Dear Matisse: I'm a single dyke, and until I find my next girlfriend I'm thinking of seeing an escort. But the websites I browsed wanted potential johns (er, janes) to have references from other clients, which I don't have. I also don't want to take advantage of anyone being forced into sex work. And I'm sexually experienced enough to be able to tell if the escort isn't really turned on, which would be a turnoff for me. So where can I find an escort who will work with a newbie, isn't being exploited by a pimp, and can fake it convincingly?
A dyke who wants to see escorts? Too bad you're not in Seattle; I know some ladies who'd love to meet you. But okay, let me step you through this.
Since you mention references, it sounds like you're looking at independent escorts. (Escort services don't use the reference system as much.) That's good—I'll tell you why in a moment. But first let me explain how references work. It's not other clients who give references, it's other escorts. Say Bob calls Escort Allanah and asks to see her. She says, "Have you seen any other ladies around town?" He says, yes, he's seen Escort Barbarella. Allanah contacts Barbarella and says something like, "A guy named Bob called me and said he's seen you. He's from Chicago, he says you two talked about rock-climbing." Barbarella says, "Oh yeah, I know him. He's a nice guy." Allanah books the appointment. The intent is to weed out dangerous clients, but since you're a woman—and thus statistically unlikely to be a serial killer—you'll probably be given the benefit of the doubt.
As for your other requirements, here's the profile to look for: an independent escort, who's an American-born woman, in her 30s or older, who has been working for a couple of years at least. Women who are being exploited are most often young girls, especially non-American girls, and they generally don't book their own appointments. If she works alone and you communicate with her directly, it's unlikely she has a pimp. And as you're a more complex client than your average guy, you need an experienced woman who will know exactly how to fake it—if she needs to. Note: It's okay to ask how long she's been working. If she doesn't state her age, don't ask. Just tell her you're looking for a thirtysomething and let her decide how to respond.
Other advice I'd give anyone looking for a sex worker: Look for someone who demonstrates she cares about pleasing clients and building her business long-term. A nicely done website and professional-looking pictures usually indicate someone who isn't going to take the money and run. There are escort-review message boards around, just Google the name of your city and that phrase. But you should take what you read there—both the glowing reviews and the scathing ones—with a big grain of salt. "Your mileage may vary" is an often-used phrase in such reviews. That's true for anyone, but as a woman, you're driving a whole different highway.
The Wet Spot's kinky dance party: goth/industrial music, sex, and BDSM, with a younger, more style-conscious crowd. Wet Spot, 1602 15th Ave W, building E, 270-9746, email@example.com, 9 pm—1:30 am, $10, membership required.
FRIDAY 2/9CLUB NIGHT AT THE CUFF
No cover for leather, bear, motorcycle, or rodeo club members with membership card or club colors. Also, no cover for those with Club Seattle or Basic Plumbing cards. Cuff, 1533 13th Ave, 323-1525, $3 before 11 pm/$4 after, 21+.DITA VON TEESE AND THE ATOMIC BOMBSHELLS
Superfine sexy burlesque show with headliner Miss Von Teese and local beauties Atomic Bombshells. I'm guessing Marilyn Manson won't be there. Also Sat Feb 10. Triple Door, 216 Union St, 838-4333, www.thetripledoor.net, 7 and 10 pm, $25 adv/$30 DOS, 21+.
SATURDAY 2/10LEATHER AND LACE EXPERIENCE
A pansexual dance/social event with swimming, hot tubbing, and an area for BDSM. The Longhouse in Redmond, G_LM@yahoo.com, 7 pm, $15, 18+.UNDERWEAR PARTY AT THE EAGLE
Boys dancing cheek to cheek in their skivvies. A clothes check will be provided. Seattle Eagle, 314 E Pike St, $5, 9 pm, 21+.HEDGEHOG FUN
Far less kinky than its name suggests, Hedgehog Fun is a kid-friendly "story time" featuring a winter tale from Denmark and a craft project for kids from preschool to age 8. If you're 9, fuck off. Nordic Heritage Museum, 3014 NW 67th St, 10:30—11:30 am, free.
SUNDAY 2/11EROTIC MASSAGE NIGHT
Sensual-touch instruction for couples and singles, facilitated by David Longmire. No experience required. Wet Spot, 270-9746, firstname.lastname@example.org, 5—9 pm (doors close at 6 pm), $10, members only.