Rant: Livelihood vs career
In light of what is happening with Rekers there are a great many conversations out there dominated by people who should shut the fuck up.
“Escorting is a livelihood, not a career.”
Oh, really? Well, look who knows so much.
Let’s take a moment to evaluate whether or not escorting is a career. A career is that work one does for which one is paid, and it is generally supported by personal investment, training, expertise, and networking. I would like to address each of these in turn as a proof that although escorting can be “only” a livelihood, it can also be a full-fledged career.
As Dolly Parton said, “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.” Let me just tell you what I have to pay in order to play the part. Equivocate this to paying for college if you will; however, know that careers generally involve a huge investment on an individual’s part, and adult entertainment is no exception. This is what it costs me to maintain the Devon Hunter brand:
- Personal training at $40/hour, 2-3 times/week
- High quality food at $100 – $150/week
- Products from Aveda (because you may was well eat what you put on your skin) at $150/month
- Therapeutic massage to break down muscle and remove toxins at $65/hour, 1-2 times/week
- Supplements such as vitamins and muscle maintenance at $125/month
If you want me to keep looking like I look, it’s going to cost me about $1500/month. At about $18,000/year, that is a college education. This doesn’t include the in-kind spa services that a friend treats me to (I probably got $500 worth of hair coloring, teeth bleaching, and face peeling yesterday). I am investing in my profession, so that I can remain competitive in a glutted market. I have to offer what employers want. Period.
I cannot speak for all escorts, but the best among us study and train. We hire at first, in order to emulate, or associate with high quality escorts who help us avoid pitfalls. We learn a code of conduct. We talk to people who hire escorts to understand the culture of the interactions. We are honed into the equivalent of courtesans in Europe and geisha in Japan. We are artists with a variety of techniques and skills of many types and purposes. I happen to be a very vocal and open escort (concerning my thoughts and my humanity), but you are naïve if you think my experiences differ all that much from any others’. There is a process to becoming an escort. Any tramp can be a two-bit whore who throws his legs in the air for $20 with 10 minutes notice. It take time and skill to be what we are. Art is what makes it look easy.
Every career has a set of skills unique to it which require a submission of the self to the technique. It goes without saying that a skilled escort will have honed his expertise for a particular group of clients. I happen to focus on the Boyfriend Experience (BFE). It’s what I like, and it is what I would want for myself. And that makes it easy for me to offer, and it makes it pleasurable for me to give. I would be a terrible fetish escort. I would fail at it. It isn’t my area of expertise. I am very gifted at emotional and personal connections. I am good at it. Other escorts have learned the safety issues and refined practices for whatever it is they do (e.g. S/M, B/D, water sports, extreme play, etc.). They practice their skills and learn the body. We, all of us, learn about people in intimate ways that rival the intricacies of professionals in other fields. And we charge professional fees accordingly. If you want a two-bit fuck, then go pay $20 for one. They are available, and it might be what you need. But… If you want an experience that goes beyond this… Well, you pay for that too.
Whether it be through advertising, introductions at social events, or any other method of contact, a professional escort has to build and maintain a network. The best escorts see the same clients over and over and over and over. Why? Because we’re professionals! In whatever industry you are in, how much of your sales come from established accounts, and what would happen to you if you were not to maintain those relationships? It should go without saying that professional adult entertainers of all types are highly organized, savvy, and professional people. My rant here doesn’t make me less of a professional, in my opinion. I would equate this entry to making the outside world privy to the break room banter that I would have with any other professional in my industry when something is vexing us.
You have just witnessed what I would say to any escort or exotic dancer when some stupid ass tells me that my profession is “only” a livelihood.