Life as a sex worker, a male perspective
It is tempting to think there is a glamorous side to prostitution. TV shows like Confessions of a Call Girl (UK) and Satisfaction (Australia) as well as a number of blogs and books containing the “confessions” of escorts and call girls are suggesting that it’s not all seedy, dodgy and inhumane but that selling sex as well as paying for it can be a sensuous, exciting and empowering experience. Personally, I am still debating with myself on whether to approve of this often-criticised sugar-coating of what mostly tends to be a grim business. However I do have to admit I am curious: about what it means to be a sex worker, how it would change the perception of yourself and your attitude towards sex, how it affects personal relationships, whether people are out and proud about it or fear stigmatisation. But what I am most curious about is the voice of men in the business, we haven’t heard much from them. So I decided to contact an agency for male escorts in Sydney and stick my nose in a little…
The services offered include going out to dinner with one of their attractive men all up to spending the night and whole weekends with them. Women pay for the “companionship” and at an extra charge can add “intimacy” to the package. Activities range from trips to the opera, picnics, walks on the beach and can include sex as and when the customer wishes. Hourly rates are between $150 and $250 an hour for anything non-sexual and $300 to $500 an hour for the full program. Prices depend on whether you are booking a 3-, 4- our 5-star man. Yes, it’s true.. it’s a star-ranking system. I contacted the owner of the agency as well as their 5-star offering Marcus* and 4-star lady-pleaser Thomas*. Marcus’ profile is one of an old-style gentleman, making the customer feel “like a queen” whilst Thomas is the sporty hunk, showing you a wild time.
So let’s get down to it, I asked Julia*, the owner of the agency:
ML: You are toying with the idea of “coming out” to family and friends about running this business. Is this still something you plan to do or have done already?
J: Unfortunately due to the circumstances and my current personal position I’m not planning to go public yet, unfortunately I feel there’s still a stigma attached to the work we do and society is not ready for this yet.
ML: Most people see in dating an opportunity to get to know a potential partner. What is the value in a date (where no sex is booked) when the woman knows that the man is not genuinely interested?
J: All our companions are genuinely interested in women. They are really passionate and seductive and it definitely won’t feel like there is no interest from the man. This is why we have a really small group of men that they work for us, because it is so hard to find the right guy that is genuinely not only into women but also a great person to talk to and share thoughts and ideas with.
(ML edit: Nicely avoided the real question here, ey?)
ML: Do you meet all new clients before providing a service?
J: There is no prerequisite as a client and we don’t meet them prior to a booking. The only prerequisite is that obviously we encourage 100% safe sex and mutual respect.
ML: How do you deal with clients that are not happy with what they got out of their dates? How is this addressed with them and also your employees?
J: Really rarely we have had the occasion where someone wasn’t happy. We always give women the opportunity to change their mind throughout the process, without any commitment of fee incurred for cancellation. We also give the option to those who change their mind 15 minutes into the date in case they don’t connect or feel uncomfortable. Sometimes there are clients who were unhappy because they felt it was the wrong decision for them and had to cancel at the last minute. Or some women are so nervous that they make a 2am booking and had too much to drink beforehand.
ML: When have you decided to include a lady in your ‘repertoire’ of companions? Is there a lot of interest?
J: We have decided to introduce a woman for women only since we have had many occasions where women have asked for something that in someway we all fantasise about. The experience that you would have with another woman is unique and really different from that with a man, it is gentle and will add another dimension to your sexual life!
ML: How do you recruit new men? I see that there is only a very limited number of men (and one woman) on the website, why is this the case?
J: It is a very long process to come to know and trust the person you are wanting to take on board a 100%. The looks are one thing, but I get so many applications from good looking men. What is important is that the men have a personality, polished manners, are educated and thoughtful and know how to deal with situations where a woman is nervous or shy. This is not a business for men with huge egos, it needs confident but intelligent men.
Curious about this special breed of man? I asked Markus (top and Thomas (bottom)…
ML: What is your age?
M: I’m in my early thirties.
T: And I’m in the late twenties.
ML: Can you remember your first job as an escort? How did you get the idea for it and what was that experience like?
T: The first time was probably one of the most exciting and nerve racking moments of my life. I felt like a god, it was amazing but I was so nervous! By coincidence I had an opportunity to try what it would be like to be a male escort and I spontaneously took it, loved it and have been doing it since.
ML: How do you ‘train’ to become a good male escort? Do you learn from others, or just learn from experience? How long have you been doing this job?
M: You definitely get better over time. Practise makes perfect, sounds cheesy but it’s true. Obviously you have to look after yourself, inside and out. Going to the gym also helps.. I’ve been an escort for over four years now.
T: I watch a lot of documentaries, read, go to the gym and meditate. I didn’t really train specifically to be an escort, you learn on the job. I’ve now been doing this for over 6 years.
ML: Do you meet or talk to the clients before going on a job to get a first impression or is it more of a ‘blind date’ situation?
M: It’s always a blind date, there are no ‘interviews’ first. Most of the times it’s really exciting.
ML: How do you prepare for a meeting with a new client?
M: I would usually start 2hours before, getting ready and make sure I’m spotless. I will get there between 30-15 min earlier, find a quiet place to sit and just relax.
T: I try to get there early, listen to some music and relax. The worst impression is when you are nervous and flushed.
ML: Are there any policies on what to do or not to do with clients (such as a safe sex policy etc.)
M: Always 100% safe sex. However whether I go down on girls or any other practices is at my discretion.
T: The only rule is safety and respect on both parts. Anything else is up to the woman.
ML: How many of your clients are regulars? T : It’s pretty much a 50/50 split for most of us here.
ML: How big is the number of dates that involve sex as opposed to ‘companionship’ only?
M: For me I would say 70% sex and 30% companionship.
T: For me 50/50.
ML: Have you ever been asked for sexual practices that you didn’t feel comfortable with? And is there a way to ‘negotiate’ these situations?
M: There are situations where you are asked to do things you are not comfortable with. Personally I only practice heterosexual intercourse, so if a woman wants to get her partner involved, I politely decline. Most of the times the women are very respectful of this and there are no problems.
T: Luckily, that has never happened to me. I’m pretty open minded though.
ML: Is it possible to become emotionally involved with clients, especially regular ones? Do they share details of their personal lives with you or is the experience more an escape from day to day life?
M: When women see you regularly you build an emotional relationship every time you see them, you become secret lovers, best friends and partners in crime. But we both always know that this lasts only for the time spent together.
T: I don’t have relationships with clients outside of the bookings if that is where the question is going? Of course you connect with some women, but if any of this happened I would end the “professional” relationship as it’s not good to get mixed up. Mostly though, women understand and want our meetings to be separate from their normal lives. Some want me to be their “secret” and some like to behave and act as lovers for a night. I never had a situation where emotions got involved to a point where it turns messy.
ML: How do you integrate this job into your personal life? Is it possible to have romantic relationships and how do you approach this subject with a potential partner?
M: I respect women and I’m not a liar. I would personally never want to be in a romantic relationship and keep being an escort.
T: Personally I wouldn’t have a relationship while doing this. I don’t think it would work. I would not like my girlfriend sleeping with other men so I’m not expecting for a woman to like that in her partner.
ML: Are you ‘out’ as an escort in front of your family and friends?
M: Only one person knows, my best friend.
ML: If you could give women who are thinking about engaging an escort service one advice, what would it be?
M: Let yourself be transported, try to relax, and most of all: be selfish. It’s not about pleasing anyone but yourself. Don’t be ashamed to play out what you think would be the most beautiful, romantic or erotic scene you can imagine, with you and me as the protagonists.
ML And with that, I shall leave you girls with your own thoughts as to whether a date or a night with male escort would rock your boat. Personally, I am still undecided, still curious but also still not convinced..
As always, we would love to hear your thoughts!