Paid to get laid

Article by Denise Mooney /
Australian Penthouse /
January, 2011 /
Click here to view original /

Gigolos, prosti-dudes, man-whores, hustlers, studs… Most people know very little about the male escort industry, apart from what they’ve seen in movies such as American Gigolo and, more recently, the HBO series Hung.

In Hung, Thomas Jane plays a divorced sports coach down on his luck. In a bid to make his fortune, he attends a marketing class where he realises his ‘winning tool’ is in his pants. He goes on to attract a string of female clients willing to hand over their hard-earned cash for some between-the- sheets action. It’s an entertaining premise for a show, but is it realistic?

By all accounts, man-whores are all the rage overseas. In France, the US and Japan, ladies tired of sleazy bars and online dating are willing to pay for no-strings sex. Sex tourism in Jamaica is big business, attracting women of a certain age in their thousands each year, mainly from Europe and the US. This goes against what society expects in many ways. Haven’t a large proportion of women always been against prostitution? And can’t they get sex for free if they want it? Perhaps. But Dr Lauren Rosewarne, a lecturer in public policy and sex researcher at the University of Melbourne, says contemporary society is very market-driven.

“We are used to buying exactly what we want. The idea that a woman might decide she has a need—in this case, sex – and wants to purchase it just like any other commodity is hardly surprising.”

In Sydney, ‘Madam Vivian’ set up a male escort agency for women six years ago (www.escortsforwomen.com). For Vivian, the business is a sideline, but she says demand has been steadily growing. After all, it’s not much of a leap from internet dating. “Women can go directly for what they want, instead of going on ridiculous dates with people that drive them mad.”

Although more women are becoming customers in the sex industry, research still indicates they constitute only a fraction of the market, says Rosewarne. “The reasons include social stigma and fears about safety and disease.” This means earning potential for sex workers is limited.

Like the other male escorts we spoke to, Aundre (www.sydneymaleescort.com.au) holds down a full-time job in addition to the 12 hours a week he spends with female clients, explaining, “You can’t make a full-time living. Hiring an escort is not a decision people take lightly.”

Melbourne escort Daniel Landon says he’s constantly taking calls from men who want to get paid for sex. “I could have 20 people working for me, but there isn’t the demand, and I don’t have that sort of PCA Licence.” Both studs say they can make up to $1200 a booking, but rarely make more than $4000 in a good month. “I know women in the industry who can make about $4000 a week. I don’t know any men who can,” says Daniel.

For Aundre, a booking will usually begin in a hotel bar and progress to a pre-arranged hotel room. “Some people just like to talk,” he says. “It’s a bit of a counselling service.” His clients come from a range of backgrounds. Some are women travelling interstate who book him for sex at their hotel, while others want to go out to dinner or a club.

About a quarter of Aundre’s clients are couples, many of whom book him as a birthday gift or for a special occasion. “Some couples have been really fun. It’s good to see that I’m helping things along.” The 23-year-old used to be a hotel worker until a female guest propositioned him. “I made my whole week’s wage in a few hours.” He’s told a few friends what he does. “At the start, they didn’t believe me. Then I’d come back with a fat wad of money. Now, they think I’m a legend.”

Aundre’s youngest client was 18, but most are in their 30s and 40s. “You get all sorts, teachers and professionals. It’s not like they’re all super rich,” he says. “One client I had really shocked me. She was 27 and drop-dead gorgeous. Her boyfriend was overseas and she wanted to have phone sex while I was with her. She booked me because the clubs are full of dickheads. Everyone has different reasons for hiring this type of service.”

Daniel (www.mysirdaniel.com), a smartly dressed 44-year-old, has worked in the
sex industry for more than a decade.

“The cliché [of the gigolo] is true, it really is. There’s no-one buying me Ferraris, but there are women out there with unsatisfied desires who are willing to pay to be appreciated.” Daniel, who is bisexual, used to work solely with men. But a few years ago, he spotted the potential for marketing his services to women. Women have become braver about hiring escorts, he says. “They’re in control and it’s empowering for them to state what they need.”

A BDSM Master, Daniel usually sees two to three clients a week. “I love having sex and I’m good at it,” he says. “My clients say I’m an expensive habit. They spend three or four hours with me and they’re absolutely blown away.” Understanding women is crucial. “You’ve got to know how to handle a woman when she goes off. You have to lose this notion that a woman wants to be fucked and that’s it.”

His escort work often involves stays in beautiful hotels and apartments and he receives propositions of which other men could only dream. Once, while travelling interstate, Daniel took a call from a woman who was having drinks with two girlfriends. “She said, ‘Can you come around and do the three of us?’ It was every man’s fantasy and I wasn’t in town. That’s the one [experience] I’m really upset I missed out on.”

But, for all its perks, it’s still a job, and you can’t turn down clients. “You’re not going to see supermodels all the time in this job,” says Aundre. “But you try to look for their inner beauty. You have to see something sexy about the person.” Sometimes that’s a challenge. “There was this Asian lady. She was in her late 50s and she had a terrible cough. Her husband wanted to watch me fuck her. I just went to my happy place.”

Aundre says he does object if someone is “not tidy downstairs” and they want him to perform oral on them. “I haven’t had any extreme cases of golden showers yet.”

While Aundre and Daniel both work as independents, Madam Vivian’s is one of the few escort agencies that services women only. She says her clients are split between those after straight sex and those who want a date for a wedding or similar event. “If it leads to something else, then they have the option.”

The average client will spend between $700 and $800 on a two-hour booking. “It’s investing in personal time—like going to the beauty therapist.”

Vivian describes the 15 men on her books as “regular guys” with certain key attributes, though not necessarily the one you might think. “It takes a special man, one who loves women not just sex, one who gets pleasure from giving pleasure.”

After a date, Aundre goes home “with a smile on my face” because he knows that his services have made some woman very happy. “I would feel more dirty working for a bank. I probably make more people happy doing this than I would if I worked in the finance industry.”