So you’ve made contact with your client, they have provided you with a location, start time and told you the length of booking. Excellent! It doesn’t have to be scary to ask for ID or to expect good process in receiving funds for your time. I recommend you provide a brief etiquette outline to your client, remind them what and when you expect to be paid (deposit & balance) and how you will be paid (bank transfer vs cash).
Being polite, firm and concise ensures that both you and your client are on the same page; it may even be helpful to have screening information on your website, so potential clients know what to expect. Understand they may be nervous about meeting someone new, but you absolutely deserve the information you require to make you feel secure about the booking. Walk away if your intuition is telling you something isn’t right and you can’t resolve it. I realise not everyone has the luxury of being able to walk away from a potential booking, but if you have that luxury make sure you exercise it as and when required.
Request ID that suits your needs and makes you feel more secure about the person you are going to meet, perhaps a LinkedIn profile and/or a bill showing full name and residential address, or a driving licence or passport.
If you are part of a duo – do you trust the client and have you been provided with the information of your playmate with their consent? I always recommend making contact with the lady beforehand to say hello.
I recommend always seeking proof of booking venue. The more checks you do, the less likely you are to experience problems during your meeting. If it’s a hotel, consider accepting a screen shot of the booking confirmation or you may prefer the client to forward the original hotel confirmation email showing a booking reference, reservation date and their name. For a home residence booking, you could accept a picture of a council tax, energy or water bill or their driving licence.
Is it AirBnB? This brand have faced criticism, along with some hotel chains like Marr*ot, for their ‘throw them out’ approach to sex workers. With AirBnB, always be mindful of whether the accommodation is within close proximity to the owner’s property, because often times they can live right next door! The last thing you need is a client desperate to get you in the outdoor hot tub, when it’s in full view of the owner and her 4 children. Worse still, you need to walk through the owner’s property to reach the venue your client has booked for the night. Just be mindful! Check out the property via the AirBnB website thoroughly before agreeing to meet at the venue.
If you can, I always recommend taking a deposit via bank transfer – 30% seems to be pretty standard. Be clear on your refund terms before you take the client’s money and always check the name on the transaction matches that of the ID provided. Why? Because it’s another identity check and also, you don’t want to get embroiled in any fraud. Rare, but it happens.
I recommend setting up a sole trader account to process client deposits. Tell the bank you are a personal trainer or something similarly easy to blag, and choose a nice, bland account name that won’t raise any suspicions if spotted on a bank statement.
Is your client paying from an account in another country? If so, consider any delays in money reaching you (48-72 hours), also consider any additional charges from banks to process the payment. Ask the client to ensure these are covered so that the full amount required lands in your account.
You may wish to recommend to your client that he uses TransferWise for international bank transactions. They are often cheaper and quicker than regular bank transfers, and the fee structure is clear.
Create a cancellation policy that you feel happy to stick to. Do what works best for your business. Check other provider’s cancellation policies to get a feel of what may be suitable for you.
Have you received all outstanding balances as requested? The latest I expect to see the remaining funds in my account is the morning of the meeting. If international, up to 24 hours beforehand. If cash, then within 15 minutes of the start of the booking.
I ask all clients to reconfirm with me via text, whatsapp or email on the morning of the booking itself as well so I know everything is OK.
For a hotel or AirBnB booking, always ensure your client has arrived and you have the room details before set off on your journey.
If you haven’t taken a deposit for whatever reason, it’s vitally important that you call the client in their hotel room before you leave home to confirm they are in there. Be put through via the hotel switchboard. For a home visit, you should insist on calling their landline. For AirBnB neither of these options is available.
Always and without fail check in and check out with a buddy, no matter how many times you have seen the client before. Don’t get complacent.
If you are expecting the balance in cash, be sure to count it. Again, do this no matter how many times you have met the client before. In the bathroom if it makes you more comfortable. Take a fake money detection pen (you’ll find them on Amazon) in your bag with you and check each note.
Time extension – awesome! You are a great match and agreed to more time together. Make the client aware that if they wish to extend the booking they need to provide CASH at the start of the extension time. It is best to make the client aware of the amount, per hour extended, before-hand.
Plan in advance where you are going to park, take change to pay for parking, and if you are parking away from the venue (for example a city centre hotel visit with no on-site carpark), be sure you have made arrangements to get back to your car safely. Either get the client to walk you back, or arrange a cab.
Casually check the room/venue for recording devices. Sad but all too commonly found. Ask your client to close all laptops and have digital devices out of view of the action where possible. Turn off your own Bluetooth so it doesn’t connect with any nearby devices and reveal personal information. Ring video doorbells and the like are now common, so if you are a ‘face hidden’ provider, shield/turn your face before pressing one.
Be mindful of alcohol intake and/or other additives. Don’t leave drinks or your handbag and contents unattended. If you go to the loo, your bag (and the cash), goes with you.
Have a get out plan… i.e if in the unlikely event that something doesn’t feel right or goes wrong, have in your mind things that you can do to safely remove yourself from the situation.
Get some ID: photo of passport / driving licence / utility bill / LinkedIn profile / reference from a trusted provider(s).
Location information: forwarded email or screen shot of reservation for a hotel or AirBnB, driver’s licence or bill for a home visit.
Money: ideally, deposit via bank transfer and balance in cash. Or whole amount via bank transfer. Always count cash and carry a fake note detector pen. Make cancellation policy clear.
Personal safety: check in and out with a trusted person, avoid excessive alcohol/alternative
consumption, know your travel plans to and from location, have a safe plan in case of emergency and check for recording devices.
This is not an exhaustive list for security and safety tips and is mainly based on UK, indoor, outcall sex work. Feel free to adapt and let us know if you feel something needs to added or amended.