what IS safe anyway

Miss Calico has posted something about the risk factor of sex work. She says, "But I have always felt vulnerable to violence and rape, whether or not I chose to charge money or be sexual. If sex work is a place of additional danger, I believe we live in a world that is ready to learn new attitudes — and oh, I want to dictate those!"

This is very true.

This is very difficult especially when you are role playing the part of a "girlfriend". Let me give you an example.

I have a client who wants to book and overnight for Sunday. He's very nervous- I get the impression he doesn't do this often, and he prefers non-pros and part timers to full time sex workers. He seems nice enough, considerate, and is ok with the safety precautions I take like safer sex and safecalls... but it's like he doesn't want to discuss it, he just wants it to happen. While me, I want to clarify EVRY SINGLE THING so there's no misunderstandings and things go smoothly. But this disrupts the fantasy that we're just friends meeting up for fun.

I'm not going to compromise on my safety. I don't give out the address of the incall, I don't turn my back on a client, I know where everything is (including and especially my phone) and there's always someone who I check in with. I think this allows me to be a good service provider because I'm able to be direct in the beginning and then just take care of myself during without drawing attention to it. However, this does mean there's a clash between the fantasy and the reality. And, if you're going to be a decent client, this is something you have to deal with. Sorry.

Calico mentions and links some ideas as to why violence against sex workers is such an issue. I can only speak for my experience- I think it's because guys figure they can get away with pushing your boundaries more when you're on your own, naked, and vulnerable, especially if they have something you want/need, i.e. money. Even more true if they think you're inexperienced, or nervous, or otherwise at a disadvantage. And they figure they won't get punished too harshly for it, which is often true.

As Calico says in her blog, Mistress Matisse once posted these statements on the subject when discussing rape alarms built into platform shoes:

"Given that more women are assaulted by husbands, boyfriends or family members than strangers on the street, ideas like this always make me scratch my head a little. It seems more appropriate to give them to women who’ve filed restraining orders against stalkers."

Well, sure, but I don't think that because one group of women gets assaulted more often than another group, that either should be more or less protected. I think that people should be able to take as many precautions as they can against being assaulted. I think a heavy keychain and self-defense classes are a good start, along with a sense of confidence, for ANY woman, regardless of her situation. But I digress.

"if someone means to hurt you, neither phone calls nor these shoes will stop them. All it does is give the police an idea where to start looking for your body, however many days later."

Ok, this is a good point- though I'll argue with wedge heels you could, probably, beat someone to death. But you don't need technology for that, true. However, if I was beaten *half* to death, I would rather someone had an idea where to start looking for me than not at all.

"The idea that all sex workers live in minute-to-minute peril is a myth propagated by a society that doesn’t want women getting any dangerous ideas about what they are allowed to do with their bodies. In the well-over-ten years I've been in the sex industry, I can count on one hand the number of times I've felt like I was in real danger from a client. And none of those times ended with an actual assault."

Ok, Mistress Matisse. That's good for you. Maybe your prices has limited who would come see you and that reduces the chances. Maybe it's because you're a pro-Domme and not an escort. Maybe it's the location. Maybe you're lucky, or maybe you know how to deal with these guys. Who knows?

I can tell you in the 5+ years I've been doing sex work, I have never been assaulted either. Instead, I've had several men push my boundaries and had to terminate the session- I've had threats on my life via text and phone calls- I've had my housemate make my life a living hell and threaten to have immigration control on my ass- I've had things happen that have been on the borderline of sexual assault and had to physically protect myself.

Minus the housemate, all of these things have happened in the States, on outcalls, where I couldn't negotiate clearly ahead of time, didn't have a safe space of my own to work out of, and couldn't speak to the police for fear of getting arrested myself. So, while I wouldn't say I live in minute-to-minute peril, I'm also aware that at ANY time, things could spiral out of control. And in that sense, yes, it's always a concern and always a consideration. I can't afford to ever be off guard. This refers back to where this blog entry started, with what Calico said. I feel the same way.

And with this client, I feel frustrated. Frustrated that he doesn't want to understand where I'm coming from, frustrated that he doesn't seem to understand that this is a job and that measures need to be taken to ensure my comfort and safety.

This is the sort of client that makes me feel, not like myself meeting a man for playtime, but like I'm supposed to be a robot chosen to fulfill a certain role in his fantasy, with no needs or concerns of my own. And I don't like that. I don't know if I can honestly say I don't like it enough to not work with him (it's an overnight, and a lot of money, though not worth a safety risk), but it's made me very aware that I prefer the guys who see this all as old hat and respect me doing what I need to do to feel safe, including talking about it ahead of time. I'll be meeting him publically before the session and we'll see how that goes before I agree to take it further.

Just a lot of pondering on safety, and how fragile that feeling of safety really is.

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