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Yet Another Consent Blog

· Dear Clients

Let's talk about consent.

"Ugh, god Sienna, this has been done to de--"

Has it though? Has it? Because the message clearly isn't getting through; and yes, I am furious. I don't care if you style yourself as a "gentleman", you better look real closely at your behaviour right now and decide if it needs an overhaul, because this has become ridiculous.

This month, I have heard a truly insane number of stories of clear consent violation; and remember, it is fucking 13 days in. A client who was informed that anal was not on the table, but attempted to force himself in anyway, causing serious injury. A client who clashed in an ugly way with a worker via text, and was clearly informed she did not want to see him, but he then booked her anyway under a different number. A client who attempted several times to force himself upon a sleeping worker during an overnight, despite having agreed beforehand to the terms of "let me sleep for x hours undisturbed" -- in case you weren't aware, an unconscious person cannot consent. A client who has tried to trick multiple workers into seeing him for considerably less money than they agreed to, by simply not turning up with the full amount. One of whom he trapped in the room and attempted to threaten while she contacted hotel staff, because he was angry she hadn't serviced him anyway.

Then there are the more insidious stories of stealthing under the guise of "oh the condom broke" or "oh it must have fallen off". Which is also rape, by the way. The vague pushing of boundaries when it comes to gossiping about other workers you've seen in order to try and pressure your current worker into giving you "better" service or services they don't really want to perform. The vague threat of reviews. Stories of clients sneaking into the personal belongings of a worker to try to find her ID and thus her real name. Pressuring the worker into drinking more, or taking drugs with them during a booking when it is clear they are uncomfortable with this. Subtly but deliberately blocking their path to the door when you say something you know they won't like. Repeatedly pushing for real life details, or trying to trick workers into divulging such. These are all real stories, by the way; and some have happened to me as well. A lot of those people are notorious, by the way. You message another worker with "have you seen this guy before?" and she responds with "yeah I know him, stay away, he's hurt four other workers" -- trust me, there's not one or two of those people. There are hundreds.

You know what these stories all have in common though? The client isn't some rapist violent bogeyman who forces his way through the door to assault you. This is merely a regular, mentally stable man who feels entitled to a worker's body because he has an erection and some cash. "I wanted anal. She didn't want it, but I wanted it so I took it." -- you wouldn't take that damn excuse from your kid who stole his brother's toy. Why the hell is it good enough when it's something you want, then? As sex workers, we are pretty well versed on setting and communicating our boundaries with clients, so you don't really have an excuse when it comes to blatantly violating them.

Then, after telling you that we don't like something because it is scary, painful, unwanted, or uncomfortable, some of you have the audacity to come back and compare it with a bad experience you had one time. I am not sorry to say this, but having a sex worker who turns up looking heavier than her pictures is not comparable in the slightest to the shit we experience on the regular. I cannot believe that I got this entitled response when I pointed out that seeing someone anyway after they have told you they don't want to have sex with you is rape by deceit:

I am not ever going to justify deliberate deception in the industry, and nor am I going to minimise what clients have the potential to go through, but don't you ever act like violating someone's body is comparable to not telling a client about easily identifiable body art. Also, I'm convinced this story is either fake or greatly exaggerated, as you simply can't erase large swathes of ink with PhotoShop without the result looking very uncanny valley. And no, actually this isn't a criminal offence, "Steveo".

I absolutely acknowledge that there is disgusting behaviour from sex workers as well -- and I have no scruples about calling it out, though I prefer to do it in SW only spaces if possible, as you don't need our dirty laundry. Between workers, there can be bullying and outing. Some workers clearly mislead clients about arguably the most important factor in a booking, appearance. Some workers have robbed or ripped off their clients. Some workers have outed their clients. I have had clients who have had all these things happen to them, and I have felt privileged that they were brave enough to book with me, and I really wanted to help them heal. Obviously if you pay for a service, you should receive it or get your money back; and I recognise that sometimes that doesn't happen. Probably, it is more likely in this largely unregulated industry. These are all horrible things to do, some more despicable than others, but make no mistake -- these are not comparable to the casual violence and boundary violations that some clients inflict upon sex workers all the time.

In case it has not been made abundantly clear by other sex workers who have written about this stuff before me (though I am 150% certain that it has): what you are looking for is a clear and enthusiastic "yes", alongside the agreed upon amount of money for the service the worker is performing for you. Please watch this short, educational video on consent, as compared to tea. They show it to children in schools (albeit a less sweary version), and you may have run across it at your workplace, because they use it for corporate sexual harassment training. Just because you want something, that does not mean you get that thing if it involves someone else who does not want to give you the thing.

If you'd like to read the DM conversation I had with "Steveo" after I told him to DM me, please have a quick look at these links. I am all about full disclosure. So far he has not replied. I am reasonably certain I know what kind of person has a sock puppet account that has been active since March, but not tweeted until they see something they want to have a cry about, but let's not point any fingers. I'm sure you can quickly figure it out yourself.

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