The Italian Job

As with most things sinful, the beginning was rather innocent. The client, let’s (aptly) call him The Italian, e-mailed me in April. A very short message: do you speak Italian? I told him the truth. I understand Italian and can write reasonably well (with Google translate opened in the next tab) on conversational level but speak – not so much: nowhere to practice in Scotland. Nevertheless, he got back to me asking for a booking at the end of May. I agreed. Little did I know of exactly how much fun I signed up for.

End of May arrived, and so did The Italian. In the morning, when he texted to confirm the afternoon booking, he asked if I have any friends for the 2 friends he came to Edinburgh with, preferably Italian-speaking ones. This idea (entertained by many punters) that all hookers know each other is really irritating. I wanted to reply that sure, I’ll take my friends out of the draw and blow them up, shouldn’t take me more than 15 minutes with a good pump. But language barrier is a pain, so I ended up saying that it’s not my responsibility  to arrange his friends’ sex life. Nor is it his. If they want to get laid, the least they could do is try to find someone for it, like he did.

Yet, when I met The Italian, I understood how difficult it must be to find an escort in Edinburgh if you don’t speak or read a word of English. He must have been lucky to come across me. His friends were less fortunate, poor sods. So when the booking was over, I moved from the bed to the desk and The Italian switched on his laptop. This is how for the second time in my life I started looking for a prostitute.

After about half an hour of hard work we short listed three and a half ladies (initially it was 4 but read on) all of whom had Italian as their nationality. Out of these, 3 women did not speak a word of Italian, and the 4th was Spanish and she did speak some Italian, but after a brief conversation with her he hung up the phone.

– It’s a man!

– Don’t be silly, of course it’s a woman!

– Did you hear this voice? (I did, and well, as I said, we short listed 3.5 ladies)

– But she’s Spanish, what do you expect? She can’t help it!

– If it’s not a man, then a transsexual!

I didn’t manage to persuade him to give this lady a chance so we went on with the search. At some point he started looking keenly at me and eventually asked if I’m free this week-end at all. Maybe I could take care of his friends?

I panicked.

For two reasons.

First of all, his friends were Italian. My experience with Italian clients is mixed but mostly unpleasant. Not negative: they have never been violent, abusive or rude to either me or any other sex worker I know of. But the majority of Italian clients IN MY EXPERIENCE seem to be under the impression that sex work isn’t about human interaction. They don’t care much for sharing the pleasure, they don’t want to chat or kiss. All they want is get it over with and get out. While clients like this exist all over the globe, Italy seems to be the only country supplying them TO ME in abundance, and with only 20% of all my Italian clients being human in the bedroom, the trend is easy to notice. It may of course be a cultural difference or a difference in perception, but I have a strong feeling that this is how Italian sex workers operate (willingly or not) so Italian clients follow the rules they are accustomed to.

Secondly, his friends were his friends. While I’m sure that some of the clients I’ve had over the years knew each other, and some of them I even knew for sure to be friends or colleagues, I have never yet had clients who would know when and where I was engaged with their friends. Call me bourgeois (because a moralist I am not by definition) but this feels slutty to me, almost like sleeping with a football team. And I take pride in being a sex worker, not a slut (no offence to sluts. I am sure that a football team can provide a very rewarding experience).

And so, in panic I googled escort agencies in Edinburgh. I never thought I’d call an agency, and it wasn’t the most satisfying experience, but having spoken to 3 receptionists, I had to give up.

My Italian improved enormously during that week-end. The Italian no 2 was a sweetheart of a client while The Italian no 3 was a typical Italian one. I asked no 2 if he’d ever seen a lady of fixed-rate virtue before and no, he hadn’t. Same as my Italian virgin (who hadn’t seen any lady at all). They make up the 20% mentioned above. To sum it up:

  1. There aren’t enough Italian-speaking escorts in Edinburgh (yep, I enjoyed inserting the link) and
  2. Educating clients is often overlooked in sex work but is, in fact, very important.

Old “friend” – Part 1

This week brought back two old “friends”. Let’s start with the first one, Colin, whom I’ve seen a few times. In fact, quite a few times. But not in the settings that you as a reader are used to imagine.

Up until 2 years ago I visited Edinburgh from time to time – for the Fringe and, of course, while looking for a place to live when I decided to move to Edinburgh. During these trips I advertised in Daily Sport – the fastest (even if not the easiest) way to generate a few clients a day to cover the expenses of your trip, festival tickets and the real estate agent’s fee.

If you don’t know what Daily Sport was 3 years ago (it’s changed now, I hear, but not necessarily for the better) – it’s a highly unpleasant newspaper with about 400-500 ads for “services” all over the UK. An ad consists of a lady’s name, her location and her phone number – nothing else. This ad cost £30 a day (and this is when pimping is illegal in the UK). As you can guess, this newspaper does not provide you with upscale clientele. The average client it gives you is looking for a quick fix at 60 quid for 30 minutes. So this was what I offered.

If right now you’re thinking “why should I be paying her £200 for what other people get for £60!” – think again. Having been “on the game” for 6 years now, I worked in all possible modes and at all possible rates and believe me – there is a difference. Different rates provide you with different experiences. None of them is better or worse, it all depends on what you are looking for. From the point of view of a sex worker, what client are you more likely to give more attention to? The one who pays £60 or the one who pays £200? That’s right. One of them you will want to come back for more. The other one is easily expendable. One pays enough to make sure he’s the only one for the day. The other one has to queue. Here is how an ordinary £60 booking goes:

4pm. Will never skip lunch because of work again (promised religiously to self every day)! I really need to have something to eat when this one is gone. If he leaves by 4.15, I’ll have just enough time for a quick shower and a super quick snack before the next one at 4.30. Hope the next one is a little late – an apple is not going to be enough for me right now. I should have bought some chocolate last night. I wonder if this new bar I saw is as good as it looks! Jesus, will he finish at all today?! I should probably suggest changing the position. Sh!t, what did he say his name was?

– Honey, would you like to go on top now?

4.15 (smoothing out the bed sheets while the client is getting dressed) Was it Monday or Tuesday I changed the sheets last? Ah, who cares, it looks ok, I’ll give it another day.

4.20 (closing the door) Sod the shower, I MUST have something to eat NOW!

And pretty much any post on this blog tells you how an average £200+ date goes so I won’t repeat that but I’ll say this again – neither way is better or worse. It’s up to each sex worker what they feel comfortable providing (not everyone wants/ has the ability to connect with the client and not all sex workers want a long-term relationship with clients as it can be very demanding and difficult emotionally) and it’s up to each client what they want to pay for (good sex is different things to different people).

And now back to Colin. Daily Sport was how I saw him first and after several bookings I even started recognising him. Mentally I referred to him as “hairy bloke no 2” (mind you, it was 3 years ago and he has moved down to no 4 since. The first position is still occupied by the Geordie, the second place now belongs to the Italian virgin and the third is reserved for Mr French – not that there is a competition of any sorts going on) and had a lot of fun taunting him with it.

With Daily Sport days long gone as I settled in one place, you can imagine my surprise when the person who showed up at the time and location agreed for a date turned out to be my hairy bloke number 2! It is not too hard to find me if you want it – I’ve always worked with the same name and phone number, whatever city, rate or affiliation; but it’s the first time when someone I saw for £60 decided that the “new and improved” deal is worth it. Personally, I totally think it is, but of course I’m curious as to what made him think this way.

– Dunno. You were so sensual and intimidating. Remember the last time when…

Colin goes on to describe what I did last time I saw him and I nod like I remember. What I’m really thinking about is “intimidating”. It’s not the first time I’m told I am and for the life of me I don’t know what they mean or how I manage to give this impression. You’d think that people will want to avoid things that intimidate them but men keep coming back: I guess there’s intimidating and intimidating. So I take Colin to the bedroom and intimidate the hell out of him.

Part 2 to follow.

Animal Planet: the A to Z of client species found in Edinburgh

The Americans – these come with a hard impermeable shell that they will open up if consider the surrounding environment friendly. The content of the shell varies from individual to individual. The Americans don’t do well in captivity or on their own, they tend to live and migrate in small packs, even when on business. This might be due to the fact that American folklore is very rich with menacing tales of the end of the world, when their natural habitat as it is will cease to exist unless they are all saved by one American, usually known as “the hero” (the only exception is the series of tales where the world was saved by a German lesbian, usually respectfully referred to as “die Hard”). These fear and distrust over the generations found their natural way out in evolution of the protective shell mentioned above.

The Arabs – religiously clean, personal grooming includes fur intolerance. Young unmated individuals may differ greatly from mature mated ones. The Arabs are reportedly polygynous; when mating outside their natural environment, tend to show preference for copulation with only one female. In return for her favours they religiously follow the prescribed rules of keeping the females satisfied: supporting the female financially, taking her shopping, then to a restaurant, then to the bedroom. It is thus seen as taking on a short-term wife rather than cheating.

The Aussies – think well of themselves and rightly so. For mating rituals always show up well-groomed and well-dressed. In contacts seem to prefer quality to quantity. Exhibit a good sense of style, hygiene and humour. Genetically courteous. Unanimously list religious upbringing as enemy no 1.

The English – easy to spot even out of their natural habitat due to their inbred tendency to form queues where more than one specimen is involved. A few subspecies are recognised (although all show a high degree of individual variability) distinguished by location, attitude to females, mating rituals and view of self. By most part, however, see themselves as sexually attractive just by being male and therefore are not well-trained in the arts of personal grooming and dressing. The ones who left their natural environment and were accepted by other species copy successfully the other species’ ways of grooming, dressing and polite interaction.

The French may vary wildly in their appearance but the behavioral traits that set them apart from other species are unmistakable. They are the only species that really know how to enjoy life and themselves, even within the settings of Scotland. Adults train the young to appreciate good food, good wine and good time for yourself, sometimes even at the expense of training in personal grooming. They willingly acknowledge this about themselves but are not in a hurry to change the behavioral pattern: so much good food, so many good females, so little time for silly necessities!

The Italians – not enough data gathered to provide a reliable description, most probably because located so far north, Edinburgh does not provide this species with favourable conditions for mating. The only confirmed fact is that the myth of hot Italian lovers is a myth. The research continues and volunteers are welcome.

The Kiwis – quite rare here but the ones spotted are reportedly similar in behaviour to the Aussies although differ from them in appearance – they can be careless dressers. It’s unclear whether this is characteristic of the species or is done by relocated individuals to fit in with the local fauna. More research is needed.

The Scandinavians (Norwegian species, the Dutch and the Swedes) – being the northern species, cultivation of body hair is a distinguishing trait, although some individuals are known to have experimented in that field. The absence of smooth body surface is successfully compensated by sweet personality, unassuming attitude and genuine ardour when the possibility for mating arises. However, when the possibility turns into certainty, some Scandinavians show strong tendency for timidity when vis-a-vis with a female. This might be due to the irrational Scandinavian belief that females of the species should not want to mate, and if they say they do – they are clearly confused and need professional help.

The Scots used to form an independent species, but not for long and were never good at it. They were glad to be assimilated by the English, and now, with the same well-documented use of a large variety of polite words, are practically identical. Until the late Pleistocene, were characterised by wearing skirts – a highly distinctive trait, and a very efficient way for males to attract the opposite sex. Nowadays, in line with the English culture, efforts to attract the females are seen as a sign of weakness. The Scots, however, preserved their historic admiration for females and give the lead in the mating rituals to them which, according to Freud, may be due to “skirt envy” and an innate guilt complex rooted in abandoning the skirt tradition.

The Welsh – this mythical species has long been the object of wonder: although everything points to its existence at least at some point in time, no specimen has been captured alive so far. A few individuals are reported to have been suspected of being Welsh, but there was no way to prove it as due to the lack of evidence the existing description of the Welsh and their behaviour is highly unreliable. Consequently, the rumour of a modern country populated with the Welsh has no grounds, although of course a place like that could have existed in antiquity. Theories vary from the ones that suggest that the Welsh died out because they were so few and far between that meeting for procreation was virtually impossible to the ones that stipulate that the Welsh actually reproduced asexually by budding and went extinct because seriously, who can survive without sex? Excavation continues.

The promised origin post

Over lunch, Walter looks at me with a smile and says he can’t wait to see exactly how I’m going to disappoint everyone and NOT tell them after all. It’s a statement, but it’s obvious that in fact he’s asking a question. Yeah, right, like I’m going to tell him. I don’t know myself yet. So instead I draw his attention to the jam that was served with my brie. It’s difficult to reach it at the bottom of a narrow serving cup. Walter suggests a knife. Licking a knife? I take the serving cup in one hand and start fingering it with the other.

– You really can’t be like other people and do things in a way that’s not sexy, can you?

Works every time. Men are like 3 year old kids. If a child cries for a toy, there’s no point in telling him that it’s not a good toy for him. Instead, turn him away from the desired toy and show him something else. Out of sight – out of mind for children, and their attention is quickly switched to the new object. Unfortunately, in writing this trick doesn’t work that well. So here comes the promised origin post.

Here’s the list of things (in a rather random order) that men consider when choosing what lady to see:

  • Monetary value: a man has to decide what he wants and how much he’s prepared to pay for it.
  • Physical attributes: chest size/ hip circumference/ hair colour/ leg length/ dress size/ height/ hair length/ shoe size/ body shape, etc.
  • Race: Arabic/ Asian/ Black/ Oriental/ White, etc.
  • Age.
  • Geographical location, within the country or even in the city.
  • Personality: for a lot of men, especially those who are looking for anything longer than 15 minutes, it’s important that the lady they choose has a personality (full stop – optional) that they can relate to.
  • Employment status: agency worker/ parlour-based worker/ independent worker.

All these factors are understandably important in choosing where you spend your money. Now what about the place where a lady was born? It does not promise you any physical attributes (unless it’s Hollywood where everyone seems to be size 6 with 34DD and blond), it does not provide you with information about the lady’s personality (unless you believe in stereotypes), it does not guarantee that you will be/ won’t be happy with the time you spend with the lady. In many cases nowadays even a certain race can’t be expected from a given place on the Earth. So what’s the obsession about?

I’ve a colleague who was born in Iraq. Is she Muslim? No. She was born into an Orthodox Christian family. Does she speak Arabic? No. She’s lived in London for longer than she remembers herself. At first she used to be honest and, if people asked, she’d say she was Iraqi. More often than not the phone line would go dead there and then. Now she says she’s Italian, and even though she looks as Arabic as they come and her Italian only goes as far as “ciao”, men are happy and her business is flourishing. I’m not saying that anything is wrong with being Iraqi, Muslim or Arabic. My point is that there are far too many stereotypes around (and in sex trade we are stereotyped enough by our occupation. Do we want to be stereotyped by our origin on top of that?) while in reality being or not being any of these doesn’t make you a good or a bad sex worker. And a place of birth does not determine who you are.

Neither does it determine if a person is in sex trade of their free will. Being foreign does not equal being trafficked. Being trafficked is not necessarily the same as being forced. Not to mention that British women can still be trafficked within the UK (according to the current Home office definition of trafficking) and forced (according to any definition).

And in case you are wondering, place of birth is not the only question I will not answer, especially if asked by someone who’s trying to book an appointment over the phone with a short notice. I’m not interested in clients who need to know my dress size or the incall address before they decide if they want to see me. Blame me for being too selective (I am a woman and am therefore allowed) but I don’t want to be chosen because the flat where I will see you is close enough to your work/ far enough from your home. If you’re interested in property, you’re calling the wrong number. If you’d like to see me, the location should not be the major force behind your decision. The same with the dress/ bra size. I believe my site shows that I’ve a little more to offer than a pair of breasts. If after that you still want to call and ask, here’s the answer: have you seen my photos? This is what I look like. It’s up to you to decide if you like it or not. But if you want a number next to it, then it’s 200 an hour.

I’m not saying these are bad/ wrong questions – not at all. I understand completely why a man would want to ask them. But I’m clearly not what this man is looking for: I do not provide the services he’s after.

The 2011 season is now open, or one more hairy post

I have now seen the hairiest bum ever. Nothing else you can show me will surprise me now. It all started with a… coffee.

You know how you’ve a rule of, say, always paying with cash instead of your joint account credit card at lap dancing venues for security reasons. Well, I’ve this rule of rejecting purely social bookings. For the same reason. I also have another rule – to always go by my gut feeling. If a potential client sounds fine and everything seems to be ok, but my gut is not happy – I won’t take this booking. Whether it’s something my conscious mind missed but my subconscious picked up on or simply something I’ve eaten is irrelevant. Better safe than sorry is every lady’s motto.

And then one day I receive this e-mail request for a coffee together and my stomach is very quiet about it. This e-mail was from an Italian man who, at 30-something, was still a virgin and wanted to see if he’d be comfortable enough in my company to try more than sitting close to me at a table. I ended up breaking my own rule against social bookings. My lame excuse to myself is curiosity. Has anyone else ever seen an Italian man who’s still a virgin past the age of 14? Besides, I’ve a soft spot for both Italians and virgins.

And so we met, had a little chat about politics, religion, history, geography and linguistics (yep, this is exactly what we talked about. No innuendos, no flirting, no planning the following booking: not only because I don’t do it, but also because he, obviously, doesn’t do it either) and then I went back home. It felt strange to me, as if I haven’t done my job properly. We exchanged a few more e-mails but nothing followed. I thought it was for the best. I’d rather he was totally ready for it. Or he could find someone else he felt better with.

A few weeks passed and there was another e-mail from him (words “The Deed” in the title) asking for a booking. Telling me that there’s probably something wrong with him, but my blog attracts him more than my photos. Everything’s arranged, and eventually the day arrives.

A little chat on the sofa. He’s trying to look confident and succeeds until I reach to kiss him. Eyes so big and scared, I’d have laughed, had I not known he’s serious. He turns away.

– I thought you didn’t kiss!

– (to myself) Whose blog have you been reading?

– (to him) Don’t you want to kiss me? (putting it this way usually works a treat)

It still takes a while before he kisses me rather than lets me kiss him, but we get there.

His body is beautiful, albeit barely visible. His chest is covered with what he calls his own carpet (more like a Flokati rug judging by its size and thickness). At least he waxes his back (otherwise he looks like a werewolf – his own words!), and his bum deserves a separate post here. Remember the Geordie I told you about? This bum leaves him well behind. It’s not fluffy, not even hairy. It’s furry. The hair curls in tight little spirals. Adorable. Even more adorable was the trim in the right place. Done, as I could guess, just for me. How sweet is that!

We have a proper tutorial with an obligatory lesson on how to pleasure a woman. He seems to enjoy it. I consider it finished when he starts taking initiative – if he’s comfortable enough to do it, he’s learnt all he needs. The rest is the question of experience. He leaves looking so comfortable, relaxed and confident that I feel like I’ve done a great job. Breaking a rule was worth it after all.

This was the first virgin this year. The season is now open.

When understanding women gets hard

Not sure why exactly, but all of a sudden I recalled a class on what translation should not be like. As one of the examples of possible mistakes we watched a short part of a Sophia Loren film, made in 60s or 70s and subtitled around the same time.

In that scene, Sophia’s character was seen throwing a man’s wardrobe out of the window in white rage. Out went trousers, shirts, boots, as she screemed in a typically Italian way: “Bastardo! Impotento! Idioto!”

Meanwhile, the subtitles read: “Out of my life! I don’t love you anymore!”

Mind games

It’s been a beautiful day today, it felt like the first day of summer. Having lived in Scotland for 3 months now, I supposed it might also be the last one so I set my mind on not missing it.

I went to play tourists – it’s a game I enjoy whole-heartedly. I put on my trainers, jeans and T-shirt and go to Royal Mile to mix with the crowd. I love tourists dearly, especially when the weather is good. They always smile (happy smiles, not polite ones) and look interested, and laugh a lot, and talk loudly. They are a great crowd, especially Edinburgh tourists, they are different from London ones. Or maybe it’s the city atmosphere that affects people.

I go on guided tours with them, to the galleries, watch street performances, give a pound to every bagpiper (they are all in kilts and you can see their bluish knees under the hem of their skirts), sit in cafes and listen to tourists talking all the languages of the world. Sometimes I understand them, sometimes I don’t, and sometimes I wish I didn’t, like the time I was right next to a group of Italian teenagers who, judging by their gestures, were talking about something other than art, science is more like it, anatomy to be precise.