It’s not a secret that I’m quite delicate. Maybe from reading my copy, maybe from reading my Twitter you can get that I need (and provide) plenty of self-care. When I was younger I used to be very selfless and tried to take care of everyone who needed it around me, and as you can guess, that ended badly for me.
I’m empathetic and kind, even when sometimes I may not want to. I used to try to understand each and every person who contacted me in the past, but that ended burning me out. This industry is full of absolute timewasters and freebie collectors, and when you can’t tell apart which one is which, you need to put up some measures to preserve yourself and your mental sanity.
I have worked in many different industries, ranging from fast food to videogames, and at some point I was an illustration freelancer and had to deal myself with the clients, like I do now. I got used to a stupid one here or there, but overall normal contacts and people genuinely seeking my services. None of that ever prepared me for sexwork’s drama.
I never got a client at the fast food asking what the menu items were over and over just to hear my voice telling them. I never got an illustration client contacting me through different e-mails over and over trying to get me to work with them once I told them that what they were looking for was not my painting style. The level of bullshit I found at sexwork was unbelievable, and I had to learn to deal with it over time.
Sometimes I still feel bad for not being super nice and awesome with every single person that talks to me, but I simply can’t. I have to save my energy and kindness for those who are going to appreciate it truly. For those who are going to make me feel cared for, and not taken advantage of. Which leads us to why I prefer working low-volume.
Don’t get me wrong, choosing between low or high volume is just a matter of your circumstances and preferences and in no way I’m saying that working high volume is bad. It’s simply not made for me, I already tried, spent a few years at it and just couldn’t deal with that amount of work. Some years ago my phone was buzzing almost every ten minutes, and most of the contacts were timewasters. It was hard to get that one genuine client but I had to be nice with every single person just to be able to find that one. I ended up saving my own stats during two years so I could see for myself how much time I wasted: Twitter Stats Thread
Doing that thread opened my eyes, although I was already suspicious of the results. I decided to stop replying to people who didn’t put in any effort on contacting me and instead focusing my energies on those who did. By giving my time to people that respect it I’m treating them way better than I was when I had to divide my attention among everyone.
Some months ago I also decided to get rid of my phone number and attend solely by e-mail. I noticed the most respectful gentlemen contacted that way, so again, I focused my energies on them. Sure, my volume lowered again, but the quality of my encounters skyrocketed.
Have I lost some genuine clients by ignoring bad contacts? Probably.
Have I lost some genuine clients by deleting my phone number and only allowing email? Probably.
But for those I’m still available, the experience I offer got way better and now they can have my undivided attention. That’s a win-win for everyone, except the timewasters, who now may be missing my eternal kindness.