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A Sex Worker Explains How to Play Hard to Get When You Really Want to Get Some

Texts that roll in a week later should be met with, "Sorry, who is this?"
December 22, 2016, 7:48pm
Photo by Studio Firma via Stocksy

Lydia Faithfull is a full-time sex worker and Madam of Alien Cathouse brothel in Nevada. She specializes in domination, humiliation, and good conversation. She refuses to kiss for money.

Dear Lydia,

Does playing hard to get actually work? I'm on Tinder and I love chatting. I am so used to letting my personality shine through, to ask a million questions, to be curious and inquisitive and sometimes funny. My friends told me that, if I want to actually get laid, I need to dial it back. One word replies, take a few days to respond, etc. Is this a real tactic that works?


Though it pains me to admit it, playing hard to get can be highly effective. It must done with an air of positivity, however. Appearing moody or punishing offers no leverage. Present your life as something he'd want to be part of. Everything is coming up roses; you're simply busy and in high demand. Keep interactions brief. Avoid the making and canceling of plans. There's nothing compelling about flakiness.

That said, don't be afraid to make the first move by expressing interest. Dudes are less inclined to give chase until you've confirmed that mutual attraction exists. Who wants to risk the possibility of potential rejection?

I'm not sure when this three-day rule took effect, but it's the quickest way to lose access to my vagina.

Suppose you've met, enjoyed yourself, and hope to see him again. Don't sit around waiting for the follow up text. Men are notoriously shitty texters. Be old school and call him the next day (just once). If he doesn't answer and fails to respond within 24 hours, delete his number. Texts that roll in a week later should be met with, "Sorry, who is this?" I wouldn't indulge conversation beyond that. I'm not sure when this three-day rule took effect, but it's the quickest way to lose access to my vagina.

As a believer in directness, modern dating rituals bore the shit out of me and seem entirely avoidable. At 34, I operate at a much slower pace than I did in my twenties and now sidestep players with ease. The men I'm attracted to are considerate and equally cautious. My most successful relationships begin as friendship and evolve into a slow burn romance. You may want to open yourself up to that possibility.


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Dear Lydia,

If you had any advice to a young, single, sexually curious woman who is experimenting and casually dating for the first time—what would it be?

In the summer of 2015, I dated the entire city of Portland with reckless abandon. I'd just endured the gnarliest breakup of my life, and had little experience dating sober. Historically, I've rebounded hard post-breakup. Always with a clear conscience because I work tirelessly to salvage my relationships.

Portland is where I discovered my deal breakers. I'd never encountered so many aimless creative types. Countless tattooed men on skateboards—many of which were unemployed with several roommates. If you can't have sex at someone's place, that's a problem. As is dating anyone who lacks financial independence. Save yourself the headache by asking those questions up front. Twice, I inadvertently pursued men who didn't tell me they were homeless. One arrived at the coffee shop where we'd arranged to meet clutching a bouquet of flowers with a giant duffel bag slung over his shoulder. The next morning, my therapist gently asked, "Do you believe these dates are going well?" I shrugged as she eyed me with skepticism, slowly shaking her head and mouthing the word "No."

Read more: A Sex Worker Explains How to Get Over Your STD Paranoia

Do not meet Tinder prospects hours after swiping right. Forget the location services feature. Just because some foxy stranger is standing across the street does not mean you should seize the moment. Allow yourself a vetting process to weed out the lunatics. I once had casual sex with a man who threatened suicide when I didn't promptly return his texts. A quick Google search revealed that his house had mysteriously burned down the year before and that he'd been investigated for arson. Obviously, I immediately blocked him, but panicked upon remembering that I'd mentioned where I worked. Don't be afraid to withhold personal information until you feel comfortable. How many women are victimized because we're fearful of appearing rude?

When I began escorting, I would call a friend the moment I entered a hotel room. I'd stand in front of my client and give the hotel address, his room number, and the time our session would end. Eventually, I took the same approach with Tinder dates. Be safe, not sorry.