Thursday, August 09, 2007

Interview with Amanda Brooks

Amanda Brooks has led an interesting life. She started out as a stripper during college, working major clubs from Dallas to Las Vegas, but eventually her curiosity about escorting led to placing an ad on an online site. A career as an escort was born! After a few years of enjoying herself and pleasing her clients, Amanda retired from escorting and set about writing her first book: The Internet Escort's Handbook.

Read on for more on this fabulous woman:


Tell us about your first time as an escort. Were you nervous, scared, hesitant? How did it compare to the first time you stepped in front of a crowd on a stripper pole? Which was easier?

My first time onstage was horrible, nerve-wracking and excruciating. Not because I was wearing a thong (my very first song was fully-clothed, the second song was topless) but because I didn’t know how to dance and all my practice in my heels at home on carpet was very different from trying to dance in them on a wooden stage. And then I had to try and collect tips onstage, followed by attempts to sell dances once offstage. Although I came to love the stage dancing (and became very good at it), my table-dance-selling skills were always poor. I hated that part of it.

My first official client as an escort made me nervous. I’d screened him with my mentor’s help but I had no idea what to expect. He was a nice man; enthusiastic and full of empty promises (like taking me on a boating trip). But other than his need to assure me he’d come back, he was a great guy. No issues at all. Having stripped for 4 years, the conversation was ridiculously easy, especially since I didn’t have to yell to be heard.

The sexual part was a little awkward, mostly because I wasn’t having much sex in my personal life. I wasn’t worried about making him a repeat client; I just wanted to get through the appointment in one mental piece. Instead, I got a high in knowing I’d made my first client happy and was well-paid for work that came naturally to me. My stripping career ended that hour (I’d kept my locker at the club just in case this escort thing didn’t work out).

Can you tell me about one of your best experiences as an escort?

One of my best experiences...other than meeting my current boyfriend? (It was a wonderful dinner appointment, absolutely perfect.) There are many great experiences I had, in all sorts of ways. There were terrific sexual experiences that I still treasure and wonderful personal connections with clients. I got to enjoy some social benefits, like eating in top restaurants and spending time in the best hotels. I met some amazing men. And a favorite client gave me a fantasy send-off the night I retired, ending with a kiss at midnight. Can’t get better than that!

Were you surprised by any of your escort experiences?

I don’t know that any of my experiences surprised me because I wanted and expected to have good experiences. I was surprised that my boundaries created real taboos for the first time in my life. That was a fun surprise.

And on the flip-side, is there a horror story you would be willing to share?

Other than getting shorted on payment, I can’t say I have any real horror stories. One story that could’ve ended badly was a visit from a young New York man (I normally didn’t see men under 30 for a reason) who accidentally set one of my hand towels on fire in my incall. He smelled it on his way out the door, which was good because I didn’t smell it at all. He had been a bit of a jerk in person and in bed, so this was just a capper. I was happy to see him go – after he put out the fire.

I like how you are so clear about the business. You take the time to make sure all the pitfalls are out in the open, and you counsel those who might be interested to be sure they can handle this profession. Were there any misconceptions you fell for when you were first starting out? What do you feel is the biggest mistake most escorts make?

I was lucky enough to have a mentor who honestly answered all my pesky questions. One misconception I had was in judging my popularity. In strip clubs I was an average dancer, appearance-wise, and most nights were 90-99% rejection. I was not expecting the warm and eager welcome I got as an escort. Not that I’m complaining.

I also discovered that – generally speaking -- the more a man has to pay for your company, the more he respects you. This is not information passed around in the “real” world and I think it’s high time women realized that if they valued themselves, they would get more of what they want from relationships with men, whether they want a paid or unpaid relationship.

A popular misconception among other escorts seems to be the belief only (male) discussion-board posters/reviewers know how escorts should run their business. I’m working very hard, especially in book #2, to get escorts to break free of this stranglehold. I compare it to me telling Bill Gates how to run Microsoft just because I constantly use Windows programs. An escort needs to run her business as her own individual situation dictates, not what hobbyists (who may never even see her) think she needs to do to make money.

One of the things that scared me away from escorting was the near-certainty that I would get personally involved with clients and then have to deal with the emotional fallout. Is this something that happens often? How do you avoid it?

It depends on how you define “personally involved.” An escort should never get involved in clients’ lives. Once the paid time is over, it’s over until the next appointment.

A common misconception is that the only way to do this work is to turn off all emotion. An emotionally-dead escort won’t be popular and will cause emotional problems in herself. It’s quite natural to feel connections with and emotions for clients – it’s a human relationship, after all.

I found myself falling in love with a number of my clients – during our time together. Once our time was over, I went about my life and they went about theirs. Obviously I was not seriously considering starting a relationship with them, but it was fun to allow myself to get swept away for short periods of time. I always regained my perspective.

There were clients who would ask me out. I would be nice while letting them know it wasn’t going to happen. I used the fallback excuse that dating clients is not a good idea (which it isn’t). That was acceptable to them, although I occasionally lost a client after I turned him down. I feel that being straightforward with my clients and not playing emotional games with them prevented the problem with romantic stalkers that some escorts have.

Escorts who have extended appointments with their clients understand that emotions will run high and that’s part of their appeal. They’ve learned how to deflect potential trouble and keep their client relationships in its proper place in their life. Fantasy relationships don’t have to be a negative in anyone’s life, quite the opposite – they can be incredibly rejuvenating. It does take a certain amount of self-awareness and emotional stability, though.

It seems escorting is more about intimacy than it is about sex. You’ve talked a great deal about what the clients enjoy – but what do you find most escorts name as their most enjoyable part of the job?

Depends on the escort. I’ve discovered since retirement how much I miss the constant social interaction with new people. I think a lot of escorts enjoy the same thing. Others love the ego boost they get from being adored. Some openly enjoy the opportunity to travel and live an adventurous life. Some look forward to favorite clients with whom they’ve built a small relationship. Some escorts have had clients for years (long before the Internet boom). One cannot be intimate with another person for a long time without developing genuine feelings and a real relationship. Some probably enjoy the sexual variety the most.

And, for those escorts who depend on escort work for a full-time income, the money is very nice. Of course it is. A healthy income allows for a lot of freedom, independence and control of one’s life.

As an erotica writer, I’m very fortunate to have people around me who are supportive of what I do. That wasn’t always the case. Did you find there were people in your life who were more accepting of your work as a stripper than your work as an escort, or vice versa? How did your profession affect your personal relationships?

I lost one stripper friend who did not feel I was making a healthy decision to start escort work. But then, she thrived as a stripper. I don’t know that she would’ve thrived as an escort. I did not thrive as a stripper but I did as an escort.

Of everyone that I’ve told, I’ve certainly fielded a lot more questions about my escort work than my stripping. I can’t say that one has been accepted more readily than the other. In my experience, those who accept me as a person accept my sex work history equally well.

Escort work affected me very positively. I was much less stressed and I had a better income, all of which made me happier. Even my mother thought I seemed happier as an escort. And I only spent time with people who accepted all of me, which meant the quality of my friends went up.

Boyfriend issues are more severe with escort work than with stripping. There’s no good way of navigating those waters. It has to be done on an individual basis and I still haven’t figured out all the right answers. Having firm boundaries helps, as does the feeling of independence.

Obviously, your new gig as a writer is working! Can you see yourself ever going back into escort work?

If my life situation changed drastically, escort work would be an option, though not my only one. I have nothing against it but I’d like to try and see what I can do with my books first. Going back would be too much like giving up! And I’m stubborn. Not that I feel there’s any shame in escort work, I just don’t want to fall back on it feeling defeated or that I failed in my new career.

What’s next for you?

After I complete this series (book #2’s manuscript is mostly done, then I have #3 and #4), I will want to take a break. I promised an updated compilation volume but right now I don’t even want to think about it. There are other books I’ve thought of and would like to research, but again, the energy is not there right now. Depending on the success of my series, I could either keep on pumping out books, or go on extended tour, or start in a whole new direction and just let these sell as backlist items. I don’t know. I’m too much in the middle of it all to clearly see the end.

To read more about Amanda, visit her Website.

To read more about her book, Click Here.

6 comments:

Amanda said...

Gwen,

Let me say "Thank you!" You asked some good questions and I sound better than I remember when I answered the questions!

XX

Gwen Masters said...

It was an absolute pleasure, Amanda. Thank you so much for the opportunity to get to know you, and your work, better.

Cheers,
Gwenny

Anonymous said...

Gwen & Amanda,
Thank you both for sharing this interview. It is inviting and refreshing to see such discerning questions, and to have such frank and challenging responses from Amanda. You both have created something that is engaging, and forces the reader (well, at least this reader) to think. I found Amanda's responses to the fifth question -"I like how you are so clear ..." both fascinating and poignant.
Now you have me hoping when Book Two comes out there is a follow-on interview!

Gwen Masters said...

There will definitely be another interview...and hopefully Amanda will join me here for a guest blog from time to time.

I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview!

Anonymous said...

As a former client of Amanda's, it was a joy to read this interview, mostly because I always felt her intimacy and intellectual exchanges were nothing short of spectacular. We have maintained an on and off again Email exchange since May 15, 2003, the first day I felt in love with her particularly when we got to talking about dance, as I had spent years in ballet.

Ava said...

I found this to be a fascinating article. I have a friend who works for Scottsdale Escorts http://www.arizonavipoutcall.com and she gives the same pleasant story. I think there are so many negative articles about escorts on the web, mostly all written by men. It is nice to see it from an educated and driven woman's prospective. I think it is great you have furthered your career and become a writer. I look forward to reading your books.