Sex Worker Ghosts Client — Should He Try to Contact Her?

Savage Love Letter of the Day

Comments

1

Sex workers who (temporarily or permanently) quit their jobs often simply disappear without goodbyes. My advice: don't try to contact her, just keep an eye out for an ad or similar that shows she's working again. If you see that, contact her again, via "official" channels. If that doesn't bappen, move on.

2

Any client who would, in this circumstance, consider sending flowers isn't socially adept. At all. As all the professional commentators stated - DON'T SEND FLOWERS!

So it's likely that he's missed other important social cues and has conflated a commodified relationship into an emotional one (does he send flowers to his car mechanic, his CPA or the mail carrier?!?). The sex worker may have given signals to dial it back and he was clueless or she may have concluded his cluelessness was more than she wanted to deal with. If the former, he shouldn't contact her. If the later, he shouldn't contact her.

3

But I agree with @1 and the sex worker commenters that if (and only if) she has an email address in some advertisement, forum, etc, then he could, one time, send a message, "We lost touch with each other. I'd love to hear from you. Regardless, I hope you're well and wish the best for you."

4

Should he try to contact her? Of course - he's a client who wants a service from a vendor.

Is sending the flowers going to do the trick? Seems pretty unlikely, and I suspect for all intents and purposes his preferred sex worker is Out of the Game, one way or the other. She either skipped town, went underground, or quit doing sex work most likely, and there isn't anything he can do about that. Sometimes business go out of business, no amount of sex workers and flowers will ever have me rooting for the SuperSonics in Key Arena again.

But anyway, I'd send a final text message of something like "hey enjoyed our time would love to book you when you're next available". Curteous and professional with a touch of warmth seems like a "soft re-entry landing" if she ever gets back in the game.

5

What's interesting about the professional opinions is the juxtaposition of the idea that sex work is a transactional arrangement and that ending, without notice, a long-standing business arrangement with a good client is an acceptable business practice in all circumstances.

As such it doesn't seem to be unreasonable to inquire of your service provider whether they are still in business, and if not, whether they have any recommendations for other service providers in the area. I would imagine that any new sex worker seen by LW would appreciate the reference from LW's former sex worker, not merely for the new business, but the knowing that the new client had been vetted.

6

Yeah @2 makes a good point about what the idea of sending flowers suggests about the LW's instincts.

And there's no shame in that, LW, as long as you can do the work to make sure you're not accidentally creeping on your sex workers.

7

Being ghosted sucks, I know, but you'll have to let this one go. There are means to recover contact lists usually, or some record of phone numbers. Plus if she wanted to keep her number, she could have. Do your best not to take this personally or attempt to interpret this silence definitively. Just know that it's over, enjoy the memories of the time you spent with this sex worker, and move on, as much for your own sake as for hers. If I have learned anything from being forced to listen to the very trashiest radio stations and shows at work, it's that if you're not getting a call back, it's usually for some reason or other, and I hate to say it but you probably don't want to know that reason and/or wouldn't get anything out of it if you did know.

If it helps, pretend she broke it off politely or that it was mutual. That helps lessen the emotional blow it you felt something for this particular sex worker.

8

I'm a bit confused by the advice from Mistress Matisse, as in sending a generic card. Does he remember the address? If it was an apartment, then the unit number? Is he planning to use the postal service? Does he know her real name?

If he does have all that info and sends a card, I'd think that would give an impression of being stalkery, too. Or was MM thinking of a less personal, unidentifiable PO Box number?

9

Maybe someone explain that a hooker (or stripper) will NEVER "BE HIS GIRLFRIEND".
Probably this fop has a pattern of pining for women he pays to be involved in his life.

10

Better advice:
"You know where you got that last dame's number? Go back to that source, look above and below her number, and dial either of those numbers you see. I guarantee the number rings, she is home, and yes she wants to see you.
For the same negotiated tender."

11

@5 You are absolutely correct that ghosting is not an acceptable business practice, EXCEPT in the illegal and investigated goods and services sector; where that usually means one's clients shouldn't come blundering in to ensure one catches a case.

Further, I don't see anyone mentioning that it's also possible that TW's service provider may have closed down shop because she now has a significant other who is not in the loop regarding her past transactional relationships. As Mistress Matisse said, TW should take the overwhelming consensus and move on, BUT if TW does not, any contact request should also reflect that. As such, I really don't like the "thinking of you" card or "time together"; perhaps a simple sheet of paper or generic postcard, with what ever names she knows and the message "My contact information has changed" with a burner email address.

12

I've been unable to reach my piano tuner this year. His number is no longer in service. Should I send flowers?

13

I read @5 and thought, "Yeah, these sex workers want all leeway of being a professional but none of the obligations." - if the person tuning my piano, cleaning my office, or teaching my child music just disappeared and stopped all communications - that's rude, self-defeating, and bad business.

But @11 points out, correctly, that sex workers (and drug dealers, contract killers, wildlife poachers, closeted gay politicians, etc) have additional worries: law enforcement, desire to keep family/friends/partner in the dark, and trying to be not forever linked to that illicit activity. Any of which may be the reason for the ghosting and are definitely reasons to not attempt contact except in the most benign, easily dismissed way.

@12: the soul of wit is brevity. Nice job.

14

This poor fool reminds me of my ex-husband who thought the baristas and cocktail servers were coming on to him. I pointed out that people who work for tips are pleasant BECAUSE THEY ARE EXPECTING MONEY FOR MAKING YOU HAPPY. It does NOT mean they "want you". So, while I am not a sex worker, I'd say "Dude, get a grip. The woman was WORKING. And now she is not. Find yourself another unhealthy obsession and get a life." God, I'm cringing on your behalf. Gross.

15

I have been seeing SWs for years and there is one golden rule: The Relationship is Always a Fantasy. Always.

This is true even if you feel personally close to the SW and get to know their personal lives. Then, the fantasy is that this is a real relationship. It is not. It is still 100% transactional. It only stops being a fantasy when the SW stops charging you - then you are her BF. Until then, no matter what else, it's still a fantasy that this desirable woman gets excited to have sex with you the minute you walk in the door. It's their job to get excited - don't take it personally.

She's not "ghosting" you. Her situation has changed and you no longer have her current contact info. If and when she wants to let you know she is available for sex work, she will reach out. For now, move on. Create a new fantasy with a new SW.

16

Dear LW: Craigslist: Missed Connections.

17

I liked Mistress Matisse's 3 point plan. Even if it is transactional at its core, a friendly business relationship is still a relationship. Drop one note, following Mistress Matisse's suggestions. Then, as John Rambo once said... let it go... let it, go.

18

At some point in my life I was a client, a similar arrangement, and similar ending. No urge for flowers on my side though. I take the providers’ side when it comes to maintaining their safety and anonymity. Providers are risking way more than just breaking the law, and the number one thing this entire industry needs in order to provide safety on all levels is legalization.

Those of us decrying “bad business practices by providers” must first recognize selling sex as legit business.

19

If you wouldn't send flowers to your mechanic, accountant or plumber if they ghosted you then don't send them to your sex worker

20

Yeah, flowers would be creepy. Keep it professional.
Mistress Matisse has it right: one note, nonspecific, giving her a way to contact you if she is so inclined.

21

@4: “Should he try to contact her? Of course - he's a client who wants a service from a vendor.”

I often wonder if you’re actively trolling or believe your empathy-free bluster.

22

@18: “Those of us decrying “bad business practices by providers” must first recognize selling sex as legit business.”

It’s an even more entitled position than your average “the customer is always right” misery. They don’t want internet access, they want access to a specific person after they’ve chosen to cut off contact.

23

" (does he send flowers to his car mechanic, his CPA or the mail carrier?!?)"

I think the answer depends on whether his car mechanic, his CPA, and his mail carrier are blowing him.

25

@5, what @11 and @18 said - it's a different story when your business is viewed as illegitimate and you are in danger of running into trouble with the law or with creepy clients. But I'm also pretty sure the demand for sex workers exceeds the supply. Of course you'd expect any service provider to be professional and courteous, but if I were seeing a sex worker I'd be putting effort into being a particularly considerate and respectful client.

26

I also raise an eyebrow at LW's "total innocence" (just the fact that he wants to send flowers casts doubt on his judgement / social filter), but giving the benefit of the doubt, there are myriad reasons the lady may have lost touch with him. MAYBE she lost her phone & had NO BACKUPS of her client list (people can be foolish), MAYBE she accidentally deleted his info (happens to the best of us). I'd say odds are slim, but on the off chance it's true, a professional-looking note in the mail from a fictitious business, "Thank you for your business, we have changed our phone number" would remedy the situation without putting her on the spot. ONE NOTE then drop it. If she doesn't reply, take the hint and find another sex worker. After all, variety is the spice of life.

27

Mistress Matisse had the best answer. I have always concurred with Dan that any kind of relationship means both parties should be respectful to each other. Whether it's a long-term relationship, a fuck buddy, a third, a paid escort -- you treat that person as a human being, with kindness and consideration. If this sex worker kept a "strictly business" attitude, that would be one thing. But introducing family members over a 2-year relationship (in the most general of terms) means there was friendship and companionship. If she had ghosted him after fostering something meaningful beyond the money, sorry, I think she was being a bit of a dick. The guy has reason to be concerned that something bad might have happened to her, and it would be reasonable for him to reach out and express some concern. That said, flowers are a bit much. Mistress Matisse gave the best advice in that regard. You don't just shut off your humanity because money was involved -- unless shutting off humanity was part of the deal from the get-go ("just sex, leave your money on the table" -- which it wasn't in this case).

28

In 15 minute increments, over a period of years, I got to know a lot about my hair stylist. To be sure it was a wholly transactional relationship, but I did give him books on American history, a subject on which I knew he enjoyed reading. And when he was hit by a speeding vehicle, and suffered grave injuries which would lead him to be out of work for seven months, I wasn't his only client that sought to track him down at the hospital to make sure that he was in good hands, nor was I his only client that donated money to make up for his being out of work.

I also had a purely transactional relationship with the building doorman, who I spoke to for no more than a couple of minutes a day, but also got to know. And was I willing to give him $500 in tickets to a Yankees game, simply because I couldn't go and knew he loved the team too. When he didn't show up to work for more than week, I asked another doorman why his colleague wasn't at work any more, and was told he had retired, but hadn't told anyone in the building. To be sure, I wasn't the only person disappointed that he hadn't said goodbye, or been given an opportunity to provide him with a gratuity for his years of service. Coincidentally, just before I left New York, he showed up at the building, and many of those same people were happy to see him, as I was, and he was rather sheepish for having left without saying anything. So while I wouldn't give my CPA flowers, I have given other service providers gifts during and at the end of the relationship. As such, I'm not going to say that LW's instinct is entirely off, even if I would agree that flowers are not the right way to follow through.

Does any of this suggest that LW had some inability to pick up on social cues as has been suggested? I would simply point out that he maintained a monthly engagement for multiple years with this SW, so she would have needed a high threshold for his social ineptness as it is unlikely that his social skill deteriorated over that time.

As for the societal stigma and illegality. First, at least some of the sex worker comments Dan obtained, do not base their argument on these issues, they simply suggest that a purely transactional can be unilateral terminated without reason at any time. In any event, neither issue would seem to be a particularly significant hurdle if in fact LW's sex worker was leaving the profession on her terms.

Of course practically speaking, after his inquiry as to whether he can still book an appointment was ignored, and absent obtaining new contact information suggesting this sex worker is still seeking clients, I would suggest LW identify a new service provider.

29

You know, maybe if more people sent their mechanics, their CPAs, their mail carriers flowers and candy once in a while, they'd get better service.

I'm going to start doing that. I'm not going to start blowing them, though.

30

Sportlandia @4: Your "of course" seems misguided. Would you advise someone to pound on the doors of a shop that had closed? I agree the likeliest scenario is that she's quit sex work, and therefore is no longer a "vendor." Contacting her to request services she's no longer offering for sale is entitled and disrespectful. Was the ghosting a bit rude on her part, yes. Did she have her reasons, of course she did, whether they're to do with him or not. Respect that and move on.

I agree with the point about her safety, and if he wants to try to find her to make sure she's alive and well, I'd support that. This would go a long way towards showing that he believes sex workers are people. But once found... do not ask for another session. A referral, as Sublime suggests, would be a suitable professional courtesy on her part.

31

I love Mistress Matisse. Beautiful suggestion. Follow this LW, word for word.
You fell in love with her, LW, eh, it’s in your words. Might have scared the bejesus out of her. Writing a note will end it for you. And her as well.

32

LG @31 Reputable sex workers don't want their clients falling in love with them; that happening is a good reason to break off contact. However, I don't read anything in the LW's words that suggests he fell in love with her.

33

Men in love, RE @32, think to send flowers.

34

“ I even met her sisters” . Hoping she’s just lost her phone and contacts in it.
He told us how long he’s been seeing her, two and a half years. There’s some deep emotion going on here, on the LWs side.
By her behaviour, it got too difficult for whatever reason. Or she stopped working.

35

@29 I've seen some pretty hot looking young mechanics at the car dealership worthy of blowing. As the French say, quels mecs!

36

LG @33 Hmm. I see your point, but I'd say, not necessarily. I've given perfume to one of my favorite sex workers and I'm not in love with her.

37

Lava @33: Agree. RE @36, would you have given perfume to a sex worker who'd cut off all contact? I think not. Lava has nailed it. LW referred to her as "a professional," and he doesn't seem to see the obvious solution -- shrug and find a new sex worker. "Is she safe" is not something one says with flowers.

38

When I read this, I thought about my sister, whose hearing aid practitioner just disappeared on her. They'd had a relationship - a business relationship, but still, it's a relationship - for ten years, and my sister considered her a friend, in that way you do if someone is performing a personal service that takes quite a lot of time, and you get along. She was a little hurt, and a little upset, and she took a little bit of trouble to see if she could find out what happened - never did.

This isn't like a mechanic, or a piano tuner, it's more like a hairdresser or masseuse. It feels more personal because it IS more personal. If you found out they died or were in hospital, you'd like to send condolences, if they moved, you'd send best wishes for future success.

I agree with everybody that he should just accept that she's gone (unless he can find her contact info the same way he originally did, in which case, sure, reach out once in a businesslike way) but I can understand why he's feeling some feelings. My sister still mentions that hearing aid dispenser, sometimes, years later. It feels like a blow.

39

@5 Sublime is interestingly pointed but @11 LouChe is probably the correct reply.

As a class, sex workers are more sane than counsellors/psychotherapists. Probably this is because, in moral terms, they are therapists, and a lot of the accredited therapists shills of the sort that prostitutes have been demeaningly thought to be. Another thought is that sex work is underground or countercultural, and that being in this position naturally conduces to thinking.

40

Since we’re dealing with business ethics can we also have a discussion about legalizing-or-not the sex industry?

41

This happened to a man ho is very close to me a year ago. Some research OF her ph. # revealed the womans real name and FB page. My very close friend sent a note very much like Mistress authored. The answer came back that she had "Moved on" and she wished my friend well in the future. Boom. closure.

42

A similar thing happened to a very good friend of mine in 2005. In that event, the SW announced her retirement in advance. My friend decided to provide a going-away gift, and wished her well, as well as asking that if she might recommend a colleague he would be grateful.
Several days later an email arrived containing a referral along with contact info, and my friend followed up and began a new transactional relationship. He KNOWS that the relationship is transactional, and understands that there are strict conditions in the relationship.

43

@30 "attempt to contract" doesn't need to include stalking or pounding on the door at night or whatever; but you know my general attitude: ask for what you want or get ignored. He owes it to himself to do due diligence. This doesn't abrogate the need to also be an overall decent person and observe reasonable boundaries. Flowers are overkill and speak to his affection, but they don't violate any boundaries - he's not showing up outside her window or day job. And, believe it or not, there are still some women out there who enjoy such gestures.

I think the question we are getting to the bottom of, is what is the nature of a sex worker client relationship. Is it possible for it to be strictly business, as one would with a piano tuner? Or does the nature of the work fundamentally preclude that? How much obligation does a provider have to their client ?

44

19- gryn-- Thing is, if I lost a good reliable plumber or car mechanic, I'd do anything to get them back including flowers and begging if I thought that would help.

45

@24: “ lol at empathy talk from some bitch who does nothing but pick at others all day and night. have fun in hell, dummy”

The only people I “pick at” are those with a penchant for narcissistic cruelty, so you and the Seattleblues/raindrop-variety shitposters.

You’re never called out for any lack of success in love and sex, just how little you care about women (and in this case, women who perform sex work.)

46

@44: Your mechanics aren’t at risk for violence, arrest, stalking, losing children, having to rec

47

-oncile family and friends, romantic relationships and all other integration with society. I don’t doubt there’s the interest I contacting, but respect for her safety and privacy should win out, always.

48

Sportlandia @43: Yes, I know your general attitude: "male entitlement."

If I had a favourite pub where I went to hang out with friends once a month for over two years, and I showed up one Friday evening to find the pub shuttered with a "For Lease" sign on it, would I feel sad? Of course. Would I be entitled to go looking for the now-unemployed bartender and ask him to come to my place and make me and my friends cocktails? You must be joking. This woman is incommunicado for one of a few possible reasons, one of which is highly unlikely to be "her phone broke." I'd suggest you amend your attitude from "don't ask, don't get" to "don't ask, don't be an ass." Because this guy isn't going to get, regardless.

Unless they have a signed contract for the ongoing provision of services -- unlikely given the nature of the work -- this woman owes the LW nothing more than the sex he already paid for. He owes it "to himself" to pursue someone who clearly doesn't want to be pursued? So nice of you to be concerned with HIS welfare. I think the world might be a better place if men were less concerned with what they believe they owe themselves -- which, funnily enough, must often be delivered by a woman, regardless of how she might feel about it. You mention what she owes him, and you mention what he owes himself; any thoughts at all about what he might owe her? Privacy, for instance? Respect? Space?

49

SL @43 "I think the question we are getting to the bottom of, is what is the nature of a sex worker client relationship. Is it possible for it to be strictly business, as one would with a piano tuner?"

It is "strictly business", but not like with a piano tuner. It's "intimate business" and that carries the risk of unreciprocated feelings developing (luckily never happened to me).
Most sex workers are understandably wary of clients developing feelings, they don't need complications like that. But it happens. One of the busiest threads on the "client forum" I am a member of is called (translated) "Help, in love with a lady" ("lady" meaning sex worker here). It's been running since 2002 and has more than 4000 posts.

Anyway. The only obligation a sex worker has here is not to take advantage of a client falling in love. That also happens, unfortunately.

50

No one cares cares about my legalization question, Sporty gets all the attention ;,,(

51

CMD @50 😊 OK, the legalization question. Well, I think sex work should be legalized. But note that legal does not mean socially acceptable or "normal". Where I live sex work is legal but it's still not a "normal" line of work, and visiting a sex worker is not socially acceptable. Hence everyone prefers anonimity.

52

@40 legalization
My impressions of why some locales offer Sex work as legal-but-regulated may have to do with history. Nevada with it's extreme climate and history of relying upon mining set it up to have a mostly male workforce. In order for the huge majority of men to enjoy the company of a woman it became, of necessity, a transactional situation. I believe the same thing happened in Alaska during the gold rush. I believe that in Alaska, when the gold ran out the men left restoring the population to a closer balance like the rest of the continent. Apparently that did not happen in Nevada. This is just my theory BTW.

53

@50: I’d love to read a professional’s breakdown of the various international models of legitimacy/legalization.

54

That was a pretty strong consensus from the sex workers. I would go with their advice and just move on. It's hard to say that though because I am burning with curiosity too. Even without being in love it can be hard to let a good thing go without poking it a couple times.

Imma make this about me now. I had a much more mild version of this where a hook up didn't respond to a couple of subsequent messages. I was surprised because the hook up had been, um quantifiably successful in the objective sense and we both said we were eager to do it again. I sent one final message acknowledging that I wouldn't normally send multiple messages to a person who seemed uninterested but thought we had had fun. He responded and eventually divulged that he was into scat and our hook up had been fun but not squarely in his sweet spot.

Ahhh closure.

55

UAR @53 See e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_by_region and linked articles.

56

It's not just a matter of legality, though that's super important and probably the biggest distinction between sex workers and other long term personal service providers (hair dressers, etc). It's also a matter of social stigma, as RE said, and personal safety since she sometimes works from home. She could have any number of unforeseen circumstances occur in her life in which she would quit working- just like a hairdresser, etc. But in the case of sex workers, sometimes this might also carry with it a need to be very private about past work. For example, (just wild speculation but to illustrate the point), her mom broke her hip and now lives with her. She wants to hide her past work from mom. I'm not suggesting this is what happened, I'm just trying to get you guys to think about the vast amount of life circumstances that could cause a sex worker to want no contact with clients that would not affect someone in just about any other service profession because sex work also carries with it complicated reputations and emotions that can affect someone's life, relationship and future. This is in addition to legal considerations as well as safety considerations (she might have reason for wanting to disappear).

Finally, since there are a lot of comparisons here with other service workers, I want to tell you something about when I was a young bartender. I had some customers I liked more than others though I pretended to like all of them. Some of them even could be considered friends though we never moved to the point that we hung out outside of work or exchanged phone numbers though that could've happened if I hadn't been so busy (I was in school too). Alrighty, so one day, one of my customers who I genuinely liked told me about his friend's new friend who had just gotten out of prison. This was just a casual anecdote- like, I know this guy who has this friend that... blah blah blah- people tell you all sorts of random things when they are drinking. But as his story went on, I realized that the guy he was talking about was a guy I very briefly dated about a year beforehand. This man was extremely violent- I realized it a few weeks into our dating and dumped him before I was myself caught up in anything. He did threaten me when I told him I would not see him anymore. It wasn't a big deal because I timed it right before I moved and went out of town for an internship so I never heard from the guy again, and by the time I came back to school, he was gone. Back to the bar. I did not want to tell this customer, who was a decent guy best I could tell and who I genuinely liked, about this because I did not want there to be any possible way that the violent guy- his casual acquaintance- could reconnect with me. So I just talked to him like normal, finished my shift like normal, clocked out, took the day's tips, went home, and never went back to work there again. It was a bar job in the 90s when I was in college in a big city so no big deal- I knew I could get work somewhere else easily enough. I ghosted not only on that particular customer but every single one of my coworkers, etc. I'm certain there is no way any one could have any idea why. My boss called me at home a few times (this was before cell phones were really common) but that's it. People do in fact leave service industry jobs ALL THE TIME without reason- the turnover in service industries is huge, and frequently you never hear from the person again. Especially if it's a job where you make almost all your money in tips- you can skip out even on your last paycheck and it's no big deal as the check is only like 60 bucks anyway (or at least it was then).

So yes this happens in the service industry- yes there are all sorts of reasons that you can't fathom, and yes sex work carries risks (legal, personal, physical) that other jobs don't. If the person ghosts, let them do so and move on.

Back to my story in case you are curious, years later after I was already out of college and back in town visiting my father, I was at the grocery store and I did run into that guy- (the customer not the violent ex who I never saw or heard from again). He told me he wondered why I'd left and he said he wondered if it was because I was offended by how much he was always flirting with me. I don't remember him flirting with me much at all- no more than most guys, and as I said, I liked him just fine. I told him no, it had nothing to do with him, I left because of school, and I still did not tell him the real reason. Sometimes the best way to guarantee that you prevent any drama whatsoever is just to keep shit to yourself, and if that means that well-meaning people wonder what happened and internalize it to see if they did something wrong, oh well.

57

@48/Bi: I don't think your analogy is quite accurate. LW isn't like a bar patron who finds his pub with a for lease sign on the door, which clearly informs patrons that this establishment has gone out of business. He's more an old customer who has found a favorite store closed, when he had expected it to be open. In such a case, many customers might show up at the door of the store over many days to try and figure out whether the proprietor has simply gone on holiday, the business has been interrupted for some reason, or it has gone out of business.

As others have chimed, like @38/agony, what I think is clear is that sex workers aren't special in so far whether a client would be disappointed to find their service provider had simply disappeared. This isn't a sex worker specific phenomenon, nor is it dependent on the genders of the people involved. Simply put, many transactional relationships are not so neatly defined as strictly business.

58

sb53- Nevada cont… Back in the 1940’s east coast criminal organizations realized the potential for legal gambling-and-all-that-it-entails heaven. Living in a free country equipped with a constitutional right to bribe politicians they scouted SW USA for legislative candidates who are likely to be cooperative.
One of them was a south Cali lawyer who told them he can make more money in pvt practice, and if his services are needed in congress then they’ll have to come up with the difference.
Once again potential was realized. His name was Richard Nixon.

RE- thanks for the link.

EL- the behavioral pattern as reported by LW is indeed common in the service industry, and not a rarity either among free-lancers. Thanks, a great observation.

59

@55: I know there’s a wide variance in law, I’m curious how actual workers feel about implementation as the currently employed so rarely have any feedback in the process.

@57: “This isn't a sex worker specific phenomenon, nor is it dependent on the genders of the people involved. Simply put, many transactional relationships are not so neatly defined as strictly business.”

We are discussing a sex worker specific phenomenon and thus any analogies which fail to offer basic empathy for the nature of the business and personal safety/privacy are worthless.

60

“Ghosting” is not uncommon, nor is wanting to get back in touch with a valued provider. Nor a SW client having feelings as this one obviously does.

The critical point is that in this specific line of work, if the client actually cares about the worker, he needs to leave her to her wishes to be left alone.

61

@59/undead ayn rand: "We are discussing a sex worker specific phenomenon and thus any analogies which fail to offer basic empathy for the nature of the business and personal safety/privacy are worthless." As people's own accounts conclusively demonstrate we are not discussing a sex worker specific phenomenon, we are discussing this phenomenon in the context of sex work, so the conversation then reduces to what separates sex work from these other business relationships. People have posited that the legality of sex work and social stigma are two sex worker-specific concerns that might justify ghosting a client, among a few more general concerns. Whether those concerns should preclude people in LWs situation from reaching out, I leave to each person, but I don't think that you or other commenters have established it is quite as clear-cut as you argue.

62

SA @ 61
“what separates sex work from these other business relationships”
Here is a summary: due to different reasons you are probably aware of this line of work is not always adhering to the business model you may be accustomed to elsewhere. There are different reasons providers may decide to quit or go off the radar, their reasons may vary, those reasons are not your nor LW’s business, and yet should be respected and left at that.

Some of us speak from experience on either or both sides. sb53 told us of a different outcome once a contact was established. I suspect that some level of respect was established during sessions. And while I assume sb’s best friend never meant this to happen, and it may have not even happen at all in their case, some providers may freak out knowing their legal identity was obtained by a former client. They may be inclined to comply with a request for a different provider, maybe also other requests, because they are weighing the possible risks of refusal. Would you consider this to be an ethical business practice?

63

Sublime @57: Bar, hairdresser, masseuse, CPA... no analogy is "quite accurate" because of the unique nature of sex work. See EmmaLiz's post @56. Another example I thought of was that she might have been arrested, or discovered the police were watching her. Replying to customers would only incriminate her. Which brings me to CMD's question: Yes, I think sex work should be decriminalised, if not fully legalised. It's obvious that criminalising sex work does not stop it, and in fact leads to situations like human trafficking, abuse by pimps, rape with no option to report it to the police, etc. Sex work will always be in demand, and sex workers are people who should pay taxes and receive social benefits, medical insurance, etc. This may not completely cut out the stigma against them, but it will hugely increase their safety and financial security.

Sublime @61 again: OK then, here's an analogy. Your weed dealer vanishes without a word. Do you send them flowers?

64

@62 More information on my very good friend and his experience. One of his key questions and concerns when he was ghosted was that perhaps he was doing something to cause his former S.W. to ghost him. Establishing a good relationship with his provider was important to him, and he planned on making changes if he were screwing things up for his provider. Once he had closure all was good. @ 63 BDF - taxes and benefits Most (not all however) providers in my friends experience also held P.T. "regular" jobs. The key thing for these women was that they could not sustain themselves on earnings from those jobs no matter how many hours they worked. They saw their choice as either finding a man to help support them and accept the inevitable compromises that entailed or else doing S.W. to increase income to a level that allowed them to survive while being independent.

65

BDF @ 63
“Your weed dealer vanishes without a word. Do you send them flowers?”
I would keep the flowers to myself, maybe send them the leaves.

66

I'm less familiar with Nevada history, but here in Alaska in the 1890's through 1920's (different gold rushes occurred in different places at different times), yes, "good time girls" were more open and closer to mainstream society than they are now. Some auctioned themselves off to the highest-bidding husband, some transitioned to being business owners.

Then things settled down, boomtowns of transient miners disappeared and society got more restrictive again. Until the pipeline-building boom days of the 1970's. There were strip clubs all over Anchorage and (among recently arrived pipeline workers) gender ratios were very extreme.

67

@61: “People have posited that the legality of sex work and social stigma are two sex worker-specific concerns that might justify ghosting a client, among a few more general concerns. Whether those concerns should preclude people in LWs situation from reaching out, I leave to each person, but I don't think that you or other commenters have established it is quite as clear-cut as you argue.”

Persons refusing to accept based on a lack of empathy or concern for their preferred SW is not a sign that it’s a good practice, only that they don’t care about the safety/feelings/boundaries of the person on the other end.

That someone feels entitled to continue a business relationship after one party has gone quiet is not a justification for trying to seek them out.

68

@64: “One of his key questions and concerns when he was ghosted was that perhaps he was doing something to cause his former S.W. to ghost him. Establishing a good relationship with his provider was important to him, and he planned on making changes if he were screwing things up for his provider. Once he had closure all was good”

You could extrapolate that to any entitled demands for closure in a “relationship”.

It’s even more piercing in the case where a provider of sexual services does not wish to continue with this arrangement.

69

Nothing to add, but can't turn down free 69!

70

@69 Donny you are SO needy of attention. sigh.

71

Hah! Congrats Donny!

72

Of course I am, sb53@70. My pathetic ego needs the strokes I get from Savage Love commenters (even negative comments acknowledge the awesomeness of my existence!) Without you all, I would surely shrivel up and die a lonely, unfulfilled death.

73

"OK then, here's an analogy. Your weed dealer vanishes without a word. Do you send them flowers?" --@63

No. You smuggle some pot to them in jail.
They get out, they're gonna Remember you.

74

"There were strip clubs all over Anchorage and (among recently arrived pipeline workers) gender ratios were very extreme." --@66

'The odds were good; but the goods were odd.'

75

@72 Ack! Thbbbt!

76

@45 is your brain as dried up as the rest of you?

77

@48 you'd be entitled to ask "hey what's the story? Are you gonna go work at a different bar?" and then go to that bar because you like the bartender. There's nothing "male entitled" about that.

78

Sporty- I read BDF’s comment again. “Would I be entitled to go looking for the now-unemployed bartender and ask him to come to my place and make me and my friends cocktails?” refers to a private home service, as opposed to frequenting a legit public establishment.

What we’re discussing on this thread is an intimate and a very likely illegal transaction. Demanding/expecting transparency and adherence to the chamber of commerce better business practices does seem a bit ignorant in this case.

79

I was a waitress and a bartender for years. When I changed jobs between pubs or restaurants or cafes, I don't recall ever having customers change their hang outs or routines to start frequenting the new one where I worked. I don't recall any coworkers ever talking about customers doing this, and I'd think it was a little stalkery. I mean, if someone just came to check out a new place, that'd be different, but if you were a regular at your local pub and you start going to a different one just because one of the staff switched over there, that would be weird. Other services- hair dressers, masseuses, mechanics, etc- yes I can see that. You want the skills that this person offers, so you will try to keep up with them.

But this whole conversation is weird to me. Sex work is a transaction and a service. There are dozens of services and transactional relationships you have with people. Why in the world everyone is trying to pretend that one is just like the other is beyond me. Each thing has its own unique set of social norms. It's pretty normal to chat with the workers at your pub about politics, sports, your life. Likewise with your hairdresser. We tend not to do the same with mechanics or yard workers or whatever. We tip some, we don't others. The legality of different services is on a spectrum- when I get my haircut at a chain shop, I know the person is licensed. When I get my hair cut in someone's parlor studio recommended by a neighbor, I know that person might be working under the table. Likewise with yard workers or house cleaners- some of them might not be operating official businesses. I don't ask babysitters to report their income to the IRS. There is a huge spectrum of what is legal and what isn't, and on the extreme end are things like sex work and drug dealing. Finally, there are differences in terms of intimacy. The guy who mows your lawn has a very different level of intimacy with you than a sex worker. And yet all of these things are services- you are hiring someone to do something for you. They are all transactions.

Why in the world are you guys trying to make transactions all the same? The "would you do X with Y service?" stuff is stupid. No, because X isn't Y.

80

Also back to the letter. Let's say the sex worker really did just lose her phone and lost her contacts and can't contact her old clients, oops. I might be naive about this, but it doesn't seem to me that it would be too hard for her to reach out to some of them again if she really wanted to (like, surely she knows basic details about the LW), and anyway, could she really be so hard up for new clients that you'd be doing her a favor by contacting her? It just seems that even in a scenario like this, it's the LW who has the most to gain and nothing to risk.

81

@76, Sportlandia. Bet you charm all the girls with the language you use.
You seem quick to anger, maybe do some work on this. It’s very unattractive.