Dear Ava: On email response times, worrying about your provider’s mental health, and more…

In this installment: a client wonders how long he should wait for a response to a booking request before moving on to a different provider, we discuss the importance of giving your full name when screening, and what to do when you think your provider might be self-harming.

Dear Ava, 

I recently attempted to pre-book a date with a provider for an upcoming business trip. When I didn’t hear back from her after 48 hours or so, I figured she wasn’t interested/available and proceeded to book with someone else. When the first provider finally responded to my email, I let her know that I had already booked with a different woman and was no longer interested. Clearly upset, the first provider replied with a nasty email calling me a time waster and threatening to blacklist me if I contacted her again. Did I miss something in escort etiquette class? How long am I supposed to wait to hear back from a provider before moving on? 

Short answer: there is no right answer. Every provider is different when it comes to their average email response time. While I might be able to answer most emails within a few hours, there are other providers who might only answer emails once or twice a week.  So it can be hard to know how long you should expect to wait for a response.  If you’re looking to book a date on a specific day, be sure to let the provider know what your timeline is in your initial email. For example,  if you’re attempting to make a plans to meet on a Saturday you could say: “I have to make a decision regarding my plans for the weekend by Friday evening; so if I don’t hear from you by Wednesday, we’ll have to try and schedule for another time.” Then, if you don’t hear from them by Wednesday, you’re free and clear to make other plans or contact a different provider. It’s really up to you how long you choose to wait to hear back from them before you decide to move on, but just try and remember that not all of us have an assistant dedicated to handling our booking requests. But almost all of us have busy personal lives that we have to juggle in addition to our work responsibilities. So if you can, be patient with us.

 

Dear Ava,

Nearly everyone asks for full name (and sometimes say they check ID) on a web form, but very few actually enforce it. I just put a first name with well known references.  The few that do enforce full name likely get annoyed that I didn’t submit full name for not following instructions. Any way to tell the difference before submitting full form to save both parties time?

It sounds like you’ve done this a lot. And seeing as how you’re still doing it, I’ll assume that you’ve never, let’s say, found a provider that you’ve seen camped out in the bushes in front of your house. Or had incriminating photos of you mailed anonymously to your workplace. Or been outed to your family in a series of late night phone calls. Or suffered any other terrifying invasions of privacy at the hands of a provider that you’ve met. It’s also probably safe to assume that you’ve never had a provider intimidate you into dangerous, non-consensual activities, steal your money, threaten you with bodily harm, or rough you up just because they could. But you know who has gone through at least one of those things at some point? Most sex workers. Let me be very, very clear with you: you are a bigger threat to us than we are to you. Your biggest fears are being caught, embarrassed, or blackmailed— things that, let’s be honest, happen very infrequently. And when they do, it’s rarely the work of scorned providers in the first place. Our biggest fears are being raped, assaulted, kidnapped, or murdered by our own clients. Tragedies that happen damn near every day in the sex work community.

So the problem here isn’t trying to figure out which providers consider your full name to be a requirement for screening and which simply want something to call you by. The problem is that you feel that your desire to pay for pussy anonymously is more important that following simple instructions that are in place specifically to keep that pussy you love so much safe. We don’t ask for your full name so that we can figure out how to best extort you. We ask for it so we can make sure that we aren’t inadvertently letting a known predator into our personal space. Don’t worry about whether or not a provider really intends to use your full name or not— just give it to them. Every time. No exceptions.

 

Dear Ava,

I noticed a provider has evident self harm marks on her body, I’m really concerned about her. Should I offer her advice? Should I mention it at all? I don’t like looking at it, how could I tell her in a diplomatic way to cover it up during a session?

First, a general warning about making serious assumptions like that. Unless a provider has spoken to you directly about their experiences with things like self harming tendencies, drug or alcohol abuse, domestic violence (or any other alarming issues that you may think you see signs of while you’re together), always remember that there’s a chance you might be wrong. Could those be self harm marks? Yes. But they could also be the result of their new day job as a cat groomer. So it’s important that you think long and hard before you decide if you want to wade into those deep waters with your provider. If your concerns are serious enough that you wouldn’t feel right not bringing it up with them, then by all means do. Just do so with compassion and not judgment. It’s also helpful to do a little research beforehand and be ready to offer them the contact information for relevant support networks. You might not be able to help them, but you can put them in touch with people who are. If you’re in a position to offer financial support, and you think that might help improve their situation, feel free to offer what you can. Whatever you do, do not give them unsolicited advice. You can be supportive and helpful without telling them what you think they should do. If they value your opinion and are comfortable enough to ask for it, they will. I know this advice is pretty general, but it applies to a lot of similar situations. Whether you’re noticing self harm marks or you suspect that your provider has a drinking problem, the approach should be the same. Non-confrontational, non-judgmental, and supportive.

As for your specific concern about seeing those marks, you really only have two choices: ignore them, or stop seeing the provider. They obviously feel no need to hide them, so the issue is yours. If you can’t bear to look at them, you could be honest and tell your provider how you feel, but there are a lot of ways that that conversation could go wrong.  It’s a difficult thing to navigate, even in the best of circumstances. If it bothers you that much, it might be better for both of you to simply stop seeing each other. But before you do, think about it this way— Your provider doesn’t seem to be ashamed of the marks or have any problem letting you see them. If it isn’t an issue for them, maybe you shouldn’t let it be an issue for you either.

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Feel free to send me all of your burning questions for next week’s post! Direct Message me on Twitter @MsAvaStClaire, or email me directly at Ava@MeetAvaStClaire.com

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