When to cancel a booking

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It’s no big secret that the word ‘January’ might as well be synonymous with the word ‘slow’ for businesses across all industries. A lot of industries, particularly in retail, suffer from January-itis only to recover by the time March rolls around. Therefore, if you’re feeling like the bank balance is looking a little worse for wear, know that a) you’re not the only one, and b) it WILL get better. I wish that I could say that this is just a result of Mercury being in retrograde, or provide some other hippie-dippie explanation, but the fact of the matter is that January just sucks for everyone. Most people have spent their money on Christmas goodies and Summer getaways, and so the amount of disposable income going around is at an all time low. It is what it is, and this is why both clients and sex workers should be making the most out of every opportunity to spend time together. However, things happen. Sometimes life gets in the way, and bookings need to be cancelled or rescheduled, which is perfectly acceptable. I have been on the receiving end of a higher-than-normal cancellation rate, recently, which has inspired me to write about some of the reasons why people cancel bookings, when to cancel a booking, and how to overcome being cancelled on. As always, the views expressed are entirely my own, and are based on my own experiences. Please continue doing the things that work for you if you’re comfortable with them.

1. Why do bookings get cancelled?

I’ve mentioned a number of times that in my five years of being a sex worker, I have been responsible for a remarkable amount of traffic accidents, late trains, and dead grandmothers. It’s a fact of life that, for whatever reason, sometimes we need to cancel our appointments, however I’ll never understand why embarrassment or an attempt to avoid conflict leads some clients to tell fibs about their relatives dying. Sure, confrontation is uncomfortable, but dead grannies? Really? Anyway, I digress. My point is that, from illnesses to genuine traffic accidents, poor time management and thinking ‘I just don’t feel like it’; it’s okay. Just be honest about it.

On the other side of the envelope, some of the excuses I’ve heard sex workers come up with have been pretty hilarious, as well. I won’t reiterate the previous examples, as they’re all pretty much along the same vein. However, there are a few key reasons why a sex worker will cancel a booking, starting with illnesses. Be it that uncomfortable pressure behind the nasal sinus that indicates a flu coming on, or the onset of a migraine, having to work while sick is often dangerous and always a really bad idea, and those workers who are able to cancel probably will. Having fainted on a client once and had serious stomach upset with another (if you’re reading this, hi K! Thanks for looking after me!), I know firsthand that trying to push yourself to fulfil a physically engaging role while unwell is going to have an impact on your body. If you have the option, look after yourself first but, again, just be honest about it. Other reasons why sex workers will cancel bookings range from being unable to have someone look after their children, not being able to properly confirm a client, or having a relative arrive unexpectedly. Although I’m sure that these sound worthy of rolling one’s eyes at, the logistics of sex work and arranging bookings can often be incredibly tricky; especially if that sex worker isn’t ‘out’.

The point is that shit happens. We know. Just remember that the next time you cancel on a client or a sex worker, just be honest about what’s happened. I see too many workers cancel on one client only to post on social media about a booking with their better offer, and far too many clients message me again after they’ve cancelled because they’ve not saved my number and are looking through new advertisers to waste the time of. We’d all be a lot less angsty if we used a little common sense.

2. When should I cancel a booking?

The truth is that while cancellations are inconvenient for everyone, sex workers don’t get paid unless they see a client. No matter which way you paint it, the sex worker is always going to be worse-off in the event of a cancellation, no matter how irritated or inconvenienced a client might be if they are the ones being cancelled on (sorry). Thinking back to my early retail days, I needed to give my boss between two and four hours’ notice before cancelling a shift. When I think about the amount of time it takes me to get ready for a booking (approximately two hours), I’d suggest that this is a fair amount of notice to give before cancelling a booking as a client. This ensures that the worker (presumably) hasn’t started getting ready to see you, and can potentially make other plans. Anything less than this, in my humble opinion, is an inconvenience. If you wait until under an hour before your booking to cancel, however, you may be met with a very angry response.

As someone who does a lot of outcalls, I like to be mindful of the steps my clients have taken to arrange our booking. If they have booked a hotel room, I try and cancel within its free cancellation period. Generally I will only cancel if I am unwell, in which case I try to let the client know the morning that our booking is supposed to take place. Sometimes I may wait the day to see if my illness develops, but try and stick to the 2-4 hour rule if I can’t give more notice. On a side note, I always, always, always try and find a worker to take my place if I am unable to make a booking. It’s just polite, especially if something comes up at the last minute.

3. How do I overcome being cancelled on?

As I mentioned earlier, things happen. I’ve witnessed many complaints from clients and sex workers alike about cancellations, so completely understand how it can impact a person’s day to be cancelled on; especially if that booking was one that you were truly looking forward to or relying upon. However, the key is to keep moving. Try not to take things personally, or to overthink the cancellation. This is not the time to get onto social media to see if your escort stood you up for a better offer, or to figure out what your client might be doing that day. Let’s be honest with each other here; no one benefits from feeding into that sort of negative headspace. If you’re a client with only one night booked in that hotel room, it’s time to jump back onto Scarlet Blue and investigate who might be available at your price point. If you’re a sex worker with no other bookings that day, don’t sweat it. You can’t change the past, so you may as well not dwell on it. Slap on that ‘Available Now’ setting to attract new enquiries, or sit down in a cafe and treat yourself to a mimosa or two as you write a new blog post. That’s what I did.

If nothing else, I hope that this blog creates a little more mindfulness surrounding cancellations. We don’t live in a perfect world, and so cancellations are going to happen time and time (and time) again. Best not to overthink. You never know, you might get to meet with someone amazing or, at the very least, end up drinking a mimosa.