I know some people believe that anyone in the sex industry inherently lacks an understanding of ethics by virtue of our jobs and that our clients most certainly don’t have ethics because otherwise, how could they participate in such sordid behavior? The horror! Usually, those people are confusing ethics and morals; the latter is subjective and quite honestly, performative. The former involves conducting yourself with honesty and integrity even when no one is looking.
When a client shorts a provider of their stated fee, doesn’t show up for the appointment, doesn’t pay a cancellation fee, etc., their behavior is rightfully called out as abhorrent. Even better if other clients criticize the behavior as well. That client is usually blacklisted and if they do it often enough, word gets around and the list of providers willing to deal with them becomes very short indeed.
When a provider takes a deposit, doesn’t show up for the appointment, and doesn’t return the deposit or make arrangements to rectify this situation (and actually seeing those arrangements through), and does this multiple times then the their behavior should be rightfully called out as abhorrent by their colleagues. The behavior reflects poorly on other providers who require deposits to secure appointments, regardless of whether or not some people think that reaction is fair to everyone else. Of course it’s not fair, but neither is the original situation causing the problem.
We, the sex worker community, talk a lot about how well we can self-regulate the community, using this as a talking point for promoting sex worker rights, especially in a time where criminalization is intensifying its literal death-grip on us. And I do believe we can be good at self-regulating though this gets called into question when, in an attempt to self-regulate, it’s referred to as “bullying” or “being in another person’s business” and other similar deflections. “Don’t steal” isn’t bullying nor is it dictating the business practices of anyone who isn’t a con artist.
Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but I certainly didn’t abandon my ethics simply because I became a professional companion. If anything, my ethics have become even stronger due to the fact that I know this is valid work that definitely deserves to be respected a helluva lot more than it is. But I guess everyone doesn’t feel that way but gosh, we should abandon surprise when the rest of the world agrees.