Retro pink phone to symbolise sex worker client calls from timewasters

Sex workers: How to identify a timewaster and avoid them

Tired of timewasters? They are no doubt a sex worker’s biggest pet peeve.

For those who don’t know, a timewaster for a sex worker is a person who contacts them under the guise of buying their service but with no intent to make a payment. 

As a sex worker, your time is valuable. Being forced to engage in a profitless investment of your energy, time, and attention can result in a loss of opportunity from other potential bookings.

Vivastreet surveyed nearly 300 sex workers to find out the most annoying time-wasting traits of clients. 

If you want to find out how to identify and avoid a timewaster, read on.

How to identify a timewaster

Although it can be difficult, there are many ways to differentiate a timewaster from a serious client. 

Below are the most common timewaster traits to look out for:

Contact with no intention of booking 

Does this sound familiar? According to our survey, 60% of sex workers say that clients who initiate contact without any intention to book a service is the most annoying time-wasting trait. So why do clients go through all that hassle of contacting and communicating with a sex worker, only to not see it through?

These clients are either seeking a thrill, want to know what it’s like to talk to an escort or see how far they can push boundaries (get a service without having to pay). A genuine client will talk about doing business with you from the off, by making the necessary enquiries before booking.

If you get the impression that a client has no intention of booking, don’t be afraid to ask them if they are going to book, so you can speed up the process and move on to other clients looking to book.


Piggy bank and hourglass sand timer for time is money concept

Last-minute cancellations 

Your client has booked your service for a specific time. As a professional, you have everything planned and ready. 10 minutes prior to the meeting, you get a message from your client. They are cancelling. You have little time to organise another booking with an alternative client and seek business elsewhere.

For 52% of sex workers, find last-minute cancellations are the second most annoying time-wasting trait. Unfortunately, last-minute cancellations can be very hard to avoid. Not only do insincere clients bailout, but there are genuine cancellations where some clients do intend to pay and use your services until they realise it’s not convenient (e.g., work or family commitments).

However, a genuine client will inform you and most likely rearrange. If their phone is off, they ignore incoming calls, take very long to reply, do not ask for confirmation on the day you’re meeting up, or start randomly talking about how busy their day is, then it’s a possibility they don’t plan to show up.

If you want to give them another chance it’s up to you, but keep a note of their details so you don’t fall into this trap again. 

Asks for free extra services 

For those sex workers that have not experienced this yet, you may come across clients trying to get free services out of you.

According to our data, 44% of sex workers found client’s asking for extra freebies to be the third-most annoying timewasting trait.

Of course, it’s entirely your call if you choose to provide a free extra service for certain clients. But be aware that these type of clients will continue to have this expectation and may put pressure on you for additional free services in the future.

Instead, politely tell them that you do not provide any free services and if they continue to persist let them go. Instead of wasting your time discussing freebies, you can be attracting clients that are willing to pay for all of your services.

Fails to read the information in your ads

Watch out for those clients asking questions that are clearly answered in your ads.

Our survey revealed clients who fail to read an ad is the fourth most annoying timewaster trait for nearly 40% of sex workers. Not only will you have to waste your time re-explaining yourself, but your services may not be aligned with their needs.

A genuine client will invest time in reading your ad, site or social profiles to ensure your services meet their requirements before making contact. For example, they may want to check if your rates are within their budget, see if you are local to them, or if you provide the services they are seeking.

If it is obvious that a client hasn’t read your ad, just kindly let them know that all the information they are looking for is there, and if they have any additional questions then they should get back to you.

If this is happening too often, then you might need to double-check the information in your ad to make sure it’s clear and concise and provides all the information necessary.

At Vivastreet, we offer an escort services and extra charges feature which enables you to clearly highlight the services you offer and don’t offer to avoid having to spend time explaining this to clients. 

Tries to price haggle 

Sex workers found price haggling to be almost just as annoying as asking for free extra services, according to 41% of sex workers who answered our survey.

If a client is trying to persuade you to lower your rates, it means that your service is not a great fit for them and they should look elsewhere. These are not the clients you are looking for and should not waste time questioning yourself and your pricing.

A real client will either accept your rates or not, and seek alternative services elsewhere if need be. As mentioned above, with our escort services and extra charges feature, you can specify the cost of each service you provide, allowing the client to choose specific ones that meet their requirements and budget.


Frustrated woman holding her phone away from her ear

Vague and non-committal language 

Clients that are unsure or indecisive about making a booking will express this in the way they communicate with you.

This could include non-committal language, whether written or verbal, such as ‘perhaps’, ‘maybe’ ‘might’ ‘possibly’, ‘think so’, ‘we’ll see’ and ‘could work’. Although they might be interested, this type of language doesn’t suggest a definitive plan to use your service.

If you are met with silence or they avoid the question when you ask them to confirm if they want to make a booking, don’t waste your time waiting for them to make up their mind and just move on to the next client.

If a client is sincerely interested in your services, they will be certain about their decision and will not hesitate to book.

Refusing to screen or provide relevant information

Screening your client is a very important part of sex work safety.

Due to the nature of the adult industry, there are considerable risks involved, and sex workers should take the necessary precautions to protect themselves.

A sincere client will understand this and provide some sort of screening for you that allows you to check their identity, such as employment or ID verification.

Timewasters will not provide this information, as they are unsure about meeting you and wouldn’t want to give up this sensitive information unnecessarily.

While some clients want to protect their identity for personal reasons, such as fear of being scammed or having their identity disclosed, there are many ways you can screen a client in a way that they feel comfortable with.

As well as encouraging clients to screen themselves, why not build even more trust with your clients by age verifying and photo verifying your Vivastreet ads. 

Asks for selfies 

If they insist that you send explicit photos before seeing you, the truth is, that’s probably the only thing they are really after.

While you’ll feel tempted to entice them more, timewasters have a way of making you believe that they want photos to keep them thrilled until it’s time to meet up, with no intention to.

But as a sex worker, you’re likely to have dozens of sexy high-definition images on your profiles for potential clients to have a taste of what you look like and what to expect, so there is no need to send them extra photos for free.

You can either refuse or ignore them, or you can simply refer them to your private galleries, a feature on Vivastreet that allows you to sell videos and photos, and they can purchase your pictures there.

Here are some other annoying timewaster traits according to sex workers:

  • Phoning outside of working hours
  • Rude and inappropriate messages
  • Comparing services and prices to other escorts
  • Asking for videocalls 
  • Calling from far destinations or outside of their working areas
  • Asking for unprotected sex 
  • Not understanding the rules specified in their ads  
  • Turning up and then leaving when they see you or changing the duration of booking time
  • Calls from private numbers and not saying anything on the phone
  • Asking for services not offered in ads
  • Persistent phone calls
  • Sending x-rated pictures
  • Falling in love with you

How to avoid a timewaster

While sex work can attract many timewasters, you have to use your judgement to assess whether it’s a genuine client or not. However, if you experience any of the above, then it is a red flag to avoid these types of clients. 

For example, there are some clients that may not have read your ad because they have difficulty reading or could no longer meet up due to other commitments. 

Being able to spot a timewaster will mean less time wasted on insincere clients and more time generating business and maximising the number of quality clients. 

There are also some great apps out there like the ClientEye App which allows sex workers to report timewasters so that other sex workers can immediately know which clients to avoid. You can download the app here.

If you have any more tips on how to spot a timewaster, help out your fellow sex workers by letting them know in the comments below.

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