Archive for July 15th, 2011

Head games, always you and me, baby
Head games, ’till I can’t take it anymore, no more
Head games, instead of makin’ love, we play head games
.  –  Lou Gramm and Mick Jones, “Head Games

As I’ve written before on several occasions, some men simply can’t handle the truth that women are in control of the sexual sphere, so they invent myths and fantasies with which to convince themselves that it’s actually the other way around.  But other men prefer a more pragmatic approach, especially when dealing with escorts:  instead of just making appointments like normal men, they play head games so as to feel that they’re the ones in control of the situation.

Though I’m sure most of my escort readers already know what I’m talking about, I’m trying to come up with a good comparison for the rest of you and the best one I can think of is the games businessmen play to “psych out” their opponents.  Such a man might set up his office furniture in such a way as to make him seem more important than he is, for example with a huge desk and low chairs for the visitors so they have to look up at him.  Or he’ll make sure he’s on the phone when one enters his office, thus projecting that his time is more important than yours.  In Japanese culture the first person to actually bring up business is at a psychological disadvantage because he’s perceived as lacking patience and therefore nervous.  And so on.  But when one of these high-powered men deals with an escort, he’s in exactly the same position as anybody else:  he has to follow her procedures, filling out her screening form or going through the escort agency or whatever, and then waiting for her to get back to him to tell him if she’ll see him and when she can.  And that has to be a humbling, even a humiliating, experience for someone who’s used to being the Big Cheese, so he responds (perhaps even unconsciously) by trying to wrest control of the interaction away from her.

The sloppiest and most transparent control technique is of course haggling; I honestly believe that at least half of all men who haggle can easily afford the girl’s price, they simply want to get her to back down from it in order to feel as though they’ve won a victory over her.  I’ve heard many independents complain that men who have reviewed expensive escorts will still haggle with girls who charge half as much; this demonstrates that it’s not about the money but rather about getting the girl to accept a compromise.  More subtle types will accept an escort’s price, but will try to get her to compromise one of her other rules in some way; for example, if a girl has published hours they’ll try to get an appointment just before or just after those hours, or if she refuses same-day appointments they’ll try to get one.  A girl who only accepts certain forms of communication will be pushed for another form (for example, her personal phone number), and another common maneuver is “tell me your real name,” as discussed in my column of one year ago today.

The most subtle manipulators of all use tactics which may seem innocuous; the most definitive example of these is the “call me” client.  This is the guy who won’t agree to an exact time for an appointment or callback; instead he insists that the girl should “come over when she’s ready” or “call whenever you want to”.  A lot of these guys are nothing but time wasters who have no intention of being there when the girl drops by or of answering when she calls, but the more manipulative type merely wants to play the game of forcing the girl to keep him in mind until she calls him back; he of course won’t answer, and after that she’s unconsciously waiting for him to return the call.  Men like this achieve excitement or satisfaction from making a woman jump through hoops, and the more hoops the better.

When faced with a client like this, it is vitally important that an escort not give in; once such a man has won his little victory he may be satisfied, but more often than not will only become more aggressive once he has tasted blood.  And though most of these men present no physical danger, entering a call from a position of weakness makes it much more difficult to control the proceedings and the hapless escort may find herself struggling to manage the date for no reason she can adequately define.  This is because he has her at a psychological disadvantage and may keep breaking little rules, pushing her to do things she doesn’t want to do, asking personal questions and otherwise testing her limits and violating her comfort zone.

Short of simply refusing to communicate with a man who tries such tricks, the only thing one can do is to steadfastly refuse to play from square one.  Once I answered my agency line and a female voice asked if I could hold for Mr. So-and-So; of course I instantly recognized this as a power game we might call “My Time is More Important Than Yours.”  So I replied, “No, I’m afraid I can’t hold; please ask Mr. So-and-So to call back when he’s ready to talk.”  I probably don’t need to tell you that Mr. So-and-So called back within five minutes, and gave me no further problems.  Had I given in I probably would’ve had to endure a series of such head games both on the phone and in the resulting date, but since I let him know in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t going to put up with that kind of crap we were able to have a mutually rewarding interaction in spite of his effort to make it into a lopsided transaction.

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