I have been escorting now for nearly two years and think it has been a very liberating experience. It allows women like myself to take full control over our work, life and financial choices which are almost impossible to have in a normal 9-5 job. Because of this, escorting can be incredibly empowering and allows women to have opportunities that are denied in ‘normal society ‘.
Is There Any Correlation Between Escorting & Mental Health?
I don’t believe escorting itself can cause mental health issues, however, I do believe that the stigma escorts face on a daily basis causes unnecessary stress.
A lot of people wrongly promote the idea that all escorts are troubled in some way which instead of helping SWs, just spreads misconceptions about our industry.
Contributing Factors That Affect The Mental Health Of Escorts
Because sex work is still seen as taboo, a lot of SWs have to lie to friends and family which causes huge amounts of stress and anxiety. Loneliness is also a big factor, many escorts work alone with only online friends to talk to and this can be very isolating.
Another factor is being self employed in a very competitive online environment, there is constant pressure to work longer hours, take better photos and have a bigger presence.
Is There A Difference Working Independently & For An Agency?
I think working independently, whilst making more financial sense, is a lot harder than being attached to an agency because you don’t have any support or back up when finding clients, screening clients etc. However, working for an agency can mean working for unscrupulous people on very inconvenient hours. I think both independent and agency escorts face the same mental health challenges.
Does Making Escorting Legal Help Escorts Have Better Mental Health?
Yes! Escorts would be free to be honest with doctors and health professionals and state exactly what they need without fear of repercussions. They would feel safe approaching the police and financially would not have the stress of worrying about how to approach banks to handle their earnings.
What Can An Escort Turn To If She Is Down?
I’m very lucky in that I have a couple of close friends whom I can talk to and meet up with but a lot of escorts don’t have that luxury. I would talk to other escorts online, use forums or if you can, go to a trusted health professional.
I would also suggest taking regular breaks, turning your phone off when not available and pampering — going for a massage or doing ‘normal’ things like going to the cinema or finding a meaningful hobby. Having a healthy separation between work and me time is essential.
Advice For Those Keen To Go Into Escorting
Escorting is not an easy job and it takes patience, assertiveness and a genuine enjoyment of the job. If done right, it can be very rewarding. My main piece of advice would be to work on your own terms with what you feel comfortable with. If you want to be porn star escort, goth escort or a no make-up jeans and t-shirt escort, go for it. Don’t be put under pressure to pretend to be someone you’re not.
Estella Brown – Estella Brown is a London based Escort. She is also a writer, a lover of vintage lingerie and an avid Twitterer.
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Article images courtesy of Estella Brown; featured image from Shutterstock
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