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Dear Mistress Matisse,

I could never be a prostitute, but I'd love to have a sugar-daddy boyfriend who paid my bills. How could I find a guy who'd like that kind of arrangement?

Oh honey, don't get all elitist on me here. If you're sexing a guy just because he's paying your rent, that is prostitution. Obviously it's different from being out on Aurora negotiating car dates, but you actually don't get a free pass on the ethical, psychological, and emotional issues that impact other sex workers.

As for finding one, well, my first sugar daddy was my boss at my straight job. However, most girls seeking sugar daddies hook up with them through traditional sex-work systems. Dancers or porn models can attract a wealthy fan, escorts get offered exclusive deals by an existing client. In your case, I'm not sure what to suggest. Maybe a personal ad?

And consider this, before you become financially dependent on someone else: what's going to happen to you if this guy gets hit by a bus? It's not like his widow is going to give you a severance package. If you go this route, amass a big cushion of savings, just in case.

Dear Mistress,

I'm a working lady and I want to raise my rates, but I don't want to create a situation with my established clients. How do you nicely tell someone that the price has gone up?

Raising one's rates is a delicate and gradual process. Start by changing the information in your advertising. Even regular boys will often notice that and adjust accordingly, with no conversation required. A woman I know wrote out sweet little notes and handed them to her clients as they were leaving: Dear Bob, I really appreciate you coming to see me and hope that you continue to do so. Due to my rising expenses, I am going to have to change my rates to (amount), effective (date). I look forward to spending more time with you again soon...

Then too, if someone's been a frequent flyer of yours for a long time and you like him, maybe you should just let him keep seeing you at the old rate. Good regular clients are worth giving some perks.

Mistress Matisse,

I'm thinking about becoming an escort, but one thing worries me. How do you deal with the stalkers?

Define stalker. If you mean someone who is inappropriately manifesting him or herself in your physical world and scaring you, that's very serious. I'd give someone like that one warning and then I'd talk to the cops. Depending on how firmly attached to reality your stalker is, a "you better knock that shit off" letter from a lawyer may also be effective. Either way, stalking and harassment is specifically illegal in Washington. If someone is stalking you, you don't have to just live with it, even if you are a sex worker.

However, contrary to what slasher movies would have you believe, sex workers don't just routinely get stalked. I've had a few boys to whom I had to firmly explain the rules of the relationship. But their behavior sprung from naïve excitement, not criminal craziness, and they apologized and did not err again.

Sex workers do often get attention from people who have no social skills, no life, and nothing else to do with their time except make weird phone calls and send whacko emails. But there's a difference between a pest and a stalker. Stalkers threaten and frighten you, and you should not ignore that. Pests are inappropriate and irritating and they waste your time, but they aren't threatening and they should be ignored.

Read this excellent book: The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker. It'll sharpen your intuitive survival skills, including knowing when someone is truly a threat to you and what you should do about that. Whether you become an escort or not, that's something everyone should be in touch with.

matisse@thestranger.com

Kink Calendar

THURSDAY 10/20

LOVE LOUNGE TEA PARTY

This "adult social club" holds events for bi women and male/female couples. lovelounge@lovelounge.net, 4 pm, no cover, membership required, must RSVP, 21+.

FRIDAY 10/21

APHRODISIAC FOODS FOR LOVERS

Learn how certain foods open the spirit to love. Class includes a few samples to tickle your taste buds. School of One, www.schoolofone.com, 8 pm–10 pm, $10–$20.

MEN-ONLY NIGHT

BDSM play party for the nasty boys. Wet Spot, 270-9746, 10 pm–3 am, $15, male ID required.

SATURDAY 10/22

SHELTER FROM SEXUAL SHAME

Sex educator and courtesan Veronica Monet offers a candid lecture and exercises to help overcome internal shame and assert healthy boundaries. Wet Spot, veronicamonet.com or 888-903-0050, 4 pm–7 pm, $35.

SUNDAY 10/23

C-SPACE REUNION AND FUNDRAISER

C-Space was a well-loved BDSM educational forum from 1989 to 1996. Celebrate its January 2006 rebirth with a night of entertainment, demos, raffles, and an auction. Wet Spot, atcfiretender@hotmail.com or 425-687-9696, 7 pm–10 pm, $5.

ANAL ADVENTURES: BEYOND THE BASICS

Sex educators Dena and Mykkah offer an advanced degree in loving your butt, from going wider/deeper to fisting and double-penetration. Babeland, 707 E Pike St, 328-2914, 7:30 pm, $30/sliding scale available.

monDAY 10/24

FUNNIEST MOM CONTEST

If there's anything kinkier than birthing a baby, it's turning the experience into stand-up. Join Nick at Night figureheads as they search for "the funniest mom in America." Comedy Underground, 222 S Main St, 628-0303, 8:30 pm, $4.

 

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