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Tuesday, 16 March 2010

On Brothels, Managers, Agents/Pimps etc



I've said on here before how irritated I get when people ring thinking I am a brothel....had a guy call last night who did turn up but when he rang first thing he said was 'who do I have available there tonight', after I explained had he read my profile he would know I advertise as an independent escort, and I am not a brothel or parlour. The thing is, like I said, too many brothels advertise as agencies when they are not really agencies, why the need for deception, why not just say they are massage parlours, co-ops or anything just stop this confusion.

I wouldn't want to start any co-op because I need the work myself right now. Jason asked me once would I have another woman use my place to work from and I said no way, I needed the work myself and that was at the time it was quiet after Xmas and all.

I have worked in brothels before and hated it for several reasons....firstly, competition puts me on edge, and there were days when the other woman or women there would keep getting chosen and I wouldn't, I kept thinking what is wrong with me, was it the way I looked or what? Most likely the guys sensed my discomfort in the environment, perhaps that was why I didn't do so well there. Just shows that looks aren't everything, you must appear comfortable and relaxed or they sense something is wrong, and things were wrong, they were not mistaken there.

Secondly, to maintain the property and make a profit brothel managers usually ask for half the income from each woman working there. So in effect, if a guy pays £40 for a 15 or 20 min quickie you are in fact selling youself for £20, sod that, I wouldn't accept that on the streets so why should I in a brothel? But in a brothel you are not allowed to set your own rates - the managers do. They are sometimes male, sometimes female, but most brothel managers I have come accross are shitty to work for, their gender makes no difference. Sometimes the men will give more shifts in exchange for unpaid services (great job perk for those guys, most bosses would be jealous as not all get that perk from their employees). As for the women - one would be mistaken to think they are better, they are not - managers are managers, bosses are bosses, and that is why I prefer to be self employed, I hate taking orders from anybody. One woman I worked with was so rigid, so narrow in her own way of working, would insist we all pretend to be in our twenties when we were all over thirty, got heated up over the most minor of disagreements any worker ever had with her, it was her way or no way, employee feedback was not tolerated. She would insist that we worked during our period and use a sponge, despite the fact not all women like doing that if they are heavy bleeders....but because she herself had been a sex worker who promoted herself up to management she believed she always knew best. One thing I say in favour of male managers is that they can never pretend to know everything as they have never done the actual work simply because they are men, and they have no choice but to learn things from the workers and accept some feedback. But back to this woman - she seemed to think that every client was the same, that all of them like dumb blondes in their twenties and would tell us to pretend we were stupid Barbie dolls even if we weren't, she still insisted we put on that act. I told her she was mistaken, while some men may like that not all do....but she would insist any man going to a brothel did not want a 'girl with a PHD'.

That was probably why her business remained one of the smallest ones in towns.....I am surprised with all her experience she drew such conclusions, because in my experience a lot of my clients have liked the fact they can have a relatively intelligent conversation with me....often they expect whores to be stupid and are pleasantly surprised to find I am not....which sometimes brings them to the point of asking why I do what I do, to which I reply it is relatively well paid and compared with most jobs the hours are more flexible....which is true. It is not purely just for drug money......even did I not use drugs I would still rather do what I do independently than work in Tesco. Seems that stupid Madame demanded all her employees act like the stereotype of a whore....some women in that industry do in fact meet that stereotype, I have come accross a few. God knows if they fit it because they just fall into a role that is expected of them, subconsciously, or if they are really like that and all. Just like there are men who do meet the stereotype of a pimp, and I wonder the same about them.

Guys can show up at brothels and don't have to give notice, they are just given the address and can show up (or not) when they like. I never give my full address until the guy is literally five minutes away or outside, and nobody can show up here without notice, despite my availability hours. I can work when I want, because I am self employed, whereas in a brothel I would have to turn up at a certain time just like a nine to five job or get a mouthful from management, as in a regular job.

The streets are rough, and I want to stay off that damn strip, but one thing I'd say is that even that is preferable to a brothel. Some outreach workers (middle class do gooders who are employed by the State to work with sex workers, hand out rubbers etc - of course free rubbers is good in practice and saves us money but even the fact they come and hand them out seems to imply a sentiment that they believe we are so stupid that did they not give them to us we would not use them, and I for one would use them whether or not they gave them out for free......I do have some level of self preservation and do nothing unprotected no matter how much extra somebody offered.....even though there are some younger women who are willing to sell cheaper and will do unprotected stuff for extra cash). Fortunately the site I mainly work from bans anyone from advertising for unprotected sex...but there was and is another site I advertised where some women did advertise openly for 'bareback'.

But back to the point, when these outreach workers met me on the street I explained to them that I normally worked from the phone at home but it had been dead, which was why I had to go out......they then asked why did I not work indoors somewhere else, to which I responded that I had no intention of giving half my salary away in exchange for being dictated to by some manager, especially when I already was supporting a man along with myself.

One may wonder why I say all this about brothel managers when I admit to paying a man to be my agent/minder or whatever you want to call him. The difference is that he doesn't dictate the hours I work or tell me how I should do my job, and it is on the understanding that it is for security reasons and not because I want a boss or manager. When he did start getting like that I told him in no uncertain terms that I never wanted a manager, that was never the deal. As we had and have some kind of relationship and been intimate he had trouble with it, which caused him to feel he had to fall into the stereotype of a pimp and there was no need - even if one must call him that there is no need for people to fall into stereotypes due to what they do...I hang onto my individuality no matter what, and don't wish to emulate a Barbie doll/American porn star even if it did bring me more money - and the people who suggest that women do that are normally managers (such as the woman described earlier in this post). Fuck them. I could get by totally independent without a man but it can be a lonely life, it feels more secure to know someone is looking out for you and can give something a bit more real than the cold sex I experience from clients, be made to feel a bit special, needed, whatever. Most men I meet say they would not be able to handle going out with a prostitute, the 'nice guy' who befriended me said if I was to be with him he would support me to stop me from working....but at the end of the day I wish to retain some level of independence, earn my own money and not be dependent on any man, even if I cannot always feel emotonally independent I at least like to feel financially so. I can see why Jason had issues earlier in the year, it could not have been easy with his own thing screwing up and him having to rely on me as a sole source of income....when traditionally a man is supposed to be a breadwinner and all. This is probably why pimps, so to speak, often put on that macho act to compensate for the fact they rely on women for their income, so in some ways it is like a reversal of roles. It is more complex than one may assume, pimps as predators and whores as victims and so on.....the dynamics are more complex than that. Parasitic relationships they may be, because each needs the other for different reasons, the women want emotional support, protection and security (a lot of the things men traditionally provide) and the men want the money and sometimes sex, depending how they feel towards the woman or women at whatever time. So besides the obvious fact of wanting security, some sex workers choose to have pimps simply because few men would be willing to tolerate what they do. For a pimp, if he is intimate with his girl or girls the money acts as a form of compensation. It is wrong to assume pimps to be purely predatory and have no feelings for their 'girls' - very often there is genuine affection, even if there is an exploitative side to these relationships and they are usually a bit one sided on the woman's part - after all, she is the one paying for having his protection, support, whatever, not vice versa. Men can get off on male ego trips from these kind of relationships, which is why sex workers can be prone to ill treatment from the men they get involved with. I wish some people who have never seen this world make such assumptions about something they have never experienced, many of them having never known either men or women in the sex industry.

Back to brothels - that is the coldest type of work I have ever experienced in the sex industry, it is all so impersonal, you are not in your own surrounding, on your own turf but someone elses so you have to pay them for the privelige and be dictated to by them at the same time. If women do wish to work collectively, together, then it is far better as a cooperative, run by the workers themselves rather than by a manager/managers. That is the only circumstance where I would even contemplate working like that....but even then I don't really like the idea of working in an impersonal environment among competition, I am much better working alone.....

Meanwhile, as to agents/minders/pimps or whatever, it is not a question of the fact they exist but whether or not the women want their 'men' in their lives or not ('man' is normally the simple term used - 'partner' or 'boyfriend' being too intimate a term to describe a relationship that is partly business/money orientated on the part of the men concerned and often emotionally non committive for long term purposes, the men involved often choosing to retain a level of emotional distance, even if there be feeling there, and saying 'my pimp' just sounds a bit derogatory and cold etc, but you can't exactly describe such a man as being a 'friend' when he is a bit more than that). A lot of women I've known in that work rarely describe the men in their lives as their boyfriends, but their 'men', and it is a habit I have picked up, partly perhaps from them, and partly because of the reasons I have described in the brackets.

5 comments:

  1. you know, Snow Queen,

    I read all yr entries (or most of them). But I don't really know what to say. It's a fascinating glimpse into another world. Kind of sad-sounding to me. Although I'm sure you don't want any pity.

    Just be safe.

    XXX, Kim

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  2. Sure, pity is the worst thing....I feel I make my own choices, although to a degree our choices can be constrained by outside factors and all, but still....that's why I don't want pity just ask for people not to judge lest they have walked in my shoes and all.......that kind of thing really. Indeed it is far from what is 'normal' to the straight world, which I find it hard to relate to and all, but the normal is no more or less real than subcultures etc, to a degree everyone is alienated in modern society which can be pretty cold per se.

    I'll be safe, you take care too xx

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  3. This was actually pretty refreshing to hear. Stereotypes and perceptions never show gray areas. I always try to look at things from different angles and hearing the pimp is dependent on women and overcompensates thing is pretty fascinating. It makes the relationship look like any other out there. I exploit and am exploited by my girlfriend and to be honest that sort of works. We both know what we're getting out of it and so long as we stick to that agreement that works for us, we're good to go.

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  4. Good point Christopher, in mot relationships each person needs and exploits the other to some extent or other - I remember an X-Ray Specs song on the theme - perhaps I'll post it here - a song on how people are dependent on each other and it does mention in particular the kinds of relationships mentioned in this thread. The truth is no man has ever taken money from me by force I have always given it willingly.

    Really people who don't know about this sort of life make unwarranted assumptions I am sick of, and see no shades of grey at all in the area - men who have relationships with sex workers and profit in any way from them are exploitative, predatory, aggressors and the women are victims...and that is all there is to it. They are also portrayed as always being violent abusive etc.....and sure there are partners of sex workers like that, but then so can other men from different walks of life be. Really it is as judgemental towards women like myself as it is towards the men, if not more so, because if I was in any other job self employed and paid a man who was a partner, friend, lover whatever to help me with the work he would not be accused of being exploitative etc of there was a financial agreement there.

    And of course it varies, some men of course offer protection to different sex workers and men being men they will sometimes sleep with most of them, having one woman as the main one while the others more as working relationships, and it causes jealousy and stuff which men may use as a tool of control.

    But really, games are played in many relationships, and the fact is that the image of a prostitute being extorted, beaten by a pimp to give over money she does not want to give is largely a myth, usually there is an agreement where the money is given for a reason and the woman gets something in return. He may well moan if business is bad etc, but don't arguments over money occur in any relationship? What brings problems is when one party breaks the agreemwnt. Only stupid pimps break their side of the agreement then get violent when of course their 'girls' won't pay them - but intelligent men don't have to resort to violence to get their money.

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  5. Really wonderful and informative post, it's so great to hear about other options.

    You said this about brothel work: "it is all so impersonal, you are not in your own surrounding, on your own turf but someone elses... " I think that is maybe why I like it. It's business, I go to work, I wear my work clothes, I have my work manner and I keep it very separate from the rest of my life.

    I also think it suits me at the moment because I'm new to the industry and don't quite know what I'm doing yet.

    Thanks for your open flow of information. I'm learning a lot from reading your blog.

    X
    Lucy

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