Mary Smith’s Place: Twitter stranger danger?

twitter-logo-600pxWe warn our kids not to do it. Never to get involved in private chat to total strangers on social media. Not ever. You don’t know who or what they might be – sex pest, serial killer, stalker … And now – now I’ve gone and broken the rule. What can I say? He’s a man in a kilt. And, it turns out, a sex worker. Well, a male escort – but let’s not allow semantics to get in the way of a good story.

When I saw the notification of a new follower I did what I usually do – carried out a few checks. He wasn’t an American Army General and he wasn’t a lover of ‘my country, Trump and God’; the ones I automatically block. So far so good. His bio was inoffensive: climbing and walking in the Scottish Highlands. Nothing about being a sex worker. I saw we had a number of mutual followers (quite a few are writers; some are even followers of this blog!). Besides, who can resist a man in a kilt? I followed back.

He sent a DM saying thanks for the follow, then a merry Christmas wish a few days later – and a picture of the drum kit from his sister – and then we were talking about Hogmanay celebrations. I was going to a party for oldies and he was joining the Edinburgh New Year’s party – in his kilt. He’s young.

Well, I say he’s young but how would I know? He could, as I pointed out to him, be fat, bald and fifty (or sixty or seventy). He tells me he works in a gym and also has a personal fitness trainer. Sends me photographic evidence of bulging muscles, which, of course, I immediately delete – but, hey, it could be a photo of anyone, couldn’t it?

bicep

Okay, I fibbed – I ‘forgot’ to delete this one

On social media how do we know? How can I tell if this person is a fantasist, a pervert or actually quite a nice guy? And why would a fit young guy want to keep chatting to a decidedly unfit woman twice his age? Brigitte Macron, I am not! Although if Emmanuel came knocking on the door…

Occasionally, he would be a bit flirty, making suggestive remarks I didn’t like. I told him once he came across like a sleazy Donald Trump. He apologised and promised not to cross that line again. Just in case he turned out to be a stalker, I made a point of telling everyone about his existence, including the DH. When, a few weeks ago he suggested we meet to walk together I actually found myself thinking about – ‘til I woke in the morning with a vision of a newspaper headline in my head – ‘Body of 64-year-old woman found on Highland mountain.’

When he told me he worked for five years for a male escort agency I was a bit taken aback. Before then (or maybe at the same time) he played rugby until an injury put paid to that career option and left him with recurring back problems, which require visits to the physio and chiropractor, especially after a weekend of escort duties. I’m guessing those duties don’t only consist of wining and dining or attending business functions – which is what the articles about male escort agencies I’ve read would have us believe. He’s freelance now.

When I said I was going to a fancy ‘ladies who lunch’ fundraising event he suggested sending me some business cards to distribute. “I’d never be invited again,” I said.

“Oh, I’m sure you would be,” he replied. Did I mention he’s very sure of himself? Totally up himself to an overwhelming degree.

“Besides, wouldn’t that make me your pimp?”  My son has since informed me that if the business cards are only advertising escort services then it wouldn’t be pimping (note to self: how does my son come to be so well informed about such things?). Of course, by now I’m fascinated. I’m a writer, I’ve never met a male sex worker before; how could I not be?

I say met but, of course, we haven’t met. I vetoed the walk on the mountain. If we ever meet it will be in public, surrounded by lots of people. He was going to come to my next book launch – but before you all clamour for an invitation, he’s not going to be there. A change of date meant it clashed with a family celebration for his sister’s birthday. That made me think he quite possibly is a nice guy. And sometimes he makes me laugh.

Oh, if you aren’t already following him on Twitter let me introduce you to PeaSea:

hlqV5fVJ_400x400

The man in a kilt

@PeaSea1985

 

 

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47 thoughts on “Mary Smith’s Place: Twitter stranger danger?

  1. I always give people a chance… apart from military generals, whose wife has just died leaving them with a small child who needs a mother etc… and I’ve met some really lovely folk that way. Online and off. Go with your gut, but make sure your son knows where it is going 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Come on ladies what about the oil rig workers?…Shell of course! I love the way you have written this Mary and there could very well be a story there… Many a tale told about men in kilts…lol… Yes, if you meet all of the above and very public 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

      • Men in kilts are popular the world over methinks…haha..Don’t be jealous I am getting them from instagram and ended up blocking one today as when he asked for photos I said no and he said how about snap chat…my thoughts are unprintable shall we say…But kilts sounds promising I shall be watching for your posts even more…hahha 🙂 x

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting, and amusing. I rarely use Twitter, and have never had a DM from anyone I didn’t know.
    However, since I turned 60, my email inbox is full of messages from women who supposedly want to meet me for ‘fun and more’. Beautiful Russian ladies, exotic Filipinos, and ‘curvy women with lots more to offer’. I can imagine how some people fall for it, then get disappointed when they discover they have to pay a fee to ‘join an agency’ before receiving the charms of those non-existent women.
    Perhaps you could write a book about his ‘escort experiences’? I’m sure everyone who bought ‘Fifty Shades’ would want a copy. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Is it wrong to ask you for one of those business cards!!! 😆 I chuckled at this but I understand the frightening aspect of not having a clue who we are ‘chatting’ with online. I wouldn’t be able to resist a man in a kilt either! Maybe you should bring him to the Bash – for research purposes of course!! X

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll see what I can do about the business card, Shelley! What a great idea to bring him to the Bash. Maybe we could put him on the panel to asnwer writers’ questions about his line of work! As for the more serious aspect of not knowing who we’re talking to online it’s made me realise how easy it must be for predators to lure in vulnerable people. Chatting with bloggers seems totally different – maybe because we are who we say we are.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad it’s not only me getting DMs on Twitter, Mary. I get quite a few in the ‘requests’ section, mostly from ladies who start off by saying ‘Hi.’ Yes, I’ve replied back to some of them with a ‘hi.’ Then, the next message is usually ‘are you married?’ Why it matter’s I have no idea, and if they really checked out my profile then they’d see that I’m gay. Some of the photos on these profiles are rather eye-popping. They end up on my ‘blocked’ list, which seems to get added to on a daily basis. You’ve got lots of great advice in the comments on this post which I think we should all follow in situations like this.
    Right, I’m off to find some new profiles on Twitter to follow. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not on Twitter enough to have had any such experience there, but I have met up with a small handful of people I met via my blog. In fact, one is an ex-model who insists I now visit every time I’m down in the West Country, which I do. She’s a wonderful woman in her 80s who always has the table piled up with enough food to feed a rugby team each time I visit 🙂
    On FB, however, I do periodically get friend requests from impossibly shaped young women offering responsibility-free sexual favours. I’ve noticed every “friend” they have on their profile is an overweight, middle-aged bloke who doesn’t seem to have thought there was anything odd about why she should be interested in them…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting, Kim. Your friend in the West Country sounds delightful. I’m sure it’s possible to meet and become friends with people online and as Sue comented above – always give people a chance and go with your gut feeling. You are spot on about the overweight, middle age blokes not thinking there’s anything odd about those ‘impossibly shaped’ women wanting to be friends on FB. Made me laugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I adored the way you told this story and you had me hooked. It is luck you have the sense of humour to deal with the situation but it is still worrying. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hilarious, Mary!!!! No, I don’t imagine the family celebration exists, either. And I should think that picture comes straight from Google Images. Maybe he really is a Scottish male escort, maybe not… but profiles like these are often set up by scam artists in 3rd world countries (often Nigeria) whose aim is to start up relationships with and con money out of ‘rich’ British and American women of a certain age. I’ve watched documentaries about it – it’s quite an industry!!! They have whole groups of people working for them, setting up the profiles – they range from the illiterate loving and humble army generals with the same photos used on multiple profiles, (!!!) to the more sophisticated, like this; these are the ones who are sometimes successful.

    Beware, ladies!!!! 😀 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Terry. Fascinating about the scam artists. I’ve not seen any documentaries but heard a programme on the radio in which they interviewed people who’d thought they were in a genuine relationship, begun online, and ended up losing their life savings. Don’t worry I’ll take care. Not looking for a relationship and besides, there is no money to be conned out of!

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  9. Brilliant post Mary. I’m glad to hear you do your homework, similar to the way I vet new followers on Twitter. Just remember to always meet in a public place – not on top of a mountain! LOL 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh Mary, this really is funny. I also get these strange requests on twitter and Facebook. I often get follows from women who are clearly in the sex trade. I don’t know if they are interested in me or whether they think I might join them – it is weird.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Sally’s Drive Time #Playlist – #Music to get the weekend started – The Requests – Sue Vincent, Jacquie Biggar, Mary Smith and Tina Frisco | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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