A banana on a blue background with a condom rolled halfway over it.
Many clients worry about sexually-transmitted infections. The solution is safer sex - and luckily, sex workers are safer sex experts!

"I asked about safer sex...she didn't reply. What did I do wrong?"

Georgie Wolf
Georgie Wolf
Why do sex workers does not like to answer questions till a deposit is paid? As a customer, isn't it better to get clarifications before paying a deposit to be sure of what to expect?

I wanted to book a sex worker for a tantra massage session, and she had details saying she does offer certain things with that session. I want to practice as much safe sex practices as possible. So I just asked her whether the BJ she provides is covered or not. If not covered, I want to skip booking her. But is it rude to ask that question ?

It sounds like you've approached a worker, asked for a session, and also asked about their safer sex practices for your peace of mind. The worker has refused to reply, saying they can't answer the question until after a deposit is paid.

At first, it looks like things don't add up - it's a straightforward question and one that is important to you. But there's more to this than meets the eye - and yes, I think I can see where you might have gone wrong. Let's break it down and find a better way to ask.

What's a Tantric professional?

Just in case our other readers aren't familiar with the term, a Tantric professional (sometimes called a Tantrika) is a specialist who is trained in Tantra, an ancient Indian spiritual and sexual practice that prioritises breathing and body sensations over orgasms. Tantrikas teach their clients this practice - sometimes in sessions that include sex or sexual touch, or sometimes through instruction and practice of specific meditation, and breathing techniques.

A Tantrika doesn't necessarily offer sex as a service, and not of all of them consider themselves sex workers. If you approach this kind of professional, make sure you read their website to familiarise yourself with the kinds of services the do and don't offer.

In this case, it sounds as though you're seeing a tantric massage worker who offers hands-on touch, including oral sex on you. This information should have already been offered, either in her advertisement or on her website. If you haven't confirmed this, you can't make assumptions that your worker offers oral sex at all - make sure it's something she says she provides, before you ask about condoms.

What's an uncovered blow job?

An uncovered blow job is a blow job without a condom. It's known by many names:

  • Oral without (OWO for short)
  • Natural oral
  • Oral without a condom
  • Bareback blow job (BBBJ for short)

There are definitely clients out there who prefer blow jobs without condoms, due to the fact that it provides a different sensation (one that they may be more used to if they're accustomed to unprotected sex with long-term partners). But a blow job without a condom carries a number of risks, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.

When it comes to STIs, sex workers are safer sex experts. We manage the risks associated with sex just as well - if not better - than the general population. A worker may choose to use condoms and other barriers for oral or not, depending on their personal preferences and local laws...and even if a client prefers oral without a condom, many workers simply won't provide that service.

When it comes to safer sex, the 'higher standard' rule applies. When two people get together, whoever has the higher standard of safer sex is the standard that needs to be used. So if either person (worker or client) prefers to use condoms for oral, that's what you both do.

It sounds like you've tried to ask about this stuff, and your sex worker didn't answer. Let's consider why.

Why do some workers avoid discussing the specifics of the session until after you've paid a deposit?

To put it bluntly: cops, wankers, and timewasters.

In places where sex work is criminalized, law enforcement sometimes tries to entrap workers into admitting they offer sexual services. So receiving a booking inquiry that mentions sex at all (even asking about safer sex) will be viewed with suspicion.

Even if you're somewhere in the world where workers can talk openly about sex, we often choose not to go into too much detail. It's common to be approached by people who want detailed descriptions of our services but have no intention of booking. This kind of voyeurism is a drain on our time and energy.

Sex workers also often deal with time wasters - people who ask lots of questions but never commit to a booking (or do commit, but don't show up on the day). Like wankers, time wasters can use up a lot of our time, energy, and enthusiasm.

For all the above reasons, many workers don't like to get into the details of a booking until a deposit is paid. Once we know you're genuine, talking specifics can become a fun part of the process.

Despite this, there are certain questions that do need to be asked before you commit to a booking. If it's okay to talk about sex directly, safer sex is worth asking about. It sounds like your worker has avoided answering by telling you a deposit must be paid first. Why has this happened? We can't know for sure, but I have a few ideas.

Why might a worker refuse to answer a question specifically about safer sex?

Safer sex can be a sensitive topic, for a lot of reasons. You've asked, "Do you do uncovered blow jobs?" Here are a few reasons that question may have gone unanswered:

  • Criminalization. Where sex work is criminalized, asking about sexual acts before you meet your worker is a big no-no. ¬†Under criminalization, workers generally can't discuss sexual stuff at all before the session (and often, can't discuss sexy stuff at the start of the session either. It's simply too risky.) You're basically asking the to admit to breaking the law! It might make them worry you're law enforcement trying to entrap them, and it's probably going to result in them blocking or ignoring your booking request.
  • Regulation. In some places, especially where certain types of sex work aren't outright criminalized but are instead heavily regulated, there might be laws against offering services without a condom. If you ask 'Do you do uncovered oral?' you're basically asking your worker to admit to breaking the law. Obviously, many of us are reluctant to do this, even if we do offer that service.
  • Because it's not guaranteed. If a worker does offer oral without a condom, whether that service is provided may depend on factors such as your personal hygiene and whether they know and trust you. In this case, they won't commit to offering that service until you've spoken further, or met in person.

Of course, usually, the client asks because they want a blow job without a condom. In your case, you want to make sure she does use condoms, but I think your phrasing may have been unclear. Here's how to ask.

How to negotiate safer sex standards

It's great to be concerned about STIs. Everyone deserves to feel secure about their level of risk during sex. How can you ask without offending?

A few approaches to avoid:

  • "Are you clean?" The term 'clean' is shaming, it suggests that someone who has an STI is dirty or gross - but the truth is, anyone can get an STI, regardless of who they have sex with. Luckily for you, sex workers generally have great practices around safer sex, including regular STI testing. But you don't have the right to ask about our last test or our STI status - doing so might make your worker feel shamed.
  • "Do you do natural oral?" By saying this, it sounds a lot like you're looking for natural oral, not trying to avoid it! And you'll run into all the issues we just discussed above - a worker won't want to admit that they break the law, or commit to something without getting to know you first.
  • "What are your safer sex standards with other clients?" Although you might want to assess your level of risk by finding out what your worker does with other people, it's really not relevant. What your worker does with others (whether in their professional or personal life) isn't your business. All you have control over is the safer sex standards you both use together.

The best way to ask is to focus on your safer sex standards and make it clear what you need during your session:

"I'm only comfortable with blow jobs if a condom is used. Are you okay with that?"

By setting that boundary, you're letting your worker know what you need from them in order to feel safe. If she's unable to meet that requirement, she's not the right person for you. And if she's reluctant to answer, you'll need to find someone else who can give you the reassurance you require.