Questions are absolutely fine!
So, your 'clients' were actually the people selling, well, themselves? How did that work? When you don't have a... "boss"? They didn't have a "boss", did they?
Over half of the time, with the women escorts, they did. Yes, there were pimps. One was even a b-list celebrity, whose name I won't disclose. Sometimes, the pimps would call in for the ladies, but that was more often just when they were setting up ads for all of their 'girls' (the first time). Afterward, the escorts themselves would call to make changes and such because the pimps didn't want to be bothered.
With BDSM and Trans clients, they would call in themselves. I worked on the basic call center floor for a few months, and sometimes spoke to Johns, but got promoted to sales admin calls, because I had a knack for dealing with our most demanding and difficult clients. It was a national agency.
but could you share some of those stories?
I could write on and on for hours. I even have some admittedly funny stories, too. But with many of the hardest ones, there were often overlapping issues. Here's just a snapshot:
- A massage-therapy + escort was nearing her thirties. She started giving backrubs to her boyfriend and his junkie pals in her mid-teens, and soon things were escalating, and the boyfriend basically pimped her out. If she was going to (in her words) "Get gang banged by guys I thought were my friends", she would at least take the money.
She caught a break in her twenties, got pregnant, and went to get at least a message therapy license in her state. Once she got that, however, no legit massage parlor would hire her, so she started escorting again. At her age, she used to call me at least once a week in tears, saying that there was no job that would pay her what she needed to cover her expenses and her daughter's, and she didn't know what she was going to do.
- A young lady was working under a pimp, but would call to make her own changes to the ads. She casually told me that her dad had put her on the street at fifteen, and she had herpes before she had her driver's license. She'd been hospitalized twice after being brutalized by Johns, and arrested once. She said she figured she'd be dead or in jail before she hit 25.
- One pimp got into a car accident while he was on the phone with me,
and he launched into a horrible screaming fit at the two ladies he had with him, accusing them of causing the accident by distracting him, and yelling that they would each have to give him "three days of blood and ass" to make up for the outcalls they were about to miss.
Over and over again, the stories were often the same. They got in, whether through a pimp or by themselves, and then saw no way out. They accepted having to deal with disease, rape, drugs and arrest, because they didn't think they could leave the business. It was too dangerous, or there were no options that would enable them to restart a life in a new direction.
Many had kids. Another depressing element happened with the transgender clients - most of those I spoke with on a regular basis were only in the business to afford surgery and/or hormones. The most beautiful escort I ever did work for was a transgender woman who looked like a Victoria's Secret model. She was South American, and just breathtaking. But it was painful to hear her say that she felt like a freak plaything for money.
For us that are not into law, how can we help?
Much depends on the law and NGO's in your area, but one big thing is to see if you can volunteer for organizations trying to set up pathways out of the business. Otherwise, anything you can do for organizations that fight trafficking, domestic violence, etc. will be helpful!