In my early years of escorting and review board membership I learned that giving and receiving references was the best way to vet clients. That they were needed, that we shouldn't ask a client for their personal information. I also learned that some providers who expected references, never gave them, and some who gave them did so with not so good intentions. I've also learned that some ladies will support shady clients. My opinion now is, that the best person to make a decision about whom you should see, is you. Use your intuition, and screen the client .....screen, screen, screen!
I've never found references beneficial or reliable. Even back then... From my experiences, many providers just weren't honest when it came to client feedback. Unless you are friends with, do duo's with, or are part of a providers click, most likely the feedback you'll get, if you get any at all, won't necessarily be honest or useable. There are to many providers who when asked to recommend a client, will then contact the client and talk him into seeing her or one of her friends/duo partners, or will embelish the recommendation, when they know the client is shady, dirty, or not someone they like, or will not reply to your request at all, or will give a recommendation even when they can't remember the client clearly. I've learned that many in this business are more money motivated and biased, rather than being morally driven. I find it just makes better sense to screen the client well, than to rely on the word of someone you don't know. Even though none of us knows the motivations of another person, in the case of references, I think it is safe to make assumptions that any info given as a reference might not be reliable, or worth receiving and should only be considered as a last resort.
To those who still use and rely on references, all the best.