norm. But I see them as a necessary tool to establish trust. Personally, I care very little about the content of the actual reviews themselves – I don’t particularly want to know the details of any given encounter. I just look for a high number of reviews as a kind of guarantee of the authenticity of the ad. If prostitution were legal, I think this would be less important, but I’m looking for some kind of proof the person is who they say they are.
I wish there were a better system. It would be nice if there were a universal way for clients and providers to rate each other, as a way to establish trust, to say “this particular person is safe”.
“I wish there were a better system… to say “this particular person is safe”.”
It’s called Preferred 411, Date-Check, and RS2K, to name just a few.
It’s also a safe bet that a provider is safe when she declines to talk about money or services, and/or stresses the limits of what she WON’T do on her site (because you are scheduling with providers who have their act together enough to actually have a site, right?).
LE WANTS you to talk about money and graphic details. They promise you the moon and the stars, no limits on hours (“24/7” isn’t possible for anything but a cyborg) or services (“anything goes” = red flag). Their advertising seems to have no filters on the quality or details of who they’ll see, and no matter how implausibly young, beautiful, inexpensive, and accommodating the “girls” in their fake ads supposedly are, they’re ready to see you right away, because they somehow haven’t been mobbed by a thousand other guys. They DON’T “screen” or “verify” up front – they don’t need to, as they’ll have you handcuffed with your wallet out soon enough, finding out who you are, after you scheduled, ironically, for the very reason that they DIDN’T ask for your personal info.
All that being said, in the states 9 female providers are routinely arrested for every 1 male client. A male client is almost NEVER arrested, even when caught red handed – look at Eliot Spitzer. The only male clients who are ever arrested are streetwalker johns who have no concept of privacy, discretion, common sense, or anything else really. So “safety” is really a bit of an exaggeration coming from clients. You risk a “cash and dash” or disappointment more often than arrest – if you wouldn’t use a word like “safety” to describe a disappointing retail experience, it kind of belittles the true mortal danger providers experience day in and day out to call a simple rip off or disappointment a “safety” issue. But again, if you look at the QUALITY of the provider and her online info before you schedule, you’re a long way toward avoiding any low brow hijinks.
“Reviews” can and have been faked, even in large enough numbers to create the illusion that there’s an “overall average” to “ensure” something or other. LE can and has taken over entire local boards as well as huge national boards like escorts.com (and each time inherits the entire “private” client database), and is free to infiltrate/take over any other “adult review” board anytime, anywhere. They know how to convince you that reviews mean a provider is “safe”, up to and understanding you want to see several, not just one, fake but real looking “reviews”.
The sites I mentioned exist SOLELY to ensure your safety. Not that they couldn’t be taken over as well (although it would have to be by subpoena, as individual interlopers are found out and promptly banished, unlike TER, where management has openly admitted they freely cooperate with LE participating behind the scenes, including having handles, profiles, having/writing multiple “reviews”, etc etc.). The business model for the screening sites is screening only – it’s their bottom line and their only priority to guarantee that singular purpose isn’t compromised, with constant, vigilant monitoring. TER’s business model, on the other hand, is anyone with a hotmail account sign up and is based on advertising and “hype”- pretty much the opposite of all things discreet and well advised. I can remember actually hearing a RADIO COMMERCIAL for TER on a Sirius channel one day, and thinking “these people have lost their minds”. Maybe the radio spot didn’t turn out to be cost effective, or someone woke up to the insanity of advertising a site that openly discusses illegal services advertising on the RADIO, but for at least one brief moment the brain trusts that run TER actually did run a “come one, come all” radio spot, complete with a low, sultry voiced pitch and lots of “innuendo”. I don’t know about you, but as far as “safety” is concerned, with a business behaving that insanely, it makes sense to be anywhere BUT there.
What the sites I listed DON’T have is an indiscreet “heat” generating sky’s the limit “juicy details” yak fest (which is what brings the unwelcome attention of LE to begin with). The sites I mentioned don’t “rate” anyone or reduce them to a numerical statistic (although they do upon occasion allow one or both parties to list simple technical fouls like no shows). They simply do what your post mentions, ENSURE SAFETY. Anyone who needs a board that does more than that is doing things for low reasons while pretending the reasons are lofty.
And if you’re choosing to only see providers with LOTS of reviews, you’re not seeing the cream of the crop as much as you think you are. Providers with a lot of reviews are, if not already angry and resentful, due to be so in the near future, as the “hobbyist” community continuously pressures and strongarms them more and more the more involved in the review boards they get (the boards have a way of creating the thing they claim to have been created to eliminate/avoid). Providers with a lot of reviews may need validation for the self-esteem they lack, in the form of being “popular” on a board. They’re often as affected by the mechanical “by the numbers” mentality as the clients, and are as sensually natural and inspired as a plastic molded doll. They certainly don’t have the substance to stand on their own or the backbone to reclaim their privacy and their industry.
Your shaming language doesn’t work, sorry. Nice try.
Of course escorts are annoyed by reviews: who wouldn’t love to work with such high fees without having their work scrutinized?
You say that reviews can be faked. Easier said than done. Fake interviews smell. Every time I relied on an interview I felt was genuine, I found it matching reality.
I feel sorry for your bad experience on your hobby board..
Everything in your story makes me cringe at some of the stupid things hobbyists do.. and I’m not going to lie.. I have see the things you have posted on my hobby forum… but it isn’t looked kindly on,
1) “who is the best provider” and “who has the best butt/boobs” are horrible and usually looked down on by many of the community where I am at and the author usually ends up abandoning the thread.
2) Review… That is a tricky one as TER (theeroticreview) is completely like that.. conflated sexual encounters that likely never happened the way the hobbyist said..
On my board that I like to hang on, Reviews are only given if the girl requests it, or there was a generally bad experience.. Sometimes it can create drama in a he said she said scenario…
My reviews if I write one never talk about sex or the acts we performed or even intimate details about your genitals…. sorry, I find those tacky.. (which is why I stopped doing TER stuff)
What I do write about is how you made me feel and that you are recommended (or not recommended).. and that’s it.
3) Based on this post of yours, I feel that you are jaded and really look down on hobbyists like me.
I can see why you might have been banned from your hobby board… I don’t know you so I cannot judge you.. I’m just saying you seem to look down on the very people you are trying to serve.
[…] On Hobbyists and Reviews: Providers Sound Off […]
What I dislike about hobbyist review boards, is the forums.
This takes it to a whole other level.
Where reviews are *intended * as a reference for a providers services offered, rating, etc…
These forums are really nothing more than a place to gossip and flame.
“Oh, I heard (provider) is having… problems.”
“She doesn’t answer any texts for a week now.”
“She must be some kind of antisocial psychopath. Don’t see her.”
(Despite the fact that all her reviews are stellar.)
When in reality, the provider is in the hospital for her appendix (just an example) and no, she hasn’t felt well enough to hop on the boards all week.
These forums have really gotten out of hand, with nasty gossip that has NOTHING to do with a provider’s quality of service, yet it still hurts her career.
What are these hobbyists getting out of this anyway??
In the last 4 years, I’ve come to be really not too fond of hobbyists or boards.