Safeguarding within the gay escort and Massage community

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Due to an increased strength within our communities through developments in awareness, reduction of stigma and an altered relationship with the Manchester or London police in many circumstances, working in the Massage and escorting industry has become safer than perhaps it has been in previous times.

There are six main principles of safeguarding regarding adults, these are empowerment, prevention, proportionality, protection, partnership and accountability: 

The idea of Empowerment is cantered around people feeling strong in their ability to make their own choices and set appropriate boundaries for their safety. This would translate to an escort and masseur feeling comfortable setting their own boundaries with their clients. It’s not unheard of for some to have felt that they have had to alter their rates, their boundaries of consent, or other parts of their normal policies to keep a clients happy. Empowerment gives escorts and masseurs universal license to put their foot down when it comes to their policies. Policy exists for the safety of both the gay escorts or massage therapist and also client, to advocate empowerment from within the community ensures aa guy is able to create their own safety whilst enjoying their job.  

Prevention refers the idea that it is always more valuable to take action on a potential risk before the risk occurs. It is important to protect yourself from what is assumed as the worst-case scenario. An example of this within our industry is to take payment upfront. This avoids the unfortunate situation of clients being unable to pay for a service they have already experienced. Another way to avoid this is to invest in a card machine, the “I don’t have any cash” issue will never hold any weight. Escorts and Masseurs sharing information and experiences within their own communities can highlight frequent risks and enable preventative measures to be put in place. Installing security methods and protocols that fit within your personal way of running your business is encouraged. 

Although strong, active and open discourse is important in order to reduce stigma, proportionality is also important to consider in the case of resolving risk presented at work. Proportionality refers taking the least intrusive route in response to the risk that is presented. This ensures a level of boundaries between workers that reduces the over maximization of an issue, which can result in patronising or shaming behaviors. Considering this in approaching one another not only decreases the feeling of judgement between workers whose boundaries are set in different places, but helps to nourish trust between gay escorts and masseurs within a particular community. This level of trust makes it easier to accept help and advice from fellow workers within their safe spaces. 

It is helpful to ensure that, whatever your business style, there is some kind of established method in place for keeping yourself and your client protected is very important. This kind of protection can refer to the protection of a body against both violence and disease. The best way to ensure protection against sexually transmitted disease within the community it not only to use condoms religiously with every encounter, but to habitually get checked by your sexual health clinic. If everybody committed to these two habits, risk of sexually transmitted infections would be drastically decreased. It is also worth considering employing a back-up security method for those very rare times one might encounter a violent character – sometimes being confident in your own physical strength isn’t enough. Letting someone know where you are, who can come and help you at the touch of a button, reduces your risk tenfold. You don’t have to use their help, but having the option is invaluable.  

Partnership refers to the idea that we should encourage a sense of togetherness not only within our own community, but to partner up with other communities to offer support to one another in solidarity. Observation, support and care from a multitude of communities creates a respectful platform upon which we can all exist along-side one another, this diminishes the idea of any sector of society being considered ‘other’, which is the damaging idea that makes it easy for people to distance themselves from relating to groups of people who are different to them.  

The final factor in the main list of elements to consider when partaking in safeguarding for adults is taking accountability. In essence this refers to the knowledge that we all hold a responsibility within the community to employ safeguarding methods that benefit both ourselves and fellow workers, should they need help. Safeguarding within our community has to primarily start from within.