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Read these for some truly essential tips if you're thinking of starting out as an escort!
- Read the various articles on SAAFE to get a more in depth view of the sort of decisions and considerations you need to make.
- Think about your privacy. Decide on a working name for yourself – don't use your real name unless you want everyone knowing your personal business. Decide if you are happy to use photos showing your face or other identifying info. If you aren't, don't give them to anyone – once they are out there, you lose all control over what happens to them. If you decide on a website, do not register your own domain name without adding a privacy option or your name and address will be available to all via a simple "WHOIS" search. If someone else registers it for you, then make sure you have proof that it is actually yours. Remember, you may feel happy with your new career choice but wider society tends to condemn it.
- Buy a cheap pay-as-you-go phone so you don't have to give your personal number out or be worried about answering work calls at inappropriate moments. You can also destroy the SIM card whenever you decide to stop the work.
- Get the money first. That includes getting the cash from clients before anything sexual happens and, if you decide to use an agency, not giving them any money until you have cash in your hand from a client.
- Don't hand over large sums of money to people seemingly offering you the earth or indeed small regular sums of money to the same sort of people. The adult business is seen as easy pickings for sleaze bags – stick to established and recommended services providers (photographers, web designers, escort directories etc) and ask for references and quotes (for ongoing costs too) just as you would if having some building work done at home.
- The vast majority of escort bookings involve being sexual with men, so think about your sexual health. While we very strongly recommend you use condoms each time you have intercourse with clients, will you use another form of contraception too? Purchase branded condoms and make sure you don't run out – you don't want to have to nip out during a booking to get more or to hope that ones supplied by a client are ok. Different escorts have different preferences for condoms – try several sorts, including non-latex ones. Have a few small and extra large ones handy just in case you get a nipper or a donkey, and don't forget the condom-friendly lube!
- Think again about your sexual health. Book an appointment at a local sexual health clinic and ask for the Hepatitis B jab which is given to people in personal services jobs such as paramedics etc. If you will be 'rimming' or otherwise potentially in contact with clients' poo, tell them and they should also give you the Hepatitis A jab. The service should be confidential so do explain to them what you do for a living so they can advise you accordingly but don't offer your real name if you don't feel comfortable doing so – you will need to give correct contact details though in case of a problem. Just remember what name you use when you book your next appointment!
- Think yet again about your sexual and emotional health. Decide on your boundaries and stick to them. If you don't want to perform oral without a condom or be on the receiving end of anal sex, for example, then don't – no matter who tells you that 'everyone does'.
- Think about what you really want from escorting and plan to review your objectives so you don't end up bitter and twisted by doing and hating such a personal job – think of life beyond escorting.
- Network with other escorts where possible – Penny runs a buddy scheme for ladies who want to link up: Escort Buddies. Look at and talk to others about what they are doing and how they are doing it to help decide how and where you want to market yourself.
- Be aware that not everyone is nice. As a new escort, you are seen as fresh meat by a variety of predators. So…
- … if you are unsure about anything, ask. No matter how basic or silly the question may seem. As they say, the only silly questions are those you don't ask. The SAAFE forum is a safe environment to ask all sorts of questions which will be answered by people who have been there and done it. None of us are experts in everything, all advice should be tailored to your own circumstances and regarded as just that, advice, not gospel — it's your body, your mind, your business and you should be the one in control of it.