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Venturing outside of the escort box
July 1, 2015 |
Working with escorts, I was struck at how many girls, high end to low end, ran their businesses essentially the same way.
by Hannah Jay
They wanted to sell their time. They used advertising to find their clients. They had photographs (and sometimes videos) to showcase their assets. They offered incall or outcall service and they were either independent or booked through an agency.
Now, there is nothing wrong with doing what all the other girls in your city are doing. In fact it is a bit risky to be different because you can be wrong. At the same time, if your advertising, photographs and services are exactly the same as everyone else’s then you are going to be competing on price (never a good thing) and where you fit in the world of male sexual desire. If you happen to be a naturally pretty blonde with double D breasts and no waist to speak of, you should do fine with the standard model; but what if you aren’t?
Or, more radically, what if you have very little interest in the standard model for escorts? Now what?
The good news is that after looking at literally thousands of escort ads and talking to hundreds of escorts I can safely say there are more than a few who have created alternative business models which suit their needs.
If you stand back from escorting a little and think about what the essentials of the business are it is clear that a girl wants to be paid for her time by a gentleman who, in all likelihood, will want to move to some form of consenting adult activity. How a girl decides to organize those essentials is up to her. It is also up to her to decide what her business goals are. Do you want escorting to be your full time job or would you prefer to see a few men each month to supplement your income. Do you want to remain quiet about your escorting or are you happy to be identified as a sex worker.
If you want to distance your business from the traditional service provider model then you need to think about what it is that you could offer which would make you different. With a different approach all of a sudden your cup size and hair colour are not as relevant; what else you bring to the table becomes critical.
Much depends on dinner
I spoke with one escort who asked that I not name her city or state who has made an entire business out of the pleasures of fine home cooking with a decadent dessert.
“A lot of my clients travel two or even three weeks a month. They come to town, stay in a nice hotel and, at some point they decide they would like some company. OK, I was more than happy to accommodate. But, and it was a big but, I wanted to be really selective and charge a bit more than the going rate.”
“Now I think I am pretty but I am not in any sense the Playboy ideal or a model. If you look at me you will know one big thing. I love to cook. Everything from clever French peasant food to Italian to good plain American food.”
“And I love the whole production number a great dinner can be. Somewhere along the line I have picked up some brilliant Limoges china, sterling cutlery, crystal candleholders. A pretty bunch of flowers in a cut glass vase and dinner à deux is good to go.”
“Just for fun I put up an ad «Gourmet Home Cooking for the Discerning Gentleman: Sweetness to Follow» with a slightly naughty picture of me in my chef’s apron and very little else.”
I had done some regular dates and enjoyed myself. This was just a bit of fun. Well it seemed I really hit a nerve. I do five dinners a week and sometimes a Saturday or Sunday lunch and I am booked pretty much solid for the next two weeks. It has been that way since I started.”
It is a bit time intensive compared to a simple, no frills, date but it is also very lucrative and really good fun. Instead of fencing about which activities I consent to as an adult, my phone calls are all about what my dinner companion likes to eat.
And, as it turns out, it is not so much what they like to eat as the fact that travelers get sick of hotel restaurant food served by people trying to upsell them wine who they know they are not going home with. You would be amazed at how many times I have been asked if I could cook a plain meat loaf or roast a chicken. Which I can and do.
Of course the fact I am a cooking courtesan immediately gives us something to chat about over hors d’oerves and by the time I have dinner on the table we are usually having a great conversation. I take a moment after I’ve cleared the main course and slip into something a bit more suggestive for dessert. The fact there is an envelope on my hall table is long since forgotten as we move to my bedroom for the rest of the evening.
Now I am not at all greedy but I have been raising my rates steadily from a fairly high base. There are certainly potential clients who blink or try to dicker but I am busy enough that I don’t have to budge. On the other hand, I have a number of great regulars who make a point of tipping well. Plus, and I am amused by this, I find that a number of my regulars refer their friends. I think because of the dinner end they are more comfortable with the idea of saying you should try dinner.
It’s not for every girl – and I don’t want the competition – but you are really giving your clients exactly what they really want. Great for them and fun for you.”
Rent a girlfriend
“I don’t have that much time to talk.” said Claire, “I have a gym date in half an hour.”
I had to ask, “What’s a gym date?”
“Just what it sounds like. One of my clients likes to work out a couple of times a week and he likes me to go with him. He bought me the membership and time with his personal trainer.”
I ran into Claire because I was intrigued with her ad. Instead of offering “the complete GFE” she advertised herself as a “Girlfriend for Rent”.
“It is really pretty simple. I had been escorting for a while and doing OK but I have to tell you I was not loving the work. It got a bit repetitious and mechanical after a while. But I had one regular who asked me out of the blue if we could, well, hang out a bit together. He said he’d pay me but that the sex was not the whole story.”
“The story turned out to be that he was a pretty successful software engineer who worked crazy hours. He was all of thirty two and he did want to find the right girl and all that. But he had no time for any sort of conventional relationship. So he’d invest all this money in taking a girl for dinner and on trips and then he’d get stuck in to something and not call her for a month. Well, naturally, she’d get mad and not see him again.”
He hated that but he liked having company when he had time. Suited me just fine and, more or less over night, I became a rent a girlfriend. I said to him it was sort of like being a mistress but he hated that. He told me a mistress was all about sex. Which I knew it wasn’t but whatever.”
“He’d phone me up when he had time. Sometimes a couple of times a week, sometimes a month would go by without any contact. He’ll take me to dinner or out sailing or to parties with his really geeky friends. The point is that I fill a social hole in his life. And, yes, we do behave as consenting adults but I am pretty sure that that is not the point. At least he says it’s not.”
Compare to an hour or two hour date the time for money equation is a bit different but he understands he needs to compensate me for the revenue I would be missing and he is pretty generous.”
I live in one of those areas where there are a lot of tech guys. All getting paid really well. I wondered if there were other guys like my client and, over time, it turns out there are. For the first year I kept my straight provider ad running but I created a whole new persona for my “Rent a Girlfriend” ad. Very “girl next door”, more like a personals ad than an escort ad.
I am one of those girls who really does like hiking, skiing, long walks on the beach so I put all of that in the ad. Plus, of course, romantic dinners and watching the sunset. But the key part was, as the expression goes, addressing the pain point to close the sale. After all, a great ad promises to solve the potential client’s problem.
Here’s what I wrote, “You’re driven, you work crazy hours, you have to travel and work late. You’d love a girlfriend but what girl will put up with your “whatever it takes” schedule? Well, I would.”
The sort of client I was looking for would identify himself reading that. These guys almost never phoned – they emailed or texted which was fine with me.
One of their biggest things was that this was a business arrangement. Part of the problem with the tech culture that most of them lived in was that there were a lot of predatory women both in the business and floating around trying to hook a guy who was going to build the next “What’s App” and become a billionaire. These guys were really wary and I can’t blame them.
I would reassure them but, more importantly, I would tell them the truth. At a certain point in an ambitious man’s career having a girlfriend is a luxury which costs much more than it first appears. Two reasons: first, to keep a girl happy means that a guy has to neglect his prime focus on work, second, the sort of girl a guy in a start-up situation might be able to date is very different from the sort of girl guy with a successful start up or two under his belt can date.
Of those two things the second is the more important. A lot of guys, pretty much to keep the girlfriend, get over involved in their mid to late twenties. Some even get married just to ease the pressure. Which is a huge mistake because then the girl gets half. Even without being married there are huge pitfalls including – if the girl is in the same company, sexual harassment claims. It is a minefield out there for ambitious men.
What I was offering was a no pressure, no legal claim, service which gave these guys all the fun of a girlfriend with none of the commitments or guilt. A lot of these guys are brilliant but linear. They can’t really understand why a girlfriend would be angry when they don’t call for a month. I make sure that when one of my “boyfriends” calls me or, more likely texts, I am delighted to hear from him.
I think the key to the whole “Rent a Girlfriend” idea is that the client gets the perfect girlfriend for a busy, successful, young guy and I get well paid. And that was another thing I discovered as I talked to more of these sorts of guys. They are not hung up at all about paying. One guy said to me, “Look, I pay consultants all the time. They are there when I need them but are not part of my overhead.”
These guys are very business like on the arrangements. At our first date I like to lay out the program. I have a flat monthly fee which gives my clients a set number of dates per month. Usually two or three. I don’t watch the clock but generally a date will take two to four hours. If they want to see me more than that I am happy to book more time. If they get busy they can bank their time and spend a weekend or take me on a trip.
One of my clients actually pointed out that girlfriends sometimes took booty calls and that he sometimes liked to relax after a sixteen hour coding day. I pointed out that most girlfriends resented booty calls and would act out that resentment; as a rent a girlfriend I took a very different approach. I was happy to take the call for a generous cash payment but there could be no guarantee as to my availability.
The “rent a girlfriend” idea took a while to catch on. Mostly my own mistakes advertising. My target market tends to have a pretty good idea what they want and it is a long way away from the standard escort look. I did a few pictures in the sort of clothes I saw girls wearing at the sort of places I was being taken on dates. That helped a lot.
But what really made it all work was my own attitude. Now I had clients who were smart, successful and often pretty funny. It was like having half a dozen guys asking you out on dates but without the stress of trying to maintain a relationship or decide whether or not you were going to sleep with them. Instead of sort of dreading my escort encounters, I looked forward to seeing my “boyfriends”.
And, if I do say so myself, I was the perfect girlfriend. I’d stay in touch, send sexy selfies, listen to their work stories – and because I usually saw them for quite a while I knew what they did and who they worked with. I’d even run errands or pick them up at the airport.
Escorting with a difference
It takes imagination and a bit of a risk to step outside the escorting box.
Whether you change your whole escorting business or just decide to try to appeal to a specific clientele, you are almost certainly increasing your competitive advantage over girls who stay on the well worn path.
One girl I spoke to did nothing more than set a minimum age for her clients. Nothing fancy but she felt safer and her business changed as she began to realize how best to serve her older clientele. Other girls would shift their focus to out of town business men exclusively which increased their earnings and avoided some of the discretion problems an in town clientele can create. Small changes but they all add up to a business just a little out of the ordinary.
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