Escorts are the drug-addled girls on the corner dressed in halter tops and thigh-high boots. They look like Barbie dolls and are about as smart as a box of rocks. A neighbor abused them when they were 12 years old, their parents didn’t believe their story and they ran away from home to seek out a better life. They got caught up with a pimp named “Slim” and can’t seem to get rid of him in order to get out of the “biz”. They’ve contracted Hepatitis C and now solicit customers two blocks down from the Baptist church.
Often, this is the portrayal that popular media outlets use when discussing escorts, often confusing them with prostitutes. These descriptions may be true for some who are engaged in the profession, but the stereotypes often used do not begin to describe the average, normal people who become escorts.
- Drug and/or alcohol addicted: Of course, the general public can’t imagine that any individual would engage in the adult industry without “liquid courage” or being under the influence of illegal drugs. Thus, the media chooses to depict escorts as pill-popping, booze-swigging, coke-snorting fiends. It’s easier to explain that people might engage in sex with others in exchange for money for that next fix or because they are so far under the influence they don’t know what they are doing. While some prostitutes and escorts do abuse drugs and alcohol (just like members of the general public not engaged in the escort industry), the typical high-end escort never touches illegal drugs, for fear of harming her business and lessening her abilities to provide quality services to her clients. Indulging in too much alcohol during an encounter can cause many problems, including a bad appointment with a client. Most high-end escorts are very careful to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Fallen women: Women who engage in intimate acts with strangers must have lost their moral compass somewhere along the way. The media depicts escorts as women who lose their innocence prior to entering the escort world. They often can be rescued and shown the way to a better lifestyle, according to the stereotypes. In actuality, escorts often have a truer sense of their morals than many women who engage in one-night stands with men they’ve only met a few minutes prior at a bar or club. Escorts carefully screen their clients, investigate their backgrounds and often have repeat client lists. By the time an independent escort accepts a booking with a client, the two have exchanged several emails and, perhaps, a couple of phone calls. In an escort’s eyes, the encounter has nothing to do with morals, as it’s a business transaction.
- Disease carriers: Many stereotypes depict escorts as being carriers of sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Rarely is this true. Professional escorts who work the high-end circuit rarely allow for activities to occur without the use of protection. They see their physician regularly for check-ups and tests and refuse to work without a clean bill of health. They value their own personal health and know that clients won’t return to them if they suspect that a sexually transmitted disease or infection is a possible result of the encounter.
- Abused: Typical stereotypes explain reasons for an escort’s career choice by her abusive background. “Experts” often contend that escorts have been abused, both physically, mentally and sexually, at young ages. Because they’ve already been subjected to abuse, “experts” say that the derogatory nature of the escort industry draws them in as it’s familiar and no worse than what they’ve already experienced. In reality, no more high-end escorts have been subjected to abuse as the percent of people in the general publication. The industry does not attract fragile and beaten women to the career like a light does to moths. Women who have been abused often veer far away from career choices where they must interact personally with others. These stereotypes are outright false.
- Mentally ill: Many media stereotypes include the concept that escorts must have some mental issues in order to do what they do. For instance, articles cite schizophrenia, depression and anxiety disorders as contributing causes to escort behavior. However, the percentage of escorts suffering from mental illnesses is no higher than those of the general population.
- Unhappy and stuck in their jobs: While this may be true of some escorts, it’s also true of many people working “normal” jobs. Postmen, bank tellers and insurance sales clerks may be unhappy at work, but they feel stuck in their jobs due to financial obligations. Feeling like you’re stuck in an occupation is the same whether you’re a race car driver or a garbage man.
- Trafficked/forced into escorting: The media often insinuates that escorts are forced into working in the industry. They’ve gotten in with the wrong pimp, were trafficked into the country as a prostitute or were sold into white slavery by family to pay off a debt are just some of the stereotypes the media paints in order to portray escorts as victims. While this may be the case some of the time with low-end prostitutes, most high-end escorts choose this career by their own accord. They are not victims, but they feel rather empowered to be in charge of their finances and their careers. For what may be the first time for many, escorts are in control of the hours they work, the rates they charge and the work they do.
- Public nuisance: Escorts are depicted as being public nuisances by selling their “wares” on the street and providing services in the nearest alley or parking lot. While streetwalkers may solicit on busy street corners and provide services down the block, high-end escorts do not charge by the service. They charge for the time they spend with a client, usually through an incall or outcall encounter that lasts for two hours or more. They do not solicit on the street; they do not perform services in cars, parks, alleys or cheap motels (unless that’s their client’s ultimate fantasy). They cannot be identified or picked out in a crowd as being an escort. They fit into the social environments they visit, and they are admired by other women in the room.)
- Stupid blonde bimbo Barbie: Despite media intentions, escorts do not fit the mold of being Barbie-ish, stupid or bimbos. High-end escorts come in all shapes and sizes: short, tall, skinny, voluptuous, blonde, brunette, redhead, etc. They are usually well-educated (or quite learned) and extremely intelligent. Many know multiple languages and are knowledgeable in several subjects such as current events, politics, history, art and other subjects. They are selective about their clients and do not embark on one-night stands or other promiscuous activities outside of their encounters with clients.