by Simon Benn, Gentlemen4Hire.com
The male escort industry is burgeoning around the world. Recent research has shown that the increase in business is not mainly due to the traditional use of male escorts by male clients. Instead, over half of all clients of male escorts are now heterosexual women, and this number is growing (Flanagan, 2017). A global survey conducted by Professor John Scott and Adjunct Professor Victor Minichiello in Australia found out that the UK had the highest number of male escorts offering services to women and couples.
The services provided by the Male Escort Industry vary depending on country. In countries such as England and Australia where prostitution is legal and regulated by the government, male escorts agencies divide themselves into those that provide sexual services, and those that provide companionship only. Their advertising literature, from brochures to website, will make their business clear. They will also make clear whether they provide same-sex, bisexual, trans or straight escorts for their clientele. For example, Gentlemen4Hire.com makes it clear that it is a straight male escort agency only offering services to females. Alternatively, sites like Craigslist will have escorts advertising all sorts of services to every sexual orientation.
In countries where prostitution is illegal, such as the United States, sexual and non-sexual male escort agencies thrive as well – but those that offer sex phrase the offers for these services in a coded manner (Cox, 2015). For example, phrases like “fifty shades of grey experience” or “naughty adventures” are often used to provide the user with a hint that there is more on offer than just companionship. Or there is wording to suggest that the agency is not involved in providing escorts for sexual services, for example the escort site Cleopatra Escorts provides the following statement: “The rates shown are for time and companionship only. Any other act of an intimate nature is solely as a result of the agreement between two consenting adults, carried out in private.” (Cleopatra London Escorts, 2018). Whether this would protect the agency if it went to court is not clear.
The Male Escort Industry in the UK
A male escort agency typically transacts its business over the internet. The male escorts who register with each agency create their own profile page, and upload photos of themselves. If the escort agency offers sexual services, the escort will upload photos in a variety of suggestive poses. Male escorts are independent contractors (Queensland University of Technology, 2017). They provide their contact details and photos to the agency of their choice (depending on the services they wish to offer) and pay a monthly fee to the agency. All booking takes place between the client and the escort himself.
Agencies in the UK that offer non-sexual male escorts include Gentlemen4Hire, Prestige Companions, Dukes of Daisy, Cavendish Knights and House of Gentlemen. Agencies that offer male escorts that provide sexual services include Sleepy boy, uEscort Erotic Partner, and London Privé. Those agencies whose escorts offer sexual services may have a different website model – potential clients may have to create an account before being able to view the escorts to protect the privacy of the escorts.
The Women who use Male Escort Agencies
Prostitution has always been termed “the oldest profession,” and the perception to this day is that female, and male, prostitutes were hired solely by male clients. Kumar et al. (2017) began conducting research into male escort agencies and their clientele. (Kumar et al., 2017). They conducted this research solely on the internet – collecting the names and URLs of male escort agencies around the world that had an online presence. According to the results published in the Daily Mail, “the number of professional women seeking sex has soared threefold in five years, with the average hourly rate being £150.” The report continues: “Most of the women who buy sex are professionals in their 30s and 40s, who want a guaranteed pleasurable experience, and paying an escort ensures discretion.”
An article in The Daily Beast (Snow, 2015) listed the top six reasons why a woman would hire a man for companionship (and maybe sex). These included: Satisfaction guaranteed. An escort’s job is to please his client. Dating is exhausting, and with the availability of male escorts, there’s no need to work the dating scene. Sometimes women just want to have sexual intercourse with no strings attached. And perhaps most importantly, hooking up with a male escort is safer than hooking up with a stranger. This is supported by many other similar articles in mainstream press, such as a 2015 article in the Daily Mail by Tracey Cox who explains that the reason women are using male escorts more often is because they want to “call the shots”. (Cox, 2015)
Women Differ from Men in Their Expectations of a One-Night Stand
Unlike female escorts – who tend to charge by the hour – a standard booking for a male escort generally involves a minimum of two hours. This is because most female clients don’t just want sex, but conversation and affection, too.
Sandra Davies (not her real name) is an example of a woman who visits the same male escort on a regular basis. She was unhappy in her marriage but the thought of divorce was daunting. She did research into male escorts – assuring herself that they had background checks and regular health screenings – and then hired one for an evening. The Sydney Morning Herald shared her experiences in a 2014 article, “The women who hire male escorts” (Law, 2014).
“It was a moment of feeling self-worth and feeling special, feeling like I was someone…who mattered. Ryan [not his real name] didn’t know me, but he gave me emotional satisfaction. He is lovely to me, he makes me feel like a woman. Its business, but I still feel very desirable with him.”
Davies’ time with her male escort has given her another insight – finding a non-male escort who can give what her husband will not (Law, 2014). “It’s made me think that there’s got to be guys out there who can give me what I get from Ryan.” There are certain similarities between women’s and men’s expectations of experiences with escorts. For example, a male escort, John Oh, quoted in The Daily Mail, as saying ‘Women pay for the services of escorts for the same reasons (as men: they want intimacy, they want sex, they want to be “seen” (Flanagan, 2017).
The Increase in Female Use of Male Escorts – Media Driven?
Some of the increase in the use of male escort agencies must be attributed to mass-media, with television shows such as the Showtime series Gigolos (which focused on the American male escort agency Cowboys4Angels) bringing the concept of the male escort agency to a wider audience. In addition, as Cowboys4Angels owner Garren James was quoted as saying by The Daily Dot “[Women] are tired of going out with a man who thinks, ‘I am paying for this date, so I pick where we go and what we do and I can act however I want to act because I have the money, because I am the breadwinner.” Instead, by hiring an escort, high-earning and high-achieving women aren’t in the position of having to kowtow to a domineering date; they can call the shots (Dickson, 2017).
This view is also supported by Jeremy Lemur, the communications manager for the Nevada brothel Sheri’s Ranch (Nevada is the only one of the United States that has legalized sex work in some counties), “The internet allows for a great deal of information to be shared about various sexual subcultures including swingers, BDSM, and fetishes. More than ever, women and couples are seeking opportunities where they can safely deviate from sexual mores.” Again, it demonstrated that women are looking to be in the driving seat to seek out new sexual adventures (Dickson, 2017).
In conclusion, it is evident that there is a growing demand for male escorts for females and also a growing number of males prepared to become escorts. This trend is reflected in many countries across the globe with the UK leading the way. A number of reasons can be given for this such as the ease of access to escort sites via the internet and also to satisfy women’s emotional needs such as companionship, sexual gratification or to offer some escape from unhappy relationships. There is no reason to believe that this trend will stop any time soon and with the increased media coverage and changing perception that using escorts isn’t just something for men to do.
Cleopatra London Escorts (2018). Example of wording that suggests sexual services are on offer. Retrieved from https://www.cleopatraescorts.co.uk/faq/
Cox, T. (2015, May 27) Would YOU pay for sex? Retrieved from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3097964/Tracey-Cox-reveals-rising-number-women-splashing-male-escorts.html
Dickson, EJ. (2015, May 27) Why are More Women than Ever Paying for Sex? Retrieved from https://www.dailydot.com/irl/women-buying-sex-escorts/
Flanagan, J. (2017, November 23) Too busy for love: Career women in Britain and the US are paying £150 an hour for sex with male escorts and are happy to splash out thousands if they stay for the weekend, reveals study. Retrieved from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5111589/UK-market-male-gigolos-female-clients.html
Kumar, Navin & Minichiello, Victor & Scott, John & Harrington, Taylor. (2017). A Global Overview of Male Escort Websites. Journal of Homosexuality. 64. 10.1080/00918369.2016.1265356.
Law, Benjamin. (2014, February 1) The Women Who Hire Male Escorts. Retrieved from https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/the-women-who-hire-male-escorts-20140203-31wtv.html
Queensland University of Technology (2017, November 28) Demand for male escorts for women is growing, global survey finds. Retrieved from https://www.psypost.org/2017/11/demand-male-escorts-women-growing-global-survey-finds-50249
Snow, Aurora. (2015, January 3) Career-Minded Women Turn to ale Escorts for No-Strings Fun and (Maybe) Sex. Retrieved from https://www.thedailybeast.com/career-minded-women-turn-to-male-escorts-for-no-strings-fun-and-maybe-sex