The luxury approach to escorting

There are plenty of escorts out there who promise to pamper, to be luxurious, to spoil their clients. After all, booking an escort is a luxury purchase and in a competitive market some escorts will try to cater to that end of the market.

At the same time we were amazed to see an escort ad which really sounded more like an ad for a high end spa than a roll in designer sheets.

We wanted to find out more and reached out to “Juliana” through her very attractive website. A website which looks, for all the world, like a modernist piece of art. All pale, beautifully faded pastel colors.

by Hannah Jay

“I work in San Francisco.” said Juliana in our Skype call. “My clients are younger, usually very successful, totally driven guys who are pathetically stressed.”

Juliana had set her VOIP client up so that she could use a DSLR to shoot her video and this mean we could see both her and, in the background, her astonishing apartment. She didn’t advertise her age and we didn’t ask, but at a guess she was a very well taken care of early thirties something woman. Her honey blond hair was cut in an asymmetrical bob and she was wearing a pretty, pale grey, light knit dress. Very red lipstick and natural, but present, make up.

Behind her we could see an enviable apartment with sun streaming in through tall windows and modern black leather and chrome furniture. It is a pet theory of mine that the size of a space matters less than how high its ceilings are and Juliana’s apartment looked to have, at minimum, fourteen foot ceilings. All painted a honey taupe with black framed, large, fashion photographs stacked on the walls cleverly.

Juliana spoke with the sort of assurance one expects to see in a lawyer or doctor. Full sentences, no slang, careful diction: all in a rather soft voice which seemed to come from a very deep, very calm place deep in her chest. A chest one could not help but notice, graced with braless breasts which were larger than one would expect on such a light, lithe, frame.

“The last thing in the world my clients want is a lot of over the top sexual stimulation. Really just the opposite. But it took me a while to realize that.”

“I didn’t start escorting in San Francisco. I really started in the alt sex work scene in Portland. You know, Suicide Girls and the only vegan strip joint in America. I’d finished my undergraduate degree at Reed College so I was dug into the whole Portlandia thing. Which was fine and it was a graceful introduction to what the lumberjack shirt wearing girls call “sexwork”. It was all surprisingly innocent and I had my first date with a software executive with a sleeve of tattoos and some sort of complex about wanting to help girls like me. Which was actually pretty funny because, of course, in order to save me he seemed to need to see me once a week and, as he was there anyway, a blow job was not out of the question. Men!

The problem with the sex work scene in Portland is that there was not a whole lot of money in it. Or at least the way I was doing it. And, honestly, I’d been in Portland for nearly a decade and the novelty had worn off. I’d always loved San Francisco. Beautiful, very much a great city and the center of the tech universe. But it was really expensive.

I did a bit of scouting online and I thought there might be a market for an independent escort who came at the escorting business from a luxury perspective. I had some money saved from my Portland business, not a great deal but enough that I could rent an apartment and buy a bit of decent furniture. I drove down to San Francisco one weekend and looked around at apartments. Wow. I knew it was expensive but this was crazy. I’d wanted a two bedroom apartment, one bedroom for work, the other for my actual life. No chance of that I realized looking through Craigslist.

I have to admit I got pretty depressed looking at $4500 a month 750 square foot boxes. I was staying at an AirBnB spot near downtown and I came home the second day looking pretty glum. My host, a wonderfully festive old queen who had bought back in the 1970’s was waiting with a big glass of chardonnay and some appies. We sat on his roof deck overlooking the city. I told him about my house hunting disaster.

“Well, do you like where you are staying?” he asked. I told him I did. “Well why not rent it?

I explained to him that the nature of my work made privacy pretty essential. “And what do you do?” It was a big glass of chardonnay, almost gone and I told him. “Good for you dear. I suspect there is a big market for girls here. There certainly is for boys.”

We did the deal on the spot. Basically I got the bedroom and living room I was staying in plus the private bath and another room which I am in now which is just off the living room. No strings attached and half the price of the places I’d been looking at. And, the best thing, it was totally furnished with just the sort of modern furniture I was planning on buying. I paid the deposit, drove back up to Portland, had a garage sale and put what was left in the back of my car. I drove back down to San Francisco along the coast highway because I had five days to kill before

Every escort I have known has a working name. I wanted mine to be a bit romantic, soft and feminine. But I wanted more than that. The girls I knew in Portland who escorted usually were pretty much the same girl escorting as they were in their straight lives. Which is fair enough but not what I wanted to do. Or, more accurately, I wanted “Juliana” to emphasize certain elements of my own persona in an escort setting.

While it was not a popular position in sex work in Portland, I like to spend my time in a feminine, sleek, expensive environment. I like well tailored clothes, a great hair cut, careful grooming and a sense of gliding into a room. Portland sex work was more feminist than feminine and that always made me uncomfortable. My sense was that there would be a market for a really feminine, stylish girl who went out of her way to create a very safe, very unstressed, environment for her escorting clients.

Most of all, I wanted my prospective clients to really “get” how luxurious a few hours with me was. And it was that luxury which I thought would sell my escorting services.

From the very beginning I wanted the consenting adult activities to be a part of a much bigger package. Girls will talk about the “Girlfriend Experience” which I get but it’s not really what I wanted to offer my escorting clients.

I wanted to give very driven, busy, stressed men a break, a pleasing pause in their lives. To do that I wanted to change up the escorting business model a bit. As economists would put it, escorting is pretty much defined by its “transactional” nature. Bluntly, the client gives the escort money and she gives him a good time. This business model was what I had used in my Portland sex work. Now part of the reason the transactional model is used by escorts is that they see each encounter as, essentially a one off deal. Even with their “regulars” each encounter has to be seen as the last encounter. As I drove down the Coast and into the redwood forests I realized that this was not the only model which would work.

Wealthy men have had mistresses pretty much since the beginning of wealth and less wealthy men – or cheaper ones – have sugar babies they keep on an allowance. I was very definitely not the sugar baby type largely because I really did not want to see the sorts of men who “kept a side piece”. I had no objections to being kept as a mistress. In fact, in my notebook I had a separate page for “mistress”. But was there something in between being a girlfriend experience escort and a mistress?

I thought I had a potential solution. Keeping a mistress is a big commitment and one of the reasons men see escorts is to avoid any commitment. But what about what amounted to a time share mistress arrangement. Basically, instead of selling dates one at a time, why not sell a block of time, say three months, with an evening a week and the occasional afternoon of fun as part of the package? Not for every client but as an option.

The other thing I thought would work in the bigger market of San Francisco was the idea of a flat rate, no time limit, date as the basic way I sold my escorting services. Yes, that would limit the number of clients I could see; but if I set my rates high that would not matter and, in fact, I was a lot more comfortable being a low volume provider.

Given what the guys in San Francisco were apparently able to pay in rent, my business model assumed six high end clients a month with one or two invited to participate in my “time share” mistress idea. But I left that idea out of my escort advertising.

In fact, I left any reference to escorting out of my advertising. Instead I advertised as a stress management consultant. “Experience the healing arts of a beautiful woman in simple, modern space. No time for a girlfriend, driven by your success? Find out what you are missing without the added stress of a relationship. I never text, I never call, I don’t need you to either. I am just here. Ready, beautiful, relaxed when you need me.”

I had a great picture from a fashion shoot I’d done for a friend a year before. Me in a really pretty jacket, no top, looking side long into the camera. Fashion forward, modern and my favorite picture. And it had the virtue of looking like me, but only from a certain angle. I wanted to keep my escorting very discreet.

So, I got to San Francisco. My lovely landlord actually baked me a cake with the wonderful line “Welcome Strumpet” in bright red icing which matched a kissy lip print. I settled in and put my ad up. I did use escort advertising sites but I also put the ad in print in a couple of the entertainment guides. Because it was not at all “escort” they were happy to run it under personal services.

I set it up so that to contact me you had to go to my website. I learned a lot about screening when I worked in Portland and I really wanted to see only escorting clients who were willing to be up front with me. With the internet it is amazing what you can find out and confirm with nothing more than a name and a location.

I post my “all in” price and a couple more pictures. Plus, I have a couple of really nice shots of my space with some fresh flowers. It is all designed to look really inviting and calm. Again, something which I learned in Portland is that while some men are seeing an escort for the sheer excitement, a lot of men are there for a break. Those were the ones I wanted.

So, a few hours after I put my ads up I had five or six queries and two of them seemed to be men I would like to see. So I made arrangements and, before I really knew it, I was getting ready for my first appointment as a San Francisco escort.

I am a girl who likes dressed and skirts and tops. A long high collared lightweight knit dress, like the one I am wearing right now conceals and reveals at the same time. I know I have a small frame and surprisingly large breasts. And yes they are natural. The right knit dress, a clever quarter cup bra and a silk chemise and I am temptation itself. Switch over to a full cup bra and I look elegant and very much a lady. Which is, frankly, how I always present for my appointments for first time clients. Part, but only part, of my service is sexual and it is not a given on a first encounter. There have been a couple of clients who, frankly, were just not at all plausible for consenting adult activity when it came to the crunch. And I tell my clients up front that this is a possibility. The ones who blow me off when they hear that are doing us both a favour.

I am also a girl who figured out her make-up, hair cut and skin care years ago. It really does only take me twenty minutes from a standing start to get ready for an incall escorting appointment. But, and this is huge, in fact I take a couple of hours most of the time because I want my space to look wonderful and I always have a few appetizers and some nice, fairly low alcohol, wine to serve. Then I make sure there are fresh really great towels in the en suite and beautiful clean sheets on the bed. Flowers of course. And, if it is evening, candles.

My clients feel like welcome guests and, eventually, friends, who are stopping by for a bit of conversation and relaxation. Nothing is hurried. When it is time to move things along I’ll usually have my client unzip the back of my dress and lead him to either the en suite where I have run a bath, or directly to the bedroom.

There is very little about pleasuring a man I don’t know but the actual fact is that most of my clients, after a little gentle teasing, simply enjoy a willing, gentle partner who apparently enjoys herself as much as they do. I suspect that is the real secret to the escort’s art.

I saw three clients in my first full week and one of them became my first “time share” mistress client. He loved the idea. The way I worked it out was that my time share client would pay me monthly for an agreed number of visits, usually four or five. I discounted my time a little for this arrangement but what it really did was remove the whole “transactional” element which makes conventional escorting seem more than a little cold blooded.

Because I knew I would be seeing my time share mistress clients more regularly than ordinary escorting clients, I really got to know them. Eventually I had four which was pretty much as many as I could service. All in, that was about twenty encounters a month so there was not that much time left for regular escort dates. But, as any clever mistress will tell you, it pays to be looking for the next patron so I kept my stress management ads running.

I did, however, raise my rates. A lot. What I had not realized about San Francisco was just how much money these guys had. There was a reason why there are a lot of $10,000 a month apartments on San Francisco Craigslist: these guys can afford it.

I realized that one of the main ways of choosing an escort if you are really well off is to assume that, like fast cars and great red wine, price is a pretty good indicator of quality. These were not guys who read hobbyist reviews. Quite the opposite, it was a feature that I had no reviews. In fact, it was a feature that I presented myself in my ads, on my website and in conversation as barely an escort at all.

The greatest luxury of all turned out not to be the fluffy towels or the honed oral technique; it was the illusion that a really pretty, elegant girl wanted to spend time with an otherwise harassed, stressed and wildly busy guy. Whether it was a straight escorting date or a time share arrangement, I tried to keep the whole money end of things very much in the background. Of course I like my envelope but I try to leave my clients with the impression that I enjoy my time with them regardless of the money.

That impression is, in fact, true. Unlike my escorting in Portland, in San Francisco I created a business which was very exclusive. The men I see, especially the men I see on the time share basis, are actually men I would probably date. No, it is not the Pretty Woman scenario with the billionaire white knight on a charger, just nice guys who, realistically, don’t have the time for a real relationship. For them, while I am an escort, I am also that great girl who does not need any maintenance at all.

The real luxury for these guys is having a break from making decisions and inventing the future. Most of my clients are a little older than I am but I have two who are younger. What they value is being able to sit for a little while, sip some wine, have a few nibbles and know that if they turn their phone off – which I insist on – the outside world is on hold. Of course they enjoy the consenting adult activities but the reality is they enjoy the break even more.