The Internet Escort's Handbook: Book 1--The Foundation Amanda Brooks $24.95 (soft cover) Golden Girl Press, 2006
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The first in a series of handbooks devoted to outlining basic "mental, emotional, and physical considerations in escort work," Brooks offers a provocative and well-written account of the myriad issues that need to be considered when contemplating involvement in this profession. The issues presented range from the serious (e.g., how to safeguard against sexually transmitted infections) to the more trivial (e.g., the importance of having soft skin, with an accompanying recipe for home-made body scrub--p. 75). However, from the vantage of the casual reader as well as those using the handbook as a "how-to" guide, even the seemingly trivial topics raised by Brooks are fascinating because they underscore the sheer number of elements that need to be considered when one works as an escort.
There are several strengths to the Handbook that warrant mention. First, Brooks is careful to frame the advice she offers within the parameters of her own experience and the escorts she has interviewed or known personally. She states this bias explicitly: "The scope of this series is limited. I'm speaking from the perspective of a female escort in the U.S. whose clientele is heterosexual men" (p. 5). Thus, faulty generalizations are avoided (i.e., what worked for Brooks may or may not work for the reader wishing to become an escort.) Second, Brooks has written the Handbook in a conversational style that is highly appealing; a style, one might add, that is difficult to implement effectively. The authorial tone used throughout is chatty, yet astute, and informative, without being dull. Third, as Brooks mentions in the Introduction, she is operating from the assumption that the reader has "only the barest idea of what [escorting] is all about" (pp. 5-6) and, thus, is careful to explain...