Wednesday, May 23, 2007
How a Date Goes
In real life they call prostitution "the life," or did at the time the only good books on the subject were written. In second life it is often referred to as "the trade," or "the skin trade," but is ubiquitous that it often doesn't have a name. To a great extent, dancing, escorting and related businesses are simply "the economy." Take out land speculation and sex is the most important service that SL sells.
Sex has four phases, courtship, arousal, fulfillment and bonding. These four phases exist in a date as well, merely their forms are distended from the usual, and altered to suit the needs of the transaction. The differences apply to each phase, and a client can almost be defined by which phase he is paying to alter.
Today, I'm going to write a bit about courtship, because courtship is the keystone, and in fact, escorts spend at least two hours in courtship for every hour of actual paid sex they have. More often.
Courtship is the phase of getting to know the other person, to seek out their likes and dislikes, to find their hopes and loves, their fantasies. How they move, how they can give satisfaction, and how they seek it. Courtship involves bonding, but until the erotic enters, until there is an erotic act, even if it involves no touching, bonding has not occurred. Love in theory does not survive lack of eros in fact. However eros is a flexible little boy, and wedges himself into very strange spaces.
In escorting, courtship involves meeting, arousal, establishing that this is a commercial transaction, setting the terms, finding a place, and of course the exchange of money. Nicholas Cage intoned that the first rule of gun running is not to get shot with your own merchandise. The first rule of escorting is that you get paid first for services. Anything you give for free, the client, even if he is a loaded investor, will take as free sample. Courtship in a for free relationship involves the same process: each person is trying to get the other one hot enough to abandon something. You can mix and match the genders here, throw in a third partner, and it is the same process, because it is going in both directions.
However, in real life, since women have the most to lose, because of the risks, they are also the ones that spend more effort on making an exchange. It has often been said that all women are whores, merely how she is paid is different. There is some basic truth to this, but there is a basic lie as well, and that is that it is the other way around, all whores are trading money for the risks of sex.
Now you might be silly and say that since there are no risks on sl, that all women should be willing to have sex for free. These people have never had to give a zombie facial. These people have also never had a parent round a corner while doing a client on sl, and come with in one heart stopping cmd-H of seeing their little girl playing an avatar blowing a playdo colored guy with an apparatus the width of a coke can. Oh yes dears (I'm having an Anthony Burgess moment here, with "O yes my brother's I was cured" from A Clockwork Orange), there are risks to escorting on SL. It may be that I am an Interactive Adult Entertainment Consultant, but that's still not going to be a line that appears on my resume when applying to the Metropolitan Museum of Art any time soon. Which is sad, because Lillie is my only true work of art.
I must digress, a zombie, in sl parlance, is anyone who is not doing anything. Campers are called zombies if they just sit there away. A zombie facial is when the escort does all the work while the client lies there, often it is a blow job. The only time the client reacts is when he comes rl, and starts typing about effluvia all over you. The desire to see semen all over a woman is so strong that there are products all over sl to simulate it.
There is another risk, and that is the cost of being an escort. I have, I think, 40K of sex apparatus. I loan a great deal of it out to younger escorts, but to have the top quality from Lobo, SexxxDrive and Sexgen will set you back at least 20K. That's just the bed dears. I am carrying over 3K worth of xcite. My skins ran me over 10K. My wardrobe is extensive. My body was free, but that is because it is unique to me. In short, there is financial risk as well. A man who wants to play me for free without offering anything back, is like the man who wants to take a VGA table back to his house and play against top players on IOUs.
Another risk is the risk of the stalker. If you escort, get used to having random pornographic IMs sent to you, and get used to the man who won't pay and won't give up trying endlessly to convince you to have free sex. Also there is the virtual assurance that most men who want very abbreviated courtship, are bad in bed. This too is a risk, because time is precious, and taking up time watching someone egotistically get themselves off on your submission to their cock is degrading and insulting. They know it, that's why they do it.
These risks are small compared to pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, except the first one. There are many escorts here whose rl's would come to a screeching halt if their employers, loved ones and others knew about their sl activities. This risk, the loss of a life, means that things like simply paying for linden are out of the question. I know one girl who turned to escorting because her husband cut off her gambling money. It was the only way to play the slots here she could find.
This is why the number of actual girls actually willing to go to orgy rooms is much smaller than the number of guys. For the guy, it is another form of porn film. For the girl, it is putting her identity at risk.
Courtship for us involves the process of meeting, arousing and negotiating.
Meeting is one reason that escorting is different. Very few girls take out personals on SL. There are very few ads with pictures of nipples by girls who want free sex. There are some, but few compared to the many who are hoping for money for sex. Escorts have to be sluts for meeting people, because the number of men who are willing to directly pay for sex is small compared to the number of women willing to have sex for money on sl. I wish I knew enough economics to throw around supply and demand, but I think economists would be wrong here. This is because not having to pay anything for sex is what the man wants. "I'm so much of a sex god, I don't have to love her, and I don't have to pay her, and she will still get all wet for me anyway." In short, he wants a disposable cum receptacle. Now here is the catch, men who are this kind of jerk, are exactly the kind of man who need to pay for it. Getting them to give up on not having to pay, trust me, is a lot easier than getting them to give up on treating a woman as disposable. There are other markets than the one that deals in money, in my business we live at the convergence of them.
This is why many places ban or strongly discourage escorts and escorting. Partially because many novice escorts are, shall we say, crass about it. I've seen girls walk on to a dance floor and just announce they are looking for men to pay them for sex. This, is not effective in almost all cases, and it certainly ruins the mood for other people.
The two most common ways to meet for mid tier escorts, are ads and pole dancing.
The ad is a simple affair, you list what you do, and the costs, and men take notecards. You get a message when your notecard is taken, and you then search -> people -> name click find, and say "Hello" (again the punctuation problem comes up, hello without the period is correct)
This conversation gets you or loses you the ad customer. Delay too long, he goes with someone else, misplay your hand, he goes to someone else. If you want to know fear and trepidation, this one moment of it for the escort. However, it is also not long, within a few exchanges you know if he is willing. The key question is what he wants. I've had clients request a particular hair style, a particular sex act, a particular location, a particular position. Others don't know what they want, and courtship consists of convincing them that you can provide the guidance into the unknown
This is because courtship is also a process of self discovery. You find out what arouses you about this person, and what you are willing to give up to be with them. People come to sl to discover themselves, and to discover what the name is for the vague longings they have. You might think in our pornified society that everyone would know. But static pictures of someone else, are not enough. Motion is emotion.
So this is enough to day on courtship, I'm going to talk about working the pole next time, which is the institution in an escort's life which is the most fraught with drama and upset. Cat fights among escorts, almost always, revolve around the conditions of working the pole at a club.