The high-profile arrest of the people running the HushHush agency in Charlotte, NC has provided the media with a never-ending stream of story ideas.
This story illustrates some important points, though. A reporter calls a girl who has an ad on CraigsList. She does not screen and offers details of the sexual services she provides, as well as operating under the mistaken impression that asking if the caller is a cop is some sort of protection. I don’t know where she got her business information – if there’s any place where she did get tips on how to work online.
This is part of the reason why police are working CraigsList so hard. It’s very easy pickings.
Don’t Ask if They’re an Officer
It’s not entrapment if they lie and tell you they’re not law enforcement when they are. Undercover officers are legally allowed to lie about whatever they want, especially the fact they’re a police officer. Don’t even bother asking the question. It shows you have no legal training and will probably give up your rights when arrested (at the very least, you probably don’t have a lawyer on call). And it provides you with no protection. None of your callers are going to be with law enforcement. Why? The ones who aren’t will say so, the ones who are will lie.
Many times officers have had sex before making a prostitution arrest. It’s despicable, but is generally excused as being part of their undercover assignment. The law is tilted in favor of law enforcement.
Don’t Talk About Sex and Money
If you’re an escort, you charge for time. If you’re a prostitute, you charge for particular sex acts. Nothing wrong with either one, except that current laws in the US criminalize those who charge for sex acts.
Yes, this is walking a very fine line, but that’s what lawyers are for. If you charge for time, it’s up to the arresting officer to make the case you were charging for sex. If you bluntly spell out what sexual acts you include in your rates – you’re charging for sex. That’s illegal. And it makes the officer’s job so much easier when you discuss what sort of illegal activities you’re willing to engage in for money.
Using acronyms or euphemisms (e.g., BBBJ, greek, etc.) is the same thing. Police know full well those words are directly tied to sexual activity. Unless you’re truly bi-lingual, saying you’ll speak French with your clients is not going to save you when you’re arrested or in trial.
Clients hate screening, even though it’s in their own best interests. Screening is not a guarantee, but it’s more likely to save you than not screening. Not screening at all is highly risky.
What do I mean by screening? You get personal, identifying information from your prospective client and then check it out to verify he is who he says he is. At the basic level, that’s what screening is. (A complete discussion on screening is planned for Book 3 but will occasionally be discussed here too.)
The first purpose it serves is safety. You’re trusting this man you’ve never met with your physical safety and your life. The least he can do is trust you with his real name and personal information. Requiring screening automatically rules out a lot of men who have bad intentions and don’t want to get “caught.” It’s certainly not worth it to have these men as clients.
The second purpose of screening, of course, is to avoid law enforcement. Though police will sometimes use false IDs (and with thorough screening this can be detected); more often they’ll just move onto someone else who doesn’t screen. Arresting sex workers is easy work and police like to make it even easier for themselves.
If the police are determined to arrest you, they will. You are always free to fight the charges and go to court. If they have no real case you because you only discussed how much you charge for time and never insinuated sex was being paid for; chances are the charges will not stick. You need a good lawyer. The best time to find one is before you’re arrested.
Of Course, There’s More
This is a simplistic look at the complex legal problems the current climate of criminalization causes. A lot of stress and problems would be alleviated by a drastic change in the laws. But this is the game right now. Learn to play it to your best advantage.