Hunted: a poem
Languidly and languorously,
She lies in wait.
The lure of her allure —
at once hunter and hunted
and you, her delicious bait.
Languidly and languorously,
She lies in wait.
The lure of her allure —
at once hunter and hunted
and you, her delicious bait.
Thinking of getting in touch with an independent escort? Wondering how to do it? Then look no further! Saffron Smith has some top tips on how to make a date with an independent escort.
Last week, I had the privilege of seeing one of my favourite clients. Charming, upbeat and pleasant company, our date was so much fun and whizzed by as per usual. There’s many a time when I connect with someone special as a luxury companion and marvel at my good fortune at having even met them to begin with. Yes, I know it’s not unusual to have the experience of being booked as an escort if you’ve advertised on a website for independent escorts. However, what is beyond my control as a companion is who even gets to see my profile, and reaches out to me, in the first place.
High class escorts may have different approaches to marketing – and then, of course, have full control in filtering and screening who they eventually get to see – but, generally speaking, it is the prospective client who initiates contact. Because of life’s lottery – of someone choosing to contact me when London already possesses a plethora of beautiful GFE escorts – I genuinely thank my lucky stars when I meet outstanding human beings in my secret role as Saffron Smith.
That feeling of serendipity or luck is amplified where the date nearly never took place. Perhaps I only got to meet a gentleman because he unexpectedly visited the UK instead of a different corner of the globe he normally travels to. Perhaps his trip to London was a whistle stop tour packed full of work and social engagements with just a narrow window for an illicit encounter with a high class companion. Perhaps he made a chance hashtag search on Twitter, or saw a comment made on another luxury provider’s tweet, or took a sneak peek at an advertising platform he doesn’t usually use. Or perhaps, as with the case of my client – the charming, upbeat, fun guy mentioned in my opening paragraph – there was something a little bit off, shall we say, about his original contact.
Before I go on, it’s important to state that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to contacting escorts – petite escorts, brunette escorts, British escorts, touring and FMTY escorts, English escorts or any other escorts for that matter. All of us have our own opinions about the type of communications we prefer with some views converging and others diverging. So before I caveat everything I write here in the naturally self-editing style of almost everyone I know over the age of 30, let me just say that while the opinions I express here may be shared by many others, they are my own and that my suggestions are just that, too. And so here they are: my suggestions on comms with independent companions.
1. Follow instructions
We are all sometimes guilty of diving into things headfirst, of not reading a recipe through before attempting to execute it, or failing to read instructions before assembling a piece of furniture. We’re too excited for that dish to land on our plate, or overly confident in our abilities to pull it off, or lack the attention span to read the instructions – or all of the above. But first impressions count, particularly in an industry where the people who populate it necessarily perform perpetual risk assessments as standard. So you’ve come across an elite escort you’d love to see? Great! Then create a positive first impression by doing your utmost to read her website and/or advertisements carefully and reaching out to her via her preferred mode of communication with all requested information.
2. Keep it concise – but not too concise
On the spectrum of conciseness, there exist two extremes. On the one end of this spectrum resides the “U avails” and solitary “Hi” and “Hellos” (invariably followed by a series of question marks to indicate that the author deems you lacked the good sense to reply to them in the first place). On the other end of the spectrum of concision, lies the more verbose of messages, the fantasist copy-paste templates sent presumably to every independent escort in the entire universe. One of our tasks as independent companions is to sort out the more serious-sounding enquiries from the not-so. My client top tip would be to think of your initial enquiry as a sandwich (albeit a very sexy one like from the overpriced bakers down the road or Pret’s Hot section). Introduce yourself in the first slice of this metaphorical sandwich (“I’m white and athletic” doesn’t cut it, I’m afraid), use the filling to set out what made you choose to get in touch with your selected high end provider and how you came across their profile, then use the last slice to specify the proposed time, date, duration and location of the booking.
3. Inter-date communications
I have seen interesting discussion on this subject of late. The rate an escort is paid is for her companionship during the time of your date. Unless otherwise specified, it does not constitute payment for an online correspondence course. There are clients who initiate contact only to make dates. There are clients – and independent escorts – who reach out on an impromptu or more regular basis. Perhaps we’re checking in on you (discreetly) to see how an operation went, to find out how your course is going, to wish you luck for a sporting event or because we saw something which made us think of a private joke we share or something we thought suited your personality down to the ground. Everyone has their own approach to communications between dates and there are no hard and fast rules. But for some gentlemen, there may arise confusion between the Girlfriend Experience and actually being someone’s girlfriend. Don’t suck the joy out of the special world we create together by becoming an emotional vampire. In cases like this, you might find it useful to remind yourself that you met through an escort website – not eHarmony or Match.com. As for the minority of pernicious clients who feel entitled to a provider’s time between dates, who dangle the carrot of financial reward for a future potential date and expect a provider to dance for it? Well, I have no words.
So there you have it, my latest blog post on making a date and general comms with independent escorts. I hope you have found it helpful and, hopefully, a bit funny too.
Stuck for words to accompany a recent picture from my photo shoot, one of me wearing serpentine lingerie, I hunted on the internet for a Medusa-related poem. Finding none that failed to provoke terror, depression, or terror and depression, I composed a poem myself. I was particularly inspired; writing it whilst in the queue for the self-service checkout at my local M&S. But enough of my artistic rambling preamble. Here it is:
Silken serpents bind us, unwind us
And a glance over my shoulder,
at our stolen moments together.
So I know I said I’d write a blog post about the Kent Riviera before the summer was out and that it’s now September, but this weekend is meant to be 18 degrees with the weather forecast to be a cloud with a bit of sun peeking out behind it so, in England, this still counts as summer. There may be a breeze which whispers of a not-so-far-away winter, we may be in the process of passing down the baton of summer to Australia and the trees may have already received the memo that autumn has begun its inexorable creep – but this weekend’s weather is forecast to be a cloud with a bit of sun and that’s that.
Back in the actual proper summer though, when the weather was a whole sun unfettered by a cloud (there were approximately 13 days like this in England), I went to the beach. When I say “I” went to the beach, what I mean is that five-eighths of London came with me; for the moment we actually have a decent bit of weather that coincides with a weekend, that is what Londoners do – we pour out onto the seaside whilst acting half-surprised half-pissed off that everyone else had the exact same uncopyrighted idea.
That weekend, which now feels so long ago, I went to Margate and saw the best exhibition I’ve seen so far this year – and this weekend is the last time to catch it. “Seaside: Photographed” at the Turner Contemporary features photographs from the Victorian times to the present and boasts the work of several renowned photographers including Martin Parr, Jane Bown and Ingrid Pollard. Equally impressive is the poetic and evocative way in which this exhibition is narrated by its talented curators, Val Williams and Karen Shepherdson.
Irrespective of where you’re from in England – metropolis, suburbia or village, landlocked or not – the coast holds rich symbolism and nostalgia for many of us, and the photographs and storytelling behind this exhibition deftly capture that. Walking through this well-curated display feels like an act of nostalgia for both memories we have and haven’t. Sad arcades empty of people but full of penny-pushing and plush toy-pulling machines. Seafood stalls selling cockles, whelks and mussels seasoned with sand and vinegar; the latter appearing as much for killing off salmonella as for flavour. Sticks of rock, ends tattooed with the names of depressed and depressing coastal towns, promising dental disaster or destined to see out the rest of their days at the front of the cutlery drawer beside straws pilfered from fast food joints.
Making my way along the seafront to the gallery, I’d felt slight sadness; a forgotten memory, now remembered, of the English seaside. Its simultaneous over- and under-development; cultural collateral of the package holiday which, in turn, made victims of many a Mediterranean town. But re-emerging from the gallery, I felt differently. Not because the exhibition portrayed the seaside with cloying sentimentality or false celebration but because of its reality and realness, because it simply showed its subject as it is. Yes, the stereotypical seaside resort is unquestionably grotty but that grottiness is precisely part of its enduring charm.
#Goals: my personal bucket list
Whether it’s the inevitable stamp of a long series of academic calendars on my consciousness long after graduation, or the inescapable fact that the second half of the year is well underway, there’s something about this time of year, this run up to the back to school period, which makes me think about my goals for the year ahead and beyond. (There’s also something about reading Milkman which has hampered my ability to write short, clear, unconfused sentences.) Professional (day job, night job), personal (sporting, linguistic, travel) etc; no sphere of my life is immune from division and subdivision, as well as a review of where I’m at and where I want to go and the undeniable chasm between the two. In the interests of absolutely no one – potential boredom for you, undoubtable accountability for me – I have written here a few of the things I intend to do over the next couple of years.
There is a special place in my heart for bon viveurs, for those who know how to live and who live well. Similarly, I hold a lot of admiration for creative people and for those whose crafts depend upon their highly developed senses. Although I’m perhaps more gourmand than gourmet, there are several restaurants in London which are on my to-eat-at list including (…deep breath…) Galvin La Chapelle, Le Gavroche, Texture, Gauthier Soho, Tamarind, Social Eating House, Pied à Terre, and Alyn Williams at the Westbury. I intend to create a near-future full of adventure with wine tasting experiences, finding out the basics of being a parfumier, learning different types of massage, going on mini cookery courses, continuing my attempt to understand art and all its incarnations, as well as making the most of this city’s cultural offerings of theatre, opera and dance.
I love the sea; the feeling I get from its external horizons opening my internal ones, and the reminder it gives me of my own insignificance beside its own expansiveness. I love the idea of learning how to sail in the Mediterranean, how to free dive in the Philippines, and how to surf in Sri Lanka, as well as stand up paddle boarding between Greek islands, snorkelling in the Maldives, coastal swimming in Turkey – and all while drinking coconut water out of coconuts and cocktails out of disembowelled pineapples. Renowned amongst my friends and family for an unrivalled collection of – mostly raunchy and ridiculous – swimwear, I sense that the next 12-24 months will be the time for me to finally put all of this apparel to good use.
Imagine walking through pine-forested landscapes, crunching snow underfoot, and crisp, blue skies overhead. Discovering winter activities like ice hole swimming, snow shoeing and cross-country skiing. Warming up in a sauna and then snuggling up beside a log fire with hot chocolate and new books in hand. Spending passionate evenings under the northern lights and star-studded skies followed by romantic mornings with breakfast in bed. These are just a few of the things that come to mind when I see pictures of the glass igloos at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland – a magical place that’s been on my travel wish list for some time now.
Learn how to play guitar
When I was a kid, I was sent to violin lessons in the hope I’d become our council estate’s answer to Stéphane Grappelli whilst all I actually wanted was to learn how to play the EastEnders theme tune. Neither of these grand ambitions were fulfilled and today I am pretty musically illiterate. In a bid to do something about this, my flatmate gifted me a guitar of his that he won in a raffle last Christmas. But in the absence of guitar lessons, this instrument sits quite fraudulently in my bedroom in a way that’s reminiscent of those 80s/90s pop singers who would take to the stage, guitars in hand, ostensibly strumming them quite exuberantly before exposing themselves as musical charlatans when the time inevitably came for them to raise their arms and clap their way through the chorus. This year, my friends, is the year I learn to play Blackbird on the guitar. Or maybe finally EastEnders.
Freelance writer and independent escort, Saffron Smith, visits the Van Gogh and Britain exhibition and makes an unexpected discovery into the artist’s relationship with the demimonde.
As surely as a tourist board must rebrand a coastal road to renew its appeal to the international traveller, so too must a gallery struggle to make firm the tenuous links between an artist’s œuvre and the exhibiting country. And so it goes with this exhibition of van Gogh’s work at the Tate Britain; the largest display of his work in the UK for nearly a decade. From the moment an exhibition guide is proffered by a helpful member of gallery staff, the visitor is bombarded by a determined national self-aggrandisement project. Vincent van Gogh lived in Britain for “several crucial years,” he fell in love with British culture, he just loved to walk through London, if he’d’ve lived today, his favourite TV show would’ve been Eastenders, swiftly followed by the Great British Bake Off. (Ok, the last statement is somewhat of an exaggeration; everyone knows it would’ve been Embarrassing Bodies. Obvi.)
Van Gogh arrived in the UK at the age of 20 and spent barely three years here; four years before he became an artist and several more before he created his most famous works. Yet whilst the connection between Britain and van Gogh’s works feels laboured – almost painfully embarrassingly so – there’s no escaping the brilliance of this exhibition. With major draws like the iconic Sunflowers, Shoes and Starry Night Over the Rhône, and a collection of other gems including The Prison Courtyard and Hospital at Saint-Rémy, the artificial way in which they are strung together soon evaporates into the equivalent of background noise. So too does the way in which the exhibition is filled with the work of other artists in a manner redolent of wheat husk in cheap sausages. As for the hoardes of visitors and the impatient wait to see van Gogh’s paintings behind people taking pictures of them on their smartphones? Well, that’s another story.
As an independent escort in London, one of the things which struck me most about the exhibition was this quote by van Gogh alluding to a relationship he struck up with a sex worker and the gallery’s decision to touch upon it – however obliquely.
“I met a pregnant woman…who roamed the streets in winter – who had to earn her bread, you can imagine how. I took that woman as a model and worked with her the whole winter.”
— Vincent van Gogh, 1882
The subject of the quote was a woman called Sien Hoornik. Originally a seamstress and cleaner, and latterly a sex worker, Sien was pregnant and had a young child when she began modelling for van Gogh in 1881. They subsequently began living together in what was to be van Gogh’s only domestic relationship; a relationship which met with the disapproval of his friends and family. Some of van Gogh’s financial support was cut off whilst the rest was threatened. After around two years together van Gogh left Sien, writing in a letter to his brother that:
“I knew from the outset that her character is a ruined character, but I had hopes of her finding her feet and now, precisely when I don’t see her any more and think about the things I saw in her, I increasingly come to realize that she was already too far gone to find her feet.”
Sien later married in 1901 but then in 1904, 14 years after van Gogh’s suicide, she threw herself into the Schelde river and drowned. What was the story of their relationship? What were social mores like at the time they were together? What were they like as individuals and as a couple? Was van Gogh the archetypal rescuer? Was he whimsical and callous? This exhibition left me with more questions about van Gogh than I had expected – none of them about his art.
Van Gogh and Britain is on at the Tate Britain until 11 August 2019
Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG (Nearest tube: Pimlico)
Picture the situation: you’ve seen an advert for your dream job, you’ve submitted an application for it, got through sifting, completed the competency assessment and passed, and now you’re through to interview. All that remains is for you to do some serious prep for it. The job? To be a luxury companion. The prep? That old chestnut of an interview question: “Why did you apply for this job?”. In other words, “Tell us why you love this work.”
This cheesy introduction to my first ever blog post might sound a little contrived (mostly because it is) but it’s a question I’m often asked: “Why do you like being a companion?” I’m also asked other questions but this blog word count has a limit, as does your patience, I’m sure.
I find this question interesting; not just because I’m asked it so often as to be constantly reflective about this pretty major life choice of mine but because it provides interesting insights into the motivations for asking this question in the first place. Sorry to disappoint you, feminazis, but many clients I meet are ethical consumers who responsibly seek reassurance that you’re a provider through choice and operating out of free will. Many more want to know that you enjoy your work and that you’re going to provide an authentic and exciting experience. A few others have a neutral curiosity and natural inquisitiveness that seeks understanding of a world they see from another side.
It was only last year that I became a companion and I absolutely love it – to almost inexpressible proportions – and here are just five of the reasons why:
As a lover, I am sensual and earthy; and as a human, I am rooted to the present and enjoy all the sensorial experiences that this world of ours has to offer. For me, the magic of togetherness exists in the love bubbles created where time is suspended and the outside world vanishes from view.
I love the excitement of discovering new bodies and the intimacy of becoming more familiar with others. I love exploring the contours and terrain of the male form as well as the myriad ways of giving, receiving and showing pleasure. I love the power and poetry of the male orgasm and of being the person to create and receive it (inside a condom, I hasten to add).
The vast majority of the gentlemen I meet are wealthy, successful professionals which I imagine may be an industry standard for high end companions. But aside from this usual commonality, I meet a diverse range of gentlemen from diverse backgrounds; whether that’s in terms of profession, nationality, upbringing, age or personality. Each person I meet provides a window onto a different world with colourful stories to recount and fascinating life lessons to impart and every connection I make has its own unique dynamic.
3. The experiences
As a luxury companion, there is zero doubt that I inhabit a very fortunate sector of the industry. Despite being new to this profession, I am lucky to have been treated to lavish experiences: fine dining, West End plays and musicals, exclusive bars and spa days. Without wishing to induce nausea in anyone reading this, I do consider myself to be exceptionally fortunate and am very grateful for these generous displays of affection. I love the amount of thought and effort that my clients have invested into making our dates as perfect as possible and, even more than this, I am thankful for the opportunity to be enriched by experiencing new and different things.
4. The empowerment
When your existence is financially precarious, when you have to choose between essential needs that you’re able to pay for and when you can’t plan for more than your immediate future, life can feel exceptionally limited. Whilst I have enjoyed a professionally successful career, the vocation I have pursued has not been well paid. What being a high class escort has done for me is supplement my income and, in turn, provide me with financial liberation, independence and dignity. I can’t even begin to stress the power of this, the impact it’s had on my life and my gratitude for it.
Besides the material reward that this work brings, it has also liberated me from the constraints of societal conventions and, since becoming a GFE escort, I feel exponentially more sexually empowered. I understand more about human psychology. Thanks to the advice of other independent escorts, I feel greater confidence about asserting myself and setting my boundaries. I have higher expectations about conduct and behaviour. I walk with dignity of carriage through hotel lobbies even when I don’t know where the elevators are.
5. Every day is a school day
I love how life as a luxury companion means that I am always learning new things: about others, about myself, about the world. Being an upscale companion is an incredibly privileged job and not just for the obvious reasons that come to mind. Whether it’s having real life exposure to people who practise growth mindsets, learning new words in other languages or hearing about exciting travel and fitness adventures, I am constantly being inspired, having my mind enriched and experiencing the sensation of having my internal horizons expanded.