Perpetual Girlfriend

Are we falling back? Springing forward?


Has anyone else read the New York Observer cover story, “The Luxury Rental Girlfriend”? I read it over eggs and coffee this morning and will quite frankly lose my shit if none of you want to have a conversation about it. Here’s a link in case you haven’t read it–go on over, peruse, it’s a rather quick read. Please come back and then we can discuss it together.

For those of you who have already seen it/read it/made assessments based on the Instagram chronicling I couldn’t help but indulge between last night and this morning, let’s talk.

What’s that? You want me to go first? Okay!

Well, someone just pointed out (on Instagram, no less) that in the above illustration, the Luxury Rental Girlfriend, as they call her, looks rather bored, desensitized and unhappy. In reading the article though, it becomes quite obvious that the Girlfriend in question (an escort) is quite pleased with her vocation of choice–which brings me to my next point. Why isn’t this reporter, a fellow woman, trying harder to dig into the woman’s psyche? The thorough portrayal of why a man hires an escort is, I hate myself for saying this, conceivably sensible. She is the perpetual girlfriend, not the wife in training. (This, a most narrow partition. Is the supposition that if a woman is not training to become a wife, she is a prostitute?) Expectations are null and the outcome is always to the man’s benefit. As one such female of the night puts it, “women underestimate the importance of a night being over.” As the reporter puts it, the wife in training wants his mornings, the perpetual girlfriend only wants his nights.

But what compels a woman, any woman, to settle for an occupation so ephemeral, so besmirching, so downright regressive?

Am I being judgmental?

I think I can understand her present motivation. We’ve conditioned ourselves, after all, to exist in a world where sex is the x-factor–the sex-factor, if you will–and there is an indubitable emphasis on power at play. While the man may believe he’s more or less “winning,” the woman in this picture, much to the discontent of her contemporaries (us, I guess,) leaves unattached, unclogged, untangled. I’m not sure about you, but I have never in my life so much as kissed a man without almost immediately falling in love with him. Is there something to be said about her ability to detach heart from action and mine not to? You don’t have to answer that.

Eventually, will this woman want to aim for something more than artificial companionship (arguably ruining marriages–though only as an accomplice–in some instances) and a paycheck? And if she does, will she regret having accumulated a comprehensive roster of less-than dalliances?

On an even grander scale, there is the feminism question. As an institution, feminism is cryptic, difficult, and near impossible to unpack without at least someone getting upset. In fact, I’ve been reprimanded for calling myself one because if I were “really a feminist,” I would “reject fashion all together.” (The fact of the matter is, any woman in 2013 eager to share her opinion and have it heard has got to be something of a feminist.) But what does the perpetual girlfriend’s job, this article, and the mere fact that according to a statistic, one such erotic relationship-forging website garners over 350,000 visitors (not page-views) a day, say about the unanimous We?

W for women.

Maybe in the escort’s opinion, this is feminism. I don’t know; help me with this.

I’d wish you a happy Saturday but I’m pretty sure I just ruined it. (Sorry)

Get more Brain Massage ?
  • lavieenliz

    like why do guys even need relationships when they can have sex with someone disposable? and people wonder why there are so many single women out there getting sperm donors. It’s all becoming really sad. Women no longer need a husband to have a baby, and men no longer need a companion to have sex. What happened to love?

  • Hi! You didn’t ruin it at all. I’m making grapefruit doughnuts, which will be pretty hard to ruin. Anyway, I haven’t read the article yet but I did want to comment on something you wrote. I wanted to apologize (without permission) on behalf of feminists everywhere for this

    “In fact, I’ve been reprimanded for calling myself one because if I were “really a feminist,””

    Wow I am so sorry. First of all, if you think women (and all minorities for that matter) deserve equal pay and status and treatment in politics and society and everywhere else, well congratulations, you are a great feminist. Anything else is details. While there are subcultures of feminism that reject fashion, you don’t HAVE to. I don’t. Lots of people don’t. After all, feminism is rooted in the theory of social constructionism and if you and I want to construct our identity and act out gender in a way that involves fashion, then fuck yes, let’s do that.

    Woah. This SAD lamp works. I feel like kicking ass today. 🙂 I have to get back to doughnuts (because yup, I’m a feminist who likes fashion and baking on the weekend) but I just wanted to give you an internet-high-five or whatever…

    • Abigail

      I’m really intrigued by these grapefruit doughnuts! Can you leave a recipe, or better yet, a place I can purchase them :)?

    • grapefruit donuts? recipe pls

    • Yes recipe please!

    • the (un?)social butterfly

      I like your point — feminism is not defined by rejecting altogether whatever was considered a feminine occupation a good 30-50 years ago. I believe it starts at the very problem of including or excluding concerns that are worthy of a feminist or a woman. I like to cook, I take sewing lessons, I wear more dresses than anything else and I love that I can do it because dresses are much more practical than pants (or separates for all that matters). Honestly, I don’t care about labels or about being “a true feminist”, because I think that is actually part of the problem. What is important to me is not to bothered because of who I am, no matter what that is.

    • Chelsea Moore

      Recipe please! And thanks for voicing exactly my thoughts regarding that “if you were really a feminist” comment! Feminist, fashion-loving bakers for the win!

  • I live in South Florida, I hate to say it but it’s a pretty promiscuous area and I was having this convo with some girlfriends the reality of the situation is that men in SFL have a lot of beautiful women available to them. So they have a hard time committing, people are disposable nowadays. So they don’t need to bother with getting to know that smart lawyer or any girl, because they can have the relationship/girlfriend experience by just throwing some money. It’s sad but very true, I’ve met guys and you can tell they would want the “real deal” but they are so used too having it so easy that they can phantom taking the time to really date and get to know someone. Happy Saturday, mine is not ruined I know how it is out there.


    • Lars Mårten Rikard Nilsson

      Sorry for not being on topic but one thing irked me that I had to correct you on: it’s “can’t fathom”, not “can’t phantom”.

  • Emma

    Presumably what compels them is money. How these women behave with these men doesn’t necessarily reflect how they view relationships outside of their escort work.

    Also, why the presumption that men and women see sex so utterly differently? The wife in training may want the mornings, but not every woman does, whether they’re an escort or not. Plenty of women just want the nights, at least for a certain period of their life. Not everyone falls in love when they kiss someone (I would guess most people don’t.)

    You say “eventually, won’t this woman want to aim for something more than artificial companionship.” Eventually won’t the man? And will he regret spending his life like this?

    And why so understanding of these men? They seem like jackasses, to put it mildly. Yet you excuse their behavior (which, in buying sex, is more repulsive than what the women are doing imo. Even discounting that, many of them are apparently disloyal and dishonest to their wives and girlfriends) and even go so far as to say they are sensible!

    Frankly the women that marry these men are doing a bigger disservice to feminism as far as I’m concerned. Jack probably deserves to be alone forever.

    • Leandra Medine

      Re: the men vs. women, my dad used to say that you don’t need to add sugar to cake, only vinegar (I think it probably makes more sense in its language of origin, Turkish), when referring to the way in which he interacted with different people which is why it was probably so easy for me to pass off on the male behavior but what I alluded to in my points and I think you say much more eloquently is that femininity is not black and white. We’re not all wives in training just because we aren’t escorts. This was actually precisely the brand of comment I was looking for in my questions–it’s just a matter of understanding motivation and how this has become a trade (for me at least)

      • guest

        totally unrelated, you speak Turkish?or Farsi?

      • Amanda GREY

        “in training” as in “not an expert”? expert of what? Men douchery? the author asumes life revolvs around the dick. Silly silly man. His argument manifest the world revolves aroun $$; men’s money or somebody elses. In Wilde’s words:”“What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” Reducing people to a transaction is the shalowest human experince.

      • jaspy

        In what context are escorts wives in training??????????????

  • Sarahi

    Old guys that prefer having an escort, instead of having a wife or a real girlfriend. PFF i gotta say it’s PATHETIC

  • Autumn

    I totally get it and truly believe that these women ARE happy. Why does it have to be that every woman wants a serious commitment? Not everyone’s happily ever after is marriage. I personally think the women in this situation are the winners and that they are the ones using the men 😉

    • Abso-fucking-lutely!! Why does everyone think that these women even want to get married & have kids?! I’m not against having kids but I’m definitely against living with a dick, who doesn’t appreciate you, just because society thinks it’s normal.

  • I wonder if this mindset is merely the product of an over sexualized society. It seems, well, acceptable I suppose for this to be a legitimate job. Countless movies, TV shows, and ads depict women as little more than objects-hence the genius behind your sartorial philosophy. In a way this seems like children who become desensitized to violence because of hours spent killing people in video games or watching one too many Tarantino flicks (whether people agree with that notion or not isn’t the point here). At any rate, these women have capitalized on something that should be revered yet is cheapened. No judgment here should they choose that path, but to portray it in a way that makes it seem not only ok but like a good idea does nothing more than pollute what is already very delicate-the female psyche and effectively any sense of self worth

  • Nina
  • Sophie

    I can see both sides of the story – it’s ideal for the man, the non commitment of this kind of relationship and I can see the escort getting paid highly for ‘services’, getting gifts on the odd occasion and probably feeling a million dollars… But what happens when said escort doesn’t want that? Falls in love ‘for reals’ and then explains to her would be-whatever, husband, boyfriend… ‘well actually I’ve slept with x amount of men, even had a folder about them!’ — surely it’s going to take one heck of a man to expect that… even after some serious sti/std checks, no doubt… and then there would be an issue of trust, probably.

    I can see the escort getting more of a backlash from this than the man, in all honesty. When said man is ready to settle he would just be like ‘well I’ve slept with x amount of women,’ — and that may be it. Unless he chooses to disclose that he’s paid for this attention, of course.

    The thing that irks me is the married men (or maybe even married women, who knows, the article didn’t touch on the reverse, women seeking male escorts,) who spend so much money and time on escorts. Maybe if they spent that amount of time encouraging a better married life as they do this ‘hobby’ then maybe they could have the same amount of pleasure,… albeit in a different sense.

    • Simon

      As a (single) male who has paid for sex, let me just point out that lack of time is the reason why. In my case it was not spending so much time and money. I would be in a city on business and work 12 to 14 hours a day for a couple weeks. By then I’m desperate for sex. Working at that rate do I have time to go through the wooing and maybe date a woman 4 or 5 times before she goes to bed with me? But I can go to a website, find an escort, and get the sex that I crave. This is not a “hobby” for me, it is the only way to fit sex into my schedule.

  • Valentina

    I hate it that men have it so easy and us girls (as a gender) make it possible. These are my two cents.

  • pixiedust8

    My issue with this is that it totally glamorizes prostitution. These women may be voluntarily doing this, but most prostitutes are not. The FBI has some interesting stats (link below) and says that the vast majority of prostitution is NOT voluntary and it’s the fastest-growing business of organized crime. I’ve read elsewhere that the average age to enter prostitution is 13. 13!

    I think this kind of “escorting is glamorous and you get to sleep with cute, ‘nice’ overachievers” type of article is totally irresponsible without touching on the other aspects of prostitution.

    • Thank you for this comment! Sexual slavery is rampant right here in America and most people have no idea.

    • Anne

      I agree with your comment on the fact that prostitution should never be glamorized, and it is absolutely horrible that sex slavery is still persistent everywhere in the world.

      However, if the woman is willing to have sex with a man (as conveyed in this article), then who are we to judge. The prostitute is an unintentional accomplice, but it is the one who seeks her service that is to blame. If demand for prostitutes was low, than, well — there would be fewer of them.

      Just a thought.

      • pixiedust8

        I get your point, and I would never blame someone who was doing this because they had no alternative (as in, no education or job training, although it’s good that there are organizations that help with this now). I agree the men are more to blame, and totally agree with the Nordic model, which prosecutes johns, not prostitutes.

        However, it may make me a bad person, but I can’t help judging someone who is a prostitute just to keep herself in Jimmy Choos. There’s no question it’s her right to choose that. I just question WHY that is even an option, especially for someone who was a marketing manager and could presumably be middle-class or higher. (I suspect, but have no evidence, that a lot of these women were probably molested.)

        I’m also not for legalizing prostitution (as I once was), because even in areas where it’s legal, sex trafficking is rampant. (I read an article about how, twenty years ago in Spain, almost all prostitutes were local women who were voluntarily–which is a word that can always be debated–in the trade. Now, even though prostitution is legal, something like 90% of prostitutes are trafficking in by Eastern European organized crime.) Not sure what the solution is, but you can tell I feel strongly. 🙂

  • I think that as feminist, we should all strive not to see things through a heterosexist second wave lens. What I mean by that is it’s too easy to judge another woman for how she makes her money. But that in no way means that a conversation should not be had. Sex work in all forms can be seen as a step toward the never-crumbling patriarchy, helping it stay erect (pun intended), or it can be seen as a subversive, powerful way to undermine the sexual expectations of women by “performing” said role KNOWINGLY, and then making some hard cash while you’re at it. I’m not in the business of telling a woman that she is right or wrong about the situation. But if we’re really going to be breaking down layers here, we should also discuss the sexism of marriage. Also, the article is coming from a completely heterosexual point of view with very basic gender stereotypes. So is it not a privileged space to judge a woman (who may identify as queer) for choosing to take advantage of this easy-online-dating scenario to make some cash? Should she strive for marriage when perhaps, that’s not even an option for her? Do we REALLY need a feminist hierarchy where strong, established women with money and husbands are shaking their fingers at those girls at the proverbial bottom? I think that’s worth discussing.

    • Madame Ostrich

      I agree wholeheartedly with your statement, “Do we REALLY need a feminist hierarchy where strong, established women with money
      and husbands are shaking their fingers at those girls at the proverbial bottom?”

      Well said!


    • ZK

      YES! Thank you. Very well said. The article is super heterosexist, a point that didn’t immediately stand out to me on first read, but I am so very glad you brought it up.

  • Alele

    I feel as though it is just a means to an end for the women in question. They are living the lifestyle that projects exactly the image they desire and gives them exactly the praise they want. The idea of being attainable gorgeous to rich men to the point of them paying you thousands of dollars to sit on a couch in sweat pants would just further the belief that they are almost an Alpha female which would definitely be a trip of some sort. Also the excerpt where they speak of weekends in London and weeks in Paris, being able to cook and practice yoga and be precisely what a man desires in a woman is, what I feel at least, exactly what they are striving for in such profession. The belief that they are they perfect entity (which desire for such undeniably could have stemmed from some sort of childhood issue) seems to be the desired aspect of the job yet that would be saying that all of these women are are perpetually acting in a false lifestyle which could only breed severe melacholy at the least. Ultimately I dont know these women but at the end of it they will wake up every morning to an empty pillow next to them and they may be buried in a solitary grave next to a strangers bones. But maybe that’s the key!

  • Hannah

    This article portrays marriage in an especially horrible light, but maybe it’s right. Perhaps marriage as an institution is slowly becoming obsolete, but it still doesn’t account for the lack of real relationships and dialogue that comes with Escorts. But the Escorts let men live out a fantasy, and while I’m certainly not saying that the fantasy is “right” or “moral,” everyone wants an escape sometimes. But equating women with a hobby for the sake of the fantasy is what I think to be wrong.

  • I’m with you. I always developed some attachment when (any level of ) physical affection was involved. Research shows that attachment is reinforced by physical acts (even just kissing).

  • alcessa

    Well, in the good olden times people did many things by themselves that we now consider real jobs to be done by professionals, if possible, so why not this one. 🙂

    It would also be high time that each and every one of us honestly checked their “marriage ability”, i.e. the ability to be really married or in a serious relationship with someone and if the result is not convincingly positive, one should then proceed to look for alternatives instead of just doing it cause everybody else does and not being successful because one was not made for it.

    Since wedding (maybe also marriage) is still most women’s most important dream and men’s proof they are worthy citizens, not enough people are critical enough about it.
    I’m sure some of those marriages are based on similar “exchange principles” like those depicted in the article, only they are not discussed openly. What else does “a good match” mean if not “a good catch”? 🙂

    It shouldn’t be that women primarily want to date and/or keep their men (200 + pounds! I wouldn’t want to, either, sorry) , we should live in a society where most of them also have a career that’s taking them to new places and paying for a lavish lifestyle including male escorts and/or children should they want to. 🙂

  • Amanda GREY

    well, the question is, why would any individual (man or or woman) would like to relegate its own selfinterest to somebody elses wishes? And the whole thing about an asshole writing about women as merely props in mens life is as ethical as Chenneys

  • Emily

    Dude, I am thoroughly disturbed. Not by the idea that there is a booming escort market out there (I don’t have my head that far in the sand), but the idea that, to me, guys are getting worse. Being a single lady in my 30s, I’ve dealt firsthand with one entitled guy after another. It doesn’t matter if they look like a hobbit or have the personality of a doorknob, they think they DESERVE some girl like the escorts described in the article and they expect you (their date) to follow suit and be thankful for the opportunity. Ick. I know all guys aren’t like this (MR, I’m glad you found your prince!) and that some would say I sound “bitter”, but I speak as I find….

    • Madame Ostrich

      Being a single lady in my 30s, I’ve dealt firsthand with one entitled guy after another. It doesn’t matter if they look like a hobbit or have the personality of a doorknob, they think they DESERVE some girl like the escorts described in the article and they expect you (their date) to follow suit and be thankful for the opportunity.

      Haha! You said that beautifully!!!

    • Taylor

      Yes!! And then when refuse to accept this type of behavior from guys and demand they put some effort into “courting” me, I am called a bitch, stuck up, full of myself, or told I am asking for it (like sorry I don’t button my shirt all the way up so that I can show off my new dannijo bling).

  • Leah

    I don’t think it’s fair to state that a woman isn’t a feminist if she’s interested in fashion or cooking or anything that can related to ‘domesticated woman operations’. That being said…this article has pointed out the fundamental problem in relationships of our generation. No one wants to work for it….instant satisfaction. The men want to feel like they’ve been with these women for years but don’t want to put in the time. This article is a reality check.

    Women want to be taken care of but they can’t guarantee that marriage will last anymore. This article isn’t about feminism. It’s about this disgusting air of entitlement that our generation exudes.
    It’s sickening but it is true. Why bother waiting to sleep with a guy? Get yours and get out right? What’s the point of romance if it’s just a transaction at the end of the day.

    Our generation has Hollywood blinders about what WE think relationships and love should be about. That’s not what really happens. This is 2013….instant gratification is ALWAYS the bottom line. We want those great dates and hot nights…just right this second.

    Granted this is not always the case and blah, blah, blah…but it IS the major trend.

    That being said…I absolutely LOVE your blog…as a designer, I love that you aren’t afraid to make fun of the ridiculousness of our industry. CHEERS!

  • I think you’re overlooking the empowerment theory of sex work (my best friend is a sociology major). There’s a whole subset of women in the sex industry who find it very empowering — they can set their own prices, choose their customers, and work whatever hours they choose.

    I tend to fall in love with every stranger my lips touch as well, but I think there’s some cognitive dissonance at play. There was a study once that made college kids write a paper on some divisive issue (I think it was abortion or immigration or something), from the opposite standpoint of their own. Half the kids were paid, the other half were not. The ones who were paid, when polled later, hadn’t changed their opinions, but the ones who HADN’T been paid actually started believing the things they wrote.
    The theory on this is that we like our behavior to be rational. The students who were paid could rationalize writing this paper that they disagreed with because they got money. The other students actually changed their beliefs to be more consistent with their actions.

    In the same vein, I might kinda fall for every guy I kiss, because on some subconscious level my brain is asking me, “Why did you do that? Oh, you like him!” This woman, on the other hand, is getting paid.

    Its not a profession I’m looking for personally, but I don’t think it’s antifeminist. If anything, the illustration (projecting unhappiness onto this woman) is the most offensive part of the whole scenario.

  • My mind and conservative upbringing (read 19 years of Catholic school) tells me I should find this disturbing but really the first word that came to my mind after I read it was ‘fantastic’.
    I wouldn’t say this is female empowerment but there is definitely something positive about women living that life and being content, if not happy, about it. It’s a not so common perspective on these women. The mainstream tells us these women are either victims of circumstances or mercenary bitches but really there are those who chose this profession and have gotten a good life out of it.
    Overall, it is a fascinating read.

  • rita

    These girls are only giving men the right to take advantage of them for a worthless paycheck. How are women supposed to be treated equally when we have women who would rather make a quick buck by having sex with men who consider sex a hobby, rather than earn their living by doing something that does not allow men to have control over them (which is hypocritical in a sense, considering that most men occupy the top paying jobs)? It is a woman’s right to choose what career she will pursue, but isn’t also true that women are set up to pursue careers such as being an escort (i.e. media’s portrayal of women constantly being controlled by men)? Women who are escorts are seen as objects by men, but this is also true for women who are married.

  • A.

    Feminism is kind of a “solid members only” insituion. As a feminist, I’m constantly asked why I shave my legs. The answer is swim team in 6th grade, where it was nessisary, and once it happend, there was no going back. And so while I rant about the right to vote and have an abortion, I do so with shaved legs…
    As a feminist, you have to recognize that everyone makes their own choice. As a feminist, you made the choice to be a feminist, and an escort made that same choice (and hopefully was not forced to). My only problem with this article would be that of the two members in the illustration, the male is in the dominant role, as the one who hired the escort. Though, maybe there are a higher percentage of female escorts…

    • Trudie

      Do lesbians prefer partners with hairy legs? If not, then why is shaving your legs considered inconsistent with feminism?

  • Bloomaglow

    While Im not fond of prostitution, I wonder, what is it that we are really upset about? Is it the fact that they are getting pay for it or just the no commitment thing? We live in a society where sex-without any type of responsibility-is becoming more and more popular and a lot more woman seem to be totally ok with it. I remember a few years back, when for the first time ever I heard the expression ‘friends with benefits’. A girl I worked with was talking about her friend with benefits. Of course i didn’t get it so it had to be explained to me. Honestly I still don’t get it. Today we see it eveywhere. We see movies in the subject and enjoy them. Woman tell me about them doing it all the time, like is not a big deal. We have may it so easy for men to just get what they want without any type of compromise and then we wonder how is that getting a proposal has become so hard. So to me-as upsetting as this situation may be- the way I see it is, I least they are charging for it.

  • I think you most certainly are a feminist, leandra. I think the meaning of the word has changed so much – there’s no one way to go about it. Despite the difference in tastes and actions of fellow feminists, we all have the same underlying motives. I always say female is a state of mind: it’s the uniqueness of our complex relationships (although this article claims otherwise), the ability to rise to the occasion and do so with less support in many situations. Those who think feminism isn’t about fashion or having the qualities of liking fashion are simply outdated. Rather, feminism should be more about girl power – and if that source be fashion, go with all your might.

  • despitecolor

    Wooah, quite a sad story!

  • Although I am surprised by how relentlessly this article glamorizes prostitution (intellectually curious yogis who weekend in Paris, really?), I think I am bothered more by how the Johns are portrayed. The tone of this article implies that they deserve this release as if it is a basic need. These men simply can’t be bothered with clingy girls who won’t show themselves out before they wake up. This perpetuates the stereotype that all women are looking for marriage or a long term relationship all the time. I agree that not all women want the mornings – and it may be many of them feel that way in a certain time in their lives, with a certain man, or after a certain encounter. Either way, I feel like we’ve all been there – and sometimes it’s the men who want the mornings too. Putting the gross generalizations about gender aside, I feel like this article demonizes the women who are seeking a connection or a relationship and portrays the prostitute as the hero rescuing the men from this hell. Especially in the case of the man with the 200 pound wife who gained the weight back – because she is fat, he has a right to cheat? The author practically gave him permission – she’s not doing her job as a wife staying thin and satisfying him sexually, so his behavior is entirely fine. I agree that they should have delved deeper into the psyche of both prostitutes and the Johns who use them – especially those who are married or committed to another woman. I am also surprised that there isn’t more discussion on the role of power in these relationships – how by selling their bodies, these women are reducing themselves to objects, and their Johns essentially own them by the hour. We expect this will affect the woman’s psyche but how does it affect the man’s? How will that affect his interactions with future women – or his ability to ever find a fulfilling, loving relationship?

    • Kamila

      This is basicly what I’ve been thinking while reading this article. Why are other women pictured as needy, with too high expectations, scouting for husbands? I actually find a term Wife In Training quite revolting and possitively 1950s.
      All in all, I couldn’t help feeling like we were in the Mad Men universe.

    • “and the johns essentially own them by the hour” congratulations! you have just become an anti-capitalist! (if you weren’t one before). When you work for someone, you are renting yourself out to them, whether renting yourself out for sex or renting yourself out for giving another service or making a car part is less or more humane is merely a factor of individual opinion based on cultural constructions of what is “dirty” or “clean” or more human or whatever, in the end you are doing the same thing: becoming an object for someone else’s exploitation, renting yourself out, . Of course, my own views about the body and sex would prevent me from ever renting myself out in that manner while finding it at least tolerable to rent myself out to ring things up at a grocery store, but I accept the fact that to others there may be no difference and they may have no problems renting themselves to the former purpose.

    • Cynthia

      Well put, Julia.

      I also want to say that writers generally have nothing to do with the illustration that has been commissioned to accompany articles for publication. There are some illustrators who don’t even read the articles that they are illustrating. So, what we see here is a product of the illustrator and the editors of the New York Observer. Sadly, this illustrator also seems to be doing a sad knock-off of another fabulous illustrator, Mark Matcho. Yes, that is his real name. How ironic in the context of this comment.

  • CaffineCrazed

    I would assume that these women are motivated by the ‘easy’ money.Why do we as women have to fit into one stereotype or the other, the carefree single women who doesn’t mind putting out on the first date or as the author says wife in training. I would say, be who you want to be. If you think that your life will be fulfilled by going out with men for money or just casually, go for it. If you feel that life is all about being in love and raising a family, go for it. I am sure there are plenty of men who want both these things. What I find annoying in both men and women is when they try to change someone who wants something else. Personally feminism to me means being able to do what you want as a women without judgement, so if its being an escort, I’d say good luck and be sure to get tested every month. In conclusion, when I read about the brutal gang rape in India and elsewhere, I can’t help but wonder if its better to live in a society with escorts and/or prostitution, than sexual repression which more often than not leads to these heinous crimes on unwilling women.

  • julia weeman

    I also find it very interesting that the author wrote this article for Esquire:

  • Cassandra

    “We’ve conditioned ourselves, after all, to exist in a world where sex is the x-factor–the sex-factor, if you will–and there is an indubitable emphasis on power at play.” Yes, you nailed it. I admit I only read half the article (the behaviors too despicable for my taste, I had had enough before the bolded ‘2 am’ heading), but from those first few paragraphs, I had gathered enough. Disposable relationships represent just one of the symptoms of a greater syndrome that affects society of our generation (see also Porn consumption en masse, and the mere notion of “Friends with benefits”). Pleasure- and power-seeking, we have conditioned ourselves to accept frivolous encounters. Skipping from partner to partner is no longer frowned upon, but normalized. And while men have been portrayed** for some time now as the indulgers in all things sex minus commitment, women are now up to bat. That is, in a world where WE continue seek equality, what better equalizer than to join men in their own game? Sex with emotional detachment. While this kind of activity may afford one (a woman in this case) a certain sense of I-am-woman-hear-me-roar sexy power at first, I can’t help but think that empty encounter after empty encounter leaves one ultimately feeling down-right disposable and just spiritually dead.

    Anyways, just my two cents! I really liked this post, Leandra.


    **N.B. This is false for some beautiful cases of man: my own fiancé whom I respect and love beyond anything/one EVER (I’m in that glowing, just got the ring phase) and, Leandra, your perman-friend based on anecdotal evidence from previous posts.

  • thecrowneblog

    i do believe that the women in the article are happy. they are paid grandly for things most women do for free on any given night. the $500+ an hour escort is a very real thing but a very small part of the prostitution world. for the men and women who enjoy such a thing- i think they both win. who i feel sorry for are the wives. it is absolutely unfair and heart breaking to consider the wife at home who has no clue of their husband’s little habit on the side. (and is there really an equivalent for women? while some of us wouldn’t mind a few hours in a hotel room with a stranger with only one thing on the agenda, let’s face it. we typically want more.) as a wife myself, my alliances and sympathy lie with the wives. but as a woman, i can understand why this exists. so many men are shallow and would love this arrangement if they could pul it off/afford it. it is a sad fact of life. i think at the end of the night when the man goes back to his wife, his pockets empty, it is actually the escort who has won. but then again, who knows.

  • Heather Fonseca

    Easy. Money.
    There’s a documentary on Netflix that you should really check out. I can’t remember what it’s called but it was about a legal brothel in Nevada (Arizona? Where is it that prostitution is legal?) anyway, the women that work there, for the most part, really like what they do. No one is forcing them to be there. They make good money. They like sex. They like men. It’s fascinating!

    • Anna

      I believe you’re talking bout the Bunny Ranch!

  • julia weeman

    And finally, the most interesting find I found on this feminist rabbithole you’ve sent me on, Jezebel’s opinion on the author made me actually laugh out loud:
    “Jesus Fucking Christ. It’s like this was written by Jack Kerouac’s vagina.”

  • flutterby

    While prostitution or being an escort can be viewed as degrading to women, some see it as particularly liberating. Society has really changed the roles for women, but really, in dating, women are still supposed to somehow dazzle the man into giving her his mornings (and the rest of his life really). So in being an escort, the women is pretty much doing the same thing as the man – she doesn’t need his mornings, just his nights, and neither gets commitment or baggage from it. And obviously women are very different from men, but not all women are created equal. Some women could probably handle the lack of commitment or stability, and could look past the allusions of degradation. If you honestly don’t care what anyone thinks, you are okay with being a hooker basically, and it makes you feel liberated, you probably wouldn’t have a problem being a hooker. It probably takes a special kind to do that…I can’t really understand it either. Well I can, but I could never do that for a living. That’s just bad for the woman, and bad for the man, and all the people involved truly.

  • Whilst there’s undoubtably value in sex work, it’s sad that these men are content with paying for what is essentially an inherently unequal relationship founded upon the exchange of money for sexual favours, and that there appears to be little interest in working to establish a meaningful, long-term relationship. And that we as women are complicit to this change in expectations. It seems that the pursuit of instant gratification has a lot to answer for.

    The binary classification of women as either a sex worker or a wife-in-training is also sad. I like to think that we as women are a hell of a lot more interesting than that!

    • Smriti Ram

      ” The binary classification of women as either a sex worker or a wife-in-training is also sad. I like to think that we as women are a hell of a lot more interesting than that!”

      Well said!

  • I guess I was just more than a little unsettled at the fact that the author seemed to be hinting that all women should treat their relationships more like these escorts treat their clients, that treatment being women emotionally detaching and giving up their desire for mornings–and that’s where they’re failing, and the escorts are succeeding. But really, isn’t the desire to spend more than one night together what separates a relationship from a one night stand?

    Additionally, I felt as though the men in this article were presented as the norm rather than the exception. Maybe (but hopefully not) that’s what the author’s research showed, but either way, how big of a trend this actually is should have been clarified.

  • Marcia

    Masquerading. For those who don’t know the term, it means knowingly putting on the constructs of a given role (in this case, a particular stereotype of ideal male fantasy) for the purposes of personal gain or empowerment. It’s the eternal tension in every social movement: those who choose to play the game and benefit from it, versus those who choose to buck society and all it’s constructs on principle, and bring upon oneself all the pragmatic consequences of this rejection. Most feminists, as with most people in general, find themselves falling (in reality, if not in principle) somewhere along the middle. The person rejecting fashion altogether is on one end of the scale, the “empowered prostitute” or stripper or woman getting a boob job while saying “it makes me feel better about myself!” lie on varying points at the other end. The person on the idealistic end says that the others are making the problem worse, reinforcing horrible habits and misogynistic cultural trends, sabotaging the mission. The person on the pragmatic end says that if you can’t beat ’em, you may as well join ’em; a Machiavellian sort of appropriating the rules to their ends.

    It’s a neverending battle.

  • Nicole

    WOW. This whole concept is fascinating (but then again… I find hookers walking the street to be fascinating aswell) maybe it’s just the whole exchange of money for sex (or the GFE… riiigght..) Realistically,it is highly unlikely that all of these people have the same condition as the tinman (no heart). In the moment, it might not sink in, but when these men go home and get in bed next to their wives and conveinently leave out the “im fucking a hooker” part of their night, they will feel guilty. It’s human nature. And when these escorts get older and turn into the wife of the men they have been “satisfying”… karma will be right there to bite em in the ass.

  • Johnston

    Money. Greed. Narcicism. That us all. Everyone person in this article is looking to please themselves, and they’re not concerned about anything else. The escorts just know they like to be able to afford Loubs and to go to dinner, so they figured out how to get it. Jack wants sex and a relationship he is in charge of, and the female lawyer he takes out on a date wants a husband. We (unfortunately) live in a self-centered, disposable society.

  • I thought it was a pretty well-written article. I suppose one could argue that it’s a positive thing that the women in this business can dictate their price and their time. What’s concerning to me is just how blasé the whole thing is portrayed. I’m hardly a conservative, but I don’t believe that this is the norm for most escorts and the reporter only provided a narrow insight. You’re right, the reporter should’ve delved deeper into the women’s psyche… that would’ve been really interesting.

    You’re definitely not judgmental. I think what you and most of your readers are are people who are self-actualized enough to know that the rental experience doesn’t even compare to experiencing the real thing.

  • Lola K

    I am usually content to be a silent observer on this blog that I love so dearly, and usually never comment, but this article is too interesting to pass up. I find it most disheartening, as a young woman just entering her twenties, that men seem to actually worsen with age rather than improve. Is it bad that I’m surprised? Admittedly, I may or may not live under a rock, but the whole idea of women being advertised on a website I find absolutely appalling. Never mind that she is intelligent or interested in politics, that is not what these sites are advertising – the reviews that the author of this article chose to discuss only included the way the selected girl looked and preformed sexually. There is nothing in this article that portrays women in a positive light, especially the contrast between the frumpy married woman and the svelte escort. Yikes.
    Anywhoo, that is just my humble opinion, naive though it may be.

    • jan

      And you think there aren’t similar websites that rate male escorts?

  • Valerie

    An interesting read, no doubt, but I fear it is portraying women (other than sex workers) as figures who are completely lacking in depth, personality, brains, self-respect, or even (dare I say) sex-drives.

  • Maeve
  • Wind-up bird

    Thanks for posting this, I probably would have missed it otherwise. It’s saddening to think of this as being the new paradigm. People are deeper than this. We have empathy and are conscious of it, so why/how do men like those in this article seem to turn it off? When you can cheat on your wife because of her weight and convince yourself it’s not cheating, something is wrong. I understand both men and women have sexual urges, we are still animals, and animals by instinct have the urge (if I may call it that) to reproduce (in our case we also want the gratification of that comes with sex). Even with all of these factors, we have a mind that allows us to go further than that, and it is an utter shame that people choose to shun emotional connections as an unwanted burden.

  • Christine

    To build on your discussion with Emma, I think the implicit assumption of this article (and likely why it lacks any investigation into the inner life of an escort) is that it is impossible for women to win at a game where men make all the rules. The wife-in-training loses when Jack chooses Kimberly over her (even temporarily). The wife loses when Mitchell repeatedly cheats on her with multiple escorts (and don’t even get me started on his excuse-making). And the escorts lose because they have objectified, marginalized, and devalued themselves within a society where trading money for sex is taboo…especially if you’re a woman.

    All of this brings me to the illustration, which depicts a woman who is obviously frustrated and awake at 3 o’clock — presumably 3AM — despite the fact that there is a satisfied, good-looking man passed out and cuddling her. She’s got what she wanted, and yet, she’s nagged by worry. Because she has no way of knowing whether this man in bed with her is a Jack or a Mitchell, or one of the many decent guys out there who would never objectify a woman by reviewing her online.
    I’ll venture to guess the woman in the illustration is the target demo for this particular piece. And she is yet another reason why we hear nothing about how the escorts think or feel. The wannabe wife or girlfriend is too consumed with what this man may or may not be doing behind her back to care. And that is where we as feminists need to improve. Not by calling each other out, but by refusing to devalue another woman’s feelings or life choices, regardless of what we think of them. – Christine

  • PrivLit

    Rich people are so hilariously unhappy all the time. Oh, the moral conundrums one is faced with when one has more money than god! Is it wrong for a millionaire to cheat on his fat wife with a $5,000 hooker? If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?

    Who cares? If you have that much money, you don’t have real problems. Everything is a question of “to be comfortable, or to be more comfortable-er.”

  • Nina

    What bothers me are comments like this:

    “I don’t even want to fuck her necessarily, it’s just nice to know I can reach across and touch her right boob, if I want to.”

    Because you have rented her out, like a car.

    I find these kind of articles truly bleak.

    I have considered joining a religious dating website just so I’m not dating men whose expectation is no-strings porn sex. But I’m pretty sure those guys are everywhere.

  • pleasefckyourselfwhydontya

    you ruined it because you wasted my time with this bs

  • Léa

    The whole article bothers me for many reasons..
    But chiefly, “wive in training” seems to have been substituted for “equal”. Jack (or John? A-hole in any case) just wants control. One dares to hope that in 2013 male dominant relationships have at least begun to fade away, but this article sure paints a grim future for us.

  • T

    Have you ever thought that perhaps women would like the same thing? The same kind of freedom, the same kind of openness and easiness? The guilt free option to walk away when something isn’t fun anymore but boring?

    And perhaps as we gradually free ourselves from the obligation of raising children and being ‘who we think we ought to be, rather than who we really are’ we’d start seeking out similar relationships? Relationships where we got to be the perpetual girlfriend rather than the replacement mother. And then no one would have to pay for anything, we’d all be walking around with big smiles on our faces, like hippies back in the 60’s. Free love man 😉

  • W

    I disagree with you on one point… ‘ruining marriages in some instances’. If a man is accessing an escort, isn’t his marriage is already ruined.

  • marie

    This is just wretched. The past three years of my life, I have struggled with depression due to the sad facts of what is going on today. (I am a college student who is surrounded by people who seem to not have any emotions involved in what they do.) Assuming these women do this by choice, it is frustrating to see how we as women only make matters worse for ourselves by allowing men to see us as nothing more than objects. As a person who has been cheated on because I wanted to wait until marriage, I am mortified by how okay the article makes it for these men to cheat. I, like you, have never kissed someone without falling for them but, I realize that many women are not like that. I ask myself what kind of happiness men and women get from meaningless physical relationships and how it is possible for them to have sex (make love) without feeling anything at all. Is there something wrong with us for not being able to keep our emotions out of the picture? Or is love dying (if not already dead)? Maybe eventually these people realize they want a meaningful relationship but by that point, everyone only cares about the physical. We complain about men only wanting one thing and women being seen as objects but we have allowed this to happen. Unfortunately, we must all live with the consequences despite the fact that some of us don’t have emotionless sexual encounters.

    Frankly, nobody should be telling me that I must not be a feminist because I enjoy fashion and cooking. Who feels like it is in their power to tell us about what a feminist is or isn’t? A man? or a woman who considers herself a feminist so, she slams another woman down? We want equality and to be heard. That’s what matters.

    I have always enjoyed your take on fashion and have followed you for several years now. Your posts recently have been very inspiring and wonderful. Thank you for cheering me up daily.

    • Victoria

      Life gets hard but, from reading your post, you should take comfort that you seem to have a beautiful soul.

  • Jenna

    It fascinates me that people like to associate the rise of infidelity and casual sex with an evolving culture, when we know from previous historical examples that it is, in fact, one of the signs of a deteriorating society. Late 19th century Russia, anyone? Prostitution should not be glorified, and this article is a pretty disgusting attempt to turn the objectification of women into a form of feminism. It doesn’t matter if these women chose to have these jobs. They are putting themselves and every other woman into the role of sexual plaything for the men they service. Maybe I’m being ridiculously naive, but a relationship is about a little more than sex. And boredom in a marriage is just as much the fault of the philandering husband as it is of the preoccupied wife.
    How these women transition from escort to anything else is beyond me. There really aren’t any marketable skills gained and you can hardly put “three-ring binders full of men” on a resume (just ask Mitt Romney). This glorification of “perpetual girlfriend” is just another attempt by emotionally stunted men to belittle anyone who has somehow managed to maintain their sensitivity and dignity in this messed-up world.

    • Maya

      I agree 100%. You have verbalized what I was struggling to say.

  • cazzy undecideed

    I just would like to say your blog is amazing. I always want to expand my views and the little reads you link to in your blog have really opened up my mind to the distasteful things that occur in this world. Thanx for shaping a snippet of my future, in a good way, I am more knowledgeable, have opinions about things after reading your posts….inspirational! excuse my not so well written comment but the message is there i believe

  • On the one hand, this is all continuing the damaging for society sick-ideals, step further, young, fresh and even intelligent( as article says) are now not just for a limited time at the beginning of marriage. Now, you can get these ‘ideal’ women at any time, if you wish for. The girls who work there for their consumerist needs, are crushing the gender equality dreams. What should elderly ones do? If they are no good for men any-more. In short, this facilitate unfair gender roles.
    on the other hand, however, these “girlfriends” could be considered feminist, if they do not see the highest point of their existence to be an extension of the man. They are earning money, but never truly commit their lives to them.

  • Madame Ostrich

    I suppose the issue really comes down to the way we (as
    a collective society) view female sexuality…

    Some women argue-that sex work under all
    circumstances reinforces patriarchal dominance. By using sexuality as a
    bartering device, these women are in turning their bodies into commodities—ultimately
    leading to the objectification of women as a whole. It changes the
    sexual-power-dynamic, and gives men an unrealistic expectation that women
    should cater to their fantasies, rather than viewing sex and a mutually
    beneficial experience.

    Then—on the other hand, there are some third wavers who
    argue that accepting prostitution is a vital step in the process of our
    feminine “liberation” from said patriarchal objection. By acknowledging prostitution, we are
    acknowledging female sexuality. Ergo,
    the female’s “right” to exert her sexuality in whatever way she sees fit—rather
    than maintaining patriarchal notions of propriety.

    Hell, some women (Holla Camille Paglia!) even argue
    that any sexual act (ahem, penetration) is a violently symbolic act of
    dominance and submission.

    Prostitution is no new issue. It has been going on for thousands of years,
    and although the business has advanced with fancy new websites, etc. the act of
    sex for money has not.

    However, our ability as females to hold a personal
    standpoint and speak out about what we believe in, has
    changed. If anything, the fact that we are having this discussion is a step
    towards “feminine liberation” from a patriarchal society. We are able to put the topic of “sexuality”
    on the table, and discuss it openly. I
    think that, in itself, is great–even if we don’t find a
    common ground.

    I wish you all a wonderful weekend!


  • Caroline Pirozzolo

    I read this article as well after seeing it on your instagram, and I’ll admit I thought exactly the same thing! I can’t imagine working in such a profession and not eventually wanting something more than simply a bunch of one night stands; it seems one would eventually want something more emotionally fulfilling. The article actually reminded me of another I read on NY Times the other day ( about the end of traditional courtship, and I can’t help but wonder if all this is fueled by how fast paced and instant gratification-based our society has become. We’re always moving so quickly from one thing to the next, and our attention spans are smaller than they have ever been. Perhaps that is how both the escort and the man himself are so satisfied with living the way they do; not being ‘stuck’ or ‘bored’ by staying with the same person long-term. Just a thought.

  • Ellie

    The curious thing to me about the Observer article is the paradox that it indicates: that, on the one hand, these women can feel genuinely happy in their work and think that they are liberated, and that, on the other hand, they can in fact be buying into a culture that is subjugating them regardless of any “feelings” of liberation. In my opinion, it’s the result of capitalist ideology. (I wrote a post about it here: I’m extremely grateful for your drawing attention to the Observer article and for encouraging us all to critically reflect on it!
    Also, I think the opinion that feminists would reject fashion altogether is extremely short-sighted! I do philosophical work in feminist theory and am at the same time passionate about fashion. The relationship between the ideas we hold and the clothes we wear is far more intimate than many recognize!

  • Jill

    Oh lord, I’ve kissed many men that I didn’t immediately fall in love with. 🙂

    And we had hot sex. And I knew it might not go anywhere…sometimes you just want the sex. (Or at least I do…did…having now been married for almost thirteen years). I don’t think it’s only men who are able to have sex without expectations…

    And at least for this woman, once I realized I did want more, I had / have no regrets about my er….”comprehensive roster” (though it was nowhere near 290). They all had their place. They all served their purpose. I enjoyed my single years a lot, and my married years even more. I don’t think I would appreciate my marriage and husband as much without the single years, and I think the single years (and the ups and downs of the relationships prior to marriage) prepared me somewhat (though not even close to entirely) for the relationship that would, ultimately, be the one that really counts.

    When I was first married, I read an article about a trend where couples would buy houses close to each other, and they would visit each other for dinner, dates, etc – but then the one visiting would go home. It was like having all the evenings with none of the mornings. And sometimes I think that sounds great…

    I think the danger is that some of these men might never examine their motivations – they might spend a lifetime “not being ready” as the article says, because having the ease of paying for dating / sex doesn’t force them to get ready, or experience the other side of a relationship. And maybe that’s okay – maybe some of the women might never be ready for a different type of relationship either. So if it works for them…who are we to judge it? I can think of worse situations.

    And the only thing I’ll say on the feminism angle is that your taking joy in fashion and how you dress yourself has nothing to do with it. Don’t let the haters (or purists) get you down.

  • Ms. Mel

    From a feminism standpoint, of course, what escorts do can be characterized as “regressive”! But even within the feminism context—which I will simplify here only for the sake of argument as resistance to male-dominating definitions of gender roles—is this
    really the only possible formulation? Personally, I think it depends on where you place your “feminist focus,” if you will. You can place it either on complete resistance to the “traditional” (i.e., men’s) definition of how women are supposed to be, or on the notion that
    women have more choices to be what they want to be, and the empowerment is in having that choice. You, Leandra, appear to fall into the second category. You choose to be into fashion, nevermind that high heels have been deemed a form of bondage according to feminist theory; You choose to be married, not for money or because it is the “proper” thing for women to do, but because you love someone for your very own special and unique reasons.

    A friend once told me he’d dated many intelligent, career-driven women who wanted nothing more than to be married and raise families. He asked, if these women were such feminists, why would they want that life? I ventured my “choice” theory to him—that it was a woman’s choice as to whether she would pursue a career, pursue a family, or hell, both if she so desired. And all of this with or without regard to what men or a society dominated (?) by men tell her to do.

    But now we have to look at whether being a female escort, whose sole purpose it is to cater to men’s perverted desires, is a choice as much as pursuing any other career or a family is a choice. In this rite, we are a bit of a schizophrenic society in that we value bodily autonomy—it’s my body, and I get to do with it what I want. This is essentially the argument at the heart of the great birth control debate. So then I ask, ladies, why should this argument stop at birth control? Why shouldn’t it extend to being a female escort? Is it because of the “catering to men” factor? What if you enjoy treating men like the oafs they can be because they’re so willing to pay thousands of dollars to submit to their character weakness of absolutely needing a hand job right now?!! America is full of companies that capitalize on human weakness, insecurity, and the need for approval. It’s kind of disgusting, but no one is yelling at L’Oreal or Forever 21 for doing it. Actually the last time I checked, both companies were doing pretty well.

    I think the sticking point is in the fact that we’re talking about sex, in which many generally perceive an inherent power dynamic. But think about it. At least in heterosexual relationships, are women really the weaker sex? Is the fact that he (Mr. Active) sticks his phallus into her (Ms. Passive) receiver really a sign that she is the weaker one? The
    bottom line is it doesn’t even have to be characterized in active or passive terms. And by the way, I have been told that this power dynamic also exists in homosexual relationships, which leads me to believe that it has less to do with the characterizing of the parts as much as it is just personality dynamics.

    So ladies, get “on top”—both in the bedroom AND in your social relationships, so we can stop asking questions about whether sexual dynamics make us the “weaker” sex altogether.

    Anyone who knows me well enough knows I’m a big romantic at heart, but that heart has been broken a few times recently. What I discovered was that heartbreak, at least in its immediate aftermath, is PARALYZING. It can lead to depression, suicidal thoughts, feelings of self-worthlessness, and more bad shit. But what is even more damaging and damning is that it takes up far too much precious time and emotional energy and, in the end, keeps you from being productive. With the million things I have on my plate, I could little afford to be paralyzed by heartbreak. Now, in no way does this discourage me from getting involved in deeply intimate relationships. I already know I’m perfectly capable of having a deep and genuine connection, but I do now realize the value of maintaining some—indeed, most—emotional involvement until I really know the other person. It is a strange way for a hopeless romantic to be, but some degree of self-protection is necessary in order to prevent or mitigate further chaos down the line. But escorts maintain emotional distance as a matter of course. I believe that sex and emotion are meant to go hand-in-hand. But I’m a woman; Of course, I feel this way. However, if you find some way to divorce the two (no pun intended), you are doing it to protect yourself from either only bad people or just people altogether. The second one, it should go without saying, is the dangerous one. A general inability to connect is a sign of something grave.

    Jack, in the Observer’s article, is a scared, emotionally-retarded little boy. He hides his emotional weakness with nice material belongings and a cute smile. While he may be giving off the appearance of confidence, deep down inside, there’s likely a disaster brewing around. But so long as he maintains emotional distance by pursuing only superficial relationships, no one will ever know. God forbid anyone get too close lest they discover the monsters within. Don’t want to scare off the pretty girls now.

    Men/people who are emotionally mature are the ones who know how to bravely navigate the harsh waters of human intimacy, especially because god knows this is the path of greatest resistance. It is scary to be so revealing about your innermost fears and desires because this does, in fact, open you up to taking a few slugs. That other person you reach out to knows your flaws, what turns you on, and what makes you tick—and they can either accept or reject you on those grounds. And who wants to be rejected or even risk such a thing? Thus, escorts: Catering to this need to mask; Just doing it dirty and laughing all the way to the bank for it. Call it despicable, but send a friendly letter to Gucci or Corvette while you’re at it. So while on the surface, the whole notion of the female escort may appear to involve only feminist politics, you were right in noting that there truly is so much more wrapped up in all of it.

  • Hannah

    If you haven’t already, you should read Jill Nagle’s “Whores and Other Feminists”. It’s an interesting read and truly get to the heart of what you’re asking.

  • zorah

    I cringed though this entire article, ugh. While I believe prostitution should be legal and am fine if a woman decides to become a prostitute of her own volition, the most irritating part of this article for me is that it’s really beating a dead horse. How many times do we hear about “rich and powerful” men hiring escorts? How many lifetime movies have been made about upscale brothels? How many New York, DC (etc.) madams have we heard about in the media? While these women are a part of prostitution I have to believe they are the exception and not the rule. Most prostitutes begin their lives in the “game” at age 13, THIRTEEN. We rarely if ever hear about the women and young girls who don’t service the 1%. We barely hear about women of color period. No, escorts are the smart, college educated, mostly white women who chose to do this. Also it doesn’t even try to discuss the possiblity of these women haveing bad johns, being
    raped, or not enjoying the company of every john they service. The
    article is written as if every john these women see are (incredibly
    douchey) handsome young guys who could “get any girl” or “nice” middle
    aged men that don’t want to sleep with their fat wives (don’t even get me started on that one). I would genuinely be interested in understanding why someone would choose prostitution and why these men choose prostitutes beyond the “no-strings-attached-sex” cliche, unfortunately the author doesn’t touch on any of this. Either way do these escorts really need the lengthy stories? lets give attention to those who weren’t marketing execs in a former life, don’t have louboutin laden lofts, didn’t necessarily choose to become prostitutes, and don’t jet set to paris for the week. I’d rather discuss the documentary Very Young Girls then continually dwell on articles/news reports like this.

  • ecmdr

    I feel like this article represents everything I abhor in American culture and men. Call me naive, but I still have faith in men and that there are good ones to be found out there. As a single 25 year old (single by choice) I chose not to worry about meeting someone – at this point in my life it isn’t a priority. However, I believe that when the time comes I will meet someone adequate.

    This article repulses me, the value of instant gratification. When I go out it shocks me to see all these women dressing up/formatting to an ideal to please these men only have to make the ‘effort’ to pick one. The ‘meat market phenomenon.’ I admire you Leandra for your attitude towards beauty and confidence, I truly feel that if you are comfortable with who you are and take good care of yourself for your own sake, you will attract someone who is comfortable with themselves as well, regardless of your aim in meeting that person (a relationship, marriage, a fun evening…)

    I feel like in Europe you would never read this kind of article. I am not speaking for France, because they have a long history of ‘peripateticiennes’ having an significant role in their culture. Even if there is this phenomenon I feel like it would be approached very differently.
    This journalists approach so is simplistic and demeaning to women, ugh, however I will continue to have faith. Thank you for your insight and addressing these issues!!! I love your blog!

  • amelia

    as much as the way men were represented in the article as beings that NEEDED sex and female company with no repercussions even if this was extra-marital, judging the women that ‘cater to’ these needs is not really, in my opinion, the way to read the article. i disagree with the way the men sound like they think they’re entitled to sex with these women, with no obligation to do anything in return but pay her, but these women- these escorts, are consenting, smart, women, who make good money from their profession. to question and even judge this profession is to further the notion that men are sex- crazed animals and women have the tendency to form the emotional attachments, with sex being secondary. in my opinion keeping open mind to the idea of women having sex with people they are not always emotionally attached to, as an escort or just for their own enjoyment, is feminist in its thinking (see: the whole ‘sex positive’ movement). i know people will definitely disagree with me, but that’s what i think. i do agree with you in that the writer of the article should have gone into the ‘girlfriends’ of the story more, but not to pick her brain about how she ended up in ‘an occupation so ephemeral, so besmirching, so downright regressive’, as you put it. maybe, just, to inquire about what it’s like to be an escort, in a non judgmental way.

    • amelia

      oh, also… thankyou, leandra, for opening up discussion on so many interesting topics lately… you really are a gifted writer and definitely know how to stimulate discussion, as is so clear here!

  • NA

    The point of the article is to describe a certain type of male. Jack and his peers are displaying impatience and also loneliness. It’s completely valid and actually, truthful, to use the services of an escort- a willing participant- in the exchange of make-believe intimacy. It would be more deceptive to take a woman on a date, engage in the activities of a budding relationship, watch tv in sweats and nibble on lips, knowing that he has no intention of taking that relationship further.

    I have experienced both sides. I felt more degraded and betrayed when the man I grew very fond of blew me off than when I decided to become an escort and was payed for sex. The treatment I received as a professional was chivalrous and extremely generous, especially considering that I had given much more of myself to another who, in all honesty, didn’t want what I was offering.

    My career was short-lived, and not because I felt poorly about what I was doing. It was because I can be an extreme romantic just as easily as I can play pretend girlfriend for a weekend. The dichotomy of self is an abstraction for many. Some people, both men and women, are as unwaveringly romantic as Leandra. Others have trouble attaching emotion to intimate acts. Still others lay somewhere in between. The morality of the married john and the escort who knowingly takes him as her client can only be decided by those in question. From the perspective of the people described in the article, I don’t think feminism is being challenged.

    One can argue that the institution of dating, and all the social rules that are ascribed to it, is as regressive as the occupation of prostitution. It is up to each woman and each man to act as equitably as they see fit in every personal exchange. My point made short: it is purely a personal issue.

    • DH

      Yes, 100% agree. Well said.

    • mooney

      Nicely put, agree 100%.

    • Nohopeinhumankind

      I’m not sure if you understand that when you become an escort and feel less degrated you make us non-escorts more degrated. It’s not only about an individual it’s about all the women. When some women volunteer to sell themselves, it makes men look down on all of us. They think it’s simple as that; there are whores and then there are wifes in training. If you’re not the other then you are the other. Should we all become hookers to deserve to be less degrated? I’m sorry you had to become a whore for men not to turn you down.

  • DH

    I can understand why people – women – are outraged with the idea of selling sex and treating women like playthings that can be scored and ranked on a website that gets 350,000 hits a day. That is outrageous and dehumanizing, but I’m not altogether shocked. Men – and women – are biologically primed to score and rank sexual partners based on looks. While making a website is uncouth, it’s a digitized version of what we’re all doing in our heads, and giving users the ability to judge hundreds of sexual candidates.
    I’m always surprised at the backlash and judgement these stories get from women, especially on the topic of married Jack. Paying for sex is sad, but to give this man a little more credit, he really was paying for companionship and for the feeling of being needed by these women in some way (even if it’s hanging a TV). Everyone, male or female, has certain needs from a relationship – acceptance, support, love, and also a few people tend to forget – spontaneity, romance, listening, and mystery. These men are not paying for just sex… they’re paying for someone to make them feel appreciated without expectations he may fail to meet.

  • I know this may be generalizing, but I think the reason why many of these escorts don’t have a lot of issues with falling in love with the men or feeling some sort of attachment to them is because they may have some sort of detachment from the male figures (daddy problems) or even female figures from their childhood/past. They can learn to attribute untrustworthiness (is that a word?) to unfaithful fathers and ultimately the other men that they meet. Thus, they are detached from any emotion/feelings and use this as a coping mechanism to get through the night and make the cash. Plus the sex can give the women a confidence boost (something they may have been struggling with in their childhood). I know for sure that I attribute a lot of my confidence from my parents. So in a sense, one’s up-bringing truly has an affect on the female escort psyche. And the position itself is like a cycle, with moments of euphoric confidence followed by feelings of worthlessness and loneliness. Thanks for posting this Leandra! Very thought-provoking and interesting.

  • this is a tricky issue isn’t it?as someone who has called herself a feminist her whole life i have also said that prostitution should be legalized and regulated (it isn’t so at all in india where i live) and these men or women shouldn’t be judged..this woman has a choice(hopefully guessing she wasn’t forced by someone or some situation)to make easy money this it her fault that a married man wants to sleep with her despite the fact that he has a wife who believes in monogamy and perhaps also has kids and grandkids even who think he is the most faithful man of the century?i don’t believe it is so.unless she seduced the man knowing all that then they both share the blame if there is anyone blaming at all, for all we know the wife knows, approves and does the same. for some sex with others is not a big deal even within the confines of a marriage. again if she wishes to settle down and have a monogamous/polyamorous relationship with another man/woman who is okay with her past is really upto her and not for us to judge. i have an intense problem with cheaters and liars, but not with those who do these things with a partner who is aware of the situation and doesn’t mind, truly doesn’t mind and not the kind who are aware that they are being cheated on but keep silent for the sake of children or something else.and yes feminists who say you can’t be one if you indulge in make-up and fashion have missed a key point about feminism.

  • Sharon

    Why is everything so complicated now? I seriously don’t know which side to favour as I have no strong feelings towards either (the man or the paid escort) but seriously whatever happened to boy meets girl, falls in love and everything is sweet?

  • To me a feminist is someone who believes women are human beings and as such can run their own lives however they wish, the same as men do.
    Feminism is not the new dogma of “what good women properly do and feel”
    Anyone who tells you you should feel this way and not that way because you are a woman is a fool and a bully and should mind their own damned business.

  • Laura ashton Barry

    This is so true. The whole point of feminism is to embrace what it is to be a women, to be feminine, to reject the feminine and attempt to become more masculine, is to devalue what is female. Therefore, I agree that if you believe that women can do everything men can, if not better, and are entitled to full and entire equality, then that’s being a feminist! Fashion is something that women have predominantly owned as theirs, why let men have it by saying that taking pride in looking and feeling good is patriarchal oppression!

  • Chloe

    I think this reflects pretty accurately our culture.. how we’re trying to get the most (fun) out of everything, without giving anything back – or, rather, how everyone is trying to gain something without the burden of responsibility; sex without responsibility for the consequences for instance. But we should be considering that we can’t go on doing that – sooner or later, you have to face the consequences and bear the responsibility of what you do, and emotional attachment is such a burden, that no human can escape from.

    • Mimi Chi

      Totally agree with you!! All the discussion of feminisim aside. Our society today created the environment for such occurance, because it comes down to “someone willing to pay, and others willing to do it to make the $$, whatever the consequences.” Now, we know this is unfair to women, but if we are as simple as men, then a business for women’s wants can be created and we can also “pay” for it. Unfortunately, it’s too hard for many women (myself included) to separate emotions and physical needs, so this business is not as profitable in women as men.

  • Anina

    I won’t judge the escort women in this article, but I will judge the article itself. It does the same old ting, it celebrates men’s want to have sex, just the night that ends. Prostitution is fine, because, hey, men needs sex. And it blames women (those who aren’t escorts and prostitutes) for needing the morning after, for wanting a relationship that isn’t timed. Damn you women, why just don’t sleep with men, smile and be happy, when they show some interest in you. Would make life a lot simpler. Forget about your needs and wants, cater to his. Maybe one day he sets up your TV, just because he wants to be nice. Bingo.

    It that it? Haven’t we moved forward? Why is dating to get married worse than dating for casual sex? Why is this (always) represented as manipulating and neurotic. And why are women represented as “wives in training”? Surely women might be more nuanced than just fitting into two groups?

    (By the way, you can be the feminist you want to and still be into fashion, read this quote on tumblr not long ago:

    “Fashion is one of the very few forms of expression in which women have more freedom than men. And I don’t think it’s an accident that it’s typically seen as shallow, trivial, and vain. It is the height of irony that women are valued for our looks, encouraged to make ourselves beautiful and ornamental… and are then derided as shallow and vain for doing so. And it’s a subtle but definite form of sexism to take one of the few forms of expression where women have more freedom, and treat it as a form of expression that’s inherently superficial and trivial. Like it or not, fashion and style are primarily a women’s art form. And I think it gets treated as trivial because women get treated as trivial.”

    – Fashion is a Feminist Issue: Greta Christina

    Isn’t that what man repelling is about? 🙂

    • Leandra Medine

      THANK YOU for sharing this.

    • Anina

      I’m going to elaborate a bit on why I won’t judge the escorts. Sex, intimacy and relationships are different to different people, if you have no problem with disconnecting your emotions, when it comes to sex, why not make some (= a lot of) cash out of it? Maybe these women feel prostitution is a lot less demeaning than other jobs (from cleaning lady to lawyer, not matter what job you have, you’re essentially always selling yourself)? Maybe they just enjoy the attention they get and why should this be wrong?

      The problem with the article is that it tells us, that there is a right way to be a woman, a right way to enjoy sex and a right way to have relationships with men. Essentialism is always a problem, stereotypes are always a problem. I think some of the comments here, seem to judge the escorts, because they don’t view sex as something holy. That sex should always enjoyed in emotionally meaningful relationships, and that doing the opposite is anti-feminism. It should be alright to be an escort, a wife-in-training and everything in between. Who are we to judge? As long as your not hurting anybody (..unless you’re both into s/m) it should be alright to have the sex and the relationships you want. Both for men and women.

      The virgin/whore opposites are patriarchal constructs. An important aspect of feminism is to deconstruct stereotypes and ideals. These are always demeaning.

  • Nina

    Actually for me it is some kind of feminism in the sense of making advantage (€$) out of men’s weaker spot. Because of course a prostitute (even though well educated & eloquent) will never be able to replace an actual girlfriend in my opinion. Or that would only be possible with one kind of men, the despicable kind, in which reasonable women would never be interested. So don’t worry Leandra 😉 (& excuse e for my English)

  • Nina

    Actually for me it is some kind of feminism in the sense of making advantage (€$) out of men’s weaker spot. Because of course a prostitute (even though well educated & eloquent) will never be able to replace an actual girlfriend in my opinion. Or that would only be possible with one kind of men, the despicable kind, in which reasonable women would never be interested. So don’t worry Leandra 😉 (& excuse me for my English)

  • Kendall

    I believe that “feminism” is, and always will be, fluid. There is no one way to express it. Granted, there are some that believe it [feminism] follows a strict set of rules, but it doesn’t. When feminism becomes an institution, it counteracts exactly what it intends to debunk. I digress… I think that some sex workers reaffirm female power. They are capitalizing off of something that we were once shamed for—sexuality. Am I going to go into sex work when I get older? Probably not. But do I commend women who empower themselves through something that most view as “so ephemeral, so besmirching, (and) so downright regressive”? Yes!

  • Nina

    Oh and you’re totally a feminist in my opinion! The existence of your blog (i.e. the name & concept behind it) is so modern & feminist! But not in the annoying, dusty kind of feminism, luckily. I mean you really dress (up) for yourself & for expressing you’re a sophisticated, elaborated (female) human being, and not to show off your nice legs and so on.
    I really want to than you for offering more on this blog than just mere (though genius’) outfit posts, love to know not all bloggers have nothing than shoplust running through their veins (again excuse my English) xx

  • mooney

    I think it all depends where you are in your life, I’ve had moments in my life where I only wanted the “nights” and then in other periods I have longed for the mornings as well. It’s a matter of choice and I think it’s quite naive to say that only men are out there just for sex or meaningless “relationships”.
    Who says we all want to get married, have kids, cook organic food and bake cupcakes every weekend? I think this image about the perfect wife which many women tend to strive for has made things worse for the rest of us that just want to be normal. With “normal” I mean women that are also wifes/mothers AND chose to continue their life outside the walls of their homes, working and enjoying life (and hopefully the occasional cocktail!).

    If these men want to pay for something (whatever it might be) they can have for free, let them. It’s not your money anyway. And if a guy/girl doesn’t want your mornings, chances are that he or she is “just not that into you…”. Get the fuck over it, and move on.

    ps. I have tried all of the above, mornings, nights, marriage (including the cupcakes) and now I’ve settled for normal. And yes I occasionally fuck up and forget my son has soccer practice or a playdate but thats just a healthy reminder that I’m normal and not perfect (which is not how I want my kids to think of me anyway).

  • intantodobbiamocondividerecose

    The comments bellow are getting pretty big… So I want to tell this in a few words: As long as there are guys willing to pay that price for escorts, there will be escorts.

    Besides that, you need to understand why men do that. Of course that the ones who go there have an issue with women.

    Relationships are not easy; and the escort thing is easy because that’s not a relationship.

    • DJ

      Exactly! The men AND women in this equation have issues with intimacy. You cannot have a real relationship without emotional intimacy, and that requires a lot of work. These men and women are a product of their own myths about themselves and members of the opposite gender. A deep well of insecurity lies underneath this behavior, even if it seem like these men are successful, powerful figures, and the women escorts are gorgeous, desirable creatures.

      This view of prostitution is like describing an iceberg from the appearance it gives above the water. The part that is visible may look benign or even appealing to certain types of people, but get deeper and I will bet that what you find is much darker and colder.

  • Anna

    First of all, I think men who search for escort and are not married are selfish and superficial and probably better off not married because involvement with their selfish self is a disaster waiting to happen..they don’t seek for a full maintenance relationship, fine,they probably don’t deserve it.
    Men who do such things while married are either men mentioned above that didn’t get their share of fun while younger or really are not satisfied in their marriages. Either way, they are selfish and not thinking about their wives and children. You are unhappy? Divorce, please, don’t sneak out with escorts.

    I understand we live in a free world where everyone is free to do whatever they want, but my opinion is that these men are selfish a-holes who are only in love with themselves, not able to dedicate their precious time to anyone but themselves and therefore unwilling to commit.

    • Anna

      And treating women as disposable material things? i’ll buy it, use it until i feel like using it and then throw away? please, tell me, that is not the most childish thing ever?
      i’m replying to myself 🙂

  • Malibu PR Gal

    This comes from someone who doesn’t date, I marry ( three times – when I told my last boyfriend how many times I was married he said ” You must have three houses” – sadly I don’t – I married for love ). This could be a form of “power” for these women, although a very sad existence with no real emotional connection. To make a full assessment, I would need to see her wardrobe! : )

  • pippistrella

    Jack is not a man. Jack is a pig.

    He’s paying the whores not really for sex..but to LEAVE afterwards. These are not women. They are pigs. I say oink oink and let ’em play in their own feces.

    Ps Jack should sleep with one eye open because he seems to be playing games with some decent women who are actually looking for a relationship. Oh are a swine.

  • Maya

    I found this to be a fascinating article.
    But as a teenage girl, I now feel quite pessimistic about future romantic relationships and/or married life. This article seems like it is shaming women who want a married life and what it encompasses.
    Even more so, this article seems to be about what men want. What about what women want?

    Overall, this article has incited a quite negative view of men in my mind. I don’t mean to be a man-hater, but stories like this seem to be accelerating the feeling.

  • mercergirl

    No matter how you look at it, the people in this article are not healthy. They are objectifying for money or sex. But as long as they are not hurting anyone then play away. It is a sad story as old as time and it will never, ever go away.

  • Kristin Dee

    I can’t decide which is more upsetting, the men who believe they are entitled to this type of ‘service’ or the women who subject themselves to it. I wish it wasn’t real, but this isn’t the first time that I have heard of such arrangements.

    Todays society is positioned around instant gratification. Social media, the internet, smart phones have all allowed us to search for and find what we want instantaneously. This article is just another way of saying that relationships are starting to move in that direction as well. [Well, for those of us who see this type of ‘relationship’ as something we want.] This article also proves that men have become more cowardly when it comes to commitment. It’s amazing how many loopholes and twists guys will put you through these days to avoid being ‘tied’ down to an actual relationship. It is just funny to me because relationships are supposed to be a good thing, right? Like having a best friend that you happen to be in love with. Who knows. Maybe I am just naive.

    The article is obviously written in a verse to make this sound OK, and maybe even empowering to women. I guess you can’t control the choices that people make around you. However – I [personally] hope for a relationship with someone where we just enjoy one another.. and neither party needs to participate in a TER to stay satisfied.

  • christianedreams

    I think the reality is, this has been happening from the beginning of civilized time. These are disenfranchised women reaching for power with their ability to be appeasing because they think they have nothing else to offer for a quick climb up the money rope. The truth is, they are numb and getting an upper hand on luxury by selling their bodies. And the johns are all just on the hunt for someone they freely can take advantage of and trade the space for guilt with paying a pretty price. The article makes it seem so leisurely and finite, but in reality, these women are going to spend their cash down and a new crop of broke women – willing to exchange humility for an emotional void and a shit ton of money – will spring, and the ageless machine will continue to churn. And what will become of the old and discarded ones? Can they re-assimilate into a normal civilian relationship (whatever that may be), or are they forever screwed?

  • simone

    low self esteem and not being “together” enough for a real job is quite understandable, i’ve been there myself, but no need to glorify it with the feminism label…

  • Lauren Dimesky

    I read this article with disdain for this human condition~in some! I don’t understand how these men and women can feel good about themselves for behaving so superficially, even though they can have deep conversations about the classics and politics. The subject matter really did make me depressed as I was reading it and was mad at myself for doing so~just like peering at a car accident on the freeway.


    -Lauren at adorn la femme



  • sentimentalistlindley.blogspot

    My wise college roommate once said, “If you believe that women deserve the same rights as men, then you are a feminist.” Count me in.

  • Michelle

    As someone who belongs to an organization called Exploited Voices Allies which advocates for prostituted and formerly prostituted women who desire to get out of the sex industry, I find this article glamourizes the exploitation of women. EVA is currently advocating for the Nordic Model of Prostitution to be instituted in Canada which decriminalizes the women being bought and criminalizes the men. i highly recommend googling the Nordic Model of Prostitution. Some people will say sex workers are making their own choices and doing what they want to do but I think it’s because we live in a culture which idolizes sex over self-worth. Also, I know this might be more controversial but did these girls have good daddy’s growing up or perhaps absent dads? Something to think about…

  • Georgina

    A friend of mine, who is a shrink used to treat many escorts, most of them, very famous in my country (I’m Argentine) because they also doubled as “models”. They had the best shoes, best handbags, clothes, etc and they were very beautiful. They tried to sell their lifestyle and choices as fabulous. Truth of the matter is they had SERIOUS low self esteem issues, they had major lack of affection in their lives and had to work very hard to get over their escort jobs to lead “semi normal” lives. They can glamourize this all they want, bottomline it kills them inside.

  • Alyssa Gill

    It’s certainly an interesting topic. I found that this sort of work was glorified a bit in that television series – Secret Life of a Call Girl, featuring Billie Piper. And she believes that you can and should be a call girl IF YOU WANT TO (yep reference to her old music, wow please don’t stop reading after that awful pun). She makes the escort life look, well, amazing. The character would not give it up for the world of her, she finds it self-fulfilling and spectacular.

    I agree that it’s difficult to imagine that there are people out there than can give themselves to a world of subservience to a man. It shames me to say that this was how women were originally treated and that perhaps some of those primal traits still exist within some of us, so this is all a part of the norm.

    I guess, there are people out there that find it fulfilling to spend their days behind a computer screen, and there are others that spend their time behind a man. If we were brought up differently, perhaps this could be us.

    I do agree with others when I say that the tone of the article and the way it was presented does tick me off, women are often shown as needy when in fact my personal life has shown that the man is usually the needy one.

    All in all I find it interesting in our world that escorts have been celebrated for their work in the past, then they have become something that is representing our gender badly and today we don’t know what to think! As a society, we sit on the fence about their role as yes the role can make our gender look weak and then ruin all that we have worked for, but can we really hold it against them if they are doing this out of a desperate need for money brought on by others throughout their lives that have let them down? Or because they just enjoy their work.


  • I actually enjoyed reading the article and also found it to be perplexing. I thought it offered an honest and raw glimpse of ‘luxury escorts’, and I agree that it would have been interesting to get more of a view from the escorts themselves. I’m definitely curious as to if they do ever get attached emotionally to a client…I mean, after all, they are women, right? Or maybe they are just already so desensitized to physicality that it no longer has any emotional affect on them.

    I’m also kind of disturbed that this activity is going on at such a sophisticated level. How did we, as humanity, get to a point where men are laying down $5,000 to spend the night with a woman? Kind of sick… And I’m not certain that these women could ever have anything other than artificial companionship. Once you get paid for something, would you willingly do it for free?

  • ZK

    I think that both the original article and your response to it are only further reinforcing the stigma forced upon sex workers that makes their lives so incredibly difficult. This stigma reduces the complexity, nuance and variation that are necessarily a part of ANY AND EVERY person’s life and work to a set of simplified stereotypes and assumptions which deny their agency and justify criminalization, marginalization, and violence against them. Sex workers can absolutely be feminists, a simple 5-minute internet search into the sex workers’ rights movements that are flourishing all over the world (a sex workers’ rights organization in India called SANGRAM boasts over 60,000 members!) will show you that. Anyone whose view of sex work is based on the early 90’s feminist sex wars needs to update their understanding of the issues at stake – and the only way to do that (the way I’ve done it) is to read and listen to the voices of actual sex workers, something the article offers very little of. I don’t know how I feel about the review sites discussed in the article, but I would be very interested to hear what the workers whose lives and livelihoods are actually impacted by the sites have to say about them, something the article doesn’t bother to provide. There is a wealth of information available for you to educate yourself about the experiences of sex workers (HERE’S A GREAT PLACE TO START: , and I wish you had done so before taking to your blog to express your intense judgement. If you care about social justice at all (and maybe you don’t), I hope you can see that your words here are doing more harm than good.

  • Amber

    I had to remind myself to breathe while reading the article. The fact this article – written by a woman – glamorizes prostitution in a somewhat Pretty Woman type of way is perhaps the most befuddling. Did the author get caught up in Jack’s good looks? Want to seem non-nonchalant in order to impress him? There is a child-like, Disney, rose tinted slant to this whole article. The wife at home is supposedly left blissfully unaware, unharmed, and unaffected. I don’t buy it. The mental image of…well, whores, jet setting off to Paris and going to yoga retreats to better themselves and their peace of mind, and in turn bettering their return investment (as in what men are willing to pay for them), is so silly and completely detached from reality, that this article almost feels like a satire.

  • Norweigan

    Idk. As a woman who studied feminism alittle bit (2 classes in college, not calling myself an expert), I believe in a sense this article isn’t totally anti-feminist. At least when it comes to liberal feminism, which is all about equality and women getting to choose what they want to do, if what women want to do is use men for their money and sell their bodies, than that is their choice. How it will affect their future, that is a different story…

  • Melissa GL

    Thank you for posting things like this. I absolutely adore your unapologetic, unique fashion sense and your rants on topics ranging from pop culture (kimye gotta love em err, i mean hate them..) to provocative articles and ideas (which you approach with such humour and intelligence). As for the article, this whole thing is so twisted. What I would pay to get into these escorts heads…

  • H

    thanks for the article referral… i definitely thought about it a ton… and then wrote a shitload of questions i want to ask the “escorts”….

  • “Throughout all the ages, there have been only four degrees [gradus] in love:
    “The first consists in arousing hope;
    “The second in offering kisses;
    “The third in the enjoyment of intimate embraces;
    “The fourth in the abandonment of the entire person.”

    — Capellanus, Tractatus de amore

  • hawa254

    IKR!!! “Looks like a hobbit with the personality of a doorknob” Best Line of 2013 IMO

  • Jessica

    What I especially like about your blog (besides the smart writing and wonderful images!) is the way you engage your audience, and inspire a conversation that is actually thoughtful. Reading the comment sections on other internet forums can be a pretty depressing experience, full of trolls, bitterness, meanness and poor attitudes. It can make one question what social media is doing to our manners and how we interact with each other. Then I read the comments after a post like this one and it is a breath of fresh air. Not everyone agree with each other, but the debate is respectful and thoughtful, the way it should be. I feel a lot of that comes from how you pose the debate, you set the tone for good behavior. MR, keep up the great work, and MR commenters, thanks for the keeping the conversation interesting, intelligent and respectful!

  • I kinda loved this article. Look, I’m in a great relationship, we live together. We’re totally in love yadda yadda. But holy shit, relationships are hard sometimes. It’s exhausting to always think of another person. I see this arrangement as entirely selfish – on both ends. And good for them!

    I think you’re assuming that the women may not have other things going on in their life in the way of relationships. Sure, playing GFE is not super conducive to relationships with non-paying men. But these women can always leave the work behind if they want to settle down with someone.

    And so can the men. One of the comments on the article that resonated with me was from a man who said, “to satiate a simple desire without a complex solution that is met with a mutual understanding is not only a thing of beauty but also a responsible decision.”

    I know these relationships exist outside of the realm of paying for sex but they can be hard. People outside the relationship will have opinons. Feelings are complex.

    Of course, I’m over simplifying the entire thing. The sex trade and the power dynamics are anything but simple. And I feel like this article is glamourising the industry with a small percentage of ‘Johns.’ But if things were this simple, after a weekend of ACTUAL GF/BF Experience of fighting over paint colours, peeing with the door open and life stress, I can see how renting someone for a night could work.

    • Leandra Medine

      holy shit, relationships ARE hard. what is so illusive is that people think that marriage/committed relationship-ism just sort of…. inoculates emotions at large when in effect, all you’re vowing to do is work on what you’ve got.

  • Sally Suefield

    What if that woman is doing nothing but fulfilling her sexual needs-then at the end receiving a paycheque?
    I think this imbalance exists because of some pre-notion that woman have less of a sex drive then men? Its as easy to describe as an (over?) sexually active woman with many partners being called a “slut” where if a man can start boning more than one lady he is a “playaaa”. Now-dont get me wrong, many of my guy friends can attest to the fact that a girl could go out on any evening with intentions to wind up with some strange man and 9/10 times she will succeed. Where as a man will have to put in the effort and the chances of him getting laid are significantly lower.
    Dont get me wrong, i’m not condoning prostitution or justifying it by any means, but isn’t there something to be said for a woman who is utterly consumed by sex, doing it for a living? I for one am a hairdresser, and love going in to work everyday. I’m good at my job, I enjoy my job, and i get paid for doing something I love.
    Couldn’t the same be said for an escort/prostitute?
    Or maybe i’m out of my tree!

  • Juliana

    After thinking, and analysing, and thinking more about all of this, I came to 2 conclusions:
    1. These men are pathetic. Jack is a loser. Any girl that dreams of having Jack for breakfast either has never been with a real man or is equally pathetic. (Real) women underestimate the power of a real man. Real men call instead of latenight “whadup” texts, they act on their feelings, they make you feel special, they WANT to have breakfast with you. But most women haven’t had the chance to meet one. Until then, they will fight over the Jacks out there.

    2. Women referred to in this article are really good business women. In the oldest “industry” in the world: prostitution. They can act as if they lead the best life of all, but deep inside they are still women that want to fall deeply in love with a great man (not Jacks).

    They all are in serious need of therapy.

  • Heather P.

    This argument came up a lot in grad school about whether or not it’s “feminist” behavior to be a prostitute as long as you WANT to be one. I was always of the opinion that if everyone is being safe, healthy, and no one is getting hurt…then it’s not my business to judge others’ sex lives. These women make more in one night than I do in 6 months doing something they love (or at least like) to do – any of us would kill for that combination. As a wife now, I do see why people get angry though – I certainly wouldn’t want to find out my husband is having sex with another woman, let alone going on lavish dates, talking about politics, and getting nice gifts from him. Then it becomes about more than just “oh, he f***ed some girl” – it’s now about him giving her the relationship experiences I DON’T get to have because I’m now relegated to being “just the wife.” If the guy isn’t married, and isn’t interested in a relationship, then I guess spending this kind of cash to make sure your pro is clean, fresh, and worth hanging out with…do what you gotta do. But if the guy is married, or in a relationship, this just seems shitty. If you can’t go do this stuff with your wife/girlfriend, you shouldn’t be with her. And the wives/girlfriends out there should have enough sense to walk away if they knows their men are doing this to them. Stay strong, ladies, and remember that if he doesn’t think you’re worth a nice dinner, the occasional weekend getaway, and a romp in the sack, he’s not worth your time, love, and respect. 🙂

  • Isn’t it a bit old fashioned to think that a woman that has sex for money is the victim?? Granted there are some case of taken advantage of girls falling into this line of work, but maybe this is a vocation a woman chooses??? If a woman enjoys sex, keeps herself in physical shape, and uses protection (both genital and possible back up for those Johns that get a bit too much) then more power to her! Get your money girl, and do it with a smile and a post-coital cig!

  • Jen B

    I want to know whether we, as women, who presumably want to find someone we love, love us, and hope to actually spend our lives with, should care that Jack doesn’t want to date us. If we wanted to be at the beck and call of a man’s desires, we would essentially be escorts, ignoring our wants and needs to cater to theirs. Hopefully we also would get some sort of compensation, if anything the enjoyment of time spent. I have to assume that the women in the articles have something in their life outside of their work. Because I can’t imagine being with so many men knowing that they don’t care for me one bit.

    Many of these comments have touched on how easy it is for men to kind of circumvent the system and almost get out of how they should act, in a husbandly way at least. The escorts have decided to engage in this business because there is a demand for it. A demand that has been around for probably ever. Most self-respecting women can’t supply this demand because like I said, we usually like them to actually like us. I am certainly not anti-capitalist, so I can’t deny that these women aren’t smart enough to tap into an untapped market.

    I digress. Back to my original point, should the rest of us care about Jack at all? I’ve finally learned to admit defeat, to face those jerks and say “fuck off” before I get my hopes up (not planning the wedding, but hoping for some returned affection). Would Jack be such a jackass if there weren’t these beautiful rare specimens? Probably. I really want to say that I think he’ll get his when he’s old and grey and alone, but he’ll probably still have money, so he won’t be alone. What I’m really trying to say is, good riddance Jack! At least now I won’t run into you and think for one second that you are worth my time.

    It’s not an ideal solution, but it’s not an ideal situation. We have to be able to face what’s staring us down, and the fact is that there are men who aren’t completely emotionally detached and value true companionship. Also ones who have enough self-respect to recognize their own value as more than their disposable income. So let them have their escorts and we can spend our energy elsewhere.

  • Rach

    I love you, but you are being judgmental. Why do we as women always have to be a wife in training? A lot of women only want one night as well. He is nice to you, he buys you a nice dinner, and at the end something is expected. This literally describes EVERY DATE, escort or not. Why wonder if he is going to call, wonder if you said the right thing when you can mutually know if just for fun. Most of these escort girls are in their early twenties. They aren’t necessarily going to be doing this forever. They may settle down and get married. But for the time being why not kick the minimum wage job and be treated well to nice dinners and nice gifts? If that’s what you want as a women they who is anyone to say you should do otherwise. This is another form of feminism.

  • Libby

    Although this point has already been made, I’ll second the sentiment that not all women aspire to have a committed relationship nor ever marry. Women who sell their services as a housekeeper (quite a gender dominated field by the way) expect to be paid for their service. They do not expect to get the house or engage in an intimate/close relationship with the homeowner. Women who sell their services as an escort expect to be paid for their services. They do not expect to get the man.They do not want him. This is all so silly. It’s just a job, for crying out loud. And it’s just sex. I have been married for 26 years and would not change my life with anyone. But not everyone would want the life I have. I say “live and let live.”
    By the way, while we are having a pay-for-sex discussion, who is the suppressed and disadvantaged party when the woman is the one paying for sex with ‘no mornings’? I suspect that again the woman will be the one examined and scrutinized as having self worth and emotional issues, not the man ‘selling his services.’ If I were ever to become single again, I would be just as happy to pay a man for sexual services with (please) no commitment and (thank you) no mornings, as I am paying my housekeeper.

  • (oh amazing FB lets me log in) To further Illustrate why I said what I did on my FB comment , remember Charlie Sheen when he got busted. He’s like “Hey I’m fucking Charlie Sheen ,dammit, I don’t have time to deal with relationships. You try getting up at 4 AM for a casting call. So yeah, sorry I got caught and all. But whatev.” (drinks beer). I always admired his honesty and candidness. (I am no Charlie Sheen)

    I figured I’d hire a hot “wing girl” though, for two reasons

    1. my sister is decent looking but this chick was ten times hotter. This would make her insanely jealous.

    2. The competition and chatter between the three of them would enable me to actually eat my roast beef , instead of being the one who has to “carry” everyone through the evening by telling stupid stories and self deprecating as much as possible to keep them all from bickering and killing each other.

  • I read the article and basically there is nothing more I can add aside from what the others have said in the comments below. But maybe we should delve into the psyche of the young woman making grapefruit donuts. I smell business opportunity and think we should all get in on the ground floor.

  • Well, as repulsive as the scenarios in said article are to my mind… it isn’t exactly a shocker to be honest. Such behaviour has pretty much been a staple in our society from the dawn of man in different shapes, forms and dilutions. Men with even the slightest economical and/or social advantage are most likely to indulge in a particular type of substantive or sexual debauchery, and as an offshoot, there will always be vain, detached and money grubbing women who won’t think twice about taking advantage of their “needs” haha. “Needs” which, though offered up as a means of reasoning, are obviously just… excuses.

    In the end, I suppose the voracity of this “hobbyists” subculture is mainly due to the ever growing throw-away and instant-fix society we live in. And lets be frank here…. many people partake in far seedier sexual pastimes, that make these “rent a girlfriend tonight” situations seem positively benign in comparison.

    To the wives and girlfriends of these men I say: God invented private eyes and divorce lawyers for a reason. Use them.

    To the potential boyfriends and husbands of the escorts I say: RUN.

  • I think that it’s fine. And that there’s probably less of a chance of one of them inappropriately falling in love since the limited nature of the relationship is declared outright…even before that kiss, Leandra.

    I wrote some more about this here:

    I’m pretty sure I should apologize in some way to my parents for writing that….but anyway very interesting stuff. Thank you for bringing it up!

    • Adam

      It was your site in the link in your comment that brought me to this page.

      A couple of points. Firstly, I understand that this is ManRepeller and so feminism is a key theme, but it is necessary to first detach this from the rest of the story.

      First, re-read the article but imagine that the escort and client are both of the same gender. This gives you a chance to consider whether this type of “transaction” is exploitative and should be prevented. (One should also consider the “Nordic approach” for same-gender sexual services.)

      Then, only afterwards, overlay your reaction with the fact that the escort is female and the client is male. This overlay is just a representation of the male-dominated world that we live in.

      Now if you think the same-gender scenario is not-exploitative but the different-gender scenario is, then your concern is nothing to do with prostitution/escorts/whatever and totally to do with gender inequality.

      • Thank you for reading. I realize that LM is making a commentary about gender inequality. My argument is that the idea that all women should want to get married — and that marriage itself is some pristine institution of equality — is itself flawed. Knowing that the society that we live in provides unequal standing for women currently, I am not in the business of judging women who attempt to subvert this in any way they see fit.

        These girls are not doing this out of desperation. They are doing it deliberately. They are working the system as well. And, obviously, if you’re looking in from the outside, it may be difficult to understand how this could be. But i’d say that the perspective that trading sex for financial compensation with no emotional (or decorum/lifestyle) strings attached is *freeing* for some women. That is my opinion based on my experience.

        I wasn’t familiar with the nordic approach but it’s a good counterpoint. Anyway, I guess I could keep talking about this at length and this isn’t my blog so I’ll just stop here.


  • ml

    i must have been a man in my past lives, but i see further than the plain text from the article. i think the author is trying to expose this phenomenon happening in nyc and probably all over the world, and not trying to glorify the perpetual girlfriend. i’m pretty sure most prostitutes don’t do it voluntary but i’m pretty sure this ones, the kathlyns and kimberlys, do it holistically. and yes, i believe you’re being judgmental. which is great because it challenges your readers 🙂

  • marie

    I feel sorry for this author if this is the way she sees women, and so herself. All women who aren’t prostitutes are the collective “hell” (mentioned by julia weeman) that men have to endure, and prostitutes are their saviours?
    I am actually someone who believes in the legalization of prostitution. It is something that is never going away, a resource for people to turn to when things are bad (or not so bad) and just another way we sell our time for money. For this reason, these women should be protected from all forms of abuse from pimps and johns. Still… Though I am not a prositute and never will be, I am also not training to be a wife. In fact, at this stage in my life, marriage is only marginally more likely than prostitution… and that’s by choice!
    For my part, and I would venture to say I speak on behalf of a majority of women (or at least much more than the author of this story gives us credit for), men that I sleep with are as willing as I to share the mornings together- sometimes I’m not, sometimes they’re not, and more often than not, we both feel the same. For the occasions that the man does not want to share the morning with me and I would have liked to, it is a good thing I have not spent our first date planning our wedding or naming our children as this author implies I must have… and so my pain is limited to the equivalent of not having plans for the day.
    If I am rejected by someone I have an ongoing relationship with, then yes, I am upset that this person no longer wants my mornings but would still like to have sex with me. I am not a prostitute and am not getting paid for it, so why should I be content with this exchange? The author seems to imply that wives and girlfriends should just understand how annoying they must be to their significant other if they require more than romantic nights and sex- not to mention that we are getting fat, and so have little right to ask for fidelity.
    The women in the article seem smart: if you have no scruples about selling sex to men who want to pay you for that, and only that, than who am I to judge? You are making more money than me, having a good time, and do not feel bad about your choices. (Of course, these women seem to be in a very priveleged position as far as prostitution goes, and the much darker side of prostitution and the psychological and physical dangers to abused young girls should not be overlooked).
    Even the men (with the exception of the married man who says what his wife “doesnt know won’t hurt her”, to whom I hope his wife applies this same logic and is fucking many a worthier young man), are not entirely in the wrong. If all you want is temporary sex and intimacy, and you understand that this isn’t a real relationship to which you can expect from women you do not pay, than why not?
    It seems that it is really just the author I have the problem with. Is the lesson that, since this option is available, we should lower our standards if we ever wish to have a faithful partner? That to want mornings spent with our husbands and boyfriends, even when we’re fat and boring, is the most outrageous expectation they could be subjected to and so are justified in hiring escorts?
    What about the majority of us who don’t plan weddings on our first dates? Or better yet, who don’t plan weddings until we know the person likes to spend mornings with us? I’m all for looking into intentions and studying the psychology of people who partake in this, but if this was the purpose of the article, it was poorly executed. As I am a woman of neither of the 2 categories presented to me by the author, her article is quite irrelevant.

  • cey

    and now read this depressing story where it talks about how more more college students enroll to be “sugarbabies” each year. So depressing.

  • arriviste

    This articulate, insightful post is why you’re going places MR. Keep up the good writing, you’re quite a talent.

  • There was a great article in a Toronto magazine that may scratch your itch for an article that looks more into the female side and psyche of these relationships. The call girl profiled speaks rather frankly about how she sees herself and about how what she does is feminist in nature. But the writer also digs deeper and shows some of the emotional toll it takes on her. It’s a great read.

    Check it out here:

  • Sarah Seaman

    These prostitutes and their repulsive clients put me in mind of workers’ strikes and scabs, who undermine the unions and thereby enable industry bosses to continue their exploitation of a less powerful class. Whether the scabs are acting from financial desperation or just antisocial doesn’t alter the damage done to the whole community.

  • Raquel Olague

    I haven’t read all the comments listed, because honestly most are just repetitive.
    As a woman, this article was empowering.
    I believe us women do have a problem with how we deal with men and relationships in this modern day that deserves to be analyzed.
    It’s easy for us to look at the people the article as having the problem, but we don’t even think to analyze ourselves.
    I believe love and sex are two completely different things.
    Love is a feeling that comes from the brain. Sex is a natural animalistic reaction that comes from our bodies.
    If we think everytime we’re horny we’re in love then we are in trouble.
    Or if we expect men not to be be turned on by another women because they are “in love” then we are thinking foolishly.
    I’m sure none of us can actually actually define love anyways, love is subjective.
    Sex can be defined, and sex is fun. So what is wrong with sex with as a profession? Why must a prostitute have some type of mental disorder in order to do so?
    I think these women are smarter and more intelligent then us because they understand and have the guts to do something that we don’t. And as women we must understand that we are all empowered by different things. And accept that.
    If Mrs.MR, is claiming the women in the article are “regressive” then I strongly disagree.

    If I expect a man to drop $200 on dinner in order to have sex at the end of the night, then I am a prostitute.
    This is the modern day definition of “courting.”
    BUT I don’t want the “courting” I want the CHASE. I want a man to CHASE me. Then after really amazing sex he can drop $200 on dinner for me.
    If we fall in love in the process, cool.
    And if we get married, I hope I never become one of the frigid 200lb women waiting for their husband to come home after a long day of work, and is forced to bust a nut in the bathroom to a victorias secret catalog because he is in “love”.

  • Hey, I’m totally late to this post. We were at The Cools x Bobbi Brown shoot together, hi! Anyway, re: these women’s ability to detach–if someone dug deep, I’m 100% sure one would find a lot of psychological baggage. And these men: I don’t think their choosing to hire escorts has as much to do with not wanting a relationship as it has to do with power. They like knowing that they can pay $3,500–it’s a power thing. Especially with OK Cupid, and hell, there are apps to help you get laid, it’s pretty unnecessary to pay for sex. The ability to pay an exorbitant amount of money for something that’s easier to attain than, say, a successful relationship, is their life’s accomplishment. I think the escorts may also feel some delusional sense of power.

    This article rants about women’s needs. Agree with @twitter-19923655:disqus about the article demonizing women who seek a connection.

    Just hoping I don’t ever end up with any of these guys.

  • Debbie

    what the “johns” forget is that when they get sick, an escort won’t stand by his bedside (unless he is paying him by the hour) because she would be busy rendering her “services” elsewhere. Additionally what the “johns” don’t realize is you can’t just tell a girl you love her, disappear and then return after a month and expect to start from where you left off. “Dude rather douche its not a video that you can pause and resume whenever you like, its freaking life!” It goes on. Period

  • Hana

    So upsetting.. and confusing. Still processing but so far, just speechless.

    Just wanted to chime in a little on the topic of feminism. I think that as a woman, if you believe in your rights as a woman – not just your right to vote but also your right to express (fashion, being an outlet for said expression) yourself – then you are a feminist. And I think the same goes for men who believe in a woman’s rights. They’re feminists too. There are definitely grades and levels of being a feminist, but just because someone doesn’t fall into the category of feminist in its stereotyped form, doesn’t mean that he/she is not a feminist. That’s my take on it.

  • Susan Graves

    Well said.I am totally agreed with you.

    Can I add that “Sex should be the expression of love.”?

    fashion iPhone apps

  • Andrea

    If it were a power play, I’d think the woman is gaining more than the man, wherein she uses her assets (and skills) to her power. After all, the notion is to give men what they want and can’t get.

    Logically, it makes sense to me, but I do understand how some women may not be able to fathom sharing intimate moments with a man they don’t have emotional affection for.

    However, there are some days where I (as a woman) am able to emotionally detach myself from a man if I have absolutely no interest in a LTR. It isn’t always about sex after all, rather it’s about the idea of sex and the power to hook a man based only on his carnal desire – and I think that’s the underlying concept.

    In a way, I do disagree with the writer’s opinion about women (the Wives in Training, girlfriends, etc) being emotionally dependent et al. Not all women are like that and even if they were, that’s what I suppose a relationship is expected to contain – some level of emotional commitment.

  • There is a website called which offers people to rent a date for sightseeing, dinner etc.
    All the world. Normal girls making money for time spent with someone. Pretty cool if you ask me.

  • Pankaj Shrivastava

    i need serious relationship any women can me if yes pls call +919981425185 or mail me

  • Estilistas

    That article is so sad and misogynist. All about what men needs, how glamourous scort life is and that Jack can just have a beautiful girl in the couch for whenever he wants reach out and touch her breast. That sort of thinking is the cause of the inequality against women today, we will never be considered the same as men if there are still women out there who think is ok to get paid for sex and to be treated as a pretty accessory. I prefer enjoying my gorgeous wardrobe of high street and those few designer clothes that I worked my ass off to get, rather than having a shelf full of YSL pumps that were bought because I contributed for all those rich married dickheads to feel a bit more macho and more important than women.

  • Jamaule Williams

    i have been straying from sex to food and rather be tucked in and kissed on the cheek. idk the concept of a kissing booth and a lot of escorts to me are family men. us men need to learn to lead and grow some. (apology accepted for ruining sat.) working on a fashion collection has helped me learn grow and feminine myself(chic) and it did break my heart when i read about chat-room in Leandre Medine’s hardback.^

  • cellulitekween

    This observer article might as well have been written by Donald Trump.
    With all do respect Leandra, a majority of the statements you are making here perpetuate the sexist, slut shaming, double standards being propagated in this chauvinistic observer article. Emotionally stunted and detached men with a madonna-whore complex, who don’t think of women as more than whats between their legs, continue to be codified as long as white washed articles like this are published. I have been an escort. I identify as feminist. My politics are personal. This article is basic.

  • Despat

    For some, sex is not some precious flower, despite the sex-negative cultural messages we receive about preserving it, abstaining from it and never talking about it. I’d recommend that you unpack why you couldn’t perform this work in an honest and rigorous way first. There is no simplistic and generalized response to the “why? how dare she!” comment. One person can’t speak for a whole population. So instead ask yourself “why wouldn’t I?” Your response has nothing to do with her, and everything to do with you.
    Needless to say she acts with agency. The power of the whore scares people, especially traditional, heteronormative women. The whore is a threat to the wife, the marriage and society.

  • I don’t know many women who have NOT considered escorting at some point in our lives. Most of us thought about it seriously after earning master’s degrees when crippling debt + a bad job market (and our ability to dress nice and converse about a range of topics) left us terrified for our futures.

    I actually appreciate how the article didn’t paint the escorts as helpless or one-sided or unintelligent. Too often that’s the narrative around sex work. And obviously sometimes it can be the case – like in ANY other job.

    Lastly, per other commenters’ conversation, it’s worth noting that prostitution and sex trafficking are two distinct things. You can’t be a prostitute under 18 – that’s automatically trafficking and it’s bad news bears and we need to prosecute the fuck out of the people running that game. But over 18? That’s a different story. Sex work is work and our focus should be on keeping people safe and supporting their choices, including staying or leaving.