When The Atlantic covers Ivy League Sugar Babies, you know it is time to pay attention. The fact that college girls are flocking to Seeking Arrangement and similar sites is hardly news. But what is interesting, and what escorts should note, is this:
by Hannah Jay
‘Dating a college woman fulfills these guys’ wildest dreams. They want someone highly educated who is eager to learn,’ said Parinda Wanitwat, director of the documentary Daddies Date Babies, which profiles several college sugar babies living in New York City.
In almost every message Amanda receives on Seeking Arrangement, sugar daddies comment on how intelligent she sounds in her profile. Amanda has met more than 50 men through the site. All of them are well-educated, the majority are business executives.
Escorting is a business, and like any other business, is about making money. And adopting the tactics of a Sugar Baby can increase an escort’s earnings; money which would otherwise be left in her client’s wallet.
Many of the men who can afford the rates a high-end escort charges, have college degrees. Armed with a couple of key words in her advertising, a smart escort can aim squarely at this market. “Intelligent”, “witty”, “student”,“artist” or “musician” all conjure up a more cerebral image. Mind you, “naughty” sends a message, too. The point is that you want to find clients who are looking for more than the standard escort offerings; those who focus on the escort as a person, rather than as a performance.
Most escorts are, necessarily, very clear about money. However, there is something to learn from the Sugar world. Back to The Atlantic for a moment:
I found that some, if not most, of the guys don’t want to talk about money. I suspect that’s because it kills the fantasy,” said Wanitwat. “They’re trying to pretend that these smart, beautiful women actually want to hang out with them.
For the Sugar Baby, this strategy makes sense as they are going to see their benefactors repeatedly and all financial arrangements have been agreed upon at the start. A discrete monthly envelope on the hall table needs no accompanying chit chat. The escort, on the other hand, has to assume that her appointment will be a one-time encounter. Therefore, she should dispense with the cash transaction at the outset, and never mention it so the client can happily get on with the fantasy.
Setting a high price for your time makes sense; this allows you to be flexible and generous with your time, knowing that your caller has compensated you well. So, for example, setting a luxury price tag for your hour and a half will ensure that you are paid for the minimum time and, if you hit it off with your client, (and you wish to do so), you can always add a bit of extra time.
In many ways, this is all about developing your instincts and your ability to make judgment calls. What is your first impression of your prospective client on the phone? Are you comfortable with each other when you meet? Is he interested in more than just the one thing? If you inquire what he would like you to wear, or if he’d like to meet for a drink before the date, does he respond positively? If you are alert, there are dozens of clues that add up to a profile.
In summary, what The Atlantic article reveals is that there is real value in sounding — and being — intelligent. In the Sugar Baby world (a ghastly term!), intelligence and education, matter. It is not enough to have a pretty face; one must have an interesting mind. But realistically, not all escorts have been to Princeton. What to do?
Herein a few tips on how to look and sound smart, educated and polished:
Learn to Spell and Write. No, really, if a gentleman is looking at a set of ads whether on Seeking Arrangement or on Skip The Games, he is unconsciously noticing little cues as to what sort of girl he is getting in touch with. One big clue is whether she spells properly and uses grammar correctly. And it is an all or nothing thing. One spelling mistake does not prove you cannot spell, rather it indicates you do not care.
Your computer or smartphone is sometimes your friend (or foe) here. Yes they do have spell checkers pretty much built in but, unfortunately, those spell checkers are not perfect. They will pass its when the correct grammar requires it’s. Plus, the miracle of auto-correct can leave even a brilliant girl sounding somewhat silly. The trick is to write what you want to say in your ad in a program like Word and then run the spell and grammar checker. Then read it yourself. The machine is going to miss things your eye won’t.
- Cultivate an Elegant Reserve. Use suggestion and subtlety in your escort advertising and on your website. Emphasize the “encounter” and leave the sex to the imagination. This is wise not only from a legal standpoint, but it will also attract clients who are seeking more than just a mere roll in the sheets. Words like “relaxation”, “pampering” and, yes, “conversation” can signal that you are offering a real companion service.
- Look Smart. Something as simple as a pair of glasses in an ad tells a story. So do a few books in the background of your pictures. If you have a video, start with a shot of you reading.
Sound Smart. When the prospective client calls, remember that you want to be professional. A pleasant telephone manner is essential. “Giving great phone” can do wonders for your career.
Clever girls are also organized. They have an appointment book or a calendar application and they use them. They certainly don’t get into graphic detail about any services which might be performed for a consenting adult. But they are more than happy to spend some time on the phone asking a few questions to their perspective client. And, at the same time, they get the details they need to screen him whilst getting an impression of the gentleman they may entertain.
- Be Calm and Collected. Girls who are smart (and smart about escorting), are very clear about the fact their dates are not rush jobs. Instead, they structure their appointments for a minimum of an hour to an hour and a half, but in reality, they don’t watch the clock so the timing is somewhat open-ended.
- Be Smart. Stay abreast of current events – and I don’t mean the Kardasians. Start with current affairs, sports, politics, film, art, fashion and science. Then add religion and philosophy. (You already know about sex, right?) You don’t have to be an expert in any particular field, just able to converse on a wide range of topics, ask pertinent questions, exchange ideas and, above all, have an informed opinion. If you have let your intellectual life languish and think you can never catch up, don’t despair. In fact, some so-called “experts” can often be one-dimensional bores when it comes to dinner party conversation. So don’t worry about your own conversational credibility. Anyway, a dash of wit, charm, and humour always makes up for any gaps in knowledge.
- Be Curious. Learn something new every day. Expanding you mind is about making an effort and turning learning into a routine.
- Read. Books (start with one per week). Shades of Grey may be a bestseller, but read widely from many genres. The classics have survived for a reason; these authors knew how to tell a story. Try Proust, Hemingway, Dostoevsky, and Flaubert. Read magazines from many perspectives: Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, The Economist, Bon Apetit, Town & Country, Architectural Digest, National Geographic, Vogue.
See Foreign Films. Go beyond the Hollywood blockbuster.
Expand Your Vocabulary. Sign up for the word of the day. Then use it.
Be Informed. Choose a couple of mainstream sources for news – and a couple of alternative sources: if you frequent CNN.com, make sure to frequent RT.com as well. Getting a sense of political and economic issues is all a matter of time. You are not going to learn the ins and outs of the Federal Reserve in ten minutes from a standing start. Instead, make a point of reading a few articles daily. The front page of Google or Yahoo News will tell you what they think you should think of as ‘breaking’. Then take a look at a middle range foreign newspaper like Der Spiegel – reading a non-American source automatically adds huge smarty pants points.
- Be a Student. Take a class, attend a lecture or talk, or dive in headfirst and go to university. Develop an insatiable thirst for knowledge.
- Cultive Culture. We live in a very fragmented world. The fast paced beat of technology can leave one feeling frazzled and disconnected. Unplug yourself and go to art galleries, museums, concerts. Or express yourself by painting, singing, playing! Dig into what you love and embrace it. And that doesn’t necessarily mean going with the flow of what is popular— march to the beat of your own drum. Whatever it is, be passionate about it.
- Learn a Language. Especially if you live in one of the more international cities in America – New York, Washington, San Francisco or Los Angeles. Mastering another language at a conversational level will lead to all manner of rewards. For one, it opens up new worlds along with new words. And it makes you more cosmopolitan, able to cross countries and cultures with ease. A smattering of French means that Paris is just slightly less intimidating. And if you decide to rent a petit apartment on la rue du somewhere, you know you can at least order lunch. For an escort, you don’t have to be fluent; but the ability to speak a foreign language or two will put a whole new set of clients in your range and gives you a real competitive advantage. Foreign businessmen are enchanted with a girl who makes an effort to engage in his dialect.
- Eat & Drink & Be Merry. The world of great food and good wine is a place where a polished, Ivy League girl is right at home. You can be, too. But simply eating out in good restaurants is not the same as making Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon or offering your caller coffee with biscotti you baked yourself. As Virginia Woolf said, One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
- Embark Upon an Intellectual Quest. Spend time with ideas. Those girls at Yale have paid $200,000 to be exposed to the best ideas in the world. You, with a smart phone and a set of headphones can watch TED talks and hear some of the best thinkers alive talk about their ideas. It may all seem daunting at first but jumping in for twenty minutes won’t hurt a bit. Reading and studying is all very well, but travelling to places that inspire you is one of the best mind-expanding exercises there is.
- Practice Intellectual Foreplay. Instead of asking a client what he “does”, (which is the lamest conversational ploy of all), ask him what he’s reading. Or what he loves to do in his spare time. Or his passions, if you dare.
And remember, it not just what you say, but how to say it. Ask direct, but polite, questions. Never be pretentious, crude, or rude. The most mesmerizing woman in the room is not always the most beautiful, but the one who can present her ideas and passions through elegant word and gesture. You can be animated, expressive, and fervent in your convictions as long you are being authentically you. And if you have cultivated your mind as well as your manners, you will not fail to charm your audience. But as important as speaking, is knowing when to be silent. Conversation is an art, but so is listening.
Putting It All Together
Escorts are offered the great gift of a certain amount of down time: waiting for clients, waiting for the phone to ring, having all afternoon before your five o’clock appointment. Time to use or waste. If you have ten minutes, scan a newspaper; half an hour, watch a TED talk; all afternoon, dig into a good novel. Plugging into an audio book when at the gym is not only a diversion, it’s an opportunity to work out your mind as well as your body.
Your brain is really like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets. The fascinating thing is that as you read, learn and think, it all begins to connect. For instance, a news story gains resonance because history provides the back story and context.
So now it’s time to turn the Smart Girl-Sugar Daddy theory into practice. As the documentary director at the top of this article stated, “Dating a college woman fulfills these guys’ wildest dreams.” What this really says, in essence, is that men who want to take care of smart girls and seek out their company and companionship as well as their intimate favours, actually, nay ultimately, want someone to talk to. And someone to listen to them. Sex is easy to find; a smart engaging girl is much more rare.
If he finds you as the result of an ad in which you describe yourself as “bright” or “intelligent” or “a student”, your client has already selected based on something more than your killer body. (Though, no doubt, he’ll be happy with that as well.) If you are articulate and well-spoken when he books his appointment, you raise his expectations another notch.
If you are wearing something lovely for your date and, in Ivy League girl style, have minimal make-up, a mere whisper of perfume and shiny, touchable hair, he’ll already be pretty certain that he has hit the proverbial Goddess Girl jackpot. A clean, neat, and simple but stylish abode – suggests you are mindful of your surroundings and that you have exceptionally good taste. Books do furnish a room and even a small bookshelf with a couple of dozen books—real books, not Oprah books— is another sign of a well-stocked mind.
While there are certainly conventional questions to be asked as you sit with your client, why be conventional? One great ice-breaker, when you know a client has come in response to your ad, is to ask him what he liked about it that prompted him to call. Asking challenging questions is what smart girls do.
Of course, there will be clients who are tongue-tied and, I fear, in escorting as in life, there are always men who are both boring and loquacious. (But, unlike a girl at a cocktail party, an escort does have the option of moving the proceedings apace.)
Embracing life and learning with an open and optimistic attitude makes an escort an appealing date for intelligent men. If the gentleman caller leaves with the sense his encounter has been physically enjoyable and mentally stimulating, he is far more likely to want to spend more time with the clever creature who managed to engage all his faculties. So he’ll call back and the escort will have a regular.
Of course, just like exercise, raising your intellectual bar is worthwhile in itself. Knowing more about the world, learning more about the food and wines of interesting places and being able to tell a Mondrian from a Matisse makes you a more interesting, more engaged person. While you may start out to impress your clients, you’ll end up impressing yourself. Who knows, maybe you’ll take your enhanced earnings and go to Yale.