Former escort, TV expert, and Sex Coach & Hypnotherapist Rebecca Dakin, answers your questions on how to keep safe while working in the sex work industry. Have a comment for Rebecca? Comment below or ask us on Twitter.
Q: What are the best ways sex workers can screen their clients for safety?
A: Sex workers can screen their clients by checking if they have client reviews, asking them for ID, or directly asking other sex workers if they have seen or met up with them before. Plus, as a sex worker, you should always use your instinct. If you sense a red flag or something that doesn’t feel right about a client, don’t see them, and even if you have confirmed a date, cancel.
Q: How can you avoid meeting dangerous clients in the first place?
A: Avoid going to their home and don’t meet in car parks, outdoor establishments or in the street. Consider hotel visits, as this minimises safety risks. You can also check to see if they’re not listed on National Ugly Mugs – an organisation that provides protection for sex workers who are targeted by dangerous people. A higher rate will attract a better clientele too, potentially helping to avoid dangerous clients. Know your worth.
Q: What are the most common signs of an unsafe client?
A: Unsafe clients will likely ask you too many personal questions. They can also display an attitude that indicates that they’re entitled to see you, and not want to ‘jump through hoops’ you put in place. Being evasive, impatient, and disrespectful towards sex workers or women, in general, are other common signs.
Be mindful of those that don’t care about your comfort or respect your boundaries as well. If they’re under the influence of drugs and alcohol, this client could become unsafe. Sometimes, you may just feel unsafe without knowing the reason – this is a red flag too.
Q: What are your top safety tips for sex workers when meeting a client?
A: For sex work safety, always tell someone where you are, who you are with, and when you will be home. And don’t forget to tell your client that someone knows where you are and who you are with too. This could deter them from inappropriate behaviours.
Always check-in with someone by phone when you have arrived and are in possession of your fee – do the same when you leave. If you are not comfortable with the client, always walk away, even if you haven’t been paid.
Make sure your phone is fully charged every time you meet a client, with your emergency number ready to go. If it’s possible, have a friend or partner drive and wait for you.
If you’re going to a hotel, make sure hotel staff see you, acknowledge them, and say hello so you are remembered. Make sure you call the hotel when you arrive, not the client’s mobile, and ask to be put through to the name the client has given you to check they have given the correct name. I used to ask for a booking reference number for the hotel. I didn’t do anything with it, but it was one of my hoops.
Always practice safe sex without exception, and keep personal possessions with you at all times, including the money they have paid for your services.
Avoid drugs and/or excessive alcohol so you can stay on guard. For times when you may feel like you’re in danger, carry a can of hairspray to spray in their eyes if necessary. I have 2 black belts in Aikido – even if you’re not doing martial arts, try and learn some basic self-defence.
Q: What rules should I put in place when meeting a client?
A: First of all, set your boundaries. Let them know what services you will/won’t do and never compromise these. If someone doesn’t respect you or makes you feel uncomfortable, walk away. Always practice safe sex, and make sure that your client is freshly showered and has used soap. Some need some encouragement in this area!
If there’s a service you usually offer, but for some reason no longer want to offer it to the client, then say you’re not comfortable and don’t do it. You don’t owe any explanation.
Q: How can I quickly and safely get away from an untrustworthy client?
A: You can go to the bathroom and text the person who knows where you are to let them know. Always stay calm and polite in a situation like this, so as not to aggravate the situation. Tell your client you have a home emergency and have to leave.
Q: Who can sex workers turn to for support if they fall victim to a dangerous client?
A: Call the police and report them to National Ugly Mugs.
If you’re a sex worker who has come in contact with a dangerous client or needs safety advice, there are plenty of great sex work support organisations that can help.
About Rebecca Dakin
‘My experience in dating and relationships is very much hands on. You see I’ve been in the sex industry for over 20 years, 10 of which I spent working as an escort, travelling the world with men, women and couples offering what is known in the escort industry as The Girlfriend Experience. Which is as it says on the tin, a hired girlfriend, and dating, intimacy and relationships was a big part of that.
After finishing escorting in 2010, my book The Girlfriend Experience was published, and since then I’ve forged out a business helping others using a less hands on approach.
During the past 9 years I have experienced various therapies myself for my own self development, including CBT, hypnotherapy, NLP, counselling, PP Inner Child Therapy and experiencing these therapies for myself, aside from the huge benefits to my wellbeing, has given me good foundations and understanding of people and relationships.
I trained in 2011 to become a Hypnotherapist, a Master Practitioner in NLP and I trained in Time Line Therapy. I don’t work like traditional therapists I use these therapy skills alongside my unique life experience to coach women, men and couples to find fulfilment in their relationships with themselves first and foremost, and, with others.
Book your 20 Minute Exploratory Call so I can help you understand how my skills and experience can help you.’