With the exception of the occasional inconsiderate asshole, most people know how to behave at the shops, the hairdressers or when they're catching an Uber. They know not to skip the queue, to tip and not to barf all over the backseat. But a lot of people don't know how you're supposed to behave when you visit a sex worker, or when you're drunkenly trying to stay upright in a chair while a stripper grinds on your lap.
Considering the men and women who work in the sex industry offer up their bodies, it's only fair that you try and be polite and considerate. But what are the dos and don'ts? Can you ask a sex worker to lower the going rate for a blowjob because you're such a loyal customer? And exactly how handsy can you get when you have a half-naked stripper grinding on your lap?
I asked a Dutch escort, a prostitute, and two strippers what you should and shouldn't do when you are enjoying their services.
Kevin Talle, 35 years old, has been working as a stripper for 10 years
As a male stripper, after the show people often say: "Hey, we didn't even get to see your dick!" But the whole point of a striptease is seduction – leaving the most exciting parts to the imagination. I think that an entertaining show is more important, but if you just want to see my dick then I'll do a lap fully naked and then immediately put my clothes back on.
And don't book me to embarrass someone else. I often get booked as a surprise for women that don't know how to deal with a striptease. They'll be sitting there looking very uncomfortable, and holding their hands up in the air. You can tell by the look on their face that they don't enjoy it. And that, of course, is exactly why her friends booked me in the first place – because it's funny to see the birthday girl get embarrassed by a half-naked, dancing guy. The thing is that I do try my absolute best to make her feel comfortable. And look, I'll do my whole routine and all, but it's just a lot more fun to dance for someone, who is smiling and impatiently waiting for you to get closer.
The most important thing is that you join in and hold me or touch me when I signal you to. But there is definitely a line. The other day I was performing for a group of older ladies. The lady in the chair must have been in her late sixties. She was brimming with enthusiasm throughout the act, and near the end I was standing before her smiling face with nothing but a little flag covering my penis. In her excitement, she grabbed my dick and yanked it really hard. It hurt like hell. The whole group was laughing, and after taking a few deep breaths I laughed as well, but I still wonder what the hell she was thinking.
Liv, 24, high-class escort with Vialet EscortService
The other day I was meeting a new client in a hotel in Germany. We decided to grab a bite to eat first, and over dinner he told me that he was going through a divorce, that his wife hadn't given him a blowjob for months, and that he missed his kids. While we were talking, I noticed that his nails looked absolutely hideous; gnawed down little stumps that looked like they could start bleeding any moment. Even during dinner, he would occasionally put down his fork so he could bite down on his nails instead. Apparently he noticed me staring, because he told me that he had started biting his nails since the divorce. After we got back to the hotel room we ran a bath, and he started kissing me passionately. After we had sex, I felt something hard and sharp in my mouth. I spat it out and – holy shit. It was a bit of fingernail.
What I'm saying is: Hygiene is important. I don't know you, so make sure you're fresh and clean when you go on a date. That's what I do too.
Besides that, one of the most important rules is wearing a condom. It's unbelievable how many guys try to bend the rules on that. "I'm really clean, I got tested recently," they'll say. Come on. It ruins the mood and besides, you knew in advance that safe sex is one of the conditions when you book me. The same goes for asking for my contact details. "Come on, you can tell me your real name, can't you? Don't you have a mobile number so I can reach you directly?" No. Being an escort comes with so many risks, so we all value our privacy. Usually they do give me their own business card, in case I want to call them. I always take it and then throw it in the trash as soon as they're gone.
Michele, 34, has been working as a stripper for 14 years
Don't be blindly drunk. I often get a last-minute booking from a group of guys that want a striptease around 1AM. Usually they've already had quite a lot to drink and are having trouble sitting upright in their chairs. They often try to grope me, of course. At my agency, we use whipped cream and lotions that they can rub on us – so it's not that touching is strictly forbidden. But it's the stripper that decides when, how and what. Sober clients understand these boundaries, but wasted clients often ignore the rules.
A simple but important rule: stay in your seat! Clients often try and get up and start dancing with me. They mean well, but my whole act is built around you. I have a whole choreography set to the music, so if I have to get you back on your chair before I can continue, that disrupts the whole thing. Once I was performing for a drunk guy that wanted to dance with me, and grabbed me by my waist and lifted me high in the air. I often use ice cubes in my act, and some of them had landed on the floor earlier and had started to melt. You can guess what happened next: The guy slipped and I took quite a fall. So yeah, if something like that happens, the show is over and I just go and get my things.
Molly, 26, has been working as a prostitute for four years
Don't be the guy with the saviour complex. There are two types of clients like this. The first one is the overprotective client: They want to spend half an hour talking to you about your personal life first, and asks you way too many personal questions, including whether you're really doing this voluntarily. And then there are the clients that like you so much that they want to save you from this "awful life" that they think you lead as a sex worker. These clients constantly say things like: "But you're so cute and you're so smart. You don't need to do this kind of work" or "Shouldn't you try and get a real job?" It's super annoying, because it means that you're not taking me seriously. I understand it's coming from a good place, but it is also very condescending. I am a professional and I take my job seriously.
Then there are the 'boundary pushers' – the guys that always want more. "We've known each other for a while now, can't we do it without a condom for once? Or "Could we discuss the rate?" That really takes the fun out of it for me. Before I always tried to calmly and nicely explain that that isn't how it works and that I have a few very clear rules. Except that never really seemed to work, so now I immediately give whoever attempts anything off the book, a stern lecture.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get from clients is: "What do you like?" That's sweet, but it doesn't really help either one of us. First of all, in these situations it's not about what I like, and second of all, I doubt we like the same thing. Of course that stems from the excellent idea that sex should be fun for both parties, but paid sex is different. People often struggle with the notion that they get to let loose and I'm completely focused on them.
The best thing a client can do for me, is be clear about what they want. I often get first-timers that are very nervous, and never learned to talk about sex. They find if hard to articulate what they do and don't like, and what turns them on. The more you tell me about what you enjoy, the better our date will be.