Sunday, July 29, 2012

Backpage versus Craigslist

I advertise on Backpage primarily, which works well. A few months ago, I thought I'd give Craigslist a try. And I have been amazed at how much business it's generated. There are a couple extra complexities, however, mostly that my Craigslist ad has to be much more subtle than my Backpage ad, which requires men to do more interpretation. It's amazing all the bitching women do about men being clueless....not remembering birthdays, forgetting important signficant other details,and yet when it comes to decoding a body rub girl's Craigslist ad (benighly posted under the therapeutic section, ahem, as if a legit massage), they have the cunning wherewithal of a CIA agent. There are exceptions however. There are newbies. And my ad seems to confuse them and their questions confuse me, as to what they had in mind, that I'm left bewildered. I'll admit it, even so curious as to break my rules and have a very mince-no-words Q & A. Which was the case with Curtis.

To clarify, my Craigslist ad is extremely censored. There are a LOT of words that will get your ad rejected. It would probably make sense to actually read the terms and conditions, but shit, who has time for that? Instead, I just try to get as close to the forbidden as possible. Which has led to a lot of trial error. What I have learned: all photos must show me buttoned up, with a face shot (of course I won't show my face so I generally choose a photo from the web of a girl who looks vaguely like me: green eyes, blonde hair.), no mention of Full, Body, scented, desire, escort, BP, reviews, etc. This issue of a fake photo is new territory for me. All my BP ads are me, but I don't show my face. This fake photo stuff also requires guys to read between the lines. I don't want anyone showing up and getting pissed that it's not me. Amazingly, I have found that most men recognize that I'm just trying to advertise an idea of me...Caucasian, smiling, young, and cute. The closest thing I can do to communicating that it's a happy ending massage is the price ($140/hr) and mention that a shower is available (have you ever showered after a legit massage? Me neither.)

Believe it or not, some men have never heard of Backpage, so Craigslist drums up some new and financially solvent customers. Somethimes the Craigslisters will ask, "Why is it so much?"

"Because I'm topless." Not illegal, by the way.

Often they will get the picture, but sometimes not. And then there was Curtis, who I had no idea what he was wanting.

My ad states NO TEXTS (texters usually are no-shows) and so I received this text from Curtis:

"I know you said no texting and I apologize! I am new in town, well educated, divorced and meeting a regular meet up! I like your pics! Can we set up a meeting at 4 today?"

Meeting? This text sounds like a date, which is a whole different service than what I offer.Or maybe not, and I hate to turn away business.

"I only schedule via phone." This statement usually prompts silence from the sender, even though they are clearly in close proximity to their phone. Surprisingly, Curtis called. He sounded sweet, normal, a tad nervous as if I was a girl he met at a bar the night before. He asked for a face pic and I responded that I didn't send those.

"I don't want a massage," he said.

"I'm not an escort," I responded.

"I don't want an escort."

He paused, asked some more questions and then quickly said he had misinterpreted my ad, apolgized for wasting my time and before I had a chance to respond, he was off the phone.

I then got a flurry of texts from him, apologies and then this one: "I don't understand then? Why the sexy pics? I am not a cop!! Just a biz guy looking for a quality, affordable companionship."

Could he be a hand job and dinner guy?  I do that. I like that.

I responded that I offer a body rub for $140/hr. He responded again that he didn't want a massage, an escort or "body wrap," but again reiterated that he wanted "other" and could I help?.

Um, what else is there?

"I want this to be a regular thing," he wrote.

Regular things are good for business. But what the hell is he talking about? I asked via text.

"Just a companion to meet my needs...I am single."

I'm still thinking, perhaps he's worth a try. I've mentioned before no sex. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cole's Referral

As you may recall from an earlier post, Cole is my best friend, a guy in fact that I'm in love with. Cole and I have never had the best timing. When he's been single, I've been dating. When I've been single, he was in the army. We met when I was dating Hank. And Hank and Cole were roommates. Hank was a bit of a dud as a boyfriend, choosing to go to bed at 10:30 ritually, even on a Saturday night and I'd stay up to watch movies with Cole. Eventually we skipped the movies and decided to talk. I couldn't figure out how a guy like Cole was single.

He is handsome, intelligent, caring, and is amazing with my daughter. Having a child so young, most guys don't have any idea how to interact with her. Not Cole. He treats her better than I could ever hope for with her real dad.

Cole now works for his father, who owns a construction company. Business was lean right before Cole left for Iraq, but now the company is back on track, which was perfect timing for when Cole got back.  Somehow he always knew he wanted to take over his father's business, and him and his father, Ted, have always managed to get along well. I envy that. Both the getting along and knowning what you want to do. I've never known. I still don't. Although I'm an erotic masseuse, I sense I can't keep doing this forever, at least not when I'm old, or even 45, I imagine. Some days with my post-baby body I feel like I'm pushing it, but it's my clients that seem to have more confidence in my body than me. But in any case, the whole point of this entry is that I have this jam I find myself in occasionally: getting a "massage" referral. I'm not a legit certified massage therapist, even though I tell everyone I am. So it completely freaks me out when I have to fake a massage. As odd as it may sound, I'm more at ease, getting naked and giving a guy a hand job. I've been doing it for years, with no complaints.

So the other day, Cole asked me how business was.


"Would you like to be busier?" he asked.

"Of course," I said, which was the truth. My business is great, but I'd love to add a few more clients. At $140 per hour, who wouldn't?

Cole told me that his Aunt's friend was looking for a massage therapist. Shit. Not only do I have to fake a real massage, but it's a woman, which seems very foreign to me.

At the heart of the matter, I feel badly. I respect the field of massage therapy and here this person, this Aunt, will expecting someone who has gone through upteen hours of training. It's times like this that I feel most rotten.

I've actually thought about getting a massage license, but when I looked into the requirements and what the massage schools charge for a one-year program (roughly $15,000), it just wasn't worth it. I told Cole I got my license while he was overseas and my mother doesn't take enough interest in my life to notice that I seemed to have jumped into massage therapy overnight.

So I have no choice but to take on Cole's Aunt's friend. I guess I'll go to the library and get a few books out on massage.