Monday, November 06, 2006

Why did you start escorting?

Occasionally clients ask this question. The reasons are so varied for each individual. Some escorts are putting themselves through university, are in debt, saving for the future, having difficulty paying the mortgage, want to explore their sexuality,want to have a good time, or just want to spend money on luxury items.

I find that some clients are not happy with the response I give, and tend to feel guilty, because they would like me to say, that I am in this because I want to buy loads of handbags and shoes! The other side of it, is that some clients are relieved by what I have to say, because they see that there is an end in sight, and I can go back to living a "normal life".

Does it really matter why an escort had entered the industry?

I made a choice to start escorting, and was not coerced. Sadly, there are a lot of women in the UK today, who are trafficked.

What would you do if an escort told you she was trafficked?

I only know of one person who was told, an escort who I made contact with last year, and she was able to assist in enabling a number of women to escape. I think she is an angel. It is not an easy thing to do. The traffickers are ruthless people.

What sort of men continue to see women that they know are trafficked?

How are they able to banish this from their consciousness?

Denying these atrocities is a powerful thing to do.

Do they not realise that by doing this, they are colluding with the traffickers, and keeping these women in captivity. I have not come across any women who are trafficked, but have had direct contact with women and men who are victims of rape, in another life. Witnessing the psychological distress they deal with, is overwhelming. Remembering and telling the truth, can help women or men who are trafficked, to move on.There are some people out there who are doing good work. If you do know anyone in this situation the Met has started operation Pentameter that deals with this issue.

The other option is to call Crimestoppers on 0800555111.

The Poppy Project is another resource, based in London.

I came across this article last week in the Guardian, that helps streetworkers.The U turn project.

Raising awareness on this issue can make a difference.

I had an email from Jeanette Angell today.

Call girl


Her bookis rated as one of my top five books on escorting. I can identify with a lot of the dilemmas she faced. For those of you who have not read it, read it, and for those of you who are fans the sequel Madam is out in January.

Got to go. Duty calls. Have a good week!

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Comments:
I agree with all you have said about trafficking.

I cannot understand how a client could continue to see an escort if he knew she was working against her will. That must be many women's worst nightmare.

In fact I cannot understand how a client would not contact the police or a support agency if he suspected an escort was coerced.

However another London escort, Kama, has a slightly different take on this in her post here. (Do look at the discussion in the comments as well.)
 
Should we distinguish between two types of trafficked girls? There are those who were duped into coming here, had no idea they would be put into the sex trade, and I don't think anyone could argue about how awful that must be. Then there are those who come here knowing exactly what the job entails in order to make money for themselves and their family back in some grindingly poor homeland. They agree to repay very high fees (many 10s of thousands) in order for false visas, travel tickets and some help getting a place to stay. I've met a lot of girls in the latter position who don't see themselves as victims at all, quite the opposite and I personally know several who have gone home with huge amounts of money earned over a couple of years. Where it becomes very murky, is if a girl wants to change her mind and go back home straight away. Clearly she can't possibly repay her debt to the traffickers. If this was any other business, you'd say she has to be responsible for her decisions and "a debt is a debt." But I think the sex business has to be an exception to that rule. Are there support agencies out there for this scenario? My guess is the girl just tells the existing support agencies that she was forced to come here against her will, thereby muddying already dubious figures about the number of girls in the first category.
 
Overlain, thank you for your comments. I think the distinctions that you make are important.

I have heard of women who are in the murky zone. They become ill, while they are working, and are forced to continue working until the debt is paid. What I mean by ill, is they contract STD's and are not given time off by the agents who they owe money. The people they work for, are aware of this, and are only interested in the money.

I am not aware of support agencies that deal with this scenario, but I think you could speak to the Poppy Project, and they could give you more information.
 
I was watching The Wright Stuff on Five Live today (as you do!) and they were asking is it now morally acceptable to pay for sex. Most of the men sat very firmly (though not entirely convincingly) on the fence. Unfortunately, they had heavyweight thinker Melinda Messenger on the panel, who declared it as fact that the majority of girls (I think at one stage she said 99%) in the business are victims. When a degree-educated escort called in to the show and talked about how she made the choice to do the job and that she enjoys meeting a lot of the men as well as the improved quality of life that the income brings, you could see Melinda looking totally bewildered. "But surely no little girl ever dreamt of growing up to be an escort" she said. Well maybe not, but no-one dreams of growing up and working in McDonalds, or spending all your working life doing filing. That doesn't mean McDonalds or office admin is wrong, we all have to make the best choices to suit where we are and where we want to be.
The thing which annoys me is the number of Daily Mail readers who will be sat at home taking Melinda's every word as gospel because she is on the telly.
 
Overlain,

Please do not waste your energy on Daily Mail readers. It is pointless.
 
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