4guys Sept 2016 issue #1 - Page 37

You’ve compared being a sex worker to a psychologist. What have you learned about the human psyche from your clients? As a gay escort, learning how many people believe that “fitting in” is more important than personal happiness is the biggest eye opener. Many of my clients have a lot of repressed feelings and desires—and not only older clients. I’m still amazed how many young 18–25-year-old clients still feel they “have to” get married and yet don’t want to. It’s also quite evident how nationality and race affects those beliefs. Then there’s a lot of clients who bring up early sexual experiences they need to relive and express feelings they’ve never talked about with anyone. Do you feel you’ve helped any of these people in some deeper way? With a client in New York I met weekly over a few months, the effect the experience had on him—he was questioning everything, and he told me on our last meeting how his life had changed because of our time. He was happier. Family life, business, everything got better. He said he felt like he dealt with things that were beneath the surface. I’ve had lots of experiences like that, and those are the best in my opinion. You’re campaigning to promote the legitimacy of sex work in the hopes it will lessen its stigma. What change do you want to see? It’s about creating a safer environment. If no one talks about sex work publicly, it could continue to go deeper underground, which will only make it more dangerous for people forced into sex work against their will. It’s about recognizing that some of us are business people yet others aren’t in it by choice—and they shouldn’t be ignored. Which brings us to the charity you work with: The National Ugly Mugs scheme. What to they do? The NUM is very important and unique. It lets escorts make reports direct to the project to be logged in their database so other escorts can be alerted to any dodgy dudes. Escorts can check the database and get alerts via emails, text, or the app. NUM helps escorts report crimes to the police anonymously. That’s vital because most escorts won’t report crimes, expecting the police to not be interested or do anything—or maybe even arrest them. That’s because not everyone knows where they legally stand. The charity works closely with all police forces around the country on behalf of street sex workers and escorts. Everyone in the business would be smart to sign up. 4GUYS.CA 37