Hey Matisse, I'm a woman browsing the kinky personal ads. I don't want a relationship, just a fling, so I want to skip the "getting to know you over coffee" thing and get right to the sexy stuff. But I don't want to get killed. How do you, as a sex worker, sort out the good guys from the bad?
Well, I've spent years honing my instinct, but there is no foolproof way to instantly spot a bad egg, and I don't recommend going straight to the dungeon with a guy you just met. If you want to do a scene with a stranger, I suggest you either do it at a public play party, or at least have a friend nearby. Even if the friend is simply sitting unseen in the next room, doing a Sudoku puzzle and keeping an ear open for the not-good kind of screaming, it's something. But I have no illusions that I'm going convince everyone to see it my way. So I can tell you a few things about separating sheep from goats.
Since you'll be starting with e-mail, first I'd delete the easy ones, like anyone who uses "dominate" as a noun, or types in all caps, or puts eight exclamation points after every sentence. Those people don't deserve to get laid. I would also boot anyone who seriously proposes fantasy-only things like castration, or a "legally binding" slave contract, or facial branding. People who ask strangers to do stuff like this with them are clearly communicating that they're not functioning in the same reality as the rest of us.
Then there are people who seem fine at first, but who are not being truthful about something. When people believe a lie, it's often because they want it to be true—especially in sexual relationships. When I talk to women working solo in the sex industry, I tell them to remember this motto: "The phone will always ring again." That means, don't get desperate and accept a client because you think he's the last one on earth. Whether you're looking for a customer or a fuck buddy, if you're in a scarcity mentality about it, you're going to ignore red flags. You need to review each communication with cool objectivity and the attitude that there are plenty more where he came from.
E-mail is okay to collect a base line of information—although you're not assuming any of it's really true. But you need to switch to the phone soon, because it's too easy to lie electronically. Make up a sheet for each potential date with age, occupation, current relationship status, where he's from, or whatever other information is important to you. Then, when you have him on the phone and have your sheet in front of you, ask him all those questions again and see if the answers match. If not, why not? Listen for liar cues—changes in how loud or how fast someone's talking, or too-long pauses before answering a simple question, etc. Liars will often say things like, "You can trust me. I'm really telling you the truth." Someone who doth protest too much always sets off my alarm bells. The other trick is to wait a few extra beats after they've finished speaking. Silence makes liars uncomfortable, because they think they haven't convinced you. Be wary of someone who rushes to offer yet more assurances of their statements.
And listen. People will unwittingly tell you what's really on their mind if you just listen carefully. For example, anyone who says something like, "Don't worry; I won't really hurt you" is telling you that he's at least thinking about exactly that. Red flag.
When I screen clients, I always trust my instincts—if something seems wrong, even if I can't quite put my finger on it, then I go with that impression. I know that means I've probably ruled out some perfectly nice guys, but that's how it goes. A woman who wants a kinky fling is going to get a lot of responses, so you can be very picky in your sorting and still have a lot of potentials. Listen to your gut, and take it from the owner of the best escort service I ever worked for: When in doubt, leave him out.
THURSDAY 12/7RAIN CITY JACKS PARTY
For millennia, plants have evolved to photosynthesize during the day and sleep at night. In a perverse twist, the Volunteer Park Conservatory has extended its hours and installed bright lights so people can enjoy the greenhouse at night. Sleep deprivation is torture, plain and simple, and unlike sexual torture between consenting adults, plants can't use safe words. Floraphilia meets sadism at its furthest extreme. Volunteer Park Conservatory, 322-4112, 5—8 pm, free.
FRIDAY 12/8COLUMBIA CITY CABARET
It's back! Tamara the Trapeze Lady hosts this sexy variety show featuring live music, aerial acts, and burlesque dancers. Columbia City Theatre, 4916 Rainier Ave S, 605-9920, www.trapezelady.com, 9 pm, $15, 21+.SEATTLE MEN IN LEATHER PRESENT: PICTURES WITH SANTA!
Kinky Santas, scantily clad elves, and naughty photographers ready to snap a photo of you on Santa's lap. Also on Sat Dec 9. The Cuff, 1533 13th Ave, 323-1525, 9 pm—1 am, $5 per photo, pictures delivered at the event, 21+.
SATURDAY 12/9PUSSY-LICKING GOOD
Your tongue and her pussy—Jennifer of Libido Events will show you how they can make beautiful music together. Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, building E, www.libidoevents.com, 270-9746, 3:30—5:30 pm, $25, membership not required.CIRQUE DU NOC
The third annual Cirque du Noc is a carnival of sexy shopping, costumed dance, and erotic entertainment. Seattle Center Northwest Rooms, www.cirquedunoc.com, 800-838-3006. Fetish bazaar, San Juan Room, noon—8 pm, $5 suggested donation, 18+; Circus Contraption performance, fashion show, and live auction, Olympic Room, 9 pm, $20 adv/$25 DOS, 18+; Masquerade Ball, Rainier Room, 9 pm—1 am, $20 adv/$25 DOS, 21+.
SUNDAY 12/10EROTIC MASSAGE NIGHT
Sensual touch for couples and singles, facilitated by David Longmire. No experience required. Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, building E, firstname.lastname@example.org, 270-9746, 5—9 pm (doors close at 6 pm), $10, members only.