Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Q & A’ Category

Fan Mail

This reader was inspired by last week’s column to send me a fan letter, and it made me feel so good I just had to share it with y’all:

I have never emailed to ask a question, but I wanted to let you know that you have helped me in multiple ways.  I found your website through Scott Greenfield a number of years ago, and have been a reader ever since.  My wife and I regularly discuss your blog posts and Twitter comments, and more than a few discussions have been started based on “what would Maggie say?”  Our daughter is now 14, and she states that she is clearly somewhere on the LGBT spectrum (she just isn’t sure where yet); the perspective you bring has helped us deal not with our own feelings (we love her to death for who she is), but with how we deal with how others treat her.  You and Scott are my first two clicks every morning, allowing me to ground my day with two anchors that help guide my thinking, and have greatly shaped the way I view the world around me.

Oh, and I LOVE the woodworking.

Thanks for everything!

After all the time and effort I’ve put into this blog for the past eleven years, letters like this really give me the inspiration that helps me to keep it up.

Read Full Post »

Ordering author copies is a much slower, more cumbersome process than it formerly was; now the system treats it like any other Amazon order, albeit slower.  I ordered a box of Ask Maggie, Volume II almost a week before I announced the book was available, and it was finally delivered last week, so now I’m offering autographed copies in my store; if you’d like one (or an autographed copy of any of my other books), please visit my store by clicking on the picture at the top of the right-hand column.  I’d also like to ask a favor; once you buy and read the book (whether from me or directly from Amazon), would you please take the time to review it?  Since I now have a number of products available there (six books, two short stories and a documentary), I only lack a sufficient number of reviews to trigger Amazon’s algorthms to start suggesting it to browsers in the greater Amazon ecosystem (though they’ve sent me an advertising offer I’ll probably try out).  And given how economically difficult last year was, that would be a great help to me.

Read Full Post »

Where Are They Now?

In my early essay “Marilyn“, I explained that “because of the use of stage names, the discretion inherent in our profession, the mania for privacy forced upon us by its suppression and the fact that we’re all independent contractors, it is essentially impossible to keep in touch with working girls once the business relationship has been severed.”  In the 15 years since I closed my escort service, that has been less noticeable to me for the simple reason that as an independent, I don’t have close, regular contact with as many girls as I did when I was a madam.  But it still happens from time to time; I become fond of some young woman I meet through work, and then she moves on to a new career or a new city and I never hear from her again.  It occasionally happens with clients, too; I’ll see a guy only once or twice and we talk about some difficulty he’s going through, then I never see him again and I’m left wondering whatever happened to him, and whether he managed to resolve his problem.  But lately, in the process of preparing and editing the two Ask Maggie volumes, I was struck by how many of the people I gave advice to never wrote back to let me know if things were better, or if my advice had helped at all.  Now, obviously, they don’t owe me that; in fact, one of the reasons people write me is that I’m not a part of their lives, so they needn’t be ashamed of sharing very intimate details.  If I were someone they had to interact with on a regular basis they might never have been able to confide in me in the first place, so it’s not surprising that they don’t reach out again after I’ve answered them.  But part of empathy, at least in my psychological makeup, requires caring enough about others, even strangers, to want to understand and help them; while some letters merely require information or the sharing of wisdom, others tug at my heartstrings, and I can’t help wondering what became of them afterward.  So please, do me a little favor:  if you’re one of the several hundred people whose letters I’ve answered over the past decade, and my advice was helpful to you, please take a moment to reach out to me when you get a few moments to tell me how it went.  You certainly don’t have to, and I won”t think any less of those who don’t.  But there is a soft spot under my battle-hardened exterior that would appreciate knowing I helped.

Read Full Post »

At last, Ask Maggie, Volume II is available for purchase!  I was finished with the text back in October, and even uploaded it and assigned a release date; however, I then sort of ran out of steam with regard to commissioning the cover and other finishing details.  I started to get back into the swing of it around Christmas, but not quickly, so it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I ordered my proof and put the Kindle edition together.  But now it’s all done, and you can buy it on Amazon in either paperback or Kindle form!  If you prefer an autographed copy, you shouldn’t have long to wait; I’ve already ordered a box, and as soon as it arrives I’ll add this book to my store along with all the others.  If you’re wondering what’s next, I think I’m leaning toward a third fiction collection, which will bear the title Lost Angels; I want to write several original stories for it to go with the usual reprints, and I’m hoping Chester Brown will agree to do a cover so the three volumes match.  It will probably be out in the autumn, but I’m not going to commit myself to a specific time frame; though I was able to pull off four new collections last year (counting this one, which was officially published in October), it was tough and a bit stressful, and a bit too much by the end.  So I’d rather not do that again.  As usual, if you buy and read this one, please review it; I’m not sure how Amazon’s algorithms work, but I know good reviews help.

Read Full Post »

Green

For someone fairly “green”, how much of an obstacle will lack of references be?  I only have one prior engagement made through an international agency some years ago; would that suffice?  I saw a reference to “verification service” on the contact form on your website; could this help me?  Also, I’m from a small city; scheduling an appointment in the nearest large one is challenging for a variety of reasons, though I do intend be opportunistic, if I’m in the area.

First of all, you may find this article I wrote for Reason magazine three years ago useful; it has a lot of basic information you may not have considered.  I think it’s unlikely most US escorts would accept an international reference, except from Canada; since it’s rare for prospective US clients to produce international references, even the attempt might seem odd to most US escorts.  And because we learn to trust our instincts, even an odd feeling might cause an escort to reject you, especially during this time when cops are aggresssively trophy-hunting.  I therefore think it would be better for you to look for an escort who is “newbie friendly” (ladies who are will generally advertise thus), and relies on some form of screening other than references.  You will need to provide whatever information she uses for the check (probably full name, profession, phone number, stuff like that; she may also require a deposit).  After you see her, she can in turn provide references to other escorts.  A verification service may help you; this is a company which verifies that you are who you represent yourself to be, usually by checking your employment and/or a background check.  You needn’t worry about discretion; it is not in such services’ best interest to violate your confidence or risk exposing you, because such a breach would undermine its business model (the same can be said for escorts, BTB; one of the things you’re paying for is discretion).  The best-known such service in the US is probably P411; it is not without faults, but I doubt you’ll have to worry about them.

I think it would probably be better for you to seek your first US experience in the nearby large city rather than your own small one, even if that means making some excuse to travel to the city overnight.  In a larger city, you’re more likely to find experienced professionals who will work with you, and references from well-known escorts are more likely to be widely accepted than references from a relative unknown in a small city.  Also, many of the escorts in smaller cities tend on average to be less professional for the simple reason that they have less business and fewer personal contacts with other pros; many small-city escorts don’t screen as thoroughly, and their vouch for you is therefore less likely to be useful when booking other escorts in the future.  Plan ahead; do your research and make a date well in advance rather than simply blowing into town and then opportunistically trying to make a same-day appointment, because that will sharply limit your selection and you may not be able to arrange anything at all.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

Read Full Post »

Viral Marketing

Is there a realistic danger that I might get infected with the coronavirus if I went to see a reputable escort in a city that has never been a hot spot?  Obviously, a reputable professional wouldn’t see customers if she knew she was infected, but people don’t necessarily know.  Hey, I could be infected too, although I find this unlikely.  Have you heard of a single case of anyone getting the coronavirus from a reputable provider?

Given the long incubation period and the relative ease of respiratory transmission, I don’t think there’s any sure way most non-hermits could say who they got it from, despite hooha about “contact tracing”.  If you’re somewhat concerned (I say “somewhat” because if you were very concerned you wouldn’t be considering this), you could do the mask thing, although that seems like it would be rather awkward in the circumstances of a date.  Personally, I don’t think it’s really worthwhile for a healthy man below 50 like yourself to worry about contact with specific apparently-healthy individuals in an area of low case numbers, but that’s me.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)  

Read Full Post »

In the Store

It used to be that when I ordered a box of my own books, it arrived just as quickly as anything else I purchased from Amazon.  But the pandemic seems to have dramatically slowed the process; it now takes weeks after ordering for the books to show up.  I ordered a box of Ask Maggie, Volume I almost a week before I announced the book was available, and it was finally delivered on Saturday!  Since I didn’t want to have to sit on a number of orders until the books arrived, I didn’t start offering autographed copies until that date was at least closer.  But now I believe and hope it’s close enough; if you’d like an autographed copy of it or any of my other books, please visit my store by clicking on the picture at the top of the right-hand column.  I’d also like to ask a favor; once you buy and read the book (whether from me or directly from Amazon), would you please take the time to review it?  Since I now have a number of products available there (five books, two short stories and a documentary), I only lack a sufficient number of reviews to trigger Amazon’s algorthms to start suggesting it to browsers in the greater Amazon ecosystem.  And given how economically difficult this year has been, that would be a great help to me.

Read Full Post »

Despite delays and obstructions, Ask Maggie, Volume I is here!  It contains 80 of my answers to reader questions, and volume II (currently planned for October) will feature another 80.  I’m really pleased to have been able to keep up the pace I set for myself by publishing one book every three months this year; I’m hoping I can maintain that for the three books I want to publish next year, starting in January.  As usual, you can buy the book at Amazon (and here’s the Kindle edition); if you prefer an autographed copy, they’ll be available in my bookstore as soon as the box of my own copies arrives (last time they took much longer than expected).  Thank you for reading, and please consider helping me out by reviewing it on Amazon!

Read Full Post »

Seven years ago I published “Catching Up“, in which I gave a new reader advice of how to get started reading my blog.  At the time, I compared the strategy of starting at the beginning and trying to read every post with “hacking your way across the Amazon Basin with a machete,” and since there are now roughly 3.5 times as many posts as there were then, that is barely even hyperbole any more.  Some of the advice is still good, such as the following:

…subscribe to the blog and read the new columns as they come out; most of them contain links to older columns, which you could then read as they come up…[twice a week] I publish a news column…made up of…short subsections; each item has its own title, and the vast majority of those titles refer back to older posts (each containing a link to the referenced post).  This will lead you to a lot of older columns every week, assuming you have the time!  Also, every Sunday I publish a “Links” column, and the bottom section, “From the Archives”, contains links to the posts from that same week for the past two years; you could click on and read any that sound interesting.  You can also follow me on Twitter, where I share lots of interesting links…and also remind readers of my columns from that same day one, two and…three years in the past…

But now that I’ve been publishing for over a decade, the best way to start is to simply buy my “best of” collections, The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume I and Volume II; they’re available in both paperback and Kindle editions, and each contains 52 hand-picked, revised and edited essays from the first six years of the blog.  Then watch this space for future “best of” collections, including Ask Maggie, Volume I (a collection of 80 answers to reader questions, which should be available later this week) and Volume II (same, should be available in October).  In addition to presenting what I think are my most important essays in a more accessible and easier-to-browse format, these volumes give you the chance to support my work in a tangible way, which is especially important in these difficult times; it’s a perfect example of a win-win situation!

Read Full Post »

What are the mechanics of retirement for a sex worker?

There are a few countries where sex workers have access to state pension schemes; even in the US a sex worker who diligently files taxes (as a “consultant” or whatever) is at least eligible for social security.  But of course that’s not what most people would consider a proper retirement income.  In the 18th and 19th centuries, most whores who stuck with the business long enough eventually accumulated enough money to set up their own brothels; even in the 20th century an ambitious lady might own an escort service.  In civilized countries that is still the case, though the rise of internet-based independent work has made it much more difficult for an agency to succeed.  And “sex trafficking” hysteria has made such services far more dangerous to operate because under criminalization regimes, cops and prosecutors actively seek to destroy such services and the lives of those who own and operate them.  Of course, it’s certainly possible for a sex worker of any sort to invest in a 401K or build up an investment portfolio, to set herself up in some conventional business (such as rental properties), or to marry for money, but that’s no different from what anyone else with a more conventional business might do.

I myself owned an escort service for the first few years of this century, but the changing world and the 2008 economic debacle killed any plans I had to retire on that; similarly, divorce ended my access to my wasband’s pension.  Currently, I’m working on building up my non-sex-work income streams, but unless a generous benefactor provides for me in his will or something like that, it seems unlikely I’ll ever be able to move beyond semi-retirement.  And in that respect, I’m afraid I’m a lot like many other self-employed people in the early 21st-century US.

P.S. – The original question was more specific and complex, but I felt it would be more instructive to generalize; if you’re curious about the original phrasing, just click on the link embedded in the question.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)  

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »