**This is Part 3 of a three-part series explaining some of the most common screening methods escorts, providers, and other adult entertainers use to ensure safety and discretion with clients.**
“Can I use you as a reference?”
So yesterday I received an email from a client I had an absolutely amazing time with a few weeks back. This gentleman was inquiring as to whether he could use me as a reference. For those of you who aren’t that familiar with how providers and clients meet each other safely, or how we know if we even want to meet each other (i.e., will we be compatible?), allow me to explain.
Providers use many, many methods of screening (I’ve written two pretty extensive blog posts on the screening methods I use: My Screening Practices Explained – Part 1 and Part 2 – P411, Date-Check, and References.). When you schedule a date with a provider (escort, personal/professional companion, FBSM/sensual massage provider, etc.), she may ask you (the hopeful client) for “references.” What she’s asking for is permission to contact providers you have met with previously (usually two or three of them).
Why do we ask for this? Well, here’s the thing: women talk. (So do men, of course, but I haven’t interacted with many male providers, unfortunately. I’d love hear their perspective on this, though.) And in this business, we look out for each other–or at least, those of us who are decent human beings do. So, before we meet with a client, we like to consult each other to make sure the guy is safe and respectful. And sometimes, just sometimes, we might get a few insider tips on what that client really enjoys. ;)
This isn’t very different from “real-life” dating. We all exist within social circles. In the past, whenever I’ve been “romantically” (or simply sexually) interested in someone, I’ve consulted with mutual friends to get the scoop on him/her. And boy, have I dodged some bullets. But my behind-the-scenes detective work (if you can call asking a friend “So, what’s the deal with so-and-so?” “detective work”) has also led to some truly amazing, satisfying romantic encounters, relationships, and friendships.
So, when I received the following email from this gentleman (copy/pasted, in part):
“Hey Annie – would it be possible to use you as a reference? How best would this person get in contact with you?”
I was more than happy to oblige.
What reference info does an escort need?
Generally, when we ask for references, we’re looking for a name, email address, and a link to a website. For example:
- Annie Calhoun
- NOLAcourtesan.com (or the url, whatever). (If the lady doesn’t have a website, you can link to her online ad, or her profile on a screening site, or a provider/hobbyist site.
This way, the provider can look at my website and see that I’m legit (or even search for my name on various ad, screening, and networking sites) before contacting me).
Because, of course, there’s no point in contacting me if she has no idea whether I’m a real provider or just a speedily-slapped-together email address the client made to “vouch” for himself. For instance, anyone can say they’re me and tell a provider that a potential client is a-okay. But only one person (me!) has the email addresses (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org) listed on my website and on my ads.
I’ve got your number…
Some providers accept phone numbers as well. As for me, that’s not really my style. I prefer to contact providers through email. Why? Because frankly, I find it rude to call someone I don’t even know just to ask her to stop whatever she’s doing and do something for ME (i.e., verify that she has met with a client and he is safe and respectful). People have lives. I don’t want to interrupt her while she’s working, or at a PTA meeting, or eating dinner, or watching True Blood, or hell, masturbating. Plus, for me at least, between work, everyday responsibilities, hobbies (I’m talking art and bicycling and the like, not “the hobby”), classes I take for personal enrichment, and just plain laziness (hey, at least I admit my faults), I often don’t get around to responding to emails until it’s later at night, and therefore inappropriate to call someone I don’t know. But, to each her own.
**Sidenote: Any escort or other adult entertainment provider worth his or her salt will require SOME measure of screening, be it references, employment verification, or membership on a screening site like P411 or Date-Check (even though I hate that site and do not use or recommend it). You should NOT trust a provider who does not require screening–those who don’t require screening are meeting with clients indiscriminately, without regard for their own safety. A provider who does not require screening is either
- Desperate for business and taking chances (and do you really want to meet with someone in that situation?)
- Not planning on actually spending time with the client anyway, and has other motives for meeting with him, or leading him to believe she’ll be meeting with him (hence her safety isn’t a concern).
So that’s what we mean by “provider references,” and that’s why we (well, some of us) accept them as part of our screening processes.