A professional dominatrix has a set of protocols that she expects clients to observe. But I'm not the only lady with an ad in the back pages, and everyone's rules and regulations are different. I've talked about some of my policies, but for the sake of diversity, I decided to poll a bunch of the escorts and sensual-touch practitioners I know and find out what they'd like me to tell you about their codes of conduct. (I changed all their names, by the way.)

First off, get all the available information before you call or e-mail her. If you found her through her website, read the whole thing before you approach her. As Darla put it, "If you can't find my rate or my hours when it's right there on the page in front of you, it makes me wonder what else you won't be able to find."

Make sure you understand the terms she uses to describe herself and what she offers. For example, if you don't know what "TS" means, you're likely to wind up with a very different kind of experience than the one you were looking for. (Hint: In Risky Business, Rebecca De Mornay was actually the second escort that a young Tom Cruise had come to his house. Remember the first one?) When in doubt, ask.

But don't ask too much. There's a delicate verbal dance that must be done in the initial contact, and if you're too blunt, she'll get nervous and end the communication. As far as these ladies are concerned, what's being bought and sold here is their time. "If you want to negotiate to buy sexual acts, go to the legal brothels in Nevada," says Jewel. Anywhere else, mentioning sex will bring a hasty end to the discussion.

The ladies also want you to know you shouldn't believe everything you read. Websites with discussion boards about various types of adult entertainers abound, and any woman who's been in business steadily for more than a few months is likely to have been "reviewed" somewhere. The trouble is, some of the reviews are legitimate and some aren't. Glowing reviews may be written and posted by the entertainer herself, and negative ones might be penned by business rivals or spurned lovers. And then there are the attention-whores who post reviews of women they haven't ever met, just for the hell of it. So do your research, but still, caveat emptor.

More etiquette tips: If you're meeting at her place, don't show up early. At best, she won't be ready for you, and at worst, you'll bump into another gentleman who's on his way out. And for god's sake, never ever just show up at a lady's place of business without an appointment. Doing so will forever brand you as "that freaky stalker guy."

Forget godliness, says Christine. "Cleanliness is what gets next to me!" Any part of your body that you want a woman near should be well scrubbed. I heard about this issue from every single escort I talked to, including women who charge $400 an hour.

You may be a little nervous at your first meeting with the lady—that's understandable. But it's quite possible that she's a little nervous about you, too. If you reassure her that you're really an okay guy, you're more likely to have a good experience with her. Simple things like making eye contact and smiling helps. Calm, casual conversation is also good. Nothing says "deranged serial killer" to a woman like a new guy who won't meet her eye, acts jumpy and twitchy, and responds to let's-get-acquainted chat with monosyllables.

Most gentlemen have no trouble with such elementary guidelines. But occasionally I hear some foolish whining about the temerity of sex workers daring to have rules. "I'm paying for it, don't I get to make the rules?" Hmmm, let me think about that for a minute...

Nope, you don't.

Regardless of how much cash you're spending, she's still a human being and you're going to have to take her wishes into account. If you really want a woman with no rules at all, I understand the inflatable ones are amazingly lifelike these days.


Kink Calendar


MEN-ONLY PLAY PARTY Where the kinky boys are. Wet Spot, men-only@wetspot.org or 270-9746, 10 pm–3 am, $15, male ID required.


LOVE LOUNGE SEATTLE This "adult social club" holds events for bi women and male/female couples. No single men. Lovelounge@lovelounge.net, 9:30 pm, no cover, membership required, 21+.

KISSING SCHOOL A safe, playful way to explore tantra and experience the kiss sublime. 10 am–5 pm, $275 per couple, pre-registration required at www.kissingschool.com.

PANSEXUAL BDSM NIGHT BDSM play party for all genders and orientations. Wet Spot, pansexual@wetspot.org or 270-9746, 9 pm–3 am, $20, membership required.

MIDDLE EARTH GATHERING Celebrate the autumn equinox with your Tolkien-loving brethren. Tarot classes, a spirit-doll workshop, and a kinky sweat lodge. Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity, OR, 503-502-1415, $75, pre-registration required.


PARADISE POOL TIME A clothing-optional "swim and be social" event at an indoor pool. The Longhouse in Redmond, pool@wetspot.org or 270-9746, noon–6 pm, $10, RSVP required.

BOUNDARY SKILLS: PLAYING AT THE EDGE Learn about communicating desires, boundaries and limits, and sexy ways to invite, offer, and negotiate. 7–10 pm, $20-$40, RSVP to beth@sacrederos.com.


MOONDAY AT THE FENIX Monthly fetish-fashion photography event. Wanna shoot? Contact lady3cecily@yahoo.com. Wanna model? Dress up. Fenix Underground, 109 S Washington St, 405-4314, 9 pm, $5 in fetishwear, $15 in civies.