She agreed to talk to me. But there were ground rules. I couldn’t reveal her name. I promised not to disclose exactly how much she charged.
I found her posting under the “Erotic Services” category of Craigslist. Click on the headline and an image of a naked woman appears on the screen. It seems to be a stock photograph.
The woman who put up the ad offers a sensual massage. She works out of her home in Los Angeles. And she is mindful of the murder of Julissa Brisman, the aspiring actress who also solicited massages on Craigslist. A medical student is charged with killing her. Police believe they met on the popular online classifieds site.
In the wake of the Boston killing, was the Craigslist masseuse I spoke to concerned about her safety? Does she believe she may be at risk of violence?
This is what she told me during a phone interview:
She is in her 30s and sees an average of 2-4 clients a day. She gives her massages in the nude (she said it paid better than wearing a bathing suit or thong).
But she won’t do “full service” massages. Full service is code for sex. She knows other masseuses willing to engage in prostitution. But it’s something she’s not comfortable with doing.
She started posting ads on Craigslist because she needed money for rent. She can earn several hundred dollars a week. One client gave her $500 for one visit. The men who see her are generally married professionals. “They don’t want any trouble,” she said. “And they don’t want sex because they don’t feel like they are cheating on their wives.”
Some have asked for sex. But she said she always says no. She also said she’s had to lower her prices because of the recession. She said she has another professional business.
She has some rules about who she will see. One involves age. She said “I tend to see people 30 and up. Younger guys, they have problems, they have emotional issues connecting….if they sound too young, I don’t take them.” She said a 15-year-old boy once responded to her Craigslist ad.
She receives dozens of calls a day and lets each one go to voice mail. She’ll choose who to give a massage to based on the sound of their voice. “It’s just instinct,” she said.
She doesn’t do outcalls, meaning going to the client’s home or a hotel. And she doesn’t work at night. Why? “At night, there’s a different type of person looking than the day… the later you work, the more you are inclined to meet someone who is unbalanced.”
But still she has no problem letting strangers into her home. It’s a risk she’s willing to take. She compared it to flying on an airplane. “What are your chances of getting into a crash?” she said.
At home, she also feels more in control. She’s never been threatened by a client, and she said she was shocked about the murder in Boston.
“I only do it when I feel like it,” she said. “It’s not something that I’m ashamed of.”
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