Typical of escort clients

Escort clients: Is “John” really the most likely pseudonym?

It’s a common trope that escort clients typically use the name “John” instead of their real names. But is that really true?

This is a follow-up to my previous post on most and least likely escort names. I’ll do a quick review of the methodology here, but if you’re interested, that post explains the data sources and analysis in more detail.

Escort clients on Twitter

Like with my post on escort working names, I used my Twitter followers as the main data source. Similar biases will apply for escort clients. I’m going to assume that my followers who are escort clients are fairly representative of all escort clients on Twitter. A large number of active self-identified escort clients with Twitter accounts do seem to follow my account.

Compared with the average escort client, those on Twitter are likely to be more active on social media, and more interested in engaging with each other and with escorts. My observations of these discussions are that they are more global, more engaging, more respectful, and less like two distinct communities than those you often see on regional review and provider-only discussion boards.

Also, given I tweet in English, my Twitter followers are more likely to live in English-speaking countries, or otherwise speak English.

Beyond this, escorts are increasingly requiring a client’s full name as part of their safety screening procedure. So the pseudonyms on Twitter probably don’t reflect the actual real names that escort clients often have to use when making an actual booking.

Escort clients names on Twitter

As before, I separated my Twitter followers’ names into a first and last name, and used first names along with genderize.io to identify the 883 followers who were male.

For the rest of this analysis, I’m going to assume that all and only male names are escort clients. This is of course not true; many of my male followers are not escort clients. There are those who are interested in the decriminalization of consensual adult sex for money, and others who are just interested in the funny and insightful observations that escorts tweet about their work and their clients. But this shouldn’t bias the overall analysis too much.

Why assume no female escort clients? Well, I have almost no female followers who self-identify as escort clients, and many of the few that do are also escorts or otherwise active in sex work themselves.

In real life, there are an increasing number of female escort clients, who hire both straight male and female escorts, either for themselves or with a partner. But, unlike men, they don’t seem to be very active and self-identified on Twitter – at least, not yet.

Most common escort clients first names

Below is a table of the most common male names. I’ve shown only those names that appear at least six times.

First name Followers
John 22
Steve 13
Michael 12
Paul 10
Jason 10
Mark 10
Jack 10
James 9
Mike 8
Brian 8
Richard 8
Jay 8
Joe 7
Dan 7
Red 7
David 6
Jim 6
Dave 6
Rob 6

It turns out that John is indeed far and away the most common escort client name. So when people refer to clients as “Johns”, it looks like there might actually be a good underlying reason.

But, here’s a thought. Given that these are self-chosen pseudonyms, does “John” just happen to be the name that escort clients tend to choose the most often, or instead, are they self-referentially choosing the name “John” because it’s thought of as a client pseudonym?

And what if the media started referring to escort clients as “Steves” instead? Would more escort clients start to call themselves “Steve” instead?

Beyond this, male names tend to be less diverse than female names. So we would expect there would be a greater concentration in the top names for escort clients compared with escorts. With 7 names having at least 10 followers for escort clients, but only 2 names for escorts, we can see that’s true for pseudonyms too.

Most likely escort clients first names

But what we found interesting with escort working names was the names that were most likely rather than most common. Remember that the likeliness score is how much more likely each name is than average.

So, here is the list of first names that are most likely to be an escort client pseudonym. For this, I’ve only included names that appear at least three times.

First name Followers Likeliness
Allen 3 9.0
Kris 4 8.6
Red 7 4.7
Al 4 2.2
Jack 10 2.0
Jon 4 2.0
Jay 8 2.0
Derek 5 1.7
Bobby 3 1.5

What’s clear is that the likeliness scores are far less extreme than those for escort working names. So, while escorts tend to pick first names that are highly likely to be escort working names, that’s not at all true for escort clients. Rather, it seems that escort clients are trying not to be distinctive at all, but instead to blend into the average.

But those calling themselves Allen, Kris, and Red seem to be doing the least well at this.

Interesting “Red” was the nickname of the myredbook.com operator, Eric Omuro.

Least likely escort clients first names

What about least likely escort client names? That looks like this.

First name Followers Likeliness
David 6 0.2
Kevin 3 0.2
Thomas 3 0.2
Eric 3 0.2
Daniel 5 0.3
Carlos 4 0.3
Andrew 5 0.3
Andy 4 0.4
Robert 5 0.4
Alex 5 0.4
Anthony 4 0.4
Mike 8 0.4
Jonathan 4 0.4
Ricardo 3 0.4
William 3 0.4
Brian 8 0.5
Bill 3 0.5
Frank 3 0.5

We do see many first names here that are under-represented. So if you’re looking for an anonymous escort client pseudonym, this list may be a good place to start.

And how does John stack up? Well, it turns out its likeliness is 1.0, right at average. So John, though common, is no more likely than average given how many Johns there are in the world. So perhaps calling escort clients “Johns” just reflects how common being an escort client really is among men.

Most common escort clients last names

Like with escort working names, we can also look at escort client last names. Here’s the list of most common last names for my male followers.

Last name Followers
Smith 13
Jones 8
Johnson 8
James 4
Richardson 3
White 3

For men, the last names tend to be very normal – Smith, Jones, Johnson, etc. Like with first names, escort clients seem to want to blend in to the average. Because of that, I would expect there to be much less variation in escort client last names than the wide diversity that real last names have.

So as an escort client, you may actually want choose a more distinctive last name, to help keep you distinct from all the other “John Smith’s” out there. That is, assuming of course, you think you have and want to keep a good reputation among the escorts that you visit.

Most likely escort clients last names

What about likeliness for escort client last names? Like with escort working names, we will focus on the top 100 last names in the US for where we have good data. It looks like this.

Last name Rank Followers Likeliness
James 80 4 9.4
Richardson 74 3 6.6
Jones 5 8 3.2
Smith 1 13 3.0
Scott 36 2 2.6
Perry 97 1 2.6
White 20 3 2.6 

Interestingly, the most likely escort client last name – James – is also the most likely escort last name. And the fifth most likely – Scott – is the third most likely for escorts. What is it about these two last names that is so attractive to both escorts and their clients?

Least likely escort clients last names

When we reverse the list, and similar to escort last names, there are several top ranked names for which I have no male followers. For the top 30 ranked last names, these 11 are:

Last name Rank
Rodriguez 9
Martinez 11
Martin 17
Jackson 18
Lopez 21
Lee 22
Harris 24
Clark 25
Robinson 27
Perez 29
Hall 30 

Now four of these – Rodriguez, Martinez, Lopez, and Perez – are primarily Hispanic last names. It’s likely that escort clients might not want to pick a name that partially identifies them – for example, to a particular ethnic group – even if it’s an accurate identification.

Lee is the second most likely escort last name. So why is Lee not likely among escort clients, when James and Scott are? I don’t know.

The remainder – Martin, Jackson, Harris, Clark, Robinson, and Hall – are common, non-specific names. I wonder why more escort clients don’t seem to use them?

Summary and conclusion

According to this analysis, “John Smith”, perhaps the most boring name ever, is also the most common escort client pseudonym.

But “Allen James” is the name most likely to be an escort client pseudonym. And “David Martin” is the least likely.

So although clients of sex workers are often derogatively referred to as “Johns” by law enforcement and the media, perhaps calling them “Allens” might actually be more appropriate.

But somehow, I don’t think that’s going to happen. Do you?

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