Category Archives: Facts About the Sex Industry

Clients, Escorts & All: How You Behave When No One is Watching Defines Your Character

birds-symbolism

The increasing apathy towards others makes it apparent that there is a war against love and belonging in society. Disunity is being promoted on a grande scale in subtle ways — for what purpose? Disunity, destroying bonds, destroying love — they all serve the purpose of making us mindless drones, consuming endlessly. I try hard to not let this realization harden me, though it is a battle at times. I am aware that goodness still prevails in humanity. I’ve witness many people become jaded by the rampant trends of shallowness, but I remind them that wholesome goodness still remains in the margins. Like anything of true beauty, goodness is often a hidden gem and not apparent so easily.

It is said that the true mark of a person’s character is how they treat others. For me, I further evaluate ones goodness based on how they treat the most vulnerable people outside the public eye. Prostitutes get to see a spectrum of empathy and apathy in humanity in ways that, perhaps, the average woman does not see. We see how men behave when they are outside the surveillance of society -when they are anonymous.

Sadly, a lot of ‘nice’ people in public can be the exact opposite behind closed doors — especially when their identity is anonymous and they are situated in a setting where they cannot be touched by the law. A client, for instance, may behave very differently with a prostitute than with others in a public setting. He may disregard common decency and respect when dealing with prostitutes, because he knows he will face no backlash since his identity isn’t being exposed. Thus, it is often behind closed doors where ones’ true colors are exposed. All prostitutes have their own share of experiencing such a soulless character. Indeed, not all clients fit into this heartless persona. Thankfully, almost all of my clients personally are decent men. Indeed, a client who treats prostitutes with respect, kindness, and dignity is a wholesome being — such a persons kindness is genuine when they behave morally outside the public gaze.

What is worrisome is that the complete disregard of a woman’s soul and emotional well-being (a women’s mind and soul completely divorced from her body) is increasingly becoming MORE common in society — and not just towards sex workers. When apathy becomes the norm, how are people to trust others? When hatred and exploitation of certain peoples becomes the norm, how can there be hope?

There is hope, of course. Goodness still exists in a rampantly shallow society, though in the minority. And indeed, hard hearts can be softened..

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Baran (2001)

For this post, I want to analyze and recommend a film that is dear to my heart, a film that inspires the softening of the heart. A very simple, yet deeply meaningful film by the talented Iranian director Majid Majidi, titled Baran. Though the film Baran has nothing to do with prostitution, it is a film that has brought me to tears in relation to my work as a prostitute. But beyond that, the film Baran has immensely valuable lessons of humanity that have become so foreign to many of us.

The story in Baran is situated in modern day Iran, in the context of neighbouring war-torn Afghanistan. Millions of Afghan refugees fled to Iran in recent decades to flee war, and what emerged were profound xenophobic views towards Afghans living in Iran. The xenophobic attitudes of Iranian society towards Afghans is common place, comparable to the bigoted American view of illegal Mexican immigrants, or bigoted Gulf Arabs attitudes towards their migrant workers. In Baran, the reality of Afghans in Iran is depicted by illustrating how they work in slave-like jobs, were severely underpaid compared to Iranian or Turkish workers, and had limited-to-zero access to government social welfare provisions.

What is compelling about this film is it addresses the topic of basic humanity: genuine love (which is selfless) and belonging, and most importantly, it addresses the societal conflict that PREVENTS genuine forms of love and belonging from taking place. Indeed, there are endless forces within modern society that attempt to seal our hearts and replace love with synthetic versions (or hate). One might ask: Why are certain vulnerable groups treated with such hostility and degradation? How does one become a apathetic person who commits injustice to the vulnerable?

Baran teaches the viewer that a hateful, apathetic person is often the product of the their respective societal norms. In other words, if one lives in a society that embraces hateful attitudes towards a certain group and constantly spews propaganda to continuously demonize them, then inevitably the majority of the populace will internalize this societal norm. In the case of Baran, the main character Lateef, a Turkish migrant worker (viewed as more ‘dignified than being a ‘lowly’ Afghan worker) epitomizes a young mind who has internalized the prevalent xenophobic attitude towards Afghans. He behaves incredibly cruel towards the Afghan characters in the film, initially. His hate is based off not his own observation and experience, but rather through xenophobic societal norms. Lateefs’ cruelty is far more grave given that the Afghan workers, in particular, had no social or legal protection in Iran. Thus, cruelty towards marginalized groups, generally, face no repercussions or backlash. Moreover, when someone internalizes xenophobic attitudes, their cruelty is perceived as nonproblematic and in some cases, justified.

Change is Possible – A Hard Heart can be Softened

What strikes me is the climax in this film, which occurs when the initially cruel character, Lateef, has an epiphany — a life changing realization. Lateef realizes he has made a grave immoral mistake by abusing and neglecting the vulnerable. He is filled with remorse. I view Lateefs’ epiphany and realization of his faults as his mark into manhood/adulthood — he, initially, had zero care or empathy for others. He was hot-headed and careless, thus demonstrating his immaturity and lack of empathy. Empathy is a quality that marks one into maturity — a child does not know empathy. For instance, a baby or child cries out to its Mother when it needs something. A child does not yet have the capacity to be considerate of the Mother’s well-being. But as adults, one of the most noble traits to acquire that breaks one away from childhood is empathy. Empathy requires the realization that ones own actions affect others. Lateef came to this realization when he was faced with the ugliness of his own behavior towards the voiceless Afghan workers, which haunted him. And how did he come to this conclusion?

Lateef went upon his own journey of realization by going outside his own circle to observe the life of downtrodden people — namely, the despised Afghan refugees working in Tehran. He was brought to tears by witnessing the the hardships faced by the Afghans (poverty, hopelessness, humiliation, loneliness). By witnessing the hardships they faced, Lateef realizes how blind he was to the xenophobia towards Afghans in Iranian society. Essentially, the lesson learnt here is this: it is easy to condemn, exploit and dismiss people or groups when you have not known them personally or have experienced life from their perspective.

Finally, the most serene aspect of this film, which usually brings me to tears is how Lateef seeks to redeem his morality by giving up his own comfort (he gives his entire years worth of salary and life savings to the vulnerable Afghans). Lateef is irreversibly changed by this epiphany into a wholesome, responsible and moral young man. Lateef, himself, is relatively poor, but considers his plight as an impoverished Turkish migrant worker as a paradise compared to the plight of Afghans. So, thus, he gives up everything he has, his money and even sells his own identity card — a card that will disrupt his own well-being if he is without it. Lateef hopes that by giving aid he will redeem not only his past immorality, but he is also performing his moral responsibility as a man towards the female protagonist, Baran. What is compelling is that not a single soul knows about Lateefs’  act of generosity — he sought no reward, no recognition, no recompense for giving his lifes’ savings away to the vulnerable. What is this gesture other than the expression of utmost selfless love? Finally, at the end of the film, the expression of content that Lateef expresses with his smile is the epitome of true love. I urge you to watch this gem of a film and witness the very subtle messages of humility yourself. SubhanAllah

My heart melts while viewing this film for the immense morality it portrays, which is something so rare and beautiful –something so deeply lacking in today’s modern society — selfless love. How many of us can say we love without expectation? How many of us can say we give altruistically towards others, anonymously perhaps, without any expectation? Indeed these are questions I have to ponder and understand myself. How many clients are kind and respectful to prostitutes without putting her comfort in jeopardy? How many clients can retain kindness to a prostitute despite not getting what they had hoped for? It is indeed a mark of strength and courage to retain selflessness in today’s world. Even if we desire to love others selflessly, it is immensely difficult in a climate that tells us to focus on inflating our own egos. But I still have hope– I still believe, and have seen at times, that there are beautiful souls among us. The degree of humanity expressed in the film Baran is something one can only dream of. I suppose I, personally, still have a child-like desire to be loved by another truly selflessly — we yearn for this feeling that we had as children (to be loved selflessly by our Mothers and Fathers, if we were blessed to have them both or at all). Indeed some people were not blessed to experience the selfless love of parents, so I hope that those people, in particular, are blessed with the most sincere love from others.


To readers, keep your hearts soft — Don’t feel down if you cannot attain the love/gratitude that you desire for yourself. Sometimes, one must forget about themselves and spread love for those who are lacking the most love in society today.

It is my hope that this post beckons one to ask themselves: How do you treat others when no one else is watching?

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A History of Courtesans In South Asia — How Colonialism lead to the Degradation of the Lives of Prostitutes

 Ghazala-Javed

Ghazala Javed, popular Pashto singer killed in 2012 by her ex-husband

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I recently submitted an essay about the history of Courtesans in South Asia. It’s quite lengthy, but I thought it would be of interest to those interested in how notions of gender and sexuality changed dramatically with regards to modernity. Here is a brief summary of some key issues:

1. Notions of gender and sexuality in Non-Western parts of the world were quite relaxed and fluid compared to today’s context. 

2. Colonialism projected European discourses of gender and sexuality onto the world and posited prude Victorian morality as ‘superior.’ These discourses were adopted and internalized by many leaders of the non-West. 

3. To understand the ‘strict’ norms of sexuality in certain parts of the non-West today, one must look at how colonialism changed former notions of gender and sexuality. 

My own interest in this topic was sparked by common stereotypes that I hear about men from South Asia or Islamic parts of the world. More often than once, I encounter white-European clients whom are often quite shocked when I tell them that my lovers of the past and present have been Muslim men — they become more shocked when I tell them that I prefer men from my own culture, or similar backgrounds. The common thing I hear is, “But don’t Muslim, or brown men, treat their women terribly? I usually giggle slightly and say something along the lines of, “My dear, that’s not true. There are good and bad in all people” And then, if they are interested to hear, I give them a little history about how the Western media is obsessed with portraying the non-West (namely Muslim-majority countries) as oppressive, especially towards women. It is an unfortunate reality that many people have accepted incorrect discourses (constructed stereotypes) towards certain cultures, which has inspired myself and many others to challenge this narrative.

I started my essay by talking about the 2012 murder of a popular Pashto singer, Ghazala Javed, and how her death can easily fall into the widespread “Oppressive Brown/Muslim Man” narrative. Ghazala was killed by her ex-husband, allegedly on the grounds that her career as a mujra, a combination of both singing and dancing, was considered morally shameful for a woman. Yet contrary to popular Western narratives, female entertainers like Ghazala Javed, historically more broadly known as courtesans, were once held with cultural significance and social esteem in many parts of South Asia. Ghazala Javed was of Pashtun descent, an ethnic group in Pakistan and Afghanistan, more recently known for their affiliation with the Taliban. Pashtuns, in particular, are often stereotyped for their rigid control over women, which became more pronounced with their association with Taliban fundamentalism.

The media’s portrayal of certain Islamic/South Asian cultures as cesspools of male violence against women is an ongoing trend, a continuation of Orientalism. In 1978, professor Edward Said wrote Orientalism, in which he argues how knowledge of the non-Western world, the Orient, was imagined through a Western lens. Western writings about the Orient, which Said called Orientalism, were presented as objective knowledge — meaning, they were presented as factual. In reality, however, European Orientalist writings about the Orient were shaped by dominant European ideologies, such as social Darwinism. In Orientalist writings, cultures of the non-West were viewed as static, or unchanging, and essentialist, meaning peoples of the non-West were all essentially the same. The framework of Orientalism helps to show how dominant Western stereotypes about women in South Asia do not depict the reality necessarily. Many stereotypes today about the non-West stem from colonialism, which portrayed peoples of the non-West as ‘inferior’ and thereby valourizing the West as ‘superior.’ Such stereotypes had a powerful effect, and manifested in various forms of colonial rule. In essence, colonialism irreversibly changed the roles of men and women in colonized parts of the world. It is particularly interesting to note how colonialism changed notions of gender and sexuality in colonized parts of the world. For this post, I will focus on how colonialism degraded the status of the esteemed courtesan. 

Tawaif

courtesan-palace

Depiction of Courtesans relaxing in the kotha

South Asian Courtesans Before British Colonial Rule

Prior to high noon of British colonialism, courtesans were esteemed in the sense that they were able to attain wealth, exercise power and hold status in society independently of male control. The memoir of the Lucknow courtesan Umrao Jaan, provides one insight into the life of courtesan before and after the establishment of the British Raj in 1858. Historian Veena Talwar-Oldenburg attributes how Umrao Jaan’s elevated lifestyle coincides with testimonies of other courtesans of the early colonial period. As Talwar notes, courtesans constituted a matriarchy, where they were able to run their lives, thereby subverting patriarchal norms that existed outside the kotha. The kotha, or female apartments, were spaces where females held authority, where they could exercise their agency over men, such as clients, musicians, male servants, etc. Many courtesans were highly skilled in Urdu and Persian literature, kathak dancing, singing and various other arts. In many parts of precolonial India, the arts of the courtesan were highly praised and patronized by the wider society. For instance, a courtesan was not only courted by men, but courtesans were also summoned by women to perform at weddings, ceremonies, etc. From these snap-shots, it seems courtesans were not simply sexual objects with no significance, but were instead valourized as artists, offering an amalgam of entertainments beyond just sex. The historical role of these women is in stark contrast with their fate after colonial rule and independence.

courtesan

From 1858 onwards, British colonial rule fundamentally changed the social fabric of South Asian society. Many British narratives expressed the urgency to bring ‘civilization’ to uplift Indians from their alleged primitiveness. The very idea of ‘civilizations’ stems from social Darwinist theory, in which cultures were ranked on an evolutionary scale. In this European ideology, Europeans were ranked at the top as racially ‘superior’ whilst peoples of non-West were considered primitive, backwards, inferior, uncivilized. The British often posited their ‘superior’ treatment of women as a justification for their superiority. In British colonial India, the British expressed ‘humanitarian’ agendas to ‘uplift’ Indian women from ‘barbaric’ cultural practices, such as child marriage, polygyny, and the esteemed courtesan tradition. If these practices were deemed ‘inferior’ then it indirectly was juxtaposing the British Victorian womanhood as ideal. Such colonial discourses were influential in the 19th century, because the British had the imperial power to assert their dominance on a global scale. Said’s framework of Orientalism, however, shows another dimension to British narratives of ‘protecting the brown woman.’ Many European discourses were strategic in denouncing cultures of the non-West, as stereotypes were powerful ideological tools to maintain imperial interests. In other words, in order to gain support for imperial exploitation of the South Asia, the British had to portray their missions as ‘humanitarian’– to bring ‘civilization’ to people of the non-West. While social Darwinist ideology is dismissed as pseudo-science today, it is important to note how influential such stereotypes would become when pertaining to gender. In the mid-19th century onwards, Indian male nationalists, fearing to fall behind on the so-called evolutionary scale, were keen to show that their women were ‘civilized’ along British ideals of womanhood. The ‘ideal’ Indian woman became redefined along the lines of Victorian morality — she was now domestic, chaste, and hailed as the ‘Goddess’ of the house. This new ‘ideal’ woman was in conflict with former notions of gender, especially for the courtesan, whose livelihood gradually became constructed as ‘immoral.’

courtesan-languishing

Oil Painting Depiction of an Elegantly Attired Courtesan

This new ‘ideal’ woman, projected by British colonial discourses, became internalized and promoted by Indian male nationalists from the 19th century onwards. These new gender ideals also became institutionalized, and resultantly had dire implications for courtesans. One major blow to courtesan tradition was the 1864 Contagious Diseases Act, a British law that mandated state regulation and control over the bodies of courtesans, subjecting them to mandatory testing, thereby reducing their agency and reducing them to what the British envisaged as a common prostitute. The 1864 Contagious Diseases Acts were propagated to protect women from sexual diseases, but it also indirectly functioned to stigmatize ‘unregulated’ sex as ‘unhygienic,’ thus giving prostitutes a stigma of being ‘dirty.’ In 1892, the Anti Nautch Movement was another aim to stop the courtesan traditional, and had wide support by both the British and educated Hindu elite who collaborated with the British. In 1893, in The Wrongs of Indian Womanhood, a British missionary named Mrs. Marcus B. Fuller dedicated an entire chapter to denounce the ‘nautch’ tradition and endorse the Anti-Nautch Movement. In her words, she described nautch girls (courtesans) as “rich, beautiful and very attractive, besides being witty and pleasant in conversation; and they are the only women that move freely.” Ironically, this description she gives of courtesans is what she considers immoral, or “disgraceful” and overall, a danger to social harmony. It was during the late 19th century when prostitutes became posited as ‘The Great Social Evil’ by European missionaries and moralists. Clearly, Mrs. Fuller was an advocate of colonial ideals of ‘ideal’ womanhood. Interestingly, she posits the clients, or patrons, of courtesans, as victims of the courtesan’s seductive power and thereby men are “wasting” their money on these women. Mrs. Fuller’s account was not out of the ordinary, as even British men related to her view. In 1851, the infamous British explorer Richard Burton wrote about courtesans whom thrived in Sindh, and like Mrs. Fuller, he seemed quite displeased at the social esteem given to these women. Accounts like Burton and Fuller echo the prevailing Victorian discourse of gender and sexuality that ‘ideal’ women should be chaste, domestic. Indian male nationalists, keen to prove they were ‘civilized,’ often supported campaigns against courtesans too. In effect, laws and campaigns to regulate women’s bodies gradually lead to the degradation of South Asian courtesans. Despite crackdowns, however, the courtesan culture continued to exist, yet now marginal, criminalized and stigmatized due to new colonial realities.

European critiques of South Asian culture were not without protest. In fact, many nationalists saw reviving their cultural traditions as a form of anti-colonial protest. While the courtesan represented elements of traditional culture in South Asian society, revivalists, however, seldom embraced the once noble courtesan tradition. One would assume being anti-colonial would mean rejecting the colonial gender discourses that were projected onto South Asia, yet ironically anti-colonial discourses were often propagated by Western-educated Indian elite, who’s views were heavily fused with European ideologies. Hindu revivalists, for instance, often wanted to revert back to an imagined ‘pure’ ancient Hindu past, and European notions of what it meant to be ‘pure’ heavily influenced their modern interpretations of ‘purity.’ Because the recent courtesan tradition was associated with elite Islamic culture, Hindu revivalists often discredited acts from the Islamic period as not part of the ‘pure’ Hindu past. Even Mahatma Gandhi adopted this flaw; he was determined in his anti-colonial stance, yet was not keen on the courtesan tradition. Tula and Pande explain this irony, “nationalists saw them [courtesans] embodying everything that a modern, educated Hindu woman would not do.” Rather ironic, yet many nationalists and their supporters, including women, adhered to new discourses of ‘ideal’ womanhood. These attitudes continued into the post-1947 contexts of independent India and Pakistan, and thus the modern nation-state is not without its colonial legacies. As historian Shahnaz Khan notes in “Zina and the Moral Regulation of Pakistani Women,” women became, “the biological and cultural reproducers of the nation. As such, their sexuality is a valuable resource that is utilized to service their families and the nation” In other words, Khan highlights how gender control became vital to the nation-state, as it’s instrumentally used to retain hegemonic power. Therefore, any potential support for the courtesan tradition would be undermined because it poses a challenge to the prevalent and internalized discourses of ‘ideal’ womanhood. In any case, women who continued to entertain or sell themselves did not have much of a voice, but instead those in power were deciding their fates. The practice of silencing a group, and stereotyping them was, however, a strategic practice from colonialism onwards.

Pashtun tribal 19th Century

Pashtun Tribals in the 19th century

            The colonial discourses on the Pashtun people provide an interesting insight as they were often stereotyped as the most culturally ruthless groups in South Asia. In many contemporary and colonial Western accounts, their violent ‘nature’ was often described in essentialist ways. For instance, R. E. Newman’s Pathan Tribal Patterns describes how Pashtun culture follows a strict adherence to a code of honor, or Pakhtunwali. In reference to them, he notes, “The tribal people are most renowned for their physical acts of violence.” Newman also notes how women are tied to the code of honor, where “zan, zar, and zamin (woman, gold, and land)” are part of a man’s honor. In Newman’s view, it’s as if the Pashtun ‘code of honor’ remains static, ahistorical. Recent scholarship, however, has shown how and why such stereotypes came about.  In The Pathan Unarmed, Mukilika Bannerjee makes used of Said’s Orientalism to explain how the British colonial discourses were influential in demonizing the Pashtuns of Afghanistan and colonial India. In 1840, British attempts to conquer Kabul were defeated by the Pashtuns, and thus arose British discourses vilifying Pashtun people. In other words, the British, with their imperial arrogance, had to show ‘face’ by showing that they were only defeated because the Pashtuns were culturally ‘barbaric, brutal, violent,’ etc. This does not mean the Pashtun were actually hostile people, yet the British constructed them in negatives ways to uphold British status-quo. Unfortunately, these stereotypes were widely disseminated. Popular literature, such as Rudyard Kiplings Kim, for instance, echoed this stereotype of the ‘fierce’ Pashtun tribal man. These stereotypes of Pashtuns continue today and were reinforced in new ways with the Talibanization of North-West Frontier provinces after 9/11.

Unlike today, Pashtun notions of honor were different when considering they were once able to accommodate and even valourize the existence of courtesans. Therefore, notions of honor that remain today cannot be considered culturally ahistorical. As historian A.T. Fildis notes, “honour is a relative term and can be defined and redefined in various socio-economic and cultural contexts with different attributes and its sources and meanings varying from culture to culture.” In “Dancing Girls of Swat Valley,” Shaheen Buneri compares the historical esteem of courtesans in Swat, Pakistan to their position today, where such women are held with contempt by the public society.  Buneri interviews a woman named Nagina, a modern mujra, who states “We don’t have any respect in society (…) Generally we are not considered morally good people.” The fact that modern ‘dancing girls’ do not have any social respect is quite puzzling, given courtesans of Swat, in particular, once were held with high regard. Before the inception of Pakistan, the region of Swat was a princely state, ruled by a Wali. Under the Wali of Swat, the arts of the courtesan were patronized and embraced, and even one Wali is said to have married a courtesan. Even the writings of colonial moralist Mrs. Fuller, despite condemning courtesans, noted that courtesans of the North-West Frontier provinces were “treated with as much courtesy as if she were a princess descended from a distinguished royal line.” Like other parts of India, courtesans in Swat were subject to the same gradual degradation that came with colonial influence. Like Indian male nationalists, Pashtun men also became courted by the allure of nationalism, with its European ideological underpinnings, between 1930 and 1947. And of course, women came to be redefined by nationalists as the bearers of culture and nation. Thus, new notions of womanhood also shifted Pashtun notions of honor with regards to new realities.

pakeeza-tawaif

Bollywood’s adaptation of a life of a courtesan in “Pakeezah,” starring the lovely Meena Kumari. A courtesan could seduce and mesmerize her audience whilst fully dressed, and therefore was not an insignificant object.

From Artist to Object

            In Pakistan, as with India, the former tawaif (courtesan) tradition gradually died out in terms of its traditional function within society. It transformed into a degraded state of commercial sex work, with some women also providing imitations of the courtesan tradition by way of singing and dancing along with selling sex. In “Performance, Status and Hybridity in a Pakistani Red-Light District: The Cultural Production of the Courtesan,” Louise Brown provides an ethnographic account of more recent sex-work in the once thriving kotha district of Heera Mandi in Lahore. Brown’s research shows how realities in independent Pakistan, where prostitution was made illegal in 1960, shapes the lives of the women who continue to live and work in Heera Mandi. Brown notes that some of these women do attain wealth and prestige for short periods in their youth, yet wider social attitudes towards these women remain hostile. Thus, even if a courtesan is desired or gains wealth, it remains in secret and as Brown notes, “it is highly unlikely to be translated into power and status outside the brothel quarter.” Unlike the past, Brown also notes how most clients of today’s courtesans do not have an appreciation for the traditional arts of the courtesan, which coincides with Buneri’s interview with Nagina, a mujra who claims her clients are “more interested in my body rather than in my art.” It’s clear that modern courtesans are in a degraded state, which is an implication of colonialism and aftermath. What is more unfortunate is the overwhelming majority of women in Heera Mandi, according to Brown, were selling their services to overcome economic hardships. Buneri’s research also highlights how many Pashtun women from Swat, due to the poverty after the Taliban insurgency after 9/11, fled to Peshawar where many had to sell their bodies along with singing and dancing to survive. The popular Pashto singer Ghazala Javed, also from Swat, moved to Peshawar and is said to have resorted to singing and dancing to escape poverty. The current unfortunate realities of courtesans and sex-workers stem from the colonial period and the resulting powers that intensified the role of the ‘ideal’ woman within society.

Iqbal Hussain Painting Mujra Tawaif

Poverty & Despair: Iqbal Hussain Painting of Heera Mandi prostitutes in their ‘down-time.’ Iqbal Hussain is a famous painter known for his ‘un-glamorous’ portrayals of modern, impoverished prostitutes in Heera Mandi. Interestingly, he is the son of a former courtesan from Heera Mandi in Lahore.

The Impact of Fundamentalism on Gender and Sexuality

Like the Hindu-fundamentalist revivalism that started in the nationalist period in India, post-independent Pakistani leaders also had their own Islamist fundamentalist agendas.* In 1979, General Zia al-Haq implemented Zina Laws, aiming to criminalize any sexual acts outside of marriage. As Shahnaz Khan notes in “Zina and the moral regulation of Pakistani women,” Zina laws were part of the 1979 Hadood Ordinances, which was General Zia al-Haq’s “first step in his Islamization policies.” As Khan notes, Zina laws were intended to create a ‘moral’ and just society in Pakistan, yet her and others have argued that it was a process of the state aiming to regulate the bodies of women. In other words, Islamic fundamentalism has nothing to do with the true ideals of Islam as a religion — it is important to note the difference, since fundamentalist agendas re-interpret religion for political motives. With regards to sex-workers in Pakistan, the Zina Laws were not entirely enforced, yet it compelled sex workers to be more discreet, made them vulnerable to criminalization and overall, further discredited their livelihoods. After September 11th 2011, when the U.S. launched war on the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Taliban fled to the Swat Valley region of Pakistan. In Swat, the Taliban were extreme towards women, in that women were not allowed to go to school or work. These measures were the Taliban’s interpretation of a ‘pure’ Islamic society. Yet again, Taliban fundamentalism is a political movement that has nothing to do with essences of Islam. For courtesans in Swat, the Taliban insurgency is said to have drastically disrupted their roles, as “women and villagers affiliated with the arts” were first targeted and banned. Given that Islamic fundamentalism was widespread, it would indeed influence social attitudes. One can speculate that Ghazala Javed’s ex-husband, her murderer, internalized fundamentalist rhetoric, and likely saw her career as a singer and dancer as ‘un-Islamic.’ Yet how can female entertainers be considered ‘un-Islamic’ if they once were tolerated in pre-colonial Islamic societies? The Taliban, therefore, like other fundamentalists, are painting their discourses with colonial gender ideologies. Moreover, when fundamentalists condemn courtesans or other female performers, they fail to note how many of these women are resorting to this work out of economic hardship. Shahnaz Khan notes how poverty plays a role in contemporary Pakistani society: “Families with little means to cope with increasingly inflation and chronic unemployment often find that their daughter’s sexuality is a valuable asset.” Islamic fundamentalism, like Hindu fundamentalism, is a consequence of European colonialism and has been intensified by new post-colonial global realities. The implications are that women, today, are left in a vulnerable position, as there seems to be no fight against discourses of using women as cultural markers. With regards to Pakistani women, Tahmina Rashid depicts their murky position within society: “In Pakistan, the female body has been politicized to such an extent that it functions as a battleground for ideological, philosophical, and religious debates and agendas between pseudo-modernist military regimes and traditionalist mullahs.”

The 2012 murder of Ghazala Javed highlights how certain women are in South Asia are caught in the deadly rift between new state regulations and fundamentalist agendas, both implications from colonialism. The media propagates the vulnerability of South Asian women as a cultural problem, yet media representations ignore historical and socio-economic aspects that have made the conditions for violence against women to occur. Without historical analysis, then Ghazala Javed’s murder will be considered just another ‘honor killing’ that’s typical of South Asian/Islamic cultures. When the problematic notion of ‘honor killing’ is accepted, then it takes away from the fact that European colonialism and it’s legacy caused social disruption to such an extent that it played a defining role in establishing the conditions for violence against women today. Cultural essentialist notions on the oppression of women indirectly, as Eva Reimer notes, posits the West as a role model for better treatment of women, thereby ignoring how Western women too are subjected to oppression within the nation-state setting. It’s clear that Orientalist stereotypes still holds sway and continues to valourize the West as the ‘ideal’ to aspire too. The fact that contemporary courtesans today, seen as ‘dishonorable,’ were once the most esteemed of women in many parts of precolonial South Asia makes cultural essentialist narratives invalid. Therefore, it is the onset of colonial discourses that disrupted former notions of gender and lead to the problems today. And unfortunately, the colonial ‘legacies’ of gender are still yet to be untangled. Yet at least with more understanding of how gender is constructed, shaped, changed and remade, then individuals can be more accepting of those who do not fit with the current ‘ideal.’ Perhaps Ghazala Javed would still be alive if her ex-husband and her community were aware of how notions of gender and sexuality were once embracing of women in her position, rather than see them as women ‘with no honor.’

*Note: The term ‘Islamist’ is used to refer to fundamentalists, which are political movements that uses the rhetoric of reviving an imagined ‘pure’ past. The violent and oppressive aims of certain Islamist movements have nothing to with the religion of Islam. A great quote from the film Water (2005) captures fundamentalists of any kind, “Disguised as religion, it’s just about money.”

Bibliography

Banerjee, Mukulika. The Pathan Unarmed: Opposition and Memory in the North West Frontier. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Brown, Louise. “Performance, Status and Hybridity in a Pakistani Red-Light District: The Cultural Production of the Courtesan.” Sexualities 10, no. 4 (2007): 409-423.

Buneri, Shaheen. “Dancing Girls of the Swat Valley.” World Policy Journal 28, no. 3 (2011): 73-81.

Burton, Richard. Sindh and the Races that inhabit the Indus Valley. New York: Oxford University Press, 1851.

Fildis, A. T. “The Historical Roots and Occurrence of Honour-Related Violence in Non-Muslim and Muslim Societies.” Journal of Women of the Middle East and the Islamic World 11 (2013): 1-15.

Forbes, Geraldine. Women in Modern India. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Foucault, Michel. A History of Sexuality, vol. 1, 1978.

Fuller, Mrs. Marcus B. The Wrongs of Indian Womanhood. New York: Young People’s Missionary Movement, 1900.

Khan, Shahnaz. “Zina” and the Moral Regulation of Pakistani Women.” Feminist Review, no 75 (2003): 75-100.

Kumar, Deepa & Stabile, Carol A. “Unveiling imperialism: media, gender and the war on Afghanistan.” Media, Culture & Society 27 (2005): 765-778.

Massad, Joseph. Desiring Arabs. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2007.

Newman, R. E. Pathan Tribal Patterns. New Delhi: The Caxton Press, 1965.

Pande, Rekha., & Tula, Meenal. “Re-Inscribing the Indian Courtesan: A Genealogical Approach.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 15, no. 1 (2014): 67-82.

Rashid, Tahmina. “Militarized Masculinities, Female Bodies, and ‘Security Discourse’ in Post-9/11 Pakistan.” Strategic Analysis 33, no. 4 (2009): 566-578.

Reimers, Eva. “Representations of an Honor Killing.” Feminist Media Studies 7, no. 3 (2007): 239-255.

Said, Edward. Orientalism. London: Penguin Books Ltd, 1995.

Sarkar, Sumit & Sarkar, Tanika., eds.  Women and Social Reform in Modern India. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008.

Talwar, Veena. “Lifestyle as resistance: the case of the courtesan of Lucknow, India.” Feminist Studies 16, no. 2 (1990): 259-287.

 

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Justice For All? The use of Law and the Hypocrisy of Feminist Stances Towards Prostitution Laws

How do government laws affect the lives of prostitutes? Below is an old essay I wrote regarding prostitution laws in today’s Modern nation-state world:

justice

It is hard to imagine reading a paper or watching the news without hearing about some excerpt about prostitution and laws surrounding. After all, prostitution has historically been a popular and controversial issue in many societies. Defining prostitution is difficult because of the various interpretations of its meaning. According to the World Health Organization, prostitution is, “a process that involves a transaction between a seller and a buyer of a sexual service.” On the other hand, the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS has a more complex interpretation of prostitution: “Sex work may be formal or informal,” and then continue to explain that, “Commercial sex work may be conducted in formally organized settings from sites such as brothels, night clubs, and massage parlors; or more informally by commercial sex workers who are street-based or self-employed.” The complexity of prostitution helps explain why it’s an issue that evokes multiple opinions. In the modern nation-state, prostitution has become a social ‘issue’ that is regulated or prohibited by law. For instance, prostitution may be illegal, legal, or decriminalized. For social and cultural academics, it is important to make the sense of laws and the society. Therefore, one can use different theoretical frameworks, such as feminism or bio-politics, to explain the prostitution phenomena. In this essay, I will look at certain feminist influences on prostitution laws, and it’s implications. I will then analyze those feminist trends in prostitution laws through the lens of biopower. The two popular feminist stances have been either to tolerate prostitution by regulating it or to abolish prostitution by criminalizing it. Overall, prostitution laws result in the further marginalization of prostitutes despite being back by some feminist groups. Prostitution laws, instead, maintains neoliberal state interests while ignoring the true feminist aim of female empowerment.

Theory

Biopower is a term that was coined by Michel Foucault, which inspired a new theoretical frame to academic thought. For Foucault, biopower is the ‘”regulatory power of states over populations,” which thus produces, “docile bodies in everyday life of institutions.” In other words, Foucault tried to emphasize that the body is a way to understand a society and how power is used to control their lifestyles. Lifestyles of individuals and their self-care practices are influenced by an overarching power. Giorgio Agamben further elaborated Foucault’s theory. In Agamben’s view, the sovereign power constructs ideals for citizenship where certain lifestyles amount to a ‘qualified life.’ However, individuals who contrast from the ‘ideal’ are living a ‘bare life,’ and thus are excluded in various ways, such as marginalization or facing violence. Therefore, the marginalized groups in society are only marginalized because state power determines who can be included in the society and who cannot. In “What’s Law Got to Do with it? How and Why Law Matters in the Regulation of Sex Work,” Jane Scoular notes that prostitutes are part of the ‘bare life,’ where they are marginalized due to not being ‘ideal’ citizens.  To understand biopower, it is important to know who is an ‘ideal’ citizen and answer: what is the purpose of including some while excluding others?

In modern nation-states in the West, a ‘qualified’ life relates to neoliberal ideals. Neoliberalism is a shift in political, economic and ideological policy that began in the 1980’s (Yang, 2013), which currently dominates many governments globally. Economically, it is a policy of free-markets with minimal government interventions. Politically, it is the diffusion of government into smaller institutions. The notion of ‘freedom’ and individualism is the ideology behind neoliberalism, where individual freedom is achieved only through free markets. Yet the hidden element is that neoliberal policies seek to maintain the power of economic elites, and, it’s a “political project to re-establish the conditions of capital accumulation.” Neoliberalism, according to Scoular, is the main idea behind a ‘qualified’ life in Agamben terms. She notes, “modern law operates to regulate the complete lives of individuals,” and thus the law influences social norms. For instance, prostitutes are marginalized due to social stigma. The stigma, as Davey and Kissil mention, is the result of laws that criminalize prostitutes. Prostitutes are criminalized because the state feels they pose a threat to their ideals. For instance, the Contagious Diseases Acts in the late 19th century are said to criminalize prostitutes for their alleged danger to public health. Medical discourses and sciences were used to justify penalizing ‘unregulated’ persons, but in reality it was a moral panic over ‘unregulated’ sexuality. Controlled sexuality was crucial to the Modern nation-state agenda. Thus, prostitutes can only be ‘qualified’ if they satisfy the needs of neoliberal ideals, such as self-regulating themselves in a manner which results capital accumulation. The law is a way of expressing state power in an indirect way, as it influences norms, and thus influences people to maintain neoliberal interests. I will discuss how neoliberal interests are maintained through prostitution laws, but first I will discuss feminism as theory, since certain feminist have a strong stance on prostitution laws.

Feminism consists of many differing outlooks, yet there are notions that all feminists agree upon. For instance, feminists agree that female voices need to be addressed and recognized in society. They also stand for female empowerment through gender equality, especially in a Modern context where women are found less in high status positions compared to men. Despite these agreed upon notions, feminists differ in other aspects. Postmodern feminists, for instance, contend that feminism has been dominated by white, middle-class women, and such women cannot represent the interests of women as a whole. The weakness in feminism is that there is a lack of consensus on a variety of topics. With regards to prostitution, there are oppositional feminist stances, which is highlighted by Maureen Davey and Karni Kissil in their analysis titled, “The Prostitution Debate in Feminism: Current Trends, Policy and Clinical Issues Facing an Invisible Population.” Yet these two feminist stances do not speak for all feminists, because many feminists may be open to other theories on prostitution.

Discussion

Abolish Prostitution? Regulate it?

Two popular feminist stances towards laws on prostitution are: abolishing prostitution or regulating it. Yet while both have different stances, they both have very limited outlooks. Feminists who seek to abolish prostitution are often termed as Radical Feminists. In their view, prostitutes are victims of male oppression. Their goal is to abolish prostitution, as they feel prostitution only serves to oppress women. An example of this stance is found in Sweden, where prostitution is illegal. However, punishment is only directed at clients, whereas sex workers, seen as victims, are guided by state into ‘exiting’ programs. On the other side, another group of feminists, which Davey and Kissil termed the ‘pro’ feminists, feel that prostitutes have the agency to make their own choices and thus the laws should give them legal rights. The ‘pro’ feminists are usually in favor of laws which prostitution is tolerated. Therefore, legalization assumes that prostitutes will be empowered because they have legal rights. Overall, both the ‘pro’ and radical feminists are not challenging hegemonic state power, but rather are staying within its power. They fail to address how prostitution laws are part of wider form of maintaining state interests. In this view, the two feminist stances in the prostitution debate are problematic, because they are trying to represent the voices of all women. But as Kissil and Davey note, the two feminist stances have seldom consulted with the voices and desires of the prostitutes themselves. The lack of acknowledging the voices of prostitutes is apparent when given the implications of these feminist solutions to prostitution.

massage parlor

Prostitution laws, whether tolerant or against prostitution, results in more disadvantage than advantage for prostitutes. This is rather ironic, since feminist backed prostitution laws are usually aimed at protecting sex workers. For example, in Sweden, prostitutes are only protected from the law so long they adhere to ‘exiting’ programs, which are programs that aid prostitutes to exit the sex industry and integrate in mainstream society. This idea of exiting assumes that all prostitutes have the same desires, and thus all can be controlled. Therefore, prostitutes who don’t exit are deemed as criminals. As Scoular notes, “Criminalization in Sweden resulted in more risky situations for sex workers, where they have less choice of clients, quicker transactions, drop in prices and greater stress” (20). She further notes, “The Swedish Model just got rid of ‘visible’ street workers, while it created ‘invisible’ sex workers in off-street work” (20). Therefore, individuals who remain prostitutes in Sweden become excluded, because society has made no place for them. What is also interesting is how radical feminists aim at the criminalization of men over women, where men become targeted as clients. This actually doesn’t result in gender equality, but rather it shifts the stigma of prostitutes over to men.

Canadian examples illustrate the implications of prostitution laws where prostitution is tolerated. In Canada, the exchange of sex for money is legal, yet other laws make it difficult for prostitutes to conduct their services legally. Tamara O’Doherty (2011) notes that Canadian prostitution laws “ensure prostitution remains firmly entrenched in illicit markets by requiring sex workers to offend the criminal laws in order to work in safety (indoor venues)” (219). She further notes how Section 213 of the Canadian criminal code states that public communication for the purpose of prostitution is criminally prohibited. To illustrate this: brothels cannot legally label themselves as spaces for prostitution. Instead, they have to label themselves as non-sex related businesses, such as a massage parlor. Prostitutes themselves cannot be open about their services either; they cannot discuss with clients beforehand about their services. At the same time, Section 211 makes it illegal to use a place on a regular basis for prostitution, so therefore the massage parlor must ensure they deny sex is going on. According to O’Doherty, this ‘quasi-legal’ atmosphere places sex workers in more vulnerable positions, where they less prone to working in safe places. Given that the two feminist stances both have mainly negative implications for the lives of prostitutes, it seems that laws are not empowering their intended subjects. But rather, it’s pushing the majority of prostitutes to the ‘bare life.’

Since laws do not benefit most prostitutes, then the obvious question is: who benefits from the prostitution law? The State benefits as the laws ensure that their neoliberal interests are not challenged. In Sweden, exiting programs help prostitutes find ‘normal’ jobs, which they will become ‘qualified’ taxpayers, and thus assimilating with the hegemonic ideals and aiding the state power. In some Canadian provinces, for instance, local municipal laws require that massage parlors obtain expensive licenses to operate. As well, Edmonton sex workers are required by local municipal law to obtain licenses for each place they work. The act of licensing is a way of commercializing the sex industry, which means the state profits off licenses. It also is way of controlling and monitoring prostitutes. Therefore, those who participate in licensing are included in society, as they are doing what the state wants. However, not all prostitutes want or are in the position to reveal their identities. For instance, an illegal immigrant is automatically excluded from having ‘qualified life,’ because they are invisible to state recognition. And while legalization is argued to protect some prostitutes, others have argued that increased regulation means increased policing and monitoring over the lives of women. Further, many academics agree that prostitution laws do not reverse the negative impact of social stigma, which stigma causes psychological trauma for many prostitutes.  Therefore, many prostitutes are excluded and marginalized for failing to adhere to state interests. Sadly, marginalized groups are part of sustaining the capitalism. Therefore, the Radical and ‘pro’ feminists are contradicting themselves, because they are supporting a system of inequality, where only a minority of ‘qualified’ prostitutes are included in society. Such groups should not even be called feminist, because feminism is supposed to be about gender equality.

Feminism in current times, influenced by Postmodernism, emphasizes the diversity of female experiences, yet the ‘pro’ and radical feminist views on prostitution ignore an open, multi-theoretical approach. It is no wonder that these feminist stances on prostitution laws have had problematic results for prostitutes themselves. Given that prostitution laws have not benefited the fate of most sex workers it becomes obvious that laws are more concerned with sustaining state power and interests. However, the complexity involved in prostitution makes it difficult to find an alternative law that will satisfy the needs of everyone. Yet the question remains: can law be more inclusive of all members of society when considering how law is a tool of marginalizing certain people? So while the framework of biopower helps us understand prostitution laws it doesn’t really give us a solution to challenge the hegemonic power.  Many aspects of people’s lives are orientated toward neoliberal interests in most advanced capitalist nation-states. Therefore, it is difficult to challenge the power of state when the populations are compliant with the law. However, as an anthropologist it is the task to be critical and to educate others about making the familiar seem strange, whilst making the strange seem more familiar. As a postmodern feminist, it is important to be open to the ideas and theories of others. Rather than continue to marginalize others, one needs to think of ways that society can be more inclusive of so-called deviant groups.

Partial References:

Davey, Maureen & Kissil, Karni. (2010). The Prostitution Debate in Feminism: Current Trends, Policy and Clinical Issues Facing an Invisible Population.Journal of Feminist Family Therapy 22 (1), 1-21.

Farquhar Judith & Zhang Qicheng. (2005). Biopolitical Beijing: Pleasure, Sovereigntly, and Self-Cultivation in China’s Capital. Cultural Anthropology 20(3), 303-327.

Harley, David. (2005). Freedom is just another word. A Brief History of Neo-Liberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

O’Doherty, Tamara. (2011). Criminalization and Off-Street Sex Work in Canada. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 217-245.

Schoular, Jane. (2010). What’s Law Got to do with It? How and Why Law Matters in the Regulation of Sex Work. Journal of Law and Society 37 (1), 12-39.

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Filed under "High-class" prostitution, Facts About the Sex Industry, The Escorting Business

Escorts, Clients and the Sex Industry: Questions and Answers # 5

This is Q&A No.5 of a series where I answer questions that viewers type in search engines to locate my blog.

1. What is an Exotic Escort?

exotic-escort

I use the term ‘exotic’ for myself in the context of being ‘different’ as an escort. I differentiate myself in that my cultural roots, ideological outlook and upbringing were rather unique compared to my surroundings. However, now that I look back in retrospect, I should have been more cautious in choosing the word ‘exotic,’ because the term ‘exotic’ is a very Orientalist notion.

Many escorts use the term ‘exotic’ to describe themselves as having a different ‘beauty’ or appearance than the norm of their given setting. For instance, an Asian woman in a predominantly white-dominated sex industry is perceived as ‘exotic,’ because her features are rare and different from the majority.

 

2. Is it harder for an escort who has sex with multiple partners daily to orgasm?

It truly depends on her, as an individual and her personal circumstances. A lot of women suppress (or are oblivious to) their sexual desires, so thus orgasm might be challenging or nonexistent in their lives. Modern gender roles are a major factor in the suppression of female sexuality, as ‘her pleasure’ has been traditionally dismissed as irrelevant in popular discourse. Discourses that marginalized female sexuality stem from influential Victorian morality. Of course things have changed, as the awareness of female sexual desire is being revived back into society. However, the asymmetrical gender binary of masculinity/femininity remain institutionalized in almost every factor of modern society, and thus remain influential in cultural attitudes.

Personally, the more sex I have, the more aroused I am.  As I mentioned in a previous Q&A, having sex with clients has often enhanced my personal sex life. I may or may not get aroused by clients, but it certainly builds up my anticipation for my personal lovers. Having a lot of mediocre sex with clients can sometimes make me intensely crave good intimacy with someone I desire. Equally, having good sex with clients often makes me immensely aroused for my personal lover afterwards. I get really aroused for my lover after another man has just slept with me.

 

3. What do escorts think about older clients?

Old, middle-aged, young…it doesn’t really matter to me. Age does not define how a client will act, so such things are quite irrelevant. I know some other female escorts who prefer older clients because there is a belief that older clients are easier to please. This belief may be held because some older men have a tendency of being more patient and relaxed in their sexuality, whereas younger men are more eager. However, characteristics of all sorts can be found in clients regardless of age, class or ethnic background.

 

4. Do Escorts Give Discounts (Cheaper) for Good Looking Men? Do Escorts Prefer Good Looking Men?

This question actually made me laugh. No! I’d say the majority of escorts would laugh if a man assumed his ‘good looks’ would get him a better deal. Most escorts, such as myself, do not care about looks. An experienced courtesan knows very well that ‘good looks’ have no relevance to our livelihoods. A handsome client does not guarantee that he will be a good sexual lover, a good person or at best, generous. Qualities that I enjoy in clients are generosity, kindness, respect, hygienic, intellect and selflessness in sex (non-demanding) – such things cannot be compensated by superficial aesthetics alone.

This reminded me a client who tried to book with me. He called me and made countless efforts to tell me how ‘handsome’ he was, and how ‘well-endowed’ he was in size. I just rolled my eyes and thought to myself, “You are probably the worst in sex considering you have to convince me of how apparently amazing you are.” I hung up, and refused to see him. Ladies beware: Any man who boasts excessively about his achievements or his ‘amazingness’ is to be avoided. Such men with big egos are usually masking HUGE insecurities and shortcomings. Thankfully, after years of encountering so many men, I know very well that: If it seems too good to be true, it is! Any man who proposes such a ‘larger than life’ offer has a dirty motive behind it, so please be wary of such things.

sensuallips 

5. What to do when a Regular Client Starts Seeing Another Girl?

Don’t do anything. He’s a client. Expect this. Sadly, in the context of modern prostitution, it is more than acceptable for a client to have no responsibility towards an escort. Even if he has seen her multiple times, it is at best a fragile relation with little significance. Of course, not all clients have this ‘neglecting’ intention with escorts. There are clients that stay loyal to one woman. The most most decent clients empathize with an escorts life and feelings — they don’t just see her as an object for their own leisure. However, I’d say not to worry about such matters.
Thankfully, I have always maintained a decent, quality handful of regular clients besides my Sheik. I have known some of them for several years. However, these men are not bound to me in any way. Most of them are married. I see them when they request me, but I do not intervene in their lives further, nor do I let them intervene in my own life. Whether or not my regular clients see other girls or not is not of my concern. I have no expectation of them.

In my days working in a high-end brothel, I saw many escorts get furious when their regular client started seeing another girl. Instead of blaming the client, they often blamed the other escort for allegedly ‘stealing’ her client. But blaming other escorts is hardly valid. Blaming the client is also invalid. It is simply part of the industry. Relationships in this industry are very fluid, so I prepare myself to never take things too seriously.
Sometimes I am unable to see my regular clients because I am busy in my personal life. At times I have even encouraged some of my regular clients to see other escorts. If I had a female friend who’s an escort, then I would recommend my client to see her. If you are an escort who has the notion of ‘hoarding’ clients then you are setting yourself up for disappointment. I have found that my ‘openness’ with clients has made them more loyal to me.

 

6. Do Escorts Like Clients who are ‘Big,’ ‘Well-Endowed?’

From observing conversations with other escorts, most women tend to complain when a client is too big, or too much work (meaning too demanding and takes too long to ejaculate). For instance, if a clients’ size is too big and the intercourse is anticipated to be painful, then we might decline having sex with him. If he is rather large, most of us hope the sex will be quick. Some escorts with very big ego’s will say things like, “I’m not going to risk hurting my pussy with one client, it’s not worth it.” Personally, I have declined to have sex with clients who are too large, because I didn’t feel the potential pain was ‘worth’ my time.

Surprisingly, very ‘big’ men are not common as one may think. Most clients are average in genital size. Many escorts even develop a preference for ‘smaller’ men, because the assumption is that it will do less impact to her body. I prefer average or smaller with clients, because logically it’s easier on my body. However, my preference for my own pleasure is another story. This is probably because the men I enjoy are average or slightly bigger than average — but not too big, no no. Yet those ‘size’ factors, alone, are only one part of the great pleasure they induce upon me. I’ve had ‘smaller’ men also give me great pleasure. If I happen to be aroused on a particular day, I must admit that I do prefer a ‘slightly bigger than average’ size over small. I can recall a few weeks ago I was so aroused one day, and I was meeting a new client. I was immensely full of desire and was hoping that he would be ‘bigger,’ but to my dismay he was like quite small.

However, I should note that penis size does not guarantee pleasure. A lot of men are insecure about their size, but my view is that size is very secondary to giving pleasure to a woman. Pleasure is not just about physical aspects but also relates to mental stimulation and geometric fit of each participantGreat pleasure is never simply mind or body; it is the combination of both. To illustrate this in another way: a beautiful woman may attract someone, but her body alone is not enough to draw genuine and immense longing from another person.  I may attract men with my looks, but when they truly fall in love they fall in love with other elements that are not just physical. Physical attraction, alone, is a very limited and unfulfilling way of experiencing true bliss.

 

7. Is it Bad to Have an Escort Girl for a Girlfriend?

Why is it bad? It is only ‘bad’ because Modern society has a cruel and unjust attitude towards prostitutes. An escort is no different than any other human being. Yes, her lifestyle is different, but she/he is deserving of love, acknowledgement and care just as anyone else. Sadly, society still holds this view that such non-conforming groups are un-deserving of basic human dignity. Such cruel view needs to be challenged.

 

Lovers Embrace

8. Do Escorts Enjoy Having Sex?

I sometimes get annoyed when I repetitively see questions like these, because asking such a question makes the assumption that human emotions can be standardized and generalized like an inanimate product.

I cannot speak on behalf of all escorts, because human beings have a diverse span of emotions, experiences and life circumstances which all form their unique way of viewing life (and viewing others). If an escort likes sex, it does not mean she will like sex with just anyone. Of course not.

As I have stressed before on this blog: things such as chemistry are not ‘learned’ behaviors – no amount of superficial efforts can create chemistry.  Two people desiring each other remains as mysterious today as it has in the past – chemistry is a phenomenon that has no linear explanation.

9. Being an Escort: How to Keep a Normal Life Going with This Double Life I’m Living?

A question what one needs to ask themselves is: what constitutes as being “normal?” Is it obedience to authority? Is it acting like everyone else? It is not questioning the dominant trends or discourses? A lot of the modern norms that exist today serve the purpose of benefiting a system of inequality and dehumanization rather than a humanistic and collectivist purpose. A question I had to ask myself in recent years is: Is there even a point to continue striving for a ‘normal’ life when my life is anything but the norm?

I had mentioned in my blog previously that I make tremendous efforts to conform in public. The way I dress, act and appear is very conforming (normal) from a public perspective. The purpose of conforming is to avoid rejection; I once desperately wanted to belong and be accepted by others. But in the process of appearing normal I was truly rejecting myself. It also became very exhausting trying to play different roles in different settings, so often I just isolated myself as it was the only place I could stop pretending to be someone I was not.

For years after becoming an escort, I struggled with my identity. I didn’t know who I was, and I focused more on what I was expected to be. I was performing several different roles, catering to the needs of everyone else. I was an escort, but I had to conceal this part of my life. How could I look, act and mingle like the majority of people when my experiences, tastes and ideas were totally different? How could I interact with normal women who would probably shun me if they knew my secret lifestyle? This is when I realized that society has made no place for stigmatized persons; for years it was emotionally exhausting feeling I must hide myself all the time.

Other escorts realize their rejection in mainstream society early on, so they find social support among other sex workers. But I couldn’t do this. I felt estranged even among most other escorts — sadly, there is no sense of wholesome solidarity/community among escorts in an Individualistic society. Many escorts are still profoundly influenced by gender role expectations (ironically) and tend to judge each other. I found that escorts usually bond together in their misery. Rather than deal with their pain together in a wholesome manner, they resort to ‘numbing’ their pain together by way of partying, drinking, excessive materialism and/or drug use. “Misery loves company” is a perfect phrase for when escort solidarity does exist. It isn’t only stigmatized persons, but also a lot of seemingly normal people tend to ‘party’ away their misery, because they themselves get tired of trying to live up to an unrealistic ideal placed upon their gender. Social pressures surely can explain why the ‘drinking and party’ culture is so prevalent in Western societies, because drinking allows people to feel artificially comfortable with themselves. Personally, I try my best to avoid such artificial situations. For me, the only place where I could reveal myself is when I was alone. My other outlet is when I fell in love.

Early on, I desired the ‘normal’ life and expectations for a woman: to fall in love, to get married and to have a family. I imagined that I could easily transition into a ‘normal’ life once getting married and settling down. And I almost did it. I stopped working for a long portion when I was with my ex-fiance. But throughout our relationship, I realized that my experiences of being a sex worker prevented me from conforming to the tastes and mannerisms of mainstream society, because I still had to hide myself. My ex-fiance accepted me and never judged me for selling my body, but the struggle remained within myself. In the early years of escorting, I was in denial of the fact that I wasn’t like ‘normal’ girls. I sold my body, but I felt I was better than most escorts because my outside lifestyle and mannerisms were normative. But now, I have come to accept that I am a woman with a totally different outlook compared to the average girl. I see sides of men and their sexuality that most women never see. My experiences have made my life anything but normal. And now I accept it, and I stop trying to look for straight lines.

So can an escort ever live a normal life? Sure, she can pretend her life is normal for outsiders, but inside she will be hiding a lot of emotions. A person can only hide themselves for so long. Sadly, I do not have a sound answer to this question, as there aren’t any wholesome alternatives made for sex workers in a modern context. However, I personally found comfort once I started broadening my knowledge. From a very young age, I have always been fascinated with learning in various ways. One cannot only learn from books, one must also learn from experience too. I was inspired to go to University to soothe my curiosity about human life, cultures, society, politics, and so forth. University exposed me to scholars who analytically critique all aspects of social phenomena. I was introduced to the concept of ‘narratives’ and ‘discourses’ (stereotypes), which made me realize that many widely-held beliefs in society were constructed by particular people to serve a particular agenda. Moreover, norms that exist today are never fixed, and norms differ both historically and culturally. Soon enough, I realized there was no ‘shame’ in my ‘abnormal’ profession, and also realized that other cultures, historically, once held ‘alternative’ lifestyles and sexual practices with high esteem.  It became quite comforting when realizing many intellectual people (in post-modern Social Sciences) are aware how norms are constructed in relation to power, therefore subject to contestation, change and variation. Many scholars in the Arts and Social Science disciplines (gender studies, history, humanities, anthropology, sociology and the like) are relatively open-minded and accepting of alternative lifestyles, as most of their research is to critically analyze social phenomena as opposed to accepting dominant discourses. There are a minority of decent, wholesome people who challenge the unjust notions of society and are in favor of ‘alternative’ lifestyles.

A lot of great films about courtesans and ‘fallen women’ really depict this emotional conflict that many of us face: where a prostitute realizes her place in society is un-welcomed, abnormal, detestable and condemned. Shortly, I will post a list of great films that portray the life and emotions of a prostitute. One of the greatest films about the life and misery of a courtesan is an infamous, old Hindu-Urdu film titled, “Pakeezah.” A translation of a powerful line in the film is when Sahib Jaan (the courtesan) says to her beloved, “wherever you take me, my disgrace will eventually find me.” That line clearly shows her loss of hope, knowing that her soul is irreversibly scarred by her ‘maligned’ experiences.

meena Kumari (Pakeezah)

An excellent analysis of the courtesan film, “Pakeezah” can be found here: http://mrandmrs55.com/2012/04/16/the-immortal-dialogue-of-pakeezah/

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Filed under Facts About the Sex Industry, High-class prostitution, Questions for Escorts And Clients, The Escorting Business, Types of Clients

Escorting: Fears, Risks, and the ‘Girlfriend Experience.’

A female reader emailed me and posed an interesting question:

“I wanted to ask if you get any anxiety about stds? I wonder if escorts can ever feel very safe about meeting so many men who may infect them with something very serious.”

To answer her question: yes, when I first started escorting I had severe anxiety over many things, such as worrying about sexually transmitted diseases. Besides worrying about diseases, I was also worried that too much sex was going to damage me internally, by making me ‘loose.’ I wrote about that previously, which can be viewed here: https://exoticescortdiary.com/2012/03/02/the-myth-of-a-loose-woman/

erotic stockings

When I began escorting, I had very little sexual experience, thus I was a bit fearful of what having sex with strangers might entail. In particular, I was very worried that sleeping with multiple clients was placing me at risk for sex-related diseases. But once more familiar with the industry, I realized that the risk was very minimal as I used a condom for oral and sex. My introduction to escorting  began with a high-end establishment that instructed girls to be extremely safe. And by extremely safe this meant there was no such thing as the ‘GFE’ (the Girlfriend Experience). At this high-end agency, escorts risked losing their job if they were caught doing ‘extras.’ Back then, the owner of this particular establishment prided herself in having girls who avoided GFE. In other words, there would be no kissing, no oral sex without a condom, or anything that’s considered intimate-like. Nowadays, such cautious attitudes do not prevail, and virtually all agencies and brothels embrace more risky services associated with the various interpretations of GFE. Men want the closest to passionate sex as possible from an escort — which is why GFE is highly in demand. Every girl has her own interpretation of what GFE entails — it might be oral sex with or without condoms, it might be light kissing or deep french kissing, etc, etc. Yet despite some girls being a little more/or less open-minded for certain acts of foreplay, a condom is always used for sex in any situation.

I’ve maintained the same stance on being safe. However, there is a slight contradiction. As I mentioned before, I did/do cross boundaries with certain clients. Specifically, I give in to receiving pleasure occasionally. A lot of clients then and now were lovely men, who seduced me in a respectful manner. I seldom stop them if they are talented. In such instances, I lavish in my own vanity and pleasure….and I’d think to myself something highly arrogant, such as, “Ahhh, men pay me to give ME pleasure.

 

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To my readers, I apologize for my absence. I have been writing lots as always, yet most of my writings are half-finished as I’m doing the difficult task of incorporating ideology and context to my observations. What I aim to do is give my readers a broader understanding, and a more ‘academic’ feel for the sex industry. I seek to conceptualize rather than simply sharing my personal accounts. More importantly, I want to avoid ‘essentializing’ traits of men and women, or giving the idea of ‘universals’ for human behavior. In other words, many observed traits of men and women are not innate, but rather are socially constructed. I want to focus on the social conditions that set the norms and habits in certain contexts or circumstances. A lot of what I write is very much context constrained (for the most part, I am writing about ‘high-end’ escorting in a Western social context). Although the experiences and observations I write about are common occurances/trends, they are not universals (they are not traits experienced by all prostitutes cross-culturally, nor historically). I want to make these points clear in my other posts. In any event, I also wish to make this blog a dialogue, so I welcome my readers to comment and share their own perspectives.

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January 22, 2013 · 8:19 am

Your Questions, My Answers #4 – The Sex Industry and Human Sexuality

I love checking my stats for this blog and seeing the numerous search engine terms. It gives an idea of what people think about prostitutes. One thing that pops up very often is the question: do prostitutes get pleasure? I answered that question in previous posts. But I should restate it: we have sex with clients for money, not out of pleasure (even though some of us enjoy some clients). The other common misconception is that many people assume a whore (a woman who loves sex) is synonymous with a prostitute (a woman who has sex for money). Ahh…it is interesting how we live in a world that’s obsessed with sex, yet is still so confined to norms and social attitudes. Why is it such an issue? Well, human sexuality was made political (causing a moral panic) since the 19th century in the Modern context. Why? Sexuality is associated with reproduction. What is the most important thing to national leaders? To reproduce their society, so they can gain dominance in this competitive (poisoned), capitalistic world. Anyway, I won’t get in to that now….

 

Your Question: Should I get a female prostitute for my wife?

If its her idea, sure. Be sure to find a quality and genuinely sensual private escort (finding an escort who is genuinely in tune with her sexual desires — such as being intimate with other women — is not easy). Bare in mind, many escorts are willing to do ‘girl-on-girl’ for the money, but I cannot tell you how many times I’ve witness ‘girl-on-girl’ appointments where the experience was completely mechanical and fake. I’ve always fantasized to have a beautiful, wholesome woman to be my client. Or vice versa: I have the fantasy of being a patron for a beautiful, wholesome courtesan. But it’s just not common having a beautiful woman seek an escort (unless, in rare cases, she’s with her male partner).

Once I saw a couple. It was the woman who wanted to live out this fantasy. It was a very great experience. The woman was not particularly my type, but regardless she was lovely. I cannot explain the intensity of touching and caressing a woman while a man is getting so turned on by the very sight. Both a man and woman’s body is interesting for me, so I didn’t mind exploring a woman who wasn’t exactly my ideal. She made me cum, while her lover watched. It made me wonder if such openness between couples is a truly a good thing?

While some fantasies sound good in theory, are they good in reality? I used to tell my ex about my threesome fantasies. He loved when we talked about it, but he said that he would never do it. Why not? He said it wasn’t healthy for a relationship. His argument was this: if we do it once, then what if one of us has uncontrollable urges to do it again and again? I embrace being open in a relationship, but sometimes having no limits can cause havoc.

 

Your Question: As an Escort, How Much Should I Charge clients?

Basic economics 101: It’s the law of supply and demand, which varies from city to city. For instance, there are an abundance of ‘inexpensive’ women available in my locale. More women = lower prices. Less women = higher prices.  Dave Chapelle made a hilarious joke related to this, “If Pussy was a stock, then we’ve flooded the market! Women are giving it away too easy.

My price is in the higher-end range for my city, which also means I limit my clientele (since many men cannot afford my rate/rather restrictive rules). I adjust my rate depending on which city I am in. When I worked overseas the particular city was wealthier and therefore I could increase my price. There is a demand for ‘high-quality’, safe escorts for a more discerning clientele, but these type of women are a minority in the sex industry.

I must also note that not every girl can successfully charge high rates. Men have certain expectations with women who charge higher-than-average rates. For one, an expensive escort is expected to be exceptional in some way, whether it’s beauty, intellectual or sensuality (or perhaps the entire combination). Although part-time, I consider myself a very skilled courtesan. Over the years, I learned how to cater to the needs of a client and how to act like the companion that he desires. If a woman does not satisfy the expectations associated with her price, then she will not have repeat clients. She must be ‘worth it’, but again, one’s worth is also a perception.

 

Your Question: What do Girls do after Appointments?

We eat! I don’t know what it is about sex, but hunger and thirst follows afterwards. It’s a universal among escorts that we love eating (especially when we work in a brothel establishment together). We order food in abundance. Sometimes we make our clients wait so we can eat some chocolate or delicious delicacies. To be quite honest, I miss the ‘in between time’ when working at a brothel. The ‘in between time’ is when girls have a break in between seeing clients. We sit together, a group of girls (hopefully a good group — because escorts are infamous for their cattiness towards each other), we order food, some smoke cigarettes, we tease and laugh about our clients, and we discuss the most vulgar subjects. Many times the night turned into an all-girl party; we all made money, celebrated and laughed until it hurts. As an independent, I don’t get to experience any of that ‘female bonding’ anymore (which is also a good thing….escorts can be terrible influences on each other).

The ‘good’ girls never last long at brothels…they eventually move on to something or somewhere else. There used to be a good group of escort girls that I knew when I worked overseas. These girls made going to work fun. They were girls with other goals besides sex-work. Eventually the group disintegrated and we went our separate ways. It was during these female ‘in-between’ bonding times that I got to observe a lot of behaviors/realities/circumstances for women who are in the sex industry. Yet for the short time we shared together, we gave each other support.

 

Your Question: How to “fuck prostitutes and not get caught by wife?”

This mentality makes me cringe sometimes. I understand social pressures and not wanting to break-up the family, but the sneakiness of infidelity is alarming. The only infidelity that I don’t really condemn is with men who’ve been married for a lengthy time, and their wives (due to old age, disability, no interest, etc) do not have sex anymore.  But I do not feel sympathy for younger men, especially newly married men, who cheat on their wives just for the sake of ‘variety.’ If variety is what you desire, then opt for an open relationship or don’t get into a relationship with someone who expects monogamy. If only there was more openness in relations.

Once, I met a great client who was in an open relationship (his wife knew he was seeing me). They were a loving couple with children. They were educated and realistic about their needs. They had a private, semi-open relationship, complete with set boundaries. Both were permitted to see other people within reason, but the main restriction was: no sex with others. And that man, as a client, was utmost respectful of his wife’s restrictions and remained disciplined. Their relationship made me more warm towards the idea of an open-relationship (something I haven’t tried …it’s always been one-sided, in my favor).

Sadly, many men do go to lengths to hide their sexual affairs. They get private mobile phones, they slip away for an hour or so, and even bring their own soap. One of my married clients brings his own body-wash, because he worries that my ‘girly-scented’ soaps will make his wife suspicious.

 

Your Question: Why would an Escort want to stop seeing a client?

Well, as mentioned, some men develop strong feelings for us (which can make us uncomfortable). It’s problematic when the love is one sided (he falls in love, and we just liked him as a client only). Love is an irreversible thing…I can’t just tell a man to ‘stop loving me’ and he will switch his emotions off. Sometimes these men can also interfere with our personal lives, which gets overbearing. When I was overseas, I had a devoted client who fell in love with me, and we became quite close. However, I only just saw him as a favorable regular client of mine. He became obsessive, and I had to end it. (I will talk about him in a future post). There are also issues of morality. In rare cases, it is the escort who truly likes a client, and thus she might feel uncomfortable to continue seeing him as a client (but in most cases, it’s usually the first scenario mentioned above).

It might be shocking to know that I, as a sex worker, have my own morals. Sometimes clients are too candid about their personal lives. They openly tell me they are married or attached, or they have children, or their life stories, etc. In my brothel days, one particular client told me too many personal details about his life, and as a result I rejected him. Why? He was a very sweet man, but his life circumstances conflicted with my morals. When I first met him, his wife (as he told me) was heavily pregnant with their second child. He said he was working two jobs to make a good life for his family. He claimed his wife being pregnant as an excuse for no intimacy between them. He also stated how he loved his wife dearly. Yet ironically, he was spending a large sum of money (for him) to spend time with me. I couldn’t justify it. He wasn’t financially well off, and the money he used to pay for me could be put to better use (he could use that much-needed money for his family). For this reason, I advised him to stop seeing me. I told him to go home to his pregnant wife, and give her comfort, do something special for her , but don’t spend hundreds of dollars (that you really cannot afford) for spending one hour admiring an escort. It amazes me how far men will go just to have sex and be with a woman!

Did he listen? No, of course not. Men love women who are ‘unavailable.’ According to him, I was special. I was the only girl he saw. For him, he felt I was ‘worth it.’ But I felt guilty taking money that could be used for someone (his wife and child) who needed it more. So, I told him, once again, to stop seeing me. That was the last time, and soon after I stopped working in that particular establishment. Apparently, he still calls the establishment looking for me

 

Your Question: How to Make Clients Spend Money on You?

The only thing I can say is be yourself. Don’t be greedy, be thankful. I am an honest escort. I have been in many situations where I could ‘exploit’ the situation of my clients for gain. I know how to do it, but it goes against my personal ethics. I am a woman who has a heart, and therefore I cannot hurt people intentionally. I see the merit in honesty.

But! Unfortunately, not all escorts (or women, people for that matter) have honest intentions! I’ve seen plenty of women (working and non-working) who can lie, use and manipulate good people for their own selfishness.

I am not perfect. I have made mistakes in the past and hurt decent people. But it hurt me also.

If you are an escort looking for cheap and easy ways to “scam” a man…you are reading the wrong blog. It is an unfortunate truth that many women in the industry are not honest, and do give the honest ones a bad reputation.

 

Your Question: Do Escorts ever Fall in Love with One Man?

Why not? Escorts are human. Why do people assume that an escorts needs/desires are any different than a non-escort? Like any individual, an escort her own unique preferences. Ironically, despite the fact that most escorts defy social norms, I’ve observed many escort women who desire heteronormative relationships in their personal lives (ie: monogamy and marriage).

Personally, I can be loyal to my love, but I don’t know if I could be monogamous, however.

 

Your Question: Does Escort Work Ruin Her Sex Life? (Does Prostitution Ruin our Personal Sex Lives?)

It’s a logical question. One would think that having too much sex would be physically draining (especially because society assumes that women are hardly horny). I’m sure this is the case for some women, because too many women are still shy or unaware of their erotic capabilities. But personally, sex work intensified my desires. Sometimes, seeing clients is like a big tease (a build up), and makes me crave my personal lovers. In fact, I attribute that being with multiple clients taught me so many great things about intimacy. My experience with countless clients made me a better, more enthusiastic lover in my personal life. In this blog I focus on the implications of escorting, which are solely negative. But I have to say being a prostitute gave me access to some sexually-talented men, and contributed to me being in tuned with my body and thus experiencing an amazing personal sex life. Something about being a courtesan makes me feel sexually assertive, and enhanced my dominance persona with men. Perhaps this reason could explain why most clients are concerned with making sure I get pleasure.

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Filed under Bisexual, Facts About the Sex Industry, Questions for Escorts And Clients, Sex, The Escorting Business

Answering Your Questions #3: Client and Escort Dynamics

I’m on a minor path of self-destruction…but I’ll explain that later. For now, I’ve decided to answer some of the numerous questions or key-words that my viewer’s google to locate my blog. Yet before I begin, I want to share some metaphors from an old film about the life of a high-class courtesan, “Pakeezah” (which translates to ‘pure heart’). In reference to herself, the courtesan says, “Prostitutes are dead bodies and the market is the graveyard…. I’m a dead body that’s lured by life again and again.” She then compared herself to a kite, a kite that is slowly cut away by the forces of wind…where only bits and fragments remain. The pain of her words….they touch me, intimately.

 

1. Do prostitutes like sex or money?

Money drives us to this job. As mentioned in previous posts, prostitutes should not be assumed to be a woman who loves sex. And if she does love sex, this does not imply that she loves sex with all of her clients. Many escorts do not derive any personal sexual pleasure at all with clients. Only a very tiny minority of escorts, like myself, enjoy intimacy with their clients. But overall, for prostitutes, the lure of money is the appealing part of our work, not the sex. It is very important to note selling one’s body was not a ‘choice’ for most sex workers, when considering the limited amounts of choice available to people in marginalized positions.

For many sex workers, sex is the dreadful part (not in my case, but most escorts I observed aren’t quite as open sexually as I am). Many just want to get it over with as quickly as possible. A small minority of girls can enjoy particular clients and feel pleasure (as a courtesan, I do enjoy certain clients of mine as companions and sexual partners), yet again: the focus is money. I certainly have enjoyed some clients, but regardless I will not sleep/mingle with a man that I don’t love for free. The idea that prostitutes are these horny, ‘hyper-sexual’ women hardly depicts the reality. I wish more prostitutes enjoyed their work as I am often able to do, but the reality is most women doing this job are driven by real or perceived economic disparity. Women who are in touch with their sexuality (ie: horny) exist regardless of profession.

 

2. What information should an escort obtain from her client?

Just like us, most clients want to be discreet. They might use fake names, because they are married and don’t want to risk their identity being known. Anonymity is central to the business for both escorts and clients. Asking too much personal information may defer clientele, while others are happily to disclose their life biographies. I screen my clients by judging their telephone/email etiquette — I ask them to briefly tell me about their age, nationality, what intentions they for me, etc.

 

3. Why don’t escorts like to tell their real name?

We fear of associating our identity with our profession. Why? This might impact our social mobility, social relationships (such as their family and friends finding out). Prostitution, whether legal or illegal, is still stigmatized. Society has harsh, negative consequences for women who are known to be prostitutes, so we are forced to remain secretive (otherwise we risk a lot of negative social sanctions).

 

4. How to Please a Prostitute/ How to have Good Sex with an Escort?

Well, in a bitter way, I could say: don’t be demanding, and don’t annoy her. Many girls complain about clients who don’t follow our ‘rules’ (or limits), such as touching places without permission. Pleasure is a very subjective question. Giving pleasure to a ‘normal’ woman is very different than a woman who is paid for sex. And to complicate the situation even more, everyone’s desires are different. A woman who gets paid for sex may not want to be ‘pleased’ by her client. Some girls strictly just want money from their client, and refuse to get sexual pleasure (and the good ones fake it). However, a small minority of us might be more accepting. The best clients are men who do not expect and are respectful.

Many of my clients are very polite and respectful men, which makes me feel comfortable to explore with them. I favor certain clients who have genuinely kind hearts, and I allow them to please me in ways that I may forbid others. I favor certain clients only because they gained my trust. I must mention that almost all clients try to give me pleasure, but certain men fail to understand the essence of pleasure. For one, some men seem to think that one sexual technique can apply to all women. This is completely wrong. Any sexual experience is very unique and cannot be performed in a uniform act. Bare in mind that all people have their own unique ways of reaching orgasm. And, unfortunately, there are women who are not interested in achieving their own orgasm . Most importantly, good sex depends on emotional and physical chemistry between the participants — chemistry is something that cannot be bought or created…it’s a rare beauty that just happens between two people. It’s best to test areas, slowly (with a willing partner, of course), and then gradually proceed.

If I must advise a client on ‘how to have a better experience with an escort’ I would suggest the following techniques clients have done with me: start by giving her a relaxing massage. I recall clients who gave me a full body massage, without touching my erogenous regions right away. Not only will it relax a woman, but it can gain her trust of his touch. Let everything occur slowly, so that she can anticipated every progression of passion. The slow-pace seduction will drive her crazy, and thus (hopefully) have her wanting more. Some of my clients were totally selfless…not tending to their sexual needs, but instead focusing on making me feel relaxed (again, it’s important not to rush!). A good lover will explore what she likes, by gently trying to kiss various parts of her body. Let her guide you to what she likes. This worked with me with certain clients, but again, it was all based on chemistry. Be mindful that desires of an individual can also change depending on their mood.

Chemistry is key, but also the mood of the hired lady is a deal-breaker. I do let sweet clients give me pleasure when I’m in the ‘mood,’ yet sometimes I loathe the idea. Although most of my clients are kind, I am not genuinely attracted to all of them. Sometimes I avoid seeing certain clients, because I know they want to spend the entire appointment in a  “Girlfriend Experience” state. This consists a romantic ‘boyfriend/girlfriend’ situation where the client wants to kiss, cuddle, give me pleasure, and have sex at the very end of the appointment. The men are very sweet, which seems ideal, but it can be exhausting acting like a ‘girlfriend’ to a man I don’t love/care about. Most of my regular clients are all pleasure giving men, which means I try to avoid seeing them when my mood is bad. It’s even more difficult to see clients when I’m in love with someone else. When I am single, I find it much easier to work and enjoy clients.

 

5. How to Make Clients/Men Love You (As an Escort)?

There are no uniform steps to make a client love you — it just happens naturally. From my observations, investing in ‘fake’ behavior doesn’t reap benefits, nor does it attract wholesome people. Be yourself. Love is something we cannot plan or predict. It just happens. I’ve tried experiments of altering my behavior with clients (from acting overly slutty to acting innocent). I found that being as I am works best. I’ve tried to analyze the men who love me: why do they love me? They love me because I was ‘real’ with them. The trend I noticed is men who loved me are ones I didn’t care to impress. I acted indifferent with them upon initial meetings….and genuinely had little interest in being with them. Maybe my independence is appealing for some men, …they find it challenging that I, seemingly, don’t need them.

I could advise women to be manicured, polished and glamourous to make clients love them, but I’ve seen very unpolished girls with plenty of admirers. I no longer believe that investing heavily into cosmetic/external beauty will equate to admirers (sure, exterior beauty might attract men, but that alone wont make them kneel at your feet).

 

6. What is the Difference between an Escort and High-class Escort?

There is no real difference. The only difference is the marketing and approaching various scales of clientele. One girl can be playing two roles: a regular escort, which means more clients, lower price; Or a high-class ‘exclusive’ escort, which means higher priced and limited clientele. Yet at the end of the day, a regular and exclusive escort are the same thing. Service, intimacy and beauty are subjective irrespective of whether an escort is ‘high-class’ or not. I’ve seen stunning women who work for two different agencies….one that’s exclusive and very expensive, and another that’s medium price range with more clientele. There is not a rigid boundary, as many ‘regular’ escorts can eventually establish themselves as courtesans with a more limited clientele. And vice versa, a courtesan is also susceptible to falling down the prostitute social hierarchy.

 

7. Do ‘hookers’ love having sex on drugs ?

I found this question quite strange. That’s a terribly wrong analysis. Firstly, women who work while on drugs  usually hate sex more than other sex workers. They are taking drugs to cope with the fact they hate servicing men. Even high-class escorts will resort to ‘numbing’ with subsistence’s in order to make money and ignore their hatred of servicing men.

 

8. What’s it like to be an escort?

(Please check my blog later, as I am writing a post on my personal ‘lifestyle’ as an escort).

 

9. What are Reasons (for men) visiting prostitutes?

A lot of my married clients have a similar reasoning for seeing me: they say they love their wives, but their wives no longer have sex. Or men claim they like variety. Due to social expectations, many men marry one woman as a foundation for family, but does it mean they limit the number of ‘unofficial’ women for their sexual purposes? Does marriage always translate into good sex? Some men openly say they desire ‘variety’ for sex, while others contend that it’s the fault of the wife. This is something I hear time and time again: Wives stop having sex, and assume that their husband should not have sex either. There are a multitude of reasons. Some men don’t just need sex, they want pleasurable sex, sex with emotion and a deep connection. Perhaps some men are unable to express their desires with others, so they hope to find sensual solace with a prostitute.

There are also other married men who get lots of sex from their wives (even good sex), but they like something ‘different.’ Perhaps they need to prove to themselves that they still have the power to be appealing? Perhaps their egos need a little inflating? Many academics argue that the Western construction of ‘Masculinity’ influences men to prove their so-called ‘manhood’ by sleeping with multiple women (as if women are to be conquered). It’s not so much out of their personal desire solely, but rather societal norms for ‘being a man’ indoctrinate some men to prove themselves as ‘manly.’ So, just in case you’re one of those women whom tell men to ‘act like a man’…you are influencing the discourse of men to behave in a ‘Masculine’ construct, thus aiding the gender binary construct. Constructions of identity are very powerful, as they create a so-called ideal. The current constructions of masculinity and femininity in a Western context are very harming, as they serve an elite status quo rather than a collectivist effort.

In some historical contexts, men resorted to ‘comfort women’ in scenarios where ‘proper’ women did not exist, such as situations of war and colonization (which still occurs today).

Some Single/bachelor clients have told me that sex with an escort is better and easier than trying to find it ‘for free’ at nightclubs. It’s easy for a man to pay a woman for sex rather than the effort of convincing a ‘normal woman’ to have sex with no-strings-attached.

As for another calibre of clients: some single clients are truly lonely, and have little interaction with women. They do not seek a prostitute for sex necessarily, but rather they desire intimate companionship with a woman. These are the type of men who need to be hugged, and cuddled, and in these instances I like to think of myself as a healer. Yet in reality I am not helping their situation, because they are seeking love while I am seeking money. I feel compelled to tell these lost souls that they are looking for love in the wrong places.

 

10. What are Some Tips to Stay Positive while being an Escort?

My only suggestion is to work as LESS as possible. Do not work everyday! Try to work once a week, or even less. The industry is very exhausting (emotionally), especially if that is your sole profession. Since I am in a committed arrangement (with the Sheik), I don’t really have to work. Thankfully. Lately, I work only once a week, or sometimes even less (sometimes I don’t work for months.) Yet even working minimally I am still affected by the ills of living a secret, socially condemned life. Having sex for money is not a problem, but being a prostitute is difficult because of the implications in modern society (stigma, criminalization, being deprived of the ‘privileges’ associated with heteronormativity). For years I tried  to make the job easier for myself. I told myself I wouldn’t let the work affect my emotions, or touch my soul. But it’s not easy all the time.  I work less, so I can stabilize my emotions and do happy things, such as being with people I love. One can simply not block out emotions without using something, usually intoxicants, to distract them from reality. Nobody, regardless of their profession, can constantly remain happy….life is about happiness and sadness. We must experience these emotions, so we can (hopefully) reflect on our lives.

 

11. Do prostitutes remember their strangest clients ?

Yes! How can I forget the men who licked my underarms; or the man who booked me for 8 hours just to worship/lick my feet, hands, and bottom for the entire 8 hours without any sex; ….or the guy who used to pay to massage me the entire appointment and never even take off his clothes.

When a group of escorts come together we do discuss the ‘strange’ and ‘weird’ clients — which can often be quite funny. A lot of girls like to laugh about the ‘fetish’ clients they had, such as, “The foot guy,” “The bottom licker,” etc. For the most part, I don’t mind men with ‘strange’ fetishes, and I try to understand their unconventional fixations. It’s tragic that certain sexual acts are even referred to as ‘strange,’ which indirectly says that some sexual acts are more performed than others. In sex, there should be variety of desired acts, so nothing should be considered ‘strange.’ Personally, I enjoy men who have ‘fetishes.’ After all, being too ‘vanilla’ gets quite boring.

 

12. How Much Money Do Escorts Make?

It really depends on the girl. Essentially, when one has the ability to manipulate and numb/ignore emotions the amount of money is limitless. Unfortunately, as humans it’s very difficult to ignore our emotions all the time. The two factors that lead to money are: charm (in the form of personality, beauty, and skills) and secondly, emotional sensitivity. I  consider myself quite charming in the sense I am skilled, beautiful and have a dynamic personality, yet I am very emotionally sensitive. Therefore, I don’t work often because I find too many clients stressful and overwhelming. The clients are lovely often, but putting on a facade and being affectionate to someone I don’t love is quite, surprisingly, exhausting for me. I have never worked full-time as an escort, because I need other things to do in life. I am motivated to make money for saving, paying bills, and doing some shopping, but I do not seek more. In the past, I made more money when my needs were greater, but I also spent it lavishly since my lifestyle was different than it is today.  If I wanted, I could work harder and see more clients, but a full-time lifestyle as an escort seems like suicide to me. Balance is key.

 

13. What if a Prostitute sees a Client in Public (outside her work) ?

This has happened to me numerous times. I used to have a huge social phobia about running into clients outside of work. I feared, because clients may approach me, or call me by my alias. And my fears were confirmed when prior clients of mine have approached me in public! I even saw a client while I was shopping with my Mother…it was extremely nerve-racking. I don’t want my clients to know the ‘real’ me that exists in day-to-day life. I just want to remain their fantasy, and nothing else. I had another client shopping with his wife and kids. He saw me looking totally different, wearing no makeup. He came back to see me, and said he was so excited to see me while he was with his wife. This is another reasons why I don’t want to meet too many new clients — I don’t want to be known. Clients represent a separate world that I don’t want to mix with my personal life.

 

14. Is it Unhealthy to Sleep with an Escort? Is it safe to have sex with a Prostitute?

All escorts use PROTECTION with their clients. Some girls will do more than others when seduced by money, but for sex we all use condoms. Only an insane/desperate woman would have sex without a condom; and equally only an insane man would sleep with an escort without a condom. It’s absolutely unheard of high-class escorts having unprotected sex with their clients. However, if a client and an escort become more intimate and personal, the dynamics can change. Some of my regular clients, whom I’ve known for years, have asked if we can try without a condom. They trust me, I suppose. But I decline, and say no. Overall, most escorts are extremely health conscious. However, risks of STI’s can be contracted from non-penetrative acts as well.

The women who take more risks are doing it to meet the demands of clients — because for many clients oral-sex with condoms and no kissing is quite boring. Sadly, some escorts perform the highly sought ‘bare-back blow-job’ (fellatio without a condom) to get more clients. What these women don’t realize is that they are getting short term gain (money) for long-term risk (diseases). As for the bulk of escorts, we take minimal risks: we use a condom for sex and oral sex. Therefore, it is no more/less unhealthy to sleep with an escort if she uses protection during all sex acts.

Given there is minimal skin-to-skin contact, sleeping with a high-class escort can be a bit “unfulfilling” from a client’s perspective. I use the word “unfulfilling” because sex with a prostitute is often physical without true intimacy. Amazing sex is based on mind and body stimulation. Thus, sex between a client/prostitute lacks the essential stimulation of the mind. After all, how exhilarating and delicious can sex be without deep kissing, touching, sucking, and tasting ?  Those ‘delicious’ acts are risky with clients, yet many clients demand this. They want the closest to ‘real’ sex as possible. They want their escort to act like their girlfriend: they want to eat her pussy, kiss her lips, and feel her mouth over his manhood. There is tremendous pressure for escorts to go beyond safe limits to make her clients happy. Many clients prefer cheaper women, because it is assumed that cheaper women do ‘more’ for ‘less’ (thus, the risk is increased). These men miss the essence of pleasurable sex, because pleasure is based on connection (not how much or how little one is willing to do). There are also very high priced escorts who ‘do it all’ to a more limited clientele. This places tremendous pressure on women in the industry: how easy is it for a woman to maintain her safety, comfortability and be successful?

 

15: Do prostitutes have rules / restrictions?

Yes, clients play by our rules, not theirs. Yet there is an irony to that statement. Most escorts promote themselves as women who “Cater to the Clients Needs,” but in reality we set the boundaries and limits. Every girl is unique to what she offers in terms of her services. We all offer sex, but we do it in different ways. For instance, limits/restrictions might include: no kissing or light kissing only, clients can release multiple times or maybe only once, no oral sex without a condom, no receiving of oral sex, no touching between her legs, etc. My restrictions are that everything is ‘covered,’ which means I take no risks. I do not passionately kiss clients easily, but I must admit that I’ve given up many limitations with the occasional handsome, delicious client — or favoured regulars. For instance, when I met the Sheik, as a client, we ended up kissing passionately — of course, our chemistry was rare and intense.

As mention, a majority of clients demand riskier services (oral sex without protection, ‘greek,’ etc), so unfortunately a lot of escorts will jeopardize their health to make more money. I feel disgusted when a prospective client, who’s never met me yet, will ask if perform ‘natural French’ which is a oral sex without a condom. How can he take such a risk with a woman whose history is unknown? Likewise, most clients request to service me between my legs with their mouths, which seems flattering, but I can’t help but wonder: don’t clients think of how many other men have touched my body?  How can he be sure that I am ‘clean?’ What I realized is that many men get aroused by the idea of a ‘dirty’ woman. By no means am I ‘dirty,’ but I have slept with countless men….and that fact alone is a fantasy for some men.

Sex workers might advertise ‘passionate’ services or ‘porn-star’ services to attract a more clientele, but the reality is we cannot perform uniform techniques with every single client we encounter. Human sexuality is not uniform, and attempting uniformity is a bad way at approaching others. Sure, we have restrictions, but they are deeply influenced by the chemistry we develop with clients. To expect a sex worker to give a stellar performance with every client is a very unrealistic, dehumanizing expectation.

Finally, a rare breed of clients have their own terms in addition to hers. For instance, a rare category of clients do not seek sexual intercourse with escorts — instead they may just seek oral or hand release, or perhaps they just want to play with themselves in the company of a beautiful woman. There may be norms and patterns in sexual behaviour, but every experience is still unique.

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