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From Issue 4.2 - Summer 1998

How To Be A Whore

Tallulah Bankheist passes the secrets of the trade on to Kiki...


How do you get business?

First you need a pager. Put an ad in a paper like the Spectator, the Bay Guardian, or the SF Weekly. Give a sexy, not-too slutty name; kinda mainstream. Give some stats, like breast size, or waist size, or call attention to your assets. For instance, emphasize your big ass, or firm breasts. Don't be too explicit.

How do you keep from getting arrested?

Use caller identification (those boxes you hook up to your phone). Get referrals: both for clients from your whore friends, and from your clients regarding other sex workers they've seen. Ask questions: Where do you work?, What kind of business are you in?, Where can I reach you?

Call them back using *69 to verify where they're calling from (so they don't give you a different return phone number). After they've give you their address, look it up address in cross-street directory.

It's a big myth that a cop has to admit they're a cop if you ask them directly. A cop doesn't have to tell you he's a cop. Some potential (but not surefire) ways of getting around that: Talk in third person. Fake actual interest: if you're giving an erotic massage, tell a man how hot he is, that you can't keep your hands off him, then turn him over and say, 'Well, let's screw'. Then you can say that wasn't your motive. Just stay clothed during the massage. Also, ask private investigators or attorneys.

How do you protect yourself from psychos?

Get referrals and ask questions. If you work with an agency they'll check it out for you. Check with your network of whore friends. Assume your client knows someone else in the industry. If you can get ahold of it (it's usually restricted to people who've been in the trade for more than 2 years): check the dirty tricks list. Sometimes he'll have someone on the other line, because he's called lots of other agencies: Call back and describe yourself as more fabulous than fabulous, and cheaper too, and see if he takes the bait. If he does, call the agency and tell them - they'll do you favors in the future.

How do you hook up with an escort agency? Let your fingers do the walking.

What level of safer sex do you practice?

Never tongue kiss - only dry kiss on the outside of the mouth (or other mucous membranes). Make sure they have good hygeine, or make them take a shower. You can tell them over the phone to be fresh and ready. Sometimes people need to be told to wash their ass!

If you have any cuts, scabs, scrapes or sores put a bandaid on them. Always use a condom and water-based lube (in addition to providing you greater comfort, this helps prevent condoms from breaking).

Don't use a condom longer than 10-15 minutes. If you switch from vaginal to oral, switch condoms. If someone badgers you about not using a condom, you gotta wonder where they've been sticking their dick.

About dental dams: I hate them, but I don't like feeling a 5 o' clock shadow, and I don't want someone's slimy tongue on me. Ssaran wrap is preferable to dental dams, but in a pinch, a trusty plastic bag will do.

How do you negotiate rates?

If you're with an agency, they will negotiate for you. The bottom price is $250. Usually the client will tip. Some sex workers and agencies think it's tacky to ask for a tip, but I always ask for cab fare on my way out. Always be firm; always ask for higher price because you can always go down. Get the money first.

Savvy clients will leave it on end table. Some rip-offs will say, 'Oh, I didn't have that much money; I didn't know,' when you already negotiated over the phone. I just say, 'Sorry, I'm gonna take $50 and the date is off, because I came out here and you're taking my time.' Or call the agency right in front of them and complain.

What emotional or physical boundaries do you establish to keep it from feeling like romantic sex?

The money keeps it from being romantic; always think of the money. Also, always know that underneath it all this person does not accept you being a whore and your independence.

Don't see people that are drunk or on drugs: drunk guys can't keep it up, or can't come; guys that are on cocaine may never come. I'll say to them upfront: "You're more than likely not going to get off, so don't expect anything and just feel the feelings," I won't see anybody under the influence. They all ask if you "party" -- I say, "I don't party, but I like to have fun." Some guys want you to buy drugs -- they're probably cops.

How do you deal with icky clients?

I had someone who was rude, and usually I'm diplomatic, but I got really sassy right back at him, and he seemed to like it! We were just flinging insults back and forth, really bitchy and catty, and I ended up having a good time.

One kind of client I hate is the kind that brags about all the things he owns, but is really cheap and complains about how much he's paying.

Another type I hate is the kind that says, "Oh wow! You're actually intelligent." I snap back at them "Oh wow, you're a john, and you have a brain! Cool!" I try to screen them over the phone and not get those kinds.

What's the most difficult-to-deal-with part of your work?

The irregular hours and the seasonal nature of this work. Figuring out when to work and when not to.

How do you avoid burnout?

Taking time off, hanging out with kids or old folks. Sometimes its good to have someone service you the way you want it, and it's a good idea to get someone you don't know too well.

Do you get sexual thrills out of it?

Yeah. The stranger the quirk the better. Sometimes you develop fetishes on the job. I have a quirk about crime and sex - it might ruin my sex life if prostitution is legalized!

Tallulah Bankheist hosts Whore Church, a usually-monthly kinky cabaret.


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Last updated: 7 September 1998