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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Conman clients

Wide-spread perception is that  working girls are prone to cheating their clients out of their hard-earned money... Complaints range from girls misrepresenting themselves in advertising to taking the money and not delivering the service and everything in between.
I am not going to deny that it happens and I am not going to explain girls behaviors or to defend/condemn them-this post is not about that.

There are serious predators out there-they are like great big sharks-slowly cruising the murky waters and methodically choosing their victims. Their cons involve planning and certain brazenness. They are not without a skill. They choose the industry that is illegal in most countries and un-regulated in others, so that the victim has no recourse and can't file a complaint with the police.

First story involves myself-it happened in Las Vegas quite a few years back.
I was still very young and somewhat naive (not entirely, but I definitely didn't have the experience and knowledge I have today).
I just started working for a new agency: it was a husband-and-wife business, which they run from their home (as prostitution in Las Vegas is ILLEGAL, all agencies are "outcall" ONLY, which means that all you need to start one is a phone,some girls "on call" and a newspaper ad).
The people who owned the agency had a clever gimmick-they were advertising nude cleaning service, which was perfectly legal. It was implied that sexual services could be obtained from the provider at additional cost.
I've talked about how tedious it was to work in Vegas before: agencies would only discuss "companionship" or, in this case, "cleaning services" with  clients, making sure they never spoke of sex for money. So it was up to us, girls, to go to the location and negotiate services and fees (all of which were in addition to what agency already quoted the guy-we didn't get ANY cut of that). This way agencies were always "in the clear" with the police and us,girls, were under constant threat of arrest by undercover cop-it was nerve racking.
Anyway, I've done a couple of jobs for that outfit and it was OK-some guy actually had me clean his bloody bathroom for real (and it was disgusting,too) before we moved on to "sex" aspect of the booking..

So one day  the owner calls me and tells me that he was contacted by a limo driver who is driving around a "whale" (Las Vegas term for a big spender). Limo driver is trying to arrange a multi-hour booking for his client in one of the major Las Vegas hotels.
Apparently, that "limo driver" called several times and gave information in little bits and pieces.
Long story short, it was requested that the girl was "intelligent","well-educated and well-mannered", "able to carry  a conversation on a variety of subjects"... I'll come back to this particular bit later, but most conmen of that ilk ask for intelligent,educated girls-there is a reason for that-it's the way they structure their cons, it requires certain level of intelligence for the girl to "buy into it",as strange as it sounds.
The guy then proceeded to tell the owner that a hotel room should be booked by either agency or the girl herself (he didn't care which),as the "whale" is quite famous and well-known and he is staying in another hotel, but cannot have girls seen coming into his room and cannot just go into a hotel himself and book a basic room-it'll raise questions.
OK, so I was told by the owner to book a room (even back then I've always been savvy with my money and investments and had a fairly high-limit credit card, so it wasn't a problem).
There I was, in the room at the Treasure Island Hotel,waiting for the "whale" to turn up. In the meantime, the "limo driver" has called the owner again and requested that a package of cigarettes of specific brand was waiting in the room. The owner purchased  and delivered it to my room. More phone calls ensued, more hype was build up, more talk of how extremely important the client was,the booking was postponed, but then I heard the knock on the door.
Now, by then I've been with my share of different clients and I know wealth when I see it (the way the clothes are cut, brands of watches,whether or not they fake,etc).
The guy who entered the room did NOT look like a "whale" to me. At all.
He wore ill-fitting (JC Penney bought,probably) black pants, white shirt and no jacket. Immediately upon entering the room he started grabbing,fondling and kissing  me (right by the door). He had his hand in my panties inside 10 seconds!
I was trying to be coy and telling him to make his way to the bed-which he did eventually only to get straight into sex.
The policy is always to collect the money first and this was a multi-hour booking, presumably, so a lot of money was involved.
As the guy didn't give me a chance to discuss anything, much less collect the money BEFORE we had sex, I breached the subject right after.
He explained that he doesn't want to "nickle-and-dime" and will pay me in the end "for everything",as he was too afraid to carry such a large sum with him to some hotel room to meet unknown prostitute-what if it was a set-up and I had my "pimp" laying in wait and all we wanted to do is rob him (it all made perfect sense,too).
We talked for a while-he told me about his family,his children and grandchildren (I think parts of that were actually true). He appeared to be relaxed and not in any hurry. He didn't ask for more sex, either. All of that prompted me to relax as well-although I had a funny little gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach, I thought  maybe I was being paranoid.
Guy asked for the cigarettes he requested, and in about an hour asked me to go downstairs to the shops  with him (most major Las Vegas Hotels have some sort of shopping mall on the ground level).
While in the shops, he selected some items for his grandchildren and asked me to pay for those, citing, again, not bringing his wallet in fear of being robbed and saying that all the money will be paid at the end of booking. He said it would be delivered in a briefcase by his trusted limo driver, who's been driving him for over a decade every time he came to Vegas.
After the shopping expedition he wanted to eat. Again, plenty of restaurants right there, on the ground level. He wanted to go into a very expensive Steak House, but I pointed out that we are not likely to get a table this late without a reservation. He still wanted to try and get in, but, sure enough-they didn't have any tables for us.
So we ended up in the coffee shop (no reservation required) which is still pretty nice at the Treasure Island.
By then I knew that I was , most likely, duped, and this guy is full of shit. But he kept on spinning the web and was pretty convincing.
At the end of the dinner I've decided to go with my gut feeling-I knew I should cut my losses. Besides, I wasn't sure how he would react if I tried to confront him-he was a pretty big dude and people act differently when cornered-I didn't want to get hurt.
So I've paid the bill and told him that I was going to the bathroom (bathrooms were in the main casino area, outside of the restaurant). Instead, I run into the garage, got in my car and high-tailed it out of there.
He never called the agency to find out where his "escort" was,etc-funny that.
At the end of the day, I was out a little more than $400 and I had sex with some slimy dude for free.
Clearly, there never was any "limo driver"-the guy was calling the agency himself, trying to build a convincing plot. He also chose a small agency vs. one of the bigger ones, as those would probably look for him and do him some harm.
At the end of the day, even if I could go to the police, what would I say: I did have sex with him willingly, he certainly didn't rape me, I did pay for the purchases myself and signed the credit card receipt in my own hand...
Later, after talking to some other girls, I found out that that same guy was "making rounds" with several other agencies and private girls.
The agency agreed to "split" the damage with me and gave me half of what I've spent (but nothing for the actual service I provided to that scumbag)..
But at least I got off lightly- my friend who lives in Australia wasn't so lucky. And now we come to story number two.
It began much the same: the parlour where my friend worked received a number of calls from the guy who had a lot of requirements: intelligent,well-educated girl, capable of conversation,etc,etc. He wanted "outcall" to one of the nicest (and most popular) hotels in Melbourne (those who live there or visited would know exactly which one I mean).
Again, the guy kept calling and building himself up. Finally, the manager called my friend (who happens to be highly intelligent, educated, successful,etc) into the office, gave her guy's number and told her to talk to him. She also told my friend to keep it a secret from other girls. I know that manager and I believe that she genuinely was trying to do something nice for my friend, a "reward" of sorts,as Kate (my friend) is very popular, has a huge following of regulars and makes the parlour a good deal of money.
As this "encounter" was to take place outside of the parlour, nothing would be "on the books" and Kate could potentially have a nice chunk of change in her bank account.
So Kate rang the guy and met him in executive, "members only" lounge of that particular hotel. Straight away, she knew that he doesn't really look the part of a wealthy businessman-his Rolex was fake, to begin with and his clothes didn't seem that expensive.
But he "talked the talk"-told her about his investments (vague outline, nothing specific) and his phone kept on ringing and he would tell someone on the other end of the line to "just sell it" or engage in what seemed like a serious business negotiations. He even got into argument with a waitress,as he wanted to be seated at a particular table and wouldn't take "No" for an answer (table was reserved).
He proceeded to tell Kate that he was actually looking for PA (personal assistant) who can handle his business affairs and who was willing to provide sexual services as well, as he was "too busy for nonsense"-so basically needed "all-in-one" package deal.
He told her that she would be provided with a company car and an expense account. He even asked her what sort of car she preferred (colour, make and model).
Eventually, he asked Kate to book a room in that hotel (same excuse-too well-known,busy,blah,blah,blah). She did as requested. No sooner had they entered the room, he had sex with her. He then promptly fell asleep.
His phone kept ringing in the meantime and Kate wasn't sure whether or not she should answer it-she WAS hired as a PA,after all...
After an hour or so the guy woke up and they've decided that he'd call her tomorrow to "set everything up". No money exchanged hands,as it was understood that she would get paid salary and expenses once they ironed out the details.
The next day Kate wasn't sure what to do: should she go to work at the parlour or should she wait for the guy to ring?... He finally rang, in the afternoon, saying that he just "dinged his Jag" and could she pick him up from a body shop. She did so (he was waiting for her outside). He then received more phone calls-one of them supposedly from his sister, whom he needed to see. He asked Kate if he could have her car while his was being repaired. She said no, as she needed her car to get around-she didn't have another one.
The guy then suggested they "sit down somewhere" and discuss the details of her employment. But before they did that, he had her drive him into "his" bank to take some money out, "for expenses". Then they went to a cafe.
In a cafe he proceeded to tell her that since she'd be given a  company car, she had to produce a bond, to "secure the asset"-after all, he hardly knew her and she could just drive away to never be seen again (it all made sense). While having that discussion, he carefully asked various questions re. her friends and family situation (divorced and single), her approximate worth (she is not poor), her previous "legitimate" employment (she was a manager for a very big and very serious company),etc. It was very cleverly done, all under disguise of "employment assessment".
Finally, the guy declared that she would need to pay $20K (yes, twenty THOUSAND) as a bond.
You have to understand, these people have certain abilities, they are not amateurs. Writing this, it seems so obvious that the situation was extremely dodgy, but if you'd been there, you'd understand that it was not so "cut and dry"-it's almost as if these guys "put a spell on you". You know something is not quite right, but you can't put your finger on it and you don't want to look stupid and miss out on a good opportunity. Also, after a while, you feel that you are in danger, as well, physical danger.
Anyway, they went to Kate's bank. The guy was waiting outside while Kate went in. She remembers asking for $20K cash withdrawal and, of course, manager had to be called. It so happened that Kate knew that particular manager personally and she remembers her (the manager) asking her if she was SURE she wanted to take such a large sum out in cash (Kate just sold her house, that's why the money was in her account). Kate gave a feeble excuse, saying that she was buying a new car. She told me she felt she was in danger if she didn't give the guy the money. After some consideration, she did ask for $15K instead.
She took the money, carefully packaged in a bag for her and got in the car. The guy told her to drive him to his "office" (he gave her a very well known posh business building address smack in the middle of Melbourne CBD which houses hundreds of offices). He said he just needed to drop her bond off at the office, so his secretary can get "the ball rolling"-he told her not to park, but rather just wait for him at the curb with the car on idle. "I'll be back in 2 min" were his last words. She's never seen him or her $15K again.
Quite a few months later she got a call from the police: apparently, the guy was caught (he perpetrated similar scams all over Australia) and they were calling all the numbers they could find on his cellphone to identify victims or possible accomplices.
Kate was asked to testify and the guy was subsequently locked up. Kate had to go into protective custody for a few years (as no one was sure whether or not that guy operated alone or if he had accomplices) and had to conceal her personal details.

These stories are not unique or isolated incidents: crimes perpetrated against sex workers are many,as we are often perceived as "easy prey".

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Different aspects of working privately

So I am officially working privately in New Zealand now...
Of course, I've taken private clients before (while working a regular job or working for an agency/parlour) and even done "working" road trips, but this is the first time when I  do this exclusively (I don't have a "normal" day job and I don't work for any parlours or agencies), legitimately (prostitution was de-criminalised in NZ 7 years ago) and as a proper business (I have a website, blog, online ad and accountant).
This took some work: my web designer spent a couple of months designing the site, I've had professional photos done, I've established on-line profile on the popular Adult Forum here in NZ, I've written a lot of blog entries :) and answered countless private messages... I even went to Auckland to meet with some people and gain their insights on the industry.
New Zealand is quite unique: it is a fairly small country with population of 4 million, so things are different in here: there is only one major advertising site for sexual services and one forum where such services discussed. There are a couple of others, but they are smaller and are frequented mostly by the same people (with some exceptions). That's why it's next to impossible for a working girl to "re-invent" herself under a different name: within days (sometimes hours) one  or more of the clients does the "research" and will post on the Forum his findings. Although the reasons for "re-invention" could be perfectly legitimate (stalker,ex-boyfriend,unwanted client,etc), it usually looks suspicious to clients. Unlike in the big countries, there is no way for the girl to get "lost" and re-appear as someone entirely different in another parlour/city/state and start with "clean slate". So one has to be careful building up a profile and creating a "persona".

So far I've noticed few things that were not obvious to me when I worked for agencies/parlours.
The main one: I am very happy with my decision to show my face in my ads. Granted, I am in a very unique situation: I have no partner, kids, day time job, my parents live far away, don't speak English and don't know how to use a computer, much less own one, all my friends and associates know exactly what I do for a living and support me (link to my blog is on my FB mast..hehehe..), my next "legitimate" job will be a Manager of the parlour, where all this experience is a huge PLUS, not a minus, so it doesn't matter that people might look me up online and recognise me on the street (I certainly do NOT advocate showing of a face in the ads for average working girl who only does the job for a while as means to an end).
As a result of my face clearly visible on the photos, I only get calls from prospective clients who like what they see and are genuinely interested in a booking. They may not book for the day they've called, but they definitely will in the future. So I only get a few phone calls a day and all the conversations are pleasant.
Also, I no longer have to put up with endless questions that seem pointless. And I came to a stark realisation as to why: a lot of times, when the photos don't show a face and most of the body is covered by a dress, guys call and ask questions in an attempt to figure out  girl's true age and condition of the body (whether or not there are stretch marks, how toned,etc).
As my flatmate, who is a professional actress (she's done a voice-over for one of the characters in Tintin,as a matter of fact) pointed out, a woman could make herself sound younger on the phone by bringing her voice an octave or two higher...
When I travel for work into small towns, newspaper is the best advertising media, but, as lots of girls lie in the ads about their age,size,etc, I am usually inundated by avalanche of phone calls. It gets annoying after a while, but now I understand  a lot better the reason for that..
As I didn't have any photoshopping done on my images, when the client arrives, he gets exactly what he saw on the photos, which eliminates unpleasant conversations and awkwardness: the whole thing is going much smoother (the reason I say this is because when I worked in a parlour which specialised in "young,new" girls, my face was "blooped" on the photos. As I've never had kids and take good care of myself, my body is slim and tight and, depending on what sort of clothes I wear (say, a schoolgirl outfit), one might assume that I'm in my early twenties. Then they turn up and feel disappointed because they realise that I am older. However, having said that, I hardly ever lost a booking for that reason, as I usually quickly stripped and once they saw the boobies and the rest of it, the deal was in the bag...LOL..).
Another advantage of working for myself is the fact that I really do have more freedom. The last place I worked for was very accomodating and the owner let me be "on call", but that place was also really busy and often she took booking for "now" or even had the client come in and THEN told him I was available, so I frequently found myself in the middle of my walk or shopping across town when the phone rang and she wanted me to be in the parlour within minutes. It was stressful,as I had to run (literally) not to make the client wait too long and then arrived out of breath and not looking my best (certainly not relaxed).
These days I explain to clients that in order for them to have truly relaxing, un-rushed experience, they need to plan a bit in advance: this way I will be waiting for them, dressed in sexy clothes, with candles lit, fresh make-up on and smelling good :).
Which brings another subject: accomodation. A lot of clients seem to confuse private set-up with parlour (or even agency) set-up.
Private girls make arrangements for "working" premises. Sometimes it's a hotel. But recently another option emerged, which I find quite helpful and better in many ways.
These days "agencies" are quite popular: the owner rents an apartment (or several) and advertises on a website. Bookings are made by phone, for a particular girl at a particular time (girls photos and stats are displayed on the website). When a client arrives, the girl he booked (hopefully :)) awaits for him at the apartment.
As working girls could be unreliable at times, owners prefer to have them physically come in for a shift (they usually sit in one of the apartments, watching TV,reading,etc, all made-up,dressed and ready for work). Some owners let the girls go out for a meal or shopping during the shift, but they want them close by and not to be gone for long, thus making "now" bookings possible for clients.
As our business is never "non-stop" or every hour on the hour, often apartments are unused for stretches of time. Enterprising owners offer them at hourly rate to independent girls. It's a win/win situation for both: girl gets nice fully furnished and equipped premises without having to spend a dime in advance (she only pays when her client has showed up and handed her the money) or sign the lease and the owner gets additional revenue out of expensive real estate that otherwise would sit idle. It also enables private girls to take early bookings,as hotels would normally not check you in until 1pm (usually 2pm), so to see a client at,say, 10 am, you need to pay for TWO nights (the night before, so you're there at 10 am and the following night,as most hotels require 10 am check-out), which ends up being quite costly, while with agency apartment the going rate is $50/hr.
If a "private" girl has arrangements with several agencies, premises availability is prety much guaranteed at any time,as if one is not available, the others probably would be.
Really good agencies would have "working premises" that are just that: they are for bookings only, no one lives or stays there. I like that, as to me it looks very professional.
It is not a good idea,in my opinion, for a "private" girl to work from the place where she lives. A friend of mine who did that got raped. Granted, rape could've occurred under any circumstances, but I do believe her working from her flat was one of the contributing factors.
It also might betray personal info that most girls wouldn't want client to know (photos of kids and family, accidentally  left out bills with her real name, etc).
It might invite potential stalkers (a guy can sit in the car and watch her comings and goings and figure out her routine as well as who her friends and family are-happenned to me) not to mention some clueless guys who don't think twice about turning up at her doorstep un-announced wanting a booking.
So back to the misconception re. difference between "private" girls and brothels/agencies: as in those places girls come in for a certain shift and sit around waiting for a booking, it is quite possible for a guy to call and say he is coming "now" or just walk in.
The reason "private" girls choose to work privately is so they can have more flexibilty. They don't, in fact, sit around all made-up and dressed to the ninth all day :). Instead, they go about their daily routine. When someone calls and wants a booking, they need to keep in mind that, at the very least, the girl needs time to get to location of "working" accomodation, not to mention a few minutes to get ready and set-up the room. So "now" would hardly ever work with "private" escort. The only time it would is if you happen to call just as she was finishing with her last booking, still on the premises.
Besides, in my opinion, the reason a client wants a "private" girl is for relaxed, un-rushed experience, often anticipated for days.
Personally, the reason I went "private" is because I've decided I only want to see one or two clients a day, on the average: I no longer wanted crazy,busy, "revolving door", train-station atmosphere. I've worked hard all my life and was able to secure some financial independence, so I am doing this job to maintain my lifestyle.
I take plenty of time out for theater, shopping, eating out, spending time with friends and travelling.
As I have no debt and no bad habits (drugs,smoking,drinking) or partner/kids to support, I don't require huge earnings. Besides, I've invested wisely and do have some passive income.
So when I see a client these days, I am rested, in a good mood, not in any hurry and it makes for much more pleasant encounter.
I am glad I've done all the "legwork" and laid the foundation, as it makes things a lot easier: NZ is small, clients do read posts,blogs,etc and a lot of people have a pretty good idea of what I'm all about, so when they book me, they make an informed choice. It also eliminates all the disappointing and unpleasant bookings (for both parties).
Working  privately is not for everyone: it requires certain degree of organisation, discipline and, yes, substancial amount of money to get going (or even to keep going when you happen to have a slow week). Some girls do better in a structured environment, where things are set up for them and someone "nudges" them along.
I am very happy with my decision and am grateful for support and advice of my friends and mentors who shared their experience and knowledge with me. You know who you are and I appreciate the generosity of your spirit- knowledge is power and in our industry it is sometimes more precious than gold!

X

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Beginning of the End

As sad as it it, all relationships come to a point when they "run their course". It's just the way the cookie crumbles.
I've written on the subject before ("Monogamy vs.commitment")-I don't believe we're meant to be monogamous forever. Relationships are tricky,complicated and require a lot of work. And sometimes, no matter how much work we've put into them, it just doesn't pan out.
Unfortunately, realisation that "this is not working" does not come to both partners simaltaneously. And there lies the problem.
The reasons we fall "out of love" are many and not always easy to pinpoint. Sometimes it's something very particular, sometimes it's just a sense that one "lost that lovely feeling". It's not any one's fault and not always a third party is involved.
A lot of people, especially ones who's been in the relationship for a while, dread telling their partner and just pretend everything is "hunky dory" when quite the opposite is true.
Trouble is, no matter what, other party senses that something is wrong. That's how all those dreadful "we need to talk" conversations start-your partner is trying to get reassurance from you, to quell their insecurities.
The truth is, once you started on that road, you are "on your way out". You may not consciously think that...yet... You may not make any "escape" plans...yet... But you are walking away. And sooner or later, you will be out of that door never to be seen again (at least, not in the "lover/partner" capacity).
No amount of counselling or therapy will cure the situation. There is no point to look for reasons or try to rationalise as to why you're feeling that way, as often there is no rational reason. You're just "done" with that particular person, as far as intimacy,romance and commitment are concern. Yes, you might still care about them or even love them, but you are not IN LOVE with them anymore.
It's not always that you want to be with someone else-often there is not a "someone else" in sight-you just don't want to be with your partner anymore.
Last week a woman walked in the brothel I work at. That particular brothel has a sign in front inviting everyone and anyone to "come in for a free tour".
My ears perked-finally, a lady client! I was getting excited. The woman looked pretty average,kind of plain, actually, wearing loose unfashionable ill-fitting slacks and top, no make-up and frizzy hair arranged in a messy bun.
Receptionist asked how she could help and the woman asked for a tour. Trish (the receptionist) asked if the woman was planning to stay. Woman got somewhat agitated and said: "It says "a free tour" upfront, I want a tour".
So Trish obligingly took her around. I trailed behind, as my curiosity was peaked and I wanted to keep an eye on things,as situation was beginning to look somewhat dodgy.
Not even 20 sec into the tour the REAL reason for woman's visit became apparent: her husband has left her and she found out (I can only wonder how-spying and following him,perhaps) that he is a frequent client at the parlour. She also knew the names of the girls he sees (again, I wonder how that happened-did she go through his phone? If so, were the girls giving him their phone numbers?)
Woman said she wanted to see the place with her own eyes and TO BOOK the girls her husband's been seeing (neither one of those girls was on). She said she wanted to see what it was her husband felt he was missing with her.
Trish and I talked her out of booking the girls-it would do absolutely no good and achieve no purpose except for making everyone uncomfortable and the woman even more insecure. We tried to explain to her that girls don't want her husband-they want his money and to get it, they are selling him A FANTASY.
But even more important point (which we didn't bring up) is that her husband didn't leave her because he started going to the parlour. Obviously, we would never know what the reasons were, but he no longer wanted to be with his wife.
No amount of make-up or sexy lingerie would rectify that. Yes, it could spice things up in the bedroom for a while (maybe), but, ultimately, the relationship has run it's course.
I've been in the situation myself: before I finally left my last husband, I was "on my way out" for about 10 months. He told my later that he sensed it and had a feeling I was going to leave, but was too afraid to bring it up, because he thought it would make me leave even sooner. I honestly wish he'd confronted me-it would make things simpler and would save him months of uncertainty and heartache.
I am trying to look back at it and remember what exactly went through my head and all I can come up with is the fact that I simply didn't want to be with him any more. Yes, I could rationalise a lot of reasons WHY, but the bottom line is that I've been with other people who had the same flaws as my ex-husband, but I overlooked them,because I WANTED to be with them. No one is perfect, everyone is flawed, yet we stay with people and love them regardless. We put up with their idiosyncrasies and annoying traits... Until we fall out of love with them-and then the bickering and pointing of the fingers starts.
So many people make the mistake of thinking that "it all could be worked out". They feel that all they need to do is to point out to their partner what exactly is causing the way they feel, how irrational it is,etc. They dilute themselves and prolong their agony. The person will listen, maybe stay for a while longer, but, ultimately, they will be gone. it's just the matter of time.
Yes, there are cases (very few and far in between,a whole lot less than what most people imagine) when the person is mistaken in thinking that relationship is over and the love is gone. Usually, there are serious circumstances involved. The best course of action, in my opinion, is to let them go. Yes, just cut any and all contact. No, don't be "just friends", no you don't need to follow them on Twitter and Facebook. Just cut them off completely.
Yes, it is very scary if you're still in love with them-there is a very good chance (more than 50%) you'll never see them again. However, if they do still love you and truly want to be with you, they WILL be back. And it will be on YOUR terms. It does happen.
Prince William and Kate Middleton is a very good example.
As most of you know, they broke up about a year and half before he proposed. Or, rather, he left her. He was gone from her life completely for 3 months. She was smart enough not go crazy with partying, etc and not try to contact him. She really did think they were through.
And then he realised he cannot be without her. He needed her and wanted her in his life. When he came back, he didn't come bearing an engagement ring, either. He just told her that she was the one he wants to be with. And she didn't make a fuss-just took him back. Obviously, she felt the same.
Looking at them now, it is apparent that they truly complement each other and are a well-matched couple. Their relationship stood the test of time.
However, this is an exception rather than the rule.
A friend of mine has been going through a yo-yo situation for a while now. Her boyfriend is clearly "on his way out" (clear to everyone, but her), yet every time he breaks up with her, she says to him things like "I don't accept it", "You only feel this way because you're under stress", "You say this because you're an unhappy person, so you're projecting this onto our relationship"... The list is endless,as she's been in therapy for years and knows a lot (and I mean A LOT) of various gimmick phrases. Although she manages to keep him around, neither one of them is happy: him thinking that he's being forced into something he doesn't want to do and her in constant fear of him leaving. To me it doesn't make any sense: both of them are wasting valuable time (as life IS short) that would've been spent more wisely  finding someone else or nurturing yourself (even more important).

When someone want to leave, let them go,set them free. Yes, it is incredibly painful sometimes-one study in the Journal of Neurophysiology found merely thinking of your departed lover (partner) activates the parts of our brain associated with craving, addiction,pain and distress. Our neural responses actually mirror those of a drug addicts in withdrawal, so it's no wonder you feel so crap. But,speaking from experience, time does heal all. With time it will get better. And you just might discover all the things you weren't able to while you were with your partner-sometimes, much better things :)))

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Good intentions (motivations behind people's actions)

Yip, the old adage is true: road to hell is,indeed,paved with good intentions.
Often times we sincerely set out to do a good thing and it turns sour... Or our intentions are misunderstood... Or we don't want to admit to ourselves that there was a hidden agenda deep inside the deed that on the surface seemed noble
Human beings are very complex creatures-remember Shrek and his "onion" theory? Well, I agree: we are all like onions: there are layers upon layers in all of us: some good, some bad,some thin and some quite thick..
Our motivations are often unclear to ourselves, yet alone to others.
For instance, when you contact a working girl (unsolicited) and offer information regarding one of the other working girls that was passed on to you by said WL's EX-employer-what is your motivation? Do you genuinely want to warn the girl because you don't want her to get in harm's way? Or do you want to make a good impression on her and get into her confidence, so she'd share some other industry insider tidbits with you? Or do you simply hope she'll give you "extra special" service with extras next time you see her professionally in gratitude? Or is it a little bit of all of the above?

Truth is, we want to look good and we want others to like us-it's human nature. Someone I once knew said "I like to be liked and hate to be hated"-that's pretty much it in a nutshell and holds true for all of us, whether or not we admit it to ourselves. We seek approval of our peers-it's in our genetic make-up.
Trouble is, sometimes we go in a round-about way in order to get it.
So when someone takes a high moral ground on an issue, do they do it purely because they feel really strongly about it or maybe just a little because they want to "look good" to others, because it's the fastest way to gain approval and admiration?
Personally, I no longer "ride the high horse" about anything, as I am well aware of my own shortcomings and I know all too well that once you start talking "high and mighty", people automatically want to take closer look at you and start searching for flaws,as it is a "knee-jerk" reflex: "you are not so pure yourself" reaction. And let's face it: none of us are without a fault (well, unless you're Mother Theresa... and she is dead..). But I've learned this lesson as part of my life's experience and it took me quite some time. It was a different story when I was younger: I was absolutely convinced that at least certain things are black and white and there is nothing in between....
Now I know life is, by far, not that simple.

Often times we want to be perceived as leaders, forward-thinking and knowing the "right" path for everyone.
We want people to look up to us.
So when an "independent"  WL suggests to the one working in a parlour that she should do the same (start working independently) and even offers to help her out with advice and maybe some client recommendations, what is her real motive?
Does she truly believes that the other girl would be much better off and just wants her to "see the light"? Or does she crave respect and gratitude? Or is she trying to get back at the parlour owner who didn't give her enough credit and wants to prove to her that she is, in fact, mature,capable and able to lead others?
And what about the other girl? Does she feel offended because someone thinks that she doesn't know what's best for her? Or did she think about it before and realised that,for whatever reason, she won't be able to do it and now is just annoyed that someone thinks she is not smart enough to think for herself? Or is she afraid of possible negative implications from her employer and just doesn't want to admit it? Or does she truly like the situation she is in and is really comfortable with the way things are?

I found out long time ago that when someone doesn't like you, it's not likely to abate. Whatever the reason (sometimes people can't even state clearly why exactly they dislike someone-it's absolutely irrational), no matter what you say or do, they will remain entrenched in their opinion. In fact, the harder you try to prove yourself, the more animosity (and annoyance)  you create.
A lot of people like me... A lot hate my guts.. More still can care less about me altogether.. That's life.
I just go with the flow: nothing I say or do will change that. In fact, I am like that myself: for example, there is a girl I absolutely cannot stand for personal reasons (to a point where I avoid working in a parlour where she is employed,despite of the fact that I really like the establishment and everyone else who works there), but objectively speaking, she is probably OK. I am not likely to change my opinion of her, no matter what.
Often times people try to pass their opinion on to others (consciously AND subconsciously). So when someone contacts a working girl and passes some information regarding her new mentor's checkered past, what is their motivation? Do they genuinely just want to warn the girl and keep her out of the harm's way? Or do they want to pass on their own personal dislike for said mentor and maybe sway the girl into their way of thinking? Do they even know what the true motivation is themselves?

The problem with passing of any kind of information is that it's not likely to end with the person you've passed it on to. That's another lesson I've learned long time ago.
No matter how much you say "Don't tell anyone", people will-again, it's just the human nature. Even people who condemn gossiping, do, in fact, pass various information to others. They don't think it's gossiping because it's "true" or they did it for noble reasons, or it was "absolutely necessary", but it is what it is, no matter what the reason.
Information is valuable. It has been since time immemorial. Thrones and kingdoms were lost and gained through learning and passing of the Intel. In fact, espionage is, in my opinion, one of the corner stones of makings of the history :)
People pass information for different reasons: sometimes purely for gain, sometimes in exchange for leniency, sometimes for leverage, sometimes because we genuinely like the person talked about and want to warn them,sometimes to get ourselves out of the "dog house",sometimes because we want to know more or just want to verify the facts-the reasons are so many.
One would think that every time we pass information, we are aware of consequences,surely?? You'd think so, but no, not always the case.
So when you get a feedback (or a backlash,as case might be), as a result of your information passing, do you get angry at the person you passed it on (especially when you didn't specify that it was "for their ears only)? Do you not blame yourself first and foremost (especially when you offered said information unsolicited)?
I am guilty of this myself. When I was younger, I've lost a friendship that was was quite dear to me because of passing of the information. I didn't do it maliciously, but through some really weird and round-about channels ( which I couldn't even imagine in a million years) it affected my friend and she knew I was the one who said things. I've lost that friend forever. I have no one to blame but myself.

We have  to do what we have to do everyday to survive. It's easy to be virtuous when you live by yourself in a far away castle and have unlimited wealth..LOL.. The rest of us, mere mortals need to put bread (and butter and caviar) on the table. In order to do this successfully, we need to co-exist with our co-workers and bosses and clients. And, yes, we often need to massage their ego and "go with the flow"-it's just the way the cookie crumbles.
Often things are complicated and not at all black and white and we are forced to divide our loyalties and choose between  friends and colleagues/employers. Inevitably,we do what we think is the best thing for us,as we have to maintain the roof over our heads and often other people are dependent on us (such as our kids, elderly parents,partners,etc).  So can we honestly judge someone who took a public stand against someone who helped them in the past in order to get "brownie points" from their current employer? Do we really know what goes  through their mind? They might feel torn, they might even try to make it up to a person in private, yet others will never know, will they?
Happened to me before: I took a stand in support of my now ex-girlfriend against our mutual employer, although I didn't necessarily agree with ALL points of her position and didn't think she handled the situation exactly right. But she was my girlfriend, I loved her deeply and did everything I could to support her. I actually went as far as contacting local newspapers! Do I regret it? No, not at all-I did what I had to do for the loved one. Would I maintain the same position now? No, because we no longer together and she probably has someone else to massage her ego :) and I can be objective.
That's the nature of life: it is fluid-nothing is carved in stone. We entitled to change out minds and it's perfectly fine. Some days we feel differently about certain things than others-it depends on our mood,personal circumstances,etc. And it's OK.

We get quite involved in things that we do on a daily basis: our jobs, our hobbies-because we spend so much time engaged in those. We participate in related blogs, forums, discussions. We passionately defend out point of view and curiously explore unknown aspects. Often we attend relevant conventions even. It's called "networking" and it helps us advance in our chosen fields, gain recognition and often reap monetary rewards.All of it is very important to us. It seems like it'd stay that way forever. But it doesn't. When we switch jobs/fields/countries other things become relevant and important and they replace the ones from before.
It is very natural-we can only concentrate on so many things at one time and there are only so many hours in the day.
It doesn't mean that we were falsely representing ourselves in that other field before-it just means that we've moved on and are now focusing our energies on new projects.
With time, others replace us and the cycle continues.
It's the same in sex industry. Some girls gain quite high profile and increase their earnings as a result. It seems like they'll stay that way forever ( good examples are porn stars..LOL..). But when they're gone, others take their place quite fast and the old ones become a distant memory..
Some girls want to erase all traces of their past when they're done with escorting. Although quite impossible  to obliterate everything completely in this day and age of modern technology, it is doable. In fact, new,"reputation repair" companies sprouted recently: a lot of corporate companies and individuals as well as celebrities, use them. What they do, in a nutshell, is for a substantial amount of money, they "pollute" Internet with blog entries,articles,etc about said company/individual, thus "burying" negative posts on pages 5,6 or further on the search engines, making it "invisible" for all intents and purposes,as we all have short attention span these days and who wants to "root" through 5 pages and look through every single post...
At the end of the day, it's just another hooker in a sea of many thousands disappearing into oblivion, to be replaced by thousands more. It's not like she found the cure for cancer or a way to resolve world's economic crisis and then deleted all her findings...LOL..
I guess, sometimes people get really wrapped up in something they enjoy and they forget that in the big scheme of things whatever they're so involved in might be quite insignificant.
We've got to remember not to loose sight of what's truly important: people we love and care about. Life is short and tomorrow may never come. I have a friend who went to bed feeling great and woke up with failed kidney (true story). Do you think he thought about punting and hookers (working or retired) just then? I think not. Same when my Dad woke up one morning and realised that he couldn't move OR speak (he had a stroke).... Think about it....

Sometimes certain things really ruffle our feathers.. We feel very strongly and passionately about those. Sometimes people "rub us the wrong way" or touch the nerve... It's perfectly OK to speak up, to fight back, to express our opinions. In fact, more people should,as honesty really is the best policy. But in doing so we should be careful not to cross the line into nastiness, we should remember that decency and civility are values,too and ppoisonous language doesn't advance our cause.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lesbian couples vs. straight ones

A lot of people (both men and women) have really vague and sometimes funny idea of what lesbian couples are like.They imagine us painting each other's nails all day and constantly giving each other stuffed animals as presents. I can just see some of my exes busting out with laughter reading this... Although I must admit: I did paint my partner's nails on occasion and am guilty of a stuffed animal gift here and there...LOL..
Lesbians come in all shapes,colours,tastes and dress preferences.
Most popular categories are "femme" or 'lipstick lesbians" (the obviously feminine ones) and "butch" (those who veer towards masculinity), but it's really a lot more complex.
There are "soft femmes" and "hard femmes", just as there are "soft" and "hard" butch,not to mention "bois", who are a category of it's own.
Some of those categories have to do with lifestyle and the way of thinking, rather than  outward appearances.
"Boi", for instance, is a girl (or a woman) who has andro appearance and leads care-free lifestyle, avoiding any kind of responsibility or obligation. Bois "hook up" frequently, but they don't want any sort of relationship, whether long or short-term. Often, they don't want a job that will "tie them down" or any sort of serious commitment (such as property ownership). Basically, they model their lifestyle after teenage boys (thus the name), however, it doesn't mean that this category is limited by age-I've met some bois in their late 30's and they seem to be cruising along just fine. Very popular boi's motto is "Bros before hos".

Myself, I am a "lipstick lesbian", through and through; I love frilly skirts and blouses, have long well-maintained nails, spend countless hours at hairdresser's and spas, get a lot of pampering and beauty treatments. I remember talking to one of my exes about my plan for a weekend getaway: 1.5 hour massage, facial, full body scrub,sauna.. She was absolutely terrified-"This sounds like a weekend from hell-sheer torture", she exclaimed..LOL.. Although she was not "butch", she represented well what's called "hard femme": she wore pants (mostly jeans) all the time, when she did put a dress on, it was for a costume party and she called it "being in drag" and make-up never touched her face. She did have long dreads,though and was not at all masculine in the appearance or behaviour-she was definitely a woman,there was no mistaking that.

As being gay has become a lot more "mainstream" and even a "thing to do"(yip, there are quite a few "fake" lesbians running around these days,especially among younger crowd), people struggle to appear more accepting of it in an attempt to look hip and "up with the times" (most  have no issues with gay people,they just don't know how to act around them:)) . Few weeks ago friends of mine, a lesbian couple,were having breakfast at the outdoor cafe with their cute beagle. The person who delivered their coffee said to the dog "Oh, you are so cute, out with Mom and Dad". My friends looked at each other in amazement: although they were both wearing pants, they are definitely and unmistakeably WOMEN. They have soft features and neither one of them could even remotely been classed as "butch". "So which one of us is "Dad"? my friend quipped to her partner. This went up on their FB immediately (thank you,IPhone) and was a source of entertainment for the rest of us that day..LOL..
Although gay couples face much the same challenges as straight couples do (or even more on occasion,as two women with hormones raging at the same time could be quite intense), there ARE some definite advantages.
One of those is zero risk of unwanted/unplanned pregnancy. For obvious reasons it doesn't exist and it's something us lesbians don't have to worry about.
Hetero couples are not so lucky in that instance. I've just returned to Melbourne after 3 months in NZ and had to conceal my surprise when my 43-year old flatmate opened the door sporting a very noticeable baby bump. Yip, she got knocked up by her boyfriend, absolutely unwanted and unplanned and also very unexpected- at her age she thought all that was far,far behind her.
Although she welcomes the pregnancy now, it caused her a lot of problems: boyfriend wasn't thrilled at first (he came around now), so the relationship was in jeopardy for a while. She will have to move in with him (and she wasn't planning on doing so in any foreseeable future and quite enjoyed the dynamics of the house we are in at the moment). Not to mention the fact that she is freaking out (her term) about the whole "up all night with crying baby" thing. Her whole life is going to change-at the age of 43, just when she thought she was going to "relax and enjoy the ride".
I have to say, that night I went to bed and said a silent prayer,thanking the Universe for my sexual orientation :))

Friday, October 21, 2011

Safety in the sex industry

In the past few weeks a number of disturbing stories hit the newspapers: two escorts were found murdered in Melbourne (both in Port Melbourne, but so far they are treated as un-related homicides), a 14-year old girl nearly escaped kidnapping, another woman was found dead in one of the suburbs-killed by her boyfriend.

Where does simple attraction end and unhealthy/dangerous obsession begins? What pushes a person "over the edge"-so they lose all grip on reality?
As I've had my own scary stalker story (http://courtesansdiary.blogspot.com/2011/08/pitfalls-of-courtesans-life-client.html), I am very aware of client's strange/suspicious behaviours.
Just today  a client came into the parlour and booked me. Receptionist warned me that he used to see this other girl named Summer all the time,but she left the industry about a month ago and he's been asking for her ever since.
The booking was a tedious one, as the guy didn't want massage or small talk-he just wanted to "go at it" for the whole hour (so he definitely got his money's worth:/). At the end he asked me if I knew other girls. He wondered if I knew Summer specifically (he we go, I thought). When I told him I haven't seen her in 3 months, he pressed, asking if she seemed happy or sad about a month ago. I reminded him that I haven't seen the girl in THREE months (!!). For the next 10 min I was subjected to a barrage of questions: is it common for WLs to take time off work? What other parlours are in the area (he actually wrote down the addresses!)? Do parlours have our contact info?,etc,etc,etc. It was clear to me that he intended to go and visit all the other parlours in the area in an attempt to find Summer.
On the way out he stopped by the reception desk and tried to harass the receptionist, mumbling about "wanting to say goodbye to Summer". He also tried to talk to another WL in passing,asking if she was Summer's friend.
When he left, receptionist told me that he had actually written a letter to Summer and posted it to the parlour. She showed it to the management (good girl-it helps to keep people aware of what's going on). In the letter, he made all those assumptions and it was pretty clear that he was obsessed with that girl.
This guy has clearly lost all touch with reality: in his mind, he actually had a RELATIONSHIP with WL! While for her it was clearly client/sex provider relationship, he imagined much,much more.
This is actually quite common psychological disorder: when one person starts imagining that another is in love with them and they are letting them know through certain looks,gestures and ambiguous wording.
Unfortunately, these sort of disorders tend to progress if left untreated-they can lead to physical violence,kidnapping or even worse.
Sex workers encounter this more often than anyone else,as the very nature of this business is intimacy.
The object is to make client feel "special" through kissing, hugging,passionate sex,etc. Often WL and client have heart-to-heart conversations,and a lot of private details are shared, thus creating this sense of intimacy.
It is so easy for a client to forget that we are just doing our job (sometimes all too good). That we are laughing at his jokes and listening with rapt attention because we are PAID to do so. Yes, we act sympathetic of his troubles and support your opinions, whether or not we actually feel that way,because we are "on the clock"...
It is important to gently remind clients that all  this "perfect world of intimacy" is largely a fantasy land. Reality is quite different AND ever present-no one lives in a dreamland "forever after'.
Yes, it is possible for a WL girl to fall for a client and it does happen... But not nearly as often as guys imagine.
If the girl likes you, she'll find the way to let you know, trust me. There is no such thing as "she's too shy" or "she probably doesn't know how to breach the subject".
You know that movie "He's just not that into you"? Well, it's the same with the girls-there are no "hidden" signs. If she is not volunteering her number/asking for yours/suggesting a meeting outside of work, guess what? She's just not that into you!
Ladies,please be vigilant. Talk to your friends and people you trust about "clingy", obsessive clients. Document all  communications with them ( you might need it later). Let people know when going to see clients on extensive bookings/out-of-town. We (all of us) can help each other by looking after each other.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Husband #2 (this is mostly funny story :)

There I was: 21 years old and just arrived in US. I had a visitor Visa (good for 3 months), 2 bags, $300 cash in my pocket.. And some friends who were willing to give me a place to stay in their home for a while. That's it.
Oh, to be young and fearless-you think you're bulletproof :). These days I can't even imagine pulling a stunt like that. Rather,I research  things in advance, have various "safety nets" in place and plans A,B and C (often D and E as well :).
My friends (an older couple that I've met while translating for them when they were visiting Russia) met me at the airport in New York. It was hot and balmy August day. For a long time I've had unpleasant memories of New York,as my arrival coincided with garbage workers strike: bags of stinky rubbish,some half-spilled were strewn all over the city. Not the nicest of welcomes,that's for sure.
After a day of sight-seeing (and inhaling putrid stench along the way), we drove to Richmond,VA, where my friends lived.
I was never the one to sit around and wait for the opportunities to knock on the door, so started on the job search straight away.
I got lucky-almost immediately was able to secure a job as a prep cook in one of Richmond's restaurants. It was a bistro type of place, not too posh, but definitely not fast food. They specialised in fresh bagels made on the premises daily and offered various sandwiches/salads/basic mains fare.
As minimum wage in VA was $2.13 back then, I was quite fortunate to get $18/hour.
I've never worked in the kitchen before and had absolutely no idea of what to expect and what was expected of me... Oh,yeah-good times..LOL..
The job wasn't a rocket science,though. In the morning, at the beginning of my shift, I was to take a "Master" prep list and with it in hand, do the inventory of the chiller and freezer. "Pars"(how much of everything was needed for the shift) were written on the Master list, so all I had to do was count what's on hand and create my "work list"-what's needed to be prepped and how much. I then was to show the numbers to the Head Chef for approval and off I went-slicing and dicing.
That's pretty much what the job was: slicing ham and other meats,weighting and portioning those, slicing veges,cleaning and "leafing" (separating the leaves) the lettuce,peeling potatoes,etc.
The fun part was baking the cakes. I had to pull out a giant "Master Recipe" folder (it really was quite big and heavy) and then just dump all the ingredients listed in the huge commercial mixer,then pour the mix into the forms and place them in the oven. Oven had a timer, so I didn't have to worry about checking on the cakes much.
When years later I've told one of my ex-girlfriends (who happens to be a 5-star, award-winning Chef herself) about those methods and practices, she laughed so hard, she almost peed her pants! She vowed then and there to NEVER let me in her kitchen for cooking/prepping purposes (we worked together: me as Front of the House lead and her as Executive Chef).
Making cakes (especially cheesecakes) was my favorite task,as when you take them out of the form, some of the cake sticks to the sides and I loved scooping it up with my finger and eat it (looking back, maybe that was one of the reasons my second husband liked me-I think I was inadvertently putting on quite a show-what's with licking my fingers and smacking my lips and closing my eyes in near-ecstasy...LOL..)
Job had it's dangers,as well. One of them was commercial slicer-that thing was lethal and I always was weary when using it. I remember one time when one of the girls was in a hurry and sliced big part of her finger (about 2 sm from the fingertip) clean off. She was scared out of her wits before she even felt the pain,as blood was gushing everywhere,so she started screaming. Everyone rushed to her aid. As there were no shortage of rescuers, I thought I'd be practical about it and went on a search of the sliced-off fingertip. Good thinking, apparently,as it was put in an iced bag and later re-attached in the hospital. I was told that timing was crucial and it helped that I found it so quickly.
I did quite enjoy slicing cucumbers on that machine, though :)
Working in that kitchen wasn't exactly fun. Back then 80% of population of Richmond was African American. That statistic was pretty accurately reflected in the kitchen where I worked.
Black girls and guys didn't not take kindly to foreigners,especially white foreigners. For some reason, they perceived me as a threat, someone who was "after their jobs".
There was one woman in particular. I still remember her name-Brenda (and I am notoriously bad with names). She was very big woman (and I mean, VERY big). Brenda used to try and make me look incompetent in front of the Head Chef: her prep table was right next to mine, so she would prep the items from MY list and then tell the Chef  that she had to do it, because I was falling behind (I wasn't). She used to talk to me really fast, using a lot of slang words (I only understood about 25% of what she was saying-they taught us "British English" at the Uni in Russia and I've only just moved to US, where spoken English is really different,anyway,even without slang) and then complain to the Chef that I don't understand English. She would loudly talk to her friends in the kitchen about me (when I was standing right there) in that "slang English" and make fun of me..
That is probably why to this day I have a distaste for the kitchen-I never want to work in the BOH (Back Of The House), although I have a great respect for my many talented,amazing Chef friends who perform miracles on a daily basis.
My husband #2-to-be (although neither him nor I knew it at the time) was working next to me almost every day. His nick-name was Howie. He was not much to look at-just some tall,lanky guy.
Unlike me, Howie had gone to CIA (Culinary Institute of America) and had a real passion for cooking. This was a first step in his professional ladder and he had great aspirations.

Getting a job was only a part of what I needed to do-a bigger problem was getting a Green Card (American Permanent Residency). I've met some people in Richmond and through active networking found out that there was a private gymnastics school there and they hired a famous Russian Olympic coach, but the guy didn't speak a lick of English-none, and,of course, neither the owners nor the students spoke any Russian.
Clearly, they had a problem. And I had a solution! After some negotiating, they've agreed to sign the paperwork necessary for my "employment visa" in exchange for providing translation services. It was quite involved process: the ads had to be put in the local paper's employment section to determine that there were no suitable US applicants, forms and affidavits had to be filled and signed... I'm glad I've done it all by myself, as tedious as it was,instead of hiring a lawyer (not that I could afford one,either), as I've come to have a very good understanding of the process and all the "ins" and "outs" of it.
Everything was going quite smoothly and I was awaiting my visa, which I was told is "imminent".
Then one day I received a letter from Immigration. In short, it explained that they physically moved offices and due to that all their files were back-logged for at least 3 months. Suddenly, I was in a state of panic-I only had 3 more weeks until my visitor visa was due to expire! I didn't have another 3 months!
Next day I was at work, deep in thought. My mind was going 100 miles an hour,as I was trying to figure out what to do.
Howie asked me what was wrong. He noticed I was unusually quite and "not myself". I told him about my dilemma. He asked what could be done.
Half-jokingly, I said "Well, you could marry me and then I'll get to stay". He said he'd think about it. I assumed it was just a"small talk".
Imagine my surprise when just 15 min later he said "OK,let's do it!".
"Do what?" I asked.
"Let's get married, so you can stay in the country"
Apparently, he was quite willing to help me. He didn't ask for any money or stipulate any sexual favors (although we ended up having sex once in the next few months, but only because we happenned to be in the same place at the same time and it seemed like a thing to do).
So we set out to organise our "wedding".
As I was well-versed in Immigration procedures by then, I knew what needed to be done.
I've rented a dress and we did a "mock wedding", so we could take photos (immigration likes to see a lot of photos). We got married at the City Hall and I started the paperwork.
The big part of obtaining the Green Card through marriage is a personal interview conducted by Immigration Officer with a newlywed couple.
For that, Howie and I had to drive to Norfolk (capital of Virginia). It was a three-hour drive and I had this old Chevrolet which I bought for $500. The car could no longer reverse, so I had to make sure that I always park in places where I can drive out going forward..LOL..
Immigration interview was quite extensive: the lady was asking us all kind of "tricky" questions. For example: did our parents approve of our union? What did they say,exactly? What were our plans for the future (she wanted very specific job/living situation/kids analysis)? How did we meet? Did we have many mutual friends? Could we point those out in the wedding photos? Etc,etc,etc.
Apparently, we passed with  flying colours,as towards the end, the interviewer was talking to us about all those "fake" couples that come through and try to "pull wool over her eyes". She also was making fun of a movie "The Green Card" (it just came out not long before) and how ridiculous and unrealistic the plot was..
So that was that-I was in!
I had to stay married to Howie for 2 years, until my  Residency Status was changed from "Temporary" to "Permanent".
During that time I moved to California and Howie remained in VA.
The paperwork for change of status was not extensive and they've accepted whatever "proof of ongoing relationship" I supplied.
Divorce was quite easy as well-in US you can just file in court if both parties agree on the terms of settlement and you are single within 30 days or less.
I haven't stayed in touch with Howie and have no idea what he is up to now and whether or not he succeeded in achieving his dream of being a Top Chef and a Restaurant owner (hmmm, will probably search him on FB after I finish writing this).
I am very grateful to him, as he remains one of a very few men in my life who volunteered his help freely and unconditionally and never took advantage of the situation (and he certainly had numerous opportunities).

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Plausible deniability (my experience working in New Zealand Parlours/clubs/agencies)

Plausible deniability definition: credible (plausible) ability to deny a fact or allegation or to deny previous knowledge of a fact.

I've lived in US for a very long time and we all know that it is a highly litigious society (it's one of the many,many reasons I left that country). You have to watch your step carefully, no matter what you do for a living (or even in your daily life), as you can become a subject of a lawsuit in a New York minute.
As I worked in Hospitality Industry for a long time (started as a waitress and advanced to a Restaurant and District Manager positions), I've been taken to court and took people to court on a regular basis. Even more so when I was selling Real Estate in Las Vegas and owned a Property Management Co. there.
Litigation was my bread and butter and, annoying as it was, I became quite adept to it, not fearing it at all, but rather just making the best of the circumstances. Knowledge is power and I've learned a lot from those experiences. One of the things I learned is how to recognise plausible deniability: I can see and smell it a mile away..LOL..

In New Zealand, where prostitution was decriminalised 8 years ago, parlours and clubs that provide sexual services are highly competitive. Even more so these days, when economy is flagging, our credit rating has been double-downgraded , the National Disaster Fund is literally empty and no one want to insure us after the massive Christchurch Earthquake. In short: the future is uncertain and people tend to have much less disposable income, or simply hold on to their wallets and sex industry thrives on disposable income, there is no denying that. Add to that the fact that entire population of NZ (as a country)is roughly four million, while Melbourne,for example, enjoys the same population as a city (plus thousands of visitors on a daily basis).

In my opinion good, healthy competition is great: consumer always wins that way. What I do object to are dirty tactics. I have no tolerance for people with "guerrilla warfare" mentality, especially when there is absolutely no reason for that.
I think those people forget that slinging mud at others makes them look bad to consumers.
Besides, we all know the famous adage about throwing stones while living in a glass house: no one is absolutely perfect and squeaky clean. We all have (or had) our problems and took shortcuts sometimes that we regretted later.. We all, at one time or another made a bad judgement call.. Sometimes we had to do things that didn't sit well with us, yet we needed money, so we went along with it..
If each and every one of us will be completely honest with themselves (I call it "sitting in a dark room by yourself"), we all have done something that makes us cringe (or something that others might consider immoral,unsavory,etc). As long as we've learned our lessons, it's generally all good.
Everyone needs to be a little humble, in my opinion,especially in our industry, where choices are in abundance these days.
When I worked as a stripper in Las Vegas (see my blog post about that), where there were as much as 300 girls on the floor working at the same time and competition was really fierce, those of us who "teamed up" and promoted each other always ended up making more money than those girls who just wanted to tell the customer that they are the best thing since sliced bread and talked rubbish about other girls. Many clients found it rather off-putting (I know because they've told me).
The way we did it, we approached the customer individually (or sometimes in pairs) and started talking about how he must be feeling so overwhelmed with choices,as there are so many beautiful girls around.. 99% of the time it brought up the question; "Oh, do you like girls?". I would enthusiastically nod my head and proceed to tell the guy how beautiful this or that girl is and how we "did it" just the other day (even if we never had)...blah..blah..blah.. You can guess the next thing that happened: yip, the guy had a "stiffy"...LOL..
Now he NEEDED a lap dance. Often he asked if the girl I was talking about would join us.. These often lead to conversation about continuing this party in a hotel room and, of course, more money (which was the whole point of that exercise)..
Often times guys came in by themselves to "scope the talent" because their group sent them as an "ambassador" of sorts: they wanted several girls, preferably bi (but they never said anything until later). Of course, if you were one of those "nasty" girls who badmouthed everyone else, you were automatically "out of the running"..hehehe..
As clients wanted variety, they often asked for recommendations. I had about 5 girlfriends whom I worked with at all times, and between 5 of us, we kept "recycling" the clients, thus continuing the flow of money. Guys preferred to skip the whole "hit and miss" search in favor of a simple phone call to a girl who came highly recommended from someone he'd already been with and knew exactly what to expect at what price,etc. That was another thing: as prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas, it was a tricky business for guys as well as girls. Cops did conduct sting operations against punters (granted, not as much as against girls, but still), so one had to be careful.
A lot of times guys wanted to spend several days with a girl and she was only able to do part of required time (due to the work or family commitments,etc)-that's when those friendships and alliances came in handy. She would simply "hand" the client over to her trusted girlfriend-fun was had by all and money was made. Of course, the other girl would return the favor when the opportunity arose.
A lot of times those guys were successful businessmen and they handed our numbers to their friends when those were planning a trip to Vegas.
As you can see, it was way more productive to co-op rather than fight.
When I finally left Las Vegas for good, I "placed" all my long-time good clients with my friends. Some of those guys meant a good, steady, guaranteed income (like the one who came to Vegas every month,always booked in advance, took me to dinner, bought me a nice present and paid me $600).

But I digress... Back to NZ situation.
I used to live in Napier for a while and  started coming to Wellington just to work for a few days (usually 3-5) a couple years ago. I like to test things out and formulate my own opinions, so each visit I tried a different parlour/agency in order to find out which one suits me the best. Yes, making money was definitely on the top of the list, but I'm not broke, so take a lot of other things into consideration.
I didn't realise back then how competitive and catty some of the club owners get!

I am very organised, so usually do Internet research first, then contact the manager/owner via email, supplying a brief bio, my photos and asking certain questions.
After making contact and getting all my questions answered, I discuss the shifts/times, ask them to put me on the roster and book a hotel.
So when I arrive, I have everything sorted and ready to go: place to stay, place to work and often a dinner reservation or a theater ticket.
I will not be naming places,as it would achieve no purpose at this stage (has to do with plausible deniability I've mentioned before), but some of you might recognise them by description.
The first place I've tried was a well-known brothel. I was told they could provide me with accommodation (off-site) for $50/night. I accepted.
Upon arrival I've discovered that the place itself seen better days : it was (and still is, even more so now) in a need of major renovation. I was told that I could only work night shift (which I really hate to do,as I am a "day" girl,through and through-I like to sleep at night), but I accepted,as it was just a "trial".
Money was OK, but not that great (I was told on the phone that the reason they wanted me to work those particular nights,as they are "really busy" and there isn't enough girls)-I haven't observed any of that (plausible deniability fact 1: the manager enticed me to work the day's/shifts convenient for the brothel (but not at all for me) by saying things like "we are usually really busy during these times" which can be easily denied later by saying that no one can really predict the business and she didn't guarantee anything,which is true).
When I finally got to their accommodation, I discovered that it was a house,out of town (not far, but it's a good thing I had a car, otherwise they would have their driver take me there and charge additional $20 for that) with 2 bunk beds in each bedroom (remember, they were charging $50 PER PERSON PER NIGHT!).
Granted, it was just me and one other girl in the house at that time, but it wasn't the norm (usually all the bunks are full). And I still didn't appreciate sleeping on a bunk bed on the linen that clearly wasn't fresh (I actually didn't undress because of that). The very next day I got myself a very nice hotel room, IN town, for $88/night (Trinity Hotel on Willis St., which I highly recommend, often has those specials).
The next day I received a call from the manager before my shift and was told that their driver would come and pick me up. I explained that I'd rather have my car. We went back and forth for a while, her saying they prefer girls were driven by their driver.. In the end, I took my car to work..
When I arrived, a man introduced himself to me as an owner in the parking lot. We had a little chat (again, the driver issue, but I was adamant about having my car at all times and he backed off). During that chat he quite blatantly asked me if I had a boyfriend-I replied I was gay. His response:"Oh..Well,lesbians are people,too.." I kid you not!
Later,as I was sitting in the lounge, I overheard two other girls talking (I wasn't eavesdropping at all-they were talking loudly and were not making a secret of what was said). It was clear that the owner had sex with both of them for free (several times, in fact). No, he didn't force them. He just led them to believe that they have to do it in order to work in his establishment.
At the end of the shift I was fined $20, because, supposedly, the driver went to pick me up and waited for me for 15 min (although I very clearly stated that I wanted to take my own car).
Plausible deniability facts 2 and 3: having parlour's driver taking the girls to and from work actually gives parlour a lot of control. At that place girls are not paid their monies until the end of the shift, so if any of them want to leave, for whatever reason, it would be made that more difficult without a car and no money for a cab..
Also, the owner is clearly abusing his position by asking girls for free sex, but if asked, I'm sure he will deny it by saying the girls "wanted" it and "begged" him to sleep with them.. Or that him and any particular girl had a short-lived "affair" and things didn't work out.. Yeah, right..
Two shifts was all I did in that place.. I DID give it another try over a year later (it was more of a curiosity expedition than anything else). Things were even worse. Place looked even more run-down with threadbare linen and towels of undetermined colour (after endless washes). Rules have changed as well: girls were not assigned rooms any more and had to change in a downstairs room which had no shower or lockers.
No one told me about the length of shifts and I realised too late that I was expected to work 11 hour shift! It was very slow and when I asked the receptionist/manager if I could go home after 8 hours, she kept putting me off by saying that she needs to call the owner and "clear it" with him. Why on earth?! What does owner have to do with it? You are the one in charge of the shift, you are the one who just a minute ago ruthlessly and roughly poked one the girls awake to say "Hi" to a highly intoxicated punter who didn't end up booking anyone, then you should be the one making the decision about letting me go home. Especially when there are 5 other girls who WANT to stay and it would be less competition for them when I left!
Couple of other things happened during that visit. Customer booked me, went up into the room with me and immediately asked if he could smoke in the room. I said "No" and pointed out that he just had a smoke 5 min ago downstairs. He replied that it was a "different" kind of smoke and indicated a "joint" with a gesture. I was really upset: I don't do drugs (of ANY kind) and want nothing to do with them. I certainly don't want anyone doing them in my presence. When I firmly said "No!", the guy kept going on about how they "Let him do it all the time at the....... Club". I held my ground and he went downstairs and cancelled the booking.. AND was given all his monies back!
Another client kept going outside to his car and coming back in-each time clearly under influence of drugs.
I would've just walked out of there, but receptionist/manager made it clear with her demeanour that I won't be given my money then and there-I would have to come back the next day and fight for it and possibly be fined.. Plausible deniability fact 4: no she didn't spell it out, but it was very clearly implied, although she would certainly deny it later!
Clearly, that parlour was off my list of desirable places to work, so I continued my quest.
Next up was a place that opened just a few weeks prior. The photos of the rooms looked awesome! (and they were true photos of actual rooms,as I've discovered later-beautifully and tastefully decorated).
I contacted the owner/manager and was back in Wellington a week later.
First thing I discovered upon my arrival is that they pay the girls weekly. They told me,as I was only in town for 2 days, I would get paid straight away, but weekly is their standard procedure.
This system of payments always makes me uneasy: in our business there are a lot of variables and I'd like to have my "cut" of the money BEFORE every booking (that's how it's done in every parlour in Australia and some agencies in Wellington). Again, this weekly system of payments gives owner a lot of control and there is always that unspoken threat that you may not get all your money if you don't want to go through with a particular booking, or miss work or..whatever.. Now, I am NOT at all implying that the owner does that, but it does give me a pause.
Next thing I discovered was that the "room" (I have to put quotation marks,as it was more of a large closet,really) where the girls meant to sit between the bookings was really small. It hosted a washer and dryer as well, so would get really hot in there and there was no space for all the girls to sit (there were 5 or 6 girls on and it only had 1 two-seater love seat and 2 chairs).
The lounge for the guests was, in contrast, really cold and was furnished with outdoor,"garden" furniture (try to sit on a cold, hard, tile-top chair wearing nothing but a G-string-I guarantee you won't enjoy it.
I didn't like the shower arrangements and the way main entrance was situated,either. Personally, I think it was not at all "discreet" (and I've spoken with some clients later who agreed).
I found the manager to be controlling and micro-managing. For instance, she'd take it upon herself to decide which girls would go out to meet any client that walked in. In a "lounge-into" setting of the parlour that didn't make any sense to me.
Something else happened during that shift. I was told by the manager to do a "private into" for a couple in one of the rooms. Manager told me the couple is planning to attend a "swinger's party" and wanted to interview the girls individually. After about 3 min long conversation with the client, it was clear to me that he was into extreme BDSM scene with the emphasis on SM and was looking for a "bottom" or "sub" in addition to his partner to have a session in a dungeon ( no, not swingers club at all). As I do have first-hand knowledge of BDSM, I asked some very specific questions. The guy was cagey at first, but when I pressed, he answered all of them. I knew it wasn't for me-too extreme.
Guy interviewed 2 other girls and selected a young teenager. That girl was talking to me just prior and, without offending, I have to say that she wasn't particularly well-educated,quite new to the business and lacked experience. I don't think she even knew what BDSM means or entails.
The booking was made for 2 or 3 hours and the three of them (clients: man and a woman and the girl) departed to destination unspecified. However, they did return just 40 min later. I asked the girl for the reason and she said that the owner of the dungeon wouldn't let them in, as she recognised her (WG) from the parlour's website.. I know for a fact that the owner of that particular dungeon is extremely safety-conscious, so I am guessing she just used it as an excuse: she probably deemed the whole thing questionable as far as safety is concerned and wanted nothing to do with it.
So in they went into a room in the club where we all were. The booking lasted for 2 hours. When the girl came out, I must say, she was a bit shell-shocked.. I don't think she was expecting the level of pain inflicted, nor was she prepared to see what the guy did to his partner (she described it as quite brutal and was wondering how that woman would be able to sit after that). No "safe word" was given to the girl (I asked).
Now here's the deal with plausible deniability: the girl wanted the money, no question. She did agree to go through with the booking without any pressure. And later, she didn't really complain,as she kept saying that she was not as bad off as the guy's partner and she did need the money. Besides, I got a feeling that she was afraid to be in trouble with the manager.
The manager would stick with "swinger's club" story, I'm sure, if asked, and say she knew nothing about the guy's intentions and point out that no one forced anyone to do anything... All true.. Seems like everything was consensual. But I call it "illusion of consent"-when it's not really what it seems because the person giving consent is not properly informed and doesn't really realise what they're consenting to.
Reality is, it IS club manager's responsibility to provide safe environment. All it took for me was 3 min of specific,pointed questions to figure out what the guy was up to ( and so did the owner of the dungeon).
That, in and on itself, certainly wasn't the reason to show him the door (although I would be a bit weary,as he was cagey about it at first). I know some working girls who are very much into being a "bottom", they have very high pain threshold and quite enjoy their sessions and really get into it.
In my opinion, the responsibility of the manager was to educate the girl who clearly knew nothing about any of it, spell it out to her AND set very specific guidelines for the customer (requiring "safe" word would be one of them).
I only worked in that place for 2 shifts that I promised them and never went back. I understand the owner changed the format of the establishment completely and it is one of the better agencies in Wellington these days. That's great and I applaud them. But my experience from 2 years back is still on my mind: I know what I saw/heard. I know what happened.
I tried another place 2 weeks later: it was an agency that had a good reputation and boasted "beautiful,discreet apartments, truly professional management, who really cares about their girls" and great money and working conditions.
Back then I knew nothing about the existence of Adult Forum or NZG.
Apparently, in an attempt to promote me, one of the managers posted something on Adult Forum. It wasn't a big thing, just the usual "we welcome our new addition-beautiful Russian...blah..blah...blah.."
I honestly didn't see that post or knew anything about it until just 2 days ago: on a whim, I've decided to put my working name into the search box on AF and see what pops up. There were 2 pages worth of my posts and replies, some reviews and that post (from almost 2 years ago)...
There was what I described earlier as "guerrilla tactics": almost as soon as it was published, one of the working girls (supposedly) from that previous establishment where I worked 2 weeks prior,piped in. She tried to say that my dress size was stated incorrectly (she couldn't posssibly say that I was fat, as I am most definitely not AND there were photos of me posted), but she implied that I was bigger. Then she went on about my age, saying that I was much older (I've talked about age before: in our business the actual number is irrelevant,especially when there are photos posted: you either like what you see or don't. Age is strictly a matter of perception. Besides, different people really do age differently-it has to do with lifestyle,drug consumption,number of kids,etc,etc,etc). I am not making any secret of my age, anyhow,as clearly evidenced by this blog...LOL..
Basically, that girl was using bullying techniques to try and discredit me and/or prevent me from getting bookings. It was a pissing contest,really and pointless at that.
Plausible deniability fact 5: I'm pretty sure it was the manager of that club who was behind it. There are literally hundreds of working girls in Wellington and dozens of new ones come in every week, not to count those who don't advertise... I can't imagine any WG would look diligently through all the listings of the clubs/brothels every day to see what new girls pop up and to try and bully them. For one, WGs are too busy with their own bookings/clients and everyday life. Personally, I can care less about what others do: I am much more concerned with my own s...t.. Club/parlour owners are a different story however: they do look through all other websites and are none too pleased when the girls "jump ship" in favor of a competitor. They don't always say it out loud, but it comes up sooner or later-even the best ones succumb to that.
But back to that agency. Although rooms were nice and there was a pleasant area for girls to relax between the bookings, I found management lacking in professionalism.
Some of them answered the phone in appalling,unpleasant manner.. Some routed the land line to their cell phones and went to a pub for a drink during their shift and answered the phone from there.
They lied about girl's descriptions. They promised client's services that the girls were not willing to provide (and clearly stated so in their "intro" cards).
One manager put me through the ringer,really. Remember, at that time I didn't live in Wellington and didn't know the city and,especially,suburbs well.
The manager told me she has an out call for me. She said the guy was a good client and he usually books the girls for 3-6 hours. So far, so good. THEN she went into a complicated story about how her brother was visiting from out of town and he had her car (she was meant to drive me to the appointment). The brother also didn't know where she worked (she told him it was just a "phone marketing call center"). I was to get into a car with that brother of hers and his mate and NOT tell them what I do and not to disclose any potentially damaging information and tell them I'm just from Russia, don't speak English and going home where I'm staying with a friend. The booking was in Miramar, where I've never been before and I had not a slightest clue where that address was.. It was extremely uncomfortable ride, as the brother kept trying to hit on me,was asking all sorts of questions,etc.. (Yeah, very professional, no kidding).
The story didn't end there. The client did book 2 hours to begin with, then extended to three, by which time he was really drunk and started to ask for my personal phone number. He was telling me he wants to date me, take me to Rarotonga,etc. I tried to be evasive and distract him with sex, but it wasn't working: he was on a mission and was asking for my number every 3 min. The situation was getting uncomfortable really fast,as he was saying things like "Don't you know how I feel about you" (WTF??! You just met me 2 hours ago!). When he realised that I am not going to "play ball" (I never,EVER lead clients on and dangle the possibility of a relationship in front of them in order to extend the booking and get more money-I despise those tactics), he wanted to end the booking. I called the manager for a pick up. She said she'd be there in a few minutes. She left me there, standing on the street for half an hour, in the middle of the night, with substantial amount of money on me and when she finally turned up, I got bollocking for not stretching a booking into 6 hours, when "all the other girls usually do"!!
That's another plausible deniability trick, which is very popular with the parlour owners: you complain about something (say, being booked 5 times in a row without a break) and they go "Oh... Well, none of the other girls complain about that..." What does that even mean? So if all the other girls go jump off the bridge I should follow a suit?!
And then they (parlour owners) say they don't treat us like a cattle and that they really care... Pffft..
I worked for that agency on one more trip and things got worse. They did get a driver, but one of the receptionists started sleeping with him-right there in the rooms where we were supposed to see clients. Besides, that driver appeared under influence of drugs and kept giving all the girls funny looks: as if he was undressing them with his eyes. I was seriously concerned with a possibility of rape..
Some money went missing from the office (stolen by one of the girls who had a serious drug habit). Later, when I already left, the entire SAFE was stolen from the office by that same girl, her boyfriend and one of the managers.
Not surprisingly, those people eventually lost all their business. 3 months later, working for another agency, I was told by my manager (like I said, they all check the competition on a daily basis :)  that there are photos of me on that other place's website listing me as "currently available" and showing my face!  I haven't worked for them for months and I certainly didn't give them permission to use my photos-I called the manager straight away and it took her further 24 hours to remove them. In US I would've definitely had grounds for a lawsuit...LOL..
Eventually I found the parlour/agency that I liked and stayed there for over a year. It wasn't posh, it was more of a "volume" place, but...
The owner treated me with great deal of respect. I made my own schedule and decided on my own hours. Even with those, I could always text her in the middle of my shift and say that I wanted a break, to go do some shopping, get my hair done, etc and she would always let me.
I could end my shift any time I wanted.
After a few months, I wasn't even required to sit on the premises during my shifts: I was going about my business and she would call/text me to let me know when I had a booking (because she knew I was reliable and she could trust me).
She trusted me to run her business (phones,money and all) when she went away on a holiday. She gave me a beautiful, quite expensive handbag (which she knew I really wanted) for my birthday.
She made me a part of her family celebrations by inviting me to join them for a meal... Well, you get the idea.
I didn't leave there because I didn't like the place. It's just our professional relationship has run it's course.
As I am financially secure (through many long years of hard work), I've decided to go with quality vs. quantity.
I work privately, provide a lot more extensive, involved sessions in exchange for a lot more money, thus taking a lot less bookings.
Generally, I really like working for parlours/agencies/clubs, but they have to meet certain criteria.
As it stands for right now, I am quite happy to be independent.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Lower priced parlours/agencies vs. higher end ones

AdultForum has given me a lot of inspiration as of late,it seems.. Who would've thought.
Another lively discussion was started the other day. At the center of it: service (or quality of thereof) in lower priced agencies/parlours.

I like metaphors, so will use one to illustrate my point.
How often do you walk by a kebab  (or a subway sandwich) shop and, on a whim, stop to have a quick meal? Or find yourself suddenly hungry and just pop into a neighbourhood pizzeria? Quite often you'd say. Not much thought goes into it,is it? You feel the urge, you satisfy it.

Now, how often do you just "pop" into the Logan Brown (one of Wellington's premiere five-star restaurants,the winner of many culinary awards and accolades)? My guess is, not that often.
One of the reason being  Logan Brown is booked out more often than not and requires advanced bookings.
Another reason is it's not cheap. A dinner for two with wine match there could easily set you back $300-$500 or more (depending on your wine taste).

Usually such dinner signifies a special occasion, so the booking is made in advance and event is eagerly anticipated. Preparations are made. Certain amount of time is set aside to fully enjoy the experience.
Your expectations are quite different as well.

While at a kebab shop (or any similar establishment) you simply expect the ingredients to be fresh and the meal satisfying, you often could care less about the decor, ambiance and hardly ever expect high level of service:efficient and expedient fulfillment of your order with a "thank you" and a smile would usually suffice.
So you pop in, have them wrap your kebab up,pay and go (or hungrily consume it in the shop,as case might be).

It's a whole different story in a place like Logan Brown. You're paying good coin for your experience, so you note every detail and your expectations are high.
You want the ambiance. You want award-winning designs in decor. You expect everything to be spotless.
You want "premium" soap and expensive features in the bathroom. You expect your server to have extensive knowledge of food and wine and cater to your every whim. You don't want your food just "piled high" on the plate: you want to see artistic presentation that vows you even before you took a single morsel into your mouth.
You want the experience to last, as well. You don't want to be rushed. You can well spend anywhere from two to four hours enjoying that dinner.

Both types of places serve the same purpose: you go there hungry, have a satisfying meal and leave sated.

But how terrible it would be if there were ONLY kebab shops available or ONLY Logan Brown types of restaurants! It would be unthinkable,as we have different needs at different times.
Same people partake in both on a regular basis. Existence of different types of establishments provide the balance we need in our daily lives.

It's not much different in sex industry. Simply put, sometimes you just want a quick kebab and sometimes you want a masterpiece to be enjoyed at length.
Some agencies/parlours specialise in "volume" business. They charge less and provide the same basic service,but things are not quite as "upscale": you could run into another punter on the way in or out, sometimes girl that you've booked becomes unavailable because she took another booking 10 min prior (remember, they are able to charge less BECAUSE they're keeping 'em going).. Sometimes place is a bit untidy because six bookings in a row took place without any time in between to allow for housekeeping..
These places have it's purpose and it's own "niche" clientele: a lot of cabbies on their lunch break, a lot of office workers, out for a "quick fix"... There is also a type of client who always want someone "new" and "young"-these parlours are haven for those,as they entice new girls with a promise of a lot of money (which is true:for about first 3 weeks,after which the girl is not "new" anymore)
These lower priced agencies often offer 20-min specials at a reduced rate,as well.
So if you suddenly found yourself "hungry" or have been "hungry" for a while and just can't save up the funds to eat at "Logan Brown" type of parlour, you can still find satisfaction at one of the lower priced ones.
The service is generally the same: you receive massage, BJ and sex. However, due to the lower prices and "volume" issue, ambiance and decor could fall short of the "top notch".. The girls may not be as immaculately presented... They may not be as articulate as their counterparts in "posh" agencies or they may just not want to make an extra effort,as they get paid less..
So, yes, you would still satisfy your "hunger", but it won't be a particularly refined experience.

When booking an upscale escort, the expectations are quite different (as well they should be: lower priced agencies in Wellington charge $140/hour, while "upscale" could run you anywhere between $200-$400/hour. 50% is a HUGE difference).

Usually you peruse through  girls' photos online, finding the one who really "floats your boat". You read her profile. You contact her (often several times). You make a booking and eagerly anticipate it. Often times you saved up for a while to enjoy your time with an escort.

You should expect a beautifully appointed premises,spotlessly clean. Certain ambiance is present as well (both Betty and I happen to like candles for that purpose and some nice "mood" music). You don't want to rush, so you engage in a conversation (on multiple-hour bookings I supply wine,cheese and fruit-I ask my clients in advance what type of wine or other beverage they prefer)..

For that price, you also expect a "full-on" experience (whatever it means to you: sometimes it's a "girlfriend" thing with lots of passionate kissing and cuddling, sometimes it's role play, sometimes it's something deviant,even-all that is discussed prior to the booking). Once you came, you don't expect to be rushed into a shower or the girl taking off: you might want to cuddle in the afterglow and continue the discussion two of you have started before...
Again, your "hunger" is satisfied, but... Totally different kettle of fish, isn't it?

Since we are on the subject, I want to address the actual "service provider" issue.
Again, I'll start with an example.

One of my exes is an amazingly talented Chef. She spent years of grueling training abroad to rise up to five-star status. She worked in premiere restaurant in Dubai, Melbourne and here in NZ. She commands very high wages... But she also throws sausage on the barbie for her family and puts together quick scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast-nothing at all refined about that and she is not trying to make it so-every one of us can make those things exactly the same way she does (even myself, and I really can't cook...LOL)
In recent years, due to the various circumstances, she had to take a job that paid substantially less than what she's accustomed to... Then another one that paid even less than that.. Yip, economy is not doing so good these days and no one is willing to pay proper wages, even to most talented and gifted people and she has bills to pay and obligations to meet. Does it make her less of a Chef? Of course not. Does it take less of a skill to cook the food because the wage is less? Definitely not (she worked in a 5-star, very famous establishment in Auckland-they just didn't want to pay the money). Will she be able to command high wages again when economy corrects (God, please don't let us all drown)? Of course!

Same applies to working girls. Generally, they produce the level of service that is proportionate to the amount of money they get paid. And, yes, sometimes they work in a lower priced establishment because of the money. In there, they don't provide the full spectrum of services they are trained for/capable of, simply because often it's not required or there is no time for it or they don't get paid enough to go "extra mile".

For instance, I am a qualified clinical psychologist. In America I had a lot of regular clients who came to see me more for that side of things,rather than sexual. Yes, we had sex, but it was a very small part of an extensive booking.
I'm also trained for light BDSM. Again, a lot of clients want that integrated into the service (you'll be surprised just how many).
I'm also well-traveled and well-versed in various subjects and can keep up an interesting conversation.
I am a qualified masseuse.
I am readily familiar with various investments and real estate subjects (a lot of clients ask for a real-time practical advice).

In a lower priced parlour where I worked until recently, the framework was not permitting me to utilise most of those qualities. If someone books 20 min or half an hour, there is barely enough time for a perfunctory massage, BJ and sex (I try to provide at least a couple different positions), let alone in-depth conversation.
On the same token, when only paid $90/hour, ($80 until few months ago), I was not willing to do advanced sessions without additional compensation-why should I?
Additionally, a lot of bookings were literally, "last minute", with maybe 10 min notice or no notice at all-there was no time to prepare for anything.

These days, working independently, I plan my bookings in advance. Most of my clients want multi-hour bookings,as it gives them time to get the most out of it. I use very discreet, beautifully furnished premises with amazing view of Wellington's harbour (people who own the apartment rent it by the hour).
I take time to get to know my clients and, being paid twice as much as I used to when working for an agency, I am quite willing to provide various extensive extras at no additional charge.

Bottom line: yes, money definitely makes a difference. And there is a place for "kebab shops" as well as "Logan Browns".
Sometimes you want just a "kebab" and sometimes you want "duck confit"-this is the way life is