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Student by Day, Sex Worker by Night

An Interview with a High Class Escort

By Antonia McGrath

Simone is in her early twenties and looks like any other university student, she’s pretty, wearing ripped skinny jeans and trainers, and you’d never guess what she does for a living. Simone works for a high-class escorting agency, making more money in one night than most students will earn in a month. Five minutes into a conversation with her though, you can tell she’s incredibly intelligent, talking knowledgeably about current political and economic issues – not what you would expect from the stereotype of a girl in her profession. “I’m myself first and an escort second,” she says. “I do my job because I love it. Sex work is obviously still very stigmatized, so I don’t really tell people about it, but there’s such a misperception of what escorting actually involves. Most of what I do isn’t sex at all.” Simone gladly sat and talked to me about her experiences in this somewhat unusual field of work.

What made you decide to start escorting? How did you get into it?

It was something I’d thought about doing for a while actually. I wanted something that gave me adrenaline. I felt very normal, as if I could have been living the same life anywhere in the world, and I wanted some more excitement. So, I googled escorting in my city and came across a few agencies. I have no desire to become a full-time escort, so, for me, working for an agency is good (even though you make less money) because I have the support of other girls and a boss who does all the security checks. I ended up choosing my current agency because they had a very unique selling point, being that they only work with students and non-full-time escorts, and their website shows very normal girls in a totally non-overly-sexualized manner.

What was your first escorting experience like?

After talking to my now-boss on the phone and then meeting up for coffee, I had a trial run. I met my first client in the lobby of one of the city’s fanciest hotels. To be honest, from the moment I met him I never looked back. I had an amazing time, and since then I’ve gone on to meet loads of interesting people and had really interesting experiences.

Do your parents or any of your friends know about what you do? Are they okay with it?

No, my parents have no idea, and I pray to god that it stays that way forever. I dread to think what my mother would say! When I first started, I told three of my closest friends, and they’ve been so supportive and open-minded about it- they really understand it and see it from a different point of view now than they might have before. I’ve told a few more people since, but I try not to unless it’s necessary.

Do you still get nervous before you see clients?

Oh yeah! Every time before I go meet a client, I pray. It sounds funny, but it’s my way of just relaxing. I always get the nerves, but its good nerves, more excitement and anticipation really. At the start, it was because of worrying that something would happen to me safety-wise, but now I’ve realized that the men actually have a lot more risk than I do. The power lies very firmly in the hands of the girls: we get the final say in any decision, and if we feel a client is dodgy, we can get him blacklisted in the whole city! I’m in touch with my boss before and after dates as well, so it’s all very safe and structured. But yeah, there’s always a sense of nervous-excitement before dates!

Who are the clients usually? Why are these men paying for sex?

My average client is probably 40, married, usually with kids who are probably not that much younger than me. They’re usually incredibly successful, being either the owner or top manager of a big business, or they’re doctors or lawyers. They come from very diverse backgrounds, countries, careers and religions, so it’s a really big melting pot of people that I never would have met in real life. As for why they pay for sex, most of my clients married very young, and they all travel a lot with work. It’s a very lonely life, so often they’re paying to have a girl that they can just spend time and have intimacy and companionship with because they don’t get the chance to do that in their personal lives.

What do you like about escorting?

Meeting really interesting people. Really, I meet such interesting people. And it’s really good fun! I love the dynamic, because there’s no judgement as neither of us is in a position to judge.

Is there anything about escorting that you don’t like?

Yeah, of course, like any job. Sometimes I’ll have clients and they’ll request that I dress “sexy” and then they’ll want to take me out in public to go shopping or something, and he wants to show affection in public even though it’s very clear that he is older than me. In those situations, people just know that I’m an escort, and I find that really uncomfortable.

Something that’s also really hard to deal with sometimes is hearing everyone else’s problems all the time. Because escorting is such a bubble of trust, clients naturally feel that they can share their personal problems with me. I like trying to help people, but it can have quite an adverse effect on me mentally.

What sort of person do you think you have to be in order to be a good escort?

You have to be the sort of person that, if someone is in your company, you make them feel relaxed. Most of escorting is not actually sex- it’s talking to people. My agency in particular really focuses on having girls that are educated and intelligent. You have to be a very good listener and someone who genuinely cares about people. My job is far more about that than sex.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever been asked to do?

I got tied up one time; that was funny. On the whole, most of my clients aren’t into anything too kinky. My second client though, made me put on this leather dress and then he blindfolded me and handcuffed me to his bed. I assumed we were going to have sex, but he just gave me a massage which was a bit pointless- all that and we never even had sex!

What do you think you’ve learned from your escorting experience?

Incredible amounts. I’ve learned more about humans and human nature since I started doing this than I’ve ever learned before, and it’s taught me how to read a person. I don’t know how to describe that, but I can just look at a man now and know exactly what he wants. I can just read them so easily because, well, it’s my job! I’ve learned a lot about myself too. I don’t think it changed me, but it made me think differently about things like sex, relationships, love and stuff.

I have to ask: How much do you make?

I make 450 euros an hour. On average, I probably make 2,000 a week, but if I wanted to I could work every night and earn up to 10,000 in a week, but that would be ridiculous. As someone who hasn’t yet graduated from university, that is a crazy amount of money to be making.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about working in the sex industry?

That it’s forced, that women don’t find any pleasure out of it, and that it’s all about sex. I know that maybe if you were in a different branch of the sex industry, those things might be true, but with escorting, it’s definitely more about companionship than sex, and most the girls that do it, do it for the experience rather than for money- and all of us are doing it out of choice.

Sex work still has a lot of stigma attached to it. Have you had any negative experiences because of this? What do you think about the prejudice against sex workers?

I think in the media at the moment, people find it completely unnatural that a female would actually enjoy sex and would want to become an escort or a prostitute of her own free will. Although the money is very, very good – much more than we could ever hope to be earning at this age in any other profession – many of us do it for the experiences and the satisfaction we get from it much more than for the money. That’s a massive misconception. I can hand-on-heart say that I really do enjoy it.

How do you think escorting fits in with feminism or female empowerment?

That’s something I’ve thought about a lot. People often see it as making women objects who sell their bodies for money, but that is the black and white way of seeing it. The grey area, where the reality lies, is women embracing their own bodies and embracing their own rights to do what they want to do. And if that’s not empowering, be it for feminism or humanity in general, then I don’t know what is.

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