01 Aug Suspiciously Squinting My Way Through “Escort Lessons” from Samantha X
The ‘Not Sure If’ meme applies to everything below this subheadline.
Every 3-6 months an article like this one appears in a British paper, usually in the Daily Mail or the Guardian, alerting us all to the ‘underworld of sex work we never knew existed!’ All the ins and outs of a seedy and sexy world of escorts and harlots and blah blah blah. “Josh Brandon is the top male escort in the world.” “This guy is the top male escort in the world.” “Samantha X says “escorts only wear coral nail polish.”
It’s BS. It’s tabloid BS and it’s usually only there because someone is pushing an agenda (or a book) and often only serves to make people fear, judge, and shame sex work all the more – eternally attributing even the most levelheaded and conscientious providers’ interest and dedication to drugs and childhood abuse.
But I read it. I read it all. Because sometimes there’s little gems of wisdom in there that one might be able to apply to one’s own life. And often times there’s a lot of “what not to wear” hidden in these personal presentations; many ways you wouldn’t want yourself to come off in print. But, rest assured, for the most of these “escort lessons,” my face was like:
Why escorts don’t wear pink nail polish, according to Samantha X
After working as a Sydney escort for the last five years, Samantha X, real name Amanda Goff, has started giving lessons in etiquette, grooming and personal security to prospective sex workers.
Goff, a 41-year-old former journalist, is aiming to teach both male and female wannabe escorts the skills they need in order to be at the top of the industry, which has at least 20,000 sex workers in Australia.
Her escort agency, Samantha X Angels, was born when she started getting contacted by women who were interested in leaving their jobs to become sex workers after she went public with her story in 2014 with her autobiography, Hooked – Secrets of a High Class Escort. She also has a male escort agency, Samantha X Heroes.
She handpicked 12 new female recruits recently from what she said were “hundreds of applicants around Australia”, including, she said, a doctor, a lawyer and a woman from the Australian Tax Office, and coached them.
Her main warning to those starting out: “Once you start, you are hooked. Once you realise it is lucrative, it is a very difficult industry to leave.
“That’s why I don’t like young girls doing it.”
Ok… sure. But. Ugh… Blech. The way she talks is… not my favorite thing.
She does offer some practical tips, though, and the stuff about grooming and alcohol/drugs is worth scanning through:
Here are the seven lessons she gives her student escorts:
1. Grooming: “If men are paying top dollar, you need to look the part,” she says.
Matching lingerie is a must. So are manicures, but strictly only in the following colours: nude, coral or a French tip.
“Nails are really important, men notice these things. They don’t understand black nail polish and no brights, like pink or neons – keep it simple. But on toes you can experiment with red or whatever,” she said.
Coloured lingerie is strictly out, think only black or white, and don’t even consider putting together any old black bra and black underwear – “they need to be a matching set.”
Fake tan is an absolute no. “It stinks, stains sheets, and never can you really get it perfect,” Goff explained. “If you’re pale, learn to love it.”
When it comes to clothing, it’s all about quality over quantity.
“Invest in a good pair of shoes, good lingerie, one nice dress, one nice trouser suit, one high-waisted skirt, a white shirt and you’ll be set,” she said. “The look I get asked for the most, because I always ask clients how they would like me to dress, is corporate.
“Hygiene goes without saying.”
2. Compassion: Goff said prospective escorts will meet many different kinds of clients, including those they won’t be attracted to. “You really need to have an open mind. You can’t judge people on the way they look, you judge them on the way they behave.”
3. Listening: “It’s not like Tinder. You are there for him and you have to ask questions and seem interested,” she explained. “They want to talk about their cars or their marriages or their kids or their cancer, whatever, you have to be able to listen.
“There is nothing worse than appearing distracted because it’s rude and the client will pick up on that.”
4. Well read: “Know what is happening in the world,” she said. “Know a bit about the American election.
“You are often meeting with men who are CEOs, chairmen, top of the industry … They don’t want to talk about reality TV. You need to know how to keep a conversation going at a high level.”
5. Discretion: “An escort never talks about names. It is really unclassy,” she said.
6. Alcohol and drugs: “You’ll be exposed to more alcohol and occasionally drugs, just like real life,” she said, but getting drunk or high on the job is unacceptable as you must always have “your wits about you”.
“Always monitor your drinking. Three dates a week could equal three bottles of champagne a week, and it’s not a good look to be drunk with a client.
“If you lose control, you lose your boundaries.”
7. Protection: Goff enlists a security personnel to train her students in self defence. “It is really important,” she said.
Knowledge is also power and she recommends finding out as much as possible about the client before meeting.
“Who he is? What he does for work? How old he is? What experience is he looking for? The more you know about the client the safer you will be,” she explained.
“Never be complacent and you should always trust your gut feeling. If it doesn’t feel right, get out.”
Actually, I don’t disagree with the bulk of that, even if I do wince at her phrasing on some items (“their cancer, whatever,” springs readily to mind). I’m a big believer in doing as much research as possible before you do anything or make any decisions, so I’m glad that someone is out there talking about how to enhance your game a bit. Especially that part about discretion. And one really should trust one’s gut. She’s right about that. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s not. Don’t stick around to find out.
I do wish there were someone who sounded and appeared a little less like a Real Housewife™ who was carrying this banner. There’s a ton of sex workers out there who are handling their shit and looking for ways to up their game who could benefit from a mentor they could take more seriously. Until then I guess we’ll all just stick to coral nail polish and the lessons we’ve sorted out for ourselves.
You can read the full text of the profile on Samantha X here.