Dec 19 2016 The Complex Notion of Danger in EscortingCategory: General     09:29PM   0

There's something captivating about powerful men, but sometimes the same characteristics that make a man powerful also make him dangerous.

When I speak about danger, I'm not talking solely about physical violence. I don't mean to diminish the reality and impact of physical violence, especially for sex workers, but I think what's even more pervasive is the sort of danger that threatens the soul in less obvious ways: the subtle interactions that create reels of fear, concern, or worry that play out in our heads in any given exchange; the complexity and disorienting juxtaposition between the "nice guy" and what feels in the gut like a "not so nice" interaction with him, leading to self-doubt and second guessing ones own instincts or sanity; any exchange that prevents us from being fully present and open, even when that exchange looks outwardly like it's "supposed to." When I speak of danger, I mean anything that threatens boundaries, even without fully violating them. I mean anything that feels coercive, inauthentic, or otherwise not in alignment with the dignity and respect all people deserve, even when it is unintentional.

Most of the powerful men I've had the honor and pleasure of knowing have been kind, thoughful, and self-aware; they are successful for good reason, not because they've taken advantage of people along the way. They're sharp, not cunning; driven, not depraved. And yet sometimes, no matter how well intentioned a powerful man may be, he may not be aware of his own dangerous potential. He may not understand the difference between consensually "taking charge" and being nonconsensually too forceful. He may not understand the difference between being passionate and pushing boundaries in inappropriate ways.

Today I'm at a loss about how to deal with this notion of danger. It's something that extends beyond debates about working indoors vs. outdoors, working for an agency vs. being an independent escort, or being a high volume vs. low volume provider. It's something that is woven into matters of legality, masculinity, and culture in very complex ways. It's something that screening may not always prevent, for a number of reasons: The lady who second-guesses her own interpretation of an exchange may not feel justified or confident passing along her feelings to other providers; some ladies simply don't care to say anything more than, "Yes, I saw him. He was safe," in a client referral; variability in providers' boundaries, which means a yellow flag may be raised for one lady but not another; or the possibility that a gentleman simply may act differently with different ladies.

I end this blog post without resolution. I still have many questions. What I also have, though, is a penchant for nuance and a desire to make things better.

Remaining open to the "how"...



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