Last year VICE worked with internationally renowned pornstar and escort Arabelle Raphael on a breathtakingly honest and real video titled "How to Treat Escorts, According to an Escort." The thoughtfully directed and edited clip contained some of the most priceless advice anyone looking for tips or advice could ever hope to acquire about how to engage with a sex worker, and dealt with issues faced endlessly by providers of all kinds, in all places.
But some folks are too dense to retain the message, so we're digging it back up and highlighting the 5 most important bits of Arabelle's wisdom for you – consider it a Cliff's Notes of Escort Etiquette, to which you can refer back any time you're in doubt.
Arabelle Raphael in "How to Treat Escorts, According to an Escort"
The Five Most Important Takeaways From Arabelle Raphael's Advice
1. Read websites and profiles.
That's why they're there! Providers like Arabelle have taken (sometimes exhaustive) measures to make sure that anyone who contacts them has all the information they need *before* they ever hit send. You're engaging with a highly skilled professional – treat them the way you would any other highly skilled professional. Assume they've already answered your questions and spend a few minutes looking through their offerings for that answer.
It will guarantee you a smoother booking and an end result that keeps you both happy.
2. Email and text as though it may some day be read aloud in court.
We are far beyond the days of it being acceptable to discuss explicit behaviors or wants via text or email. In fact – as history has shown us – there may never have been a time when it was acceptable to do this. But in the wake of FOSTA/SESTA, it is your duty as a client to do everything you can to keep yourself and anyone you contact as safe as possible. Never text or email a provider about illegal activities or photos of your genitals.
3. You don't negotiate set rates.
That's it. That's the tweet.
Asking questions about the math of someones rates? That's fine. Trying to bargain them down because you "only want X" or don't think they're worth what's being asked? You better don't. If a provider has a rate that is beyond what you can afford or are comfortable with, you should keep on searching Slixa.com for one that better suits your parameters.
And payment is always made in the way that provider prefers. Not with PayPal, or any services that treat sex workers like second (or third) class citizens.
4. Communication is everything.
While it may seem contrary to #2 here, communicating in advance about BDSM or kink play is essential to everyone involved having a good time. Make plans before you begin to discuss fantasies and limitations with your provider.
"We're not mind readers. So if you have a specific idea in mind, and you come in and we don't fulfill it – because you didn't say anything – that's on you," Arabelle Raphael rightly states at 2:40.
Find time to have conversations about expectations (even if they feel uncomfortable) before you begin.
5. Sex Workers are people.
The wrongheaded notion that someone is "selling their body" is silly and hyperbolic and demonstrably false. "I take my body home. At the end of the day, I haven't given [my body] to anyone, I have not sold my autonomy. It is still there.
You are still interacting with a human being."
Arabelle Raphael is a woman who knows what she's talking about, and her video with VICE stands as a testament to that. If you want to find out more about her, you can find Arabelle on Slixa.com and on Twitter and Instagram.