Recently I had my first bad experience with a client. In my half-dozen years in the industry, I have never (thankfully) had a bad or scary experience until now. Again , my ego made me feel I was beyond ‘bad’ clients. My recent experience was with a client I trusted….one who admired me, whom I felt worshiped me. But a sex worker must never be naive and too trusting.
A few weeks ago, I feared for my safety. I was in a situation where I felt extremely uncomfortable, and I had lost control of the situation. I was with a regular client of mine, who previously was tolerable and pleasant. However, this time, he was extremely intoxicated — in other words, sloppy drunk. I had only brought two condoms, which he pulled off. Without condoms, I told him politely that we can’t have sex, but he insisted we have sex. He sensed my fear, and he must have sensed that I was ready to leave the hotel. He had traveled far from out of the country to see me specifically, so I understand why he felt upset that I was leaving. However, his actions were not acceptable. When I got up to leave the bed, he grabbed me aggressively. I stood up, and he followed. He tried to pull my body close to his body, so he could penetrate me. Thankfully, he didn’t, but I knew he wasn’t going to let me leave without getting what he wanted. I grabbed my purse and ran to toilet and locked the door. I desperately wanted to leave the hotel room, but I feared to open the door. I feared he would easily grab me, and rape me. The alcohol had totally changed his behaviour, and he was no longer the funny client I had once known. He was not directly rude to me, but the problem was the alcohol had made him lose any sense of respect. While locked inside, I called the hotel reception and asked them to come to the suite. By this time, I was panicking, crying and shaking. The hotel reception came, and I ran out of the room crying. Although nothing severe happened, the fear alone made me break down. I am a strong woman, but physically I am defenceless to man.
This experience reminded me of other bad stories I’ve heard from other escorts. Escorts, regardless of their status on the prostitution hierarchy, are sometimes placed in risky situations with their clients. I remember working at a high-class establishment overseas where there was this manipulative client. He preyed on innocent-looking girls. I was one of them, but luckily my ‘innocent’ look is a farce. He was well-dressed, polite and pleasant initially, but during the booking he tried to pull off the condom before sex. To me, he said it was an accident. Luckily, I caught him before he had the chance to violate me. Unfortunately, other escort girls I knew were not so lucky. One girl saw him on her first day in the industry. He pulled off the condom without her knowledge, and ejaculated inside of her. To add to the wound, he pretended it was an accident and blamed her. After a while, the girls all told their experiences to each other, and we realized this man was intentionally trying to take off the condom. Not only that, the type of girls he chose were all very similar: clean, educated, innocent and ‘good’ girl types. This type of man is a predator, yet none of us girls did anything. We told the owners of the establishment, and they supposedly banned him. But what does banning him do? He can easily go to another establishment or call any agency, and continue violating women. Why didn’t we call the police and have him arrested?
The worst part is that prostitutes are not only physically defenceless, but we are also legally helpless when it comes to getting justice. The end result is the same: Prostitutes do not get justice when they are violated by clients. We do not call the police or report the negative incidents. Why? We fear of associating our legal name with the sex industry. I don’t want any association of my name to prostitution, because my family can find out, I will be stigmatized, etc. Legally, prostitutes do have rights and can get justice in Western countries. But the problem is, the social stigma prevents us from doing so. It would be ideal if we could report incidences without revealing our identity, but we cannot. If something happens to me, will I go to the police? In a severe case, yes, but doing so means I have to ‘out’ myself. Being ‘Out’ in sex-worker slang means to publicly label oneself as a sex worker. For many escorts, it is our biggest fear if others find out that we sell our bodies. Personally, I worry only because society stigmatize sex workers. For instance, if I ever wanted to apply for a government job in the future,….my chances are effected if my name is associated with illegal work as a prostitute.
The stigmas we face as sex workers adds to our stress.
We are living multiple lives and multiple identities. An escorts life is full of lies, not by choice but by circumstance. These web of lies get exhausting and sometimes I’d rather just retreat from the world than make up stories to explain where the money came from. I don’t want to lie to my family, my lovers or my friends, but do I really have an alternative? Again, I have the agency to make choices in my life……but these choices are deeply influenced by the circumstances that follow.
So what’s the solution? Maybe I will have to ‘out’ myself one day if that means protecting myself and others? Experiences like these make me and other sex workers hardened. Many escorts I met are very bitter towards their clients, because they fear to trust anyone. I don’t blame them, especially since they were violated by clients they initially trusted. Of course, not all clients are this way at all, but how do we decide who’s good and who’s not? There are good and bad in all people. Now, my guard is up, but I am not jaded. Thankfully, I can resort the safe arms of my Sheik, my protector.