I like reviews – I really do. I think reviews act as a method of checking and balancing the industry, thus ensuring that ethical consumerism is carried out. It gives incentive for workers to maintain a level of professionalism. It helps build your reputation as a service provider. It saves honest clients the loss of time, money and effort from dishonest workers. It rewards the workers who try hard and spotlights those workers who have no respect for their clients or their work. They do good for both parties. I like reviews – I really do.
But I don’t like the review culture – I really don’t. The culture, while providing all the needs a review system should have, is also cultivating a practice that is inherently harmful for workers. If you’re a punter who reviews, I’m talking about you. The culture can seem harmless at first, just a bunch of guys who like to build a profile as a reviewer. They like to share their stellar sexual performances, practice their erotic-literacy skills and beat their chests – just a little. Us workers roll our eyes at the culture, it’s just boys being boys around boys, of course, what do you expect? Which is seemingly harmless… Right?
No – it isn’t harmless. It actually has the potential of scarring a worker for life. This chest-beating, macho-man approach to reviews needs to come to a stop. As a reviewer you might be thinking: ‘I have a right to review my booking however I want, I’m the one who paid, and I’m telling the truth – so I’m doing nothing wrong.’ And that is so ok, but that’s not the point I’m getting at. I like reviews, remember, I want reviews. The difference is: I want good, useful reviews. What I’m trying to say, is that reviews shouldn’t be a review about you; it should be a review about the provider. There needs to be a bit more consideration, respect, care and objectiveness in the reviews that are posted online. Without it, workers are at risk of permanent damage. Not just to their working identities but their real-life identities. It’s easy to think: I’m writing a review on Estelle Lucas (for example) because I had a booking with Estelle Lucas. But you need to consider that Estelle Lucas is actually an extension of Lilac Greyheart (not my actual name) and that Lilac Greyheart has people in her life that might read that review. And those people don’t want to read about how she loved it when your huge load sprayed on her face. You can however, just say that she did COF in a manner as advertised. You see, by filtering just a little, you can save that worker from potential damage and still provide the information needed in a review: affirmation or discouragement.
So, if you want to write a review you must first consider: is this a positive review or a negative? If it’s positive, ask the worker if it’s ok to review them. You are obviously not trying to harm them, but you should still ask them out of respect. Although they have given you permission to have sex with them, that doesn’t mean they have given you the permission to RECORD and DOCUMENT their services in literary form. It is akin, in my eyes, as recording someone via a voice recorder or video recorder during sex and so you need permission. Most of the time, workers will say yes because it helps advertise their business. But if they say no, you must assume they have a very good reason to say no. Either: they will live in paranoia that someone in their life might read it; they might feel invaded or trespassed as one might feel if a sex tape was released or, quite simply, they want to keep a low profile. And considering it’s a good review, it’s not something you are obliged to tell the world. So step one: ask for permission and respect the workers decision.
If it’s a negative or not so impressive review, and the worker suspects they did a bad service, of course they’re going to ask you not to post a review. In this circumstance, you must tread carefully. Whilst you might feel obliged to warn other punters, a review should not be used as a tool for vengeance. So you can still write a review and warn other punters, but don’t put down the worker as a person, just express that their work was less than satisfactory. I’ve seen numerous examples where a client has spit the dummy and used a review to purposefully damage a worker, which is so completely childish and unnecessary. The truth of the matter is: there’s a risk when you see a worker. That risk is your fault and responsibility for taking and does not justify unacceptable behaviour. If you’re writing a bad review, you explain why the worker has failed in providing the service they promised. You don’t attack them. It’s disgraceful behaviour and paints you in a bad light. It can also damage you because other workers will be apprehensive to see a reviewer who can turn on them. Don’t be that guy and – don’t encourage that guy.
Now, you’ve decided to write a review. What should you write? Firstly, don’t write a review as you would a meal; a sex worker is not a piece of meat you can describe the act of slicing, tasting and digesting. Don’t write your review as if you were reviewing an album; a worker doesn’t play the same song every time a different person presses play. Don’t write a review like a teacher reviews a student: a sex worker is a person who shouldn’t be graded by your standards, but rather the standards that they have promised to deliver. Remember: reviews are evaluations of something but sex industry reviews should not be evaluations. Why? Because you’re reviewing someone while they are in a very bare and raw form; as a person and as a sexual performer and people are sensitive to that sort of judgement. Which might mean nothing to you and might mean nothing to them, but you need to consider that it means something to someone somewhere. Some workers have partners, children, families and friends who know, or will find out, about what they do. Do they really need to read an erotic story where their loved one is the protagonist? Those people in a worker’s real life have to see your sexual illustrations every time they see their partner/friend/sibling/child/parent; and you need to be considerate of that. You can still write a review, a good review, without practicing your erotic, scene-by-scene writing skills.
A review of a provider should review whether they marketed themselves honestly, if they delivered their advertised services as assured, if their appearance was illustrated honestly through their photos and the general ‘feel’ you received by that person and service. The purpose of a review is to assure or warn punters. It’s not supposed to be documenting, in literary form, what happened. It’s not a diary entry. It is not erotica. It is not fan-fiction. Remember, this isn’t about you. This is about the provider, their service, their delivery and their product. No one care about your sexual performance or feelings, no matter how much you wished people cared. It’s a boy thing – but you’re not a boy and therefor you can get over it.
If anything you should write your reviews like you would a book review. But not a bad book review which tends to over-explain scenes, plots, characters and storylines. A good book review gives you an idea of the story and the general theme of the book. A good review doesn’t tell you what the book is about, it tells you if it’s good, bad and worth it – as should a review of a service provider. It gives you an idea of the characters, plots and experience. Everyone interprets a book differently. Everyone interprets a person differently. So don’t assume your interpretation is correct in its entirety or that you have the right to tell the story before the actual author does, because, once again, it’s unnecessarily, overkill, overindulgent and has potentially negative consequences for the provider.
I understand not everyone is a writer. Not everyone can convey things well. But just remember, a review is not supposed to be a scene by scene story with dialogue or explained in bullet point form or chronologically. It might be easier that way but it’s not the best way. It’s not supposed to be about you. It’s supposed to be about the worker: how well did they set up the booking, how well did they correspond with you, what was the experience like, was it pleasant and why, the services they performed (excluding the graphic details), the delivery, the attitude, was the worker physically attractive for you and why, how you felt about it afterwards etc.
I know most reviewers don’t intentionally write a review to hurt a worker. I also know that in the sex industry, most people don’t know how things work unless they’ve been in the industry for a few years. So I completely understand why no one would really think about the consequences of something so simple like a review. But you now know what the filters are needed for reviews and why, so go practice them. Be a good punter and be a good reviewer and call out those reviewers who are clearly writing a vindictive review. Or those who speak about the provider as if they are unworthy of respect. Or those who think that by paying for a service, they have paid for the right to paint a worker to their liking. If you don’t call out these sorts of behaviours, you are inadvertently cultivating a culture that is no good. There are already a number of workers who are distrusting of reviewers and it’s for this reason.
And if none of this has you convinced that you have a responsibility for ensuring the review culture omits the macho-manliness reviewers insist is vital information, just remember this: when a person decides to become a sex worker, they have potentially decided to destroy their former and future identity. They have the potential of losing the respect of their loved ones, friends, families and colleagues. They can lose their children, their jobs, their income and everything they need, want or love. They have joined a marginalised group to service you. They put their whole lives on the line, for you. And it’s very easy to be angry about losing a few grand to a swindling worker, but your anger and loss does not give you permission to attack someone. A worker can lose their meaning for existence by working. You and I, my punting friends, we all take risks when joining this industry. Don’t make it harder on anyone – it’s hard enough as it is.