The escort session as a luxury item

In The Economist article, one escort explained that for most of her clients, hiring an escort was “a luxury”. Which, when you stop and think about it, is certainly true. However, working through the idea of an escort encounter being a luxury item has some significant implications for escorts.

by Hannah Jay

Luxury is a market segment all on its own. We most commonly associate it with designer fashion, uber expensive handbags, five-star hotels, amazing watches and very fast cars. Well-known luxury brands include Cartier, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and dozens of other niche players. The world-wide value of the luxury goods market is on the order of $300 billion dollars and the market is growing 3-5% a year.

Now, other than coveting these designer labels, a business savvy escort should be asking – But what does this have to do with my business? The answer is that when an escort is considering how she wants her business to operate, it is worthwhile examining how the luxury business actually works.

Price is a Signal

Kate Spade makes very nice handbags. A top-handle, leather Kate Spade bag comes in at $398. Prada also makes lovely bags. A top-handle, leather, Prada bag starts at $1,995 and goes as high as $10,200. (Interestingly, the most expensive of the top-handled bags is the only one which does not have the Prada label on the outside of it – apparently discretion is the ultimate luxury.)

Other than price, what’s the difference? Functionally, not a lot. The Prada leather may be a little finer and the stitching a bit more precise; but each bag will keep your wallet, smart phone, and lipstick where you can find them.

The actual difference is two-fold: first, brand cachet. A Prada bag signals status, affluence and style; secondly, target market and volume. Kate Spade is practically the signature bag of the middle class soccer mum. While there are nearly 100 Kate Spade stores, the bags are also available in mall department stores. Prada, is aimed at the affluent. While Prada bags are available in high-end stores like Saks and Neiman Marcus, the full range is only available at their flagship stores.

A Prada bag costs nearly ten times as much as a Kate Spade bag and style conscious women know that. Kate Spade may very well sell ten times as many bags – numbers in the fashion business are tough to get – but many (I’d say “all”, but I’m sure my editor would accuse me of hyperbole) of the women who have Kate Spade bags aspire to Prada.

So how does an escort become a luxury purchase? How can a girl position herself in the upper echelon of the market? Become the Prada of escorts? What sets the $1,000 an hour escort apart from the $100 one? Obviously, hiring an escort is not a necessity, and most escorts earn the average rate for the city they live in. But, for escorting as a luxury service, there exists a small but desirable market where a higher price signals a more desirable experience. Her price indicates an escort is offering something special.

One of our luxury escort friends explained it this way,

My clients only buy the best. How do they tell what is the best? Sure, they look at my website and my pictures; but there are lots of pretty girls in the escorting business. So they look at my fees.

They are used to paying $750 to $1,000 an hour for their lawyers and their accountants. Their wife has just bought one of those bags which cost as much as a car. My rates are a little shocking, but compared to the bag or the lawyer? Well, as one client told me, “Once in a while you have to treat yourself.”

I get the occasional call where the prospective client thinks my fee is a misprint, an extra zero. Or they will challenge me to justify my rate compared with the other lower priced escorts. I am beautiful, highly educated, and well-traveled. I tell them you get what you pay for, and if you don’t like my fee, then call someone cheaper. Many are so darn curious, and impressed at my audacity that they book me. Most of my calls are from gentlemen for whom a couple of thousand dollars is what they might spend on a client dinner or a really good half case of wine.

Having high fees means that I don’t waste a lot of time with men I really don’t want to see. They take a look at the rates and don’t call. Saves me a lot of time.

Style

To move up the luxury ladder even further, take a look at a Hermes handbag. Each one is sleek, understated, predominantly in a neutral colour and without much in the way of ornamentation. They are the very opposite of “bling”.

Style is difficult to get right, but it is very easy to get wrong. Developing a style, and ultimately a signature style, is the escort’s first order of business. If she is going to be expensive, she has to look expensive. For an escort wanting to charge luxury rates, cultivating a polished look is critical. It does not have to be expensive, but it does have to be impeccable. A crisp white cotton shirt and a Dior-inspired pencil skirt and nipped-waist jacket can be found in vintage and consignment shops. Seek out classic lines in exquisite natural fabrications (silk, wool, cashmere for example), in shapes that fit and flatter. From day to evening; casual to elegant, you will always look well-dressed.

Luxury is also about getting the little things right. A great haircut, perfect nails should be givens. Absolutely fabulous accessories like a bold cuff bracelet, a brilliantly bright scarf and, yes, an envy-enticing handbag, are all part of the panache you are after.

An escort can learn a lot from the luxury brands leaders and one of the key lessons is that understated looks far more expensive than fussy, complicated and overwrought.

Let the Luxury Market Find You

A man looking for an escort has all sorts of options as to where to look. If he’s looking, he has already decided to give himself a treat, the question is, will that treat be you?

Like ladies shopping for a handbag, escort clients divide themselves into market segments. For some escort clients, price is the most important factor. These bargain shoppers may be a large part of the market, but the luxury level escort avoids these clients like the plague. Deal hunting defeats the logic of the luxury escorting experience.

However, the places where bargain hunters look – Backpages and other online advertising venues – can be a great place for luxury hunters to find your services. The trick is to stand out amidst the ASCII characters and the 36DDs. A simple, stylish, enigmatic ad can ensure that the luxury seeking client finds you.

Some examples:

  • Beautiful, stylish, one-of-a-kind woman seeks sophisticated, charming gentleman with taste and discernment for intimate encounters and more.
  • Living life in the fast lane? No time to smell the roses? Enjoy the finer things in life with a gorgeous, sensual Masters student with time to enjoy the erotic arts. Downtown loft, but willing to join you for travel adventures by yacht, jet, or other elegant conveyances.
  • Tall, leggy blond model moonlighting as an exclusive escort for selective gentlemen. Looks great on the arm of a tuxedo, brilliant at dinner or cocktail conversation, and can make your heart race faster than your Porche.

Sheep from Goats

When a girl decides to offer her escorting services to the luxury market, she is changing the way in which she does business. Instead of taking on all clients who meet the basic screening criteria, she is looking to find a small, but exclusive clientele who are discerning enough to appreciate the luxury they are purchasing.

The math here is pretty compelling. In most large cities there are hundreds of escorts competing for the low and mid ranges of the market where the bulk of the clients actually are. There is a lot of price and service competition. At the upper end of the market, there is less competition but, in principle, fewer potential clients. Those clients, however, will pay top dollar for a luxury experience.

For a girl looking to develop her escort brand in the luxury end of the market raw numbers actually mean very little. To provide the luxury experience she cannot possibly see more than a dozen clients a week and, realistically, half a dozen of the right sort of client makes more sense.

A luxury escort is never in a hurry to get to business. A fact which she makes a virtue of. A booking call to an exclusive escort, unless the caller is a regular, does not proceed in the ordinary manner. Right from “Hello,” the potential client is in for a huge treat whether he is allowed to book the escort or not. Which is the critical question as a luxury escort always makes the decision as to who she will entertain.

Some luxury escorts will accept bookings directly over the phone – especially from out of town clients – but many prefer to meet their potential client first. That takes time as the escort has to be dressed, made up, and entirely entrancing for what is almost certainly a no cash encounter. For the luxury escort this is time well spent because each meeting is an investment in her brand.

The preliminary encounter almost always takes place at an elegant café or charming, quiet bar. The escort will have told her prospective client to leave his name with the maître d’ or hostess so when she arrives, always exactly on time, she is lead directly to her prospective client’s table.

Does he rise to meet her? Does he shake hands? If he does, does he have the firm grip of a successful man or is it a bit weak? Not a deal breaker, but she notices.

Ring finger? It can be one of three things: wearing a wedding ring, having a telltale ring “tan”, or bare. The ring tan is a flaw but not a fatal one. It suggests that the potential client is concerned she will know he is married. Which suggests either naiveté (doesn’t he realize that many of her clients are married?), or a lack of confidence in the discretion and worldliness of the escort.

Years ago, one would check a man’s watch for the unmistakable signs of both wealth and taste. Now many men do not wear watches, using their phones for time-keeping and, sadly, there are far more counterfeit Rolexes than real ones. The escort can probably tell more about a man by looking carefully at his shoes. Even the most casual outfit brings with it footwear and the state of his shoes, their polish, condition, and style will often reveal much more about the man than the outfit itself.

But the luxury escort will certainly look at what her prospective client is wearing. Again, years ago, the suit and tie were de rigeur and still are in some cities and professions. However, in many others a T-shirt and blue jeans may be the indicators of the entrepreneur or high-tech industry maven. The actual outfit is less significant than the quality. Ralph Lauren does casual wear, so does Costco. One of these things is not like the other, to quote Sesame Street.

On a less superficial level, the escort takes in everything from her prospective client’s appearance, to his demeanor, to how he interacts with the service staff, and, of course, with her. Since she has already done the online vetting any escort will do with a new client, now she wants to get to know the man. Rather obviously, she does not pull out a clip board and check list. Rather a luxury escort will guide the conversation in directions which will give her a picture of who she is dealing with. Generally, people like to talk about themselves if they are comfortable in the environment and open-ended questions offer a lead to conversation. Vacations, sports, movies, favorite cuisines and restaurants – all give a glimpse into the prospective client’s interests and personality. But without prying: an escort makes it apparent she respects his privacy. If he offers information about his business, fine. If not, a general question like what type of work he does can move the conversation along. Of course, a well-mannered gentleman always gives the woman the opportunity to talk about herself – so be prepared.

The power dynamic in a vetting encounter is a delicate balance. On the one hand, she is interviewing a prospective client so is very much in charge; on the other, she is being judged as being either suitable or unsuitable. She is both the seller and the merchandise, offering the promise of performance and pleasure by way of a very expensive and exclusive service. She is putting herself on display before a buyer.

Like any other appointment, the preliminary interview has a time limit frame: forty-five minutes to an hour is more than enough time for both parties to form an impression.

Closing

Some potential clients, and some potential escorts, will fail their audition. For one reason or another it isn’t going to happen. A graceful exit can be achieved by nothing more than smile, a handshake, and a thank you. Conclude the conversation without any drama or hurt feelings. You are both adults. It’s a big, wide world. There are other clients; there are other luxury escorts.

Or an appointment is made. One luxury girl I know is very much a master of this.

I have a little daybook in my bag and a pretty Mont Blanc ladies pen. If I decide to take a man on my roster, I get out my book just as we are at the end of our first drink and say something like, ‘Thank you so much for the drink. I’d very much like to see you again in more intimate surroundings.’ Then I uncap the pen and open my book, ‘How would this Thursday around 5:00 work for you?’”

The best part about this is that the gentleman is now on the spot, but still in some control. He can make the date, suggest another one, or demur altogether. But if he hesitates I almost always strike him off the list. I don’t need indecision in my business. Once he is booked, I give him my pretty card with the time and date.”

However, if the encounter goes well, a man may suggest an encounter immediately. There is nothing to require a girl to leave, save another appointment. If you schedule interviews on days where you are otherwise un-booked you at least have the option. Some escorts do, some do not. Our luxury girl will, on occasion.

Luxury Escorting

Once a girl sets herself up to be a luxury escort and raises her rates accordingly, she enters a rather rarified world. The expectations are a sky higher, the money is much better and the actual work is more congenial.

Our luxury escort friend puts it like this,

What the escort is really offering is a mistress experience on a time share basis. Most of my clients could afford to keep a mistress but they don’t want the commitment or the potential hassle. The selling point of a luxury escort is that she lets her clients know they really are worth it. And so is she. It is much more than sex…it’s a complete, confidential, discreet relationship.

Now, isn’t that a luxury!