I want to go see an escort, but I'm clueless. How do people pay a sex worker? I mean, should I have the money in my hand when she comes to the door, or put it in an envelope or what? I don't want to offend her but I don't know what to do.

This isn't like McDonald's, where they want you to have your money ready when you drive up to the window. First thing to do is check her website, if she has one. Some ladies state their policies about payment there. (Envelope, no envelope, at the beginning, at the end, what have you.) If she doesn't, and she doesn't say anything during the arrangements about where and when, then just put the money in an unsealed envelope and let her see you put it down, without saying anything, after you're together and you've chatted for a little while. To be extra tactful, you could then excuse yourself to the bathroom, giving her a chance to check it and put it into her purse without any discussion. Any smart woman is going to check that money, especially since I hear there's a guy roaming around town these days giving out sealed-but-cashless envelopes to working ladies. They're quite annoyed about it.

Prostitutes don't kiss their clients, do they? A friend of mine says they do.

Kissing used to be something that was simply not done, both because of the hygiene issue and because it was considered an intimacy one saved for one's partner. But I'm told that's changed, at least among the higher-end ladies. The "girlfriend experience" is in, clients want to kiss, and with the internet facilitating a constant flow of women competing for client dollars, kissing has become a service they can't afford not to offer.

What happens when a sex worker gets pregnant?

Funny, my first instinct was to answer: She makes a lot of money. That's based on a couple of experiences dancing in strip clubs with girls who got PG. As soon as they started to show, they became very popular with the pregnancy-fetish guys, some of whom came from as far as two states away to see them. One of them could stand onstage and squirt breast milk at her special clients with spot-on accuracy and I swear, guys were throwing money at that girl. The pregnancy/lactation-fetish market is narrow, but its denizens are fervent and they're usually underserved.

That may not be what you're asking, of course, but I'm not quite sure what you are asking. Like anyone else, if a sex worker gets pregnant, she can keep the baby, give it up for adoption, or have an abortion. If she has it, at some point she's going to have to take some time off work, but unless she has a really difficult pregnancy, she can keep working a pretty long time. Good thing, since she's unlikely to get paid maternity leave.

You've given us some very amusing examples of what one ought not to say to you on the phone. What does a successful call to you sound like?

Well, they don't make as good a story, that's for sure. Since the vast majority of people I see are repeat clients, they frequently start off something like this: "Hi, Matisse, it's me, Bob. Can we get together sometime this week?" And from there we discuss schedules and fix a date. Good for us, boring for you.

Many people profess to love the "weird phone call" stories-especially other sex workers, who send me e-mails that say, "Yes, yes, yes! I have the same twerps calling me!" But since I've been publishing these stories, I've also had some would-be clients tell me, "I wanted to call, but I was afraid you'd write about me." The average new caller should not fear this, as my weird-phone-call bar is set quite high. (And judging by the shout-outs, I imagine other women's are too.) Just say, "Hi, I saw your ad, and I'm interested in a session." If you don't howl like a dog, address me as "Oh Goddess of Destruction," or bang your forehead on the floor while you talk to me, chances are our conversation will never see ink. ■




Annie Sprinkle reads from her new book, Dr. Sprinkle's Spectacular Sex: Make Over Your Love Life with One of the World's Great Sex Experts. Toys in Babeland, 707 E Pike St, 328-2914, 7 pm, free.


The Wet Spot's kinky dance party: socialize, dance, have sex, and do BDSM to a gothic/industrial soundtrack. Wet Spot, 270-9746 or info@wetspot.org, 9 pm-2 am, $10.



The Eagle is looking for hot couples in their underwear. $100 goes to the hottest couple, and the winning exhibitionists get a spot in the 2006 Seattle Eagle calendar. Seattle Eagle, 314 E Pike St, 621-7591, register at www.seattleeagle.com or at the door, 9 pm, 21+.



A play party in honor of the Queering Femininity conference being held this weekend (www.femmeconference.org). Wet Spot, 270-9746 or info@wetspot.org, 7 pm, $20. Must be Wet Spot member OR conference attendee with valid picture ID.



The world's most popular mental-masochism board game gets the 17th annual local tournament it deserves. Saturday through Monday, with each day's battle starting at 9:00 a.m. Seattle Red Lion Hotel, 1415 Fifth Ave, free to observe.



Host Dane Ballard takes an offbeat, positive look at sex and sexuality. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, www.sexlifelive.org, 8:30 pm, $7, 21+.