delve a little deeper....
It was suggested to me by the lovely Jamie *waves* who I am now wondering whether this is a market he wants to get into and with that delicious pert bottom, he may may do well!
Well, actually probably not. There really isn't much of a market for male escorts, straight ones anyway, I've not looked into gay escorts so I have no idea really I'm only guessing.
Now, every escort will tell you that at some point they will get an email that goes something like this:
Hi babes, I am a male escort here on adultwork and I get loads of requests for couples and I wondered if you'd like to work with me? How about we get together and I promise we'll get loads of work.
Hmm, you mean you want to shag me for free and hope I'll get you work as a couple.
However this is marginally better than the I'm a male escort and if you fancy some mutual fun without each other charging let me know.
Yes, because I really don't get enough sex *rolls eyes*
I had a quick look at Adultwork to see how many male escorts catering for women there were and found 9,784 in the UK compared to 17,532 women catering for men which means about 30% of all escorts on Adultwork 30% are men which is actually higher than I expected.
However, on closer investigation I looked at the profiles of the 53 male escorts advertising in Hounslow. Most have no feedback at all, which doesn't mean they have never had a booking, but is a good indicator of how busy someone is. A few had feedback that was hidden and a few only had feedback as a client not a provider. None of the profiles looked very professional and one might go as far as to say that they are probably simply men who think they can get some sex and make a bit of cash in the process.
The prices were all much lower than what female escorts charge. One 27 year old was advertising 30 minutes for £10 and £20 for an hour!
I decided to Google male escort agencies to see if I could find a more professional kind of man. The first site I stumble across is called Gentlemen4hire. They claim 'Our male escorts offer companionship for your required occasion, they do not offer any sexual services or "extras" ' and this is repeated in the FAQ section, saying they will not respond to emails asking for sexual services. They don't claim to be a classy or sophisticated site nor claim their escorts are smart, handsome or debonair which is a good job really. Looking at the escort profiles they seem to be a mix of some genuinely quite handsome men with professional photos and bulging biceps and twinkly eyes. However many have holiday photos, self taken pictures with mobiles in front of the bathroom mirror and fuzzy ones that were taken on a night on the lash. Hardly classy.
These male escorts write their own profiles which means they vary in style. One man says
'I have a nice sense of humour, I like to travel and going out, watching football and drinking beer :)' which isn't really inspiring if you're looking for a gentleman to attend a blacktie dinner dance with. Another man (who looks like he's trying to be a bit gangster in the photo) says "I can travel anywhere in London. I charge 40 pounds a hour, if ur interested let me know. I'm available at all times 24 hours".
The site says that they don't charge but that all the cash required is paid to the escort. So, how does this site make any money I wondered. Well, on investigation they charge £9.99 for a month and £19.99 for a 3 month advert. Even though the claim not to be about sexual services some of then men clearly do, one saying
I do full body naked massages, sex, my personal speciality (licking) and sex however you would like it.
Sigh me up now!
Moving on, I did a bit more searching and found a forum for male escorts and this is where I really discovered the pitfalls of male escorting. Page upon page of questions and warnings about scams and complaints from members saying they weren't getting any business. This site is chock full with stories of men who have paid out hundreds of pounds signing up to an agency who promised them lots of work. Here is one brief story:
I joined this company 10 days ago i was advised that i had already been set up with a local woman, this fell through and then was rebooked for 3 days later to then be told she cant go due to breaking her leg. its now been 10 days since i joined and departed with £400 for the joining fee with no work coming my way.
Seriously, the whole site is full of posts similar to the one above and this article reflects that.
However, there are some genuine escorts out there who do make a living and some sites that don't appear to be scams. This site seems very genuine and has extensive media coverage. I also found a very nice sounding man who offers services as both a male escort and a dating coach. He talks about helping women with their self confidence, intimacy phobia as well as other services such as business help and practical help such as chauffeuring and shopping. He says 'A number of referrals come from health care services, often for women with intimacy issues - sometimes due to emotional or physical abuse at some stage in their lives.'
He seems very professional and genuine and certainly more encouraging than the 'Let me lick you!' merchants on Adultwork! Who knows how well he does though.
So, why don't women pay for sex?
Well, in short they don't need to! You only have to look on those naughty adult dating sites, swingers sites, the NSA section on Craigslist and various chatrooms to see that there and hundreds of men looking for illicit encounters and far far less women. I know in my pre escorting days when I experimented with picking up men on the internet I would get a massive amount of responses and if I had wanted to I could have several men every day of the week, talk about shooting fish in a barrel!
Secondly, I think there are some gender differences that do exist, obviously not the same for all women, but here is a quick list.
Of course there are male escorts out there who are all about the date and acting as companions for social occasions and women who use male escorts in this way and not for sex. I don't know any women who have used such a service though.
So, do you know any women who have paid for sex?
For years I promised myself I would write a novel. It's one of those things that so many people vow to do and one of those things untalented famous people or people married to famous people get to do with any discerning talent. If I had a penny for every time someone says to me 'You should write a novel!' I'd be able to hang up my crotchless thongs for good! Actually, talk to any woman in the sex industry and they will tell you they get told this too!
My story and experiences within the escorting world are probably pretty tame compared to many and I think it's one of things that's been done to death now anyway. Rather like those awful sad story books called things like 'Daddy, please don't hurt me!' or 'My mother never loved me' that supermarket book shelves were filled with until 50 Shades of Grey came along. Now shops are filled with books called things like '20 pink lashes' or 'Be my slave' or 'She was his plaything'. I then got people suggesting I "write something better than 50 shades!"...
I think when it comes to publishing you have to have the right thing in the hands of an agent or publisher at the the right time. When something of a new or forgotten genre suddenly surprises everyone and sells millions of copies the publishers want something similar to put out NOW, not six months down the line.
I digress, what I always toyed with was writing a dystopian (Bloody hell, my spell check doesn't know that word, but has suggested Dionysian instead, so it's not completely thick) novel. My favourite novels include The Handmaids Tale (Atwood's Oryx and Crake was great too), Nineteen eighty-four and Never Let Me Go.
I've always had a vivid imagination but have no desire to write fantasy (I'm not even that keen on it as a genre to read and let's face it unicorns and fairies are a bit overdone now) and the concept of exploring a world like our own, but not quite fascinates me. I like a level of reality where the characters have personalities and failings like we do and the answer is not solved by magic or a long journey such as Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings or His dark Materials. Not that I don't enjoy those books, but I can't quite get over the fact that I think authors who write fantasy can overcome plot issues by creating a bit of magic, introducing a mystical device or a character with special powers are cheating a bit! I'm also partial to books that at thr end and you don't really know what becomes of the characters. No happy ever afters for me!
Over the years I have devised utopic and dystopic scenarios in my head, but never got round to putting pen to paper. I did however, before you accuse me of being like everyone else who claims they are going to write a book write a chick litty type novel about ten years ago. I still have the rejection letters to prove it!
I got thinking after reading a few websites and blogs which included various things relating to the whole Lets get rid of prostitution thing. As I was thinking about the notion of a government or law being able to actually wipe out prostitution and how that could actually happen. I started with thinking about the reasons men pay for sex and how those reasons started off toying with the notion of a world without prostitution. Despite the strength of feeling about what I do, there is a small part of me that is a bit sad prostitutes are required and if I'm really honest, as happy as I am, I would never encourage anyone to do this full time if they had other options.
So, if I was writing about a world where prostitution didn't exist (would this make it a utopic novel?) what would have to occur to stop it?
I could write a futuristic novel where the antis get their way and it becomes illegal to pay for sex, but unless this was coupled with more radical, barbaric (or even efficient) policing this still wouldn't stop people and loopholes would soon be found to get round it. Still, a concept to toy with.
Moving on, I began thinking about all the reasons why men pay for sex (I won't list them here) I suddenly realised that the simple answer was to eradicate any sexual desire. I guess that could be created by some kind of environmental change or a world wide decision to vaccinate people with something to stop sexual desire. Sex would only be about breeding then, which isn't far from The Handmaids Tale, but that even had a secret club called Jezebels where men could meet women for a purely sexual purpose. However, whilst sexual desire is a strong motive it's not the only one- affection and company are pretty high up on the list too.
Or, lets go the other way. My utopia- A world where women can choose sex work. No women were forced into it. It was a safe job, women (and men obviously, but for the sake of ease I'm sticking with the feminine) could do it without fear of attack or prosecution. They could work alone, in parlours or in other locations- leisure centres, beauty spas or cruise ships for example and it was considered as a valid career. Women could go to college to get trained in customer service, marketing, accounts, health issues as well as practical skills. What if it was acceptable within a relationship for one or both partners to pop off for an afternoon shag in the way one might get their nails done or see a chiropractor?
I suspect that would mean an eradication of jealousy, the concept that monogamy was normal and a wider acceptance of the kinkier side of sex.
'Darling, I want to dress up as a nun and be beaten about my arse with a pashmina tonight'
'Oh sweetie, you know I'm no good at it, but why not make an appointment with Mrs Miggins on the High Street, Clarissa says her husband raves about her and she's had a go on Mr Miggins who is apparently an absolute hoot'
Methinks I have been a little too political and ranty of late so I do feel the need to lighten the blog a little, or possibly sex it up a tad! Right now I'm lacking inspiration, and I am in the middle of cooking a roast dinner so it's probably best I don't start anything now. I have burned too many dinners getting distracted by writing and the internet!
So, I shall be having a think and if you feel you have anything you'd like me to write about do feel free to suggest via the comments form here, via twitter , email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or carrier pigeon. Although I'm a bit scared of the latter so avoid if possible.
Yesterday was International Sex Workers Rights Day. I forgot to send any cards and nor did I get any but I was following the many tweets on Twitter about it including the
#whenantisattack hashtag. This was basically those tweeting about the general nastiness they have received, whether personally or collectively from those who are in the anti prostitution camp aka Feminists who really aren't. Do have a look at the link to see what kind of nonsense is spouted in the name of 'saving' women from prostitution and the kind of vitriol aimed towards those who have dared speak out.
Todays blog is inspired by Dr Brooke Magnanti (Belle de Jour) who has put up with a tonne and a half of crap and who posted this link on Twitter. It's a prostitution research website started by Farley and a 'hilarious' article by Melissa Farley and Nikki Craft. If you don't know any better, Farley is one of those 'feminists' who is radically opposed to prostitution and perpetuates the notion that all men who pay for sex are vile rapists and thinks that prostitution is a form of sex inequality related to gender-based violence yadda yadda...
Her refusal to accept there are many happy, well adjusted prostitutes in the world and those that claim to be are letting down all women is a concept that annoys many *insert rolled eyes emoticon*
Anyway, back to the link, have you looked at it yet? Well go on or else this won't make much sense. If you hadn't noticed the list of reasons why women become prostitutes is meant to be satire (I think).
It pissed me off, so I have in a counter attack listed my reasons based on her 18 point list.
I became a prostitute because . . .
1. I have never seen Pretty Baby and even I had I wouldn't confuse a 70's film set in New Orleans in 1917 with my own life. Also, my very conventional upbringing and amazing (non prostitute/pimp) parents has made me strong, grounded, independent and savvy therefore ideal for escorting.
2. I saw Pretty Woman again a few weeks ago, having forgotten it (oh, I'm so not easily led) and laughed a lot, and rolled my eyes and decreed it all bollocks.
3. I saw a Demi Moore movie and I thought, Wow, a shit film and nothing to do with prostitution, but something salacious to make a film about.
4. I like getting fucked by lots of men in a safe consensual environment because I get off on it and actually the men are really quite nice, and just happen to enjoy group sex. Note: Have never done this as an escort, only for fun because I choose not to.
5. I figured that laying on my back and getting fucked by hundreds of men, and getting on my knees and sucking thousands of dicks, was the most profound empowerment a woman could have. Yes, really, it's been incredibly liberating. Oh sorry were you being ironic Ms Farley? I'm not.
6. I've had a career elsewhere, circumstances changed and prostitution seemed the most rewarding job option available. Why would I want to go back to working for someone else 60 hours a week, a horrid commute and crap money?
7. I worship noone and still found myself in a life of sexual liberation.
8. I avoid men who see me as a piece of meat. I'm lucky enough to be able to make that choice and lets face it the Hugh Hefner's, Larry Flynt's, and Bob Guccione's of the world wouldn't want me!
9. My boyfriend wanted me to do it. He loves me and supports me and knew I'd make a good job of it.
10. My father doesn't discuss it with me but I know if I'm happy he is happy.
11. I have met loads of nice men. Yes really!
12. I believe feminism is very much about women making their own choices and therefore becoming a prostitute was the right thing for me to do.
13. It would pay my bills. Well, don't we all need to do that somehow?
14. I didn't want to work at some shitty job in a place I hated.
15. I get to be treated like a lady. And a slut depending on my mood.
16. I get to swank off to nice hotels and in my very limited capacity to feel glamorous this is when prostitution feels glamorous In fact I often say to friends from the back of a cab whilst off to a booking 'I'm having a Belle de Jour moment'!
17. Working in the sex industry would increase my self-esteem. I get told I am sexy, beautiful and lovely all the time. I am comfortable with my own sexuality and my body (mostly!) these days.
18. And then, ya know, even though it all sounded really good, and selling fucks and blow jobs sounded really empowering, I realised that talking about it, blogging about it and thinking about writing books defending it would be even more empowering.
There are more reasons, but am keeping in line with the list of doom.