I’ll start by saying that I liked this article by Svetlana Z. She is clearly a very business savvy woman with clear goals about what she wants to do in life and for that I commend her. But I did find myself sighing at several points — another story about high class escorts looking down on the rest of us. I am an escort, I am not high class, I do not advertise myself as a ‘courtesan’. I don’t spend hours on my appearance and a stupid amount of money on products, I do not want to, that’s not who I am.
I’m not criticising the lifestyle Svetlana chose, she made a lot of money and that’s what she set out to do. I would be miserable if I had to live that lifestyle, I’d find it so depressing to devote myself to escorting in such a way. I live my own life, and I escort on the side. It isn’t the main thing in my life, just a small part of it. That’s why some escorts like myself don’t charge as much as she does, we are not lazy, we simply don’t want to. I charge less than these ‘high class’ escorts because I don’t wear designer clothing, I don’t want designer clothing and I’m not spending that much on work clothes. Ditto, the mascara, manicures and make up. I charge less than escorts who do but I also spend less on myself, in terms of profit we probably make around the same in percentage terms. I’m not obsessed with money, I make enough to support my life — I’m 21, I have a boyfriend whom I live with, I’m studying Psychology and I volunteer. I don’t want to work as an escort full time, it would kill me.
Because what this article barely even touches on is that the job is hard. It is a strain emotionally, to have to smile, listen and be perfect for people and do what they want and suppress yourself. There have been clients who insulted my political beliefs, insulted women, were casually racist and who belittled me for being an escort. There are the constant boundary pushers asking for personal details, like my real name and for extra services I do not provide (such as anal and unprotected sex). There are the clients who then try these things anyway, who manage to slip off the condom, or shove in a butt plug when in doggy position — these things have happened to me and it is horrible to have your body violated in such a way. It is also terrifying as every person you meet is a stranger who could choose to hit you if you resist or tell them to stop. The author of this article makes out these things only happen in some far off world, but they happen to nearly all escorts at some point, high class or not.
I have met several other escorts, who charge between £400 and £600 an hour, have all the designer clothing, an expensive flat etc. and I found them vapid. I’m not materialistic and they are, I don’t care about money and they do, they aren't the kind of people I like to socialise with in my personal life, we have nothing in common. On a booking with a client and another escort, she sneered at me when I named the university I went to, because she’d gone to Oxford. I couldn't care less, that didn’t make her a pleasant person. She had no more money than I did — she’d spent it all, on holidays and expensive wines.
Luckily where I live, selling sex is legal although still highly stigmatised. Brothels, agencies and pimps are all illegal. I started off working for an agency and they took more than two thirds of the money I made. I promptly quit, but not before I was raped by a client who didn’t want to use a condom. Now I work independently, and happily. I see however many clients I want to, I don’t see men who send informal emails, or ask stupid questions. I pay taxes and national insurance. This is my job, it’s work, but I don’t devote my life to it. I work to live, I would hate to live to work.