Category Archives: Sex Work

The Choice Is Critical

An assistant is just that someone to assist you with your daily tasks, in hookerland this means; phones, emails and screening. Over the past 2 years I’ve had the pleasure of using a fabulous assistant when I needed a little extra help on tour. However I’ve been lucky. Many escorts run into serious issues with the assistant they have hired or  or fired. Extortion, blackballing, public outings and client black booking are just a few of the issues. I’m hoping with the advice here you are able to find your perfect assistant.

1. No one knows ho business like a ho

You should only hire a retired escort. She knows first hand what can happen if screening isn’t up to par (like jail or death) Your everyday person isn’t going to know how or where to begin screening your potential clients or how to spot a potential issue.

2. A great assistant will never pretend to be you.

How sketchy would it be to talk to someone on the phone then meet them later in the day, their voice is different and they can’t recall what you talked about? You’d head straight for the door if this happened. You’re a busy professional, you’ve hired help, show it off.  Be up front on your website and ads about having an assistant. This should nip any confusion in the butt.

3. References

In our world reputation is everything! Any assistant you are interested in hiring should provide you with references of current or former employers. Do not accept the “client confidentiality” BS. I will gladly vouch for my former assistant via email or phone anytime she needs me to. I suggest you email the references and ask for a little phone time as well asking questions like,  how long services were used, what was provided, any issues, any areas that could use improvement, client opinions of the assistant and why they’re no longer using the services.

4. Price

NEVER EVER pay an assistant a percentage of your income or a fee per booking, this gives incentive to cut corners and take risks to make more money. As a general rule of thumb you should pay your hourly rate per week. Industry average is $400 per week. If you can’t afford that you need a new business plan not an assistant.

5. Services Provided

This is never the same from assistant to assistant. First determine what you need. For myself it was phone help as I loath talking on the phone but why not take advantage of a package deal when offered?  Phones, emails, screening, booking, travel arrangements, check in/out, the possibilities are endless.

Finding the right assistant isn’t easy and it shouldn’t be. You are entrusting someone with your well being and safety not just getting a little extra phone help. Be smart about it, chose carefully, think though all the possible ramifications and potential pitfalls. The extra time it takes to make a smart decision is well worth the effort.

Ginger McNaughty: National Touring Escort

Follow Ginger on Twitter @GingerMcNaughty

You Are Not A Special Fucking Snowflake

You are not the first person to do this. You are part of a long line of hookers and performers who have been in this industry and changing this industry since the beginning of history. You are not unique. You are not special. You’re not the first or the only. Chances are good, especially if you’re reading this, that you’re not the best, the worst, the smartest, or the dumbest either. You are not a special fucking snowflake. The sex industry can be extremely isolating. It can feel like you’re the only person in the world who is writing ads, filming smut, or fucking strangers for money. Without a community, it can feel like you’re all on your own. But you’re not. You are running a small business – not reinventing the industry. Don’t turn your entire twitter or blog into a navel gazing self-celebration. Don’t assume that your life and your work are compelling on their own. Don’t fuck over other girls. Don’t assume you can act however you damn well please without consequences. Don’t assume that you know everything. And for fucks sake, don’t get complacent.

This industry is constantly changing, with new technology, new challenges, new opportunities, and new people every single day. And it goes on with or without you. I don’t care who you are, how hot you are, how talented you are, or how even how hard you’ve worked. This industry does not revolve around you.

Don’t worry, there’s a pep talk in here. Because this takes a lot of pressure off of you. You don’t have to be the expert on everything. You get to explore and learn new things. And you get to put aside the adolescent angst that tells you no one understands you. Seriously, give it up. When you don’t think of yourself as the sparkliest, prettiest, hottest shit in the world, you can be yourself and succeed in your own game. You know what else happens? You get to tap into a community of expertise, support, and friendship.

But you have to set aside your ego. And you have to set aside your insecurities. And in case you were wondering, it is in fact blatantly obvious how intertwined the two are. Let them go. Replace them with healthy, sustainable, and flexible self-esteem. It’s better for you, better for business, and better for the whole community.

I can tell you from personal experience that connecting with other sex workers changed my life, both personally and professionally. Everything I post here were lessons I learned the hard way. And all of it was completely avoidable. When I connected with a community of sex workers it changed my attitude, my work practices, my personal life, and my day-to-day life all for the better. I talk a lot about community because it has made my life so much better in so many ways. And I want to give that back. That’s why I’m writing here.

At Fairy Whore Mother we have years of experience between us. But we also have a sense of humility and openness. We learn from each other and from others – both within and outside of the industry. And that’s how we keep going, keep innovating, and keep building. You aren’t the first. You aren’t the last. And you aren’t the only sparkling star on the market. That should be a good thing.

Lauren Kiley: Webcam Girl, Fetish Performer, Fetish Clip Producer, Former Escort, Activist, Dirty Girl Next Door.

Making Twitter Your Bitch

In the last 12 months, I have made over $4000 just based on connections I made through Twitter. I don’t mean residual income from selling videos or photos, I mean $4000+ worth of paid shoots straight off Twitter. If you wanted to add in the income from selling videos and photos from content exchange shoots, that number could easily double. Twitter can very easily be your best friend, but only if you use it to your advantage. Here are some tips on how to make Twitter your bitch:
1. Don’t have an ego so big that you miss important connections. Yea, I get it. We all think we’re the most awesome bitches on this planet, and damnit we deserve to be treated that way! Forget that thought process on Twitter. Having an ego on Twitter is quite possibly worse than having an ego in real life. Nobody cares about your 10k+ followers or that you made $1000 in a day off your clips. People care that you’re a cool person. These days, half of the jobs you’ll get are based off your personality rather than your looks or popularity. Have a sourpuss attitude? That’s a damn shame since there are dozens of others who don’t. It’s way easier to be nice and humble than it is to pull the bitch card.

2. Interact with (almost) everyone. You never know who is a potential client or someone looking to hire you. Obviously the people tweeting comments about how they want to do all sorts of things to you can be ignored or simply just thanked for their support. However, new producers flock to Twitter to find talent, and just because someone doesn’t have a default photo yet might not mean that they aren’t legit trying to get the ball rolling. I’ve been lucky with having some amazing fans pop up from Twitter, as well as meeting new producers and clients. There are jerkoffs on there trying to get freebies or troll you, but in 140 characters it’s quite easy to tell the difference between someone serious and a fanboy or troll. If someone is asking you for photos or videos, send them a link back to your site in response!

3. Autotweets are your friend. Ok, yes, it’s time consuming to get them set up, but the pay off is amazing. The rule of marketing is that people have to see an ad at LEAST 3 times before they consider it. Ideally, you want someone to see the ad 7-12 times. Nobody has that kind of time to sit and update Twitter with the same post over and over and over again. If you do, I highly recommend spending time hustling elsewhere. Sign up for a service like HootSuite which lets you schedule tweets in advance, and don’t be stingy with your tweets. Schedule each tweet to post at least twice a day, during peak business hours (look at your sales or sign ups, what time do they happen most frequently? Use that as a guide for when to schedule tweets). HootSuite is free, although they have a paid version which lets you upload Excel files to make scheduling even easier. Spend an hour a week scheduling tweets for the week advertising your site, your blog, your upcoming travel, any exciting new videos/photosets on your site or store, etc.

4. Don’t retweet everything everyone @’s you. Seriously. We get it. You’re hot. You’ve got a great ass. That dude wants to be your slave. That other dude wants to bury his manjunk so far up inside of you that you feel it deep in your belly. Retweet the genuinely awesome ones, such as a producer advertising you on their sites or getting a rave review from someone you just worked with.  Being popular is great, but again with the ego. Don’t go waving it around in everyone’s face. They can just search @[your twitter handle] and see what everyone is saying without it clogging up their timeline.

5. Be careful who you do business with on Twitter, especially escorts and anyone else who privately sessions. Don’t tweet about your location, don’t tweet about making money with a client, don’t conduct business with anyone who refuses to take the conversation off twitter and fill out your screening services questionnaire. I don’t have statistics about whether police use Twitter to do crackdowns, but I imagine it’d be a pretty easy place to get info. Who is this person you’re talking to that’s only had a Twitter profile for 2 days and is only following you? Probably not somebody you actually want to be talking to and scheduling private sessions with.

6. Use photos to drive more traffic to wherever. Advertising a new clip? Use a still photo from the clip (with your watermark and store/site info on it) in the tweet! People like teasers, so get a really great still photo and use it. This is also helpful when you’re scheduling your autotweets! Nothing says “come buy what I’m selling” quite like an enticing photo. (edit note: be careful about nudes, read the TOS for picture hosting sites many don’t allow them)

7. Hashtags aren’t always necessary. Nobody cares if you hashtag #thingsIforgottodolastnight, but look at popular hashtags and use them! They’re popular for a reason! #fml #whitegirlproblems #toetuesday are all short and simple, and popularly used. Posting a photo of something specific? Use hashtags to describe it (#feet #XXX #ass). This is also a great tool with both autotweets and photos.

8. Don’t carry on lengthy conversations on Twitter. Take the conversation elsewhere, be it Skype or email, 140 characters is annoying and you rarely get the full message across. Don’t be rude about asking someone to email you though—explain that Twitter makes it difficult to follow conversations and that email is your preferred method of ongoing contact.

9. Your tweets don’t show in Google search, but your profile does. Use keywords to describe yourself! Are you a pornstar based in NYC? Put that in your profile! Do you have a website? Put that in your profile (there’s even a place for that!!). What defines your job? List that!

10. Don’t air out your dirty laundry on Twitter. I cannot stress this enough. If you have bad blood on Twitter, be the bigger person and don’t mention it, don’t tweet about it, don’t respond to it. People read your tweets, and if they see that your timeline is full of drama, shit talking, or nasty subtweets, they’re going to move on even if it isn’t about them. Yes, we all have bad days and drama, but keep it off Twitter unless it’s a must. This also applies to your own dirty laundry: if you’re depressed or angry or desperate, it shows on Twitter and can scare off potential companies to see that your life isn’t together.

11. You’ll eventually get tired of me saying this, but do your research!! If it is a new producer, ask them for references. If it’s a potential client, make sure they are properly screened. Make sure the company you are working for is legitimate. Do they have a website listed? Do they interact with others in the industry (both colleagues and people that they hire)?

Follow Sydney Screams on Twitter @sydneyscreams4u

Sydney Screams: Fetish Model, Clip Producer, Adult Actress, Radio Talk Show Host

The Money Doesn’t Last

Most of us got into this industry for the same reason – Money. We want to earn a lot of it and we want to earn it quickly. Whether it’s out of necessity or pure desire, money is a powerful force, and can be intoxicating if you’re not careful.

Here’s the thing about money in the sex industry – it’s rarely, if ever, constant. You have good weeks, bad months, killer years, and rough seasons. Ideally you get a feel for the rhythms that you’re going to experience and over the long run can live relatively steadily on your income. But that takes time, commitment, preparation, and dedication. It’s a challenge that few of us rise to on the first try. An added challenge is that we can be surrounded by clients who make obscene amounts of money, and are generally expected to present a glamorous and upscale lifestyle. Whether it’s as simple as having our nails taken care of or a deeper persona we develop – it’s important to have a REAL sense of what kind of lifestyle we can afford. But before you even get to that part – you need a really simple understanding that your income is not constant. You do not earn an annual salary. You do hours of unpaid labor. And sometimes the money just isn’t there. Sometimes you can do everything right, but the night is slow, the clients are flaky, or the worst economic recession in recent history fucks with your regulars. There’s a lot that is in your control – but there is a lot that isn’t. Your income WILL fluctuate.

This is especially important for New Girls. For your first 6 months (maximum – and depends on your field – for some it’s more like 6 weeks or 6 days) you will be the New Girl. You will be the hot new flavor, and you will be exciting. Milk this time. Build a base of regulars. Enjoy the relative freedom you have to make mistakes with fewer financial consequences. And remain fully aware the entire time that you have New Girl status, which will eventually fade.

It may not fade right away. It may not fade suddenly. You might not even notice it fading at first because (hopefully) you’ve developed your own rhythm and regulars and understanding of how you work. You can tell yourself that you’re going to do everything right. You’re going to be prepared, have some money saved, and have done such a good time building regulars and having new ideas to stay fresh that the experience you gain will counteract the disappearance of the New Girl status.

But you probably won’t. Honestly, most of us don’t. And that’s ok. For most of us there’s a significant dip between when we started and then when our businesses really started to grow significantly. Here’s some ideas to minimize the damage that dip can do to your finances.

Five Things NOT To Do With Your $

  1. Extravagant shopping sprees. Treat yourself for sure, but try to keep it within reason. Better yet, make someone else take you shopping.
  2. Taking on major financial commitments based on your brand spanking new salary. Like buying a new car. Or signing a lease on an upscale apartment. Make sure you know how much you’re going to be making over a longer period of time.
  3. Getting into debt. Don’t assume you can just pay it back later because you’ll see an extra client or sign on an extra couple of hours.
  4. Quit your day job. Yes, that’s usually the point. But hold on to it for a little bit of time while you get your feet wet and figure your shit out. It takes time. Really. And this industry has an extremely high turnover.
  5. Act like an asshole and brag about or lord over all the money you make to your friends. They’ll be far less sympathetic during the rough times, and well, you don’t want to be that asshole.

Five Things DEFINITELY To Do With Your $

  1. Put some in your savings account. Put more than you think you need in your savings account. Save 30% for tax season (see #5)
  2. Pay off your debt. Just good advice in general.
  3. Invest in your business. You already bought your domain, right? Get a decent camera. Get enough supplies to last for a while – condoms, lube, whatever. Get some dungeon gear. Get some new lingerie. Get toys! And keep your receipts if you’re going to file taxes!
  4. If you have financial goals – stick to them. Saving for a house? Don’t touch those savings under the assumption you can earn it back later. Putting money away for a college fund? Leave it there. Be disciplined and it will happen.
  5. If you have trouble with any of this – hire help. Get good software. Get an accountant. Hire the Tax Domme – and especially if your income is tracked, which it will be for just about any legal area of the industry, pay your damn taxes. It’s far more expensive not to.

I’m not a financial expert. I wish I had taken more of this advice when I was new. Just be conscious, cautious, and smart. It can be feast or famine in this line of work. Don’t let yourself starve if you can help it.

***

Lauren Kiley: Webcam Girl, Fetish Performer, Fetish Clip Producer, Former Escort, Activist, Dirty Girl Next Door.

How To Protect Your Brand

I’m here to deliver some bad news: if you’re an independent escort who writes her own web copy, there’s a good chance someone else is going to steal it. The higher your visibility, i.e. the more you advertise, the better odds are of this happening, and of happening more than once. (I’ve even had wannabe straight gigolos steal my content!) Short of going completely UTR and hoping no thieves find you, what options do you have to deal with plagiarism?

Make your mark, don’t steal it

First, give yourself permission to protect your work. I hate confrontation, so even though nothing makes me angrier than being ripped off, I dread that reply email from the person I’m calling out. Steel your nerves by reminding yourself that you’re a professional, you created something original—and valuable—in the service of promoting your business, and someone else stole it for their own gain. This is not okay and it’s not harmless regardless of how green or ditzy the girl (or guy) who stole from you may be. You can get moral support from friends before taking action if you’re feeling a little unsure, and if they’re fellow working girls, they’d probably appreciate a heads up anyway about who among us isn’t as ethical as she should be. (I also derive a lot of encouragement from this comprehensive Amanda Brooks post capturing all the agony of having to deal with content thieves.) http://www.texasgoldengirl.com/afterhours/escort-plagarism/#more-954

Second, give the thief an easy way out. It pains me to admit it, but this is definitely a situation where you’ll get better results by swallowing your righteous anger and trying to sound sweet regardless of how furious you feel. Few people respond with grace when they’re caught doing something so obviously wrong, so whatever you do, don’t expect an apology or admission of guilt. Clench your teeth and type out something along the lines of “Dear Tiffanie, your pictures are simply adorable and you seem like a great girl but I noticed that you’ve inadvertently repeated some of the text I wrote for my own site. Can you please have your webmaster take down the following sections?” It’s a really good idea to let your first draft sit for at least a day so you can try to smooth out any lingering bitterness that’s come through.

Go ahead and let the culprit blame the copying on a web designer or a well-meaning client or a boyfriend, or her own crazy memory that allows her to mistake entire sentences of other people’s writing for her own. She’ll save face and you get what you want—hopefully.

Some friends of mine have offered to help the offender write her own text, or flat out ghost write it for her for free, which is something I would never be able to bring myself to do. However, I respect that approach for its generosity and you may have some luck with it. One of my friends explained this approach by saying, “I knew she’d never take me up on it,” but I’m not so sure about that. Definitely don’t offer this if you aren’t willing to follow through or she’ll probably feel justified in defaulting back to using yours.

Third, make it harder for people to steal from you. If you don’t care for visibly watermarking your images, you can use a digital watermark. Have your website designer code your pages so that it’s not possible to highlight and copy text. Thieves are by definition lazy, so this will have an impact right away, though on sites like Eros and Cityvibe they will still be able to lift your words.

Fourth, stay alert. Use services like Copyscape (http://copyscape.com) or set up google alerts on some of your more distinctive phrases. DMCA is really the best place to register with because it holds the most sway with hosts, and has the best luck of getting a site taken offline or modified when your entreaties to the escort herself (or himself) have gone unrewarded. (You can learn a little more about DMCA here, http://brainz.org/dmca-takedown-101/ You can also google pieces of your text now and then—lots of girls do this—and see what turns up. As you develop a place in the community, other escorts will let you know when they see your work on someone else’s page. Respond to it! Go back and read the first rule if you start feeling fatigued by all the policing you have to do.

Fifth, recognize when it’s time for no more Ms. Nice Escort. I use a copyright consultant to keep an eye on all of my content because I believe it needs to be done but I don’t want to have to do it myself. Instead of emailing someone directly now, I usually just ask him to send a DMCA notice to their host. This costs extra money but it’s worth it to me. I don’t have any more patience or energy to spare on arguing with someone who’s stolen from me, so I just go straight to the big guns whenever possible.

Sixth, recognize when it’s time to let it go. Some offenders will have been lucky enough to set up shop with a belligerent or lackadaisical host who won’t respond to your notices, or she may have tweaked your own paragraphs just enough to claim that it’s all a big coincidence (even if you and I and everyone else with a brain can see differently.) People who take short cuts are not destined for much success. Rest easy in the fact that they won’t be able to deliver in person what your scintillating, personalized prose promised.

Or, depending on what exactly they’ve stolen, you might take a different view entirely. A few lines I wrote about welcoming clients with disability have been stolen verbatim so many times over the years that it’s practically become standard industry practice to include it on a site or ad. And that’s okay. Those little bits related to protocol aren’t what distinguishes your personality, anyway.

Keep in mind through all of this that no matter how frustrated you may be by the plagiarism, you’ve got an ace up your sleeve that the plagiarists don’t. You can always write more unique, beguiling passages that attract the type of clients you want. If you’ve done it once, you’ve got the intelligence and creativity to do it again. Odds are, your copycats will continue to be unoriginal and opportunistic, rounding up the back of the pack while looking to people like you to try to understand what creates success. They’re simply not real threats. Of the two of you, you’re the one with the upper hand.

Avery Moore: High-End Escort, Traveling Companion