Outdoor “street” work question answered.

I get asked a lot about street work, or as I like to call it Outdoor work.  These are my experiences and understanding, and may not be the same as someone else’s.

Briefly my experiences:  I’ve worked outdoors for a while, once while homeless, and more recently I’ve worked in front of grocery stores and the like.  I have done the ‘stroll’ type work, but only in small cities and towns, never in larger cities like LA or SF.

Experiences in larger cities, I can only speculate on, or share from friends/family that have done that type of work.  Also, I’m trans* not cisgendered, and that makes a difference in experiences as well.  I’m not trying to say these conclusions or thoughts below are always correct, but that from my perspective at this time, they seem correct.  My goal is only to help people realize that:

1) Not all outdoor work is unsafe (and that you can do any work safely)

2) It’s not like the stereotypical 3am drug addicted street walker who spends their entire career trying to avoid rape and get high, while avoiding physical abuse from their pimp, like in the movies.

YAY! On to the show and tell then:

Outdoor or (street) work is a very WIDE and BROAD subject, just like indoor work is.  People just assume the worst whenever I speak of outdoor work.
First, while 3AM walking the street in the worst neighborhoods does happen, it’s not as common in street or ‘outdoor’ work as one might think. (it’s much more common in BIG cities), but in smaller cities and towns it’s much less common.  (I’ve only worked in smaller towns and cities).
So, in outdoor work, there is homeless work, where you are always working, and your clientele is of the lower income variety.  (I’ve done this work), it’s mostly a lot of trade for sex work, and not a lot of actual cash.
Another type of work is opportunity work, i.e. someone hits on you while you are out doing your normal routine.  Most every woman has had the beginnings of this experience but few turn it into an opportunity to make money.
Another type is daytime work.  This can be waiting where people tend to congregate. Malls, grocery stores, big chain stores, stuff like that.  (I like grocery stores myself).  Obviously this is only valid during the day, and evening.  Trying to work from these places at 3AM is pointless as there is no foot traffic.
Hopefully this gives you a better idea of the varied outdoor work environments.
As for safety, some types of outdoor work can be unsafe, especially if you don’t know your fellow workers.  But to last out there you form relationships with as many as you can, and try to create a safe situation for yourself and others. Also the other difference is you get to look the client in the eyes, well before you agree to anything.  (unlike with indoor work)  All types of work require a ‘screening’ as we call it. Where we check the client over and get a feel for them as a person.  Some people do this better in person, and may be better situated for outdoor work, vs people doing this via email or telephone.  So
I wouldn’t say that it’s a LOT less safe, I would just say it’s a different type of safety.
For me, I love being outside, and would spend time out there anyway, so if there is an easy way to make a few dollars while hanging out outside, why shouldn’t I take the opportunity?

I’ll just wrap up and say one more thing about outdoor work (but also important in any work), boundaries are crazy important.  Think about and set hard firm boundaries of what you are willing and not willing to do.  Your boundaries WILL get tested, and you WILL get asked crazy ridiculous things.   Will you do Anal? Will  you do blowjobs? Condoms? Fluid Barriers for blowjobs or facials? These questions are the tip of the iceberg.

If you have experience (directly or indirectly) I’d love your thoughts and comments on what outdoor work is like for you.  I think the better we can share our experiences, the more people will come to think of street or outdoor work as not something ‘BAD’, but just different.

10 Responses

  1. This was amazing; so informative and really nice to know what happens outside of Pretty Women.

  2. That was so great Tara! Prostitution is never a black/white issue as so many want to think it is. Thank you for sharing.

    One thing that I’m dying to know (and you don’t have to answer), is how you make the sale? Close the deal? How do you move the conversation from small talk to something productive?

    Also, do you ever feel “obvious” hanging around? Or do people really not care or even notice?

    XX

  3. @Cailtlin: YAY! I’m sure you know, but in case other people see your comment, Pretty Woman is total fiction🙂 (good fiction, but fiction nonetheless)

    @Amanda: I’m pretty direct. After I screen them (using my indoor worker words), I ask if they like what they see, and then I talk about money.

    Unless they appear to be female identified and then it’s a much different approach. This is rare enough that I don’t have any canned speech or anything, I just play it by ear, and do my best to make it known that I’m available for $$’s.

    I just recently got outed to an employee at my usual spot, so I’m taking a break from there. Maybe I’ll try back at some point. They also changed their bathroom policies which made it much easier to get caught by an employee. I don’t want hassles, I moved on.

  4. One of my best friends is a retired street walker and she said that her experience depended on the area that she worked in. In black urban areas there tends to be more riff-raff so her pimp made sure not to send her to “Black Areas”.

    She did better in industrial areas where workers and truck drivers were, and would come get service in between lunch and smoke breaks.

  5. Tara,

    Thanks for answering my further questions. Would be really interesting to see you set loose in a country where you didn’t have to worry quite as much as the US!🙂

    XX

  6. Tara! Thank you so much!

  7. @The Hooker Chronicles: Totally, industrial areas can be a great place. As for ‘black areas’ being worse, I imagine it depends a lot on your skin color. Just like a african american being in an all white neighborhood is generally less than comfortable, so too is white people being in a african american neighborhood. It’s not all one way.

    I definitely agree with the area that you work being very different, and not just because of your skin color, or the way you present yourself. There is an outdoor community, and not just of people that are homeless, but of all types of people, from all walks of life. How you fit into that community greatly affects your safety, and the types of clients you will attract.

  8. Fascinating! Thank you for sharing! I have some questions: Were you scared or nervous the first time? Do you still get nervous? I remember the first time I asked a man if he wanted a lapdance- I was terrified!🙂

  9. @swoplv: HAHA! Well, when I first started I didn’t have emotions, so it was a very different thing, and I never was out ‘hustling’, It was more sugar daddy/mommy type work.

    After I got emotions, definitely! Especially the cuter they are🙂 Also, I have *very* little experience with nice consensual dating relationships. I think that has a lot to do with it. I still get nervous sometimes for sure!

  10. Funny that you mentioned that the cuter they are the more nervous you get. When I was dancing and a totally hot guy would come into the club, very few dancers would approach him. The reasons were mixed- sometimes they felt like they shouldn’t because as a hot guy, he would be expecting everyone to flock to him, or sometimes they were just nervous because he was too cute. I had the same feelings at different times for the first year I danced, and then I got over it. I made tons of money off the cute guys and got laid a lot too!!🙂

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