My fellow sex worker comrades, we’ve all been there. In the world of direct client services, receiving a client with a fat wallet – yet terrible personal hygiene – is practically a rite of passage. I’m still low-key traumatized by the guy who took his socks off for our wrestling session, only to reveal long, yellowed toenails and cracked soles that smelled like moldy cheese (and yes, I insisted he put the socks back on!). Statistically speaking, the greater number of clients you see regularly, the more often you’ll have to intercept clients who clash with your own hygienic expectations. Here are my best tips to set you – and your future clients – up for maximum success.

First, be sure you’re holding all of your clients to the same standard regardless of race, age, or ethnicity. When a client arrives to session and we suspect a lack of hygienic upkeep, we often take it personally. I know that in the beginning stages of my domination work I would be annoyed at what I assumed to be indifference, laziness, or intentional disregard. I myself am embarrassed to admit that there are several past clients of mine out there who I forced to reschedule their sessions upon arrival due to body odor I found distracting and disrespectful.

However, it’s imperative to understand that there are many reasons why a person could be perceived as practicing poor hygiene, and it’s not always because they’re in need of a shower. They may have a natural body odor that mimics an unclean smell, no matter how often they wash or what products they use. They may be employed in a field that requires a lot of physical labor and had to fit your session in directly after work, arriving at your location assuming they could rinse off prior to play. They may be an older gentleman who cares for himself meticulously yet cannot escape the inevitable onset of age-related changes in body odor.

Additionally, if you thought you were going to get through an essay of mine without having to read about racial bias, you were decidedly wrong. When it comes to hygiene and the perception of “good” hygiene, white people have been oppressing black and brown folks for generations by weaponizing words like “clean” and “dirty” and creating arbitrary associations between white skin and cleanliness, and black/brown skin and filthiness (regardless of the individual’s actual hygiene practices).

As such, white people can get away with WAY more than PoC before their poor hygiene is called into question; meanwhile, PoC are constantly put in the position of trying to conform to white hygiene standards. PoC have different hygienic demands than white people, period, which means that their hair and skin products smell differently than ours. Be sure you’re not interpreting the way a client’s hygiene products smell as “foulness” simply because they’re unfamiliar to your nose.  

Before we condemn a client for presenting themselves in a manner we’d deem hygienically unpleasant, we must first ask ourselves if in fact we are the problem.

We always want to be certain that - prior to projecting judgment - we’re exercising empathy and compassion, while challenging ourselves to consider other perspectives and experiences outside of our own. Before we condemn a client for presenting themselves in a manner we’d deem hygienically unpleasant, we must first ask ourselves if in fact we are the problem.

Let’s move onto note about pegging, shame, and the industry stigma associated with anal play. Lots of providers – whether kink professionals or full service workers – will refuse to offer anal play to clients because they “don’t want to deal with all that gross mess.” Likewise, I know many a pro who will offer pegging as a service yet will balk at the first sight of any post-enema feces, often then demanding the session come to a close.

Whether these providers realize it or not, their mindsets project sex negativity and body shame onto the client, and that impact could potentially have devastating emotional consequences. We must remember that our clients are seeking us out to feel safe, accepted and empowered, not to be ridiculed, berated or alienated (in non-consensual ways, that is!).

When I’m preparing for a pegging or prostate play client, I ask them to fully clean out ahead of session, AND I explain what that entails: where to find enemas (CVS), why they should dump out the saline solution (it’s a laxative), how soon before sessioning they should be cleaning out (ideally between 15-90 minutes in advance), etc. I save that explanation as a draft on my phone and then paste it into negotiation conversations when applicable! I also keep enemas stocked in my dungeon bathroom for guys who forgot that you shouldn’t eat after doing one. Clients really appreciate when I go the extra mile.

Here’s the thing, though: enemas don’t stop the body from producing feces, and they’re by no means foolproof. I tell folks to expect 50-80% less poop than they would if an enema hadn’t been utilized. Even if the enema has been extremely effective, the chances of you still encountering a few small flecks of poop are high. AND THAT SHOULD BE OKAY. Feces are yet another natural byproduct of all human bodies, and when we start classifying bowel movements as meaning something inherently filthy and shameful about the person producing them, we’re no better than those who seek to oppress us. So square up those shoulders, invest in a pair of opera-length latex gloves, and lighten the fuck up, y’all.

“Andre, you’ve given me so much to think about when it comes to determining whether a client has bad hygiene or not! But...what if he really does?!”

If he does, dearest comrades, you are well within your right to request that he shower before engaging with you (get that money first, tho!). I use neutral language to acknowledge the issue, something like, “Ooh, you smell like you’ve been working hard all day! Would you mind rinsing off real quick so I can rub all over you? I’ve been really looking forward to our time together!” If he resists, or if shower facilities aren’t available, then you can always offer to reschedule the session (I always ask for an additional $50-100 for the inconvenience, but you can also offer to reschedule as a complimentary service).

As with everything else, use your best judgment, and if all else fails you can always invest in incense and scented candles!