There is an online subculture of men who review their encounters with escorts using a frank, exhaustive style you’d associate more with reviews of hotels than sex. I analyzed five thousand of these ‘field reports’ to see what I could find out about the punters, their use of language and their outlook on sex for cash. is, according to the London Evening Standard, “…the most successful of the prostitute-reviewing Internet sites” – and that’s an accolade the site proudly boasts at the top of its front page, right underneath the garish red logo and two fluttering Union Jack animated GIFs, which look like they’re right out of 1999 (the year PunterNet was established). I was 12 years old in ‘99 and don’t think I’d even heard of escorts, much less spent two weeks sorting through 5000 meticulously written reviews of their bodies and bedrooms. That’s the challenge I recently set myself though. My original intention was to find out what words punters most often use to describe the women they sleep with and the places they go to do it. Are they sweet and romantic (sometimes) or boorish, with the air of misogyny you might expect? (Not that I saw.) At some point through
the scraping, stripping and analyzing of the million words I got from the 5000 reviews, I decided it would be worth getting a bit more from whole thing than just word choice, like how much men pay, what they do with the women and how long they’re allowed to do it before they get kicked out. I’ll tip the hat a little now by revealing that the ‘girlfriend experience’ is more popular than the ‘pornstar experience’ and that foreplay is ranked 16 out of 20 in the list I compiled of most mentioned sex acts. But that’s just scratching the surface. Let’s rewind a little and start at the beginning: how the data was collected. The thing is, statistics can be boring—so every now and then I’ll throw in an excerpt from a review. Also, if you’re gagging for the juicy details, you can skip straight to the conclusions and the infographic I made to accompany this article, which are here.
Step One: Choose the cities
Because my main goal with this project was to create averages of word frequencies, prices, session durations and so on, I knew I needed a lot of data. I don’t have access to a supercomputer or 6 months free to use Microsoft Word’s ‘Find and Replace’ function (which was part of the text preparation process), so I settled on the figure of 5000 reviews, 500 from each of the UK’s 10 biggest cities by population. These are (or were, according to last the census, taken in 2001):
Step Two: Grab and prepare the data (boring!)
Actually, this step wasn’t totally boring. This is when I started to skim-read dozens of field reports and notice some interesting things. First was the way a lot of the punters write their reviews. The database uses provides certain standard fields for the user to fill out and these cover specific facts about the booking, like how much it cost and what the girl looked like. A lot of punters seem to relish the opportunity to voice their views and go to great lengths to describe their experiences in detail—often graphic, hilarious detail. They don’t all write essays; some are more business-like, all about the facts. Like this:

“Great GFE 10/10. Great OWO. Passion 10/10. Eager to please. Clearly loves sex and it shows, loves her job. Treat her with respect and she will make u happy.”

GFE means girlfriend experience, OWO means oral without a condom. The punter subculture has a lingo all of its own and we’ll get to it shortly.
Other reviews are written like erotic fiction: the reviewer describes his booking in massive depth, with no details overlooked. I got the impression that some punters gained an additional sexual kick from the chance to retell their story. Either that or they had nothing better to do. 500+ words isn’t unusual for the ‘comments’ part of the report, which is typically where the punter describes the sex that took place. It was while reading the comments that I made my next observation. The punters often describe the girls and the sex they have with them in a way that wouldn’t be out of place on—it’s right to the point, highly superficial and everything you’d expect of a review that is meant to guide other men into making the right decisions the next time they fancy a punt. Case in point:

“Extremely unpleasant, appalling personal hygiene, stinking down below. Booked 2 hrs, couldn’t tolerate the odour. Asked her to wash below… Happily agreed, no better, agreed to cancel and refund the second hour.”

But there are very rarely, if ever, comments that could be classed as abusive, woman-hating or anything of the sort. In fact, a lot of the guys display attitudes that are not only highly complimentary of the girls, but bordering on sycophantic.
Again, though, if the service isn’t up to scratch, the punter will always let the community know: accuracy seems to be king, with flattery second and cringe-worthy outdated UKcolloquialisms for sex acts and body parts coming in third, like ‘frig’,‘bonk’ and—brace yourself—‘cunny’.

“Gabriella came into the room as I was watching the porn, naked on the bed. I asked her to stand over me and strip, and then to frig herself while spitting at me. She was happy to do this.”

I’m sure she was.
Step Three: Analyze the results (interesting)
First, some figures. As you’ll see in the infographic on the next page, the average cost for a UK escort is £103 ($161) per hour and the average duration of a session is 75 minutes. During this time, the punters indulge in whatever sex acts they’ve agreed with the escort. These almost always seem to include oral sex without a condom. Penetrative sex without protection doesn’t happen or, more likely, just isn’t included in the reviews I looked at because of’s guidelines for submission: “Reasons for rejecting Field Reports…The report stated that unprotected vaginal or anal intercourse occurred or was offered.” So it seems the admin of the site does have certain moral imperatives. A link to Crimestoppers is provided for anyone who suspects an escort might be underage or working against her will—there’s even a video about trafficking for visitors to download and watch.
All of this aligns with PunterNet’s advertised goal of “…promot[ing] better understanding between customers and ladies in hopes that everyone may benefit, with less stressful, more enjoyable and mutually respectful visits.” ‘Mutually respectful’ is an interesting term, I think, and it does seem to run through the field reports as a theme. Many of the most interesting reviews are ones in which the punter wouldn’t recommend the girl and, as a result, the girl responds with a rebuttal to put her side of the story across. It’s really rather civilised (but still frequently uncomfortable reading):

“This was the most unhorny punt I think I have ever had. Why he came to see me I do not know, because I don’t think he got anything out of it, I know I certainly did not. I think he killed it for me when I started giving him OWO. I had just got started when I smiled at him and asked him if this was nice and he replied ‘I’ve had better’.”

It’s while reading the rebuttals that one gets a slightly different perspective on the business. Clearly the punters’ reviews are their memories of the bookings, not the escorts’, who I dare say often have different feelings on certain matters to the men they’re having sex with. One rebuttal mentions how the client, without warning, decided to bite down hard on the girl’s nipple, which she didn’t take kindly to. This goes unmentioned in his retelling of the events that took place, but understandably features prominently in hers.
Rebuttals are few and far between though—87% of guys would return to the girl in their reviews and 92% would recommend her to other punters. This is a good time to talk about ‘other punters’. PunterNet is designed with the punter community in mind and the escorts they visit, but it’s not just online that the men rub shoulders. Many men literally cross paths at parlours and brothels.

“I should have walked away when they left me waiting outside the building for 10 minutes. When I did enter the flat I bumped into another punter who was just coming out of the room (not good etiquette).”

If you think that’s bad, you haven’t heard the half of it. Another reviewer mentioned being able to taste the dry saliva of a previous punter on the escort’s nipple while he sucked it. Yet he diligently continued, apparently only partly perturbed. While this casual approach to sharing juices and ‘sloppy seconds’ might not be the norm for punters, it does exist, which speaks volumes about the attitude they carry with them on every visit to a parlour or brothel. It’s a ‘punt’ to them, in both senses of the word. They take their chances and report back on how things go, good or bad, recommended or not. Like any online repository of reviews, it’s beneficial for both the buyer and the seller: good reviews mean better experiences for the men and more business for the women.

“Lidia is someone you need to invest in to get the ultimate GFE — however once she tunes into you then it’s all good. Great BBBJ, great sex in many positions. As always YMMV however always found her to be great fun and delivers.”

Terminology was the first thing I wanted to investigate when I had the idea of analyzing escort field reports. ‘Escorts’ is the first interesting word to consider—what does it mean? When I initially heard about escorting I presumed escorts always go on dates with the clients (hence ‘escorting’), however from what I can tell now the only way one could argue the punters are ‘escorted’ is towards an orgasm or two by the hand, mouth or ‘cunny’ of the working girl. The sessions are in-calls (a brothel, parlour or the girl’s flat) or outcalls (the man’s home or hotel) — trips to theatres or restaurants are practically non-existent. ‘Escort’, then, is a euphemism for prostitute in same way ‘curvy’ is used to mean fat. It’s the same thing, but with a lot of the negativity stripped out.
Punters and escorts have terms and acronyms for all of the most common, and a lot of the more uncommon, sex acts. PunterNet even provides a dictionary of terms and abbreviations for the more inexperienced johns, which includes gems like:
• Basket shopping: Observing the male organ through clothing
• Petticoat discipline: Punishing or humiliating a boy by dressing him as a girl.
• Vagina: Orifice of female sex organs
If the punters don’t know what the last one means I really don’t know what they’re expecting for their money – an anatomy lesson, maybe.
I used the full dictionary to draw up a shortlist of the most common sex acts punters buy and their associated terms and abbreviations, then checked which were the most mentioned in the 5000 reviews. Here are the top 20.
The fluid way in which the men incorporate these slang terms and abbreviations into their reviews hints at how immersed in ‘the hobby’ most of them are. It’s part of their world. They’re super casual about it too—you see the odd first timer writing a report, but most are serial punters with dozens of happy endings under their belts. One man, using the pseudonym ‘The Godfather’, has racked up 249 reports on the site over an 8-year period that have a total cash value of £30,768 ($48,391). Not so much a hobby for this Don Corleone of punting as a career. He has plenty of criticisms of the girls he hires though and seems to have made at least one working girl, called Blaise, an offer she could refuse:

“I asked for owo but she shook her head and replied in that strong Brazilian accent of hers ‘sorry beiby..I daon do’. Unbelievable. I’d coughed up 200 smackaroons to see this girl, going £50 over the limit that I usually set on myself and here she was, treating me like some stinking old tramp.”

Whether that was a fair assessment of this man of leisure is anyone’s guess. Blaise didn’t write a rebuttal.