Q&A with Lara, Part 3
Friday, 25 October 2013
Q: How do you stay in such fantastic shape? Do you have a workout routine?
A: This question made me laugh a little, I must say. Thank you to the person who asked it. However, I’m not in fantastic shape, frankly ☺ Let’s just get that one out on the table!
I do exercise, and I have a personal trainer. I also do a rehabilitation program for my back injury (a long standing and recurring problem) and go walking a lot. I’m quite an active person and I also – just between you and me – have quite a lot of sex.
I’m somewhat limited in what I can do in terms of exercise though, because of my past injury history. Pain management is a constant thing for me. For example, when my back plays up, it can be really hard to keep moving – I do when it’s appropriate because it’s what’s good for my back, but it’s not always possible to do anything much in the way of cardio or fat burning! I love weight training though, it’s my favourite. I hate cardio with a passion. I love dancing, when my body is in good enough form to do it, and boxing too.
As you can see in my photos, my body is curvy, feminine, and toned in some areas, not so toned in others! My tummy will never be flat, no matter what I do. And I’m fine with all that. I love my body as it is. Sometimes I wish it would be more functional, but mostly I’m incredibly grateful for what it can do and what an amazing instrument it is, and when I look in the mirror, I am pretty good at seeing the things I like.
I like to keep healthy and take care of myself, but I’m very accepting of my body and have a good body image, which I am extremely grateful for. I will never be “perfect”, or look like a model, or be skinny, but I don’t want any of that. I just adjust things a little if I think I need to, and basically keep the same weight all the time – I don’t eat a lot of crap anyway, but I do enjoy the joy that is food and wine. In fact, I can confidently say that I am a Giant Food Slut. I would prefer to enjoy my life, eat well, eat cheese and dessert and bread and mashed potatoes with cream (mostly in moderation!), enjoy a glass of wine or three, and have a little belly and a curvier bottom, than look like a lingerie model and be miserable measuring protein and calorie intake and living on palm sized poached chicken breasts. When I’m hungry, I get food rage, and it’s not pretty. (Seriously. It’s a blood sugar thing. Someone once brought me some jelly beans at an establishment I used to work at – he saw me once when I hadn’t had time between bookings to eat and kindly gifted me some blood-sugar raising jelly beans for “next time”. I think he was a little bit scared.) But in all seriousness, food is where it’s at. It’s one of the greatest, most sensual, seductive, delicious joys in life. For me, anyway. And I’m not prepared to sacrifice that in a pointless quest for “perfection”, because what is perfect anyway?
So, I just try to take good care of myself and live well, and try to do that with some balance.
Q: What is appropriate behaviour outside a booking? Contact etc.?
A: This depends on the lady or gentleman that you see, of course. But, there are some general considerations that apply to most sex workers.
• Be aware that your level of contact outside a booking is not related to your lady’s liking or appreciation for you. This is an essential fact to keep in mind before we go on to the next point. She may adore you, but not have a lot of contact with you outside bookings. The two things are unrelated. Often, lots of contact outside bookings goes hand in hand with the High Maintenance Client. Ideally, this is a less-than-desirable moniker to have.
• Keep in mind that she is probably very busy. Some sex workers work part time and study or have another job that takes up a good portion of their time. Again, this is not about you, or how much she enjoys your company, but is important in terms of her commitments and time restraints.
• Similarly, some sex workers work full time in the industry. I have had people comment to me about “all the free time” I must have due to my job. This is a misconception. Part of my job is spent with clients. Part of it is spent doing a range of other things involved in running my business. Part-time or full-time, it’s important to realise that you will not be aware of how much time she has outside of your bookings with her and how she is able to use that time. Don’t assume.
• Super-Low Maintenance Clients (these will be regulars) will usually have one preferred method of communicating with me, which they will use when, and only when, they want to make a booking. “Hi Lara, are you available next Wednesday at 4pm for two hours?” I say yes, or I say no but I could do 3pm etc., the booking is arranged, done. These clients want to see me for our booking, and that’s it.
• If you are a High Maintenance Client, you probably have the best of intentions – which can pave the way to hell, as they say. Too much contact, too many tweets, emails, texts, calls will affect your relationship negatively – and may actually end it altogether one day.
• One way of figuring out if your out-of-booking contact levels are unfair is to apply the same rationale to other professionals or even yourself. You may have clients or customers in your business that you really get along with, that you enjoy the company of. Imagine you have seventeen customers who are regularly emailing and tweeting and messaging you, the content being totally unrelated to work. Would you feel comfortable hearing from those seventeen customers over your weekend? At eight o’clock at night? Every day? I’m guessing not. You might end up feeling like screaming at them, “Will you leave me alone, I’m trying to have five minutes to myself!” Yes. That’s how we feel after the eleventh message not related to a booking!
• Another pertinent point is that if you have never seen the escort at any stage, any contact (such as text messaging or emailing to chat) outside service queries and booking requests are unlikely to be received well (yes, this does happen). If you want to chat and get to know her, become her client. Expecting her to devote time to you without bothering to book her is… well, do I have to say it?
• Be fair. Remember that this person has a life outside of work, one that you may not be aware of all the details of. They may have family to spend time with, be dating, be part of a quilting group or engage in medieval jousting competitions of a Saturday afternoon, who knows? They’re just living their life. So when they don’t reply to you straight away, that’s probably what they’re doing. Don’t resend the same thing via a different medium, in some passive aggressive attempt at getting them to answer, it’s just poor.
• I have some clients who manage this contact thing really well. We have some great relationships and I love seeing them and respect them as people. Even better, they respect me, which is evidenced by their fabulousness. They may message me to let me know about a great book or podcast they’ve discovered that they think I’ll like, or to update me on a particular piece of news that they have, or just incorporate friendly banter into their booking requests. I have received a couple of incredible photos of wildlife in Africa from someone, for example, which I loved (the photos were so amazing that the idea of a safari has almost trumped my Paris fantasy!). We have a little bit of chat (and some flirting too sometimes!) and they arrange to see me. That’s lovely. It’s really nice to be thought of. And they look after me as wonderful clients as well, as I look after them.
• If you run into your sex worker outside a booking, the general etiquette is to ignore, ignore, ignore. The amount of times I’ve had to engage in debate with clients about this issue is kind of baffling, but even if you are dying to run over and kiss her on the cheek and say, “Hi [insert her working name here]!” – don’t. I hear all the same things: “But I’d only say hi if you were on your own” or “It’s a bit rude to ignore you”. Firstly, you don’t know if a lady is on her own, as you have no idea what her mother/brother/best friend/husband looks like. Thus, you don’t know if the woman standing a few feet away from her looking at her watch is actually her mother-in-law, and more to the point, you don’t know the level of damage you may cause by potentially outing her as a sex worker to someone in her life. Even if she’s out of the closet, there may well be some people she hasn’t told and it’s not your place to drop that bombshell. Secondly, it’s much ruder to ignore her privacy and right to decide whom she shares her personal information with. So just don’t do it. She will not be offended, she’ll probably just mentally award you 50 points for smarts. Everybody wins!
• Lastly, for God’s sake – don’t ask for free services. Don’t ask if she will sleep with you for free (she has a rate for that), don’t ask if she will go out for dinner with you for free (she has a rate for that), don’t ask if she will join you for coffee (still not free!). She is trying to make a living. Respect that, and if you are in the market for a girlfriend, don’t see sex workers as a pool of potential dates.
Thank you for taking the time to read Part 3 x I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’d like to share them on either topic.