Monday, February 13, 2012

Reflecting on the Odd-Ball Client

You know...while I don't doubt that Odd-Ball Client actually wanted everything in that email (I think he did) I think what he was trying to do, more than anything else, was break the frame.**

The concept of 'framing' interactions refers both to the label individual interacting with one another apply to their relationship, the rules of that relationship, and the implicit 'script' of verbal and physical interchanges appropriate to that relationship. In other words, the frame consists of a label for an interaction, the implicit temporal, physical and emotional boundaries of that interaction, and the subjective meaning of those both parties.

So - the basic deal with Frame-breaking is that one party deviates from standard codes of conduct in interactions. This deviation can result in confusion, paranoia, & a general shift in the power dynamic within interactions.

And...escorts, pick-up artists, con-men, strippers, anyone with a standardized frame [or way of interacting with a 'mark' - or subject] typically has more power than the mark [or non-professional subject] he or she is interacting with. In other words, the professional creates the 'frame' for his or her own purposes & is conscious of the frame, while the 'mark' rather unconsciously follows the rules of that frame.

UNLESS the mark 'breaks' the frame. But in the case of a 'frame-break,' the escort, pick-up artist, con-man, stripper, etc. has a 'financial' incentive to continue interactions with the 'mark,' even if he breaks her frame.

Thus, the knowledgable mark can 'frame-break' with confidence that interactions will continue, but on a more egalitarian basis (or with power-balances reversed, since the 'mark' is now creating the interactional rules with the connie).

I think a small part of the incentive for frame-breaking is 'more power.' I think the knowledgeable 'mark' also finds great entertainment & pleasure in watching the con-man's fumbling & reactions to the frame-break. I think, ultimately, the 'mark' (in a commercial sex context) wants a more authentic and intimate interaction with the worker.

So yeah. Oddball client was 'frame-breaking.' Damn...that was a lot of fun, though. :-)

**Please refer to Irving Goffman or Randall Collins works for a more elaborate conceptual framework.

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