Discretion. Few terms get thrown around in our community as much as this one. Everyone wants it, few manage it, and it's sure to spark divisive conversation when it comes up in discussion. So, what is discretion, why is it necessary, how can you stay under the radar, and what should you expect from others regarding confidentiality?
Discreet (not to be confused with discrete) means to be “careful and circumspect in one's speech or actions” and “intentionally unobtrusive.” In the context of the adult/sex work industry, it refers to using caution to avoid getting caught by law enforcement, family, employers, or others.
The need for discretion is obvious. Whether we like it or not, adult entertainment of almost any kind is still considered taboo. Regardless of the legality of sex work, participation in this industry and lifestyle is usually perceived negatively and can lead to relationship and employment troubles, loss of social standing, and even criminal charges.
So, how can you ensure your personal details are kept private when you engage with this industry? First and foremost, remember that a reputable sex worker has far too much to lose to risk their business to expose you. By researching and choosing an established, safe provider, you are considerably reducing the risk of your information being shared publicly.
While we providers must do our part to earn your trust by protecting your data, you should also use common sense to avoid being discovered. This means not visiting adult websites on public or workplace devices and keeping correspondence with providers password protected, by, at minimum, a locked screen on the devices that house them. Clear your browser history and don't use a phone number that others can access the details of (such as a family plan where other users can see the numbers called or texted). If you use it, make sure location sharing is off on any devices you bring along during dates. While this is only some of the most common ways suitors get caught, the best medicine is an ounce of prevention. Stop and think before you act.and your future self will be grateful you did!
Like most things, the standard you can hold others to depends on how you conduct yourself. The golden rule applies here: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Suitors who treat sex workers well and are discreet themselves can expect the same in return.
Most situations where suitor information is publicly revealed by providers involves unsafe behavior or nonpayment. Don't force your provider's hand to share your name in a negative light by failing to act safely and respectfully. Sex work is an insular community by necessity and we protect our own. Be a part of this wonderful world of ours in a positive, responsible way and your secrets are safe with us!
What are your thoughts on maintaining discretion? I'd love to hear your opinions and questions on this important topic.