Part 3 of 13: Research & Development

Return to “Establishing a Career in Adult Entertainment: Index”

So, you’re still here after that long entry?? Then your gears must be turning… In “Part 1 of 13: I am a Courtesan,” I wrote that I would address more of the Who/What/When/Where/Why/How. I will flesh out some of these questions here, so that you (now that you have given some thought to which modalities from “Part 2 of 13: Modalities” are appealing to you) can decide how to address getting ready for your debut. Something to consider before you begin this (or any) process: The cliché says, “It takes 10 years to be an overnight success.” It won’t take you that long,  but with only a very few exceptions, entertainers do not “explode onto the scene.” Even when they do “explode onto the scene,” it’s because they’ve done a great deal of preparation prior to their “explosion.” If an incredibly HOT porn model “suddenly” is everywhere, it isn’t sudden. If his/her debut is the biggest video ever, it will be because of the years of personal preparation leading to that debut. Working out, carving the body into a sculpture, honing an image, developing a sense of self, connecting to the right people, finding the right opportunity, etc… All that takes preparation, so go into this expecting to learn a great deal as you go before you “suddenly explode onto the scene.” This is true of any modality in Adult Entertainment, not just video modeling. The learning curve is exactly what this particular entry is going to address: Research & Development.

  • Networking – You will need to get in with the people who do what you want to do, regardless of the modality. They will have anecdotal stories that can be very instructional. Whether you want to do some form of live performance, modeling, or some combination of many modalities (including production), you should build relationships and glean information. As you go you will need to vet that information that is true and/or helpful, and that which is not. Pay attention.
    • Reading materials
      • The Male Escort’s Handbook is critical to aspiring M4M sex workers. Although it was published in 1999, it is still very helpful. It was written just as high speed internet was taking off, so some of the advice about the web is outmoded, and it doesn’t address social networking sites at all (be sure to set up a Twitter and/or Facebook profile for your fans to contact you), but the overwhelming majority of its content is just as true today as it was when it was written. Aaron Lawrence and his editors did a very good job on this, and I highly recommend you read it cover to cover before you bother with anything else.
      • Blogs that focus on your modality can be found all over the web. Although my blog lately has focused more on video issues, it goes through phases. At first I was writing about clubs/dancing/performing issues, because that’s what I was doing. Then I shifted toward escorting issues. Interspersed there have been other conversations. Be sure to use the search engines on individual blogs, not just the major search engines. On my blog, scroll down to the bottom of any page and type in some keywords – I’ve got almost 400, and perhaps some of them will be relevant to what you want to know. You can also email bloggers directly to see if they will take your question directly. Remember that bloggers are offering their opinions and perspectives: You are responsible for what you do with the information you get.
      • Special Articles based on internet searches can be very helpful in a more generalized sense. They are good for piquing questions that then require more specific research.
    • Selective conversation is important: There are many intelligent and/or street smart people in The Biz. There are also lots of dumb asses. Lots. But, if you pay attention to what people are doing and saying about their career, you can pick up examples of what to do and what to avoid (sometimes by way of people’s negative examples). For male escorts, one site of particular note is Daddy’s Reviews Forum. Mostly what gets posted there is also posted on the other escorting blogs by the same people (which makes zero sense to me), so you can generally just read the conversations at Daddy’s Reviews (note: Daddy’s Reviews was called Hooboy when Aaron Lawrence wrote his handbook, and that URL identity is gone – it became Daddy’s Reviews). Here is a word of caution to you: DO NOT WRITE IN THE FORUM. READ ONLY. There is much that is helpful (if not repetitive), but you can do searches in the engine to narrow your results. Resist getting involved in conversations on Daddy’s Forum – it is absolutely full of toxic people who will twist anything you say into something you never meant. There are nice people there, but you can email them in private to get their perspectives directly without opening yourself up to the flame wars that regularly spout up. There is good information there, but you have to be very adept at vetting through the abject horse shit to find it.
    • Hiring can be edifying. If you want to be an exotic dancer, go to a club and watch the dancers do it. If you want to know how to give lap dances, buy them. You will get good ones and bad ones – this can instruct you in how you would want to do them for your patrons. If you want to be in videos, watch them. Be objective: Do not get lost in the fantasy of them. Analyze them critically, see if you can figure out how they are made (or you can read about it – there are many “Behind the Scenes” accounts of the shoots themselves), and apply to the sites that have models who look like you or your type. If you are a twink, do not apply to sites that focus on jocks (and vice versa). I have written extensively about the shooting process on this blog, as have others on other sites. Remember keyword searches on individual blogs! Also, if you want to be a sex worker, hire one (or two… or three). 😉
  • Mentoring –
    • Learn the trade from a successful professional. My attitude is this: When I ask for someone’s advice it’s for one of two reasons. Either that person is doing something I admire, and I want to know how they did it, or I want to know how to avoid getting into that person’s situation. You don’t need to tell people which motivation you have. People are often willing to talk about how they do something (since it seems to them to be working for them), but you can then use that knowledge to hone your career to your best advantage. If a dancer is doing a trick you like, ask how it’s done. If another dancer has outfits that are cheap or grungy, ask where he got them and what the brand is, so that you don’t invest in bad clothing (but don’t tell him that’s why you’re asking – RUDE!). If an escort you know has a great business, ask how he built it. If he has a bad reputation, ask him about his practice so that you can avoid his mistakes. When you do find someone with whom you have a particular rapport, and who is successful in all the manners in which you yourself want to be, seek out a mentoring relationship with that person.
    • Travel with your mentor. Become immersed in that person’s world to the extent s/he will allow it. How does this person organize? What is the structure underlying everything? How far in advance are bookings done? Where does one find affordable hotel rates in reputable places? Pay attention and ask questions. How does s/he handle personal life and/or maintain separations between work and life? Many of you will be wondering about relationships. You can do a search within this blog’s engine on “dating,” “significant others,” “relationship,” and various other terms, but here’s a link to one of the entries that discusses it.
    • Emulate successful processes that pertain to your chosen modalities. In case you are wanting to be a sex worker,  please look at these entries, if you missed them before: “Streetwalkers, walking into darkness” (what to do) and “Escorting 101 (Don’t let this happen to you)” (what not to do).
  • Idols and Role Models can help to create the brand you want for yourself. Use the examples of others to hone yourself into the product you want to be. Make no mistake: You are your product, you are your brand. In his book, “Freeplay: The Power of Improvisation in Life and the Arts,” Stephen Nachmanovitch says that we should not be intimidated by the great people who came before us, but rather we should stand on their tall, mighty shoulders to reach new heights. These are my Adult Entertainment role models (in chronological order of my becoming aware of them):
    • Phaido of Elis was a Greek philosopher who was sold into sex slavery and later became a student of Socrates. One of Plato’s conversations is named after him. He is an excellent example of one who is not ruined by the sex trade, though he was forced into it.
    • Antinous was reportedly the male lover of Emperor Hadrian. His qualities earned him a place amongst the gods: He was deified upon his death.
    • Veronica Franco was a Venetian courtesan who saved her city’s empire during a war with the Turks and withstood the scrutiny of the Inquisition. She was also a poetess and brilliant weaver of fantasy.
    • Geisha are artists. That is what the term means. They are fascinating as people, and even though Sayuri and “Memoirs of a Geisha” are products of fiction (based on reality), they can be instructional. Iwasaki (the real person who the Sayuri character is based on) wrote her own memoir to counter the novel.
    • Aspasia was the hetaera who influenced Pericles (the man who turned Athens into the beacon of democracy we still celebrate today). She may have been the person who helped to hone his policies, and thus our own society today.
    • Michael Vincenzo is still an active escort, but I become aware of him in his films, especially “Desire.” His scene with Ivan Andros inspired a great deal of what I try to emulate in my practice.
    • Carlos from Swinging Richards – I have mentioned him in various exotic dance entries on this blog. “Carlos” is a key word for the search engine. He had some very empowering advice to share while I was still an exotic dancer.
    • Sean Knight is the escort who served as my mentor. The very first trip I ever took was with him to Florida. Sean is exactly the type of mentor you need. He isn’t necessarily the one you should contact, because his business may not be anything like what you want to do, but this man helped me get started, and he helped me avoid many mistakes. When you look for a mentor, find someone who will be a friend as well. I do not abuse the word friend the way most people do in American English. This is what I mean when I use the term “friend.
    • Mitch Branson is (for me) probably the most amazing gay porn star of the last 10 years. He’s also one of the most underused. He’s stunning to look at, he is friendly in conversation, he is intelligent, and he’s a musician. A multifaceted gem of an entertainer. He’s too perfect: Get a zit! LOL He reminds me to keep my focus on my true reason for existing in this dimension: To make performance art that empowers people.

Author: Devon Hunter

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  1. I think as I have wrote on the deep past, that I hope there is advice for those that want to do escort work not to go in and assume all the clients will be buffed, young, hung muscled men. Most are old, fat, have disabilities and are the opposite in clients that is what is wanted. Of course some try to put in their ads ‘no fatties’ “no asians’ and other offensive judgemental terms. Again as I have stated I have met, only in Australia, escorts and other workers in your industry who have utter contempt for the men they have sex with to the point that a couple have made sure the act was over and done with and they ran.

    For god’s sake don’t do this work if you are a body fascist but sadly from what I hear at social gatherings from escorts, some would like to take a gun *thankfully we don’t have those sick gun laws like you do, right to bear arms my arse, you should have the United Nations make the USA get rid of civilians owning guns, Mike Moore was right’ and shot the clients because they don’t like being touched by subhuman old fat men, its not good for cred’. Funny they still take the cash.

    One escort many years ago I read put it well: he looks for something in each man even if they are not the ‘acceptable’ model. No wonder he made a lot of money; he made clients feel special and loved no matter what they looked like. But many people in these professions would rather not be there and that’s why it is important to really think before doing it, but sadly I don’t think many do.

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  2. No link to that Devon sorry

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  3. Well not yet but will keep reading thanks for doing this series. I will recommend it to the workers I know.

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  4. Can you add that escorts and masseurs should ring you back or leave a message. This weekend I tried to get a massage with our without happy ending (I dispise that term) and phones ring out etc. When it is many of them it is annoying and so rude.

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    • Perhaps it is as a result of not having the muscular build myself, but to me, a “client” is another person regardless of outward appearance. As one to another, I not only “should” give but enjoy giving every person the same love and respect I would to a close friend or lover. I’ve only been an escort for two months – as of tomorrow – yet I have already met some wonderful people, a few that have become “regulars” and are becoming friends in a way I would not have expected.

      As to not responding, I always try to answer or call back quickly, not out of desperation but out of courtesy and respect. Even if the end result is a polite declination, I cannot see myself as so far above another person that ignoring one would be acceptable.

      And Devon, this is great so far. I reread and subsequently bookmarked the “Street walkers, walking into darkness” page, as it abates my occasional anxieties surrounding this new aspect of my life.

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