Types of Clients: Part III

Then there are the supplicants. These clients are worshipful. Like hunters, they’re seekers. However, like maintenance clients, once they find what they’re looking for, they can be fiercely loyal. What sets these clients apart is they seek peak erotic experiences, and they need emotional connection, too. These are the clients who are obsessed with “the real.” They desperately want to see into you and to be seen by you. A session with one of them feels like talk therapy with some sexy on the side.

These are the clients who are always angling for more of your time, to see you outside the club “just for coffee.” They want to “help you out,” with money sometimes, but more likely with services. A ride to the airport, or connecting you with their old college roommate to get you a car loan. But if you accept, you quickly find there’re all kinds of strings attached.

These are tricky clients to navigate because they dangle not only dollar bills but the possibility of love. They’ll want a little bit more of you every time, that’s what gets them high. These’ll be the clients who want to get you to tell all about your real life, to flip you (get you to see them for free.) They want in.

In the best case, you can enjoy them as enchanting flings and crushes. They can feed you sexually, emotionally, and financially. You may find it freeing to talk honestly about your life and your work. Sometimes these clients can end up legitimately becoming friends or even lovers.

But the dangers are obvious: If one person gets overly involved, that never ends well. A client in a failing marriage may be great for your bank account, but the price can be navigating escalating desperation and need. As hard as it may be, these are clients you have to set clear boundaries with. I enjoy the time we spend together so much, but when it’s over, we both have to go back to our real lives. If they can’t hear that simple statement, you have to cut them off.

How can you tell the difference between these three types? When you play the film in your head of that client walking in through the door, check your solar plexus. Do you sense a pressure to be up-up-up-up-up, to the point of giddy drunkenness? That’s a hunter. Do you feel the client encroaching, wondering what’s new with you, what you’re really thinking, did you really come, pouncing on every clue that reveals something about your wider life? That’s a supplicant. Do you know your job is nothing more than to be ready on time, look professional, and perform on cue? That’d be your boss right there. 

To be continued...