Types of Clients: Part I

Everyone who has been in the biz for more than a month has their own idea of how clients break down into categories and which types of clients they like best. There are always pitfalls in classifying large groups of people, but it can still be useful.

When I was evaluating a new client, what they were like, what they were into, whether we were compatible, one of the most important determinations I would make was where they were sexually in terms of range and flexibility.

Some of us sexually run wide — we like all kinds of sex, with all kinds of people, in all kinds of situations. I’m not talking about liking everything — for instance, some folks can only feel brave and uninhibited in the context of a committed partnership, or with members of a certain gender. But they are fundamentally open to a range of sexual experiences. Different roles, different power exchanges, different positions. I think of folks like that as shallow but wide, not needing any one thing to get hot or get off. In general, although not always, these folks get off on other people’s arousal — they’re locked into and attuned to their partner’s responses.

This is in contrast to those who run narrow and deep. These are people who need to have their sex a specific way — with a certain kind of partner, in certain set position, in a certain order. At the extreme end of deep and narrow people are the fetishists, folks who don’t need the other person to be into what they’re doing — sometimes they don’t need another person’s attention at all, just the body part or object of desire.

I found this useful information because it let me know whether my job was to get one thing (or a narrow range of activities) right or whether it was my job to keep innovating, expanding, exploring. Most clients have a way of letting you know fairly quickly what they do and don’t want.

The other thing I found helpful was to understand what they were there for. In my taxonomy, most clients fall into three broad categories: bosses, hunters and supplicants. For bosses, the exchange is transactional: You give me a lap dance, I give you a twenty. Tie me up, whip me right, I’ll give you $200. No different than going to the barber to get a trim. They aren’t in it to find love or have a peak orgasm or touch something magical. You’re a service provider, and they require your service.

At their worst, boss clients are cold and demanding. They’re dull, without social skills. They may make no effort to look you in the eye, ask how you’re doing, or otherwise treat you like a human being. If they run shallow but wide, they get easily bored with routine, and they’ll let you know it’s your job to come up with something new.

But at their best, they constitute the bedrock of a steady clientele. The ones I enjoyed and cultivated, I called “maintenance clients,” since dropping by my apartment seemed to be part of their regular self-care routine. Often they insist on strict ritual — First you touch me here, then I touch you there.Fetishists, with their overwhelming need for their sex to be a specific way, are the ultimate maintenance clients. They know and are resigned to the fact they have to pay. Odd as it may seem, I felt almost a maternal tenderness for these clients who came back to me again and again, entrusting me with their deep but narrow, mechanical sex lives. 

To be continued...