At some point, every business deals with rude or disrespectful clients. But, as sex workers, we seem to cop more than our fair share. A simple disagreement with a client can quickly disintegrate into “you’re just a worthless whore”.
If you’re lucky, you’ll screen out these sewer-dwellers before you meet them face-to-face. But sometimes they slip through the cracks as ‘good guys’ (that is until they don’t get their way).
My personal favourite insult during my sex work career occurred while I was hovering over a client’s face in the 69-position. With his face a few centimetres from my vulva, he bluntly asked, “Have you had anal sex today? Your asshole looks loose.”
I could spend a whole blog post unpacking that comment (and I bet Freud would have a few things to say about that client). But Loose Asshole Dude doesn’t deserve that sort of airtime.
Anyway, whether you deal with rude, aggressive or disrespectful clients over the phone, via text or email, or in person, the same principles apply.
Here are my top tips:
I wish we lived in a world where we didn’t have to think about our safety in this way. But until that world exists, it’s something you need to consider.
It can be tempting to fire back a sarcastic text or argue with a client. But before you do (and we’ll discuss whether a confrontation is really the best business choice later), make sure you are SAFE. Ask yourself whether this confrontation could put your wellbeing at risk.
If you feel unsafe, then get out, leave, block the phone number, filter their emails directly into the trash, apologise, listen, appease, de-escalate… Do WHATEVER you need to do to make sure you get out of that situation safely. Your safety isn’t worth having the last word in an argument.
Fighting fire with fire never works. Trust me, I’ve said my fair share of sarcastic remarks to clients. So I know it can be hard, but try not to bite back. Instead, take a few deep breaths, gather your thoughts and avoid retaliating in an aggressive way that will exacerbate the situation.
I want you to know that rude, insensitive, disrespectful clients are NOT worth your energy. They are not worth the mental space required for you to get angry, write a witty response and bitch about it to your friend. The time you spend penning a witty response to a rude message or feeling anxious after an uncomfortable interaction with a client is time you’ll never get back. You could have spent that time making money by seeing a respectful client. I promise that your life will be a lot more enjoyable and profitable if you learn to care less about these losers.
Now, whenever I encounter a client who is rude or disrespectful, I almost find it laughable. This person has paid hundreds of dollars to spend time with me, and now they are being rude? What a bizarre contradiction.
If you want to insult the elasticity of my asshole after paying me hundreds of dollars, that’s cool. I’ll just ask you to leave. My asshole certainly isn’t losing sleep over it. Now I have more money and more time (because I asked the client to leave early), and the only thing he has is a sour personality and empty pockets. Cya.
Chance are, if a client is unable to maintain a relationship with someone that he is PAYING to be nice to him, there’s something more going on. Normal, happy, healthy, well-adjusted people don’t go around calling other people whores for funsies.
In my brothel days, we were told to give clients three warnings for bad behaviour. For example, if client pushed our boundaries by trying to engage in a service they hadn’t paid for, we were to warn them TWICE to stop, and then on the third warning, we should kick them out.
However, grown men aren’t children. And if you can earn enough money to book a sex worker, then you are smart enough to understand the basics of consent without needing three warnings.
These days, I make sure I’m clear about my boundaries (sexual and otherwise) upfront. If a client pushes my boundaries or doesn’t meet my expectations of respectful behaviour, I make it clear I won’t tolerate that. Depending on their behaviour and how safe I feel, I might ask them to leave. However, this rarely happens now as I tend to nip this sort of behaviour in the bud way before it gets to that stage. I can’t even remember the last time I had to do this (maybe a few years ago?)
When being assertive, you must be clear and confident WITHOUT being aggressive, rude or snarky in return. I do think there is an element of sexism here – assertive women tend to get called ‘bitchy’, while men get called ‘confident’ or ‘self-assured’. And I’m not here to tone police anyone. But I do want to refer you back to tip #1: Put Your Safety First.
Encountering a rude or disrespectful client can be a stressful experience, so it’s essential to look after yourself afterwards. Make sure you debrief with a trusted friend if you feel that you need to. Take a bath, go for a walk, hang out with your pet and put your phone on mute. Remind yourself that tomorrow is a new day and there are plenty of respectful clients out there that will pay for your time without insulting your asshole.
Save yourself a whole lot of time (and frustration) by letting me write your copy. Think clear, concise brand messaging, words that prompt action and avoid clichés – I’m an expert when it comes to strategy and creating clever copy that speaks to clients.