Synopsis: When it comes to escort services, lots of clients fall prey to the 'high class versus low class escort' myth. But if you keep an open mind, you’re more likely to find the right person.
Content warning: This article contains some terms that are offensive to sex workers
Thanks to a lockdown-induced movie binge, I watched 'The Sessions' for the first time last week. It's a 2012 drama about 40-year-old writer Mark (John Hawkes) who is paralysed from the neck down due to polio. He engages the services of a sex surrogate, a hands-on therapist (Helen Hunt) who helps him lose his virginity and explore his sexuality.
I loved what the movie was trying to do - its humanisation of people with disabilities and their sexual needs. But there was a lot about the flick that, as a sex worker, made me cringe. 'I'm not a prostitute,' Mark’s surrogate declares, when he tries to pay her at the start of the session. She then strips her clothes off and makes several blunders that no experienced sex worker would ever commit – rushing him even though he’s uncomfortable and removing his shirt so roughly that he seizes up in pain.
I understand why the film tried so hard to distance her services from the services of a sex worker. It was important for the sex surrogate, and for viewers, to feel like her work was valid, given that sex work is illegal in the Unites States. But by making the distinction, she was missing the point. A skilled escort would have been perfectly capable of doing her job, perhaps with more success.
This attitude isn’t unusual. This is the whorearchy - the mistaken belief that some types of sex work are better than others. And when it comes to sex pros, taking the whorearchy too seriously might stop you from finding your perfect escort match.
We see it all the time in the movies; imagine the glamorous Satine from ‘Moulin Rouge’ versus, well, every street worker in a crime movie, ever. But it’s not just about the media. When a client tells me they'd 'never go to a brothel' or friends say, 'At least you're one of those high-class escorts,' they're getting sucked in by the whorearchy. When people ask me ‘What’s the difference between an escort and a prostitute?’ they’re under the impression that some types of sex work are okay, and some aren’t.
And they’re wrong.
Brilliant sex workers are everywhere, at every price point. How professional someone is, whether they do outcalls or incalls, how much they charge…none of this has anything to do with whether you’ll have an incredible experience. I’ve had sizzling hot sessions working both as an independent escort, and a brothel worker. I’ve met budget-priced escorts who are warm and friendly, and come equipped with a skill set to rival your local psychotherapist. My clients have spent time with workers of all ages and body types…and sometimes the best lovers are the people who don’t fit the ‘high class’ image.
You can’t generalise about whether a worker is right for you based on price or appearance – you must look deeper. If you start judging someone before you’ve met them, you might pass over the perfect person, simply because you’re using the wrong criteria.
(And by the way, PLEASE never use the word ‘prostitute’ – the best term is ‘sex worker.’ Saying the p-word will make you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about…and it’s a guaranteed way to be turned down by most escorts.)
Things I think clients should care about a little less:
- How much escorts charge. Our hourly rate is NOT the sole indicator of out skills, quality and experience! One of the best things about sex work is that escorts can set their fees however they prefer; this means you’ll find great workers at all price levels.
- Our dress size, bra size or age. I know guys are always talking about ‘perfect 10s’ but honestly, standards of conventional attractiveness aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. If you want great sex, connection and personality are much more important than picking someone ‘hot.’
- How many clients we see per day. Everyone has a different way of working – some escorts choose to see a client a week, while others work hard a few days a month and spend the rest of their time with their family or at other jobs.
- Whether we offer incalls or outcalls. As with the days we work, we decide where to work based on state law, our preferences, and what we can manage. Whether we’re visiting you at your home or hotel (outcall) or inviting you into our space (incall), we choose the location that allows us to give you the best experience.
So, what ARE the important criteria, when selecting a good companion? Here are a few ideas:
- Your budget. Finding a worker that you can afford is a consideration, especially if you plan on seeing them more than once. Don’t forget to factor in hotel hire, champagne and all the other fun stuff, if you’re looking to make things special!
- Your genuine preferences. Forget ‘conventionally attractive’ – what sort of people are you REALLY into? Many men love curvy plus-size sirens, or athletic babes. Plenty of clients prefer age and experience over youth and beauty. Don’t feel pressured to choose someone that fits our narrow cultural standards, if that’s not what you want.
- Your escort’s professionalism. Are they friendly? Are they clear about their services and booking process? Do they reply to your booking message promptly? All of this will make a huge difference to your experience.
By opening yourself up to all the possibilities, you can get your real needs met as a client. Don’t reject an escort out of hand because they don’t fit the ‘high class’ stereotype! You may find a kinky goddess at half the rate you expected to pay, or your intellectual equal in someone with ten years’ age difference. One of the best things about the sex industry is that there’s someone out there for everyone. No matter what you’re into, what you need or who you vibe with, it’s possible to get a great fit…
…but first, forget about the whorearchy.