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But thinking of the bisexual guys I've dated When they explain, it comes to down to general sexism. What have you learned about the human psyche from your clients?

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Many of my clients have a lot of repressed feelings and desires — and not only older clients. A client in New York I met weekly over a few months, the effect the experience had on him — he was questioning everything and he told me on our last meeting how his life had changed because of our time. He was happier. Family life, business He said he felt like he dealt with things that were beneath the surface. It can be dangerous, which is why you're campaigning to promote the legitimacy of sex work in the hopes it will lessen its stigma.

How could that help? It's about creating a safer environment. If no one talks about sex work publicly it could continue to go deeper underground, which will only make it more dangerous for people forced into sex work against their will. Which brings us to the charity you work with: The National Ugly Mugs Scheme.


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What to they do? The NUM is very important and unique. It lets escorts make reports direct to the project to be logged in their database so other escorts can be alerted to any dodgy dudes. Escorts can check the database and get alerts via emails, text or the app. NUM helps escorts report crimes to the police anonymously.

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That's vital because most escorts won't report crimes, expecting the police to not be interested or do anything — or maybe even arrest them. The charity works closely with all police forces around the country on behalf of street sex workers and escorts. Everyone in the business would be smart to sign up. Do you think female escorts have to fear for their safety more than males do? Reports that come in from NUM show males and females are more or less equally likely to suffer violence from clients. Any advice for escorts on how they can better protect themselves? It's about having a strong mind and the confidence to deal with situations.

Being smart every time — taking measures as if you expect someone to be violent, even if there's no reason to think so. Only meeting in hotels or your home with safety measures in place — like friends expecting a call at a certain time and keeping all information about your whereabouts logged in different places other people have access to. If a friend came to you and said they wanted to get into the escort industry, what would you tell them?

I used to advise newbies a lot — I get asked more than I can respond to. One guy ignored everything and got himself in trouble with drugs and other things, so I'm less eager to advise since then. But visit uknswp. Go into it as a business, respectful of customers. Know yourself first, your limits, and have a hard head. If drugs are an issue, deal with that first, because drug problems could easily be amplified in this business. And realise that only about 5 percent of people in this business actually make big money. Speaking of big money, you make a lot as an escort, but you also own several internet businesses and will soon be a published author.

Then you're opening a tapas lounge and cocktail bar in Chelsea later this month. If that does really well are you getting out of the escort game? I'd never be able to have one career or one business, I'd go nuts.

Josh Brandon, Author at Josh Brandon International Gay Escort London

When I'm slogging away at a computer for hours fixing my online businesses, or at my bar dealing with stock and events, spending time with a client gives me variety. I'm a workaholic. As long as I enjoy escorting and have the time I'll keep doing it. So then I have to increase my rates and work less when other business gets busy.

In , adult entertainment lawyer Michael Fattorosi told Salon. The fears of social alienation and judgment also weigh heavily on the minds of some in the industry. Leo Forte, who served in the military before getting into porn and escorting, said he waffled for years before deciding to pursue sex work. Several escorts said the lifestyle has strained relationships with family members, and many expressed that dating can be extremely difficult.

Despite the drawbacks that come with the job, many escorts maintain the sacrifices have been well worth it. You have to be almost like a healer -- sexually. The struggle to overcome common misconceptions about working in the business is a different hurdle altogether, however. Yet, the stereotype lingers. He said few show signs of mental illness or depression. Additionally, some escorts may need help with money management or body image issues, while others need support figuring out an exit plan. Grov and other experts say that to protect the lives and rights of escorts and other sex workers, there needs to be more discussions about the industry -- both in the community and outside it.

Murder is obviously bad, but the exchange of sex for money? That's a little blurrier, at least to me. For now, change seems to be slow-moving: Sex work remains stigmatized, and decriminalization is a long way off. But some escorts and former escorts are taking matters into their own hands by challenging the stereotypes that dog the industry and fighting to create safe spaces for escorts to find the resources and support they may need.

Former escort Hawk Kinkaid has long been leading this grassroots effort with his website, Hook Online.

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Founded by Kinkaid in and run completely by volunteers, Hook Online is a platform where male escorts can share their stories and find resources and information that are useful in their line of work. Visitors can read blog posts about safe sex and filing taxes, as well as guides to marketing and dealing with police.

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For them, we hope [the site] will help lessen that learning curve, help them make fewer mistakes. Some in the industry say Hook Online has been an invaluable tool for escorts, as the site has both disseminated crucial information and fostered a sense of community. Escort Eli Lewis says he hopes other safe spaces -- both online and off -- will emerge in the coming years to promote even greater unity and change. For now, Lewis, whose day job is social media director at Rentboy.

He regularly offers advice to others in the industry and talks to people who have questions about his life as a rent boy. But if a conversation starts, he said, perhaps perceptions will start to change.

Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Escort and porn star Boomer Banks. Mark Henderson. But unlike porn, escorting is much more than just, as Lewis put it, a "whack and go. Christopher Daniels strikes a pose. Leo Forte Credit: Who are we to judge? Dominique Mosbergen. Suggest a correction.

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