Do The Math

back-to-school-retro-school-classroom-1408441525-view-0If you’re new to escorting or even if you’re not new sometimes its hard to tell what it is you really need to have to make money. As an independent escort it your own business and as with all business it takes money to make money. You can cut down on some of those costs by putting in a little time into figuring out what you really need to spend your money on and what you don’t. Making sure in the process to get value for money. Website: Though you don’t need a website to be an escort, it’s probably a good idea to get one.  Having a website shows some measure of legitimacy. If you are a little web savvy you can put up your own site. If not there are people who can do that for you. What they charge will vary far and wide. What you will get for that money will also vary. You should think carefully about what it is you want and what you are willing to pay to get it. A simple site works just as well as a very complicated site with all the bells and whistles. If you hire a web person to make you a site who does a lot of escort sites, make sure to do what you can to make your site look unique. You don’t want to look like everyone else. Your site should reflect you. Think about it from your client side, he’s weeding though a lot of sites and though a lot of potential escorts. Stand out! Oh and for gods sake if you put up your own site pay for your own hosting and a domain name. Don’t use a free site thats asking for trouble. Many are not adult friendly and you run the risk of waking up one day and your sites been deleted.

Photography: Every escort needs photos. Photos are going to sell you to potential clients more then anything else you do. Think about what image you want to project. Are you sweet and young? Are you dominating and fierce?  Are you quirky and alternative? What ever your assets are you want to project those in your photos.  Don’t just hire the dude who shoots all the hookers. What that is going to get you is your photos will look like all the other hookers photos. Hire someone you’re comfortable with (lots of creepy dudes with cameras out there), that you can trust (especially if you don’t show your face), who will design a shoot that is unique to you. Get references from other women in the business. Really look at someones portfolio. If they have 100 photos of skinny girls in lingerie and you’re fuller figured then that’s not your guy. If all they have to show are photos of white girls and you are a different shade then thats not your guy. If their portfolios are filled with pictures of landscapes and puppies then id think twice about spending your hard earned cash on that guy. Make sure they can do what it is you want and that they aren’t just putting up their lucky shots. Remember its easy to make a model… look like a model. Prices will also vary a lot so shop around.  If an average shoot in your area with a sex worker friendly photographer is 300 bucks and that gets you a set of usable retouched photos, then what should you get for a 1200 shoot? Also remember that as an escort you need to get new photos often, keep that in mind so when you are budgeting for shoots.You will need to do at least one shoot a year and you probably should do two.

Video: This is a thing now and frankly I don’t know why. Oh I know why some “clients” might like them. These are the same guys who can’t pull the trigger unless a girls got 500 reviews. But video isn’t necessary. It’s not a thing you need to have to work, even at the high end. Anyone that tells you that is selling something.  Does everyone need to have a Victoria Secrets style video to promote herself? The short answer is no.

Advertising: This is something you will need to invest in and put in some trail and error. Not all advertising works for all girls. Your BFF might really get a lot of work off a site that you get nothing off of. People in New York might pay for ads on a site that works, while in Detroit that same site will suck for bringing in clients. There is not rhyme or reason to it. The best thing you can do is set yourself a monthly advertising budget and then see what works for you. Try different things one at a time, then measure the success. Make sure you track hits to your website and ask your clients where they saw your ad. Not all of them will remember and some will get it wrong but absent of a customer satisfaction survey its the best you have to measure whats working. Also think of non traditional advertising venues like review boards, screening sites and social media.

Putting a little thought and time into determining what it is you need then adding up what that will cost is the best thing you can do for your business. You don’t need a ton of money but you should be setting some aside for these types of things. Do the math. Lots of people out there are looking to take advantage of you because they think you are rolling in escort dough and if you are new there are people who will tell you you need all the things and you can buy them from them of course. Be smart, be skeptical and don’t get taken advantage of.

Jenny DeMilo: Dominatrix, Hypno-Domme and former GFE Escort

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Hacking Your Productivity

Time SuckOne of the perils of being an online sex worker is well… all that online access! I’m a Phone Sex Operator (PSO) set up to take calls through a convoluted online set up that works for me *knocks on wood*. But if I was a betting woman (and I am), I’d be willing to put a pretty penny or two on the assertion that any successful PSO or Web Cam Entertainer puts in as much, if not more, time into the grunt work of running an online business (web development, content creation, emails, social media, branding, marketing, etc.) as they do actually interacting with Clients, even those conducting calls through a traditional landline. And while I know this and consider myself to be doing OK, I know I could be doing things that would be a whole heck of a lot more productive than getting distracted with the shiny time sucks out there that don’t help make my bank account grow wild with cash. You know what I’m talking about: Forums, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit, Youtube, etc.

Sure, some of these things can be  super helpful in growing your business. But if you’re anything like me, it’s also easy to get way distracted and be surprised that your 5 minute fun break turned into a lost hour (or two)! And oh no! Now it’s “prime hard-on” time and you don’t want to get in the middle of a project because the horny guys are going to start calling. Bummer! Guess you won’t be finishing that MP3 script today like you hoped…

I’m all about self and process improvement. So today, I’m sharing with you two tools that have helped me hack my own bad habits to improve my productivity.

  • Stay Focusd is an extension for Google Chrome that allows you to define a max number of minutes allowed on a site per day. You can even limit the window of distraction free browsing to particular days of the week or a range of time per day. You can block sub domains (like just the forum of a website and not the whole website itself). And you can even set a blurb of text that you have to type correctly to gain access to a site if so desired. Though that seems a little sadomasochist to me.
  • Rescue Time is an app that runs in the background of your computer and tracks the time you spend in applications and websites. You can tell it how useful or distracting something is. And you can log in to see daily stats or get a weekly email that serves for me personally as a moment of self reflection and goal setting. I like hard data that holds me accountable to myself. It’s easy to slack off on fun stuff, but seeing an overview of where my time went is a cold hard kick in the booty to get my priorities straight.

What tips, tricks or tools do you utilize to make yourself more productive? Share your insights in the comments section below!

Sarah Does Phone Sex, is a phone sex operator. You can find Sarah on Twitter, read her blog or even give her a call.

Get A Room!

On the phone Hi! Sarah (of SarahDoesPhoneSex.com) here and for my inaugural post here on Fairy Whore Mother, I want to share a fabulous tool that was recommended to me (by @MissEmmaMcG of KinkandCode.com) that has made Client-On-Cam sessions a freaking breeze. More on this in a bit. As a Phone Sex Operator (PSO) working primarily on platforms (like Niteflirt, TalkToMe, etc.), I don’t offer WebCam as a service. However, if I did, honestly I think I’d use a site that had the functionality to handle the whole transaction within the web browser itself, as opposed to having to utilize third party services (like Skype or various IM programs) to connect with the Client. And there are a variety of points I’d bring up about that, but I’m trying to keep this positive and not get distracted with too many side rants, so I’ll save that whole can of beans for another day.

But the thing that really bugs me about offering WebCam sessions (through phone sex platforms) is that without fail, they’re a huge pain in the ass to pull off. I use Skype to take my PSO calls. I did that on purpose. One of my goals in becoming a full time PSO is that eventually I’ll be able to do it from anywhere (as long as I have a good internet connection). So using Skype to watch a client’s webcam doesn’t work for me. And I refuse to download a bunch of IM programs. Yahoo? AIM? ICQ? I’m sorry, is 1999 calling? No.

And I realize that not using the tech old guys are comfortable with is probably hurting my business potential a bit. But I’m OK with that. Know why? Because of the inevitable threads I see on forums complaining about how clients abuse the fuck out of it. Selling that Skype ID for a few bucks may seem like a good idea now, but just wait till you’re getting endless messages asking if you’ll take Paypal or messaging you while you’re in the middle of a session with another client. And heaven help you if you have multiple characters to juggle.

Ever since settling on that little internal policy for how I run my business, if someone expresses interest in having me watch them on webcam. I offered Google Hangouts as my solution. Obviously this has it’s own trials and tribulations (they have to have a Gmail account or make one for naughty porn purposes, they have to be relatively tech savvy, etc.). And while I’ll admit I’m a pretty big Google fan girl, their user experience isn’t without t’s own issues either. But it made do. That is until I found about about Room.co.

OK, now pause, cause we need to get this little cautionary blurb out of the way. Room has a Terms of Service that clearly states that using their site for commercial and/or adult entertainment purposes is not kosher. *gasp* *shock* *feigned surprise* But seriously what modern tools are we in the adult entertainment industry allowed to use without violating the hell out all kinds of legalese? So use it at your own risk. And when it becomes a for pay service, please remember to support it with your cash (note: I’m not in any way affiliated with the site, so no agenda here) to help influence legit companies to embrace sextech as an under served customer base starving for innovation.

Now for the fun stuff. Why do I love this site so much?

  • No Downloads: Everything happens in the browser.
  • No Signup For Client: They don’t have to signup for anything. All they do is click the link you send them for the room and they get transported into the video call under a silly automatically generated anonymous moniker.
  • Tech Agnostic: Works on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple (iPhone & iPad). That way everyone gets to play in their preferred tech playground. I also really love that they didn’t cater to Apple users to the determent of Android users (as so many developers do).
  • Intuitive User Interface: Simple by design. It doesn’t try and reinvent the wheel. The designers have embraced the conventions we’ve all been trained to look for through past internet experience to be able to very quickly navigate the various functions available.
  • Rename & Save Rooms: Have a repeat client? Make them their very own room and save the URL as a bookmark. Now you never ever have to worry about if they have the right URL or not (I’m looking at you Google Hangouts).
  • Text Chat: More than just a video conference / webcam tool, you can also type back and forth and share URLs with each other… privately.
  • Screen Share: Ever had a client that likes to watch porn with you? This makes it a cake walk.
  • Up To 4 People: I haven’t done this yet, but the thought has crossed my mind that this would be a way to do a session with a client that wanted to play with multiple entertainers at the same time or maybe play with 2 clients at the same time (long distance couples?). Not sure how often this feature would get used, but the option is there, and I like that.
  • Oh, and did I mention, it’s FREE!

Thanks for reading. I hope this will help take your sexwork business to the next level. Did you try out Room? What did you think? What did your Client think? Share your thoughts with me and the rest of the Fairy Whore Mother gang on Twitter (@FWMother & @SarahDoesPhSex).

Sarah Does Phone Sex, is a phone sex operator. You can find Sarah on Twitter, read her blog or even give her a call.

 

Stalkers how to avoid them what to do when they target you

stalker1Stalkers suck thats a fact. Its also the most common problem ( besides law enforcement) that escorts have to deal with. In fact most sex workers from strippers to pro Dommes, from cam girls to adult actors will at one point have a brush with a stalker. Sometimes its not a very serious threat and its someone just making small amounts of trouble for attention.  Sometimes it can cost you your life. Its hard to tell which is which so you want to treat all stalkers like its a serious threat and take the appropriate action. You want to avoid stalkers whenever possible and if (when) you are unfortunate enough to have one intrude on your life you want to take appropriate action to minimize their effect on your life.

Some things you can do to help you avoid a stalker.

Never tell a client your real name

This should be a no brainer but its sadly not. Never tell a client your real name. Also never tell anyone you might suspect of not being trustworthy your real name. They might turn around and tell a client. Example: An escort friend of mine was dating a man who used to see escorts. I socialized with them and they both knew my real name.  When they broke up he began harassing me (hello crazy). He knew my real name and used that to his advantage to try and scare me. I’ts best to have a fake real name, something everyone thinks is your real name that isn’t. This isn’t always possible but keeping the number of people who know you are a sex worker and in turn know your real name is something to strive for.

Clients press sex workers for their real names. It makes them feel special/powerful to be the person you gave your real name too. Don’t be tempted. Give them your fake real name, something you can easily remember and that you go to all the time. Make it plain and simple. Pick a name thats very common so if a client wants to Google the name you gave him it returns 500,00 “Maria Garcics” or “Ashley Johnsons” (Protip: pick a fake real name that a minor celebrity already has to increase the Google returns on your fake name)

Disinformation

Don’t give out too many personal details about yourself. If you are a current college student don’t tell them that. If you are a former college student and you use that in your marketing then never tell anyone the real college you went to. In fact make up a different degree you got. If you were a history major at Rutgers tell clients you were a English major at USC. If you are from the mid-west and have an accent from that region then tell people you are from a neighboring state. Make your answers reasonable but make them fake. Its hard when you spend so much time with clients not to slip up so make a fake history that closely resembles your own history but doesn’t give any clues that could lead back to finding the real you.  Give them clues to finding nothing. Disinformation is a sex workers best friend if you’re worried about stalkers.

Don’t do incall appointments out of your home

This one can be tricky because renting an incall location is expensive but don’t be tempted by the cash you can save. Never let a client know where you live and that’s impossible if you see them in  your home. It only takes one crazy to make your life a living hell. You also have the added bonus if you encounter the law doing incall out of your home they can confiscate pretty much anything as “evidence”. At a hotel or professional dungeon etc you don’t have items that can be taken from you, you only have what you bring in. Wanna know how often you get confiscated items back? Not very.

Never let a client walk you to your car

They can and will right down the make model and license number.  That goes for meet and greets too. Don’t let people see you get in or out of your car. Though motor vehicles deparments records are supposed to be hard to access, they are a lot more accessible then you think. Park your car around the corner from an outcall, valet the car at a hotel, take public transportation if its possible.

Lock down your social media

Social media is all the rage but how much of it do you really need as a sex worker. Figure that out. Use what works for you and disregard the rest. Do you really need a hooker Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter? If you use Twitter in your regular life don’t have a hooker twitter, its too easy to make a mistake and accidentally tweet on the wrong stream. Facebook is its own animal they use facial recognition software and well display your hooker Facebook to your non hooker friends ” Do you know inset hooker name here” Facebook’s TOS and privacy change so often that its really not worth having it.

If you have non work related social media, lock it down. Make your Twitter private. Make sure your Facebook is private and all the information along with it (what groups you’re in, who your friends are etc) Do not use a picture of your face as the icon. Don’t use posted pictures across social media. Example don’t post the same picture of your cute dog in your hooker Twitter stream and on your personal Facebook. Also turn off your geo-location… on everything!

Those are a few things you can do to avoid being in a position to be stalked in the first place. However if a stalker takes an interest in you, how you react to him is critical. Sometimes a stalker just wants you feel scared and they will threaten to out you. To family, friends, co-workers, the IRS. Sometimes they threaten and are intent on actual harm. If at anytime you feel physically threatened then its imperative you call the authorities ASAP.

Do not engage

This is hard because you will want to tell them to fuck off but do not engage them. Do not give them attention, delete ignore, delete ignore is your mantra. Do not give them any attention, nothing, nada, zip. Stalkers want your attention. They want to scare you, they want to know they are having an effect on you, some want to hurt you. They often escalate if you give them attention. They can get emboldened with even the slightest drop of attention. That’s not to say they wont escalate if you ignore them they may but often a casual stalker, someone who just wants to cause you some trouble will move on if he doesn’t get the rise out of you he wants.

Document

Screen shots, saved emails, saved letters, if the harassment has already intruded on your life beyond online into the physical then keep a diary/journal if everything thats happening no matter how insignificant it is. Remember to date and time everything. Be diligent.

Investigate:

Who could be stalking you? figure it out. Narrow it down. If you did appointments out of your house and you get threats sent to you in the mail make a list of who knows your address. If its someone who references something you said on twitter/facebook and your work twitter/facebook is private make a list of who it could be. Cross references the lists. Often stalkers will give themselves away in the details. Pay attention to them. You can often figure out who’s stalking you and that will help you asses how serious the threat is.

Move: 

If you are being harassed where you live then it might be time to move. That sucks i know but your safey is important. If you did incall out of your home and you are being stalked then its time to move out of there. Get a PO box if you move and have all your mail forwarded there not to the new address. Stalkers can be clever, I heard of one who had their victims mail re-routed to their address. For reals. Keep your new location secret. Don’t tweet what city you live in, don’t put your city on your Facebook.

Report to the authorities

Stalking is crime and many cities have anti-stalking laws already on the books. Yours might or it might not but its still a crime and if you are being physically threatened then you need to report this. This will be hard because often LE will not look favorably on you and will try to dismiss you out of hand. Be persistent. Take a friend with you, someone who can advocate for you if you need it. Someone to give you moral support as you tell the police about your stalking. The trick here is you MUST be honest with them. You have to let them know you are a sex worker. This too will not be easy. You may be judged.. harshly. However your safety matters and you must take all steps to protect yourself. Where I live theres a well known officer of the law that actually works with sex workers on these types of issues. There might be one in your city as well. You will want to bring all your documentation with you. If you have figured out who your stalker is then you will want to investigate getting a TRO (temporary restraining order) You will need documentation for this as well, you will need to appear credible. Speak clearly to the officer/judge. Wear a business suit and look professional. Don’t give them any excuse to dismiss you and not take your issue seriously. Because it is serious.

Resources:

http://www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center

http://www.stalkinghelpline.org/

http://www.novabucks.org/otherinformation/stalking/

http://www.womenshealth.gov/violence-against-women/types-of-violence/stalking.html

I have been stalked/harassed both as an escort and in my regular life. As much as it caused me emotional distress, I was fortunate enough that my stalker(s) only wished to cause me trouble and it never went further then that. If you are stalked be prepared to be outed. Often this threat is what the stalker uses to harass you. Know that this could happen and prepare yourself for your friends and family knowing about your profession if they don’t already. Prepare yourself that this could go further and at some point you may have to report this stalking. Take all threats seriously. Do whatever you need to do to protect yourself that includes setting yourself up not to be stalked in the first place.

Jenny DeMilo: Dominatrix, Hypno-Domme and former GFE Escort

Follow Jenny DeMilo on Twitter

4 things you can do when your advertising venue disappears

Panic!You woke up one morning to find the main place, your go to advertising venue, where you advertised for your escort business has suddenly disappeared. It’s gone, vanished, poof… into the mist! It’s normal to feel panic when something like this happens to you and it does happen. It happens more often than people think. You don’t know what to do. How will you make a living? What options do you have to advertise? How will you eat and keep a roof over your head. Before you do anything drastic like walk the streets and put yourself into harms way or see un-screened possibly unsafe clients take a deep breath, a big step back and think.  There are always other options available to you. One website isn’t the end all be all in escort advertising even if that website had a bit of a monopoly on the local market. There are other ways, other options in how to make things work for you and your escort business. You just have to find them.

1. Find new advertising

Hopefully you didn’t have all your eggs in one advertising basket. Sometimes though there is only one good place to advertise in a city or rather one place that has all the business. If you find that place isn’t there any longer then it’s time to find a new advertising venue. Google your city +escorts or any combination there of and look at all the new possible places for you to put up an ad. If the old place that no longer exists was free to advertise and everything else costs then time to pay up. Welcome to the big leagues, the real world where you have to invest in your business. Its called the cost of doing business and its now time to step up your game. You want to chose wisely, don’t go giving your hard earned cash over to just anyone. Do some homework, pick a new place, pay for an ad and most of all, track your results. If it doesn’t work then dump it and try a different one. Try the high end glossy website with expensive ads, try the down and dirty classified ad style site. See what works for you. Be aware that everyone else who used that site is also looking for new advertising too and keep that in the back of your mind while you pick out some new places to advertise. The worlds oldest profession isn’t going go away just because one website is gone. That business will migrate somewhere else, you just have to find it. If your regular advertising site went away because of government interference, your potential clients might be a little gun shy as well and not want to come out to play until things calm down, so maybe the next option is better suited for you.

2. Tour

Get the hell out of dodge for a while, try something new. Go to a new town and make a killing. Turn adversity into profit. Chose your city wisely, don’t go where 100 other girls are all flocking to because they are in the same position as you are. Check out some possible 2nd tier cities or maybe even 3rd tier. Be creative hit a few different places or find one and stick to it and turn in into a working vacation. Odds are you need a vacation anyways.

3. Network with other sex workers

Ask your peers what they are doing to weather this storm. Other sex workers can often be your best resource. Don’t copy them outright though or you might find that you no longer get any support or guidance from them. Ask them how they are handling the change, see if you can glean any insight. You might find their answers enlightening.

4.  Try other kinds of work

Always wanted to give exotic dancing a try? Nows your chance! How about looking into web-camming or of you’re really bold look into acting in some adult films. None of that appeals to you? Then how about looking for a real job (provided you don’t already have one) dust off the resume and see what the big bad world has to offer you. It doesn’t have to be forever and no you wont get paid hundreds of dollars an hour but you might make enough to keep  roof over your head and the lights on for a while until you figure out your next steps.

It can be a scary thing when something you’ve come to rely such as advertising on is suddenly gone. It can and does happen from time to time, this is good reason to diversify your options moving forward. Never put all your eggs in one basket because this business is ever changing, always under attack and you don’t want to find yourself in a tight spot when then change hits you or your city.

Jenny DeMilo: Dominatrix, Hypno-Domme and former GFE Escort

Follow Jenny DeMilo on Twitter

Sage advice from bonifide whores