It’s time for the third and final (or is it?) edition of Just The Tips for clients. In part 1 we talked about things leading up to the booking, in part 2 we talked about the booking itself, and in this episode we talk about what happens after the booking and some other bits and pieces - last minute bookings, not hearing back, contact between bookings, time off the clock, business advice, and safety fears.
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Jenna Love 0:02
Mr. Love has been using manscaped products for a few years now. And he swears by them. He's been using the lawn mower 3.0. And also sometimes I steal it from his bathroom and I use it too. I'd say Don't tell him but he's editing this podcast. And yes, despite the name, the product itself is actually gender neutral. And now
Holly Harte 0:24
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Jenna Love 0:46
Of course here at somebody you love. We believe that you should groom or knock room your body hair however you wish. But trimming is a great option because you don't have to worry about all of the hassles that come with shaving or waxing, like ingrowns micro cuts that awful itching when it grows back and also irritating the delicate skin of your lover. If you're visiting a sex worker, it's the perfect way to ensure that everything is neat and tidy. But with no breaks in the skin that can increase your risk of transmission and infection
Holly Harte 1:19
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Jenna Love 1:48
get 20% off and free shipping with the code email@example.com That's 20% Off with free firstname.lastname@example.org and use the code somebody heat up your sex life with manscaped. Welcome to somebody you love for the sale of two TVs. I'm Jenna love.
Holly Harte 2:13
And I'm Holly Harte.
Jenna Love 2:15
And we're experts in disappointing our parents breaching community guidelines and banging the people who vote against our rights.
Holly Harte 2:25
Before we start the show, we would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land that we're on, which is the nanowall people. That's right. Jenna is here with me in person today in human form, just as we love her.
Jenna Love 2:37
Yeah, what other forms
Holly Harte 2:40
I prefer you in the human?
Jenna Love 2:41
Okay, that's reasonable. So today, we are bringing you the third and final edition of Just The Tips for clients. So in part one, we talked about things leading up to the booking. In part two, we talked about the booking itself. And in this episode, we're going to talk about what happens after the booking and some other bits and pieces that just didn't fit anywhere else. So if you haven't listened to the first two parts, and you are somebody who is a client of sex workers, or who was thinking about becoming one, which you all should, then you might want to check out those ones, too. So one of the beauties of the sex industry is the freedom to decide how you work how when, where all of that it's bloody great, I'm obsessed with that. There are some sex workers who prefer not to accept bookings in advance, and they really only want clients to, to contact them on the day. And they might be the sort of person who wakes up in the morning and goes, today I want to work today I want to earn some money. Or today I'm feeling well enough to earn money that you know, particularly people with chronic illnesses and things like that they're you're planning in advance is a lot more difficult for them. But I would say from my experience that these providers are probably in the minority, most of us really need more notice than that. So I'm somebody who like I do not accept same day bookings, I don't accept bookings with less than 24 hour notice. And I would say as a general rule, obviously, with the caveat that we all work differently. But generally contacting a sex worker and expecting them to be able to see you on short notice, is kind of considered insulting. It really suggests a lack of respect for us as human beings. And as business professionals. I'm sure that it's not like isn't intended this way. But it really comes across as though you think of us just as these sex dolls who lay around in lingerie, freshly showered, I don't know how we'd have to like keep showering. I don't know how that would work, just waiting for your call. And that you assume that we're not currently busy with clients who have booked us weeks ago, and that you either don't think that we have a personal life or that you think our personal life doesn't have any value and that your dick is more important than it. So again, I'm sure that's not the intention, but that is how it is received by a lot of sex work. It is. And that's what we're always saying about this stuff when we're trying to give you tips. We're just trying to explain our perspective. Side note, yes, we are at Holly's house, which means that all of the animals are here. And you may hear some background noise. But the reason we're here is because the place that Miss, there's one. The reason we're here is because the place that Mr. Love and I booked had our construction work going on. So this was the lesser of two evils sounds not evil, the sounds here are lovely. But yeah, some of them are lovely. Sorry, back to the topic. Whenever we're giving you tips, we're not saying you have to do things these this way. But we are saying we're just trying to clue you in to the way things can be interpreted by us. So basically, at the end of the day, we're all running our own businesses. And as I'm sure you know, many of you also running your own businesses or can empathise with that, that can be really hectic, it's it's, it's a lot to manage. We also have family and friends, we all face a lot of stigma and discrimination. So you know, we cannot simply drop everything to deal with your dick emergency. You know, the amount of times I get people saying, Oh, can I see you tonight? And I say no, I need 24 hours notice. And they go like, Please, can you make an exception? And I'm like, Sure, I'll just tell my mum to wait in the other room? Or? Yeah, I'll just tell my husband to put headphones in like, you know, it just it really suggests that they think that we don't have family and loved ones and personal lives. And that's a bit it's a bit yuck. Yeah,
Holly Harte 6:31
I think you've made a good point, and that they think X, Y and Zed. But I think more than anything, they just don't think at all. And that's a big part of the problem. And I appreciate that when you're in the mood or in the mood that happens to every human being, that's fine. But also sometimes I decide I want one thing or another. And as part of being an adult, I learned to wait a day. If not, maybe more, particularly in the age of online shopping, you pick something and you wait for it to arrive, and you deal in delayed gratification. And sometimes that makes it even more exciting. So there's a big lesson to be learned there. So yeah, we definitely do have personal lives outside of our job just as anyone does. We have other plans. And also it just, it's just really nice to be able to get in a mindset when we're doing a booking as Jenna said, we're not often dressed and showered. And you know, when we're not going to be working a certain day. We laze around in our tracksuits, we may not shower into halfway through the day, we might not do all of our grooming. And so it takes us a while to do those sorts of things, it takes us a while to get the house in order if you're coming to visit us at our home. But also, yet, we often have other plans. And although we would love to fuck, and we'd love to make a living and make maximum money all the time and have all of the fun. There are other things in life that need attending to so this keeping in mind that we're human, and that we do have other things going on outside of your penis, it really shows a lot of consideration.
Jenna Love 7:56
I think there are some people who will go, Oh, that's okay. I don't need to be wearing or lingerie or I don't care if you shaved or whatever. And that's cool, good on your baby. But it's not always for you. We need that we need the mental preparation, we need to you know, be able to enjoy ourselves and do our job, like feel like we're doing our job. Well. And that's that's a big part of all of that. I mean, I know, I know of workers who when clients have said, Oh, you don't need to wear lingerie they've been like, I need to well, Andrea, that's, you know that that's important to them. And that's, I think that's valid, also just go to a brothel. That's why brothels exist, go give the brothels and business like I just, that's fine. I understand. If you're like, I just need to go and have sex. So go do it. But probably an independent provider is not the best option. Something that I think is tricky for our clients is those situations where you've contacted a provider and you haven't heard back from them. And I do have a lot of empathy for clients in this situation, because it does happen. And it's really tricky, because there's a whole range of reasons why it might be and obviously, you know, it's, it's difficult for you to know, and we can't tell you exactly, you know what the reason I've been any given situation. But you know, one part of it is like the nature of our work. If I get an email just before I'm heading into an overnight booking, you know, I'm focusing on that booking and that's the headspace I'm in and then I'm going and spending, you know, 15 or so hours with a person. And then the next day, I cannot possibly fathom looking at my emails, I just am like who I you know, I need some time off. And then the next day, then I go, okay, cool. I've got to sit down and catch up on things. And then I've got a whole bunch of shit to catch up on because I've kind of been out of it for a day or two, obviously, like it's highly inappropriate for us to be in our bookings, checking messages and things like that. And of course, I think it goes without saying that you wouldn't want us to be doing that during our bookings with you. So one aspect of it is that we are we might be in longer bookings. For me, when I'm on tour, I am 100% into a mode, any anything, any correspondence that comes through that is not related to the tour that I'm on, I just can't deal with it. I don't know if that's a flaw in me personally, but it's just how it is. And after years of working in the industry, I've decided to just not expect that of myself. But that stuff aside, and of course, yet there might be with family gathering, whatever. But that stuff aside, you sometimes may not hear back at all. And that can be one of two things. One is that the provider has decided that they don't want to see you. And, you know, you may not understand why it might be something that you said, it might be something that they heard, and maybe he like, there's just, there's so many little things, it might be that they recognise your name and think that you might know someone they know or whatever, all sorts of reasons. So it could be that they've made a choice, and they don't want to see you, it could also be that they've just missed your message. The reality is, we get so many messages. And we tend to be quite good at filtering out the spam ourselves. Obviously, there are also email filters and all that sort of stuff. But we tend to know, you know, fairly quickly if the way someone has contacted us is lets us know that they're either wasting our time, or they're trying to make things difficult for us, or they're, you know, actually have no intention of booking. But sometimes we fuck up at that, like I have, I have dismissed messages as being from a time waster. And they haven't actually been. So that's a really difficult answer for you. Because either they hate you, or they just accidentally didn't respond to you. And if they're anything like me, we've talked about my spiral before, if it's been too long, if I haven't responded to somebody and it's been too long, then I get really stressed that it's I've left it too late. And then I've got to write an apology. And then I feel like I've got to find the right words to properly apologise. It's just a whole fucking ordeal. So my view, my personal view is that if you haven't heard back, I think that it's worth sending one follow up message. Because it could be that that you've gone to the junk folder, it could be whatever, a polite follow up saying, hey, just checking to see if you received this message. And at that point, if you don't hear anything back after the second time, then I think it's time for you to move on and find a different provider. Whether it's because they're unprofessional, or they've got a problem, whatever, whatever the reason, just move on. That's what I think. Do you agree with that?
Holly Harte 12:31
Buck? Yeah. Yeah, I agree. I think I'm pretty good at getting back to people. But like, it's happened, it's happened plenty of times before where I've missed something, or I've looked at the message. And as everyone has done in life thought, oh, yeah, I'll reply and reply to my head, and then realised, you know, that I never got back to that person.
Jenna Love 12:52
Or the draft is sitting there in your inbox? Oh, God, I never sent
Holly Harte 12:55
it exactly. And accidents happen. I do tend to be pretty direct in telling people that I'm not going to see them and why. But as we've said, in other episodes, there are reasons many reasons why this might not be the possibility or it might not be suitable for a circumstance. Or again, there are even reasons that it's not you there, there are reasons that a worker might not be seeing new clients for a little while. Or they might not be seeing clients who are, you know, booking less than three hours or, you know, and they might not have the spoons at the moment to spit send your message back to explain their life circumstances. So, again, it doesn't always have to be personal if they have actually decided not to see you. And they really don't owe you an explanation. I know that might sound a little bit harsh, but that's the way it is. So yeah, I'd agree 100% with you, Jenna, you know, definitely doesn't hurt to send another message really polite, really casual and to say, hey, you know, have you? Have you slipped through to a junk mail folder and just checking in? And if you don't hear back then definitely, you know, move on. There are a lot of workers out there. There are a lot of lovely workers and, um, hopefully find someone that's a good match for you.
Jenna Love 14:02
Yeah, I mean, I feel like I do that with traders all the time. The amount of times I've reached out to a trainee, and then they just haven't got back to me. And I've just gone okay, well, either. They don't want my business or they really shouldn't their job. So okay, I'll just move on. It's interesting that that doesn't seem to always happen with sex workers for some reason, I guess it's that the old thinking that it's more like dating or, or whatever. But, yeah, it's the
Holly Harte 14:27
personal nature of the cooking, I suppose. And people do. I think it can be a lot more intimidating for a client to reach out to a provider. And when they don't hear back, you know, I guess they start to question whether they've done something wrong. And that's natural, that's human but I guess this is just a chance for us to remind you that it's not always about you. And and even if it is something personal Well, that's that's you don't really need to know about this. You don't you know, they don't owe you anything and you just move on. Just going back to where you mentioned before, though, about us not being able to get back to clients, you know, all the time, even with my regulars, I take a long time sometimes to write back. I frequently post on Twitter. And I feel always like it's the most annoying post because I feel like my followers must read it and think how like, I don't care. But I'm constantly posting Hey, everyone, I'm so sorry, I have too many messages, I'll get back to you soon. And that's a blanket way for me to let everyone know, I'm not ignoring you. If it takes me a couple of days to get back. This isn't a personal insult. And I shouldn't have to let you know. But I'm trying to make sure nobody thinks that I'm, I'm ignoring them. But yet, sometimes life just gets in the way. Like Jenna said, when you have a big booking, or you have a lot of bookings or some big things going on in life, like I just moved house, you sort of just want to decompress for a while, the last thing you want to do is sit straight down, pick up your phone and start making a shedule or writing lengthy replies and things like that. So generally, if it's a booking request, and it's really direct and clear, that will be my priority. And from there other discussions and maybe inquiries or, you know, check ins and things like that I'll potentially respond to next. But yeah, I think the expectation that we'll reply immediately, or even within, you know, 12, or even 24 hours sometimes can be a lot, considering the amount of things that we might have going on in our lives. So yeah, we're only doing our best, we're not doing it, because we hate you usually. And if we do, we probably just won't reply at all.
Jenna Love 16:19
One of the little tips I have around this is that if you have restrictions around when you can be contacted, that you might want to mention that in your initial contact to the provider. So for instance, if you are contacting during your work day, but if they were to call or to message you back while you're at home with your family, and that's going to be a problem for you that it's a good idea in your message to say hi, blah, blah, blah, I'd like to meet at this time, whatever, please don't contact me after 5pm. Or, you know, I get people that say, Please only respond to this email, they'll give me their phone number, because that's what I require. But they'll say please don't call or anything, which I mean, obviously, I'm never going to call you Why would I ever make a phone call? I'm not the devil. But you know, that stuff can be really, really useful because I've come out of bookings. And then it's night time and I've gone all do I respond to this text now? Or is that going to? Is that going to ruin a marriage? Like I don't know. So that stuff's really helpful. Super helpful. Yeah. Then the next thing, I guess, is contact between the bookings. The caveat for all of these, I feel like I say this all the bloody time is that everyone's different, and every provider is different. But I would say that generally, the rule is that there doesn't need to be any contact between bookings. Unless it's organising the next booking. I think that's like, the general rule is to go into that, I think Holly and I are both people who are happy to entertain a little bit of stuff in between, I don't mind a very occasional message. Like, if you see something that reminds you of a conversation that we've had or something like that. I'm so I have no issues with you sending me through a picture and be like thinking of you or whatever. And most likely, if I've got the time and the energy, I will respond to that. But don't expect an extended conversation. You know, I'm happy to go. Yeah, that's funny, because we talked Oh, you know, whatever. But I'm not, you know, we're not going to have a chat. Sometimes I feel like the sex industry is the only industry in which you get, you get shit for being professional. Like we, you know, there are clients, and particularly those who comment on review forums and stuff like that, who, you know, they are, it's very business, like, Oh, you're being very, and it's like, so what, in any other industry, that would surely be a positive. And I think that there's this, this misconception that if we, if we write to you in a formal way, and it's very structured, and anybody who's had any interaction with me knows that I'm just a very structured person. And it will be this is the date, this is the time, this is what's happening. There's this idea that then in person, we won't be friendly, and we won't be warm. And, you know, I fucking love my chats with my clients. And I feel like I am so open. And I pride myself on being quite warm, and us really connecting and getting to know each other on a, you know, either on a superficial or a deep level, depending on what the client wants. But that's, that's the service that's in the booking, that's, that doesn't happen outside of the booking, what happens outside is that we arrange the times for us to meet and then when we meet, we do that stuff. As I said, you know, you and I are a bit more chill. And we might, you know, offer a little bit more, a little bit more back and forth here and there, but I think it's always got to come from us. That's the other thing. You know,
Holly Harte 19:41
I think if we spent all of our time responding to every inquiry and every interaction that we have with, you know, Hey, big boy, sitting around waiting for you, then you know, that would expend a fuckload of energy and it's just a lot of fluffing around and bullshit. When we as as Jenna said before, we get a lot of messages where Trying to filter through what is junk, what is time wasting and what is a genuine inquiry. And then the best way to determine that is to get the details is to hammer straight into what date what time what's, you know, the actual booking that's happening, get the deposit in circumstances where that's part of the the arrangement and then lock the booking in. And from there, maybe we can start to discuss specifics or, you know, be a little bit more relaxed about our communication with you. But until then, we're not just going to put out this sexual fantasy, nonstop for free for every single person who sent us a text message, or we would never actually make a living from doing the in person bookings on an emotional level, like, we
Jenna Love 20:39
have to conserve that, like we give a lot of ourselves to the job, it's a really intense full on job. And we have to, like it makes us like, I don't want to come across as though we've only got like a little bit of love that we can give. But, you know, that's, that's the stuff that we're paid for. And that's what we're really good at. And I, I do think that's a lot of where people don't value sex workers work, because they don't realise how much work goes into making someone feel safe holding that space for them, making them feel open, and like they can be really vulnerable with you. So we just can't do that. 24/7 It's fucking exhausting.
Holly Harte 21:18
I definitely don't mind having a chat with my clients, I think most of my clients will be well aware of that. But also, there are limits. And I'm gonna say something that might be a little bit offensive or a little bit controversial. So if you're one of my beloved clients who now hates me After saying this, I'm sorry. But mostly, the more that you invest in me financially, and in terms of bookings, the more I'll probably give back to you. And it's not that it's simply a transactional thing. It's not like I'm sitting there with a spreadsheet looking at, you know, how much you've time you've invested, or how much money you've invested and how much that means that I'll give back to you. But I'm definitely thinking, you know, if you've seen me once, for a small booking a short booking four years ago, and since then you text me every couple of months wanting to have a chat, I'm probably going to go well, you know, why? Like I like I like, obviously, we had a nice time to give them we probably did. But you don't really want to invest anything on me, me, you don't see me as worth booking again, possibly. And I know that's a strange thing, maybe to infer from that situation. But that's just how I would take it, and you just want to have a chat with me for free all the time. They just feel shitty, and why would I invest any of my energy in you. Whereas my clients who come and see me regularly, who I know, show a lot of care for me, even if maybe they don't see me regularly, but when they do, it's, I know, it's a big deal for them. And they've made a lot of effort to come and see me or they've you know, even people I haven't met before that have sent me a gift during lockdown or, or you know, financial contribution, those things mean a lot. And that means that I'm much more likely to engage them. So it does sound really transactional. And I'm sorry if that's the way it is. But it also is about as Jenna said, you know, balancing out the amount of energy that we expend. And yeah, again, it's not that we have like a finite amount of love to give, but it is emotionally exhausting to constantly be on or to constantly be giving ourselves. Even if we do love you to death. It's it's you know, that's just life. You only have so many cups, you know, what do they say?
Jenna Love 23:16
You can only? What is it? You can't pour from an empty from an empty cup. Yeah, exactly. So as a poly person. Yeah, but a lot of cups. Yeah. Yeah. Well,
Holly Harte 23:27
that would be something you'd have a lot of experience with, in terms of balancing those sorts of things. And yeah, so I guess my point being get chitchat between bookings is usually not well received in the industry. But definitely the more the people that invest more in us and the people that, you know, we've known for a lot longer or that put a lot more into us. We'll put a little bit more back. So yeah, I mean, I received a message from a client the other day, who the last time I saw was five years ago, he used to book my absolute cheapest service, the minute that that service went up in price at all, he stopped seeing me and he messages me all the time telling me about who is dating and who is and I don't think I've responded in years, but he continues, and I've got a few of those. Yeah, and I sent a message probably a year ago now saying, Look up. I'm really sorry, I know, this is a bit rude, but you haven't seen me. I don't know why this communication is still going on. And he said, Okay, sorry. And then the other day, he sent me some wedding photos. And I just, I blocked I blocked his number, and I'm really sorry, that sounds cold probably
Jenna Love 24:28
but like I said, it sounds like you're doing a job. Would you do that with
Holly Harte 24:31
job with any other provider with your with your butcher or your psychologist? Or even then would you do with an ex girlfriend that you saw five years ago and hadn't spoken to
Jenna Love 24:39
even if it is a personal relationship? I
Holly Harte 24:41
mean, that's weird, right? So yeah, it's there are definite barriers and lines to that, that that get crossed
Jenna Love 24:49
here and just the you know, those clients who are spending more money like yeah, there is an aspect of that where it it is financial, and I don't think there's any shame in that. It is a job that we are doing So it should be a financial element. But also we know them better. Like when I've received messages from clients I've seen, you know, for an hour two years ago, I'm like, I don't really remember you, like sorry, but you know, whereas the ones that I am seeing regularly on top of the fact that they are supporting me financially,
Holly Harte 25:19
I also, I know who they are. And I feel like we have stuff to talk about, definitely, you build a connection over all of those hours that you spent together, or there were memorable experiences, even for the clients that I see. Maybe once a year, or once every couple years who come and have a larger show or do totally special with me, we have Yeah, these really memorable things that are important.
Jenna Love 25:42
But then I would say my regulars, if I think about my list of my top favourite, good regular clients, they are the ones that don't contact me between bookings. Yeah.
Holly Harte 25:53
It's that, you know, eternal thing that we talk about the best, you know, our favourite clients, the ones that don't need the schooling. Yeah. But I think it's always a good reminder as well, that we appreciate if you went, you know, if you're the kind of client who is making a special effort to not, quote unquote, bother us, or, you know, who is trying to keep things really what's your business, like, in between? We do appreciate it. We noticed that Yeah. And it's not that we don't care. It's not that we don't give a fuck, but we, we noticed that you care about us and our boundaries. And that's really nice. So yeah,
Jenna Love 26:23
so a lot of the faux pas that clients make, I think, and this is why I put together the etiquette guide on my website, which is what we're kind of drawing from for these episodes. A lot of them come from the client, wanting to be polite, wanting to be generous, wanting to be perhaps chivalrous or gentlemanly, if they are somebody who identifies in that way, without realising the implication, it's not uncommon for me, obviously, Holly doesn't have this because she doesn't travel. But, you know, I took her around. And it's not unusual for somebody to say to me, Oh, I can pick you up from the airport. And actually, sometimes that isn't even clients who do that. It's just people who go, or I can't, like somebody might say, I can't afford to book you. But what like, they think what they offering is, well, I can't book you. But what I could do is, you know, save you that Uber fee. And like, I'm sorry, but I do not want to get in a car in a strange town with a strange man, and get driven around like a huge
Holly Harte 27:23
like, isn't that what a taxi or an Uber is? Oh, yeah,
Jenna Love 27:27
yes, but they have regulations and reporting bodies, or more than some random. Some guy who wants to have sex with me, but can't afford to do so wants to drive me somewhere? Like,
Holly Harte 27:38
what is the difference between knowing your gender persona and knowing what you do for a job, and you just being a civilian getting in a higher car? And that makes it? That's a massive difference? Yeah, that makes you that makes you much more likely to be put in an uncomfortable position, if somebody that you don't know, but who knows a lot about you just on the internet, and who has made assumptions about you then wants to have you alone in their vehicle? Yeah, not a comfortable position. You know, and I know a lot of my joking.
Jenna Love 28:05
It comes from a generous place, I get that you're trying to be helpful, but it's, first of all, it's quite scary. And I just don't know that many women travelling on their own who would be comfortable doing that. And honestly, to me, I know I've got a bit of a bee in my bonnet about this sort of stuff. But I find it quite kind of insulting, like, I don't need a man to pick me up from the airport, I can find my own way. Like I'm quite, I'm good. I've got all my bags, I smell, I've just got off the plane, like all I want to do is sit in an Uber with my headphones in and look at my phone, so they don't talk to me, get to the location, unpack my stuff and have a shower, like I do not want to be performing. And that's that's another aspect of it the time, you know, when you know, you might think that you're doing us a favour or you're saving us money, but you're really overstepping the boundaries and putting us in positions where we have to be, we have to be on we have to be in character for lack of it, you know, and as you will know, Holly and I don't really have these different personas, but we still, we're still on Yeah, we're entertaining. Yeah. Yeah. And that's, that is the last thing I want to do when I've just arrived somewhere and, you know, slightly different, like, you know, occasionally a provider will actually initiate some kind of off the clock stuff. You know, the two of you have met in a hotel room, they might say, Oh, do you want to split a taxi back or something? And if the provider offers, and if you're comfortable with that, you may not be there's no issue with agreeing with that. Or they might say you wanted to grab a bite to eat like I have occasionally, you know, really had a great time, had the extra time afterwards and really wanted to continue and that's absolutely fine. But when the client says Oh, should I shout you lunch? I'm like, What? No,
Holly Harte 29:52
unless it's via Bement and you're just depositing the money.
Jenna Love 29:54
Oh, sure. Yeah, you can
Holly Harte 29:55
show me lunch, but I won't be there with you. Yeah, to expect our You know, company or engagement for free to just expect it is is uncomfortable. But if we offer it and we extend that to that generosity, then that's not if you're happy to share that with us. Yeah.
Jenna Love 30:11
Okay, another one that seems to really come with the best of intentions and really trying to be helpful, but is so insulting and misguided is giving us business advice. I feel like some people listening to this might be like, what, why would someone do that, but it's actually really quite common. There are a lot of, say clients, but it's only ever been men from my experience, who, who have just offered unsolicited business advice, who've gone oh, what you should do is this or what you should, you know, and I just like, I mean this in the nicest possible way, but what the fuck would you know, like, if I were to hire a plumber, and that person was to come over to my house and do their plumbing, I would never for a second think to give them business advice, because I don't know the first fucking thing about being a plumber. And it really blows my mind that, that there are I mean, I'm sure there are people who would do that to their plumber, like some people are just fucking clueless, I guess. But the sex industry in particular, is so incredibly unique. And if you don't have any experience, being a sex worker, then honestly, like, Your advice is probably not relevant. There's a number of things in the sex industry that we do business wise, which are the exact opposite of what you would do if you were in another industry. It's not unusual, like if I, if I read like a how to open a business, a lot of that does not apply to the sex industry. And we do things completely differently. So you offering that information. First of all, it's just not relevant. And in my opinion, it really feeds into this narrative that sex work isn't real work, that we're all unintelligent, we fell into it, because it's easy. And we don't actually have any, you know, marketable skills, when, of course, we know the opposite is true. And it also like, it shows real ignorance on your part. Again, I'm trying to be as nice as possible. But it's because we have all these resources, we have peer organisations, we have extensive resources, we have an incredibly supportive, well connected community, full of sex workers who have been in the industry for decades, and also sex workers who have a massive range of qualifications and different experiences. You know, there are sex workers, who are lawyers, there are sex workers, who are accountants there are, you know, we have all of that within our community. And yeah, there may be things that we do that from the outside, you go, Oh, that doesn't. That's not how I would do it if I were running a business. But that's just it. You don't know how to run a sex industry business? And we do because we are.
Holly Harte 32:49
Yeah, I think we all saw recently a thread on Twitter about a client who was telling a worker if she worked, did 10 bookings a day or something that she should earn millions of dollars. I might be totally butchering that, because there was a lot of other comments in the thread, which were, you know, sort of sort of making fun of it, which were really great. But just this Yeah, again, it that sort of comes back to the punter math thing. I mean, that's just not achievable. And like we didn't, we didn't think to take more bookings, or to not pay tax or to not have expenses like, it just totally disregards. When you you thinking, you say, providers, right, and you thinking of that times X amount of hours, and you're not thinking of all the other parts that go into running a business. It's just so ignorant. And it's so crazy. And you do sort of hear that we've tried these and stuff people go, Well, that's really expensive with the call out fee, and then they're probably not paying tax. You see those similar miscalculations, and you again, forget how much goes into running those businesses as well.
Jenna Love 33:47
I've seen that like quite a lot on forums and stuff. They go, don't they know if they charge less, they'd have way more clients? Yes, we know, we are very aware of that. But it's supply and demand babe, like, we also know that we are getting paid the rates that we're putting out there. If we weren't, we'd be lowering them. So people are paying them and we're happy with those rates. So just because you want it cheaper, which I understand that that's what you want. But your logic of all, you could see twice as many people Yeah, and we'd be fucking exhausted. Why would we want that
Holly Harte 34:20
terrible advice? Exactly. I tend to raise my rates, when I'm booked out. And when I find that, when my business has consistently grown to a point where I'm constantly booked up to my maximum capacity, and that might not be 10 bookings a day, whatever amount that is per week, per month, you know, that I can manage comfortably without being exhausted, without driving myself into the ground, then my rates will go up, as you said, supply and demand. That's how an economy works. And that's how businesses should function. If I wanted more clients, then I would do the reverse. And I think that that's common business sense. So that for starters, is wild to think that you can have any idea of how a business is going. And as well, you know, we've discussed this before, but you don't know the expenses a person has in their life, you don't know if they're caring for people, you don't know what they're doing with their money, their investments, whatever. So that that's wild to begin with that you have any idea on that. But also, yeah, just just things I've seen online where people are like, well, you know, if you do this with your Twitter, if you do this with or you know, you should try, I don't know, it'll be really random things. Like, if you try baking a scan with every booking, you'll find that quite, you know, just things like that, where you're like, what, why would that have any bearing on my sex work business, but people come up with these things where they think, Well, I would do that, and that would change the industry. And that's well, and good. Well, yeah, I mean, go Don't go. Yeah, exactly. So look, while if we ask, you know, I have a client who is wonderful with computers, and he knew I was having some trouble with my computer, and I was telling him all about it. And he was so sweet. He didn't even want to suggest or offer help, because he felt like he might be, you know, sort of mansplaining or stepping on my toes or, you know, sort of speaking over me in that regard. And I was, you know, we talked about it months later, I did work it all out. And he was like, Oh, I didn't. And I said that is so sweet. And so thoughtful of you. And I know it does come from good intentions again, when you want to offer advice. But unless we specifically say to you, Hey, Barney. Berry dies at the chipper? I don't I don't need fish and chips, bodywork. Barney works with computers. Unless we say to Barney, Barney, can you help me with my spreadsheets here? Or can you help me with my accounting software? I'm having a problem. I know that this is your field. And I really need a bit of guidance with it. And this was specifically asked, it's probably not ideal. And sometimes I think a good way to work out whether what you're offering in terms of advice is warranted. Aside from did they ask for it, I once heard a thing that was like, the only times you should offer advice is if someone asks for it, or if it's a matter of life and death. But another situation of that.
Jenna Love 36:59
I think that's my logic, I
Holly Harte 37:00
think. But another way to just check in with yourself is think if this was a man, would I be explaining it to him as well? There are some things where people have just tried to explain things to me. And I'm thinking, like, I feel like if I was a dude, you probably wouldn't be trying to explain this to me, you would just assume the knowledge. And sometimes I think because we're women, people sort of assume a lack of knowledge in a few fields that maybe they're incorrect.
Jenna Love 37:27
Maybe, yeah, especially in the sex industry, like there are plenty of workers who their marketing and in person persona, maybe quite bubbly might be somewhat ditzy might be very, you know, very friendly, perky, happy. And they've got four degrees under their belt, you know, like,
Holly Harte 37:46
I would, I would also caution people against assuming that a sex worker is, is showing you the full depth of their capabilities. And I'm not a computer genius, by any means. But I think I'm relatively computer literate, I once had a client trying to, to explain, like, hard drives to me or something. And I just felt myself, like, crumbling inside out from just the cringe of the conversation. And, yeah, it's really awkward. A few
Jenna Love 38:15
times, I've had clients not so much these days, because my stuff's, I think, very streamlined. And people are like, Okay, this is how the speech wants stuff done. Like, I'm not gonna mess with that, you know, but back in the day, I used to often get clients making comments on like, what I should do in terms of marketing or whatever, like to get more clients. And I'm like, well, you're here. Yeah, you made it work. Something I've something I'm doing is, I'm good, babe. I'm good. I just thought that was a really old way to like, You should do this with your marketing. And I was like, what I've already been doing worked on you. So I don't know why you'd suggest I do something different. Because then you may not like,
Holly Harte 38:52
what semi related, but I did see a very fire's post about it the other day. And it was something about weight loss. And it was like how people you know, try to give you advice or, you know, I'm fat, not stupid. You know, like, it's one of those things where there's so much information out there for us on on most topics, particularly, you know, these days in the in the age of the internet, we can, we can learn these things, a lot of things, we don't need someone else to explain it. And we can whinge about things with our business or our weight, or whatever it is marketing, whatever it was Scarlet blue, for example, we all whinge about that website. And we're not asking for you to solve the problem. Sometimes we're just having a whinge and you can just sort of
Jenna Love 39:31
go yeah, that's, that does tie into this, like the amount of people with zero sex industry experience, who have this genius idea to start up an advertising directory or an app to keep sex workers safe or bla bla bla bla bla, which just like you don't know what you're doing, like you don't like it's great that you have app development skills or it's great, you know, but, but you don't understand what's and they always get it wrong. And this is They always make those, those big mistakes. And again, they're trying to do the right thing they're trying to help us. And it's, you know, and they don't understand, like, I had somebody contact me after the kind of controversy earlier this year with only fans, who was like, hey, a friend of a friend, and I want to, you know, I've got the tech skills, I want to help you guys like build your own platform. And I was like, Okay, well, here you go. These are the issues, because sex workers have built their own platforms. Many, many times, we've done all of that. And these are the issues we faced. And this guy was like, Ah, well, I can't fix that. And I was like, I know, because what you like, yeah, we've tried and have not succeeded, like we know.
Holly Harte 40:43
So in terms of advertising platforms, you'll see every few months or every few years, so many people try to start an advertising platform. And it's all every few weeks, weeks. Yeah. And a lot of them are sort of misguided males who have really lofty aspirations, and they really have all of these great ideas for how they're going to help the community. And then they see that there's a lot more time and, and financial investment and also community connection that is required than what they expected. And so very quickly, it all falls apart. And and they have to give up. That's why I think you do sort of see the greatest successes in those spaces growing now have been started by sex workers with things like tryst, and Dakota dice, and IV society, they're all sex worker started platforms. And they're really doing quite well. But you know, obviously, trust is at the moment really well regarded. And the other two have just been started semi recently, and are growing quite quickly, if they have the support of the community, they definitely have the support of the community. And that is a huge factor in it. The other thing that I think drives some of the other sites, aside from just having been established for a while, tends to be to me really hard to nail down. They tend to be really cheap, really poorly made sites, which somehow get they climb up the Google rankings, they're there for a couple of years, a year or two, and then they just fall apart and disappear. And then another one rises to the top and disappears. And so what is the X Factor is really, I think, hard to to work out. And if you can do it great, but there's a lot more to it than I think people realise. And ignoring the community factor is where a lot of people really go wrong and thinking, Oh, well, I know about computers, or I know about SEO, or I know about any of those, you know, web building capacity, or engineering websites, or any of that sort of stuff, is just how important that community is to building those things. So
Jenna Love 42:41
yeah, well, that Yeah, I think it's important for anybody wanting to get involved involved in anything that's like sex industry adjacent, it's important for you to know that the sex industry is incredibly suspicious of outsiders, and is really built on things that are peer driven, and that appear created. And we, you know, unfortunately, that's a result of, you know, many, many lifetimes of sex workers being treated like shit by anyone who isn't a sex worker, basically. And, you know, we know that that's not your intention. Obviously, if you're someone who's listened to this podcast, we know that you're not that person. But um, well, we're quite distrustful of anyone who isn't a sex worker, I've got, I can think of two clients who have said to me that they're developing apps for sex work, and that, you know, they're clients of sex workers. So they, they do have a sense of the industry to an extent. And both of them have said to me, like, you know, talk to me about it. And I've been like, it sounds fantastic. But the industry isn't going to support you. If you don't have at least one sex worker on your team, you know, that a lot of they'll have like three guys on their development team. One of them's a client, the other two aren't even clients of sex workers. And they say, yeah, it's gonna be really good. And I say, I like, again, I'm not trying to be rude. I'm not trying to be difficult, but I guarantee you it will not get off the ground if you do not have the support of the community, particularly if you're intending long term to make a profit from it. And if you're profiting off the labour of sex workers, that's something that sex workers can be very prickly about. So hundo percent Oh.
Jenna Love 44:21
Do you miss the free and affordable ads and social networks without all of the anti sex rhetoric?
Holly Harte 44:26
Assembly Four is a team of sex workers and technologists from Melbourne, Australia, aiming to bring back free and fair advertising and social spaces to the sex working community,
Jenna Love 44:35
stepping away from the clunky design of traditional platforms, their two products tryst dot link and sweater.at. Refreshing and well needed changes in both presentation and mission. And both are free to join and open tool. You can find both of our profiles on trust and I love how it is so clearly designed by sex workers.
Holly Harte 44:55
Yep. And I love how straightforward and easy it is to use and how much they clearly To support the sex working community,
Jenna Love 45:01
and also how responsive they are, when it comes to feedback and customer service,
Holly Harte 45:06
check out their website, assembly four.com for the word, not the number for more info
Jenna Love 45:17
I gotta say, it is baffling to me how many times and this is a little bit like that idea of offering to pick someone up from the airport or something like that? How many times a novice client has has asked me? Are you alone? Or will you be alone? Or is there anyone else at the house or one of those kinds of questions? And I'm almost certain that every single person who was asked that question, they're asking because they are worried about their own safety. I assume they've watched too many movies, and they think that I've got a pimp, and that he's going to be hiding around the corner with a baseball bat, you know, ready to take your money so that I can go off and you know, buy drugs. But and I do, like, you know, we all have our anxieties. And I understand that the sex industry is very unknown for a lot of people and I can really empathise with that. But like, it blows my mind that these are men in 2021, who think that texting a woman to ask if she's alone is a good idea. Like, how do you not get that that's a really frightening message for us to get. And I don't necessarily know what the answer is because I, you know, I wish I could allay your fears and tell you that that's not real. I mean, I guess I can, that is not reality. I'm sure there are realities in which that, you know, it's not an impossibility. But I think it is an improbability, but just yet, you just you can't say to somebody, are you a stranger? And particularly if you're a man, and they're a woman, you can't say are you going to be a loan? Like, are you serious?
Holly Harte 46:52
I think I mean, look in general, that that question is stupid, because if they were gonna rob you, of course they're not gonna Well, that's the other thing. They're gonna say. Yeah, yes, I'm alone. Bring all of your money. Yeah,
Jenna Love 47:04
yeah, exactly. If Yeah, it just not gonna say, oh, no, my husband's in the other room. Yeah, with his rifle,
Holly Harte 47:09
Robert. Yeah, I think that's a dumb question, like, but I think I feel like we should have had a chat about this already. And if we have forgive me, I have the worst memory in history. But when you choose a provider, there are a lot of things you can do to try to make sure you're not being scammed. And that doesn't mean that all of these things are essential. With workers that you choose to book. There are definitely workers who are starting out who won't have a lot of those things in place. But they will help you to find a provider who is less likely to be somebody who is going to rob you, such as being a well established providers or providing you've seen exists in the sex workspaces for a long time, either. They've been advertising for years, and you've seen their ads up, or they've been on Twitter for forever. You can see when you open someone's Twitter, when they joined a worker who has a lot of really good reviews, if you're into those sort of awful review board things, even a worker who has bad reviews, but it doesn't say she rubs people because in terms of you know what they write about workers, this is gross anyway, once again, I'm not encouraging you to go those spaces. But just a worker has been around for a lot of time, who's built a website, even often, if they've got a website, they've put money into creating this persona. This is their career. All the things that indicate to you that this is somebody who is has not just put up an ad with very little information overnight with the intention of scamming is somebody who has built a reputation who has an interest in upholding that reputation so they can continue to run this business for years to come. I think if you see an ad on a really shonky site that has really shonky pictures, the text or feels a little bit off, the rights feel way too cheap for whatever it is, and their communication with you doesn't feel quite right. Again, not saying you're going to be robbed. I'm not saying anything, but I'm saying maybe proceed with a little bit more caution. Maybe use your better judgement, you see big head and have a think about, you know, how you think that to approach that. Generally in that situation. And I'm maybe I'm giving advice out of turn here, if I'm speaking out of school, let me know. But if they invite you to a hotel, you're probably in a better situation, than if you contact someone that seems a little bit dodgy and they say, to turn up to a house in the middle of a, you know, at the back of a dirt road, in a suburban area with no streetlights. You know, all of these things go to just being an intelligent adult and keeping yourself safe. But yet, you shouldn't need to ask the question. Are you alone? If you've done your research,
Jenna Love 49:42
and as you said, it's pointless, anyway, yeah, basically.
Holly Harte 49:46
And in all of my years of sex work, I have only heard of this sort of thing happening once in in my experience, and I don't even know what happened or where that person you know, it's like a chronic thing that this person has Then again and again and again, I think happened in one incident and I haven't ever heard any more about that that circumstance. So yeah,
Jenna Love 50:05
I've never heard a story like that again, not that it's impossible, but I've never heard something like that, I think much more likely might be that you turn up and the person isn't the person in the photos or something like that. Or they you know, they they're not comfortable doing something that they actually previously agreed to do. That sort of stuff absolutely happens like in any industry there, you know, there are issues there. But in terms of you actually coming to physical harm, the likelihood is not high. And if you do the if you do your research, like Holly has said, then it's almost non existent. So that brings us to the end of our just the tips how to be a better client series. But just as we were talking and doing that, Holly and I realised that we also have a few more, so it's the end for now, but no knows. Who knows.
Holly Harte 51:01
We'd like to thank our wonderful patrons are even more generous somebodies are Timmy, Andrew, Adam Smith, Laughlin, sub London, Miss Billy Nora Knightley. Leslie. Scott Watson, Andrew. Big M. Our secret admirer, Margaret Weezy. Celeste, Ellen, Liam Fritzi, a tits, Catherine and Paul,
Jenna Love 51:26
and are extremely generous somebodies Aaron, Andrew Pete. Amanda Valentina. Sienna, St. Breno, Adam Moore, Nick, wombat, and Josh.
Holly Harte 51:39
Thanks so much for joining us this week. While we're here in Canberra. We hope it sounds even more special while we're together. And I look forward to catching you next time.
Jenna Love 51:48
Yay. Please look out for us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Patreon. Our name everywhere is somebody you pod as in podcast. Our Patreon started just $3 a month and you can get all of our episodes ad free and a day early, fast bonus episodes behind the scenes action that bloopers and more. Thank you for taking the time to listen to the voices of sex workers. And remember, somebody you love might just be a sex worker.