What It’s Like Being An Escorting Student
Entering the world of escorting turned my life upside-down, and I mean that in a strictly positive sense. When I was a broke undergraduate, struggling to find a way to get through school without accumulating massive debt, I would have described the ideal part-time job that I was looking for something like this: very high pay per hour; self-determined schedule with no minimum or maximum commitment; no boss, choice of clientele; and of course the opportunity to enjoy oneself, meet interesting people, and form meaningful connections. I would have been describing it sarcastically (especially that last bit) – because I didn’t believe it really exists. It does.
4+ years later it still blows my mind a little to think that it really worked out that way-that I finished my undergraduate without debt, and with a radical improvement in my mental health and quality of life after taking up escorting. I am so, so, grateful that it did.
My approach to escorting has come a long way since then -I have lower volume and higher rates now, and offer, I hope, a much more mature and complete experience to my clients. It has led me down the rabbit hole of exploring the bizarre and beautiful nature of sex work, and sexuality as a whole in our culture. I no longer am dependent week-to-week on my escorting income, but continue to enjoy the freedom and savings it provides, as I undertake a graduate degree and dream of starting a business. Moreover, I continue because I enjoy it for itself-for the people I meet, for the pleasure I give and receive, for the memories, meaning, and growth we create together. Escorting is not just a part-time job for me anymore-it’s personal, it’s political, it’s a lifestyle.
What Escorting Felt Like At The Start
When I started was during the days of backpage, so that’s where I placed my first ad. I had no idea what I was doing! I used a shitty mirror selfie and blurted out my situation: something along the lines of “student, early twenties, no experience but open-minded”. I was surprised by the response: many people were immediately empathetic. They were interested, but they wanted better pictures and more information. I tried to provide it.
It was probably still a terrible ad, but it got me on my way. I was scared ****less when I saw my first client, but felt such a rush after. The second meeting was easier, and the third was easier than that. And so I just took it from there, always trying to educate myself, and improve my brand and services. Bit by bit I got to the point I’m at today.
Challenges Of Being A Student & Escort
I think the biggest challenge, initially, was the internal struggle of dealing with the stigma of sex work, and living in fear of the judgement I might be subjected to if people I knew found out. That faded pretty quickly, though: when you’re actually in sex work, you realize pretty quick that there’s really no basis for the shame society places around it. And you also realize that with diligent discretion you can regulate, most of the time, who finds out about this secret life of yours. Today, I feel extremely proud of being a sex worker, and have found great joy in sharing that fact with a select group of people whom I trust.
That said, I still have a lingering feeling of guilt when I don’t tell people the full truth about why I have to run off at random times in the evening and have a suspiciously high income-especially when it’s people I really like but am not ready to let into my secret. I have a ton of respect and admiration for sex workers who are “face-out” and will talk about their work with anybody, but, with the potential impact on my “civilian” career and education to be concerned about, I am settled into having a double life for the time being, and I have no regrets whatsoever.
Is Escorting A Popular Option For Students?
Great question. I’m actually not very well positioned to answer that, because I don’t know how popular it has been in the past. I was largely ignorant of sex work until I started doing it. What I would say, though, is that the stigma around it seems to be slowly but surely decreasing, and we know that progressive students are a group that historically pushes back the boundaries of stigma.
There’s recently been a lot of media attention for, and acceptance of the ideas of “sugar babies” and “arranged relationships”, which are arguably on the spectrum of sex work. Students have been central to that. I have met, in my civilian life, students who have pursued that route. I wouldn’t be altogether surprised if in the not-too-distant future escorting becomes something some progressive students discuss more openly, at least in places where one is not putting themselves at great legal risk by doing so.
Difference Between Male & Female Clients
Any experienced escort can tell you that every client they see (of any gender) is totally unique, and they will try to appreciate the individuality of each one of them. Doing so enriches the experience for both the client and the provider. So, I am hesitant to categorize male and female clients themselves. But what I can do is compare the culture of sex work for women with the culture of sex work for men. Both of these are constantly evolving but are definitely distinct enough at present to make a comparison.
The most obvious difference, in my experience, is the extent of communication expected prior to meeting. It is much, much greater for female clients. I typically exchange multiple emails, talk on the phone, and even meet briefly in public with a female client prior to getting together for our first session. I have always found this to be healthy. First of all, it assures safety, discretion, and good faith on both sides. Moreover, it allows us to begin the session with confidence. I am confident of providing the individually tailored experience that the client wants, and the client is confident of receiving it. And remember, confidence is a turn-on!
I’ve gone through this process with many male clients as well, and I’ve also seen many guys after only a few brief messages. I have no problem with the latter, as long as I don’t have any reason to suspect that the client will be unsafe or disrespectful. There is a special allure to meeting someone you know little about-mystery is a turn-on, too. It’s definitely a privilege for me to feel relatively safe meeting strangers, and it’s a privilege that many other sex workers don’t share. That said, I too have turned down many clients, mostly male, whose style of communication did not provide assurances of a positive attitude. It’s very possible that they would have turned out to be great clients, but I’m not willing to take chances, and I don’t want to encourage the culture of extreme informality in interactions with escorts. This is, after all, a profession, and thus some basic manners are expected of the client as well as the provider.
Another difference is the nature of the services most often requested. Escorting for men is weighted heavily in favour of physical service over emotional service. I do engage emotionally with many male clients, especially regulars, but initially it is not often a stated request. With female clients, my sessions tend to be longer, and we spend more time talking, giving massages, and engaging in the very wide and wonderful range of activities considered “foreplay”.
Now, I’m no sociologist, but it’s obvious to me from my experience that these gendered differences in sex work related to gender norms in culture as a whole. There is no doubt that it’s much, much harder and less accepted for women to find an escort experience suited to their needs and desires. I would like to see this change. This will require broad cultural shifts (which I am confident are beginning), but it also means that I, and other escorts for women, will need to work hard, listen and adapt.
I would also like to see the two contrasting cultures learn from each other’s strongest points: many male clients, current or prospective, may be missing out on a depth of emotional engagement that they would greatly value but that the current quick-and-easy culture holds back. Conversely, I would like to see female clients, current or prospective, feel empowered and free of shame in their pursuit of physical services. Most of all, I would like to see all escorts and clients continue to build a culture of inclusion, respect, and positivity. As I like to say, “a rising tide licks all gonads”.
Advice For Students Looking To Escort
Do your research before you start, and make sure you’re ready. Set yourself up for safety and discretion. There are plenty of articles describing escorting “starter kits”, so I won’t go into detail here, but be sure to do your homework. Start slow and see if it’s really for you.
Set your boundaries and find your niche. Are you the “bad” escort? The “cutie next door”? What services are you comfortable offering? What are your policies for communication with clients? You can always change these later, but what you want to avoid is a situation where you feel pressured into doing something you’re not comfortable with.
Be humble, but don’t take any s***. Give respect and demand it. Be professional and punctual. Remember, quiet confidence is a turn-on. You don’t have to compromise your integrity to succeed in this industry, in fact, you are much more likely to succeed if you hold onto it. Taking up escorting is a brave choice. Own it, just don’t get carried away.
Manage your work/study balance. Schedule yourself consciously to make sure escorting, studies, and your personal life don’t get in each other’s way. Of course, there is only so much time in a week, but if you decide in advance what time will be set aside for what, you are less likely to be stressed about it in the moment. It can be tempting, when the rate of pay is so high, to take on as many clients as possible. But remember that you took up escorting to support your studies, not the other way around. Of course, if at some point you decide to escort full-time, that’s your choice and it’s a great one! Just make sure you make it deliberately.
Overall, I think the lifestyles of escorting and studying can be a perfect match. They certainly have been for me. Even if you have no intention of continuing afterwards, escorting can expand your horizons and improve your quality of life while you’re in school. It’s not for everybody, of course, and you should consider it very carefully before diving in. But if you do I wish you all the best, and I’m always happy to answer questions and share my experiences with those who are interested.
You can reach me at www.intimacyunderground.com/in-touch as well as twitter.com/intimacybelow
Dante – Hi, I’m Dante. I wear my heart on my sleeve, during rare moments that I’m not shirtless. I’m now a grad student by day, and have been a part-time male escort in beautiful Vancouver, BC, for over four years. I cater to all bodies, genders, and identities, because sex work is about people!
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