December 21st, 2012

All The Good Stuff Is HERE

Stolen from The Smoking Gun: U.S. Olympian's Secret Life As Las Vegas Escort


I find this story really fascinating. There are a lot of interesting parallels I see between the "community" of escorts and clients, and the communities of the fandoms we're all involved in.
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Leviathan here again:

For this to make sense, I have to mention something else, another source of information I'm remembering.

There used to be a website called "CLReviews.com," on which clients  left reviews of their experiences with prostitutes. It was subdivided into regions -- Las Vegas, New England, New York, etc, etc -- and really existed as a consumer resource for johns, extolling the virtues of this call-girl, warning about problems with that one, etc. Sometimes girls would post on the board as well, either defending against bad reviews (sometimes with reason, others not so much) and it all sounded very familiar to me at the time.

There were very much community norms. Hookers were known as "Providers," and generally referred to with the same sort of respect you might show for a carpenter or a plumber or any other skilled craftsperson. Johns were "Hobbyists." A hobbyist who provided personal details about a provider -- especially a provider who wished to operate with a low profile ("UTR" for "Under the Radar") -- would be shamed by the other hobbyists on the site. They had their own terminology and slang. When a new provider came on the scene, a hobbyist asking about her would be encouraged to "TOFTT" ("Take One For The Team," meaning go ahead and pay for a session with her, and then review her on the board,) And reviews would be full of terms like "GFE" ("Girlfriend Experience," a style of session that's friendlier and more personal than just sex,) "DFK," ("Deep French Kissing,") "BB" ("Bareback," usually as a prefix on a longer abbreviation, like BBCG for "Bareback Cowgirl," meaning without requiring condoms ["Cowgirl" being a specific position you can figure out,]) and, my personal favorite, "DATY," which stands for "Dining At The Y," meaning a provider allows cunnilingus.

I found the site an entertaining read. I've never been a hobbyist -- too much wife, not enough money -- but I'm not against anything adults do with competent consent, and the reviews ranged from gross-out comedy to "Penthouse Forum" stuff, and knowing that I was reading about real women in my area who could be hired (even though I wouldn't do so) to have sex gave reading it an extra charge.

The reason I'm going into all this is that time spent on that site gave a real feeling for what that world was like to the people involved, and it was very much the same sort of tribal sense of community that we have in the  various fandoms we're all involved in here.

We have our rules, our norms. Where Favor Hamilton says, “He totally broke all the rules by outing me," but "I don’t want to be like him. Because he is scum. And I will not become scum to make myself feel good. I will not do it. I would suffer rather than go that route of being vindictive,” and, when the reporter is baffled by that attitude, replies, “I can’t expect you to understand, you aren’t in that world,” couldn't that be right out of any of our fannish communities?

So I find the whole story really fascinating, and I'd love to see it examined more thoroughly with an eye toward the way these tribal subcultures form, and how those can collide with the norms of outside society.