There are a lot of things to think about when working as an escort; your image, your ad, your clients, how to market yourself for success: the list seems endless, but your safety should be at the very top of it.
Meeting men, women or couples you don’t know can make you vulnerable in a number of ways, but these top safety tips will help protect you when working as an escort:
It’s always advisable to keep your personal life and your professional life separate.
Use an alias for working, never give clients your real name, and if you plan on inviting any of them to your home, insist on meeting them in hotels or public places for the first couple of appointments to work out whether they’re trustworthy.
If you use your home to entertain clients, be discreet. Your neighbours may take offence or jump to conclusions about what you’re doing.
Don’t tell clients about your personal life, including where you work if you have another job, whether you have children or information about your family or friends.
When you advertise online, keep any identifying features, including your face, tattoos or unusual birthmarks out of shot.
Use a separate mobile phone and email address for business. When you place an ad on Vivastreet, we give you free use of our Viva Protect Service which redirects calls and messages to you and keeps your real details confidential.
Escorting isn’t for everyone. Be realistic about the kind of companionship you’re willing to offer and be clear about that in your ad.
If you form emotional attachments to people quickly, remember that you are being paid to provide a professional service. Escorting is not the way to find Mr Right.
All escorts want reliable, regular clients, but be wary of those who cross a line and develop emotional attachments to you. Keep everything strictly professional and if they can’t do that, become unavailable and politely suggest that they find another escort.
You might decide to become an escort because you really love the company of interesting men without the hassle of commitment, but whatever your reasons, you’ll still want to be paid for your time.
Request your money up-front for any appointments to make sure that you don’t get ripped off or short-changed and take care to avoid time-wasters.
Take some cash with you to meetings, but leave any bank or credit cards, driving licences or passports at home.
Meeting strangers can make you vulnerable to physical abuse. This is not unique to escorting; people who date or conduct business online are all at risk of finding themselves in a threatening situation.
To stay safe, vet your clients carefully and always meet them in a public place or hotel where you can leave or call for help easily.
If a situation becomes threatening, stay calm and if you can, make an excuse to powder your nose or make a phone call and just leave.
Don’t carry weapons for protection. They could make a client feel threatened and be the trigger for aggressive behaviour and in the heat of the moment, you could be overpowered and have them used against you.
It’s wise to invest in some self-defence classes that teach you how to disarm or escape an attacker. You can often find these classes at your local gym or martial arts centre.
There is a lot of confusion about the legality of working as an escort.
In brief, an escort is not a prostitute. You are allowed to advertise your time for payment, as long as that time is not promoted as being for sexual purposes. Beyond that, what you agree with your client is up to you.
You must be over 18 years of age and you must not solicit, in other words offer your escorting services publicly, but advertising online and accepting bookings for companionship is perfectly legal.
The last consideration to make is whether you declare your earnings to the Inland Revenue. Failing to disclose the amount of money you make could land you in trouble with the tax man.
You should have plans in place to deal with all of these safety issues before you start working as an escort. If something happens to you, your escorting career will be a short-lived one, so look after yourself and your business by protecting yourself properly.