This Washington Post story is a hodgepodge about destigmatization and internal authority, neither of which is very interesting. But the writer misses the main point about sex work (hooking): It’s about giving psychotherapy.
Hooking in and of itself is not really riveting: So many people work on the margins. If they are not doing it for cash, they’re doing it for an Italian dinner or a cashmere sweater. Going into business full time as an escort and advertising on the internet is a bit different from a series of dates with generous guys. But on a date, you’re not performing psychotherapy.
Escorts Are Psychotherapists
As an escort, you are. After you get the business out of the way with a client — and that takes ten minutes — there are still fifty minutes left on the clock. And the guy wants to talk about meaningful stuff, usually about how dreadful his marriage is or how his kids are a pile of shit.
And your job as an escort is to listen sympathetically and make the occasional helpful comment as he unloads. This is not difficult work, but it’s important for him. He will leave feeling relieved. You have performed psychotherapy.
I’m writing about the high end. Street work is quite different. At the high end, you’ll have only one client per night. (And they’re not called “Johns!”) At $500 a pop, that’s a living. But you want, at least, to create the possibility that your clients might come back, which doesn’t happen in street work. There are escorts with lists of long-term clients.
So, if you work for a bank, and are thinking of hooking as a side gig, know this: How you dress (heels or not), how you are made up, or whether you are a bit overweight — doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that directness of look post-coitus, asking “Tell me about your life?” A sympathetic and brief stroking of the hand. You become a friendly figure rather than just a pair of legs.
The Sex Work’s Main Appeal Is Discretion
Of course, you aren’t really a friend. A different guy every night, for weeks on end, is not really compatible with friendship. But psychotherapists aren’t friends, either. They are doing a specific job, and that’s what you are doing, too.
Sex is the least important aspect of that job. Many guys are actually not all that interested in penetrative sex. That’s not why they’ve engaged your services. They do not otherwise have in their lives anyone they can confide it.
They can confide in you, because you are, essentially, being paid to go away. From the guy’s viewpoint, that’s the great thing about escorting: You tell her your most intimate secrets, and then she’s gone. Unless you call her again.
You, as an escort, are being paid for discretion, not for sex. For this reason, escorts are extraordinarily close-mouthed about the identity of their clients. A sympathetic look, a hand on the knee, and then whoosh!
This is pretty straightforward, but you have to be clear about what, and what not, you are required to do.