Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A competitive escort market

I can remember that most people in the London Escort industry thought, that when the Eastern European escorts came ; the London escorts would have no work.

At the moment, some people think that there will be an influx of Romanian and Bulgarian escorts ; that will drive the rates down even further,in London.

Well, I think the Eastern European escorts have made the market competitive. Most of the Eastern European escorts, that I have seen on sites are stunning. There is resentment from some escort agencies who do not take on these women, that they are undercutting everyone else. They are considered value for money by some clients, as they are cheaper and most of the escorts tend to do it all.

Unfortunately, with a large number of women being trafficked from Eastern Europe, one has to be careful, as I mention here. Julia O'Connell Davidson discusses this in her article as well.

I think that in any culture there seems to be a fear, and resentment, that foreigners will come in and take work away from everyone else.

In Queensland,Australia they have a problem with foreign backpackers who are working as prostitutes.

Foreign backpackers visiting Queensland have been earning money as illegal prostitutes and damaging legitimate operators, the legal brothel industry has claimed.

Queensland Adult Business Association Nick Inskip said the illegal sex industry was undermining efforts by the legal industry to make a profit and uphold health and safety standards.

"No one asks to see their passports.

"If you go to a licensed brothel the first thing they do is ask for your passport and whether you are here legally."

He said illegal escorts often undercut legal brothels in terms of prices, because they had fewer overheads and it was difficult for the tax office to track the workers.

"They can charge less because they are not paying GST, staff costs for managers and receptionists, or have a registered business name," Mr Inskip said.

Quotes from the Sydney Morning Herald.

Any views?

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Now clients and escort availability

I have had a high number of calls from clients in the past few weeks, who want to see me now.

I state clearly on my site, that I need notice most of the time. Occasionally, I can accomodate clients who call me on the off chance. What I picked up from these clients was, how irritated they were that they could not see me right away.

I wonder whether these men assume :

1. That I work from home(I do not), and am sitting there painting my nails waiting for the phone to ring.

2.That my whole day is free, and there is noone else booked, so I can always fit them in.

3. I do not have a life with other commitments.

I understand that when some men have the urge they want it now, however to assume they can be accomodated all the time, is not realistic. I think escort agencies tend to have escorts available at all times.

Maybe it is like calling the doctor, when you are ill. The receptionist tells you, that if you want an appointment you need to call two weeks in advance. I do not know that I am going to be ill in advance.

Some of my clients make advance bookings. Most of them do not live in London, and want to make sure they will see me, when they are here. My London clients who make advance bookings, have to find free time in the day that will not arouse suspicion, and so have to plan things carefully.

Chevalier has a post on his timing for appointments.

He has another post on Last Minute appointments.

Is arousal any different if you plan ahead or want it now?

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Information on the internet is accessible by everyone, do you understand the risks?

Once I put my professional site out on the internet, I learned a number of lessons.

1. Some shameless escorts stole chunks of text from my site, and passed it off as their own. Yes, imitation is a form of flattery, but I did not like it.I know who they all are, as one of my clients brought this to my attention.

2. I found that sites that I had not approached, had linked to me, which again I did not like.I contacted them, and some removed my details after a series of emails.

3. My photos were being used on sites again, that I did not want to be associated with.

It is a jungle out there, and I learned that to expect anyone to behave in an ethical manner was unrealistic. The internet cannot be regulated. A tough lesson to learn.

I came across this article last week, that outlines how anyone can access your photos,and link it your identity.

Granted, a search engine that recognises faces could make managing images and searching for them a lot easier. Instead of tagging photos, you could simply use one photo of yourself, or whoever, to find all the others. But the problem is, so can anybody else. Just as it didn't take long for people to become worried about "being Googled", if image search engines take off we might have to be a lot more cautious about the photos we share online. By syncing photos of us with whatever other personal information we've left lying around online, who knows just how detailed a personal profile could become?

Jonathan Bamford of the Information Commissioner's Office, the independent body that both promotes access to official information and campaigns to protect personal information, believes this is a genuine concern: "New technology means the risk of constant surveillance is higher, and we need to be aware of that risk. We are concerned that we're putting together the infrastructure for a surveillance society."

"You really need to understand how valuable your personal information is. I don't think people understand that the more and more you put out there in the electronic world, the more people can potentially access that."

Quotes from Finding that face in the crowd by Ronan Fitzgerald for the Guardian newspaper.

To the men out there who do not understand why escorts blur their faces, or do not show their faces, the article should explain why.

Have a good week.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

First impressions

I met a new client who freaked me out. It was not anything that he did. It was the way he looked. As I opened the door, he fit my image of what a proper thug would look like. I panicked and thought he would be aggressive.

I do not care what people look like, but in this instance, I have to say I was worried.

He turned out to be a rough diamond, who had a basket of tricks up his sleeve. It just goes to show you cannot judge some people by how they look.

What would you do?

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

I do not know what to make of this

I know three escorts who have been raped by clients. Unfortunately only one of the three felt able to report it. The other two, did not feel they would be taken seriously if they reported it. They are all Independent escorts.

The only time when I felt I may have been in a similar situation, was when I went on an outcall, and discovered that there were two other men there.

I read something similar on a messageboard recently, and fortunately the escort had a bodyguard,who accompanied her to the hotel room. He was able to fight off the other men, there.

I came across this article yesterday.

Women who report being raped are treated far more sensitively than ever before. The police are no longer as hostile and disbelieving as they used to be. The law has been improved in a number of ways that help the victim. It has largely banned cross-examination about previous sexual history in court; it now insists that a man's defence of consensual sex be based on reasonableness. All these developments (as well as granting victims of rape and other sexual offences anonymity) have been aimed at persuading women to report rape. And it has worked. The reporting figures show welcome increases. But the unexpected and unacceptable accompaniment is that conviction rates have fallen steeply. In 1977, one in three rapes reported resulted in a conviction. In 1999 it was one in 13. The latest figures show a rate of one conviction for nearly 20 cases reported.

There was not much extraneous evidence of importance, so the trial - as most rape trials do - came down to one question: did she consent or didn't she? Or, do we believe him or her? Except that the law doesn't make it as easy as that. And therein lies the crux of the problem. A jury has to be "sure" that the man is guilty (the old formula was "beyond reasonable doubt"). It's not enough that they think he probably did it. A "not guilty" verdict doesn't mean the rape didn't take place, or that the woman is a liar - only that the jury couldn't be absolutely sure. Such nuances are not widely understood. The raped woman is distraught and feels betrayed by the system. The rapist is free to rape again. Yet the fairness of our trial system is based on the need to prove that someone has committed a serious crime. Are we to make an exception for rape? That is inconceivable.

The past decade or so has introduced a new trend to complicate rape cases - the level of alcohol consumed by the woman alleging rape. This offshoot of the issue of consent asks: when has a woman drunk so much that she is no longer capable of giving valid consent to sex? The government's attempt to find a way of defining her "capacity" (the legal word) to consent when she has taken drink has come under fire from the circuit judges (as revealed in yesterday's Guardian). Everyone has a different tolerance to alcohol. Clearly, at one end of the spectrum, a woman who is reeling around and falling about cannot give valid consent; one who had sipped one glass of wine probably could. It's the in-betweens who give rise to difficulties. How can you put into words the point at which someone crosses the line between having the capacity to consent to sex, and lacking it? How is the potential accused supposed to measure that distinction?

Leave it to the jury to decide on the evidence before them, the judges say, just as they have to decide other issues of consent. But the role of the jury is itself open to question. We are not allowed to discover what takes place in a real jury room, so we can't be sure that the factors jurors take into account are correct in law. There are indications that myths and prejudices play too prominent a part. Some jurors in the Consent programme seemed to pay more attention to their own past experiences than to the evidence; others were unduly troubled by the woman's failure to report the rape until six days afterwards, though there are good psychological reasons for such delay. A survey in November 2005 by Amnesty International produced worrying results. More than a quarter of the public - and therefore of possible jurors - still believes that a woman wearing sexy or revealing clothing is wholly or partly responsible for being raped. Similarly, she is responsible if she was drunk (30%), or had not said "no" clearly enough to her alleged assailant (37%). But who, if not the jury, can better decide whether or not there has been rape? Certainly not a judge alone.

Here is the full article by Marcel Berlins for the Guardian Newspaper.

It seems from the survey mentioned in the article that, escorts would be seen as responsible for being raped,by jurors.

What do you think?

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I hope that Justice is done

I hope this pig farmer, who was a pillar of the community, gets what he deserves. Reading this story makes me ill. He had been arrested before, but charges were dropped, and you can see what he got up to.

Mounds of earth can be seen where diggers started work in June 2002. By the time they had finished, a year and a half later, they had demolished all the farm buildings on the seven-hectare (17-acre) site 18 miles east of Vancouver, sifted 378,000 cubic metres of mud, and taken 200,000 DNA samples. In the wake of the disappearance of 65 women from Vancouver's downtown eastside, the findings confirmed the conclusion that the authorities had been avoiding for years: a serial killer was at work.

The evidence removed, including clothing and personal effects, suggested that the bodies of 30 women had been disposed of at the farm. Officials could not rule out the possibility that human remains were in the meat processed at the farm for human consumption.

Kate Gibson sits in her office, next to a poster showing the faces of the missing women. Executive director of a drop-in centre for sex workers, Ms Gibson is concerned that the trial, with its media blitz, will add further strain to the women's already precarious lives.

"Everybody knows somebody," she says. "The women who live on the street, they live the same life as the women who died. Conditions haven't improved. They face fear every day. When all this was going on I think they were scared out of their minds. This is such a big thing, it brings up so much awfulness for them."

Most of the women who disappeared from the downtown eastside worked as prostitutes. Some did not. Most of them worked to finance drug habits, some did not. And some worked for pimps.

Robert Pickton, known as Willie, used to drive in to the eastside to pick up prostitutes, who often attended wild parties at a barn he owned with his brother, less than a mile from his farm. The barn, known as Piggy's Palace, hosted two types of party: respectable functions for local dignitaries to partake of his farm-raised pork and help the charity Mr Pickton had set up; and debauched affairs with prostitutes and Mr Pickton's biker friends.

It was not the first time Mr Pickton had been arrested. In 1997 he was charged with confinement and aggravated assault after a sex worker named Wendy Lynn Eistetter escaped from his farm covered in blood. According to the police report, Mr Pickton had stabbed her repeatedly. But charges were dropped. Mr Pickton was a wealthy pillar of the community while Eistetter was a prostitute. Between Mr Pickton's release in 1997 and his arrest in 2002, 30 more women went missing from the area.

It is unbearable to think he could have processed these womens bodies as meat.

Here is the article, Pig farmer and pillar of community:alleged serial killer finally faces trial by Dan Glaister for the Guardian newspaper.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Drugs, Alcohol and coping with escorting

I had a conversation with a client last week, about this.It is not unusual for women within the industry to have problems with drugs and alcohol. Some of them, have addictions before they start escorting, some of them become addicted while they are working. Some have no addictions whatsoever.

He had discovered that an escort that he used to see regularly, was using drugs. He heard via the grapevine that she used drugs before each appointment to get through the booking.

I think this can be difficult to detect, depending on what drugs an escort takes. If an escort is taking ecstasy, she clearly will be chirpy all the time, which most clients want.

It is difficult. I find that when I go on outcalls, the majority of my clients drink alcohol, and a minority take cocaine. Most of my clients want me to drink and take drugs with them,like Jacques.

I do not drink or do drugs, and sometimes this does not go down well. It is easy to develop a habit, if it is being offered to you all the time.

I know some escorts use alcohol and drugs to get through bookings that they find difficult. I know some escorts who find that it gives them confidence. It can also enable an escort to block out what she encounters in a booking.

It must be hard for clients to discover that an escort who they like, is using drugs to get through an appointment with them. I doubt any escort in their right mind would admit to this,as I believe it would be a case of professional suicide.

I think about my escort friends who use alcohol and drugs when they work. I do not think that in all cases they do not like their jobs. I think another way of looking at it is, that they recognise that it can be demanding and stressful. The alcohol and drugs enable them to be happy,friendly and appear to be up for most things, throughout the booking.

Some love to drink and do drugs, and it has nothing to do with escorting.It helps them chill out.

What do you think?

Well, in Australia they do things in a creative way. They pay their detectives to see prostitutes, to gather evidence against illegal brothels. I doubt these guys need drugs or alcohol.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Breach of Contract

I believe that relationships between clients and escorts that move to another level, are frowned upon, from both sides of the fence.

I think having a relationship with a client, who then becomes a partner, can be complex. My view is that the change in dynamics within the relationship, is the most difficult issue to overcome.

There are different reasons that I have come across from escort friends, clients and , message boards.

Okay, this is what I have picked up.If anyone decides to embark on this road, they are advised to go in with their eyes open. They need to be aware of all the pitfalls, it is not going to be straightforward. There is a view that most escorts have a cold exploitative streak, and are unable to be monogamous. There is a possibility that an escort has a relationship with a client in desperation, and when she is settled will move on.Finally, it is difficult to forget how both of you met, and this may be used in arguments.

There are couples out there that have overcome these difficulties. I hope it stays that way for them. However, I believe they are in the minority. The general view is that it will all end in tears.

I came across this article yesterday

When City analyst Michael Stewart's marriage fell apart he found comfort in the arms of a call girl. Quickly and unexpectedly, he fell in love and the couple became engaged.

Michelle Howe told him she would give up working as a £250-an-hour escort and Mr Stewart thought he had found a partner for life.

Nine years on, Mr Stewart is suing his former lover for more than £600,000, claiming she duped him.

She tells a very different story, claiming the money from Mr Stewart was for escort duties and sex and that he hired her as an "exclusive companion and courtesan," taking her on paid trips to New York and Amsterdam.

However, she claims that at all times she regarded her relationship with Mr Stewart as a business affair and that she only quit the agency so that she could supply him with "regular sexual services in return for money and gifts."

In legal documents, Miss Howe maintains she paid for the bulk of the mortgages and all the money paid to her was for the sexual services she provided.

Her submission to the High Court states: "(Mr Stewart) required exclusivity of (Miss Howe) and she in turn willingly acquiesced to be his exclusive companion and courtesan. (Miss Howe) continued to supply regular sexual services in return for money and gifts."

But Mr Stewart said: "You can't describe an eight-year relationship as a business relationship. It's a ridiculous lie. We were engaged and I was in love."

This is the full article from The Mail on Sunday.

He says he has been conned. She says she was an escort.

Was he in denial?

Is it impossible to have a relationship with an escort and spend £600,000+ and keep it a business relationship?

If the relationship had changed to a normal relationship with no money changing hands *coughs*, is it appropriate to start to demand your money back?

Is this the sort of thing that escorts can expect from clients that they have relationships with, given that most relationships do not last forever?

Who do you believe?

What do you think is going on?

Is anyone to blame?

My friend James B has dropped his novia, I wonder whether he will demand his money back?

*Gets flame retardent coat and runs for cover*

Have a good week?

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Unwanted guests

Something to look forward to on an Outcall. Thankfully, I have not had this experience yet, and hope I never do. The sad part of this story is their guests followed them home.

An American lawyer and his wife are suing an exclusive London hotel for millions of dollars after they were left with a most unpleasant souvenir of their trip to the capital. Sidney and Cynthia Bluming booked into the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hyde Park last May expecting luxury, pampering and relaxation. Instead they found themselves nibbled for five days and nights by legions of bedbugs who inflicted hundreds of bites on them, leaving their skin red, swollen and itchy.

The ordeal did not end there. The tiny creatures embedded themselves in the Blumings' luggage and clothing, hitching a transatlantic ride to their Manhattan apartment, where they continued biting the couple until they fumigated their apartment and replaced their clothing, bedding, luggage and personal effects. According to their lawsuit, the experience left the Blumings traumatised and haunted by the fear that some of the bugs had survived to prey on them as they slept.

Sam Jones and Agencies for the Guardian Newspaper, Unwanted guests.

An interesting post by Jeff Jarvis who says Size does not matter it is who views your content.

Just when we were getting used to it, the page view has been declared dead. There are many reasons for its passing, having to do with how web pages are now made and how web content is now distributed. But there is one seismic implication to this - in media, mass is over. Size doesn’t matter.

In a world of so many choices, the audience care about trust, taste, relevance, usefulness, not ratings. And advertisers care more about targeting, efficiency, engagement, branding and return on investment. These are better measurements than print circulation or broadcast ratings or online page views. And so now, publishers, advertisers and technologists must catch up and change their yardsticks for success yet again. It is time to measure quality over quantity.

Jeff Jarvis Guardian column death of the page view .

Have a good weekend.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Streetworkers,desperation, stereotypes,and the vicious cycle

I came across this article last week. What struck me about Jenny's story, is she does not work all the time, and does not work for any more money than she needs.Jenny's view on Black men is not unusual, but not one that I share. However, in this industry, women need to work in a way that is best for them.

She has some regulars who are professionals, which does not fit with the stereotype, that all men who visit streetworkers are down and out.

The media cannot seem to get streetworkers out of their minds at the moment.

Jenny Green can still remember the first time she got into a stranger's car and had sex, but the details are a little hazy. "I'm not sure exactly what we did," she says. "Perhaps I blocked it out a little."

Since that night in 1989, there have been hundreds of strangers and hundreds of cars and, to a certain extent, the emotional blocking is still going on. Jenny - not her real name - is one of Britain's tens of thousands of sex workers; no one knows for sure how many there are. Now 54, she would probably admit she is past her best, but there is still plenty of work out there on the streets of Manchester on the nights she chooses to take it.

Despite the murders of five prostitutes in Ipswich in November and December, women like Jenny are still walking the streets, still getting in strangers' cars, still wondering if they will ever get out again. But what makes them do it? Drugs? Coercion? Money? Or, is it more complicated than that?

I meet Jenny at a community centre in Manchester where, in her very limited spare time, she works as a volunteer. She has auburn hair below the collar and is wearing a crisp white blouse and grey skirt. She has the face of one who has suffered and she smokes heavily as we chat.

"I left school at 16 and, until 1989, I worked at a security printing firm in Manchester," she says. "I was married and in 1983 I had a daughter ["Julie"] but she was terribly disabled. She has Prader-Willi syndrome, which affects brain function and mobility and which leaves an individual constantly hungry - there is no switch to tell you you're full after you've eaten.

"If a normal child is hungry, you can feed it and it will stop crying. In my daughter's case, she just cried all the time. It caused stresses on my relationship, because my husband wanted her to be put into care and I didn't.

"When she was six, I took her for a week's holiday in Wales. When I came home, the house had been completely stripped and everything was gone. It turned out my husband hadn't been paying the mortgage and it was being repossessed. All I had in the world was what I had in my suitcase."

Jenny was put in homeless accommodation for nine months until being given a council house. But because of Julie's need for constant attention, she couldn't get a regular job. "My husband had left me with debts and we had no money and not enough help from social services," she says. "Eventually, I was left with a choice: give up Julie or go on the street. I couldn't get a normal job, but I could do two hours here and there as a working girl to get the money we needed."

Leaving Julie with a babysitter, Jenny went to the Chorlton Street bus station, a well-known haunt for street prostitutes, and simply asked for advice. "The girls were very kind to me," she recalls. "I asked them what you do and how much you should charge. They told me how they all watched each others' backs, taking the registration numbers of customers' cars and letting the customers know.

"I was about 39 and I assumed I would be a bit old. But no, the customers came to me, too. One came along and I thought: 'This is it'. I got in and somehow switched off. Afterwards, I remember thinking 'That wasn't so bad'. And it wasn't. To my mind, it was nowhere near as bad as losing my daughter."

But what about the risks? Isn't she afraid? "Well, yes but you develop a kind of sense about people and you make up your own rules," says Jenny. "For example, I will only get in a nice car. I look in the back to see if it is clean and tidy. I check out the customer to see he's not dirty and that he's quite well-dressed. And I will listen to the way he speaks, to see if there is respect in his voice.

"It's like being in a bar. There are certain people who talk to me in a bar and straight away I decide whether to talk to them. It's the same kind of feeling. Much of it is based on stereotyping and I'm sorry for that, but it's just the way I feel. I never go with black men because I see them as the drug dealer, the pimp. I know that's wrong, but I have to rely on my instincts."

And those instincts, it seems, have kept Jenny safe. "I only go out a couple of nights a week - I don't do drugs and I don't work for any more money than Julie and I need," she says. "If a bill comes in, I will go out and get enough money to pay it. No more than that. Over the years, that's a lot of nights, but I've never had a moment's trouble."

Really? No trouble at all? "None. I think I can honestly say that all the men I've gone with have been perfect gentlemen. Perhaps it's because I'm older than the other girls and I don't tend to dress in short skirts and so on, but the men I get treat me with respect."

But how does she cope emotionally? "It's like putting on a uniform and going to work," she says. "I go and do my work, but when I come home, that person has been left out there on the street. Even the first time it happened, yes I felt a bit numb, but it was as if it was someone else.

"No one knows what I do. I have never confided in anyone. I keep the real me distanced from the whole thing and nobody has ever found out," Jenny says.

She has five convictions for soliciting and feels the way the police deal with prostitution simply makes the problem worse. "They know where you take the customers and they're fully aware of what goes on.

"But every so often they'll have a clampdown and come and try to move you from an area. They did that with the Commonwealth Games, and we were all forced to the edge of the city, into far more dangerous areas.

Then you go and get fined - my last one was £250 - so you have to go back out on the street to pay the fine. You have to go and do exactly the thing the police were trying to stop you doing in the first place.

"They are also using Asbos against us now, which I think is unfair. Prostitution is not illegal - soliciting is - but they give you an Asbo for prostitution and then when you breach that, you can be arrested for it. I think only decriminalisation would work.

"At the moment, there are lots of working girls who can't get a normal job because they have convictions for soliciting. If they apply for certain jobs, criminal record checks could be done, the social services alerted and they could lose their kids. So, they keep on working on the street. It's a vicious circle."

And she has built up several regular clients who have become friends and a source of income away from the streets. "I have a magistrate, a financial adviser and a chap who supplies paper to the newspaper industry, and they are all gentlemen," she says with a smile. "It's a bit like going on a date. We go out like friends and have a lovely evening and then we have sex. The only difference is that they pay for it."

Perhaps the easiest money, however, comes from another regular, an airline pilot.

"Yes," Jenny chuckles. "He asks me to give him a bath, cover him in talcum powder, tuck him in bed and read him a bedtime story - Goldilocks and the Three Bears - and, er, that's it! And he pays me around £50 for that."

That's how Jenny sees the future - off the street and perhaps with one or two regulars. "I would love to stop," she says, "but I still have Julie and we still need to live. She couldn't make sense of what I do even if I tried to explain; but if she could, I hope she'd understand that I did it for her."

I know it has worked for her so far, but Jenny will only get in nice cars. I hope she does not believe that dodgy clients do not drive nice cars. This is clearly a streetworker who does not do drugs, and has clients who treat her with respect.

Here is the full article by Steve Boggan of the Guardian Newspaper

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It is deeply disturbing when the carers become careless.

I read this article, and was bewildered. It is worrying,when responsible adults who are paid to look after vulnerable children are unable to do so. I struggle with the possibility that some of these children may have been returned to their captors.

Forty-eight children illegally trafficked into Britain have disappeared while in the care of social services. More than half of the 80 children identified in a report on victims of trafficking have gone missing, according to an assessment of care provision in parts of the north-west, north-east and West Midlands.

The authors of the study of five local authorities warned that the 48 were only "the tip of the iceberg", and there are likely to be hundreds of child victims of smuggling who have escaped the radar of the social services. Many are thought to have been returned to the criminal gangs who smuggled them in - often for child "slavery" - or to have fled in fear that they would be recaptured.

The children were brought into the country to work as prostitutes, tend plants in cannabis factories or work as domestic servants, according Missing Out, a study published today by Ecpat, a coalition of children's charities. Others are believed to have been brought in for forced marriages or to work illegally in factories or restaurants.

Christine Beddoe, Ecpat's director, called for a national inquiry into the "deeply disturbing" findings. She said many social workers had told researchers that the immigration status of trafficked children was an obstacle to treating them as victims of human rights abuses. "From the moment children are passed into social service care they are defined as under 'immigration control'," she said. "Social workers are unsure of how to deal with them.

"One solution would be to provide residency permits or another form of visa to these children to allow them to stay in the country beyond the age of 18, when they are currently deported. This would enable social services to provide long-term care plans - something they find difficult."

Missing : 48 children trafficked into care an article by Paul Lewis of the Guardian newspaper

What I want to know is where were the carers?

How could all these minors have disappeared?

What is happening to Social Services?

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Does having to pay for it reflect something lacking in society

The issue of sexuality and disability is in the main brushed under the carpet. Some of my carers have been visibly embarrassed when sex has been mentioned or shown on a TV programme we have watched together. The general public do not view disabled people as sexual beings and many professionals and family members who are too uncomfortable to address this issue openly share this attitude. Strangely, talking to people - especially parents and carers - about death and dying may be easier than talking to them about sex.

Since I was 13 I have spent weekends at Helen House, a children's hospice in Oxford, and more recently Douglas House, a hospice for young adults. In 2004, when I was 20, I decided to broach the subject with one of the doctors whom I had known from the outset and whom I trusted. I was already aware that other people with disabilities used, for want of a better word, prostitutes, or more politely, sex workers. Although I had always hoped that sex would be just one part of a close relationship, I began to accept that this might not happen for me. I wanted to know what sex was like even if this meant that I had to pay someone. I know that this is not how everyone feels. Certainly my parents, while respecting my independence and right to decide for myself, had reservations and concerns. I understood this but was not to be swayed. I began to feel that I had the right to this experience and that, since I had the ability to see it through, I should persist.

After mulling things over, I felt I had already attempted to form relationships without success and firmly decided that I wished to experience sex without fear of rejection or the possibility of spoiling an existing friendship. With the help and friendship of Chris, one of the care team at Douglas House, I knew that the practicalities would be covered. We researched possibilities online so that matters such as cost and the suitability of the person could be ascertained. Although this sounds clinical I felt that I had to ensure I had done everything to achieve my aims.

Just after I had completed my final exams at university last May, the appointment was made with K, as I will call her. Her train was late, which did not help my nerves. She turned out to be an intelligent and pleasant woman, attractive, in her late 20s and unremarkable. She was warm and easy to talk to. She was likeable, and I guess that she was used to relating to nervous people as she put me at ease. I felt that she understood my situation and motivation. The two hours passed quickly and it was, you may say, satisfactory. She left when her taxi arrived and we said, as people do, "See you again".

Looking back, I am pleased I had the tenacity and commitment to see it through. The experience, while not emotionally fulfilling, gave me confidence and a sense that I was not missing out. I did not have unrealistically high expectations and perhaps in this respect I was luckier than some of my friends who found their first experience disappointing. I regret that I couldn't be like everyone else and share a first sexual relationship with someone I knew and loved, and part of me feels that having to resort to paying a woman for sex reflects something lacking in society, not least because I know that some people disapproved of my actions. Although my family have supported my choices, I know they would have preferred me not to do this, or perhaps not to be in a situation where I felt this was my only option. I know many are likely to consider it immoral, believing that sex is only acceptable in a relationship of love and equality.

I do not think I will necessarily choose to repeat the experience, although I have not ruled it out. Sexuality is more than just sex: it is about feeling attractive and attracted to others without feeling guilty or peculiar about something that is intrinsically part of being human. A cliche, I know, but it is about feeling comfortable in your own skin. My experience taught me a lot and gave me a sense of normality to a degree. It also helped me to realise that I could make things happen if I really wanted them enough. But it did not give me what I most want. I continue to hope that I may be able to establish a relationship with the right person. The same as any other "dude", as my older brother Tom would say, I want to be able to hold hands with someone, to love and be loved.

Here is the full article My lifelong desire by Nick Wallis for the Guardian newspaper.

Does having to pay for it reflect something lacking in society ?

Here is a very open and honest account from James B Logwriter. He says that men actually turn to prostitutes in the hope of rediscovering their potency and virility that they have lost in their marriages. When it works they feel like million dollars again, but unfortunately the new potency is rarely transferrable to the wife. Chemical, viagra-based potency, on the other hand, is the greatest marital aid known to man and woman, because it enables a man to have sex with a woman he can't stand the sight of.

He thinks Prostitution is the new cure for impotence, helped with Viagra !

My only concern with Viagra, is the fear that a client will have a heart attack. Some clients take it together with a concotion of other medication, and it does have its side effects.

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Different ways of dealing with cancellation between escorts and clients

Restaurant dining isn't cheap these days. Indeed, getting change out of £40 for drinks and dinner is a pretty mean challenge in the noughties. So, this week's widely reported story that many of the nation's best eateries are insisting on credit card numbers at the time of booking and, unless given plenty of notice of cancellation, charge a hefty fee for a no-show seems outrageous. A downright rip-off, in fact.

The three-Michelin-starred Fat Duck in Bray charges £80 per person for cancellations with less than two days' notice. At the two-Michelin-starred Le Gavroche, in London, the charge is £60 per head for no-shows, with Le Pont de la Tour, The Square and Bentley's among the capital's other restaurants to be named and shamed. Surely they should be red-faced about such hard-to-swallow policies?

We all accept when we buy theatre, gig, airline or non-flexible train tickets that we forfeit the cost if we don't show up, so why should restaurants be different? In any case, those who call a restaurant at short notice with a genuine illness or catastrophe to report will often find a compassionate ear and the cancellation fee waived. Not such a nasty taste in the mouth after all.

Dinner's off but you should still brace yourself for the bill the full article by Gaby Huddart for the Guardian newspaper.

I read the article, and my instant reaction was a cancellation charge for a restaurant was harsh. However, I can now see why it is necessary.

I wondered how it would be enforced in the world of escorting. I guess it is easier to enforce, for those escorts who get paid before they have met their clients.

I had a conversation with an escort friend last year, who felt guilty as she had to cancel a new client at the last minute. Life can, and does get in the way. She was uncomfortable with having let this client down, and offered him a freebie! I could not believe my ears. I did not think the client would accept the offer, and at least pay her something. However he did take up her offer.

Now this is what I call customer service, that you cannot beat. I do not know many escorts who would do this.

Do you?

I then read that Chevalier makes it up to you for a last minute cancellation or no show by paying the full fee .

He feels that it is only right and proper. If only all clients felt the same way.Good to know that men like Chevalier exist.

I have to admit, I have not had a problem with cancellations since I started escorting. Clients that have cancelled, have done so, in an appropriate time frame.

What are your views on cancellation ?

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Anonymous and Non Anonymous Escort Blogs

Peridot Ash inspired this post by saying that I dare to blog attached to my escort identity here.

I found her remark funny, and I think I understand what she is saying. I am sure Peridot Ash will come in and correct me, if I have misunderstood her.

As you know I started blogging at the end of October last year. It was not something that I had given much thought to. I have a side to my personality that is impulsive. I decided that I would give it a go one day, and did. I had no idea how many escort blogs existed.

After I took the initial step, I started to read a number of escort blogs, most of which were anonymous. I picked up that most anonymous escort bloggers, felt that if you were not anonymous, you were advertising, plain and simple.

Now I must be thick. When I started blogging, or whenever I come up with a post, I do not think, " I have to advertise my ass, while I am doing this."

I just write what is on my mind, what moves me, puzzles me, saddens me, amuses me, or pisses me off. Yes, my blog is attached to my site, but the intention was not to write the blog, to bring in clients. It was to express myself, and have a conversation with my readers.

I never considered blogging anonymously, because I have to confess, I do not want anyone to question that I am not the person writing the blog ie, I could be a man.

I have had feedback from some individuals who believe that my blog will filter my clients. Again, this was not my intention, but I can see how that could be possible.

I also wonder whether there is a feeling of contempt from anonymous escort bloggers, towards non anonymous escort bloggers; because they feel the latter cannot and do not tell the truth about their experiences.

I have read blogs that I believe are purely about advertising, where escorts have different photos of themselves, in every post,. Most of these bloggers never mention any encounters with their clients, and the content is all positive.It could be true.

This is where I agree with Peridot Ash. The content is watered down in these blogs. I get the impression that Peridot Ash feels I say a bit too much for an escort who is not anonymous.

I write how I see things, and if that prevents some clients from booking me, so be it.

I think it is similar to some of the issues raised in the reviews post.

We can get so caught up thinking that everyone reads our blogs, when it is only a minority of people who do.Most of the people who do are bloggers. The number of people who read my professional site, far outweigh the numbers who read my blog.

We all know how difficult it is to get clients to read our rates, and the text on our professional sites, right?

Given the large numbers of calls we receive from men who cannot take in what is written on our professional sites; how the hell do we expect them to make the leap and read our blogs?????

You tell me?

I read Peridot Ash and Mercurial Girl's blogs daily, and enjoy them. I accept that when you blog anonymously you have a certain level of freedom. You can write with reckless abandon if you wish, and noone knows who you are, and how to find you.It is a safer option, however some anonymous bloggers have been tracked down, and some have felt they need to change their blogs to invitation only. I feel the snoops have more motivation towards anonymous bloggers, the sense of gratification is greater.

Here is Mercurial girl's view on non anonymous bloggers.

Clearly, escort bloggers write what they want to write and how they want to write it.

The escort blogs that I enjoy most are anonymous.

I suppose I do not fit the profile of the sterotypical non anonymous blogger, or maybe I do.

You tell me?

Have a good weekend!

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Cyberstalking,obsessive clients and escorts

Cyberstalking and obsessive clients and escorts, is something that we all need to be wary of.

Unfortunately, this type of behaviour is not always something that you can pick up immediately in an email, on the phone, or even on a first meeting.

An escort friend was stalked by a client, who she had met several times. He started threatening to attack her, and harassed her after a number of meetings. When I asked her what he was like when they first met, she said he was fine. He resorted to waiting outside her house every day, and she eventually moved.

I read on a messageboard about something similar happening, to another escort. The client had broken into her home, and rearranged the furniture. He used to wait outside her home, and monitor who she saw.

I think the risks are high ,for women who work from their homes, and tell their clients that is their home.

I have read about clients who have been stalked on the messageboards. Escorts, have been able to track down where they work, harass them, and call their colleagues, and bosses at work. Some have contacted wives, and been to children's schools.

This applies to escorts being stalked by other escorts too.

There are individuals who lurk on messageboards, who look for victims. I see it on different messageboards, and a number of people have stories to tell,that are unsettling.

It seems to be part of the culture.

You do not have to be part of messageboard culture to be stalked.

These sorts of experiences are enough for anyone to leave the industry.

I have had experience of this, but managed to nip it in the bud quickly.

In one case, I had difficulty with a client who I chose not to see, after a number of meetings. I assumed because of my client's background, his marital status, his upbringing etc, he would not resort to this. Well, I learned something new.

The other case, was a boyfriend who I dumped, who felt by harassing me I would give in.

I found that it was pointless looking for motives from lunatics. The best thing to do is get the authorities involved immediately.

I came across this article on the topic yesterday.

When Karen Allison ended her marriage she knew her husband wouldn't let her go quietly. "He had been abusive," she says, "so I expected him to punish me for leaving."

She was right. Last November, Darlington magistrates court heard evidence of a two-year campaign of harassment Thomas Welsh had directed at Allison since their split. Immediately after ending their relationship, she had been bombarded with sexually explicit text messages and photographs on her mobile phone. Worse was to come. She soon discovered that her details had been posted on a website aimed at cross-dressers and sado-masochists, where she had been advertised as being "available for sexual services". "It was horrific," she says. "I was getting all these disgusting emails and phone calls."

The court fined Welsh, imposed an indefinite restraining order banning him from going within 100 yards of Allison and also banned him from putting her details on the internet.

In the most recent British Crime Survey, published last summer, 8% of women and 6% of men said they had been stalked within the previous year. And 20% of all women are stalked at some stage of their lives. In the case of men stalking women, the harassment usually starts when a woman ends an abusive relationship or rejects the sexual advances of a man prone to violence and jealousy. According to research carried out at Leicester University, more than 200 women leave the UK each year because a stalker has made their lives unbearable; the average length of time that a woman is stalked is seven and a half years.

Cyber-stalking - the use of technology such as the internet and mobile phone - to track victims has increased sharply in the past few years. Many of the offenders are men who are disgruntled and angry at being rejected by their partners. Rather than creeping around outside the victim's home, or following her to work, though, some of these men, as Allison found, post details of their victim on websites containing sexually explicit material.

Others email pornographic photographs and videos of the victim (often taken without her knowledge or consent) to family members and work colleagues

Such men, according to Hamish Brown, a former police officer and an expert on stalking and harassment, fit the profile of the "obsessional stalker" - an ex-partner who refuses to believe that a relationship is over. "These men refuse to give up, however clearly the victim tells him she doesn't want to know. He has this attitude of, 'If I can't have her, no one will'," says Brown

"Simon knew I had been raped when I was 13, although he insisted on calling it 'surprise sex'. He discovered my email address and password and then would subscribe me to really violent rape sites."

Thompson's ex had used a method common to cyber-stalkers - tracing their victim's email address and sending messages from that address containing offensive, pornographic and even libellous material.

According to research by an expert on stalking, Dr Lorraine Sheridan of Leicester University, half of all victims are now harassed via the internet. And despite the image of the stalker as a creepy loner, there is a growing online community to help and support the cyber-stalker's efforts. So-called "revenge" websites, such as Avengers Den and Get Revenge on Your Ex, are becoming more popular, says Sheridan.

These sites are not specifically targeted at men wanting to exact revenge on women (there are women who post on such sites, often describing how they sent advertisements for Viagra, or penile enlargement operations) and there are no figures to give a breakdown on the gender of users. But trawling through them, the majority of those leaving posts seem to be men.

"Whether the stalker harasses his victim by letter, in person or by email is irrelevant," says Brown. "But victims of cyber-stalking have often told me they get terrified of the 'invisible' stalker who is hiding in cyberspace, because he could be anyone and everywhere."

The good news is that cyber-stalkers are more likely to be caught than others, because there is usually a trail of evidence from computers and mobile phones. However, stalkers are usually determined, and often put time and effort into becoming technical experts.

Here is the full article by Julie Bindel of the Guardian

I read this article a few minutes ago, and my heart sank. She was a well respected member of a board that I belong to. May she rest in peace, and my thoughts and prayers go out to her friends and family.

Hooker to the Stars murdered by Virginia Wheeler,Anthony France and Tony Bonnici of the Sun Newspaper.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Glengarry Leads, blogging and the dreaded comments 0

There are some blogs that I read daily, and others that I read occasionally. The Glengarry Leads is one of my daily reads. I was saddened to read his post yesterday,
, threatening to stop blogging.

Glengarry cannot understand why lots of people read his blog, and yet, noone talks back compared to those who read.The ratio is sick.

I have only been blogging for over two months now, and I can see what Glengarry is saying. I think it goes with the territory. I know how many people come in to read, but few people comment. I am happy that some people read, and that there are a loyal group who return regularly. I appreciate the comments that readers leave, but I guess I do not feel it would get me down if noone commented. There are some blogs that I come across, that I do not feel I have anything to comment on, ever.

I take what Glengarry says about feeling that he does not have that much to say any longer. I suppose that happens to all bloggers at some point.

Glengarry if you are reading this, please do not stop blogging. I find your blog, entertaining, thought provoking and informative. I feel you have a lot to say.

Here is James's B's view on Glengarry's post yesterday, and his view on why readers do not leave comments.

I came across this article in the Guardian, on how Blogs can be a place for great debate.

In Nobody's Perfect, his brilliant collection of reviews and essays, the New Yorker's film critic, Anthony Lane, writes: "I am merely starting an argument, as everyone does over dinner, or in a crowded bar, after going to see a film, and [the reader's] freedom to disagree is part of the fun." What an urbane, civilised vision of reader-critic interaction that is. I'd love to see his reaction to the Guardian arts blog, where the dynamic often suggests that the argument has spilled out of the crowded bar and escalated into a brawl in the car park.

I'd like to think this was a good thing. Certainly, it is an education. Like backroom comedy writers dragooned into performing late-night stand-up in a club full of tetchy drunks, this paper's critics have had to learn to deal with hecklers very quickly. The first time I experienced it, my offering was described as "stereotypically self-indulgent Guardian wank bordering on self-parody". I sulked for a bit, then got over it. All but the kindest critics have written unpleasant things about artists in their field, so we should learn to take a few knocks.

I'm not convinced, though, that what might politely be described as "robust" debate on the blog generates light as well as heat. The internet has always licensed people to be far ruder than they would be in a face-to-face encounter. In 1990, US attorney Mike Godwin formulated Godwin's Law: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." Similarly, as an arts blog discussion grows longer, the probability of the writer being branded "smug", "pointless", "arrogant" or "London-obsessed" approaches one.
There is an appetite for genuine debate on the web, but it is often drowned out by the howling of people who seem to regard the very existence of professional critics as an outrageous affront. The subtext is this: anyone can be a critic, so anyone who has the temerity to be paid for the privilege deserves to be put in the stocks.

Many of the people who post on blogs appear to be annoyed not by what the writers say so much as the fact that they're in a position to say it. You can spot this type because they write things like: "You've only written this to provoke a reaction." Or: "Why did you even write this? What a waste of time." As if writing to complain about a waste of time were not, in fact, a bigger waste of time. Or, my favourite: "Typical Guardian." Perhaps they also post on the website of Practical Caravan magazine, complaining: "Typical Practical Caravan. So caravancentric."

The most belligerent voices on the blogs speak with either a weary, condescending sneer or a florid pomposity redolent of Ignatius J Reilly in A Confederacy of Dunces. If, as they imply, their taste is flawless and their intellect mighty, then perhaps they could find a better use for these prodigious gifts than taking potshots on websites. Just a thought.

These are relatively early days. With time and luck, the good will out and the bad will lose the chips from their shoulders; or, failing that, find something better to do with those slow periods at work. Until then, at least, every critic knows that it is always better to be read than ignored. No amount of abuse at the foot of a blog is quite as disheartening as the dread phrase: "Comments (0)".

Here is the full article by Dorian Lynskey of the Guardian newspaper.

Calling all my hecklers. Blogs will be a great place for debate-once all that anger dies down.

What is your view on leaving comments?

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Reviews becoming a science

Compartments has a comprehensive post on Escort Reviews how important are they. She raises a number of important points about whether they are helpful or hurt, and the sinister side to reviews.

What was also raised was the corruption of board owners who exploit newbies.
This happens in London, too. Word gets round fast on who to avoid.This is not necessarily information that you can pick up on escort only boards, but via escorts that you are in contact with.As Compartments points out, some clients blackmail escorts, and threaten to write negative reviews if they do not provide a discount, or certain type of service.

I agree with Compartments. It is important to remember that not all clients know that review sites exist, or even bother with them. However, they can help your business. The increasing number of women who are involved in bait and switch, makes some clients wary, and why not, as they are spending large amounts of money. So having a review, I believe gives an escort credibility.

It can become complex when escorts provide X to a chosen few, who then betray their confidence, and write about it. I read this on a messageboard on my weekly catch up, and members could not understand how this client stated that the escort had provided X. Why had they not been given the same treatment, these men were puzzled. Clearly an escort has a right to do as she pleases, with whoever she pleases. I guess the reviewer wanted to show the other members that he was the special guy.

I have a friend who was a victim of a hate campaign last year, and had a string of malicious reviews, which were all deleted. I believe that the negative publicity did not affect her business in any way. If anything, it drove more traffic to her site, her phone was still ringing off the hook, and her workload did not decrease.

Clients have told me that having a few negative reviews,is not harmful. This gives the impression that the positive reviews that you have are not fake.

There are a number of pimps, insecure escorts, and disgruntled clients out there, who make it their business to write these types of reviews. In some cases these types of reviews can kill an escort's business, if she does not have a high profile, or only relies on review sites. If she markets herself widely, it does not make a difference.

The other issue, is that escorts are reinventing themselves all the time. In fact there are a number of escorts who have multiple sites, and the clients are none the wiser. On Captain 69, there is a facility on the review form, where a client can report an escort who has a number of aliases, or who used to work under a different name.

On Punternet, if you think your reviews are malicious, you can contact Galahad who will investigate, and they will be removed. There are some individuals who have a knack of having any review that is negative removed. So the system is not foolproof.

There is the whole issue of graphic vs non graphic reviews. I have to say when I discovered that reviews existed, I was stunned and fascinated. I could not believe that clients put pen to paper after an encounter. There is a school of thought that believes that a true gentleman would not write a review. I do not feel I can censor what a client writes about me. If he chooses to review, he writes what he likes. So, I have no control about whether the content is graphic or not.

Some escorts ask clients for reviews, and some offer discounts to clients who write reviews.

Chevalier has an interesting post on the accuracy of reviews in his post on belief vs scepticism.

He has another post discussing escorts who say they do not want reviews here. He makes an interesting point about how escorts who say they do not want reviews would rather rely on word of mouth advertising. His point is that reviews are word of mouth advertising.

What I have observed recently is escorts who are high profile, and have multiple reviews, asking new clients to not review them. Similar to the issues that I raised in the happiness,luxuries and necessities post.

I believe that reviews are a necessary evil. I have picked up from messageboards and clients that without them, you could be perceived as having something to hide if you say you do not want reviews, by some clients.

I have had a number of clients who stated they would not have seen me, without them.

An escort can still get work without them, the question is how much of a difference does it make to your business when you do have them?

It is a business at the end of the day,whichever way you choose to look at it.

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Monday, January 08, 2007

Too close for comfort

I did my weekly catch up on a messageboard at the weekend.

I came across a post where someone mentioned that a famous escort who he saw, told him that a client turned up at her day job, and made it obvious that he knew that she was an escort. She thought he was a shit for doing so.

The thought of this happening to me is unsettling.

I am aware that some of my clients have just as much to lose as I do. They are married, high powered professionals, who could not deal with the embarassment. If their wives found out, they would be taken to the cleaners. However, there is a group of men, who do not give a damn.

Reading that post on the messageboard, was a reminder as to why I do not give personal information to most of my clients. I have done, with some of my regulars, but they are in the minority. I know some escorts who tell all their clients their real names, and where they work, as they find it easier to deal with. Good luck to them.

Last year I had a booking with someone who works in the same field that I do, outside of this industry. If I had this information, before I saw him, I would not have taken the booking. I recognise that it is unlikely that a client would disclose his occupation to you, unless you have had lots of email contact,are on a dinner/lunch date or he feels he wants you to know.

The chances of me bumping into this man professionally are very high, and god knows what I will do, when that happens. I do not like to mix this life, with my other life, but it feels that the two may merge now. Something that I thought was impossible.

I have to confess, that I made some assumptions. I did not think that there was any possibility that men who worked in my profession could ever be clients. A classic case of having a false sense of security. Total wake up call!

*gets flame retardent coat, and runs for cover*

Have any of you been in a similar situation?

If so, when you bumped into the individual, did they breach your confidentiality?

How did you handle it?

He has no idea what I do outside of this industry, so will be shocked if and when we do meet.

Two more additions to my sidebar.

Chevalier, who is based in Texas, who writes about his encounters with escorts and the scene.

Not just another John is forty something, divorced, has seen escorts. He is in a relationship with an escort, and bares his soul in his blog.

Pay them both a visit.

Have a good week.

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Becoming An Ex-Sex Worker

This is another paper by Teela Sanders who wrote
Sex work is a risky business, which is on my booklist on the sidebar.

Teela, has kindly given me permission to share this paper with my readers, as it is not available on the internet. Thank you Teela.

This is the type of information that Margaret is looking for.

This article has four core aims. First, to identify the processes of change women undertake
to leave sex work through a typology of transitions. The typology suggests four dominant
ways out of sex work as reactionary, gradual planning, natural progression, and
“yo-yoing.” Second, the article argues against the low self-control theory by asserting that
sex workers engage in specific deviant “careers” rather than stable deviant roles and,
therefore, exit to “complete conformist” once sex work is ceased. Third, it rejects
Mansson and Hedin’s claim that the “emotional commitment” of individual women is the
key factor to leaving and instead argues that structural, political, cultural, and legal factors
as well as cognitive transformations and agency are key determinants in trapping
women in the industry. Fourth, the article challenges the U.K. policy context that reinforces
“exiting” through compulsory rehabilitation and the criminalization of sex work.

Becoming An Ex-Sex Worker

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Saturday, January 06, 2007


Blueslady, has inspired this post. She made a comment in the Frames of reference,victimisation and stigma post.

This is the bit that inspired this post.

"When I finally retire and fade back into obscurity, I will not regret what I have done, but perhaps I will reflect upon the effect my actions had upon others. We are not common en masse, at least we do have a respect for our bodies and charge for the privelege. Some women actually give it away, can you believe that :) "

I have given this some thought over the past few days. I am not sure where I am with regret. I think , I regret having to lie to those close to me. I am open with close friends and family, and this is one instance where being open would cause pain, and ruin relationships. I am not prepared to do that.

I do not feel that escorting is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I know it is for some escorts. However, there are some things that I have learned via escorting, that I would never have been exposed to otherwise. I know that some of my attitudes and assumptions have changed, and that has been valuable for my own personal development.

I came across this yesterday.

From the Preface to a 1964 book, The Transparent self by Sidney Jourard

"A choice that confronts every one of us at every moment is this: Shall we permit our fellow men to know us as we now are, or shall we seek instead to remain an enigma, an uncertain quantity, wishing to be seen as something we are not?

This choice has always been available to us, but throughout history we have chosen to conceal our authentic being behind various masks. We usually assume that the other man is hiding or misrepresenting his real feelings, his intentions, or his past because we generally do so ourselves. We take it for granted that when a man speaks about himself, he is telling more or less than the unvarnished truth as he knows it.

We conceal and camouflage our true being before others to foster a sense of safety, to protect ourselves against unwanted but expected criticism, hurt, or rejection. This protection is purchased at a steep price. When we are not truly known by the other people in our lives, we are misunderstood. When we are not known, even by family and friends, we join the all-too-numerous "lonely crowd". Worse, when we succeed too well in hiding our being from others, we tend to lose touch with our real selves, and this loss of self contributes to illness in its myriad forms.

The curious thing to me, as a psychologist, is that we have not seriously questioned man's decision to hide rather than to reveal himself. Indeed, self-concealment is regarded as the most natural state for grown men. People who reveal themselves in simple honesty are sometimes seen as childish, crazy, or naive, as for example, in Dostoievsky's novel The Idiot, or Melville's Billy Budd. The uncritical assumption that concealment is the natural state for man, more natural than candor, has given rise to many stratagems for getting inside a man's defenses and pretensions. The stratagems run the gamut from attempting to get a man drunk to asking him to report his dreams or to indicate what he sees in some ink blots. Here, the assumption is that he will then, in spite of himself, give some hints of what he has been hiding.

Yet, recent experience and research is beginning to show that such methods of getting to know a person, or getting him to "open up" are unnecessary when a man wants to be known. Under these conditions, he will do everything in his power to make sure that the other person's image of him is as accurate as possible."


Do you have any regrets as an escort or client?

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Totally Inappropriate

Last month in Waco, Texas, a four-year-old boy was suspended for "inappropriate physical behaviour interpreted as sexual contact and/or sexual harassment" after he hugged a teacher's aide. The pre-kindergartener had "rubbed his face in the chest of the female employee". The father objected, saying that his son didn't know what sex was. The month before, two Dallas middle-school girls were punished for hugging in the hallway. Hugging, said the principal, "increases the chances of inappropriate touching". Before Christmas, a five-year-old boy in Maryland was suspended for pinching the bum of a female classmate, which constituted "inappropriate physical conduct of a sexual nature". His father also despaired: "He knows nothing about sex. There's no way to explain what he's been written up for."

What are kids meant to make of a world of such mixed signals? On the one hand, Pamela Anderson boasts on stage during her media roast on cable television last summer that she has "a really tight . . ." - well, now I'll be coy, but it has something to do with cats. On the other hand, hugging your teacher at the age of four gets you booted out of class. Popular culture grows only more licentious, while standards of the "appropriate" at work and in school grow only more strict. Moreover, the "new" priggishness in education is a cover for an age-old discomfort that children are anatomically correct.

In any event, you can bet that those kids in Texas and Maryland have been successfully traumatised, even if they had no idea what they did wrong. They'll have felt the stinging, clinging mortification that I remember all too well from my own childhood, in relation to anything from pee to poo "down there". Too, in an incest-touchy climate, will we soon revoke the right of parents to hug their own children? I don't call this progress.
What are we supposed to make of a world in which a four year old is thrown out of school for hugging? An article by Lionel Shriver for the Guardian.

Could someone please explain to me what is going on?

I read the article and was bewildered, I find it ridiculous.

I think Lionel raises some important points. The kids in the US are receiving numerous mixed messages, from what they see on the TV and on the street.

How do they make sense of this?

I have had some inappropriate moments

1. I went for an interview a number of years ago. The Interviewer was male, and as I walked out the door, shook his hand, he grabbed my breast and squeezed it. I was so stunned I could not do or say anything. Clearly, that was not a company I would ever work for.
2. Last year when I was on holiday, the Manager of the hotel I was in, had gone out of his way to make my mother's birthday special. I went to his office to thank him. Again, as I am walking out the door, he gave me a slobbery kiss. Ugh! It was awkward, as I pulled away, and he disappeared for the rest of our stay at the hotel.

Have you had any situations that are inappropriate?

I have added Chiara di Notte to my sidebar. She blogs in Italian,pay her a visit. Chiara I realised a few days ago that you had linked to me, thank you.

Have a good weekend!

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Shopkeepers exchange sex in return for clothes

I had mentioned in my unexpected requests post that I had seen escorts offering their services on messageboards in exchange for different services.

These are Bluesladys comments in the unexpected requests post

"I have had offers of work in exchange for "favours". I have also had artists offering to let me have their work in exchange for mine.

The reason I always decline has nothing to do with undervaluing either individual, but simply it crosses boundaries, or makes them fuzzy at the edges. There is nothing quite as clinical as cold hard cash at the end of a lovely encounter. Everyone knows where they stand,and a return visit is far more likely :) "

I came across an interesting article yesterday, and women seem to be doing it in Iran.

1.Estimated number of Iranian women who work as prostitutes,300,000.
2.Average age of prostitutes in Iran 20. Many are girls who have run away from home.

In a smart boutique displaying an array of miniskirts and skimpy tops, the shopkeeper was too busy attending to his female customers to listen to a sermon on HIV/Aids. "I don't know anything about it at all. Come back after I've finished with my customers," he told the volunteer health education worker.

In the Qaem mall in north Tehran's affluent Tajrish district, where two floors are dedicated to women's fashion, several shopkeepers admitted to first-hand experience of receiving offers of sex. Arash, 23, said he had been propositioned 40 or 50 times in his store. "I reckon that 50% of shopkeepers have accepted sex in return for clothes," he said.

Ahmed Reza, 23, admitted having accepted such offers. "I was sitting outside the shop when two women came and said they wanted to try various manteaus [overcoats]," he said. "They asked for a bargain and I offered them the standard discount. But they said, 'We cannot pay that - if you give us a good discount and your mobile number, we will serve you'. So I gave them more discount and got their mobile numbers.

"I can tell a prostitute by their attitudes and body language. When she asks the price of something, I say it's much more than it really is. Then I reduce it when she asks for discount, so she think she's getting a great bargain and offers sex."

Deals between prostitutes and boutique owners raise fears over spread of disease, an article by Robert Tait of the Guardian.

Escort Advertising

I have come across some interesting posts by other bloggers regarding escorts advertising on the internet versus paper advertising.

LA Player has an intersting post on Price,Law and sex travel.

His post mentions that it is cheaper to advertise in the paper, where he is. This is not the case in the UK. Conversations that I have had with other escorts who advertise in papers, or magazines in London, prove that they spend more money on their advertising.

You pay X pounds to advertise on Eros per month. If I was to put an ad in my local paper it would cost me three times what I would pay for an Eros ad. The same applies to topshelf magazines. When the Herald Tribune ran ads, that was pretty expensive too, but the advertising was worth it. There are other magazines that are just as pricey. A friend had given me the name of a magazine that she used, that had rates that were in line with internet based sites. It did not work for me, but then I only advertised there for two months. I think the women who advertise in papers or magazines, are trying to cover all bases, and clearly not all clients look on the internet. The internet is easier for me. My friends who advertise in papers have hundreds, and I mean hundreds of calls per day. I could not deal with this. Their rates tend to be lower, in most cases, however they are busy. I believe you get more exposure on the internet. I am happy with internet advertising.

Here is a post from the Saafe site in the UK.Where to advertise.

Note that they do not mention any paper advertising. The cost of advertising on Punternet is very cheap and as they are the largest, most well known site in the UK, they send lots of traffic to anyone who advertises on there. On Captain 69, you pay for yearly membership, which is reasonable, and you can advertise on there.

Glengarry Leads has just come back from LA, and his post shows that paper advertising is working there.

Scarface thinks it is money down the drain in his post.

I know that it works for some escorts, but it is not a form of advertising that I want to use, as I am happy with what I do. As I said, the volume of calls is a major deterrent for me. I think there are also limitations on what you can put in your ads.

I read this story yesterday, and have so much respect for what Oprah Winfrey does.

Oprah Winfrey was already the planet's most watched talkshow host, one of America's most successful magazine publishers, a billionaire, an Oscar-nominated actor, the most important black philanthropist in the US and, according to several assessments, the most influential woman in the world.

So from one perspective, the school that she opened for 152 poor South African girls outside Johannesburg yesterday was perhaps not all that significant. But that was not how it felt for Buhle Zulu, 12, who found herself whisked from sleeping on a floor with six family members in Soweto to her own bedroom and bathroom in the site, funded with $40m (£20m) of Winfrey's $1.5bn fortune. The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls also features computer and science laboratories, a theatre, library, gymnasium, health centre, sports fields and beauty salon.

"I went to their homes. I know all of them by name. Their story is my story," Winfrey said. She had chosen "every brick, tile, sheet and spoon" in the academy herself, she added.

Mr Mandela, the 88-year-old former South African president, was helped to the stage by Winfrey. "The key to any country's future is in educating its youth," he told the audience. "Oprah is therefore not only investing in a few young individuals but in the future of our country. We are indebted to her for her selfless efforts. This is a lady that, despite her own disadvantaged background, has become one of the benefactors of the disadvantaged throughout the world and we should congratulate her for that."

"Their story is my story" an article by Andrew Meldrum of the Guardian.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Cold calling is this how it works these days

The third series of Desperate Housewives starts today. I have to confess that I am one of many women who mourned the end of, Sex and the City and use Desperate Housewives as a substitute.

The critics say that the writers are struggling in the third series. Something to look forward to on Wednesday evenings.For those of you who may judge me for my choice of entertainment, a girl has to have some way of switching off.

I got a call from someone over the weekend who claimed he got my number from his colleague. He said that he ran an agency, and they were overbooked. He wanted to know whether I would have been available for an Incall yesterday.He asked whether I was interested, and my response was no. End of conversation.

I listened to his spiel, and at no point did he tell me who he was, or who had given him my number. This sort of thing is not an option for me. I tend to err on the side of caution.

I wonder how many women would have taken him up on his offer?

I had a similar call last year, but this was a woman who claimed to be recruiting escorts and models. She added that when Music celebrities were in town, she needed escorts. I was not interested in this either.

She was frustrated by my response, and wondered why she had a similar response from all the escorts she had called. I told her that in this industry, you need to be careful, and she could be a scammer.

Are times changing?

I assumed that Agencies, waited for women to approach them.

Has the Escort agency recruiting strategy changed, to calling anyone who has an internet presence, checking whether they want any extra work?

Or is this a new Scam?

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Achievable goals for 2007

I cannot believe that Saddam Hussein is dead. I watched it on the news, and had mixed feelings about his execution. I wonder whether he would have been better off stewing in a jail indefinitely. It seems that he was showing some signs of fear at the final hour, but still cocky. I hope things change for Iraq, but it seems that the killings still continue regardless. What a mess, it is so sad.

Last year, I was able to stick to most of my resolutions, which is new for me. I will try again this year.

1. Continue to go to the gym, at least three times a week ,managed that last year, but stopped going during December.

2. Watch what I eat, and continue to count the calories achieved amazing results with this, but it was such a struggle.

3. Have at least one beach holiday, on a tropical island once a year was able to do that, but not sure about this year.

4.See more of my close friends last year it was hard to meet with friends juggling everything I do, but I will try.

5. Try and get more ironing done. Had piles of ironing all over the place last year. Afraid of ironing 24/7 like Jo, who loves it.

6. Hold back from throwing crockery at Beau, when he misinterprets my posts, could not contain myself last year.

7. Try and read more. I need to do a lot of reading for my non escort related work,this fell by the wayside last year, and I read for leisure.I am a bookaholic. The problem is I need to buy less books, as my flat is overrun by books. I lend books to friends, and colleagues, and rarely get them back, and give away books that do not make an impression on me. This one may be hard to achieve.

8.Have at least one massage a month, Had six massages last year, not enough for a girl like me.

9.Try and find some more work, as I lost some work(non escort related) last year.

10. Increase some of my rates by the end of January.

11. Continue to declutter. I am a pack rat, and have no space for everything.

I wonder what I will achieve.

For those of you who are having difficulty with your resolutions, you can sign up here, Psychologist seek key to succesful new year resolutions, an experiment in the UK.

Have a great year !

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Frames of reference,stigma and victimisation

I noticed over the weekend that I had a lot of visitors from Margaret's site. I had a look, and lo and behold, my name had been mentioned. Thanks to my friend James B, no need to apologise James, you did not drag me in. I am clear about your intentions so do not worry.

This is Margaret's profile, she is a Humanist.

"I'm a grumpy old woman. I'd grow old disgracefully, but it’s tiring. That whooshing sound is my life, flying by while I procrastinate. I write, paint, draw, and let the ironing pile up until there's nothing left to wear. Where’s the pause button."

The post that I was directed to, was a response to this one.

This is the post that caught my eye,

"I’ll probably regret this…

In response to my post, "The Oldest Profession", someone calling himself James B Logwriter tried to post a comment that I rejected, but I've been thinking about it. He wrote,

I don’t really agree, because I don't think you know anything about prostitution, and you can't imagine working as a prostitute.
There are many different levels of prostitution, and it has a different significance in different cultures. Since I have written many thousands of words about prostitution on my own blog, I am not going to repeat here, but you might also be interested to read the blog of my friend Nia, who is a prostitute, and also a damn good writer.

I’d dispute the description of Nia as a “damn good writer”, but Mr Logwriter’s taste in writers (and other matters) is clearly very different from mine.

He said, “… you can’t imagine working as a prostitute,” but I can; I’d just rather not. Judging from Nia’s blog, her approach to prostitution might be safer than the street-walkers who’ve been murdered in Ipswich, but it’s still a dangerous game.

Anyway, I investigated Mr Logwriter’s blog, and his friend Nia’s, and several others that link to theirs. They make depressing reading.

In the BHA forum I referred to prostitute’s clients as “… generally emotionally inadequate, for a variety of reasons. They are also highly irresponsible, because most are unwilling to be tested or treated for sexually transmitted diseases - most HIV is spread by heterosexual activity, where men infect their innocent partners and, in turn, their children.”

One of the men who’ve contributed to the thread wrote,

What does “emotionally inadequate” mean? Inadequate for what? I’m not aware that there’s much known about men who frequent prostitutes - they are even harder to study than the prostitutes themselves. What are you basing this assertion on?
I meant that men who regularly pay for sex appear to lack the emotional wherewithal to deal with life as mature individuals, by failing to control their impulses and by treating women’s bodies as commodities. Do they regard prostitutes as different from other women, by deluding themselves that they’re more sexual? Or do they think that all reasonably attractive women are potential prostitutes? However they feel about women in general, their attitude towards prostitutes must involve emotional distance while engaged in sexual intimacy. If they can do this while using a prostitute, is it something they turn on and off at will? How do they relate to the other women in their lives?

Most of the humanists I know try to live ethically – they’re environmentally aware, they avoid doing anything that exploits other people or animals, and they buy fair trade goods. Prostitution isn’t a fair trade. It involves some of the poorest, most vulnerable women, who are manipulated, abused and trafficked in huge numbers. The call girls who are simply expensive prostitutes may say that they do what they do freely, but read what they say and tell me, honestly, that they’re well-balanced, happy individuals."

Margaret's response to some comments.

"Nia, I didn't imagine that you worked for anyone but yourself. However, your post "Trust, betrayal, vulnerability and security" describes a world where you have to be constantly on your guard. As for being "well-balanced"; I don't regard sex work as being psychologically healthy for anyone, however strong a case some "feminist" sex-workers may make. Feminism means the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of sexual equality, and the relationship between a prostitute and a client is essentially unequal.

It's a waste of time trying to achieve any sort of agreement with buyers of sex - I have no respect for them, and never will. Nathan mentioned "brick walls" when we last discussed the subject, very briefly.

The only prostitutes I've known were at the bottom of the heap (as most are). They sold sex for a variety of reasons, mainly poverty, and were definitely not happy hookers.

I've ordered the book by Julia O'Connell Davidson that Nia recommends, as well as The Idea of Prostitution by Sheila Jeffreys, which "explores the idea of men's entitlement to abuse and profit from the abuse of women in prostitution".

The women who've been murdered in my area were young street-walkers, so especially vulnerable. I've considered the argument about legalising prostitution, but the evidence so far suggests that it doesn't reduce the risks to women like them, or reduce all the associated problems with drug use, crime and sex trafficking

However many examples the contributors might offer of supposedly harmless transactions as sellers or buyers, the overwhelming evidence is that prostitution is an internationally destructive activity that exploits and degrades women.

It's unlikely that I'll allow any more comments on this post, unless they can refer me to reliable sources of information about the psychology of the buyers and/or projects that have successfully helped women escape the so-called "industry". (I know about the Poppy project)."

Why Whoremongering is wrong, Margaret's post

Reading Margaret's post raised a number of issues for me.

I feel strongly about what happened in Ipswich, as you all know, and have posts about it.I can understand some of what Margaret is saying, and her concern about what happened.I share Margaret's concerns about women who are coerced or trafficked into prostitution.

However there are a number of things I feel I need and want to make clear to my readers.

The majority of readers of my blog are lurkers, and rarely comment. I have no control over how you interpret what I write. However there are some things that I feel I need and I want to make clear to you.

I work independently, have no pimp, manager or boyfriend who shares my earnings.

2.Why I started escorting.

3. Do I find what I do degrading?

4. Writing my blog is a form of self expression for me. I know that there is a school of thought that believes if you are not an anonymous escort blogger, you need to portray your clients in a positive light at all times; or else you are doomed.

I do not fall into this category, and write about the difficult issues that I face with my clients. So, I guess I am doomed, right?

I am not suggesting that there are not escorts out there who have perfect,lovely, clients at all times. I have just not been that lucky.

Here is an interesting perspective from Mercurial girl. She is a paid companion, who I respect.

5. I need to be on my guard at all times, as any professional or service provider does who works one to one with clients eg doctor, psychiatrist, therapist, masseuse, reflexologist. Yes, the risks are greater with escorts, but other professions carry risks too.

6.Margaret has read some escort blogs that are linked to my blog, and James B's, and she thinks that we(the escorts) are not happy or well balanced.

I am interested in what form of assessment she used to define a healthy well balanced individual.

How does that fit in with Margaret's understanding of Humanistic Psychology?

I am happy for anyone to give me references, from any Humanistic Psychology texts, with regard to the Fully Functioning Person,that state that sex workers, escorts, courtesans, streetworkers, are dsyfunctional. Or that their behaviour is pathological.

I think if anyone were to make a diagnosis regarding an individual's psychological health ; they would need to have a full life history about that individual, gathered from their assessment.

I suppose I wonder how Margaret believes that I, and other escorts who are linked to my blog are unhappy and unbalanced, based on the limited information provided on our blogs.

I share some aspects of my life with my readers, and I do not blog about every aspect of my life here, for obvious reasons. That is my choice.

It reminds me of something that I read about learning to deal with grief cross culturally.

"Another source of understanding is the person or people we are trying to help. Whether they are American men who strive to control their tears or immigrants from the many cultures where people fear that the act of naming the deceased calls up a dangerous ghost, we must be constantly sensitive to their taboos and leanings. Our active curiousity and genuine interest are of the utmost importance. Asking someone to help us understand things in the way that people in their culture understand and experience them is a powerful way to learn what we need to learn.Learning their terms and working at using them properly can be helpful. We should not presume to teach them to feel "grief". It is not merely a matter of working among subtly different translations of the same terms. It is a matter of coming to grips with what may be vastly different concepts and vastly different explanatory systems and interpretative approaches. Those who live in the dominant US culture will never experience, for example, dealing with witchcraft as a cause of death, seeing the next baby born in the community as the reincarnation of the deceased, dealing with the deceased as a god, fearing being haunted by the ghost of the deceased because the proper death ceremonies cannot be performed in the United States, fearing the wind because it brings dangerous spirits-and on and on. We must be skeptical of what people tell us, but we must also be ready to leave our own culture to share in a world that is surprisingly different from our expectations."

Ethnic variations in dying death and grief, diversity in universality by Donald Irish,Kathleen Lundquist and Vivian Jenkins Nelsen

Something else, I read years ago, by two Psychiatrists about Black men who had been misdiagnosed by the mental health system in the UK. The chapter was on insanity and meaning.

"If we can show that the beliefs of someone who is possibly mentally ill are in fact shared by many other people does that explain them?

To accept that different communities have quite different expectations of normality carries certain implications. If we say, for instance, that a particular religous experience is abnormal, we are saying that societies in which it is a common experience contain a large number of unbalanced people or even that these societies are unbalanced altogether.

Every society has its own characteristic pattern of normative behaviour and beliefs. It has therefore to solve the threat not only of antagonists external to the group but also of those inside who may be deviant. If accepted patterns are to be seen as normal, we need a theory of abnormality. The solution is to include both normal and abnormal inside the dominant beliefs."

Aliens and Alienists by Roland Littlewood and Maurice Lipsedge

My point is that as we live we accumulate a continous set of experiences. Out of our experiences we develop a set of beliefs about ourselves, others and the world. These beliefs influence the way we construe our reality, and constitute our frame of reference. Our frame of reference shapes our behaviour which will probably elicit experiences consistent with our original experiences, and thereby help to reconfirm our original beliefs.

7. I now have a recommended reading list on my sidebar, that includes books from a cross section of women and men in the sex industry.

Julia O'Connell Davidson in her book Prostitution Power and Freedom, which is on the sidebar explores the issues that Margaret is raising.

Her research covers women at all levels in the industry. She talks about Desiree who is an Independent.

"Desiree did not enter prostitution from a base of absolute poverty. She owned her own home, she had no economic dependents and she had a job.To be sure this job held out little prospect of ever making her wealthy, but it still made her situation very different from that of , say, a lone mother living in a council propery run away from an abusive parent and who lives on the streets without any source of income.

A factor which I believe contributes to Desiree's power within her transactions is her own character and "career history". Desiree had a great deal more emotional and life experience when she started to prostitute than those individuals who, for various reasons, find themselves involved in prostitution in their early teens. It is also the case that Desiree is an extremely intelligent, well read, perceptive,assertive,charming and socially skilled individual, and these qualities contribute enormously to her ability to deploy her subjective powers to positive effect within prosititution-that is, to negotiate and enforce contracts on terms which suit her, and yet still maintain a stream of repeat custom.

When people have been brutally and unequivocally sexualized in the ways implied by sexual abuse and rape, they are likely to have a strong sense of themselves as nothing more than sexual beings for others, and so to view prostitution as one of the "options," or the only "option" available to them. But it is important to recognise three things about this. First, not all prostitutes have been sexualized in these ways. Several of the women we interviewed who who were involved in informal tourist-related prostitution in economically underdeveloped countries, for example had no prior history of sexual victimization. Economic desperation is enough, on its own, to drive people into prostitution. Second the experience of sexual victimization clearly does not and could not on its own cause people to enter into prostitution or to continue prostituting once involved in it. There are people who have suffered such violence and yet do not work as prostitutes, as well as people who have been raped and/ or abused who have worked as prostitutes and then exited from prostitution. Third it is far fetched(and dangerous) to attribute the complex set of choices that people make within the constraints that operate on them to a single, determining event or psychological factor. Barry bravely acknowledges the fact that she herself was raped(1995,p.252),for example, but I doubt that she would take kindly to someone interpreting the fact that she spent two decades researching and writing on prostitution as a form of sexual violence as a reflection of nothing more than her own personal attempt to come to terms with that event. It would be as easy to interpret Barry's work in this way as it would be to interpret Desiree's decision to remain in prostitution as a direct result of certain events in her life, but I think that in both cases such an interpretation is wrong."

My concern with Margaret, is that her beliefs, experience and knowledge seems to be based around streetworkers. She believes we are all the same,ie,victims, abused,exploited, unhappy, and psychologically unbalanced.

She has ordered Julia's book on my recommendation, and I hope it widens her perspective. I can only try !

There is diversity within the industry as I have pointed out in numerous posts. Before interpretations are made you need to look at a cross section of women in the industry. Differences exist amongst women who work at the same level.

This is definitely my longest post ever, have a good week!

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