Etiquette 101: Calling an Escort and Talking on the Phone – Client Questions

Posted on Posted in Ask Annie: Advice from an Escort about Escorts, Intimacy, Relationships, Sexuality, Sex Work, and "The Hobby”

Escorts 101 for newbies: How to call an escortThis is a continuation of my previous post, in which I shared a list of questions a young newbie sent me a while back. I get questions in my email inbox often (from clients, potential clients, potential escorts, and people who aren’t part of the escort/client world but happened to find my blog and were interested enough to write). At some point I’ll get around to answering all of them. But since this list is from a newbie, and since these are questions a lot of newbies have, I thought it would be good to put this info up for ALL the newbies out there. Also, I’ll admit I was a bit amused by the sense of urgency with which he asked these questions, and I was charmed by his apparent concern for getting the etiquette right when calling an escort on the phone. Good job, Anonymous Newbie. You’re off to a great start.

I answered a relatively easy question first (Why do some escorts prefer older men?), so if that’s something you’ve wondered about in the past, please check out my extremely short and sweet answer, lol. Also, if you know the artist for the image from The Graduate, please let me know. It looks like it was taken from an original poster for the film. I love that movie, and I love Anne Bancroft in it. Mrs. Robinson one of my idols when it comes to assertiveness and the art of seduction.

Anyway, today I’m addressing his question about calling an escort–a question that is actually many questions in one. So, without further ado, here are his questions and my answers:


I wanted to know as an absolute newbie how do I make a date with a companion either from Backpage to P411. From the blog I see you are busy and your time is valuable, however I am not looking for a synopsis but an in depth explanation. So let me clarify on my question.

First, I wanted to know the etiquette of talking to a companion on the phone.

OK, here’s where I admit that I’m a little out of my element. I generally am not available on short notice, unless I happen to have had a cancellation. My clients tend to contact me well in advance, and they don’t necessarily need an answer this second. I do understand that not all providers work that way, though. Many providers go to their private incall (or book a hotel room) and devote their entire day(s) to seeing clients. Those providers probably appreciate phone calls because it’s a quick way to schedule something immediately.

Personally, I don’t like to set up dates over the phone. Why? Because I’m all over the place all day long–rushing to a yoga class, going to the gym, WAITING FOR THE REPAIR GUY FOR THE THIRD DAY IN A ROW (grumble grumble), hurrying to get ready for my day job, etc. If the phone rings, I can’t always drop what I’m doing, pull out my calendar, check my schedule, and then jot down screening info (contact info for other providers, and/or info to verify client identity [within reason], etc.). And sometimes, the only time I really have to do all that is late at night, when it’s not appropriate for clients to call me (or for me to call them).

So, I much prefer to get all the important info out of the way via email, and then confirm by phone/text as necessary. However, there are times that I may go several days without checking email, and in those situations, I appreciate a call or a text to say “Hey, I’m trying to set something up with you. Can you get back to me ASAP on this?” Some clients (who know me and my tendencies all too well, lol) will even call me first and say, “Hey, I’ll be in town for a conference next week. I’m about to email you my schedule; let me know if you can meet up any of those nights.” Then, as soon as I have a chance to sit down and focus for a few minutes, I can read the email he sent, check my calendar, figure out a time and day that works for both of us, reply to his email, and confirm the day, time, and location of our date.

That said, I have occasionally set up dates via phone in the past, especially with clients who weren’t very internet/computer savvy. So, I’ll try to answer these questions as well as I can.

  • How do I introduce myself?
  • The same way you’d introduce yourself to anyone else. “Hi, Sally. My name is Joe Shmoe. I saw your ad/website/whatever, and I’d like to spend some time with you later today/next Wednesday/February 29th/whatever.”


  • What can I ask, and what can’t I ask?
  • Well, what do you need to ask? You should know the important stuff before you even contact that girl whose ad you’ve been drooling over. Let’s make a list, shall we?

    Important Stuff You Should Know Before Deciding to Call That Escort

    1. Is she legit?
    2. Is the girl in the ads the same person as the girl you’ll meet on the date?

    3. Is it dangerous to meet with her?
    4. Does she have any problems that have caused her to behave recklessly with clients in the past? Does she attract the attention of law enforcement by being indiscreet about escorting or recreational drug use, or by disturbing the peace? Is she law enforcement?? Is she prone to violence? Has she stolen from or assaulted former would-be clients? These are things you can generally figure out with a little poking around. If there’s not much info about her, well…I guess you have to do a cost/benefit analysis. I don’t advise seeing anyone who is not a well-established provider. But the risks are yours to weigh.

    5. What are her rates?
    6. These will be somewhere on her ad or website. You should not have to ask. If she has them listed on her ad and/or website and you ask her what her rates are, she may become suspicious as to why you’re asking. Perhaps you’re going to try to haggle with her. Or maybe you’re trying to negotiate price for specific activities. She would be right to be suspicious of your motives.

      If her rates aren’t listed on her website, there should be a good reason for that (maybe the site she’s advertising on doesn’t allow her to list her rates, or maybe she’s finding clients via Craigslist personals or Backpage personals, and a list of rates would get her flagged by other site users).


    So, back to your question: What can/can’t you ask?

    Date/Time/Location: You can ask if she’s available on the specific day and time that you’d like to meet. If you’re not sure, you can ask if she does outcalls/incalls.

    Activities and gifts/compensation: This is personal preference, but unless you’re 100% sure she doesn’t mind, you should not ask about sex or money via the phone. She is an escort. If you’re respectful, clean, and nice to her, things will get physical.

    Maybe there’s one specific act you’re looking for, and it’s a dealbreaker if she doesn’t offer it. Still, don’t ask about it on the phone. In that case, you need to either find another girl who explicitly offers that–she might say so on her website, ad(s), or online escort board profile(s), if that’s allowed (though she’s not obligated to do that with you, even if she does it with other clients). But keep in mind that many providers will never explicitly state which activities they “offer.” So, you may need to gamble. By “gamble,” I mean that you book an appointment, place the envelope/gift in plain sight, and see what happens–will she or won’t she be into that thing you really, really enjoy? If you don’t have your answer once things are hot and heavy, you can ask then.* If she says no, there’s your answer. Consider it a learning experience. Now you know she doesn’t offer that–wwell, not to you, at least). If you think it’s important that other guys know that ahead of time, let them know that she did not offer it to you. Remember, “YMMV” (Your Mileage May Vary) applies to every. single. provider. She does not have to participate in the same exact activities with every single client.

    If she doesn’t advertise her rates, I suppose the safest question to ask would be: “What should I bring (for you)?”

    *Communication and consent are SO important. Get used to asking for what you like and talking/checking in to make sure everything’s a-ok during sex. I promise you, it’s cool, it doesn’t break the mood, and most people do it without even thinking about it anyway. Plus, you can learn a lot of new things by communicating with your partner in bed ;)


  • How do I ask about making an appointment?
  • “Hi, Sally. My name is Joe Shmoe. I saw your ad/website/whatever, and I’d like to spend some time at my hotel/your incall/my home with you later today/next Wednesday/February 29th/whatever.”

    You can get all of this out in one blurt. Trust me, this is a lot better than beating around the bush, so to speak. These days, lots of us are pretty awkward on the phone with strangers (ahem, not that I am one of those people…OK FINE, I AM), and those weird clumsy silences can be painful. Just say hello, introduce yourself, and tell her when(day & time) and where (your hotel or neighborhood, or her incall) you’d like to meet. She’ll either accept your invitation, or she’ll ask for an alternative day/time.

    Then, if she’s smart and cautious, she will screen you. More about this later.


  • How do I ask about the donation amount and how they want to receive it?
  • Again, her rates should be posted somewhere on her ad or website. If you can’t find them anywhere, proceed with caution. Use careful phrasing. I would ask, “What should I bring for you?” If she’s clueless as to what you mean by that (and oh lord, I really hope she catches your drift because otherwise I’d begin to doubt her mental competency), you can ask something like, “What should I put in the envelope for you?”

    As to how the provider wants to receive her money, I can’t speak for everyone, but I like it to be in a plain white envelope in an easily-visible, obvious location when I arrive. It’s also nice to put my name on it ;)


  • How do I ask where to meet, whether in call or out call?
  • Again, that will usually be on her ad or website. Some providers (like me–I don’t host) only do outcalls. Some providers (like a few friends of mine, who’d rather stay in one place) only do incalls. In my experience, clients usually know where they want to meet. The vast majority of the time, they know I don’t do incalls, because I make that pretty clear on most of my ads/profiles, etc., and that’s perfectly fine with them, because they don’t want to leave their fancy hotel (and I don’t blame them!). But every once in a while someone will contact me and assume he can come to me. Alas, that’s where he and I part ways, because I have no plans to host clients at a private incall location anytime soon.

    If you don’t know whether she provides incall, outcall, or both, then decide what you’d prefer, and ask for that.

    If you want an outcall: “Can you meet me at the Ritz Carlton at 8pm tonight?” You can give her your room number then, or if you’re feeling chivalrous (or the elevators require keycard access), you can ask if she’d like to come directly up to your room, or if she’d rather you to meet her downstairs in the lobby, or out front of the hotel, or at the bar. Keep in mind that her time starts when she meets you. So, if you decide you’d like to chat over drinks at the bar for 45 minutes before heading upstairs, you should either prepare for a quickie, or ask if you can pay her for more time.

    If you want an incall: “Can you host?” If she says yes, then ask her for her location. Easy peasy. Some girls do a two-call system: She’ll first tell you the general area (like her apartment complex, her hotel, her neighborhood, or her street), and she’ll tell you to call her back once you get there so that she can give you the exact address/apartment number/room number.


  • How do I know if it is a cop on the other end?
  • You don’t, unfortunately. Cops can and do lie. They do that (and worse) to sex workers all the time. I wish I could tell you otherwise. I wish I could say there was a foolproof, fail-proof trick to tell whether you’re talking to a cop or not. But I can’t.

    The best you can do is to be smart and careful. Do your research. Has she been around for a few years, as is evidenced by an active website and/or blog and/or social media accounts and/or activity on online boards (TER, ECCIE, etc.) and/or reviews? If someone’s maintained an active online presence for years, it’s pretty unlikely she’s a cop. But I guess anything’s possible, and you really never know. I can’t promise anything. That’s why a lot of clients find a provider they like and stick with her.

    Please don’t go out there calling the numbers on random, thrown-together ads willy-nilly. I don’t want you to get robbed or arrested. If all you suffer is a simple bait-and-switch, consider yourself lucky. Do your homework!


  • How do I ask for them to verify me as I have no references?
  • She’ll ask. When she asks for references, tell her you have none because you’re a newbie. She might want to verify you via employment verification. She might just Google your phone number. She might not screen you at all. Let’s hope you find providers who care enough about their safety to do some sort of screening.

    You mentioned that you’re on P411, but you don’t have any “Okay”s yet because you haven’t seen any providers yet. Some providers will see you anyway, because they know your identity has been verified by P411.

    The level of screening can vary quite a bit from provider to provider. Many will ask you for provider references (contact info of providers you’ve previously met with who can vouch for you). Some require employment verification (they may want to make a quick call to your office while you’re there to make sure that yes, you really are Dr. Joe Shmoe, podiatrist, and not Creepy Carny Clyde, the drunken tilt-a-whirl operator who just got out of prison for the attempted murder of his ex-wife). If she’s like me, she’ll prefer to do this via email, and she probably has a boring, unassuming email address that she uses for that purpose only. Others may simply check your phone number to make sure no one has posted an urgent warning about you, Clyde.

    To learn more about screening and why we do it, check out Wait, But Why? Escort Screening & Verification 101 for Newbies

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