Interview: Lars of BlackListedNow
Devon Hunter: How do you want readers to know you? What name do you use, what is the name of your site, and what is the address online for it?
Lars: I am Lars. I actually have two sites I created to help the escort industry: One is for escorts (http://blacklistednow.blogspot.com) and one is for clients (http://beforeyoucome.blogspot.com). I think you were contacting me about BlackListedNow, so I’ll try and answer your questions here pertaining to that site.
DH: What is the purpose of your site?
Lars: BlackListedNow helps warn other escorts about problem clients. Clients who don’t show up for appointments, clients who lack respect when dealing with escorts, clients who don’t pay escorts, and of course, more serious situations (such as a client saying he’s going to use a condom, but then doesn’t; or a client who mentally or physically harms an escort).
DH: Is there a particular experience that finally made you feel compelled to create your page?
Lars: I have a number of friends who are escorts, and I felt bad for them when I would hear that they had a “no show.” I used to work in the industry, and I know how frustrating it is to get all ready for an appointment, only to have someone not even show up. It’s also quite rude.
I think it’s important to mention here that there are several sites that review male escorts (DaddysReviews.com being the most famous). But BlackListedNow is the only site that deals with negative clients specifically for the benefit of male escorts.
DH: Do you envision your site being used by other types of adult entertainers besides male escorts?
Lars: Not sure which other entertainers you mean. I’m thinking about porn models or exotic dancers. In order to put the negative client’s information “out there” you would need something that they don’t want the public to see, like a phone number. Male dancers, for example, don’t easily get that sort of information from their audience members.
DH: Do male escorts with problems with female clients ever post, or has it been all same-sex situations?
Lars: To date I think the website only shows issues with male clients. Negative situations with women do exist, but perhaps they’re not the same issues that I’ve described above. Perhaps guys feel they’re not appropriate to post on the site?
DH: Have you found that escorts feel empowered by creating a form of accountability for clients who disrespect them?
Lars: Absolutely. I hear this in feedback from them, time and time again.
DH: Are there protocols in place to make sure miffed escorts aren’t simply being vindictive towards someone who doesn’t deserve to be black listed?
Lars: To be honest with you, I don’t think that happens often. Escorts have their hands full, and
being vindictive takes time. In this industry, time really is money. To put one’s effort and time towards a client who didn’t really do anything wrong is to take time from appointments, prepping for appointments, advertising, working out, grooming, keeping one’s place clean, dealing with toys after their use, and the other demands that go on in an escort’s life.
Having said that, I will also say that there have been exactly two times when a client has contacted me to say he disagreed with the escort’s post. Those times I’ve contacted the escort to see if I could help work it out, and both times their contact information didn’t go through. I ended up pulling the original complaints. It’s not a perfect solution, but it seemed reasonable to me.
DH: Right now your site is specific to Washington, D.C. Are there any plans to expand it, so that people in other areas can make use of the board?
Lars: If someone contacts me and shows me they have a relationship to D.C., they are on it. For example, I recently had an escort from D.C. who was working in Dallas for a week, and he had an issue with a guy there – I posted that. I don’t have plans to expand it nationwide, unless someone wants to get behind me financially and back such a venture…
DH: How much effort does it require on your part to maintain the site, and does this affect your vision of how it might evolve?
Lars: I started this to help other escorts in the D.C./Maryland/Virginia areas. It’s still relatively small, because I’ve gotten area-specific. So it doesn’t really take too much time. I don’t get paid for doing this, so I’m not interested in having it grow more unless (sorry to repeat myself here) a financial backer came along.
DH: What direct/indirect benefits does your page provide to a) Adult entertainers, b) yourself, c) potential clients, and do you have any ambition to promote your site to further legal/social causes connected to sex workers in your area (or on a larger scale)?
Lars: I’ll take the second question first. I would be open to promoting the site to further legal/social causes connected to sex workers, but I’m not doing anything with that right now (if anyone has any ideas out there, contact me on that, please!)
There are three main benefits for escorts. One is that they gain a feeling of empowerment. The second is that if the client wants to work the negative situation out with the escort, they can do so, which usually results in a monetary compensation to the escort. The third benefit is more indirect: This sort of site helps to foster greater respect from clients. After all, any truly good relationship is built on mutual respect – and that is something many people seem to forget when hiring escorts.
As for potential clients… well, I think it might actually scare some clients away from hiring anyone, for fear of getting blacklisted. But in an indirect way, I’d like to believe that it benefits potential clients by boosting the transaction up a bit – I mean, making it more respectful. When people need to be accountable for their actions, everyone benefits. I suppose it indirectly affects everyone, because the industry ultimately becomes more professional.