SAAFE.INFO

Support and Advice for Escorts

Independents supporting each other.

This site is the result of collaboration between a group of experienced escorts. It could have been called, "If I knew then what I know now!" as it brings together a range of information and advice to help cut short the learning process in a business where experience really does count. It is not designed to be an authoritative guide, merely some words of wisdom mixed with a bit of humour.

If you have a question you don't find answered here, feel free to visit out our forum to register there and ask us.

SAAFE is on Twitter! Click here to see our official Twitter page and follow us for a few bits of industry news here and there.

Who's Behind SAAFE?

SAAFE was created by a few very 'normal' women who just happen to get paid to spend time with men, women and couples. We are independent and have entered into this profession of our own free will - not a coercive force in sight! We have our eyes wide open and are all fully aware of what we do. Some of us made a conscious decision to enter this line of work and some of us just 'fell into it'. SAAFE.info is run by women with a wealth of experience to share with others. We offer a range of helpful advice, guidance and support on every aspect of the paid sex scene. If we don't list what you're looking for then just head over to our forum and ask us!

As some of society is not yet ready to accept us, this site is dedicated to helping people who may have no-one to talk to about this, don't know where to start, who to trust or who maybe thought they were the only escort around. There are thousands of escorts currently working in the UK and you can bet that someone else out there has experienced the same issues that you have encountered or may be soon to encounter. So whatever your question, worry, anxiety or suggestion might be, then share it with us and boost your knowledge.

We offer unbiased advice from those doing the job already, all with your interests at heart and that includes guidance on how to get yourself out of escorting if you feel it's not right for you. So get yourself a coffee and make yourself comfortable as you explore our different pages.

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The History of SAAFE

SAAFE was started in a ladies forum in October 2003 by myself (Brandy) and Sarah-Jane. At the time I was the moderator of a punting forum and administrator of said ladies forum on Puntingzone. I was always being asked advice on various things and so was Sarah-Jane. We said to each other, instead of writing the same advice to different would-be escorts all the time, how about we set up a website sharing the collective advice and views of not just ourselves, but of various other escorts, too?

We tried to think up a good name that would embody what we'd like the advice site to be all about. We would also have to buy the domain with the same name. I thought of the acronym SAFE for a url but unfortunately it was taken, but SAAFE wasn't, and thus Support and Advice for Escorts was born. Sarah Jane, being the most techy-minded out of the two of us set up the website and between the two of us asked other escorts for their contributions to our new site. This way, we thought it could be a collaboration of sorts: escorts sharing what they thought to be the best advice, sharing their experiences of being an internet-based escort and the advantages and disadvantages of such.

There were quite a handful of ladies to start off with: Melanie, Celine, Beth of Kettering and Sunni Tara to name but a few who contributed to SAAFE. But as time went by, people moved on and it was just myself and Sarah Jane left. For a good long while we ran it on our own and wrote quite a few of the articles ourselves. We would and will still ask for contributions from other escorts as we always thought it would be good to get different viewpoints on varying subjects, from ways of working to dealing with timewasters. We dealt with such important points in our own way. If you care to look through the main site itself you can see varying contributions from other ladies throughout the years. There is a great article on copyright theft ably written by Rhia Charles, for example.

In January 2007 - a few years ago already! - we thought it might be a good idea to have a forum. It was becoming increasingly impossible to write more and more articles on SAAFE itself as there are so many aspects to this job that it was becoming difficult to cover everything. So the forum was born. We encouraged ladies to sign up and ask whatever was on their mind. But sadly, over the last year, due to constant grief Sarah-Jane suffered at the hands of others in this industry (if you are new and reading this, I'm afraid you will find that this job is far from a bed of roses) she thought it might be a good idea to take a back seat with SAAFE, so she handed over her half of the reins to me. Seeing as she had new interests to move on to in her personal life, she thought it was the right time to leave. And she did, the bloody woman left me holding the bag. Nah, just kidding!

I'm far from on my own. To this day I'm still a technophobe, so I enlisted the help of the best webmistress in the business. She gets things done yesterday and nothing is ever too much (or too little) for her to do on SAAFE. I call her the 'Janitor', because she keeps this place ticking over. She also happens to be a working girl so she's multifaceted. When the next best thing in internet technology came along, RSS Feeds, which we could attribute to our warnings part of the forum, she was the person in the know and pulled us into the 21st century and set it up.

Then there is Penny's Buddy Scheme which she herself devised and asked us if we could set it up here as she thought it would be of the most benefit to new working girls. I myself have been a working girl for the past 7 years now and I've seen and heard a lot in this business that I can share with others if asked. So between the three of us (and with Sarah Jane lurking in the background whenever I need her) I can safely say that we have well over 20 years between us in this business.

You may notice that all who are involved in Saafe are not only all women, but all working girls. We deliberately set it up that way and it's the ethos I feel SAAEFE should carry on with. There is, and has never been any non-sex-worker involvement in this site. Our belief is that if you haven't made a living selling your body then your input is not required in the building and maintenance of this site and what it stands for. Nobody understands more than a sex worker what advice to give to other sex workers. But that's not to take away from one or two members that post on SAAFE's forum: Ian, formerly of SW5 has been a godsend to this forum with his knowledge of the industry. There is also an article written by a male driver who rents out his services to escorts, offering his perspective on his job, and several members of sex worker support organisations have forum membership, too. All non-sex-worker forum posts are clearly marked, though, so that you know who is saying what.

But all that you see SAAFE is now and has become has been built from the hands of escorts. No, I tell a lie. The male webmaster at escort agency Fun Times was kind enough to do us a couple of banners that other escorts could place on their websites to help spread the word. Sarah Jane hated building banners; me, don't ask. That has been the only male involvement in its five and a half year existence. So now you know who owns and runs SAAFE. The names I've mentioned here are it. If anybody tries to tell you that they've had a hand in any aspect of SAAFE, be it the main site, the forum or the RSS Warnings Feed, it's wishful thinking on their part I'm afraid. There is very little that I and the other ladies do not know as far as being an escort goes. And what my webmistress doesn't know about building websites isn't worth knowing.

If you're new to the business then know that the women who run this site are very capable escorts indeed.

An Update to the History of SAAFE - 2013

Since the above was written, some of the personnel have changed but the ethos remains.

Anika Mae was an active and much appreciated moderator on the message board for several years, as was Louise and Emily Jones. Some continue working, others have retired in favour of other interests.

The running of the main site and its forum are now in the amply capable hands of Amy Vergnes, Daisy, and the Janitor, all female and all working ladies. We do have one resident male, Ian, formerly of SW5. What with his background his advice is as invaluable to sex workers as any escort and we're glad (and he is very honoured) that we persuaded him to join the SAAFE forum moderation team.

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A Quick 12 Point Starter Guide to Escorting

Read these for some truly essential tips if you're thinking of starting out as an escort!

  1. Read the various articles on SAAFE to get a more in depth view of the sort of decisions and considerations you need to make.
  2. Think about your privacy. Decide on a working name for yourself - don't use your real name unless you want everyone knowing your personal business. Decide if you are happy to use photos showing your face or other identifying info. If you aren't, don't give them to anyone - once they are out there, you lose all control over what happens to them. If you decide on a website, do not register your own domain name without adding a privacy option or your name and address will be available to all via a simple "WHOIS" search. If someone else registers it for you, then make sure you have proof that it is actually yours. Remember, you may feel happy with your new career choice but wider society tends to condemn it.
  3. Buy a cheap pay-as-you-go phone so you don't have to give your personal number out or be worried about answering work calls at inappropriate moments. You can also destroy the SIM card whenever you decide to stop the work.
  4. Get the money first. That includes getting the cash from clients before anything sexual happens and, if you decide to use an agency, not giving them any money until you have cash in your hand from a client.
  5. Don't hand over large sums of money to people seemingly offering you the earth or indeed small regular sums of money to the same sort of people. The adult business is seen as easy pickings for sleaze bags - stick to established and recommended services providers (photographers, web designers, escort directories etc) and ask for references and quotes (for ongoing costs too) just as you would if having some building work done at home.
  6. The vast majority of escort bookings involve being sexual with men, so think about your sexual health. While we very strongly recommend you use condoms each time you have intercourse with clients, will you use another form of contraception too? Purchase branded condoms and make sure you don't run out - you don't want to have to nip out during a booking to get more or to hope that ones supplied by a client are ok. Different escorts have different preferences for condoms - try several sorts, including non-latex ones. Have a few small and extra large ones handy just in case you get a nipper or a donkey, and don't forget the condom-friendly lube!
  7. Think again about your sexual health. Book an appointment at a local sexual health clinic and ask for the Hepatitis B jab which is given to people in personal services jobs such as paramedics etc. If you will be 'rimming' or otherwise potentially in contact with clients' poo, tell them and they should also give you the Hepatitis A jab. The service should be confidential so do explain to them what you do for a living so they can advise you accordingly but don't offer your real name if you don't feel comfortable doing so - you will need to give correct contact details though in case of a problem. Just remember what name you use when you book your next appointment!
  8. Think yet again about your sexual and emotional health. Decide on your boundaries and stick to them. If you don't want to perform oral without a condom or be on the receiving end of anal sex, for example, then don't - no matter who tells you that 'everyone does'.
  9. Think about what you really want from escorting and plan to review your objectives so you don't end up bitter and twisted by doing and hating such a personal job - think of life beyond escorting.
  10. Network with other escorts where possible - Penny runs a buddy scheme for ladies who want to link up: Escort Buddies. Look at and talk to others about what they are doing and how they are doing it to help decide how and where you want to market yourself.
  11. Be aware that not everyone is nice. As a new escort, you are seen as fresh meat by a variety of predators. So...
  12. ... if you are unsure about anything, ask. No matter how basic or silly the question may seem. As they say, the only silly questions are those you don't ask. The SAAFE forum is a safe environment to ask all sorts of questions which will be answered by people who have been there and done it. None of us are experts in everything, all advice should be tailored to your own circumstances and regarded as just that, advice, not gospel -- it's your body, your mind, your business and you should be the one in control of it.
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Ways of Working

As with any other type of self-employment, it is up to you how you run your business. There are lots of different escorts out there using different methods to bring in business and working different hours to suit their own lifestyle. Some are mothers of school age children who work from 10am-2pm in term times, some have full time jobs and work in the evenings and weekends, some do it full-time 7 days a week and so on.

With escorting, it is relatively easy to work hours to suit due to the nature of the demand for services. However, while you are establishing yourself it may well pay to be as flexible as you can. If you are good and build a solid reputation, then in time you will probably be able to dictate working patterns more easily.

There are different ways of taking bookings too. Some girls advertise their phone number on their websites and some don't. The ones that do quite often do not answer withheld numbers for various reasons (more on this in the testimonials below). Others only take email bookings which can mean they reply when it is convenient for them to do so, rather than being at the beck and call of their phone. Some, however, like to get a feel for the client over the phone so they won't take a booking unless they have spoken to the client. It's all down to individual circumstance and choice - that's the great thing about being an independent.

You don't even have to have a website or photos on the web to be a successful internet escort. There are so many different variations on the way girls do business and it is hoped that some of the options below will give you some food for thought about your own set-up.

Louise

Working from home via Internet and newspaper ads.

quote marks"I worked for a year from just newspaper ads only, nearly all my bookings that I took via the paper were half hour bookings which were really good fun and it kept me very busy, I went in the paper every week without fail and only didn't go in when I was on holiday.

I also got some reviews on a well known punting website and then started to get longer bookings as well (I must admit I was scared of taking longer bookings as half hour booking were all I knew). After a year of working from the papers only I decided to get a website and venture onto the www, I got myself a webmaster and asked him to add my reviews onto my website, joined some directories and it all took off again so now I have a mix of newspaper bookings (majority half hour) and longer bookings from my website.

My days are varied as internet bookings tend to book in advance and I get my same day half hour bookings, it keeps me busy my days are taken up with both half and hour+ bookings but I apply the no withheld numbers or text rule seriously as you can get a lot of timewasters but you can also get some fantastic regular clients as well. If you do decide to advertise in the paper, be prepared for a lot of questions, questions; like what do you look like? etc as they cant see you. I choose not to show my website address on my paper advert as I live in a fairly small town.

I think I have the best of both worlds and very varied days."

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Melanie

Email-only bookings.

quote marks"I've been an escort for nearly 4 years now and in that time I've learned quite a bit about the business. It was my decision to become an escort. It was never based only on the financial side of things either. The whole idea of being paid for sex was a turn on for me. Fortunately, I have an understanding partner who gave me his blessing.

I spent the first part of my career as an 'Agency Escort' the internet wasn't really an option back then but I'm glad I cut my teeth with them. I wasn't sure if I was cut out to be an escort (it's one thing enjoying sex but another to have sex with someone you don't even fancy for money) so with no outlay, someone advertising me, giving advice and me not wanting to advertise a telephone number I looked up the agencies in my Yellow Pages. I met a few of the people running the agencies before I decided whom I would go with. You can tell a lot about an agency on a first meeting. The phrase 'the good, the bad and the ugly' springs to mind!

The downside to an agency is you have to pay a fee every time you take a booking but it can stand you in good stead, because once you become an independent escort you just put what your agency fee would have been, to one side and this will pay your tax.

Once I left the agency I decided to become an independent. I had a site linked to another site (this meant I had to go through another party in order to make amendments to my site. It usually took weeks to get anything changed). Thankfully, there are a lot more reliable webmasters out there now. The site went down several months after. The owner was abroad and it was very difficult to contact him. After 3 months without a site I didn't want to wait any longer and didn't want to publish a number in the newspaper. I then decided I had to set up my own site. I did this in August 2003 and I've never looked back.

I'm still an email only escort. I feel this allows me to get to know the client before I ever meet them. The fact they are taking time out to write to you, as opposed to dialling a number tends to weed out the timewasters. It's much easier for me to type a sarcastic email than going red faced and telling someone to 'piss off' whilst standing at the checkout in Sainsburys.

All in all I'd say I've been very happy as an escort."

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Celine

No website.

quote marks"I don't have a website and I've never advertised either. When I first started as an indie I was just about to register an advert on Punternet.com, then I saw the message board! I had a good read of the threads (it was a bit better in those days) and made a few posts myself. After about a week I received an email from a guy who'd noticed my posts on the board and wanted to know more about me and enquire about a booking. I received a similar email from another guy. I booked a hotel room and saw them both in the same day. The first guy posted a good field report of our meeting. As soon as that FR hit the board, the 'phone started to ring!

It was a bit jammy really, perhaps 'right time, right place' and all that. Anyway, one good FR lead to another and I've never needed to advertise since. To be fair, I only work part-time, as I have a full-time job and so it may not generate the volume of enquiries required if you were a full-time escort. However, it keeps me ticking over nicely. Some of the guys do tend to gossip amongst themselves about whom they've seen and what they thought of the lady and it's these personal recommendations which are enormously powerful as a marketing tool!

I also think networking with other ladies is incredibly important. I don't mean arse-licking or hitching a free ride either! If you're on friendly terms with other ladies you can benefit from their experiences and they might even recommend you to others. Don't abuse this though - help each other out and you will both reap the rewards of your shared experiences and contacts. It's just enough to maintain a general presence on the scene so people don't forget who you are. I'm bisexual and like duoing with other girls and I also enjoy the party scene, which has helped enormously with increasing my exposure to many guys in one go, most of whom I probably wouldn't have met otherwise. I have some pictures of myself on my friends' websites to promote our duo's, but that's also helpful to link to when guys ask me what I look like. Your friend's site is therefore promoted too.

Because I've registered on both Puntingzone and Punternet, my email and work mobile number are displayed there. I don't answer withheld numbers and the enquiries are roughly equally split between the two. Your emails and telephone manner can also sell yourself. If you're friendly and chatty, the guys get a better idea of what your personality is like. I'm a bit of a nutter so I tend to go for a bit of humour and banter. This seems to select the type of guy I know I'd get on well with! Don't let them take the piss though ;o) and limit your chat accordingly."

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Working in a Women's Collective

A collective is one where a group of WG's work independently in conjunction with other WG's. In a collective, all members pay a share of the rent and contribute to the outgoing costs i.e. advertising, supplies etc.

The Pros:

Your working hours can be flexible.

You have the security of working with other women.

You are not accountable to a ‘manager'.

You are free to market yourself as an independent.

You have ultimate control over your working practice and what you wish to charge.

The money is very good.

The Cons:

It is sometimes hard to find a group of WG's who know each other well enough to gel in a collective.

Ultimately one person has to agree to hold the lease. This could lead to a power imbalance.

The women who holds the lease would will be the one on the line should the police become interested.

Chasing ‘subs' can be a problem if you choose the wrong working partners.

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Brandy

Phone bookings and withheld numbers.

When starting out, you will have no idea at the beginning of your career just how many people there are out there willing to waste your time on the phone. All for the sake of titillation. Which, to some extent is understandable but it doesn't make you money, just wastes your time.

“Timewasters” are those who normally call from withheld numbers. They ask about your services (sometimes go into explicit details) but they have no intention of booking you. These are normally men, but it has been known for women to do the same thing. I can only assume that it's for the same reason as their male counter-parts. Sexual titillation.

I learnt this lesson very early on in my career. Before I found the Internet I used to advertise at the back of the local newspapers. I was inundated with calls, most of them from a withheld no. As green as I was I answered every phone call. Out of the three months I advertised out of local newspapers, I received only a handful of bookings from serious customers. When I found the Internet things got a little better but not much. I didn't yet have a website so I would just advertise in escort directories with a few pictures. But you still had your share of timewasters who would get off on those pictures and wanted to add a voice to their fantasies.

Granted you will have genuine callers who call from their place of work or business that automatically withholds their number. But if a caller is serious about making an appointment, he will leave a message on your voicemail stating the reason why the number is withheld and that he will call back from a non-withheld number. This does happen. You will also get clients that you have made a prior arrangement with to meet at a hotel, which he calls you from, but which also comes up withheld. But the same applies; if it is a genuine customer he will leave a message on your voicemail letting you know who it is and probably asking you to call back.

But the longer you're in this business, the quicker you get to learn that a huge proportion of people calling from a withheld no. have no intention of booking you. Whilst I have no problems taking phone bookings I myself refuse to answer a call from a withheld number, but some escorts still choose to do so. Some will answer enquiries regarding their services, but will tell potential clients that they need to call from a non-withheld number to make a firm booking, otherwise it will not be honoured by the escort. Which is fair enough. But in my two years experience as an escort, I, not once had one booking that was made from a withheld no when I used to answer them. A lot of escorts, in order to combat the timewaster and his antics, will not even advertise a phone number on their website. They insist initial contact be done through email, and a phone number only given out just before the appointment is due to take place just to reconfirm appt details. More and more ladies are turning to this method of initial communication because of these timewasters. Which may seem a little harsh but it's with good reason. And they find it works for them.

Right now though there seems to be another type of timewaster via the telephone. Lately there seems to be a sudden increase in guys phoning from a telephone box to make a booking. You can tell this because of the normal day-to-day noises you can hear going on in the background. I get the impression that gentlemen are realising that more and more escorts aren't answering withheld numbers, and so are trying to find another way around it. I personally would strongly suggest not accepting bookings from guys calling from phone boxes. Someone who isn't willing to use their own mobile or landline phone to make a booking should be avoided. With the advent of cheap mobile phones (or even sim-cards if it's a matter of discretion) there is little excuse nowadays not to have a proper contactable phone no. At the very least it would be difficult to cancel a booking at short notice if the client is unreachable.

To reiterate, different ladies work different ways. Ladies (such as myself) will take phone calls from genuine enquiries from non-withheld numbers. For me you get a 'feel' of a customer before you meet. So it's always nice to chat on the phone. You learn as you go along to keep the conversation short and sweet, yet firm and polite. You will have ladies who will take enquiries from a withheld no., but insist on a landline or mobile number to make a booking. Lastly you will have ladies who insist on initial contact via email only. Ultimately it all depends on what each individual escort is comfortable with. The choice is yours to make in the end.

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Working in a Parlour

Massage Parlours are places where there are often many girls working. The building may be kitted out with massage tables instead of beds in order to appease the local council, although this is not so common any more. Massage parlours are also sometimes called saunas and this is especially the case in Scotland. As a rule the police will leave a massage parlour alone and will only (usually) perform a raid where it is suspected that other unlawful activities are taking place i.e. drug dealing. I worked in Oxford, Swindon, Reading, Chippenham, Cardiff and once in Ilford. The money that can be earned in a day depends on the parlour and the area of the country.

The benefits of parlours are:

  • You can talk to and gain advice and support from other girls
  • It's safer than lone working as there are always people to help should there be trouble
  • You don't have to worry about advertising and marketing yourself
  • You don't have to worry about building up a client base or regulars
  • You don't have to travel to bookings
  • You can move easily from parlour to parlour and find work anywhere
  • You don't have to answer the phone and mess about with time-wasting calls
  • You can work hours to suit
  • You don't have to worry about finding a place to rent or worry about complaints from the neighbours etc etc
  • You can make money very quickly
  • And... most importantly (for me anyway) you can keep your private life and your work life entirely separate. You only have to set aside one or two days a week for work. The rest of the time prostitution does not intrude on your day-to-day existence.

The downfalls of parlours are:

  • Many parlours take 1/2 of your earnings, at the very least they take one third
  • You have no employment protection and you can be fired at will
  • It can be a very tiring way to work as often you may have sex with over 10 men a day
  • Many parlours are run by very unsavoury characters who may hang around
  • Prices are often fixed and you can be fired for 'overcharging'. You may feel that £120 is not enough for an hours hard-core domination -- tough!
  • You may be expected to take part in a line-up for customers in which you are compared to other women. Many women find this upsetting.
  • Few parlours are non-smoking
  • You may find that shifts have been overbooked and there are more girls working than you expected
  • Some parlours do not have a private girls living room and you may be expected to interact with clients who have had a service and wish to sit around and chat. Personally I find it very difficult to be 'on' all the time and find these sorts of places very tiring. You may feel differently.

On top of this there are a number of very very bad parlours in the country. I would seriously advise any girls against working in these sorts of places:

  • Parlours where they take half your money AND expect you to tip the maid AND expect you to pay towards advertising
  • Parlours where there is a maid employed but you are expected to answer the phone and do the cleaning and laundry (and no doubt tip her at the end of the shift to add insult to injury!!)
  • Parlours where they expect you to pay a bond of hundreds of pounds that is (apparently) given back to you if you prove yourself reliable. Don't fall for it!
  • Parlours where interviews take place where a parlour owner has sex with the girl
  • Parlours where drugs are used/sold on the premises
  • Parlours where you are forced to have sex with people you'd rather not
  • Parlours where you are pressurised into having sex with people you'd rather not
  • Parlours where you are pressurised into providing services that you are unhappy about i.e. OWO, A-levels
  • Parlours where you are not allowed a break
  • Parlours where they ask for ID (NEVER give your personal details out)
  • Places where you are expected to give your own tips to the house
  • Parlours where you are pressurised to show your face on the internet
  • Parlours where there are no fire escapes
  • Parlours which do not take into account your own personal safety i.e. drunk and aggressive men are let into the building
  • Parlours which are unclean or structurally unsafe
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Beth

Working from home.

quote marks"I work from home and advertise set hours to fit in with my private life, also given that I live here I keep the number of incalls to reasonable level to avoid drawing attention to what I am doing, whilst I am not breaking the law it would not be discreet to have man after man after man calling round (even though the more sex I get the more I want).

Something else to consider when working at home is the type of client you attract, I live in a quite crescent where most residents have grown up children and are professionals or own there own business and drive reasonable new cars and there are never children playing in the street, so guys in baseball caps pulling up in a old fiesta with out a silencer and a boom box vibrating the car down the road would draw attention. On the other side of that coin several clients have mentioned that if I was working from certain parts of my town they would not see me simply because they like to know their cars will still have wheels on let alone still be there when they come out."

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Sunni T

Working in, and then running, a parlour.

quote marksPeople often ask me why I decided to work in a parlour rather than working as an indie escort. People usually ask me this because they have a preconceived image of parlours and private flats which includes the following misconceptions:

  1. All parlours are squalid slums that have no washing facilities.
  2. All parlours are owned by nasty wicked exploiters of women who pressurise the staff into working in unsafe ways and take 50% or more of whatever the girl earns.
  3. Women who work under these conditions have low self-esteem or no intelligence or they wouldn't be exploited and abused in this way.

Well, yes, it's got to be said that there are some parlours that do fit into that criteria. I can't deny it and I'm personally grateful that when I decided to become a prostitute I picked an ad in the paper for a parlour run by a very good business woman who had worked herself and who not only made a great deal of money for herself but helped her girls do the same without exploiting them. If anything it was the other way round. She actually helped many girls with problems at her own expense, and without expecting any repayment. But I digress...

Back in 97 there was no big escorting community on line. I had no experience in the sex trade and wasn't aware of any girls working independently. The only way I knew of working was either the streets [too dangerous and cold] or in a sauna/parlour. So I called one of the ads in the local paper and set up an interview and the rest is history as they say.

I stayed with the same woman for 9 months. She had 4 different places to work and I rotated round all of them doing a day in each once a week. I earned more money that I ever dreamt of. This was after I'd paid the house split of 50% plus a tip for the maid, and any essentials I needed such as condoms and clothes to work with. And had no worries about paying the bills for a flat to work from, getting a maid, arranging bookings, getting closed down. What I did have was a very steady stream of punters who know where I was and when I would be there and how much they needed to bring for a good time. I was a very happy bunny.

After a while my boss and I had a little disagreement and we parted company. I needed to continue working to support my family. So I worked round other places in the area. Most of which were in a disgusting state (dirty bedding, rotten bathroom etc etc) or the owners were into drugs (personal no go area for me) or they simply appeared to have no idea of how to run a place like a business. Which all effected how much I could earn. My attitude then is the same as it is today. If you're going to make the sacrifices involved in doing this job then at least make sure it's worthwhile. Make the most you can in a way that doesn't mean you lose your self-respect. So there's no point in me spending 12 hours a day in a run down hovel where punters won't want to lay on the bed.

I realised that my standards as to working premises might be a tad higher than the area was used to. So I ended up doing a couple weeks in a flat that belonged to woman who was at least clean. If not very business minded. But I solved that problem by placing my own ads and the work came in. It didn't last long. We had a row over the maid who was an evil cow and stirred up trouble whenever she could. So I left and took a couple of weeks out before finding somewhere else to work from. Which was a good thing as the woman who owned the flat called me and offered me the tenancy for her flat, she was running at a loss and decided to get out of the biz.

At first I intended to work it myself with no other girls involved. But after a while girls started to approach me asking for work. It was known to be a busy flat and I was known as a fair person in the biz so word got round and some girls took a chance and got in touch. As I was working five or six days a week at the time to keep the hours regular (important for business) I decided that I could do with some time off to spend with my kids. Obviously while someone else was using the flat I couldn't earn my money. So a split was taken to cover the expenses of running the place and to hopefully replace my lost earnings. Which is how I started to run a parlour.

I made sure that I treated the girls as fairly as possible. The house supplies everything they need to work. No unsafe or high-risk services are provided by any girls. An outreach team calls in regularly to give the girls the chance to speak with them about any worries. And everyone is encouraged to offer services they feel happy to offer. No pressure is ever put on anyone to do more than they want to do. And I make sure I never ask anyone to do anything I wouldn't do myself. And there are regular bonuses for the girls so they benefit from working hard. Not me. Most of the profits left over from our running expenses are put back into the house. New bedding, redecorating, uniforms, etc which all make it an attractive place to punters. Thereby increasing trade for the girls. I'm very proud that I still have one of the first girls to ever work with me as a member of staff. She doesn't work anywhere else. Most of the girls have been with me for over a year. The average stay for girls in parlours is a month or two. I must be doing something right I think!

Despite popular myth I'm not getting rich by running a parlour. I don't want if I'm honest. I do want to show the rest of the trade that you can run a successful place and keep busy when you don't try to force the girls to do all services. Which seems to have gotten across already as several places near by have also now stopped offering any 'without' [i.e. unprotected] services. And that you don't need to be an ogre and scare the girls into respecting you, and that they actually work better if you don't take the iron fist approach. I know I won't change the world. It would be madness to try to but I do think I might change one or two peoples' perceptions of prostitution and how to treat the girls in the vice scene. Which will be good enough for me I think."

Plus Points to Parlour Work

  • No responsibility for the premises. So no need to find rent, ads fees, utility costs etc. Or any need to maintain the premises or replace any essentials.
  • No risk of arrest and being charged with running a brothel or controlling prostitute for gain. While it's illegal to own a parlour or run a parlour, it isn't illegal to work in one, regardless of how many girls are there. The maximum sentence for running a parlour is 7 years at the time of writing.
  • No hassle from people who object to the premises being used as a brothel.
  • No hassle from competitors who want to close you down.
  • No worries about finding reliable staff, whether it's maids or girls.
  • No fear of being exposed in the press as a sleazy madam who exploits innocent young girls.
  • You can be pretty sure that you'll earn good money if you put the effort into what you do. Many clients favour parlours over any other kind of WG. They have choice, no need to reveal their ID and can walk up or away when they want to. So the trade is usually pretty steady.
  • You can walk away at the end of your shift without a backwards glance. No one knows who you are or where to find you if you don't want them too. And in most cases that is a very good thing.
  • You get to benefit from the experiences of other girls, which is invaluable. You'll learn more from a day listening to someone's working stories, than you will from a month in the room. They cut out all the boring regular stuff and just give you the good bits you need to know.
  • There is safety in numbers. Most parlours now use a CCTV system on the entrance I would advise girls NOT to work in a place where they don't have one in place. It's a sign of the owner not taking your safety seriously. If they don't take the most important thing i.e. your welfare seriously they won't really be bothered about your well being as a whole and probably be unpleasant to work for.

Bad Points of Parlour Work

  • You will have no vetting over who you see as a client. It isn't realistic to pick and choose from whom ever walks into the door. You'd make next to nothing if your standards were anything over than less than picky to be blunt. No decent parlour will insist that you see anyone you really object to, or feel at risk from in some way. But they won't tolerate a girl refusing a perfectly average client because of the colour of his skin or his age.
  • You have to be reliable. It's no good working one day one week and then another the next or not bothering to go in because you had a good day in another place the day before. You won't get many regs if they don't know when they can see you. And you'll lose your shift if you let down the owner to many times.
  • You may be pressured to offer services you don't want to offer. Be firm; tell them you aren't going to provide anything you don't want to. If they object or try to argue walk away and find another parlour. There is ALWAYS another parlour you can work from.
  • You're very accessible to clients, which means that you are also accessible to any one who might be a bit emotionally unstable. You'll be surprised how many men there are with Madonna/Whore syndrome and who seem to think WG's are there for them to work out their frustrations fears with.
  • For every decent WG you work with there will be a bitchy one who is jealous if you do better than her. They can be nasty and conniving.
  • You have to accept the house rules. All parlours have them. Generally because it makes the work easier for everyone and avoids any disputes among the girls. And to ensure girls are working safely. For example it's frowned upon for a girl to meet a client away from the premises, because usually it ends up with the girl getting into a difficult situation she can't resolve by herself. Punters will tell you that they want to see you away from work so you keep all the money. That is very rarely the reason, it's usually because they want something for nothing or are getting to involved emotionally. Trust me I've been there and it wasn't pretty. I've never seen a girl who thinks it was a good thing to do with hindsight.
  • You'll be expected to work to a price list. Again this is to avoid arguments among girls and bitchiness.
  • If you can't accept that it costs money to open and run a place, and that it can be quite a bit of money if the place is run well [our flat needs to make in excess of £150 per day to cover our essential overheads for example] and that the spilt you give the house is how these costs are covered, then you probably aren't suited to working in a parlour. The money you hand over isn't going into the pocket of the owner. It's making the flat a nice place to work with regular business so you can make a decent living for yourself. Some people can't seem to understand this and feel that they are being exploited and the money is all profit for the owner. If that is how you see it then work another way. You won't be happy in a parlour and a parlour won't be happy with you.
  • Some owners just won't entertain listening to a girl when she has a problem with whom she is sharing a shift with or finds the maid hard to work with. If you find that is the case again look elsewhere. Anyone who doesn't want to make your day as easy as possible for you to cope with isn't putting your welfare first and isn't worth working for.
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Outcalls

There is always a bit of a ritual when doing outcalls to either homes or hotels. There are rules that you should set up when you do them which should make for a safer and more pleasurable experience. The following are the rules I work by, and to anybody that asks me, I strongly suggest that they do the same.

Outcalls to Residential Homes

For a residential outcall (visiting a client's home), I always make sure I have three things:

  • The client's full name
  • The client's full address (including full postcode)
  • The client's landline number

A mobile number doesn't cut it for me, especially in this day and age of throwaway sim cards. I then either call directory enquiries to check that the name and address does exist, or go to 192.com to check on-line. You get 5 free checks before you have to subscribe to their site. Another alternative is to use www.ukphonebook.com where you're allowed 5 free checks a day, so that might prove better for you cost-wise.

Do all the details check out?

If the person's details check out fine, I go. If for some reason they don't, or the phone number's ex-directory, I don't go. It's as simple as that. I'm already in the vulnerable position of visiting a stranger's home. The last thing I would want to do is increase that vulnerability and visit a gentleman whose details don't add up. When the gentleman calls back to re-confirm I then tell him then that I'm afraid I cannot visit and I let him know the reasons why. Some gentlemen accept and understand that, but some will always try and persuade me to visit, which makes me even more suspicious and steadfast, and their persistence falls on deaf ears. I tell them I cannot visit and bring the conversation to a close.

If all goes well and the details do check out fine, then what I normally do is leave my client's details with either my partner or a fellow working girl, and I let the client know this, and my reasons why. This is all part of my security ritual. Again, most gentlemen understand and are fine with this. But you will get the odd one or two who will object to it, and if they do, I do not go. The genuine clients never mind, and they understand that once I'm safe and sound back home, their details are destroyed or deleted.

Another part of my ritual: Once I get to the client's house, I call my security buddy (either my partner or a fellow escort) in full view of the client, so they can see what I'm doing. I do this as soon as I'm inside the door. When the booking comes to an end I call my security buddy again, in full view of the client, to let them know that I'm done and on my way home.

How do you get to the outcall?

I work and drive/travel to bookings on my own. Some ladies hire themselves a driver that doubles as security, who waits for the entire duration of the booking, and it's this person that acts as their security buddy. So it's brilliant if you can afford yourself a driver. But you can still be secure on your own. And talking about driving; when I drive myself to a booking, I always make sure and park some distance from the client's house and walk the rest of the way. Around the corner is even better so if the client is for some reason watching you when you leave, they don't see the car you're getting into and are able to make a note of your registration number. I know it sounds paranoid, but a little paranoia is a good thing, right? As long as it gets you home safe and sound.

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Outcalls to Hotels

You don't need as many details for a hotel visit as you do for a home visit. But I still work on the same basis in that I call my security buddy when I get to the client's room, then call again when I'm about to leave.

But going back to the beginning, when I accept an outcall to a hotel, the details I make sure I collect in this case are as follows:

  • The client's full name
  • A reference/booking number that the client would've received when he booked the hotel room

The full name I guess you can understand, but why a reference number I hear you ask? Well, you wouldn't believe how many guys out there that get a kick out of wasting an escort's time. You will get some guys that will get a kick out of calling you for a booking, even going so far as to give you a hotel name, only for you to find out that they're not even registered there.

If I can indulge in a little story: A few months ago I received an email from a gentleman who was supposedly coming from Ireland and staying at a hotel at Gatwick. He was here on a course and would be staying a few days, and gave me three consecutive dates in which he could see me. I picked a Monday. 'Brilliant,' he said, 'I'll see you then.' I later just happen to be chatting to a fellow working girl friend of mine, and she mentioned that she might have an outcall to (guess where?) Gatwick on a (guess when?) Tuesday night. I said 'that's funny, I have an outcall to Gatwick for the Monday night. His name wouldn't be *insert major timewaster's name here* would it?' 'Hold on', she says, 'let me check. By gosh, yes it is'. Later I called the hotel, just to check and see if Mr. Timewaster was registered there. Suprise suprise, no he wasn't. It turns out that there were quite a few of us ladies he'd written to giving them the same story, including another one for that same Monday I was supposed to be seeing him. He had quite a few of us lined up for those three days. What a goer!

The moral of that story is, check the details that the client has given you before you pencil it into your diary. Before you've given up your time that a genuine customer could've had. Get the full name and the reference number of the hotel the client has booked into, and discreetly call the hotel just to make sure that the client has indeed, booked the hotel. You don't have to tell reception that you're an escort when calling. You don't even have to give your name. In five years I've never been asked for one. But on the off-chance you do get asked, don't get flustered, just make one up, they're not going to check it against anything. You could act as the client's secretary, his PA, or business client even, just checking that your colleague has indeed given you the correct details so you know when/where to meet him. I personally do this before I've commited the customer to even pencilling him in.

If customers are reluctant to give me the booking reference, I don't honour the booking. I try to explain to those that may be doing this for the first time and are a little nervous about giving an escort his details, that this industry is rife with timewasters and mean people who treat booking ladies as a game. As I said previously, most men will understand and be fine with it. Or, in my case, I had a gent who booked a hotel in London recently tell me that his name and the hotel name should be ample information. I emailed him and politely told him I wouldn't be honouring the booking. Simple as that. I didn't go.

It does sometimes make you wonder why a gentleman wouldn't want to pass on a booking reference to you, if he expected you to visit him. That's when the in-built alarm bells start going off in your head. Listen to them, and your gut instincts, and you won't go far wrong. And just as I do for outcalls to residential homes, I call my security buddy when I get there, and call again when I leave, and destroy all details when I get home safe and sound.

And one more thing, before I leave the house the day of the booking, I get the room number from the customer as soon as he has it. I then call him at the hotel and ask to be put through to his room. It ensures that he is indeed there and that he hasn't checked out or indeed, not even check in yet. That way, if he's not there, you've saved yourself a journey.

I can't say that it is foolproof, because customers will cancel at anytime before the booking. Customers have even been known to not let the escort in, but they know that he's in as he can be heard behind the door. It's happened! Strange, I know. But at least you know that you've done everything you could to make yourself safe and waste as little of your precious time as possible.

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Touring

Touring - working away from your usual base - is becoming more and more popular with ladies who maybe don't want to work too close to home, haven't got a regular incall place or just fancy a change and enjoy travelling. Whilst it's not the path paved with gold it's sometimes thought to be, with hard work and good planning it can be fun, motivating and a great way to make some extra cash whilst seeing a few new places and even building up new regular client bases away from home.

Where to Go

This is really your choice and yours alone - we've all heard about places that are supposedly fabulously lucrative but the reality is that no single destination is great for everybody, and whilst it's sensible to avoid places that have a huge number of local ladies working and/or very low local 'going rates', as well as places that are generally thought of as 'sensitive' if you're not that experienced (ie. anywhere where prostitution is illegal or otherwise deeply frowned upon - the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and the United States would be good examples, as well as the Scottish Highlands like Inverness), there really aren't any rules.

If you're fairly new or going to an unfamiliar place it doesn't hurt to tie your tour in with something you're already doing or going to a place you've been intending to visit, just in case you wind up with a diary full of cancellations. Some ladies, for example, report airport tours as being lucrative, but being stuck in some nondescript room in the middle of nowhere without even a corner shop nearby is no joke if you're not busy, and while this doesn't mean you shouldn't try, it's well worth making sure you choose a hotel which allows you to cancel on the day if you don't get enough enquiries to make it worth bothering (see Where To Stay). Avoid very small towns and villages - there isn't likely to be any suitable accommodation, and even if you find some you're likely to get caught out quickly if you're busy unless you're incredibly discreet.

London is a popular and obvious choice for many, but the size of the place can be overwhelming if you haven't been before, accommodation is very expensive, and standing out with such a vast amount of competition can be difficult. Fortunately the number of people working means there is also a vast amount of punters there, and ladies who do persevere and build up a client base can expect to do well - some also put their normal incall rates up slightly or use their outcall rates to cover the higher overheads and it's nothing unusual if you decide to do likewise. There are no particular rules as to where, but keeping to Zone 1 (or Zone 2 at most - look at the tube maps) is sensible and since the majority of punters will be arriving via public transport, proximity to an Underground station (preferably with a few interconnecting lines) as well as bus stops and if possible mainline railway stations is vital; Kings Cross, Euston, Paddington, Liverpool Street and so on are among the largest and best known, and can provide a useful starting point for deciding on a venue if you don't know the city very well.

The Republic of Ireland is a contentious place all by itself - ladies from the UK have toured there for years but the general feeling seems to be that it's not as busy as it was, plus it isn't advisable to go by yourself and it's not for the fainthearted. If you decide to have a crack at it, join the forums on Escort Ireland where you can get useful and up to date information and advice via access to the ladies only section, which also includes Ugly Mugs reports and other warnings.

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Advertising

The major places to advertise tours generally are Adultwork and Punternet; both have separate touring sections although you do need to be registered on both sites and PN is a paid listing. There's also SelectanEscort where you can place a tour announcement for free, Punterlink (also free, but you need a website to advertise) plus Vivastreet, although this is somewhat controversial since they treat escort advertisers completely differently to everyone else and charge accordingly. However some ladies report it as very useful for tours (likewise the (scaled-down) Sport newspaper, particularly for Scotland), so you may decide it's worth the hassle and expense - it's probably as well to try all of these at least once as different ads work better for different places. I would recommend using a separate phone/number for the 'mainstream' media like the latter two - not only do you get a good idea of which ads are working, if you don't you'll still be fending off the timewasters years later on your usual work number, and with a 99p SIM you can bin it as soon as you get home.

There are also location-specific sites and forums which you can join and post ads on; Escort Scotland, Escort Ireland, Sussex Punting, Northern Pleasures, the LBB, West Yorkshire Sex Guide for starters, as well as big international sites like Eros (expensive, but handy for London and the US although not much use for the rest of the UK). Eros in particular requires you to send ID (passport scan); it's up to you whether you are comfortable with this. There's plenty more ideas in the Where To Advertise article.

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How to Get There

Unless you plan to drive everywhere (which has advantages and disadvantages in itself), the chances are that you'll be using trains, buses and flights to get either to or from your chosen location. Like hotels, there are often super-cheap offers on if you book early, but also like hotels you have to be prepared to lose your money if your plans change. You can often register for email alerts to let you know when your tickets go on sale if you're booking super (12 weeks) early, and whilst sites like The Trainline are great for checking train times and figuring out your connections, they charge added fees and it's almost always cheaper to book directly through the train company you're travelling with (you can find out what this is on site like Trainline too). Upgrades to First Class bught this way can cost little more than the price of a standard ticket and some of the perks (like free meals, drinks and wifi) can be well worth it, but again, check the specific company and be especially wary if you're travelling at the weekend when the usual extras may not be available.

If you're not in any rush, buses and coaches can be a very cheap way to cover distance - companies like Megabus (see also Megatrain) are worth a look as well as good old National Express (look out for 'Funfares', which can be ridiculously low). The obvious downside is that they can take an age and even if you can find one that will still get you to your destination at a reasonable time, you may not feel much like launching into a busy day after four to six hours on a coach, particularly if you've had to get up at four am just to catch it. For journeys of less than a hundred miles or so, they're well worth a look if you're aiming at major cities, but don't forget to look at the whole picture - if the coach terminal is in the middle of nowhere and a £20 taxi ride from where you're going, again, consider just getting a train in the first place.

Flights and ferries are the order of the day if you plan to travel even further or cross water - there are plenty of budget choices for internal UK trips and also for the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The prices do vary, but bearing in mind that you can't get a refund if you don't use them it's probably best to leave them until you're sure of your plans even if it does mean paying slightly more. You can compare prices on sites like Expedia, Travel Supermarket and Opodo - don't forget you will need a passport (or at least some form of photo ID) to pass through security in any UK airport even if you're only going down the road - be sure to keep it safe when you've arrived and started taking bookings.

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Where to Stay

The major decision is whether you want a hotel or a serviced apartment - both have pros and cons. Hotels are safer if you're travelling alone, but can be costly in terms of extras like food whereas a properly equipped apartment will allow you to largely fend for yourself. Apartments may cost more up front, but you'll save money on eating out and you're also more likely to find these to be unstaffed with no reception; look for things like 'self check-in' in the ads and read Laterooms and Tripadvisor reviews to see which have these sort of arrangements - often a member of staff will either meet you there with a key or better still, leave it in a secure box for you to collect when you arrive. Just because you've booked an apartment doesn't automatically mean there won't be a reception though, and a portered/staffed apartment block can be far harder work than an ordinary hotel as they are likely to be far more interested in comings and goings when a lot of expensive furnishings and household appliances are at stake. Asking other ladies for recommendations on the SAAFE forum can save a lot of hassle and possibly wasted cash.

On the plus side, you'll have more space, quite possibly laundry as well as kitchen facilities and if you are teaming up with a buddy an apartment can be a great cost-effective option. Some other downsides are that they can be expensive and the cleaning staff (when they're about) can be super-nosy plus they can feel very isolating if the building is deserted during the day, and I personally wouldn't work from one alone unless I had no other reasonable options.

On the hotel side, there are plenty with lifts or separate entrances that bypass reception altogether, and even if they don't, a large anonymous hotel lobby is simple for punters to negotiate provided you make sure they have clear directions to your room - get them to ring when they've arrived, can describe something outside and give them the room number then. If you want to take extra care, tell them the floor and then ask them the room numbers they can see on the wall signs when they get out of the lift, or even send then to the room opposite and scoop them in when they turn up outside - only recommended for rooms with spyholes! You can ring the room opposite to check there's nobody there - I've done this many times when I've not been entirely sure about a new client but there's nothing setting off particular alarm bells. Try to get a room where you can see the approach to the hotel entrance if you can, and as ever, maintain normal security procedures: make sure somebody knows when you have a booking and what time it's due to finish so they're expecting to hear from you. Touring ladies have been the target of robberies in the past and it's vitally important to be vigilant.

Generally, avoid small, family run type places and look out for well known business-type chains like Jurys, Marriott, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Novotel and the rest of the usual suspects - some ladies are happy working from the budget chains like Travellodge, Premier Inn and Ibis but these are far more likely to have keycarded lifts and corridors (less so with Ibis) which are not an insurmountable obstacle but a real pain, and definitely best avoided. If you're not sure, the simplest way to find out is to ring the hotel and ask - you can say you're travelling with teenagers or elderly relatives and have had trouble with key card systems before so you prefer to avoid them. Don't ring from your advertised work number (and it should go without saying not to make reservations in your work name or from your working email - hotel staff are more than capable of using Google); another thing when booking is remember that unless you're absolutely sure your plans won't change, don't be too tempted by the rock bottom advance booking rates. You might save a few quid per night, but if you decide to leave early or cancel altogether you won't get any of your money back - it's up to you whether you take the risk, but having cancelled a couple of trips both through events that were no fault of my own and lost £700 or so in hotel and travel costs, it's well worth giving some serious thought.

As far as hotel standards go, again, everybody's different - I can't cope with more than one (short) night in a Travellodge and find the lack of even basic comforts impossible, but it's really up to you. Work out costs carefully though - it can actually work out more economical to spend a little more if it means you get free Wifi, breakfast (you can often pocket enough fruit/pastries/yoghurts and so on to see you through until evening - take freezer bags) and a better location. You will often find you can check in earlier and check out later without having to pay extra too, although this is still generally only around £10 if you do decide to maximise your working time and take advantage of the busy lunchtime period. The absolute bare essentials for me are a safe (unless there's a branch of my bank within a five minute walk), a spy hole in the door and aircon in summer, with a fridge running close behind (even a tiny mini bar can hold enough food for a day if you balance it carefully). With nicer hotels you're also more likely to get a coffee shop, gym facilities or even a pool, which isn't crucial but can make all the difference if you're busy and just need a break for an hour while they clean the room. Towels can easily be gathered from the housekeeping trolleys, but don't be afraid to ring and just ask for fresh ones if you do run short; likewise bedding - if you're really not feeling brazen, spill coffee over them first and sound apologetic. I always take my own towel from home and a thin throw for emergencies - other ladies use fitted sheets which cover the whole bed or just whatever they can grab. Try to arrange for your room to be cleaned first thing if you want to be left alone for the day (the Do Not Disturb sign is your friend if not, and you can also buy rubber door wedges from most pound shops if you're really concerned about being walked in on!) I always leave tips for the housekeeping staff, but again it's up to you.

The other major consideration is location - if at all possible you want to be near places where you can easily get food, bank your money at least once a day (and preferably more if you're busy) and hopefully not have to spend a fortune on taxis. From a punter's point of view, parking is usually important outside London, plus consider the place you are visiting - smaller towns mean that a venue slightly out of the way can be better as punters will worry less about running into people they know if they're not risking being sighted walking into a large hotel in the middle of the local main drag. Again, the best way to find out is ask others who have done it.

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Keeping Yourself Going

Most ladies use touring time to work far more intensively than we do at home - that's why we're there, after all! With effective advertising you may well get almost booked up in advance if punters are excited about your visit and don't want to miss a chance to see you, but always have a proper confirmation procedure to help weed out timewasters and no shows. Apart from anything else, peoples' plans change and a handful of cancellations the week before you go is nothing out of the ordinary - if in doubt, just don't take bookings until (say) a week before you go.

I tend to reconfirm by email or ask for a phone call a few days/the weekend before I set off, and then again on the actual morning which is when I give them the name of the hotel. Don't be tempted to do this until you've arrived and settled in, just in case - if you have punters coming shortly after you've arrived just take the confirmation call as normal, give them rough directions and ask them to ring you (or if you can ring them) once you're in your room for the specific hotel name and address. Again, do a bit of research - if your hotel is the only likely one in the street, don't give them the street name - the postcode will do fine and by all means use Google Maps to get the postcode for the next street if you're concerned, although these sort of precautions really aren't necessary outside the 'sensitive' places mentioned earlier.

If you're only used to doing a handful of bookings a week, several (or more) in a day can come as a shock to the system even to the fittest - in addition to your actual bookings you'll have long days, the constant worry about being caught out (which can get to the best of us!) as well as very limited time to get proper food, fresh air and exercise. Try hard to make time for at least one hot meal a day (Just Eat is a great site for ordering takeaways if you're in a strange city and you can pay online too!) and take what you can with you to keep you going during the day - cup-a-soups, instant noodles and pasta-in-a-mug type things aren't great nutritionally, but they're better than nothing and you can improvise with deli bits, bought salads and fruit. Crackers or oatcakes and peanut butter are filling and good for energy too - it should go without saying, but avoid food that will make you or the room smell (a pity, since smoked fish fillets are ideal no-cook hotel food otherwise), that you need proper crockery or cutlery to eat or prepare or that is high in sugar including drinks - you'll get tired out and headachy a lot quicker.

Try to get some daily fresh air and a bit of (non-work) exercise, even if it's just taking your time going to the bank and picking up your lunch from the shops. You'll probably be having more showers than usual too, so if your skin is sensitive you might want to pack extra body lotion - I take E45 as the combination of soap and aircon makes mine dry. You're likely to need at least an hour a day to deal with messages and emails, return calls and so on - don't forget to allow for this. And if you really do feel like you can't cope with any more for one day then stop as soon as you can, switch your phone off and take a few hours out even if it's just to sleep, watch TV or read while you recuperate a bit - this is really important if you're going for more than just a couple of days and it's worth factoring in a bit of time off in advance if you're not used to working intensively. For example, if you have a day where you don't have any appointments booked until noon, or after seven, consider leaving this time for yourself to have a lie in or an early finish. It'll work out better in the long term if you don't exhaust yourself by the end of the first day!

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Some More Top Tips for Touring!

So you've decided to give it a try! Below is a list of tips, recommendations and knowhow compiled from posts by regularly touring members on the SAAFE forum, as well as a few very basic pointers that are always worth keeping in mind.

Check and double check everything - hotel reservations, train times, location of services and amenities. Don't get stranded, miss your flight, go to the wrong hotel, find that the nearby branch of your bank you found shut two years ago. Above all, make sure your accommodation is suitable for working from.

Have contingency plans for any possible disasters - what will you do if you get asked to leave your hotel (rare, but it happens), get attacked or robbed, fall ill, lose your luggage or even have all your bookings cancel? And prepare properly - top up your phones, make sure your work clothes don't need repairing, stock up on spare hosiery, batteries and so on before you set off.

Know your limits. Just because other ladies can see ten (or five) punters a day doesn't mean you have to if you don't want to. And just because you're paying for a hotel doesn't mean you have to see the sort of people you would turn away in a heartbeat at home, either - screening is just as crucial if not more so.

Treat all requests for dressing up with suspicion - even if you offer a fancy dress-type service at home, you don't want to schlep a suitcase full of costumes all over the land just find that the one person who asked for them cancels the day before. Unless you've seen the punter already and think he's reliable, consider turning down all 'outfit' requests flat.

Keep your receipts! Travel tickets, hotel costs, parking/toll fees and a reasonable allowance for meals are ALL tax deductible.

Above all, look after yourself properly. It's bloody hard work, and don't feel bad if you need a few days (or a week) off afterwards. Set aside some of your extra earnings for a treat, even if it's just a new pair of shoes, a family day out somewhere or a massive takeaway. Equally, if you're not busy, don't be too downhearted. We've all been there and I doubt anybody who's toured more than a handful of times hasn't had at least one disaster. It's easier said than done, but if you can stay and try to make the best of it do, or go home early and enjoy some extra personal time. Either way, it's just one of those things.

Have fun! You've got no housework or laundry to do for a few days, at least.

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Specialist Services

There's a lot more to escorting than just straight sex!

There are most definitely different facets to the sex industry. The longer you're in this business the more 'strange' requests will be asked of you. Please don't think men are crazy, or disgusting when you are requested something you haven't heard of before. Try not to judge them; it takes a lot of nerve on the part of the client to ask you in the first place. Please bear that in mind before you turn the phone off in disgust (although that's not to say you aren't allowed to hang up if someone persists in talking to you about a service you've already explained you don't offer!).

Many people have fetishes, pure and simple. And for some they've perhaps transcended straight sex, and would rather you indulge in just their fetish. For others their fetish is an ideal accompaniment to a full personal service. Fetish doesn't mean disgusting, although it might be a turn-off to more of the straight-laced escorts. A fetish is a variety of things, an addition maybe. Certain things that turn a person on as much as having straight sex in various positions turns on others.

There are fetishes too numerous to mention. But here are some of the most requested:

  • Feet - A man can have a fetish for feet; he may want to lick them, smell them, massage them, whatever he desires.
  • Smoking - A man may have a fetish for smoking, and using him as your ashtray. For some men it's a sign of sophistication watching a woman smoke.
  • Domination - Some men may want mild domination added to their appointment; they simply cannot cum unless they're in pain. This can include spanking, nipple torture and cock and ball torture.
  • Watersports - No, it doesn't mean doing it on the back of a jetski, lol. Some love the idea of being peed on. The dominant ones love the idea of peeing on you. Not for the faint-hearted.
  • Fur - Some men love the feel of a fur coat when making love. Real or fake fur, it's up to them. But if you're against wearing real fur, you may not be comfortable with this.

Speaking from experience, as a size 20, 5ft 10ins tall woman, I've had my share of unusual requests. Some I had never tried before but was willing to. Some I've become rather good at, even if I do say so myself, lol. I would suggest to ladies that are asked for a particular service for the first time, be honest and upfront if you haven't performed a service before. Some gentlemen are cool with that, and are happy to talk you through their scenario.

But sometimes, if you try to perform a particular service for the first time on a person that's been experienced in receiving, he will just end up disappointed. On the other hand, if the person asking for a specialist service is as new as you are to performing it, a lot of fun can be had in learning together.

But I digress. I was going to say, that as a tall bbw, I have had my share of unusual requests. They've included:

  • Erotic wrestling - Some men like the idea of a tousle with a taller, stronger lady. They like the idea of fighting for dominance, of you asserting your dominance over them. They enjoy being physically overpowered, and even being sexually 'taken'. For some men this is their ultimate fantasy. It's very horny foreplay, and you get hot and sweaty into the bargain. *Ahem!*
  • Facesitting (or Queening) - Exactly as it sounds. Again, another show of dominance on the part of the lady, because you're on top. Some Mistresses perform this as well as escorts. But it has been said (according to a forum dedicated to facesitting) that a lot of men prefer escorts, because although you are the one Dominating them by sitting on their face, some men love the idea of performing oral sex on you whilst they're under there; they basically know what they want, and will tell you so. This is called nude facesitting. But there are different methods of facesitting, believe it or not. Some men prefer fully clothed, they just prefer the absence of control, not to mention the absence of oxygen. Some prefer you wear big knickers. They love the feel of cloth on their face, and they like to sniff the muskiness of you through the knickers. There are others who like the thong, or g-string. While men love the skin to skin contact of arse to face, they still like the mystery a little g-string holds in covering up a fanny. Then there are those who want you totally naked. They enjoy every aspect of facesitting. Mistresses will most likely facesit fully clothed, as most don't allow skin to skin contact. Hence the need for men to seek this particular service from an escort. If you love oral sex performed on you, then you'll have no problem with this particular service. You can either sit forward, for a bit of pussy worship, or sit facing away, for a bit of arse worshipping. (You can tell I've done this before,lol).
  • Body worship - Some men just want to play with a woman's body. They just want to sniff, smell and lick certain parts of your body. This can be very erotic and a huge turn-on for some women (whew! I'm getting hot under the collar here). Some men want to sniff, and lick your armpits, some want to do the same to your bottom, your fanny, and so on. A precursor to a full service, or not.
  • Breast or bottom smothering - If like me you have an ample arse or cleavage, you can use your assets to maximum effect. Some men love to actually be deprived of oxygen for a short while whilst you suffocate them with either your arse or your boobs. This is their idea of Nirvana (or if you're Christian, Heaven, lol). They enjoy the smell, the muskiness of your body whilst being suffocated. A huge turn-on for some men.

I'm sure there are more fetishes that I haven't had the pleasure of knowing about. But above is a list of a few that I have partaken of myself. If you are a brand new escort coming into this business for the first time, and you get requests like these, just treat them as any other 'normal' request. There are thousands of men out there who pay for sex, you're bound to come across some of an unusual nature.

And if, like me you're a bbw, don't let anybody tell you that you're not suitable for this industry. There are plenty of men that love a fulsome woman. If you have a big arse, and a big bottom, believe me there are lots you can do with them. That's the good thing about this industry. We're not all size 10 slim chicks. Make the most of what you have.

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Your First Experience

Here, escorts share their first-time experiences. The stories here were gathered from contributions on our forum.

quote marks"Mine was an outcall set up by my first agency and I just went to this guy's house and chattered nervously at him until he indicated that we should go upstairs. I think OWO and missionary occurred but am not 100%. I really hope he did get off on 'deflowering' the new girl because otherwise it must've been the most boring booking ever! I remember not being sure how enthusiastically into it to pretend to be so I think I spent most of the sex just looking thoughtful. Afterwards I remember thinking, "WOOHOO!" as I showered, grabbed my stuff and walked out of that fancy building with quite a lot of money. I bought a homeless man quite a lot of shopping on my way home but probably should have just got him beers. And I realised that I would need to learn a lot more sex stuff to keep me going once my new girl thing had worn off so I set myself to researchin'. Not with multiple sexual partners, ahem, but on the Internet because I am a huge geek!"

quote marks"My first one was a visit to a reasonably nice hotel in the city centre. I was very nervous of course! What made it better was the hotel bar is on the first floor and he must have seen me arrive and met me in the lift. Yes I got a shock but it was almost a relief not having to knock the door, lol. He was very sweet and wanted me to undress in front of him, this was weird as I don't like being naked but I kept my cool I think, lol.

He didn't last very long but we were able to relax and chat which was very nice. He told me how he had become very depressed as his wife had withdrawn intimacy over the years to nothing. Traveling with work gave him the chance to see escorts and that helped him. I felt sorry for him, he was very sweet and in a way it help me escort because I saw clients as more human, like they're not just seeing escorts because they're filthy perverts, lol.

I then had 2 bookings one after the other the next day so that was me off!"

quote marks"I feel I am lucky to be a married escort and have a husband looking out for me which makes me more safe but I have to admit the majority of the guys I meet are just lovely normal guys. That was a nice surprise after 2 years of online only guys who are a little more weird, ha ha."

quote marks"Okay - mine is proof positive that sometimes the only way is up! and i don't usually admit to the full horror!

I put a profile on Adultwork though I can't say I'd made a firm decision to go ahead. I wanted to see if I would get any interest. Within minutes phone rang and I found myself agreeing to a booking in 2 hours! Half an hour before saw me legging it down the shops for condoms! I was hideously unprepared and didn't even have time for a nerve-soothing glass of wine.

Guy turned up for his hour booking - mid 50s, polite enough, but then kept asking for bareback. I wonder now if he has one of those 'New Member' alerts [a slightly dubious feature of Adultwork.com] and targets new girls in the hope of them being nervous/daft enough to agree bareback. I did not agree but he kept mentioning it, until I said 'Look I'm new, not stupid!' and he seemed to lose interest then. We did have sex but he didn't cum.

To add the final touch of yuk to a horrendous start, when I climbed off him, I discovered my period had started!

My main feeling was of embarrassment - but it left me absolutely sure that I could do it!"

quote marks"I was feeling quite randy, myself and was looking to book a male escort for myself, for the night. Figured I'd put my money where my... er... mouth is. Got a message on Adultwork and the guy followed up with a phone call. He made a plan to book a hotel room and would get back to me. And he actually did!! I walked into the lobby without hesitation and went up to his room. He opened the door and asked for a hug! Perfectly reasonable. Not my type but nothing grotesque. I promised him I'd actually be prepped and ready when I arrived due to my own libido. He offered me water, then money, and only THEN did he reach up under my dress. I actually enjoyed myself and felt guilty that I was so satisfied. He even offered me the use of the room for a couple of hours as he was off to a dinner party. I declined.

The second part is because he was my first (only) incall to my flat.

Fast forward two months and he rang again. This time I told him he could come over to my flat even though I don't do incalls as standard. He came over, we did what we did and (WARNING! GROSSOUT PART!!) when he was done, his finger, the condom and his pubic hair was covered in white powder-- thrush pessary from the day before!! I had no idea they lingered so long (we don't have anything but tablets and cream where I come from.) I suggested it was a combination of my talcum powder and the lube I'd used earlier to get myself ready for him. Don't know that there will BE a third time!"

quote marks"I remember seeing my first client walk through the door and not quite believing my luck. He was gorgeous, and I went straight from feeling confident and pretty sure I could grit my teeth/lay back and think of England/fake my way through it, to a giggling, blushing mess. It was a two hour booking and the time seemed to go really fast but looking back now I think that's because I tried to do my entire sexual repertoire in 120 minutes instead of going slower and letting the client set the pace a bit.

He's still a client now and teases me about 'popping my Escorting cherry' He's also said I was a bit hyperactive and giggly which he puts down to it being first time nerves but was actually because I fancied him so much! I still struggle at being professional when they are really cute!

I need to add here that I do appreciate how lucky I was. Good-looking clients who are fantastic in bed are not unknown but they're not the norm either. It was a great way to start but there have been times since when there has been much teeth gritting and Oscar worthy acting too..."

quote marks"I remember my first client, but I kinda discount him as my real first, as he was totally odd.

He was odd from the start - he picked me up in his car and just stared at me when I knocked on his car window. Then he barely said a word the whole way to his place though I was trying to make conversation. This of course meant I was incredibly nervous by the time he arrived.

Not many preliminaries... but then he started trying BB (bareback) and I said absolutely NOT. He then just went totally weird - in a sulk just lying there. I said... is everything all right... he was very much the kind to say "suck my cock" like an order and I was too naive not too.

Anyway all this combined to make me super NOT turned on and he said... you don't want to do this do you?

I got so embarrassed I ran downstairs and put my clothes on... worst thing was he then had to drive me back (in total silence I was dammed if I was gonna speak).

Oh yeah I was too naive to get the money first also.

This very nearly put me off altogether. I have learned a lot since then, I wouldn't put up with that crap now and I always ask for the money first."

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Renting a Flat

Here are some tips on renting a flat (based on experience on London but applicable anywhere really).

  1. Always try to go through a private landlord. You can find their properties on places like Gumtree and Craigslist.
  2. Tell them you are self-employed and you can get a guarantor (someone who is either a family member/non family member who is UK based and in full time secure work. This means that if you ever fall behind with your rent it will come out of their account instead so the landlord never receives nothing).
  3. If they ask for accountant proof/credit reports etc. then you absolutely don't have to provide them. If you have a guarantor then there is no need for them to see things like that as they will be getting the rent every month no matter what.
  4. If they ask for bank statements then you will probably need to show them some. Just say you get paid cash in hand from your job and you put it into your account when you need it. It's definitely a good thing to be paying tax as an escort as you can also show your potential landlord proof of you pay NI etc.
  5. Offer 2 months' rent upfront, plus a 6 week deposit. They will be all over you like a rash if you offer a lump sum. I wouldn't advise offering something like 6 months upfront as they will think it's a bit weird and wonder why you want to do that.
  6. If you need a previous landlord reference then maybe get one of the girls on SAFAFE to do it for you, somebody you trust. All it involves is a phone call or an email. Or get one of your personal friends to do it for you. If you have a real previous landlord reference though then of course use that and not a fake one.
  7. It always helps to have a glowing character reference from someone like an old boss, teacher, flatmate.
  8. It's good to always opt for a 6 month lease or a 1 year lease with a break clause in it. A break clause is one where you (AND THE LANDLORD) are contracted together for a period of time, normally a year but with a break clause (normally at the 6 month point of your tenancy) where either party can decide they would not like the tenancy to continue. Effectively it gives you or your landlord the option to break the tenancy at a certain point. You/They MUST give a certain amount of notice (normally 2 months under Assured Shorthold Tenancies) but you need to check your specific tenancy agreement. This way, if you end up hating the flat or the landlord is a nightmare etc. then you can get out quickly.
  9. Be aware that your landlord MUST by law give 24 hours written notice (text, email, letter) to come over to the flat. If they just show up then this is against the law and they must NEVER let themselves in without your permission.
  10. Your landlord must bond your deposit in one of the bonding schemes. If they dont do this within the appropriate time frame then they are liable to give you 3 x the amount of the deposit. Check out the DPS* for more info.

*The DPS is the Deposit Protection Service - depositprotection.com. It is a tenancy deposit scheme. The DPS is one of a couple of online services you can use to find out whether your landlord has protected your deposit. In order to see if your money has been deposited into the scheme, your landlord needs to give you a PIN number which he would've been assigned when opening the account in which to place your deposit. It's your deposit ID number.

To expand, if it does turn out that he hasn't protected your deposit, you can file a claim at the small claims court at your local county court (do a Google search for the nearest one in your area; due to govt. cuts some have closed and some have merged with the magistrates and criminal courts. It costs around £35 to file (that was the price last year), which you can also claim back and also any necessary expenses you may have accrued when filing; postage, proof of phone calls, travel, etc.

If you can, always record your correspondence between yourself and your landlord. Try to use email or snail mail and if you use your mobile, send texts instead of speaking to him on the phone. Then, if your landlord turns out to be a less than savoury character, you've got hard copies for proof.

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Getting a Mortgage

Preliminaries

Many escorts do not realise that they are as entitled to apply for a mortgage as any-one else. Most escorts are classified for tax purposes as self-employed. So, if you are already paying tax, or are about to start paying tax, perhaps you would like to think about getting a mortgage, to buy a property and invest in your future.

Really the rules about mortgages for escorts are no different than for any other self-employed people, or shouldn't be. I have worked as an escort and as a mortgage broker and I got my first mortgage when I was an escort.

I did not declare that I was an escort. I was paying tax as a complimentary therapist. So to be honest I do not really know how mortgage providers will react if you say you are working as an escort. I shouldn't think they will be moralistic but they may view you as more of a financial risk (e.g. they may think you are only going to work for a year, so may not be a good risk for a 25 years mortgage). So the decision as to whether you tell them you are an escort or not is yours alone. The only thing I would add is if you are not going to tell them you are an escort please make sure that the job you say you do is the same as the one you pay tax under!

Usually I would not advise anyone to have a mortgage that is more than three times their annual income. So for example, if on average you earn say £35,000 a year your maximum mortgage should be no more than £105,000.

Remember also to make provisions if you suddenly cannot carry on working. I would recommend that you look at private Unemployment Insurance to cover your mortgage if you become ill etc. (Your broker should be able to advise on this). And also I would recommend that you look at rental properties similar to the property you are looking to buy and see if, in an emergency, the local rent charged could cover your mortgage payments. (Of course you may have to live elsewhere for a while, but this would be the worst case scenario so you don't lose your property).

Many lenders may allow you to do this if you seek their permission but I would advise that you get legal advice before you do because some clauses in the lease, (if the property is leasehold), forbid the renting out of the property.

PLEASE NOTE: Many mortgages are not covered by payments from the Income Support if you become ill or get pregnant. Seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau before you buy a property if you think this may be likely to happen to you.

(There are links at the end of this article to websites that can help you if you get into difficulties.)

What Mortgages are Available?

The following mortgages are available for the self-employed:

Non-Status Mortgages (also called Self-Certification Mortgages)

Non-status is a term generally used by mortgage and remortgage lenders when your employment or self-employment income is not easily proved or comes from a variety of sources. (For example you may have a day job and work as an escort in the evening.) Many high street mortgage lenders take a cautious view of the self-employed or other people who have difficulty proving their income. And also of people who earn their income in a cash business such as many escorts do. If you have difficulty proving your income, for example you are unable to provide two or three years' accounts, or you do not have accounts, (because you are just starting out in the escort business for example), then a non status mortgage) may be the way forward.

With a self-certified mortgage you do not have to provide accounts, payslips or other proof of income, but instead you simply certify that you have sufficient income to service the repayments. You could qualify for up to 95% of the purchase price.

This type of mortgage could be particularly useful if you have just started escorting and therefore have no accounts, but already have a substantial cash sum to put down as a deposit on a property. (Bear in mind though that you will have to start paying tax and that you may need to justify to the Inland Revenue, (the 'tax man'), how your deposit originated e.g. was it a gift or left in a will etc.) Non status mortgages are offered by UK mortgage lenders without the need to provide proof of income or previous mortgage history. You simply have to make a declaration that you can afford to meet the monthly payment on the amount you wish to borrow.

Even if you have adverse credit or previous arrears you could still be considered for this type of mortgage.

One thing I would add about this type of mortgage is that the interest is usually higher than that of high street mortgage lenders because the lender in this case is taking more risk.

Many of the non-status mortgage lenders only accept business through mortgage brokers and many of them are not available in the high street.

Self-Employed Mortgages

If you are able to provide two to three years of accounts you can get an even better deal on a self-employed mortgage. This will be at a better rate than a non-status mortgage.

Some high street lenders will consider the self-employed for this type of mortgage. However, three years accounts will be better and your past mortgage/credit history will still be taken into account.

Some of the better deals, which may be more sympathetic to those with accounts but still with bad or no mortgage/credit history may be found with independent mortgage brokers.

For both types of mortgages flexible deals may be available. e.g.:

Flexible Mortgages

Innovative mortgage solutions are available which present you with a more flexible way to pay your mortgage when you are self-employed. If a flexible mortgage is important to you, payments can be tailored to meet your changing circumstances, so you can increase payments or pay lump sums when cash flow is good and reduce payments or take payment holidays when you need to.

Legal Advice

I would suggest when buying a property that you only use a qualified solicitor that is experienced in helping people buy properties, (also called conveyancing) to help you. Another type of person who is qualified to do this is called a conveyancer.

And although you can cover the legal aspects of buying a property yourself and there are books on the market that suggest this is easy, I would strongly recommend against this.

Links

Copy and paste any link into your browser address bar.

Advice for getting a mortgage:

UK Mortgages Brokers Directory

If you need help because you have been mistreated by a mortgage broker:

The UK Financial Ombudsman

If you have problems paying for a mortgage:

Citizens Advice Bureau

General Help for the Self-Employed

Federation of Small Businesses

Good Luck!

Legal Disclaimer

The forgoing advice is given in good faith but should not be considered a substitute for appropriate professional or legal advice. Always consult a qualified solicitor and a qualified financial adviser before taking out a mortgage or buying a property.

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Hiring a Driver

Some escorts use a driver to take them to and from bookings on outcalls. Here are two accounts of hiring a driver: one from an escorts point of view, one from a male driver's perspective.

An Escort's View

If you are an incall escort then you don't worry about how you're going to get to your appointments. However, if you're an escort who does outcalls then you have to give some thought on how you're going to get there and your safety.

When I first started doing outcalls I would drive myself and save on the expense of having a driver. I still drive myself if the outcall is fairly nearby and for an hour, but for anything longer or further away I now have a driver.

So what are the advantages of having a driver? You can relax to and from your appointments, you don't have to worry about the traffic/parking, and your driver can also act as your security.

The only disadvantage is that you won't earn as much from your outcall as you will need to pay your driver. There are no set rates for drivers so it will be whatever you negotiate with them for driving you, waiting for you and acting as your security.

But in all honesty, I prefer to pay a driver and feel calm and safe to and from an appointment.

So how do you choose a driver? I can only tell you from my personal experience. I'm sure like me you have had emails from guys saying that they drive escorts and act as security, they may well do but I prefer to have someone I know and can trust with my personal safety. If you don't know anyone who can drive you then see if you can get another escort to recommend someone to you.

I now have 3 possible drivers, two male and one femele, all good friends who know what I do and I trust with my safety. Before they started driving for me I set up a code system so that when I arrive at my outcall client and then phone my driver they would know if I was safe or not. If not, we set up a procedure on what to do to get me out of the situation. As yet I have never had to put this procedure into practice, but you do need to have something on standby.

It is a lovely feeling coming out of a successful session with a client and having someone waiting for you to drive you back to your base. I use the time to undwind and chill out and not have to worry about the traffic or which route I need to take. I've even trained my drivers to provide me with chocolate!

A Driver's View

Based upon some 14 years of working as a driver for both agency and independent ladies, I have built a working knowledge on what you should expect from a driver within the industry and those that you should perhaps avoid!

There are perhaps three main things you should have with a driver: Trust is the most vital, followed by a system in the event things do not go as they should and finally his knowledge in terms of getting you too and from a booking.

Trust: Goes without saying, or does it? You should feel comfortable from the outset and he or she should be able to put you at ease in any number of ways. For example, I always offer to meet someone prior to undertaking any driving and it should be up to the lady to choose time, venue and if she wishes to be accompanied by friend, boyfriend or husband.

Ask to see their driving license and insurance documents, ask if they are able to provide references from other ladies, ask to see the car you are potentially going to be driven in -- if the driver is above board then there should be no problem with any of this being produced.

System: Ask how he or she intends to ensure (as far as is practical and possible) that your safety will be maintained. He should be able to explain what he wants to be done once you are at your location and what happens if things were to go wrong whilst you are with your client. A system that is simple and easy to carry out is what you should seek from him; after all, you don't want to get into problems or confrontation and then get confused in the way you should be getting out of it!

Ensure your client is fully aware you are not alone as soon as possible once you're in a property by making a call to your driver. Make the call very friendly and say the driver's first name (or an agreed pseudonym) as making it sound to your client as though he is more than simply your 'driver' will add to the image of your client that the guy outside has a personal care and interest for your welfare. Remember, you may know that your driver is a 4'7" dwarf but your client will not! This call should be within the first 5 minutes at the longest.

Your driver should be parked where he dropped you or at an agreed point but always within very close proximity and when possible within view of the actual property you are in. This is obviously more difficult if in a block of flats, if you feel it appropriate in these circumstances let him go with you to the flat door (your client does not have to see him or you may decide this is a good way to get the message across that you have someone with you, though should he really be that 4'7" dwarf he is better kept out of sight. Whichever way, he will then know how to get to the flat if required.

Prevention is far better than a cure. Once your client has the thought of a guy being with you for your protection 99% will assume the guy outside is an Adonis type creature or something out of the black lagoon - either way, that thought process in all but the very odd occasion will prevent any nonsense from your client.

The driver should then simply sit and wait, not bringing attention to himself by playing his radio or CD at decibels that keeps the neighbourhood awake! I personally don't leave the engine running either; again, it draws attention that is simple to avoid. If its winter time (and trust me it gets cold sitting there for two hours) then he should dress accordingly flask of tea or coffee at the ready! Trivial? Maybe, but its far better than his being reported by a passer by or neighbour for loitering and then having to concoct a story as to why he is there to a passing Police patrol car and potentially not being there when you come out or if there were problems.

Make arrangements for the end of your booking. Get your driver to call you or make the call at the time your booking is about to end yourself to draw your appointment to a close. If no call is received or answered then the `system` to find out what is happening takes place. Communication is vital to prevent embarrassing mistakes!

And what should he do if a problem does occur? Quite simply, there is no ready made answer to this one as circumstances may dictate. Common sense, tact and diplomacy, speed of thought and the ability to make the right decision at the right time are all useful assets for a driver to have but not all are blessed with these attributes, so this is an area to discuss what YOU want.

Knowledge: This is two fold and encompasses his/her actual geographical knowledge and his/her understanding of the very industry itself.

Geographical: Will they know how to get you to a location? Will they know a backup route if heavy traffic or diversions hinder the original or planned route? Satellite Navigation systems are currently in vogue and while they can be good they are not always the answer, so a good driver should have map books and at least a basic knowledge of routes and alternatives and the duration of any journey - no point being an hour early or, worse, an hour late!

The industry: A knowledge of its workings as such should be known by your driver and he or she should be tactful enough to chat with you without seeking every intimate detail of the time you have spent with a client.

I appreciate this is a very individual thing and this side of the 'relationship' will develop between the escort and driver over time but if you seek a professional driver they should conduct themselves accordingly.

Having taken part in various forums I have had emails from a number of men asking for details of how to get into driving in this industry, what to 'charge' and they don't always refer to this being an amount in cash! None have convinced me that their intentions are for them to drive you for the 'right' reasons and, therefore, they have not been given any information, so it is with this in mind that I base my thoughts upon.

Your safety is paramount - ensure your driver understands this too!

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Where to Advertise

Websites and Search Engines

Once your website is up, many web masters will write to you offering some fantastic deals. In fact, if I had a penny for everyone who has offered to bring me in loads of extra business/increase my search engine placement/improve my site/increase my penis size (oh sorry, different sort of spam) then, well, I'd have a big enough jar to make it worthwhile to go down my local Sainsbury's and change it up for notes in their coin counter.

Lots of unscrupulous "business people" see sex workers as their way of making quick cash. They see our hourly rates and decide that they need, want or deserve a share of it. But don't be fooled; you should be the only one making money out of your body. If someone has a genuine skill to offer then pay what their skill is worth to you; do not let them rip you off by overcharging just because they see what you earn per hour.

It is very tempting when you start out, or if business isn't as great as you'd thought it would be, to give something a go, especially when it promises so much. You will hear lots of talk about traffic and hits. Traffic to your site is only good if it is the right sort of traffic that will convert into business. And as for hits, don't let people get you confused between hits and unique user visits. Number of hits will not tell you how many people have visited your site, it will tell you how many items have been downloaded so for example if one of your pages had 10 pictures on it, that will generate 10 hits but only one person will have visited.

We advise that when the next 'best thing that could ever happen to your business' comes along, check it out thoroughly.

  • Ask if they give you a money back guarantee (given they are so confident they will improve your business).
  • Ask who they have done work for previously and don't just accept a list of names and quotes, ask for contact details so you can talk to the girls yourself.
  • Ask for figures. You may get told that so-and-so had a 100% increase in business, well that is no good if all that translates into is that they had one client a year before and now have two!

Well, that is some of the bad stuff to look out for, let's now talk about where is good to advertise...

Firstly, you should be reviewing your own website. Check out the wording on the front page and make sure it has lots of keywords that search engines like Google will pick up. Search engine placement is far more sophisticated than it used to be so make your site relevant and try and keep up with the latest methods being used by search engines to rank sites.

Search engines aside....

Blogging

This seems to be the craze of the moment ever since Belle Du Jour burst onto our computer screens way back in 2004 (I think). Now it is tres chic to blog. Whilst it can be about anything, it would help bunches if you made your blog interesting. Some ladies like to go for the full "I had a gangbang the other night and I'm so horny I can just swing off your cock right now" kinda stuff. Or some ladies prefer the more subtle approach, talking about their day if they think it's been interesting enough. For some escorts it's not always about sex and if you don't want to be continuously thought of as sex objects it's nice to throw in a bit of human-ess about you.

I would suggest not giving away too much of your personal life, though. Unfortunately, this industry attracts the most, um, colourful, shall we say, of characters, so it's always good to think about what you're going to write first. Plus you also have to remember that the potential client might be reading what you get up to before he makes up his mind on whether or not he'd like to spend some time with you. So remember you're writing for an audience - and they might pick up more detail than you think.

To add a blog to your site either ask your webmaster/mistress, or check out something like Wordpress.com or Livejournal.com for yourself.

Message Boards and Escort Directories

There are now many message boards and escort directories. Many come and go and many ask for extortionate monthly advertising fees so you should have a good look around before you sign up to anything. For those with message boards attached, have a quick scan of the message board to see what type of person frequents it and what types of posts they allow. A board/site struggling for traffic will allow gossip-fuelled personal attacks on people which shows the admin will stoop to anything to promote the site and so we suggest you avoid, as you could be their next innocent target. Also look out for sites which allow racist abuse to go unmoderated. Generally spend a little time having a look around and decide if the site is somewhere you want your name associated with.

Probably one of the main sites to advertise on is PunterNet. It is well established and many girls will tell you it's the only place worth advertising. It costs £15 a month for a basic listing or £30 a month for a deluxe listing which, aside from being a tax deductible expense, is very reasonable. You can have a listing on the service providers database and also advertise on the announcements board and on the tour calendar. It has a message board which can in useful for some 'subliminal' advertising, and do read Celine's testimonial in our 'ways of working' section for how message boards can help your business.

Another established and reasonably priced site is Captain 69. At last check it was £9 to be listed on the C69 database and can be worth doing. It will bring you business if you are the kind of girl C69 members look for - generally upmarket and pretty with a good-looking website. Members tend to be affluent professionals. The C69 membership is all UK and abroad but predominantly London. London guys travel within the UK on business and like the prices of the best regional girls.

C69 is a whole community of girls and punters and agents. The Members area of the site includes free advertising boards, message forum, chat room, IM, thousands of reviews, and more besides, established since 1999.

A fledgling site that comes recommended is SexyIndependentEscorts, which is now free to advertise.

Puntingzone is another reasonably well established site - it has returned to no-fee listings. Our experience is that the listings and adverts do not attract a hugely high amount of traffic (as compared to Punternet) but the message board is busy and lady members can have their details listed on their profile which is seen each time you post and therefore can bring business but could swallow up a lot of your time.

There are a number of free to advertise sites which girls have found useful:

UK Belles, Punterlink (that is both punterlink.com and punterlink.co.uk) and AdultWork (though we advise that you do not answer the personal questions on the AdultWork sign up form or upload a scan of your ID - watch for those sort of questions on other sites too and keep your personal details safe!).

Some of these give you the option of paying a small amount to be linked at the top of their pages or to be 'escort of the week' or similar - this may be worth it, but try and see what business a standard free listing generates in the first instance.

Some of these sites also have messages boards which, if you post a reasonable amount of interesting posts, you may generate some business as some guys like to follow girl's post to get a feel for what they are like. But beware; the boards can get addictive so make sure you maintain the right balance!

Of the free sites mentioned, UK Belles is quite effective as they really have worked consistently hard on good search engine placement. As a result of their work, once you are listed with them, guys looking for escorts via Google are much more likely to find you. If you're in Central London there is another site called LondonBelles, created by the owner of UK Belles.

HOWEVER (UK Belles health warning coming up), do not expect to be listed within 24 hours of submitting your site as the person running it has many other commitments and is a self-confessed "miserable old bugger" (although we found him to be very friendly and helpful) so hassling him to get your ad up is not recommended! But its free, it ups your profile in search engines and so is worth the wait in my opinion.

As regards Adultwork there has been much debate about this site. Some ladies would not touch it with the proverbial bargepole but others find it good for business. It is free to be listed but to have your website and number advertised you do have to pay, be it via a private gallery that you charge credits for clients to view, or just plain cold cash.

Selectanescort.com is very good for free and paid for advertising. The webmaster is very knowledgeable and comes highly recommended if you need your own website.

A fledgling site by the owners of well-established site escort-Ireland is escort-england.com. Proper people in an office and you can actually talk to a bod. They will address any concerns you may have. Be aware when filling out your profile, like Adultwork they do ask for personal details such as your real name and address and passport number, neither of which I would recommend for a provider to give to anybody, but they assure me that it is to safeguard themselves against underage escorts, so you may find that understandable. I'm told by the manager himself that these details aren't necessary but you do have to prove that you're an established provider to advertise on their site. A decent website ought to do it. Aside from that minor detail its franchise comes highly recommended.

Niche Directories

To get your site noticed, it is very much worth linking up with who you may see as your competitors. In this business, guys like a bit of variety and will see lots of different girls. In fact to many guys, a big part of the thrill is seeing someone new each time. So, if you have a specific attribute or service, look around for directories which list those girls within the same niche. For example, Pretty Big Escorts lists UK working girls of size 14 and over, PAMFAN offers advertising for pregnant working ladies and those offering the specialist 'milk maiding' service or, if you fancy working with an agency while you get established then Judy's Mature Escorts caters for mature ladies as does Vintage Vamps.

For Black/Ebony escorts there are london-select.net and london-ebony.com.

Regional and Other Country Directories

There are a few regional directories around so look out for ones that cover your area but also remember that if you go off on tour to another part of the country, many of these directories will accept a touring ad which is ideal for drumming up business outside of your own catchment. There are also a number of yahoo groups covering various areas so look out for those but in the meantime here are links to some of the current regional directories:

SCOTLAND

Escort-scotland.com paid for advertising at £20 a week or £40 a month and forums catering for Scotland.

Albaladies.com paid for advertising at £30 a month. Really good for Scotland: highly recommend it if touring or working there.

IRELAND

Escort-Ireland.com (by the owners of Escort-Scotland and Escort-Wales) is is expensive but don't tour Ireland without it as it's the busiest website there.

OTHER CITIES

Copy and paste any links given into your browser address bar, or put any site name into Google to find it if the link isn't given here.

Other sites you may find particularly useful and come recommended by service providers:

How much should you pay for advertising?

In reality, if you are clever with your marketing it shouldn't cost too much each month. £50 a month including the cost of hosting your web site is more than sufficient in most cases and remember many girls do not pay anything near that amount yet make a good living.

There are sites that will charge you £50 a month and more just to be listed, so imagine what the site owners are earning if they have hundreds of girls on their books! Of course, one could argue that they have worked hard to establish their site and if, as a result of that work, girls are getting a lot of business for their outlay, then it is worth it. Some may say money for old rope for the owners; some might say what great business acumen they have shown. As we said above, YOU need to decide what a service is worth to you.

Try pretending to be a client and think what you would put into Google to find the right kind of escort in the right area. "independent escort London" or "mature escort Manchester", for example. Remember, nobody searches for "red-haired escort who works 1.2km from Slough but sometimes travels to Dundee" so anyone who tries to tell you they'll put you at the top of Google listings is likely trying to sell you a silly listing for a never-used search term. It's mostly directories that will be at the top of "independent [town/city] escort" searches (and they'll therefore be the ones clients are most likely to find, too) so see what those directories are and how much those listings cost.

Check out Google Analytics if you want to monitor who is visiting your site and where they're finding it and what they're looking at on it. Google Analytics is free so don't let anyone talk you into paying for this sort of information. It's quite simple to install yourself but if you have trouble, your webmaster should be able to do this with no more than 20 minutes' effort - so don't let them try to charge you £100 for it, either!

Oh and as a final point, some girls report that some male website owners have used their 'status' to gain freebies from the girls. In case you are in any doubt, this is NOT required. If you feel comfortable 'networking' in this manner then fine, but don't EVER be pressurised - only you should decide what to do with your body.

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Setting Up Your Own Website

I think this could be a useful in-between step worth mentioning since Moonfruit sites are (sorry!) often hideous and seem to be hard to make attractive, and amazing professional sites can be so expensive that they're not ideal for someone who might not have even done their first booking yet. But I think it's possible to get your own site up and running with minimal time & cash, while still having access to loads of easy but powerful options for customisation of features and appearance afterwards.

I'll start with the important bit: money! If you want to host your own site and have your own domain (yourname.com instead of yourname.othercompany.com), you'll need to pay maybe £5-10 per month for the hosting space and perhaps £5-10 per year for your domain name. You can buy both of these things from a domain registrar like Amberhosts.com* (see end for special note) - it should be quite a simple process but if you get confused about what's on offer with the different hosting price plans, it's a good idea to call or email the company. If you can't contact your hosting company for help quickly and easily then you really don't want to buy hosting space from them anyway, so it's a good idea to find this out early!

You'll need to pay for a year's worth of domain name registration (you own the domain for a year and will have to keep paying the same fee every year that you keep it) and a month's worth of hosting space (at least) upfront, so that could be around £10-20 outlay. That should be all your spending. It's not as cheap as a free site, obviously, but hosting your pages on your own server space will give you that much more control over the whole thing. You will be able to add plugins (like an availability calendar, a contact form, a swishy gallery), download or modify new themes (some are free and simple, some cost a little but should be more flexible) and so on, with a Wordpress (or other CMS) install, too.

Since an average escort website needs things like an 'about' page (for lots of lovely info), a contact page, a gallery page, and maybe a blog, I do think Wordpress (which is free) is a good option. But it's by no means the only option, so if anyone has had a good experience with any similar but different software they should definitely mention it on the forum! Wordpress now comes with a really flexible free theme (you can check out a preview at Wordpress.org/extend/themes/twentyeleven) included which you can customise with colours and pictures of your own, but which stays essentially professional-looking and clean in layout. You do not need to write any code to customise it - it all happens in the Admin Area once you've installed the software on your hosted server space.

Wordpress has instructions on its site for installing it, but I think the best thing to do is check with your hosting company before buying hosting space whether they offer easy Wordpress installation with their hosting (it should be a free and included service if so). They should be able to provide you with some really simple instructions to get going; once you have Wordpress installed, it's simple to log in and start playing around - make sure you've got the TwentyEleven theme selected; change the content and graphics; add static pages including one for your blogposts to go on; etc etc.

The Wordpress site has tons of information on everything from adding your first page and writing your first blogpost, to installing plugins and modifying the theme stylesheets to create a unique look, should you wish to rummage under the bonnet of your site. There are also other articles which suggests one easy method of installing Wordpress if you're using a Windows computer, and there are probably dozens of other great articles like that so if you know of any or find any, please do add to that forum thread!

Overall, I'd say the positives and negatives of using this method to build a website are as follows:

  • Hosting your own website (with Wordpress or another CMS installed) means you'll have access to plugins and other easy but powerful ways to customise your site.
  • Wordpress is, of course, primarily blogging software so you'll always be able to quickly and easily pop a blog onto your site if you want one.
  • Owning your own domain name and hosting space means that you have more control over your website. If you want it taken down, you log into your hosting account and delete everything. If you want to move to a different hosting company, you can do that easily, too. Changing your domain name is as simple as buying a new one. And so on!
  • On the other hand, you will need to pay the monthly or yearly fees for your domain and host, which - although minimal and tax-deductible - might still be too much of an investment for someone brand-new to the industry.
  • It will also take a little time getting your domain and hosting registered and set up; it should easily be done in 24 hours (your hosting company will need to set up your Wordpress database for you so you'll need to wait for them to do that) even though the actual work on your part is much quicker - there is still a smidge of waiting involved.
  • You will need to look after your site. For WordPress sites, never have a user called 'admin' even though the software suggests you do. Actually, it's because it suggests you do - because there are lots of WordPress-based sites out there, they're a target for hackers, and this is the account name most of them will try to break into first. WordPress gets updated several times a year, and while a properly set up site is easy to update, you have to remember to do it.

As always, head on over to the forums if you'd like to ask more about this!

*Special Note: Make sure your hosting company allows adult content! Again, it's best to ask this before purchasing.

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Finding an Agency

Written by an ex-agency worker turned indie.

Not sure if I've got anything truly definitive enough advice-wise to be worth putting on the main site, but I wanted a place to write my ideas about finding relatively reputable parlours/agencies since I get asked about this a lot!

What I usually say when asked about London agencies is that although I used to work for two, I am not comfortable recommending them to anyone now that I know what being indie is like - I can't possibly advise someone to potentially give a third of their earnings to people who may not actually be doing all your security for you, or finding you good clients, or anything you can't do much better yourself!

However, of course agencies and parlours can have their advantages and lots of newbies (like I did) feel more comfortable of the idea of not starting out totally alone. When you've got no idea where to start but need to start finding out something about existing agencies and parlours, I usually recommend looking at the review sites that punters use (pop Punternet or Punterlink into Google if you don't know them already!), because these are places where punters report on reliability, quality and services etc at establishments and with agency girls as well as indie ones. They're big sites but rummaging through them is worth it. Of course, don't forget that the reviews and discussions are from the point of view of the client rather than the sex workers, so it's not perfect but it's definitely possible to get a good idea of which parlours and agencies are the most popular.

If a place is popular, that will often positively correlate to the happiness of the women working there. Make sure to read bad reviews and reports even more carefully than good ones for clues about the state of the place (flats etc), facilities, unhappy escorts etc. It's important to read everything you can find because one report alone isn't much good, and definitely don't let your hopes that a fancy-sounding agency isn't a scam affect your judgement!

Another step is to check the sex worker forums - searching SAAFE's forum using the search form and also registering on Guild of Harlots (see Google) if you can are good ideas. We can't talk about agencies much on the forum because links are not allowed (we don't want to be advertising for them!) and many of us are indies. But there's no reason not to use PMs and gather information, as long as you look at everything with a sharp eye. Also, I'd be a bit worried about information on the main site going out of date; if someone writes a post in October 2010 about how Super Klassy Agency For Winners is the best but it 'changes management' and gets taken over by a creepy bloke who pervs on the women on his books the month afterwards, some newbies might still glance over this forum and decide to join that agency, with unpleasant results!

At the end of the day, nothing beats applying to an agency or calling a parlour and giving it a proper inspection yourself. From the start, they should agree to meet for a one-on-one chat in a public place so that you can have all your questions answered and they can check out your appearance and manner. If they can't even do this part properly then kick them to the curb straight away! You should never, ever need to give your full personal information (including showing your passport etc) to an agency. If you meet them but you feel like they're evasive with any of your questions, or if they ask you anything inappropriate (there are perfectly decent ways to discuss services and stuff without anything getting uncomfortable), or if you simply find that they aren't the agency you're looking for, then again, move on with your search. You don't owe anyone anything.

Don't forget: Confirm with the agency/parlour that it's cash up-front with all clients, that there is a security procedure, and how they want you to pay your commission. Usual commission is 30-40% - more if you'll be using their flat(s) to work from, or if they provide you with drivers. I believe parlours have a similar sort of commission but it can vary a lot more. You should be able to check out their location and premises if you meet the owner there for the interview.

Finally, don't forget that even if you've been working with an agency for ages, as long as you've paid your commission you don't owe them anything else. If they stop sending you many clients, or send you too many bad clients, or ever send you to see anyone dangerous, remember that you're the one who is actually employing them to do things for you so feel free to let them go if you're not happy. Badly-run agencies and brothels rely on sex workers feeling too uncertain or trapped to leave.

From my experience with two agencies, neither were quite as hot on security or checking of clients as they'd told me they were in our interviews and they sent me to see multiple clients who were the kinds of guys I'd never accept an appointment from as an indie. Also, working with an agency can cause you to feel an extra pressure to work sometimes when perhaps you'd prefer a day off - at the worst, they can threaten to take you off their books altogether if you don't see x or y client when he demands. So keep an eye on your general levels of happiness with anyone who expects 30% or more of your earnings because if you aren't happy with them, you don't need to keep paying them - well-managed indie work with a security buddy can be safer and more lucrative, too.

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STIs and the GUM

Ooh, where to start?

Of course one of the popular misconceptions about escorts is that we are all disease-ridden. What Joe Public fails to realise is that we probably take more care in our sexual health practices than your average good-time girl-about-town on a Saturday night. How can we say that? Well, many reasons, not least of which is that out livelihood could depend on it.

For those starting out, we'd recommend getting yourself a hepatitis jab which is routinely offered to the likes of policeman and paramedics and others who come into close contact with people. You can get this done at your local GUM (Genito Urinary Medicine) clinic for free. They will also give you health advice and free condoms too*.

(*There is a school of thought that believes that ladies earning in the region of a £100+ an hour shouldn't be using the NHS to supply basic tools of their trade, which condoms undoubtedly are. Rather than going to Boots to buy a small pack at a time, you can but in bulk online. The best thing to do is use Google to search for "bulk condoms" and compare brands, types and prices across the most popular sites. And don't forget as a necessary business expense, condoms are tax deductible.)

Regular checks are important for you and your clients and all of us in the industry. Remember: guys may well see lots of different girls so take responsibility for yourself and don't be embarrassed to attend a clinic. At some clinics, you will have to ask for an HIV test as it is not seen as a routine test but do it, if only for peace of mind. The same also applies to throat swabs - particular important if you offer oral without a condom (OWO).

Some girls go for clinic checks monthly, others three-monthly, some 6-monthly; your health advisor will give you an idea of what is right for you. You don't have to give your real name but we would strongly suggest you let them know what you do for a living, as that will help them to give you the right level of support. In the vast majority cases you won't be judged in a harsh way by your health advisor but they are of course human so be prepared and stick to your guns - you are doing nothing wrong or illegal. Ask for a different health advisor if you do not feel comfortable with the first one you see.

You can find details of your nearest clinic in the phone book under genito-urinary clinic or on the web at www.nhs.uk.

So, on to the nasty stuff! It really does pay to know what is what. There are sites around the net which have pictures of bits of anatomy in various states of infection - those alone will be enough to make you want to take every precaution you can. If you need further convincing, this article contains some details below which Melanie has put together about various sexually transmitted infections.

Oh, and if you want more info AND pictures go here (pdf file).

Herpes

Herpes is a highly contagious STI that is recurring and incurable. There are two types of herpes virus:

Type 1 usually occurs around the mouth and appears as fever blisters and cold sores.

Type 2 usually occurs in the genital area and appears as painful lesions. However, infection with either of these viruses can occur anywhere on the body e.g. around the mouth, genitals, and eyes - are the most vulnerable. It would be interesting to note that Type 1 can lead to Type2.

Herpes is usually transmitted through direct contact with an active lesion and/or infected secretions. During the first outbreak, which is very painful and extremely contagious, small bumps appear. In a few days, these small bumps become fluid-filled blisters, which will eventually open up and heal. At this time, the herpes virus will travel and remain dormant in nerve endings at the spinal cord until the next occurrence.

Herpes can be transmitted even without experiencing any symptoms. Usually a person with herpes will experience symptoms, such as tingling or itching near the infected area. Although there is no cure for herpes, it is treatable with an antiviral drug, which will limit the duration of an outbreak.

Genital ulcer diseases, such as herpes, can occur in genital areas that are covered or protected by condoms. They can also occur in areas that are not covered or protected by a latex condom. Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of herpes, only when the infected areas are covered or protected by the condom.

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Genital HPV

Genital HPV infection is an STI that is caused by human papilloma virus. HPV includes a group of more than 70 viruses. Certain types of HPV are transmitted sexually and some of these may cause warts on the genitals, such as the vulva, labia, anus, and/or the tissues of the vagina and cervix. Although the amount of people affected by the virus can be high less than 1% seem to develop visible warts. Most people with genital HPV experience no symptoms. Therefore, most infected people don't know they are infected and may unknowingly infect a sexual partner.

Although most types of HPV are harmless, some types may cause cervical lesions that, over time, develop into cervical cancer in infected women. Annual Pap smears and careful medical follow-up, with treatment if necessary, will help ensure that abnormal cells in the cervix caused by HPV infection do not develop into cervical cancer.

Genital HPV is spread through skin-to-skin contact. Genital HPV infections can occur in genital areas that are covered or protected by a latex condom. They can also occur in areas that are not covered or protected. Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of genital HPV, only when the infected areas are covered or protected by the condom.

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Syphilis

Syphilis, a curable STI, is caused by the bacterium "Treponema pallidum." Syphilis, which is transmitted through direct contact with a lesion on an infected partner, can and will progress through at least four stages if left untreated. The symptoms determine the stage of the syphilis infection. The stages are primary, secondary, latent, and late syphilis. The symptoms of primary syphilis can take between 10 days to three months to appear.

The first symptom is usually a painless ulcer, called a chancre, which occurs where the infection takes place. It is very easy not to notice the first lesion, especially if it is in the vagina or on the cervix. If left untreated, the lesion usually disappears after a few weeks. This does not mean that the syphilis has disappeared. In two to 12 weeks after the chancre is gone, the symptoms of the secondary stage can appear. These symptoms can range from a red, non-itching rash over the entire body (including the palms of the hands and soles of the feet), fever, sore throat, joint aches, headaches, fatigue, nausea, wart-like lesions in the genital area, and weight loss. During both primary and secondary phases, the infected person is highly infectious to partners. The symptoms of secondary syphilis are so common that they can be mistaken for other medical conditions, for example, flu or an allergic reaction. If the symptoms are overlooked and left untreated, syphilis will progress to the next stage, which is called latent syphilis.

Anyone with latent syphilis can live many years without experiencing any more symptoms and the only way to detect that he/she is infected with syphilis is through a blood test. Left untreated, syphilis progresses to the most destructive and final stage, late syphilis. The late stage involves serious damage to the internal organs, including the heart, brain, bones, liver, skin, and kidneys, to name a few.

Genital ulcer diseases, such as syphilis, can occur in genital areas that are covered or protected by a latex condom. It can also occur in areas that are not covered or protected. Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of syphilis only when the infected area is covered or protected by the condom.

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Gonorrhea and Chlamydia

Gonorrhea and chlamydia are two of the most common STI's in women and men. They are transmitted from person to person through vaginal, oral, and/or anal sex. Women and men with gonorrhea and/ or chlamydia experience few or no symptoms. Some common symptoms in women include a yellowish vaginal discharge, painful or frequent urination, redness, swelling, or soreness in the genital area, pain during sex, lower abdominal pain and/or vaginal bleeding. Some common symptoms in men include discharge from the penis and pain and burning during urination. Some people infected with gonorrhea or chlamydia may not have any symptoms. Therefore, it is important to have an annual examination if you are sexually active. Untreated, gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause serious complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of gonorrhoea and chlamydia.

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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is usually caused when gonorrhea and/or chlamydia are left untreated. PID is an infection that spreads upward into the pelvic area and effects the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Unfortunately, PID can occur without causing any noticeable symptoms. When symptoms do appear, they may be mild or severe. A woman may experience pain in the pelvic area, vaginal discharge, painful urination, or abnormal bleeding. More severe cases may be accompanied by fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting. Antibiotics are given to treat PID.

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Hepatitis

Hepatitis A (HAV) is a virus spread from person to person by anal/oral contact, by putting something in the mouth that has been contaminated with infected faeces, and faecal contamination of food and water.

Infection with hepatitis A is confirmed when the blood test for hepatitis A, called the IgM hepatitis A antibody test, is positive.

Symptoms may include feelings of illness, experiencing jaundice, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine/light stools, and fever.

An infected person can transmit the virus to others as early as two weeks before symptoms appear and one week after. There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A. An infection will clear up in a few weeks to a month and the recovered individual is then immune and will never get HAV infection again.

Some individuals (1 in 100) suffer from an infection (fulminant) that may require a liver transplant. HAV Vaccines are recommended to men who have sex with other men among other groups of people at a higher risk. The HAV vaccine is highly effective in preventing hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B (HBV) is a disease that causes inflammation to the liver. Although 90-95% of adults recover within six months and will not contract HBV again, blood tests will always show that they have been infected with HBV and blood banks will not accept their blood.

Many people with acute hepatitis B have no symptoms at all, or they may be very mild and flu-like symptoms. About 25-35% of patients may notice dark urine, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), or light coloured stools.

HBV is transmitted through contact with body fluids containing HBV, such as blood, semen and vaginal fluids. It is mostly passed on from person to person through sexual contact. HBV tests will not show positive during the incubation period (1-12 weeks). There are three standard HBV tests:

1) HbsAg - when the test is positive or reactive you are positive and infectious.

2) Anti-HBc - when you test positive it means you are currently infected or have been infected some time in the past.

3) Anti-HBs - when the test is positive it means that you are immune to HBV either as a result of having had the disease or from having been vaccinated.

People who have not cleared HBV from their blood within 6 months are considered to be chronically infected.

Hepatitis C (HCV) causes inflammation of the liver. People who are in high risk situations for Hep C include anyone who has had a blood transfusion prior to 1992, those with tattoos, those with multiple sexual partners, and IV drug users. Individuals with body piercing and those who have snorted cocaine are also at risk.

The virus in found in the blood. It is not clear whether it can be transmitted through saliva or breast milk.

All people with HCV are potentially infectious.

There is NO VACCINE for HCV. It is also interesting to note there are various strains of HCV and the virus undergoes mutations. Also, there is no effective immune globulin preparation. Most infected people do not have symptoms. The incubation period varies but averages about 7-8 weeks. The virus in the blood can cause liver damage. If symptoms are present, they may be very mild and flu-like. Most people do not have jaundice, however it can sometimes occur along with dark urine.

HCV may identified by anti-HCV testing in approximately 60% of people as soon as 5-8 weeks after exposure. Few people are able to clear the virus from their blood. Over 80% of cases each year become chronic. Chronic infections refer to those cases that do not clear up in within 6 months. Currently there are three forms of treatment. Avoiding contact with blood of an infected person and practising safer sex decreases the risk of contracting HCV.

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AIDS

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome otherwise known as AIDS is caused by a virus called HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) , that weakens the body's immune system so that it loses the ability to fight off infection and illnesses. Some medicines can lengthen the lives of people with AIDS, but there is no cure.

How can you get HIV? You can get HIV through direct contact with blood, semen (cum), vaginal fluids, and breast milk. You can get the virus by exchanging blood, semen, and vaginal secretions through vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse with someone who has HIV. During vaginal intercourse, the risk of becoming infected is higher for women than men, because HIV is more easily transmitted from man to woman.

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Oral With or Without?

There are regular debates around the scene on the pros and cons of performing oral with, or without, a condom. At the end of the day, its a personal choice and some do it with and some without. Opinion is divided unlike the debate regarding bareback penetration for which the majority are clearly against it, seeing it as a very dangerous activity undertaken only by those who have little regard for their own and others sexual health. Expert advice and figures can be found around the net and through your local sexual health (GUM) clinic.

Here are two views, the first from a lady who prefers with (OW) and the second from a lady who practises oral without a condom (OWO).

Oral With

quote marks"When I first entered the arena of selling sex my first boss [at the parlour I worked in] advised me that unless I 'specialized' [i.e. offered oral without protection and anal with protection] I wouldn't earn a good wage. I would apparently take home a daily average amount far below that which her 'best girls' [and indeed herself in her actively working career] could expect as a daily profit.

At the time I was very ignorant of the ways of the sex trade and I had no reason [other than the general media stereotype] to suspect that she wasn't being anything other than honest. And looking back still do believe that she genuinely felt that what she advised me was true. It was in both our interests that I made as much profit as possible.

However, something made me feel ill at ease with the idea of giving clients oral sex without a condom. Don't get me wrong, within my personal sex life with partners I choose rather than those that pay me to provide a service I adore and revel in making a man cum into my mouth. I consider it to be one of the most intimate arousing and fulfilling acts that a man and woman can take part in. Maybe and probably that is part of the reason for my natural instinctive reluctance to provide it as a service? Who knows? I also had concerns about the risk involved regarding STIs, having had a friend that had been unlucky enough to be infected orally and witnessing how painful and unattractive the effects could be.

So I decided from day one not to offer oral without protection. I still made plenty of money. In fact after a short time it became apparent that I actually made more money than any of the girls I was working with. And clients commented that they felt more comfortable knowing there was less risk of me carrying any STI's. So my boss wasn't right.

When I ended up [unintentionally] running a parlour I made it a rule that no oral without protection would be offered. Local competition found this amusing and predicted that the parlour would close through lack of trade. Within 3 months other local parlours were following our policy to try and bring back trade that they lost.

If you are comfortable providing unprotected oral that is fine, I respect everyones choices about how they work. But don't agree to provide any service because you feel you have to in order to compete with other sex workers and attract business. It simply isn't true. The most important factor when doing this job is feeling safe and working within your personal comfort zone."

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Oral Without

quote marks"Why do I offer oral without a condom? Well, to be honest, when I started escorting it never entered my head that anyone would use a condom for oral sex. I'd always loved giving blow jobs and the power I felt it gave me over a man. I love licking and sucking and watching their eyes roll and their toes curl as they get closer to the edge - maybe you can achieve that with a condom on but I personally like the end result on my face.

I do have many regular clients and probably do more oral than I do penetration but in this business there is a market for everyone and everything so I concur with the above in that you should not offer services to compete with others - set out your own boundaries, deliver them to your best ability and watch the clients return. Some seek me out as a oral without provider, others will seek out a provider who specifically does not offer oral without - some ladies offer it at discretion which basically means they will if they like the look of the guy and his penis.

As for risks, my health adviser at the GUM clinic will always recommend using a condom for oral sex but will also tell me that its risks are low certainly when compared to bareback penetration ( a real no no). Personally speaking, I have been offering oral without as a service for 7 years and each check up at the clinic has been clear - at some clinics you will have to ask for a throat swab as its not always routine - and I have yet to hear of anyone picking up a sexual disease through oral sex. That said if a guy came to me with a cold sore (herpes), I would not let him kiss or give oral to me and I would hope that if a lady had a cold sore that she would take the day off or offer very limited services.

I can't find any figures of the numbers of people who have not caught a disease through oral sex and I'm unlikely to be able to do so hence quantative data is out of the question. This means I have to rely on personal accounts and I have not personally heard of anyone who has caught (or who is admitting to catching) a sexual disease through giving oral sex.

Yes, there are risks - please read the STI page and talk to your sexual health adviser at your local GUM clinic for expert advice which you will need to consider when deciding what to offer as a service because again, at the end of the day, you need to feel comfortable with the service you are providing."

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Keeping Yourself Safe

In this business whilst you can have some wonderful experiences, and meet some wonderful people I'm afraid that it also has to be remembered that it isn't all wine and roses. I would hate the idea that any new escort coming into this industry would be scared off by the following, but to fall back on an old adage, forewarned is forearmed.

During the summer of 2006, for example, there were a spate of robberies, some of them armed. These robbers made it a practice to read the Ladies Announcements and the Tour Board on Punternet and gleaned any information on escorts who toured, especially those that did so on their own. There also have been robberies on sex parties. In light of all this, as an experienced escort, I can offer some advice when touring.

  • If you can, find a buddy that you get along with and advertise in pairs or more. Not only are there safety in numbers, it can cut the cost of touring in half, therefore making yourself a bigger profit. If you choose a hotel, make sure the rooms are as close as possible together; either next door to each other or across the hallway. If you use a serviced apartment, leave some sort of background sound on (the telly or the stereo) in the front room with the door closed, and tell your customer that your friend is in there.
  • If you do have to tour on your own, try to find a hotel that has good security, i.e. CCTV cameras at the entrance of the hotel itself, and in the corridors. It may be worth checking out the hotel before your visit, just to find out what their security is like. Obviously you'd rather not bring any undue attention to yourself, but I would rather you be safe than sorry.
  • Again, if you tour on your own, you don't have to make it known. You can use the above information in points one and two to at least give the illusion that you are accompanied by somebody else. If a customer asks for that person, tell them that they've nipped out and will be back momentarily.
  • A tour can be quite busy. Try your best to leave time inbetween appointments to nip down to the bank and deposit your wages. It doesn't matter if you do it 2 or 3 times during that day. Leave a few quid in your purse for food, taxis, and other little emergencies. But try your best not to leave huge amounts of cash in your hotel room/apartment. And when customers do call to confirm, tell them that you're running a few minutes late because you're just nipping down to the bank to make a deposit. Also before you do go off on tour, make sure you have the branch address of your bank, so you know exactly where it is whilst you're away, and you don't have to traipse the streets trying to find it.
  • If somebody calls you in the morning and wants to make a booking towards the end of the day, and asks you how busy you've been, be wary. This is what happened to a colleague of mine and I think her quick thinking saved her. Tell anybody who asks that you've had a quiet day, and that he'd be either the second or only customer of the day. He probably wouldn't consider you as much of a target and not turn up.

A lot of this info applies to all escorts really, especially those independents working on their own. Stay safe and be vigilant ladies.

Here are some useful links if you've been a victim of a robbery or assault:

  • met.police.uk/ is a good site in that it has a list of numbers in the Greater London borough that will take you directly to a page with your local police listings.
  • It also has a link to crimestoppers-uk.org/ who have in the past been very helpful to us in this industry.

Please remember that being an independent escort is legal. You have every right to report anything that may have happened to you, and you're safe in the knowledge that any information you give to Crimestoppers is in the strictest of confidence. Robbers depend on the stigma still attached to this industry, and will make the assumption that you will not want to go to the police. Crimestoppers are not judgemental and won't look down at their nose at you. And I'm happy to say that more and more the police are changing their attitudes towards our work and realise that we do need their protection as much as anybody else.

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Spotting Timewasters

We all get them from time to time and you can't always spot them but, like any other business where taking appointments is the way its done, you will have the buggers. Even my local doctors has one of those signs that pleads with people to cancel appointments they cant make so time is not wasted, so it's clearly a nationwide issue!

This business may attract more than its fair share of timewasters for many different reasons, however. For example, some guys like to get off on the fact that a girl is running around after them, some may just like the fantasy of making a booking but have no intention of going through with it, some people don't agree with escorting (shock horror - no really!) and like to try and make life difficult for girls. Some escorts get jealous and/or have no sense of basic personal or business ethics, so its been known for them to get male friends to make false bookings with their perceived competition.

There are many reasons for people to waste your time and they should not be confused with genuine cancellations which, whilst a bit of a pain, are inevitable as the sort of clients you attract may well have jobs that take them away to a different area at the last minute. People do become ill and of course most of us at some point in our life have conflicting commitments which may mean we can't keep to an appointment time.

The genuine ones will call and let you know and most likely will rebook but for those who are not genuine and are pure timewasters, you need to keep a note of their details so you don't keep falling for it. It's up to you how many chances you give someone who continually calls to cancel a booking; maybe you could ask for a non-returnable deposit of it happens a lot or you could just refuse to take the booking. Again, as an independent, its up to you.

Listed below are some of the views of working girls on timewasters. Of course genuine people may use them too so don't be taking it as gospel but do use it as little voice on your shoulder when assessing what is genuine and what is not.

Timewasters are...

quote marks"The ones that insist on sending a picture of their dicks... doh why would we want to see that, not like we have not seen one before and for me personally It does nothing for me... apart from turn me off that is... I have never known one book."

quote marks"Those asking you to send explicit pics to keep them going till they see u... I never send them but others could advise if they actually ever book and show up"

quote marks"Those asking for a picture showing my face... no chance and they never book when I decline to send one"

quote marks"The 'how much for a fuck' and such like... prolly kids"

quote marks"Those that have read your profile, im talking about AOL now then e.mail you and say, I cannot access your website, can u send me your addy please, Oh yer like i fell off a Christmas tree"

quote marks"When he asks if you can take a big cock or claims he has a huge one"

quote marks"when you have exchanged several e-mails, arranged a booking and he STILL wants to phone you, just to 'talk about the appointment'. Hmmm......" [Note: some clients will genuinely want to speak to an escort before an appointment to suss her out in the same way smart escorts suss out clients on the phone before meeting them - but this phone call does not need to cover any sexual topics so if he rings just to talk about what you're wearing, hang up and cross his booking out of your diary asap!]

quote marks"There was one chap who thankfully no longer calls but was apparently looking for someone to swear during the act, and always finished the conversation by asking you just to swear at him over the phone... never booked."

quote marks"Then of course there are the ones you can hear the slaop slaop slaop at the other end... if they want to talk dirty I just give them my premium rate number"

quote marks"When they phone you and ask what your rates are Durrrrrrr its on the website. When they phone and say 'oh my mate gave me this number' oh yer right in that case ask your mate to give you the website addy."

quote marks"When they phone you and ask how big your tits are, oh FFS lol"

quote marks"When they say oh you will luv seeing me im handsome, and have a big dick, yer so what."

quote marks"why is is that whenever I'm sitting there as a nurse or maid the bastard doesn't turn up! FFS! due to this i rarely agree to dress up at all now as have probably had only 2 guys turn up after requesting outfits in the last 12 months."

quote marks"Time wasters are:

  • guys who say 'I'd like to see you for a couple of hours...or maybe all night if we really get on'
  • guys who say 'I'm looking for a lady to see on a regular basis'
  • guys who say 'I've never done this before, how would you see the evening progressing?' [Note: This is a great time to tell them to send all their questions in an email - if they're genuine-but-nervous, they will email but if they only want to fap to your voice, they won't bother!]
  • guys who say 'I want you to arrive with just stockings on under your coat' [Note: These ones may even plan to hide and watch/film you wandering around the hotel/street, so be extra careful here]
  • all the guys in the Punterlink Chat Room, they're looking for free sexchat, or to look at your web pix and wank later knowing they 'talked' to you"

quote marks"How about 'Can i have some details please'?? - D'oh, use your imagination if you want to toss yourself off.

quote marks"Guys who say, 'Can you describe yourself please?',

'Have you not seen my website?'

'Yes but my computer crashed before I got a chance to look at your site'

Yeah, really!!! I suppose you made a note of my number AFTER it crashed!!!!"

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Money Etiquette

Throughout the years I've heard some woeful tales of ladies who feel uncomfortable about taking their fee upfront, thus leading to clients either shortchanging them, or worse still, leave without paying them.

If you look around the various warnings forums you'll see more than one tale of this happening to various escorts. There are a few reasons for this. One is that escorts still feel a little uncomfortable at having to ask for their money upfront and so either waits for the client to cough up the money or leaves it to the end. Another one is that when a client becomes somewhat of a regular, a modicum of trust is instilled therefore a lady can become a little lax in asking for the money before the booking takes place, and sometimes, to their detriment, clients take advantage of their trust and run away without paying.

Luckily I have no such guilty feelings in either being paid upfront, or not trusting a regular client. It may sound cold and calculated, but then I haven't been either ripped off or short-changed in five years. I understand that we're not all of the same personality and I can empathise with a lady's reluctance to ask for their money. There are a couple of things you can say which would make light of the situation:

The best time to ask for the money is within ten minutes of the appointment starting. If by then the client hasn't handed it over to you, you can say, "shall we get the business out of the way before we get down to the pleasure?" Or "how about we get the paperwork out of the way first, then we can get down to the gruntwork, geddit?" Then you can give it the nudge, nudge, wink, wink motion with your elbow and eye, or maybe just one of the motions if you're afraid of overkill! It usually lightens the mood for me, especially if the customer is both new and nervous. Some gentlemen do genuinely forget, either out of nervousness, or they're just plain horny and can't wait to jump your bones. Some gentlemen are all over you like bees to honey as soon as they walk in the door. So I need to make sure and remember that they're not all be tarred with the same brush. But I'm afraid there are some men out there calculated enough to try and swindle a free service out of you. Some will turn up with not enough money, protesting their innocence at not realising how much your services cost. Some will say that they didn't pass an ATM on the way and can they get their service and they'll promise to find a machine when you're done. Yeah, right! Or this classic, 'dammit, I've left the money in the car, I'll just pop down and get it'. Next thing you know you hear the ignition starting, the screeching of tyres and the smell of burning rubber as the client drives off laughing with glee having just had you over.

Another thing that some ladies don't like to do is to count the money in front of the client when it is handed over to them. They find it embarrassing. Again, I have no trouble in that department. I don't lose sight of the fact that it's a paid for transaction - it's business! The way I see it, it protects both the escort and the client when you keep that frame of mind. What do you think would happen if you were to take the money into another room to double-check it, and it's short a tenner or twenty? If you go back into the bedroom and say you were short-changed, the client might think that you're trying to pull a fast one, that you've stashed away some money and come back into the room asking for more. He could swear blind that he counted it before handing it over to you. It then becomes his word against yours which can then make for a very awkward situation. And there are those customers that do believe you who feel absolutely mortified that they might have short-changed you with no intention to. They become so embarrassed they don't come to see you again. I would rather endure the awkwardness of counting the fee in front of the customer for those few short moments. That way no misunderstandings can occur. Because believe me they can and have happened. To myself and other escorts. My advice to you would to not only get your fee upfront, but also count it to make sure it's all there.

When all the money pleasantries are over, I then excuse myself and go and find a spot to put it away. I make sure the customer never sees where I put the money, and if I think they may have done, I'll take advantage of his post-coital (or whatever the terminology is for a guy) state and pop out to move the money elsewhere. It may sound anally-retentive and just a little bit over the top I know, but it has been known to happen that a customer will watch where you to see where you put your fee, excuse himself to go to the toilet, then steal the money back, leaving you none the wiser until he's gone and you go to retrieve it.

You will also get the rather naughty customers who will pay you with the odd fake note. Unintentionally or otherwise. Thank goodness it doesn't happen that often. But often enough to warrant a mention. Feel the notes to make sure they have the same texture. Some are made on paper that feels nothing like an authentic note. If in doubt hold the notes up to the light to make sure the Queen's watermark is present. And double check the silver strip is running through them. Consider getting a pen that you can mark the notes with to ensure their authenticity. Shopkeepers use them and they can be purchased here or at Maplins for around £7 plus VAT. A small price to pay although we are informed that some forgeries get past even this test.

I'm afraid I have one more no-no, and that is the acceptance of cheques. To those ladies that have been doing this for a while, this may seem like redundant advice, but there are some conmen out there that will deliberately seek out new and naive ladies who they will then try to persuade into accepting cheques. They will probably say things like they've seen other escorts that have accepted cheques with no problem. Personally I would take that with a pinch of salt. Even if the cheque was accompanied by a cheque guarantee card, I wouldn't take it. The client could then pop along to his bank and ask them to stop payment on it. He would have to pay a nominal fee for doing so, but nothing compared to paying for a 3 or 4 hour booking, or even an overnight. Can you imagine doing an overnight booking and not being paid for it?? It doesn't bear thinking about does it?

More comments on this subject including your legal options if you do take a cheque which subsequently bounces can be found on our forum here.

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Keeping Sane

Looking back

My top tip to everyone is to pace yourself. By this I mean you need to look after yourself emotionally and physically above the quick money that can be made.

When I first started working and everything was new and exciting I really went for it seeing as many people in a week as I possibly could. I revelled in the way it made me feel, my self confidence was sky high and I couldn't help but congratulate myself on the way the clients seemed to love me, the ease at which I felt I had changed career and of course the amount of money which seemed to be made very easily. But within two months though I was exhausted!

I reduced the number of clients I saw a week quite substantially and began to see the job as it should be seen and that is as a long term career. Yes it is possible to make a lot of money quickly but with hindsight I say it isn't worth it. Have a plan in your head about the future.

Ladies everywhere find it very difficult to leave the industry once they have started. Some people decide on the amount of money they need to make for the future, others bank it all when they get it. Many ladies though and I don't think I am alone in this see the money as easy to make and therefore think there is little need in planning. Once you are working you will find that your whole perception of the value of money changes.

When you can earn a few hundred pounds in a matter of hours anything seems possible but beware because one day you will stop working. Whether it's because you feel you have simply had enough of being nice to everyone or that you are mentally and physically tired or that your hopes for the future change, whatever reason it is you will stop and then making a few hundred pounds will not be so easy!

I'd advise all escorts to try and keep an eye on the 'real world'. Yes, the money we can make is very good and, yes, there will always be clients but whether most escorts want to admit it or not I think there comes a time when everyone of you will question why you have chosen this job. There is nothing wrong with that in fact I think it is healthy to question, and don't feel bad if you decide it is time to leave. You have done more than most women could do in their lives and you have been rewarded greatly for it so try and recognise when the time is right to stop because you will feel so much better about yourself.

I hope I am not coming across as too negative. I don't wish to but this side of the industry is not talked about a great deal. The most important thing is that you look after yourselves. If you wake up one morning and groan at the thought of seeing another client you will most definitely not be the first. Take the time to figure out why the thought isn't good as it probably was at the beginning.

Everyone has bad days and it's important in a job where you are being judged constantly, where your self image is questioned and where you feel you have a secret job to mentally look after yourself. Looking back at my years of escorting, I regret not taking more time off. I regret not giving myself the time to reassess my decision to work. I loved the job, I found it exciting and I felt great but we all need time to ourselves and phone calls and emails take up a huge amount of time everyday and that means you are thinking constantly about the industry. Enjoy yourselves but take care too. Listen to your instincts and you will be ok!

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What about message boards, or forums?

Message boards can be a great source of fun and amusement. They can also give those who don't have anyone to talk to about their hobby or job (maybe because those close wouldn't understand) somewhere to exchange thoughts and let off steam and generally have a meeting of minds where, sometimes, cyber friends become real life friends with a special secret in common. They can also help in raising a girl's profile to increase business just like any other form of networking.

I'm sure there are other positive reasons to as to why people use them but a little caution should be advised:

Misinterpretation

Very often an innocent comment is misconstrued, sometimes quite deliberately by someone who is either trying to raise their own profile or tarnish the good reputation of someone they feel is more popular or successful than them. These characters usually have more than one 'victim' or tend to become obsessed with the one person and all their posts and so over time, more and more people will see just what they are about and they will become seen as a laughing stock by most. Of course they will retain some allies but please don't fall onto the trap of thinking everyone will believe what they say and blowing it out of proportion -- it is unlikely to have a great effect on your business as the percentage of clients who involve themselves in messages boards is really quite low. It can be hard to get it into perspective when you are in the middle of an 'attack' so taking a step back and a few days away from the boards is probably the best approach. Rather annoyingly, defending yourself is often seen as a sign of guilt and if you attack fire with fire, you can end up feeding right into the perpetrator hands as they then have "real evidence" to show just what a bitch you are!

Alcohol-Driven Posting

Friday and Saturday nights can often be great entertainment on the boards as when some posters have had a few, they really go to town. Their desperation to show others up can have hilarious consequences (if its not you being attacked, of course) but usually the board moderators will come along and clean up their mess. So, the best advice if you do find yourself on the end of it, is really to ignore it and it will go away (if the moderators miss it then drop them a line, most boards have rules against personal abuse).

Bitterness and Jealousy

What powerful emotions these two are and how prevalent they are in this business. Understandable really given the very personally nature of what we are doing but unwelcome all the same. I have personally seen girls dig away at other ladies on an ongoing basis. Usually the victim will be someone with a sound reputation and the digger will be someone newer on the scene who wants a piece of that rep. Some do it in a subtle way others have a more direct approach which is easier to spot but either way, its not nice.

Playing the Jealousy Card

This is my personal favourite and so makes me laugh. For example, someone I know had a lady attack her, copy many of her ideas and make up lies about her and yet when she had the gall to finally approach her and say 'I'm not happy about this', she was accused of being jealous of her! It's a good one coz it makes onlookers question the motive of the victim so just one to watch out for and best risen above -- although that of course is sometimes easier said than done.

Paranoia

Paranoia can soon set in with all the above going on and it is good to keep a check on your emotions if you start to feel that everyone has it in for you. Again take a break and get some perspective on it.

Fast-Changing Allegiances

Cliques are pretty common in message boards and sometimes you may feel like joining one particularly if you feel under attack from one of their 'hate figures' -- birds of a feather and all but the reality of cyber message boards is that allegiances are fast-changing and if you are not careful, something you said in confidence one day may well be used against you another day. There have been many instances of private emails being passed and posted around. Of course some may be doctored before they are posted and again this is cyberland and very little is what it seems, so just exercise a little caution before sending that mail.

Whore Hags

A great term and one used to describe those who hang around messages board chatting up the ladies. Some punt, others don't and for those who don't, you have to really wonder why they hang around escorting message boards when they do not partake in the hobby. There are one or two around who are there purely to cause trouble and to listen and pass on gossip.

Again while they may have some credibility initially, after a while most people see them for what they are and tend to ignore them. Often they will involve themselves in gossip and offer themselves as a shoulder to cry on and a resource to help you. One in particular set himself up as a bit of a guru and had ladies going to him with all sorts of gossip. He would then collate that gossip, use a touch of social engineering to glean more information, keep copies of message board postings, read between the lines and then deliver his conclusions to a wide eyed audience. Sometimes he got lucky and got it right, other times he was way off the mark and eventually his credence and people's fascination with him took a real nose dive. As they say, give someone enough rope and they will hang themselves. Our advice is to try and rise above it in the meantime.

There are many other negative sides to using message boards but the reality is that it is just a small handful of people who cause the trouble and so overall our advice is to rise above the bad stuff and use them for a bit of fun and networking. Alternatively, just stick to message boards where traffic (via controversy) is clearly less important than people's feelings and reputations, meaning the atmosphere is more friendly and safe. Take the good and ignore the bad and don't take them too seriously. Remember its only cyber and you just need to turn your PC off and they all go away -- just like that!

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Content Thieves

Web sites popping up, stealing your text and photos in order for them to profit - this seems to be common practice in this game and something we keep trying to look out for. After all, even SAAFE has fallen victim to copyright theft a few times in the past. Unfortunately it's easier to steal than to be creative.

Usually these sites will ask guys to pay to get your details - yes those details which are freely available on your website already. Some will even want to ask you for money to pick up your messages from these suckers/guys who sign up (described as potential clients in their advertising spiel). How nice of them.

As we have said elsewhere, you need to be in control of your advertising. It is not easy sometimes as sites just pinch stuff to make themselves look busier than they are (to justify any charges they subsequently make) but do keep vigilant and report in to some of the reputable escorting message boards to help other ladies avoid the sleaze.

Another problem that is becoming increasingly common is for certain webmasters and ladies to steal your text and even site rather than creating their own, so Rhia Charles has put together some good practical advice here in case you find yourself in that situation.

Websites and Copyright

Having your own website is a great way to showcase your talents! Think of it as a place to answer all your potential clients' questions (so you don't have to repeat yourself on the phone) and as an extension of your personality. So, as well as photos, it should contain what services you provide, your taboos, fees etc. Don't be tempted to simply copy another girl's site content, directory listing or (heaven forbid!) photos. This is very much frowned upon within the escort community and word gets around that you have cheated -- fast. You may also find yourself with your lovely new website closed down and yourself banned from directories before you even get going. Think about it, it makes sense to be yourself and reflect that throughout your site. You wouldn't want a client arriving expecting to see someone else would you? Things could get very difficult. Everyone has their own unique way and looks -- that is what the client is interested in, not a set of clones -- it would look very odd if everyone's site was worded the same wouldn't it?

Okay, so you've worked hard on your site, written all your own words, put your pics on (make sure they are watermarked) and you're happy with it. How do you find out if it has been copied?

Simple, go to copyscape.com and type in your web page address. Remember to do this for every page of your site.

What if it's been copied? There are many things you can do.

You should know that your copyrighted material is protected by law. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (D.M.C.A.) grants owners of copyrighted material who have published that material on the Internet special protections, enabling copyright owners to have violators' websites quickly removed from the Web and search engines.

Your first action should be to contact the girl/guy who has stolen your material and let them know that your website is copyrighted and that you want the copied material removed immediately (you do not have to register a site for this, the fact that it has your name attached to it is enough -- you can register it though to prove when your site was compiled, but more about this later). You should have put something like 'The content of this website is copyright to © Your Name 2011' somewhere on your site.

If you don't get any joy, then it is time to contact the host of the site. More info on that here.

You may also like to contact all directories that the violator has listed in. Most of the people behind the directories dislike plagiarism (stealing original works) as much as anyone and the very good ones will remove their details immediately.

If the stolen material remains on their site, then you need to send out some official DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) cease and desist notices to the hosts and directories. This is when we are starting to get within the realms of the law, nothing to get worried about though, you are in the right. Samples of these notices can be found here

In order to comply with standard complaint procedures you need to be able to prove that you compiled your work before the violator. Although internet archives will show that your site had the material on first, many host administrators require some other form of proof. This is where it pays to have registered your site with the UK Copyright Service and the US Library of Congress Copyright Office. It doesn't cost much and I would strongly advise that you do so. Lots of hosts will not acknowledge your complaint without it.

Also, you may want to contact the major search engines (Google, Yahoo etc) as they are very good at removing stolen content and will place a notice in search listings telling searchers why this site has gone with a copy of your complaint in its place.

Final note; I have never had to pursue a case of plagiarism (and I have dealt with quite a few!) to its legal conclusion which is going to court with the violator paying a fine of up to £50,000/$100,000 plus costs (!) as things usually get resolved with the DMCA notice. If you get a lot of people stealing your content, it means it's great! -- but, seriously, you may also want to put up a copyright notice somewhere to deter further violators; it has worked for me and other escorts.

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Scam Agencies

If you're considering getting into escorting, you're a target for many scam operations.

The most common is the registration fee scam, but you should also watch out for the overpayment scam and the methods people will use to try to get free sex, which are also discussed here.

The Registration Fee Scam

Watch out: the fee may be sold to you as many things other than a registration fee, and some scammers are quite clever about hiding it. This type of scam commonly targets models (where people are invited to join a "modelling agency" which requires them to pay to create a portfolio), it can also be used on actors and for many more mundane jobs. Recently it's become popular for getting money out of wannabe escorts.

Con artists advertise that they need escorts in classified ads, professional-looking websites and even in glossy magazines. Whoever you are, they'll tell you that they have clients looking for people like you for whatever kind of escort work you want to do, and they'll often say that they have some work lined up for you already. You have to pay though. This may be a one-off registration fee, a periodic subscription, or it they might say it's for security checks, insurance, administration, driving, or whatever else they can think of. Once you've paid you'll either hear nothing else from them, or any bookings you get will be cancelled or there'll be no client at the place you're told to go. There might be some kind of satisfaction guarantee, but if you ask for your money back you'll find it's not what it seems (like these guys).

It's true that in some area of life you need to speculate to accumulate, but being an escort with an agency isn't one of them. Escort agencies take on escorts, advertise the agency, take calls from clients and set up bookings. Only when their escorts have been paid for the booking do they take a fee, in the form of a commission charged on every booking. This is usually 30%, but may be more if you work in a premises which the agency provides.

There are a lot of websites that take a monthly or annual fee in return for featuring you on the website but these aren't agencies, they're advertising sites for independent escorts. Most of them aren't worth the money, and if they're posing as agencies you should be very suspicious.

Some fake agencies are quite sneaky about the fee -- there was one that proudly claimed to have no upfront fees. It worked by giving you the first month free. During that time, a booking would be arranged but later cancelled. Another booking would be requested, but after the initial free month, so you'd need to pay the fee if you wanted to accept it. The unfortunate people who got this far would turn up to the booking to find no client.

There is only one reason a genuine agency may ask you to part with money before you get a booking, and that's for photos. Just about every agency operates online these days and they'll be able to promote you more effectively if their clients can view your pictures. They may be happy to use pictures that you provide, but if you don't have any or they don't like the ones you have, they'll probably want you to do a shoot with their in-house or preferred photographer. Don't give an agency money just because they say it's for photos though; use your intelligence and think critically. Are there any of the warning signs below? Are they established? Can you find evidence that they really do offer an escort service to real clients in your area? If you're not sure about paying for photos, agencies should be able to get you some work initially by promoting you on the phone.

The people who operate these scams often aren't upfront about the fees, so here's how to spot the fakes before they ask for your cash:

  1. If they're marketing to escorts, not clients.
    Nowhere is the demand for escorts so high that clients are in surplus and escorts are sought after, it's not how business works! Every service provider needs a steady stream of clients to make money, especially the sort of money these people promise. Therefor a real agency only needs a few good escorts on the books; they spend the rest of their resources seeking clients for them. Whether it's a website or advert you're looking at, look at it from the perspective of a client. If it has less to offer clients then it's offering escorts, it's not going to attract clients.
  2. If they make claims of unrealistic, undiscriminating demand.
    "There's a huge emerging market of women seeking male escorts." "There are loads of women out there who want to pay you to have sex with them." Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? That's right, it's too good and it's not true. In the heterosexual sex and dating market, women are in demand, not men. Sure, sometimes women get horny or want some company and don't have a man readily available, but they don't go looking for anyone with a penis who they can pay to spend time with them. That's a separate topic though, back to this one.
  3. The other market scammers invent is the one for social escorts.
    This one is a lot more believable because of the "time and company" fiction that agencies use in the hope that it will help them avoid prosecution (many independents use it too, not realising that selling sex is legal in the UK). It's a fiction though: we're being paid for sex. Not always full penetrative sex, sometimes more talking and cuddling then sexual intercourse, but it's still about the sex. Plenty of clients do like to take an escort to dinner, sometimes to social functions or on holiday, but most of them will want to have sex at some point. Like the market for straight male escorts, the market for escorts who only escort is very very small. If you just see a disclaimer saying payment is for time and companionship only, you're dealing with an agency that doesn't want to admit that it's offering sex partners for a fee. If someone emphasises the fact that you're not expected to have sex, they're almost certainly running a scam.
    If you're dedicated you can try to find the few clients who want a straight male escort, or someone who'll just go to dinner with them, but giving someone money because they promise the world isn't the way to do it.
    If they're not marketing specifically to straight men or women who don't want to have sex, they'll just say that they need men and women of all ages and it doesn't matter what you look like as long as you have a good personality. This sounds very nice, but it's only because your money's as good to them whoever you are.
  4. If you have to register to see the escorts.
    This is something that scam agencies often do and real agencies rarely do. When using an agency, clients don't want to put a lot of effort in, they want to see the girls and book one. To make things worse, some of the fake agencies won't even let you make a booking with one of their escorts if you try.

If you want to know more, have a look at SW5's list of cons [LINK]. Don't think that watching out for the names on the list will protect you though, most scammers drop their name as soon as too many bad reports appear and take a new one.

If you want something to be done about the scams, you can complain to the place where you saw the advert, or the Advertising Standards Authority. You can also click on their google ads a lot since they pay for every click.

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The Overpayment Scam

This is a well-documented scam that you're likely to come across at some point outside of the sex industry. When it comes to escorting this scam usually targets independents, but it could be used against you if you work for an agency, with or without your agent collaborating. What happens is someone pays for your services using some kind of cheque or international money transfer, but for some reason they give you more than your fee. You're then asked to either return the difference, or send it someone else. The payment you received then turns out to be fraudulent and you're left out of pocket.

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The Audition Scam

This isn't a way of getting money from you, just free sex. There's one guy in particular who calls girls that are new on the scene claiming to be from a very exclusive agency where you can make hundreds of pounds an hour for all sorts of jetsetting glamourous work. He says they're interested in you and eventually gets to the point: you have to have sex with one of their male escorts. Presumably anyone who does it is found to be not good enough and never hears from him again. An "audition" could also be with the owner or with a regular. Just don't do it. You don't need to demonstrate you skills before you can be an escort. You might also apply to a real agency and be asked to give the boss a blow job but it's not to test your skills, it's just because he wants a free blow job and is hoping you're not clued up enough to refuse.

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False Payment Scams

This is mostly likely to happen with an "agency" that approaches you after seeing your details advertised somewhere, but also be wary of agencies without any feedback on third-party sites. The "agent" will offer you a booking and say that they're dealing with the payment (they'll usually say that client is paying by credit card) and you'll be able to collect it from them. You'll do the booking but never get any money for it because it's not a real agency and no money ever changed hands. Simple. There are real agencies that take payment by credit card, but you shouldn't accept a booking that doesn't involve you being paid cash until you're confident you can trust your agent.

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The Golden Rule

The most effective way to avoid being taken advantage of is not to give anyone money or perform any services until you've been paid. You shouldn't consider yourself to have been paid unless you have cash in your hand, in a currency you're familiar with. Don't accept cheques (they can be found to be fraudulent even after the funds clear, and the cheque guarantee card scheme has ended), credit cards, PayPal, or international money transfers. Even regular clients have been known to bounce cheques, and some methods of payment including business cheques can get you in trouble for money laundering.

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How To Find A Good Agency

It depends what type of escort you want to be.

'Social-only' escorting is something there's very little demand for, whether you're a man or woman. We don't know of any real agencies that deal with this kind of work.

Female escorts, if you're willing to have sex with men it's good news for you, there are agencies all over the country. Some agencies only take on young skinny women, so if you're older or bigger you may find you have to work independently instead. Don't worry though, the demand is there and many of us have done well without ever working for an agency.

Since good agencies spend their advertising budgets trying to attract clients, look for them like you would if you were a client looking for an escort. Putting "[your town] escorts" into google is an easy way to start (but remember to avoid the scams), and you might also find adverts in local publications. Well-established listings sites are also a good place to look. In the UK, try the Punterlink list of agencies in London and the rest of the country, or search for establishments in the Punternet Service Provider Database.

Look at local message boards and national review sites (punternet, punterlink and puntingzone) for feedback and reviews of agencies you're considering. Ideally you'd want to hear from women who've worked for the agency, but failing that, reviews from clients are useful. An agency won't be much use to you if it's not popular with clients.

When you approach agencies, call them rather than emailing to start with, so that if they're no longer in business you'll know. The best agencies conduct interviews in person rather than just asking you to send pictures, and an interview is a good chance for you to get an idea of what the agency is like. You may go for an interview in what turns out to be a dodgy office with people taking drugs. While this isn't that unusual, it's not a sign of a professional operation and not something you need to tolerate. You may also be asked to undress or perform sexual acts, but this isn't something that good agencies require or request.

Ask how your working hours would be managed, as this varies. Ask what the agency does to protect you. They should do some kind of check to confirm each client's location (this usually means calling the hotel if they're in one, or using directory enquiries or the electoral roll to confirm their home address), keep up with warnings in the area, and check you're ok once the booking is over. They may also have drivers who can act as security for you (although you'll have to pay the driver's fee yourself). When you start working for an agency it's worth having someone else who knows where you're going, as some agents are lax with security.

Gay male escorts mostly work independently, advertising on websites and in magazines. You might be able to find an agency to work for in gay publications.

Straight male escorts almost all fail. If you're just hoping for some sex and easy cash, give up the dream. Even if you do well, don't expect to be able to quit your day job. This message board post gives a realistic assessment of your options.

Lesbian escorts are in a slightly better position than straight men, but not by much. There isn't much demand and there are no lesbian agencies. You might be able to get a bit of work by advertising yourself in lesbian publications and promoting yourself on message boards, but most of the response will be from other women wondering how they can do lesbian escorting too.

Scamblog has compiled a list of agencies that are known to operate scam practices and probably should be avoided.

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Are You a Newbie?

Here's a quickie guide of the (untrue!) things you're most likely to hear as a newbie, in no particular order:

  1. “Sapphire down the road provides this service. Why can't you?”
  2. “Sapphire down the road charges £50 less.”
  3. “Sapphire down the road doesn't mind going over time." (Isn't Sapphire a gem?)
  4. “Can I pay you by cheque?”
  5. “I forgot my wallet; can I pay you next week? I'm going to become a regular client,” or:
  6. “If you give me a discount today I'll become a regular client.”
  7. “I can do you a (better) website in exchange for free services.”
  8. “I can be your security in exchange for a free service.”
  9. “I can be your driver in exchange for free services.
  10. “I can take (better) photos in exchange for free services (you get the picture).”
  11. “Let's you and me team up together to provide a couples service, I'll get free sex we'll get more work."
  12. “Sapphire down the road doesn't mind me calling/texting/emailing at random times of the day/night for no particular reason.” (She's back!)
  13. “I don't give out my personal details to other ladies who visit me at home, why do you need them?”
  14. “Can I pay you by cheque? I've never had a problem with other ladies accepting them.”
  15. “Can you describe what you're going to do me/what we'll get up to in our time together?” (In other words he's asking for wanking material).
  16. “I'll give you (£insertwhateveryoulikehere) if you do bareback with me."
  17. “We don't need to use a condom, I only have sex with my wife."
  18. “Do you have any more pictures please?” (Even though you have 5 galleries worth on your site.)
  19. “Can I have some more details please?” Or variations thereof; sometimes prefixed with: “I haven't seen your website, a friend gave me your number...” or “the computer 'crashed' just after I managed to write your phone number down...”
  20. 20. “I'm a prolific reviewer” (translated it means "pull out all the stops for me or I'll threaten you with a bad review".)

The above is not to be confused with the hundreds and thousands of lovely gentlemen out there who make this job worthwhile and keep our bread buttered. Remember, if you hear any of the above, they're either not genuine or they're a bit dodgy. But don't worry, you'll soon sort the wheat from the chaff!

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Escorting in the UK - the Legalities

Despite what some people may think, it is not illegal to be an escort. However, many associated activities are.

None of us are legal experts here at SAAFE and so we will refer you to a site that not only explains the current law in plain English but also keeps abreast of developments such as the recent Home Office consultation paper on prostitution.

SW5, who know a bit about the law.

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Paying Your Taxes

Paying your taxes

Escorting is a taxable business activity. That's true whether you are paid for time and companionship, for providing sexual services or simply for tying a naked businessman to your coal bunker with the washing line and thrashing his buttocks with wet stinging nettles

All escorts, whether you work independently or through an agency, are self-employed and you need to register with HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs). The easiest way to do that is via their website www.hmrc.gov.uk. You don't need to register before you start work, and in any case it will probably take you a while to decide whether this business is for you. But don't put off registering once you are up and running. You have plenty of time - there used to be a rule that you had to register within 3 months, but you now have at least 6 months, depending on what date in the tax year you start - however things that keep getting put off have a habit of getting forgotten.

You will need to tell HMRC what kind of business activity you are engaged in. Some ladies declare their business as escorting, others use something less obvious and more vague - variations on massage therapist or fitness consultant are popular choices - but whatever you choose to do it will not affect the amount of tax you pay or limit the business expenses you can claim for.

Once you are registered you will have to pay your first (very small) lump of tax. Class 2 NI (National Insurance) secures your right to the basic state pension and it is a flat £2.70 per week (from April 2013, before that it was £2.65). You can choose to pay it either by direct debit from your bank account, or HMRC will send you a bill for £35.10 every 3 months.

Your next responsibility is to fill in and submit a Tax Return form every year. The forms are sent out in early April and you have to give details of your income for tax year (which runs from 6 April to 5 April) that has just ended. You have a choice of 3 ways of sending in your Tax Return:

    You can fill in the paper form
    You can complete it on-line
    Or you can instruct an accountant to complete and submit it for you.

If you fill in the paper form you have to send it in by 31 October. With the other two methods you have an extra 3 months until 31 January. And if you send in the paper form you should get a letter back from HMRC within a few weeks telling you how much you have to pay, while doing it on-line or via an accountant will produce an immediate calculation.

Your tax bill is made up of two elements, income tax and some extra national insurance (class 4 NI). The tax bill for each tax year is normally paid in 3 instalments: a first payment is due before the tax year ends, this is payable on 31 January; a second payment is due 6 months later on 31 July; and a final payment is due the following 31 January. Obviously the tax cannot be worked out before the tax year ends so the first two payments are just calculated as half of the previous year's total tax bill. The final payment the following 31 January is then worked out to bring the total up to the correct figure.

One thing to watch is that when you first start there will be no previous year's tax to use as the starting point for working out the first two instalments. That means you will pay nothing until the final instalment is due, and it could mean a lot of tax to pay in one go. It's therefore important to set aside money each month towards your tax bills. The exact amount you should save each month will depend on the way your work and the level of expenses, and also on whether you have other income such as a full or part-time job. But if you set aside 25% of your income from clients that should be more than adequate. I'd strongly recommend putting it into a separate savings account, and if you want to be really tax efficient you could use a Cash ISA.

Your tax bill will be based on your business profit, which is your business income from which you can deduct allowable business expenses. Among the things that you can include in business expenses are condoms, travel expenses, advertising, and agency fees if you get bookings through them.

You don't have to provide HMRC with a list of your income or your expenses - the Tax Return form only asks for the totals - but you do have to keep records that justify what you put on the form. And if you get a tax investigation HMRC will ask to see your records. If they find that you have unexplained money coming in it will be treated as taxable while you won't get tax relief for unexplained money going out. If you have a good set of records that you write up as you go along you will put the onus on HMRC to try to prove they are inaccurate, but if you have very poor or no records HMRC are entitled to make estimates of your income and tax you accordingly.  So it is very important to keep up to date and organised records of all your money coming in and going out.

All this may seem daunting, but you should not feel frightened by HMRC. For the most part they are friendly and behave in a civilised and non-judgmental way. Their main aim is to help you meet your tax obligations and they offer very good free training seminars for new business owners as well as providing telephone advice through their help lines.

This section has been written for us by Jolyon. His website www.taxrelief4escorts.co.uk is an excellent source of information on tax as it affects escorts. It includes advice on the expenses you can claim, a calculator for working out how much tax to set aside and a list of 'escort friendly' qualified accountants. Jolyon frequently picks up tax questions that are raised on the Saafe forum and responds to them on his Blog, but you can also raise questions direct with him. He also produces a bookkeeping diary that fits into a handbag and is specially designed for escorts. Called the Tax Relief Diary, you can get it via his website. Back to top.

Disabled Clients

By emailing us at SAAFE, Dr. Tuppy Owens has kindly reminded me of the needs of disabled clients. It is something we tend to forget about, that there are those with disabilities who would like to have their sexual requirements catered for.

Dr. Owens founded a site called Outsiders.org.uk nearly 30 years ago to help disabled people find partners. She also helps run tlc-trust.org.uk an organisation that helps find responsible sex workers for disabled clients.

Dr Owens informs me that it is very difficult finding established and responsible sex workers to sign up to the TLC Trust website. Ladies that don't take the piss (my words) by taking advantage of their disabled clients by charging more, or just not seeing them once they learn of a prospective client's disability. There are a few ladies listed there at the moment, but obviously it would be nice to add some more. Her goal in this case is to have as many sex workers listed to cover as much of the UK as possible.

If you don't have any problems seeing disabled clients either at your incall base or on an outcall to their home or hotel and would like to have your details added to the TLC Trust website, please do drop them a line.

N.B. A big thank you to Nine formerly of scot-pep.org.uk for pointing Dr. Owens in our direction.

On the subject of disabled clients, this is one escort's experience with her blind customers.

quote marks"I have seen four different blind clients, three of which have become regulars.

The first time I received an email from a blind client, I wondered how he had read my site so I asked him, and he explained that he had software which reads out the words to him from the web pages. He said my writing was very welcoming and so he plucked up the courage to write to me (I was his first experience). I was quite nervous myself before my first booking with him but he called to say he had been dropped off (by taxi) outside the hotel I was working from and I went down to reception to greet him and bring him up to my room. He had a white stick and so I just held out my arm and he put his hand on it and I led the way up to the room, pointing out any steps etc as we went - most blind, or partially sighted people, are used to finding their way around so you will just have to lead and point out the unusual/unexpected. Once in the room, you can give verbal directions for the loo etc but again, most are used to finding their way around so you shouldn't worry too much.

As for the appointment itself, there is not much difference to your average appointments although your client may need help looking for clothes if they've been thrown around the room in the midst of passion. As for your client getting dressed, don't forget, they do that every day and so are unlikely to need your help getting their socks on.

This same clients comes to see me (and don't worry about using expressions such as "it's good to see you") in London. He makes his way on the train and gets on the tube and I go and meet him at the station usually after a station assistant has guided him up to the relevant exit. At the end of the appointment, I take him back to the station and ask one of the staff to help him down on to this train. Realistically speaking, you'll need to allow and extra 5 or 10 minutes on to the appointment time to allow for this. He will often text me with details of which train he is on etc. and, like his home computer, his phone reads out my texts to him - so, a) do use proper English and not text speak when using this method of communication otherwise the recognition software may not be able to read it out properly, and b) bear in mind that fellow passengers may be able to hear the content of the text.

One of my blind clients lives and works in London and so is used to using cabs to get around as well as the underground. He usually makes his way to my apartment door and I go down and meet him and lead him up the stairs. He is happy to make his own way down though so, at the end of the appointment, he goes off and hails a cab.

Another blind client has a guide dog. I make sure there is some water out for the dog and he sits quietly throughout the booking.

Overall, there isn't really much difference in bookings with blind/partially sighted and non-blind clients. You may need to allow a little extra time to collect someone if they are outside of their own locational comfort zone or remember to wear normal clothes if you are going down or out to collect them but that aside, its all pretty normal, whatever that may be!"

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Getting Out

No matter how much fun escorting can be, for some it can become tiresome and a chore. Others find love and want to give escorting up in favour of a new relationship. Some only enter the profession for a short time in order to pay off debts whilst others come to the decision to return to a 'normal' life free of the potential accompanying social stigma and daily deceit to fellow mums at the school gate and/or loved ones over ones chosen job.

Whatever the reason, ladies should consider their longer term life goals beyond escorting before starting out as it can affect how the business should be run. For example, if you want to show your face as it is a good selling point, what happens when you want to move on to a high profile career or if you already have one and escorting is a bit on the side? You need to be ready for any backlash as the media and general society tend to not look too kindly on ex-sex workers. Once a hooker always a hooker in some peoples eyes, just ask poor Heather Mills McCartney whose alleged high class call girl past was belittled by all the tabloids helping earn her the gold digger image. Far smaller celebrities like Big Brothers 7's Nikki Grahame also found her alleged call girl past on the front page of the newspapers.

Sure, it can fast become yesterday's news but if you have loved ones who could suffer (there are many accounts of ladies' children being picked on horribly at school because people found out what mum did) then do think carefully about your privacy whilst doing the job. Do you show your face, or send face pictures to anyone who asks? Do you tell your favourite clients and/or other ladies your real name? Do you work from home? Do you use the same phone number for business and pleasure or buy a separate phone? Do you register your website's domain in your own name? Do you see clients from your home town?

Scaremongering aside, escorting can be a difficult job to leave thanks to the relatively few hours one has to work to earn a decent salary. However, it is the sort of job which one should leave if it begins to affect them mentally. No-one likes doing a job they hate and when its such a personal job, as escorting is, then it must be doubly difficult to handle mentally.

So again, even when you are just starting out, think about what you want to do after. As we have already pointed out, you can work relatively few hours for a good salary, which can mean you have the time to study (full time/part time/distance learning) for a new career or do some volunteer work to gain experience in a chosen field or even take the time to do some networking within the industry you want to move into. Some useful sites [LINKS?]:

If debt is your motivator for escorting and you want to clear it as quickly as possible, then work out a plan to get it paid off in the most appropriate way; don't just trundle along throwing money at bills as they come in and not opening envelopes. There are many debt advisory programmes (some free, some with a charge) but if you do not want to share your income details then draw up a plan yourself -- the Citizens Advice Bureau have really useful debt advisory booklets with template letter for sending to your creditors and lots of useful advice -- or join and digest the abundance of brilliant advice and information at MoneySavingExpert.com (they have a forum there, too).

Of course many of you will earn enough in a few years to clear your mortgage and do something even less conventional with your life. Many girls have bought properties abroad on their earnings and retired early. Others prefer to live for now and buy designer clothes and enjoy a more, shall we say, hedonistic lifestyle. Whatever your motivation, remember that escorting can be a real life enabler if you manage the job and don't let it manage you.

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Not Young, Slim and Blonde?

Well, join the club!

Despite the stereotypes which are forced upon us by society, men really do find all sorts of woman attractive and the pretty young things (PYTs) do not own the escorting market. Variety is the key and if you are attracted to the idea of being paid to entertain men in the bedroom but are worried that you may not be attractive enough because you are too old, too curvy, too goth or too anything else that is not PYT, then think again.

I have seen many a forum post and received a few emails from larger ladies wanting to get into the business but they are worried they will not get any work because of how they look. Well, as an established BBW myself I can categorically tell you that a good living can be made with the right attitude. Plenty of men want curves in the bedroom (even if they can't quite feel brave enough to admit that to their mates or date/marry a bigger girl) and if you are fun, sexy, confident and take a pride in your appearance and value customer service, you will do good business.

The same applies to older ladies who are much sought after and even those of us who are both fat and old, lol! Basically there is a potential market for everyone. The job is not rocket science but nor is it easy money. If you put the effort in, you will be rewarded well in return.

The trick for us more niche escorts is to advertise on the main sites like Punternet.com and UKBelles.co.uk and supplement that with advertising on niche sites such as prettybigescorts.com which is specifically aimed at BBWs. There is more about advertising on SAAFE's "Where to Advertise" page. Decide what your Unique Selling Point (USP) is, what will make you stand out from the rest and get to work on promoting it -- don't try to be all things to all men, none of us are.

Take a look at these sites from established ladies who continue to make a great living and are different from the stereotypes:

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The Funny Side of Escorting!

Various escorts keep diaries or blogs. It gives an insight into their day to day experiences both as an escort and as just a woman who happens to be in a very unusual occupation. Here some ladies share some of their funniest moments in this illustrious job of ours, many thanks ladies, for your contributions :

A lesson in discretion - or not!

quote marks"I had moved into my first working flat in a very quiet area at the end of a cul du sac. I took my first booking for a Sunday afternoon. I did say to Andy (a reg now) that I had just moved in so please be discreet. So there I am looking out my window waiting for said client when a huge truck pulls up pulling a 20ft sailing boat. 'Jesus Christ,' I think, 'How the hell is he gonna turn around in that, poor sod must be lost... Oh no! He's not lost at all -- its my bloody client!!' Turns out he moves boats for a living. When I said, 'Thanks for being discreet', he said, 'Oh sorry, I forget they're there I am so used to towing 'em!!' You really dont want to know how many cars had to move so he could get out and how many neighbours came out to watch."

quote marks"I'll tell you about Christmas just gone when on the phone the gent went over and over asking me am I discreet, is my house quiet, will anyone see me, etc. etc. I reassured him that everything will be fine. When I open the door to him, to my shock, he is standing there in full Father Christmas gear, complete with white beard and pillow up the jumper - his opening words to me were 'ho ho ho,' lol. So much for HIM asking ME if I am discreet!"

...Ladies, when you do your security checks, make sure you've got the correct hotel, too!

quote marks"I had a request for an outcall to Glasgow and did my security checks etc. and headed off. I got there, knocked on the door and waited. A middle-aged balding man opened the door, he was obviously just out of the shower and wearing a towel. I flashed him a big beamer and said 'Hi!'. He looked a bit taken aback and said 'Hello'. I asked him if he was going to let me in and he said 'Sure, as soon as you tell me who you are'. Even having done my security checks I had managed to go to the wrong hotel. I was fecking mortified."

quote marks"Serves me right for trying to look dead sexy: On an overnight booking one night I was out for dinner with my client and excused myself to go to the loo. It was up a very steep stair case and I was in killer heels. ( You just know what's coming next). I went to the loo and began my descent down the stairs whilst flicking my hair and trying to look graceful and elegant. I managed the first two steps ok, then lost my footing and tumbled the rest of the way down, giving the restaurant a bird's eye view of my hold-ups and thong, an landing in an undignified heap at the bottom. Luckily my client thought it was absolutely hilarious and nearly pissed himself laughing. I did the best thing under the circumstances and stood up and took a bow."

...Fetish a la Carte!

quote marks"Now I'm not averse to a fetish or two (or more). In fact, I love my feet being worshipped and adored, the almost unbearable, glorious tingly feeling of having my toes sucked does certain things to me. However, this week I received an email request which was rather unusual. The emailer required whether I would be agreeable to treating him like a baby, wearing a nappy. I have no problem with this as long as there's no nappy soiling involved. I make quite a good mummy; soothing, rocking, feeding and tickling the big googling baby. But there was a twist to this request. The e-mailer had made a cart and wanted me to push him in his baby gear around my local supermarket, for him to be naughty and I buy him sweets to pacify him. Now this is where I cringe, as there is no way I could walk around MY local supermarket in this manner. I'm sure we would only get as far as the fruit and veg aisle before security would hastily ask us to leave. Would I ever be able to shop there again? Nope, don't think so. And how would we explain what we were doing? Raising money for charity? Fetishes take all forms and shapes, and I'm not averse (in both professional and personal life) to doing a few things outside. But I do have my boundaries. I've yet to reply to the email, but will as soon as I finished blogging. I wanted to give the attention it needed and have been wondering how to put 'no, thanks' in a longer, kinder way. But I am left wondering if perhaps this request was tongue-in-cheek, and wanting to just know how I'd respond."

...Chicken McNuggets at a 5* restaurant!

quote marks"What else can you say when a customer takes you out to one of the poshest hotels in Manchester for a 4 hour dinner date and orders chicken nuggets from the kiddies menu?! What do you do when a customer budgets for a 4 hour dinner date at £400, but forgets to factor in the fact that you've got to eat, hence it being called a dinner date? He orders chicken nuggets from said kiddies menu. But he wasn't quite happy with the accompaniment. He asked the waiter to swap the baked beans for spaghetti hoops. In between that he had to call and tell Mum that he wouldn't be home and not to leave him any dinner. And there's me meanwhile, getting stuck into a fillet steak with jacket potato with a la carte trimmings. God, I thought. What a scrumptious meal. Which I ended up paying for myself. As for the witty and sparkling conversation, let's just say it's lucky I've got a teenaged son who shares the same interests: video games and superheros and their villians."

...Femdom or Femidom - which is less painful?

quote marks"I have a sensitive client, polite but a little nervous who has trouble keeping his erection with condoms. I text him in the week to confirm the appointment and also to mention my idea... would he like to try a femidom?? Could be the answer to our troubles??! He text back, polite as always, and says thanks for the text but as he hasn't seen me for a while would I mind if we just kept it to the GFE (girlfriend experience)? Sure, I said no problem... When I saw him, I asked him what he thought about the femidom idea? Umm.... 'I'm a bit nervous of any pain or whips and stuff,' he said. 'Sorry??' I say. It seems he had confused a femidom and a fem dom...!! For those who don't know; one is a female condom and one is a dominant female! I had one very relieved man when I clarified it!"

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