Cosmopolitan Magazine once ran a piece on how primary season in the US affects escort’s business in primary states. Big surprise, more clients.
Iowa escorts enjoyed the traffic spike last week too. Rachel*, 38, a Des Moines-based escort, said she woke up each morning last week with “five or six” calls from numbers she didn’t know — a rarity in a state not known for its tourism. “All week, I had excessive calls all the way up until 5 o’clock in the morning, because of the caucuses,” she said. Another Iowa escort named Kylie*, 31, said she noticed the same spike in calls from guys who were not her regulars. They were there for the caucuses, she said, and they were looking for company.
The confluence of power and politics create more demand for escorting services but what about in non-primary years? Do escorts benefit from dating powerful men. We looked around to see if we could find an escort or two who seemed to be focused on the whole intricate dance of political power.
We didn’t have to look far.
by Hannah Jay
“Remember the old joke that in Washington you can get sex from aides? Well I was that aide.” said Lucy who is in her late 20’s, very sleek and dirty blonde. We’d found her ad on an escort advertising site and what struck us is that the ad read more like a perfume ad than an advertisement for an escort. Right down to the whole Washington – London – Paris – New York list of status cities. The ad was beautifully typeset, with an almost old fashioned look to it.
“My clients are mainly on the periphery of power. Lawyers, consultants, public relations guys and lobbyists, lots and lots of lobbyists. They might have held elected office at one point or had a sub Cabinet rank. A lot of them were the Deputy Assistant Undersecretary for Stationary at the Department of Agriculture. But that got them to Washington and they stayed.”
“Now they are all private sector guys on K Street or shuttling down from New York or up from Dallas. You’ve heard about people who get two lines in a bill changed and save a company a billion dollars? Well, those are my clients. And they really do that but it is a seriously hard business.”
“I came to Washington straight out of college to work for a Congressman whose chief of staff I’d met at a campaign rally in my home state. And, no, I am not going to tell you which state. An escort at my level needs to keep secrets, lots of secrets: and the best way to do that is to be very private.”
“Young Washington is a very frat boy culture with a lot of smart, good looking, kids trying to get a leg up into the whole political world. Meanwhile the social life revolves around a bunch of bars and trying to prove you work harder than all the other guys. There are some really smart people but there are also a lot of really ambitious people. Everyone was President of their class. And a lot of the kids have trust funds or the bank of mum and dad to pay for the drinks and the outfits and the whole Washington game.”
“Now, for all the news about feminism, while the culture is frat boy the women in Washington are twice as ambitious as the men. They want to do well in their own right and, though they never admit it, marry well. Which sets up a bit of a balancing act: to be taken seriously a junior female policy wonk has to be a bit of a nun otherwise the slut shaming is insane; but to catch that husband she has to put out a weirdly sexy but unattainable vibe.”
“When I came to Washington I had two strikes, well three really. No trust fund or bank of Mum and Dad. Which meant I went to a state school and missed a whole bunch of the whole Ivy name check thing. Second, I was just not that interested in the whole power couple, good marriage thing. Third, I am a pretty girl who adores sex. I mean the Congressman’s chief of staff didn’t hire me because of my marks.”
“Did I mention that Washington has more than a few judgmental hypocrites walking the corridors of power? This is a great town for saying one thing and doing another: the problem was that I had no idea when I first got here how fast the telegraph worked. Before I even showed up for work the Congressman, who I had only met once, was being asked about why he hired me. Not publically of course, it was just gossip and insinuation.”
“I got asked out a lot. Sort of like Taylor Swift, I hold some weird fascination for men in their late forties and early fifties and, realistically, those were the men who had a bit of heft. As I mentioned, I like sex. And, while it might seem a bit odd, I like sex with men who are a bit older. Generally they are not trying to prove anything and, in general, they seem to enjoy the fact that I am enjoying myself. Given that I was already being gossiped about and a bit shunned by people my own age I sort of gravitated towards these more senior men.”
Of course, inevitably, the gossip got back to the guy who hired me and then to his boss the Congressman and it was made very plain that it was time for me to move on. At the same time, one of the men I was seeing made me a proposition. A mistress arrangement. Apartment and a small allowance. Well, why not?
You know the expression “One thing leads to another?” Well, that is exactly what happened. I liked my mistress arrangement but the money was not brilliant. I looked around for a while for a job but if you are outside the loop, and I was, there are not a lot of political jobs around and I was not really qualified for anything. Thank you poli sci degree. Then one of the older men that I had seen on and off called me up out of the blue and asked if I could accompany him to some sort of donor’s party. I demurred saying I really had nothing suitable to wear. He came back with, “I’d be delighted to buy you a dress and, if you would not be offended, pay you for your time.”
Talk about an easy launch.
I really didn’t even think of myself as an escort. Not yet at least. I was more a girl who liked to have fun with men and who enjoyed gifts and cash. That went on for a few months but while I had a closet full of dresses there was still not very much money.
One afternoon another guy I saw on and off called me up. He told me he had a very big client in town who loved to have a great time but, and here was the next step, his regular girl was double booked and could I entertain his client. I was getting a lot smarter so I asked what his “regular” girl usually charged. I don’t know if he told me the truth but it was a surprisingly attractive amount of money. “And I have a couple of clients a week who like to be entertained.”
The fact was that my first date with the generic “out of town big client” was wonderful because he was a nice guy who liked to eat and drink well and was entirely thrilled when I agreed that a nightcap in his suite would be just the thing. He was even more thrilled when he discovered I always wear stockings and, indeed, a slip and have a very healthy attitude towards the pleasures of the bedroom…Or in his case, the couch. The only problem was that my friend actually had about three big out of town clients a month, not two a week.
I am a girl who likes to be busy and, honestly, while I could have lived on the money I made from this one guy’s referrals, I thought I could do better.
I don’t have much to do with the Washington escort world. I like to think of myself as a boutique courtesan and that was the beginning of my advertising.
My “boutique courtesan” ad was very targeted. I mentioned out of town clients, an extraordinary experience, my rather brilliant downtown location and that was about it. I had a drawing of the rather sweet building I live in as the only art. I have a website but it is so discreet you really would have a hard time figuring out that I am escorting at all. I don’t advertise my rates but I make sure that words like luxury, exclusive, the very best all appear on my website. There I do have a few pictures but you can’t see my face and while there are some which are sexy, most are simply a well-dressed silhouette.
About half my escorting dates are outcalls and I only go to the better hotels. Unless a guy is a referral I do a pretty complete screen. The funny thing is that being in Washington somehow makes a call to a client’s business seem all the more legit. But, and this is more important, most of my clients are pretty successful. My referral clients are not getting my company paid for because they have trouble paying their lobbyist. And the clients who arrive because they have seen my ad are usually very well heeled.
One of my real advantages is that I am independent. For a powerful man escort agencies are a threat rather than a service. They all remember Elliot Spitzer who got nailed when his name showed up in the files of an escort agency.
My second advantage is that I escort almost entirely out of towners. That might not seem like much of an advantage at first but believe me it is. These are men who, once they have finished their business, really have nothing to do in Washington. They are not invited to parties and while their Washington based consultants or lawyers or lobbyists will usually make time to take them out for dinner the first night they are in town, the fact is they often have nothing at all to do the other two or three nights they are here. What better to do than book me for one of those nights and, often, having had a great time, book me again a night or two later.
Because they don’t live here they have no idea of the sorts of great places you can go which out of towners really never hear about. I mean there are a few power restaurants where their lawyers or lobbyists will take them but where people in Washington really don’t go except on business. But there are plenty of pleasant spots where a gentleman can entertain and be entertained by a pretty women not necessarily his wife. It is amazing who you officially “don’t see” in these little hideaways.
I make sure I look pretty but very professional. In Washington there are hundreds of pretty young women working in the government and in the law firms and lobbying outfits. An older man with a younger women does not immediately suggest “escort” and I like to keep it that way. So no skirts up to there or tops which reveal very much. When I go out with one of my escorting clients I assume we may run into someone he knows and I dress and act accordingly.
My cover story is always the same: I do “government liaison work”, code for lobbyist. Which is a bit true as I am often being paid for by one of the lobbying firms. Not that I need the cover very often: I don’t take my escorting dates to the sorts of power restaurants where there is a lot of table hopping and glad handing.
The next stage in my escorting business came out of the blue when a woman I didn’t know sent me an email suggesting lunch and a chat. Honestly I thought she was recruiting for an agency and I declined. But then she called. I’ll call her Stella.
Stella is a beautifully turned out woman of what? I would say mid-thirties but as she apparently started working as an escort back in the first Clinton administration that has to be wrong. She was very elegant, wearing a vintage Chanel suit and carrying the Chanel 2.55 bag to match. We met in a lovely, and very expensive, restaurant where there were very few men but a lot of expensively dressed women of a certain age.
“I’ll come straight to the point, dear.” Stella said after we had ordered our lunch and had the first sips of a rather perfect Chablis, “I am hanging up my dancing shoes and moving to LA to get married. Wonderful man, faithful client and I am getting much too old for this business. A couple of my regulars suggested that you might be just the girl to take over my clients.”
“Your clients?” I asked not entirely sure what she was talking about.
“Yes dear, you are not the only courtesan in town you know. There have been escorts in Washington since it was a swamp with some boarding houses. And you seem to have figured out the secret.”
“Which is?” I asked genuinely curious about what had obviously been a very lucrative career as a Washington escort.
“Visiting firemen, out of towners and total discretion. Oh, and never date a Senator – they all think they should be President Kennedy and that you should be Marylyn Munro. But, more generally, avoid escorting locals. There is more than enough business coming into town every week.”
“Five escort dates a week, forty five weeks a year for the last twenty or so years. I take August and Christmas off. You should too.” said Stella. “Now it is time to retire and get out of town while I still have my looks. Oh, and you don’t charge nearly enough.”
Stella was a font of information. While her own escorting career spanned back to the early 1990’s she’d made a point of getting to know some of the call girls who worked right back to Kennedy.
“Escorting was a much bigger deal back then.” she said, “But the thing was that the media never covered those sorts of scandals in those days. They all knew which politician was seeing which girl but they never reported it. That changed with Clinton when the whole media was going crazy about Monica Lewinsky. That’s when I made my one rule that I only saw visiting gentlemen. Your boutique courtesan business seems to be directed that way as well.”
“The DC cops really don’t care much about independent, high end escorts; but they really don’t care if you are only seeing men who fly in for a couple of days.”
Stella was leaving Washington in a couple of months and, as she prepared to go – and I helped her pack her amazing wardrobe and her china and crystal – she made a point of calling me every few days to meet one of her clients. She knew I would possibly have a date that evening but I made a point of being available for drinks any day around 5:30. These were “go sees” where I would stop in at Stella’s apartment and chat with one of her gentlemen. Escorting did not come up in conversation and, of course, neither did fees. Stella simply introduced me as a friend and we’d have a little fun talking about Washington, a bit of politics and where the prospective client came from.
In those two months I met around thirty men some of whom I had read about in the Wall Street Journal – essential reading for an escort in the whole power/political world. About the closest we came to actually talking about escorting would be that they would mention that Stella had told them she was retiring and was recommending me as her successor. They wanted me to confirm that. Which I was happy to do. After the chat Stella would usually say, “Why don’t you give Mr. X your card.” but sometimes she’d say, “Would you like me to get in touch with – and name a Government Relations or PR shop – and give them Lucy’s number?” which told me where the arrangements would be made.
I actually drove Stella to the airport. She’d given me racks of clothes “unsuitable” for winterless LA and all sorts of escort things – from strap-ons to riding crops to wonderful erotic prints – which would not be “suitable” for what sounded like a very vanilla marriage in California.
My phone started ringing the next week and it really has not stopped since.
Stella was big on being a low volume, high price point escort. “It is just too easy to burn out otherwise.” So that’s what I do. Five or six dates a week. My biggest problem is staying active to burn off all those lunches and dinners because my clients like to see me enjoy the wonderful food they buy me. Fortunately, escorting leaves lots of time for the gym, swimming and yoga.
And I took Stella’s advice about vacations from escorting. I go away in August and close up escorting shop from mid-December to early January. Business is good, but business can wait.