A reality check is very much needed. After Trump earthquake, after SESTA/FOSTA hurricane, we are starting to turn against each other like cannibals in a post nuclear war dystopia.
Trump is the tip of the iceberg
We tend to over estimate the power and skills of our President and give him all the credit for the deterioration of public discourse and civility, and for creating an alternative reality. However, Trump is just the latest manifestation of a process that has been evolving for many years, and not only in the United States.
We are in a transitional moment, moving from a tribal to a global society (and culture). Trump, and the Tea Party and all the nationalist groups in Europe that predated him, are just the latest manifestation of reactionary tribalism, probably not the last.
Think of how traumatic and long lasting the transition unleashed by the industrial revolution was. Think of how drastically social institutions, roles, identities, and interactions were redefined during the long decades taken by all the changes caused by two industrial revolutions. That is where we are now, in a society with a technological development that does not fit its social institutions.
It is a time for conflicting interpretations of reality to clash. Like in previous similar historic times, science and rationality are with the New coming, and the forces resisting history have no other option that irrationality and myth. It is a time for confusion and bubbles. It is a time to become defensive and withdraw to our old comfort zones, denying change and a new reality.
Reality Check in our market
I still surprise myself remembering nostalgically the old times when you would hook up in the bars and the street. The problem is not having sweet memories (sweet and hot) but thinking that things used to be better.
When I have that thought, poom, Red Flag up. It is the first symptom of resistance to change. Things were not better, but just different. Rather than crying for the lost hunting cottage is learning how to hunt in the new one.
Accept that not only the bars are dying, but also phone calls and emails. Embrace texting to communicate and videoconferencing to verify, they are not the future anymore but the present.
Learn not only how to use a computer, but also how to protect your privacy. But specially learn that there is no full protection, not any more in Cloud Times. The only way to protect our privacy is normalizing and legalizing sex work.
Reality Check for Some Clients
SESTA/FOSTA panic wave and the demise of backpage left a significant number of clients without their usual outlets. They had a need that was unsatisfied, they researched, and they learned about websites like the M4M forums, Boytoy, Mintboys, Friendboy, and Rentmen. They are migrating and you can notice it.
Some clients in the forums were used to the “premium” escorting culture, where 300 dollars the hour, overnights, week ends, and trips are regular occurrences. Now there is a massive immigration from CL and BP, where the conversation is quite different. Right now you can see in the discussion forums how self declared Liberals display their contempt for clients into 10 bucks quickies in the bathrooms.
Be ready for a flourishing of threads about a classic: tipping and bargaining. Whether you like it or not, bargaining is here to stay and to grow. Not only bargaining is the language of the trade in the second and third tier of escorts (I am not qualifying the quality of their services but the level of their rates), but many of the escorts in the first tier are foreigners, from cultures where, unlike America’s, bargaining is not only tolerated but expected.
It is going to be a challenge for everyone’s tolerance, and a reality check that can only add to our understanding and the joy of our subculture’s diversity. Remember, if you do not enjoy the business model of a professional or the way a client experiences our hobby, move on or be respectfully curious.
Reality Check for Some Escorts
The newbies do not know what they are doing but, if they are fit for the business, will quickly learn how to navigate the market. My concern is some veterans, it is way harder to unlearn old habits and ideas than to learn something new.
There is a new wave of complains from professionals against “the Clients”. Interestingly, or should I say expectedly, these are all veteran providers with several years servicing. My reality check for them is just a list of common sense reminders:
- Every job has pros and cons. We all balance those when choosing a career. If you are so unhappy that cannot control the impulse to vent and to make generalizations about all clients, perhaps you should consider a new craft.
- In my experience, when things are not going the way I want, it is my fault. Even when it is not only my fault, I can only command my own behavior. Blaming others maybe very useful to feel better about yourself, but it is not going to change anything in your situation.
- Time pass for everyone. If you notice that you are not being hired as often as you used to, perhaps you are just not as desirable as you used to. I am not talking only about your looks but specially about your attitude. Take a look at the massive competition.
For the newbies, welcome to a very competitive market. Internet and a more open mind towards homosexuality and sex work have allowed an explosion in the offer and the demand. Educate yourself. Study the information in the M4M forums, in Boytoy, and in this blog (take a look to the school series).
Reality check for our network
We are under attack. Minorities in general are, sexual minorities are, and specifically sex workers are. Law enforcement seems to be more focused on the straight sex market, but we could be next. We should be the closest allies of female prostitutes and support any political actions they may be taking.
I understand history as a chain of actions and reactions, we must be ready for the next progressive way.
Let’s remember than progressive in political mainstream does not mean sex work friendly. We should be working now to be in a better position to influence policy making in post-Trump America.
However, we are not united. The M4M forums and Boytoy continue playing their little Cold War. Friendboy received a cyberattack a few months ago, I do not know from who although we all have only one suspect. There is a friendly conversation between this blog, Mintboys, and Friendboy, but no common actions taken so far.
Our community is very little in the big picture. We should be able to understand that together we are stronger, and move towards common actions following the model of the political fronts and alliances.
Hasta la próxima pinga, amig@s.