Ask Ava: On the price of social time, clients in love, and cancelling dates…

This week: a client grapples with doing the honorable thing in the face of temptation, we discuss (again) why it’s never okay to ask for a discount, and a provider tries to figure out what to do with a lovesick client.

Dear Ava,

I have made a date for a fly me to you in January with all screening done, price agreed to and first part of deposit being paid tomorrow night. I have found that another provider who I have been interacting with on another site is now available for that trip. Is it in horrible taste to cancel with first provider to go with second provider? The trip is to Las Vegas and first provider has never been and is very excited to go. Your thoughts? It will be my first time with either provider. I know what my honor is saying, but what do you say?

It makes me feel at least a little better that you do know the “right” answer to this question: Be a gentleman and don’t blow off the provider who accepted your date because someone “better” came along. It’s just bad escort karma, my friend. However, seeing as how the trip is a few months away (giving the first escort plenty of time to fill the hole in their schedule) you could technically cancel with the first and book the second. BUT you had absolutely better pay that deposit before you do. Sure you’ll take a loss, but you’ll be doing the right thing in a tricky situation and you’ll be able to keep the door open for future dates with the first provider. Everybody wins!

 

Dear Ava,

I’ve seen posts on Twitter of providers having lunch at restaurants near my office. I’d love to take them out to lunch there sometimes, of course paying for their time as well as the meal. However, unlike some, many of these providers do not have published rates for “public-only time” or for shorter than two hours. I can’t afford to meet for longer than about 1 to 1.5 hours, nor can I afford to add lunch dates at their two hour rate on top of the longer dates I periodically book with them. Is it appropriate to ask if they would be willing to meet for a shorter time at a lower rate for just lunch, and if so what is the best way to do that without coming across like a jerk asking for a discount?

There’s no gentle way for me to put this: if you ask a provider if you can pay them less than their advertised rates, whatever your reason, you are a jerk asking for a discount. Look, if you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it. Whether “it” is a two hour coffee date, a fly me to you trip, or a duo with your favorite escorts, you either can afford it or you can’t. Asking for a discount because you want something that’s out of your budget isn’t just tacky, it’s downright disrespectful. We are business people, not a table full of mint condition Beanie Babies at a yard sale. There is no haggling here. If these providers were interested in offering shorter minimum bookings or reduced “public-only time” rates— they would. So clearly, they’re not interested. If you’ve got your heart set on lunch with a provider, find one who offers what you’re looking for at a price that you’re comfortable with and book them. Or, if there’s someone in particular who you just have to share your lunch break with, maybe stop seeing other providers and save your money until you can afford to reenact the spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp with the escort of your dreams? Either way, it’s up to you to figure it out. Leave us out of it.

 

Dear Ava,

What’s your advice on how to respond to a client who keeps saying “I love you” all through the session? I obviously won’t say it back because I don’t mean it. He also makes comments like, “If we had met before you started doing this we would have had a life together.” Other than that, he’s a nice client with good hygiene, who gives gifts and always tips. Do I just grin and bear it? So far I’ve basically brushed him off with giggles and comments like, “Oh you’re so sweet!”

Oof…. Now that’s uncomfortable. We all know that part of this job is catering to people’s fantasies, but there’s a thin line between fantasy “love” and falling in love with a fantasy. It sounds like your client has wobbled right over that line and put you in a really awkward position. The thing is, I can’t really tell you how to handle it. It depends entirely on how much of an emotional toll his behavior is taking on you and how good of an actress you are. If it’s irritating, but not unbearable, keep doing what you’re doing. Nod, smile, giggle, and change the subject. Unless he starts pushing boundaries in a way that makes you uncomfortable, you could probably go on like this indefinitely with him gushing about how much he thinks he loves you and you playing all coy. But if the idea of listening to his lovesick puppy routine for one more minute starts to make your skin crawl, or you’re worried that your playing along might be giving him the wrong idea, or he starts to push your boundaries in any way— you’ll either have to talk to him directly or just stop seeing him. If you do decide to talk to him, be gentle but firm. On the rare occasions that I’ve had to reel in a client who’s gone a little overboard, I’ve used some variation of this spiel: “You know, John, I love spending time with you, but when we’re together, I prefer focusing on the here and now instead of all the ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’. What we have is incredible, but it’s incredible in part because it’s a fantasy. Honestly, I’m glad that we aren’t married or building a life together, because nothing would ruin the magic like having to talk about laundry or mortgage payments! Let’s enjoy each other’s company without thinking about anything but what we’re experiencing right here in this moment.” If that doesn’t work, or he refuses to accept what you’re saying, stop seeing him. No amount of money is worth putting up with a client who can’t take no for an answer. If he’s willing to disregard your boundaries on this… who knows what else he’s capable of doing without your consent?

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