Emily Post is very popular, but I was also raised on Debrett’s. My parents were rather strict about etiquette, in an old-school, middle-class Southern way. Public behavior always needed to be proper and I learned how to be a civilized, polite rule-breaker — perfect for an escort, eh?
Traditional etiquette guides are equally valid for the escort community as it is for the mainstream population. Despite what some people think, knowing and performing good etiquette doesn’t kill a good time but can ensure that a good one is had by all parties involved.
When I compare the etiquette standards that most independent, online escorts require and the standards put forth by Debrett’s, specifically on online dating and interactions, face-to-face interactions and dating etiquette, I see very little difference. Most of that difference is the upfront monetary requirement that is obviously requested by professionals but only secretly implied by non-professionals. This is consistent with escorts remind potential clients that we should not be treated differently than any other woman they would date simply because of our status as escorts. To quote Lady Montagu, “Good manners cost nothing and buys everything.”
Here is a sampling of what Debrett’s advises about Everyday Etiquette and manners that many escorts have some version of on their own sites.
The clear-cut rules for cancelling a hotel reservation can simply be applied for cancelling a date – it is all about timing.
If you pull out more than a fortnight beforehand, there is no penalty at all; between a week and two days’ beforehand, there are varying but small amounts of fallout; anything less than 48 hours and you start to incur hefty charges; and if you cancel on the same day or, rudest still, fail to show up altogether, then you have to pay the full price. Hotel rooms may be expensive but romance has been known to founder on such cavalier behaviour.
Again, professional companions will have various nuances but the spirit of the advice stays the same.
Failing to be punctual is the height of bad manners… Given the vagaries of transport systems, the tendencies of meetings to over-run, the unpredictable emergencies of modern life, you cannot expect to be invariably punctual.
If you see that you’re going to be late, pre-empt the fall-out and call ahead.
There is one abiding rule – the person who requests the pleasure, pays for the pleasure…So, as a simple point of etiquette, you should pick up the tab for a lunch, dinner or raft of cocktails – if you have invited the other person.
Companions, of course, have their own nuances to add to this particular point of etiquette. However, the spirit remains the same. Clients request OUR company, not the other way around.
The trend for social networking via websites has made new demands on traditional etiquette. Play it safe, and always employ your usual good manners when online, treating others with kindness and respect.
Emboldened by anonymity, it is easy to get carried away online. Intemperate messages can be sent off with no fear of redress, promises can be made that will never be fulfilled, crude innuendo is the order of the day…..
Make it a general rule that you will never say anything online that you wouldn’t be able to articulate directly, face to face. Do not use the technology as a shield, masking your true feelings and personality. So always write polite emails, and never send messages (on social networking sites, chatrooms, SMS etc.) that contain intemperate language or sentiments that you would never normally express in your everyday life.
The trouble is, politeness is all too often seen as old-fashioned; we seem to like our artists, our celebrities, our politicians and lions of industry to be mad, bad and dangerous to know, unfettered by the bourgeois standards of chivalry and politeness.
It’s not too late. We need to preserve politeness as the vital ingredient in the cocktail of manners that makes our world a better place; somewhere where basic survival is finessed into a more subtle pleasure. So why not bring back the doffing of hats, holding of doors, leaping to feet… let’s all enjoy some old-fashioned chivalry.
These are intimately intertwined with our personal boundaries and are often one in the same. Prospective clients who cannot follow these initial rules and honor these requests may not be trusted with respecting other rules and requests behind closed doors. Clients who have respected these rules and requests expressed by their escort of choice will more than likely be invited to join her in expanding past certain other boundaries initially set until familiarity has been safely established.