How do you become a Escort?
Some jobs you never see advertised. Think Hollywood actor, astronaut, adventurer. They're also the kind of professions people fantasise about, but if we sat down and realistically thought through what would be required to do them, most of us would conclude they're beyond our skill set. Male escorting is similar. Imagine that occupation listed in the classified ads: "WANTED: men willing to have robust intercourse with numerous women. Meet interesting people. Excellent pay, flexible hours, immediate start."
Excelling at male sex work, say those in the know, isn't just about the sexual gymnastics. 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. So yes, you will need to be a god in bed, but you'll also be required to play counsellor and friend.
To be a good male escort, you'll need to be a good listener and able to understand your clients' needs. To be a great one, you'll need to know and understand their stories.
Sandra Davies* met her husband at 16, married him at 21 and had their first child at 24. Now 55, she sees the marriage for what it's become: an arrangement of circumstances and assets, devoid of romance and affection. Over the years she's endured her husband's affairs (two), lies (countless) and a period where he rented a place with another woman, insisting she was just a "flatmate".Pleasure principle ... Ryan James says to be a successful escort you need to get enjoyment from pleasing others. Photo: Tim Bauer
Davies knows she should have left her husband years ago, but the reality of divorce - dissolving their joint mortgage, disentangling their finances - meant staying in the marriage was the more practical option. Last year, Davies decided to put herself first. She started going out more. She went to a rock concert and screamed her lungs out like a teenager. She hired a personal trainer and lost 10 kilograms. When she looks in the mirror now, she sees someone who looks at least a decade younger. Meanwhile, her husband scolds her and says she's going wild.
The unfairness of his affairs gnawed at Davies: why did he get to sleep with other women when he was the only man she'd ever slept with? She confronted him one night: "If I had a one-night stand, would I get the same chances I've given you over the years?" Her husband stared at her. "That was in the past, " he said.
Later, when Davies joked with a friend that she might as well just hire someone for sex, her friend's response - "Well, what's stopping you?" - caught her off-guard.
She ran some online searches and came across a Sydney-based escort with the professional name Ryan James; a blond, clean-cut calendar boy. Her main concerns were cost, discretion and health risks. "Obviously, I thought about disease, " she says. "But his website said he gets tested every two months and that he'd use condoms. Just looking at the physical appearance of the guy - and the fact that he's a personal trainer - made me feel more confident." Also, she read he was a porn actor and she'd heard they take care of themselves: they can't work if they're not healthy.Presentation skills ... Adria says he spends time making himself look good and expects the same from clients. Photo: Tim Bauer
Several emails and text messages later, Davies flew from her Queensland home to meet James in the foyer of a Sydney hotel. After heading up to her room together, James asked for his money and then asked Davies to take a shower. After the shower, they moved to the couch, where he started to undress her. It was the first time Davies had taken off her clothes in front of a man other than her husband or her doctor. It felt exhilarating.
"It was just the self-satisfaction of thinking, 'Wow, there's another bloke looking at my body, ' " Davies says. She knew this was a job for James - just work, nothing more - but says there was still a thrill in knowing that having sex with her wasn't going to be a chore for him.
All Davies will divulge of the experience are the comments, "Believe me, it was good. I certainly wasn't disappointed."
And if she could rate the experience out of five? "Oh ... six, " she says, laughing.
Ryan James looks exactly as he does in his online photos: clean-cut, blond and gym-toned - like someone who should be putting out fires and rescuing kittens from trees. In a good month, when his diary is full, James might earn about $3000 from escorting, another $2000 from his personal training job and another $2000 to $3000 from acting. For seven years, he had a brain-corroding desk job in finance. "I was a nine-to-five office drone - mindless, repetitive computer spreadsheet work, " he says. "Now I set my own hours. It is a job, but it's a very enjoyable job."
There are a few things James wants to clarify about his profession. First, he's not in this job because he has an unusually high libido.
"I wouldn't say my sex drive is any higher than anyone else's, " he says. "Guys with really high sex drives all want to be escorts and they make terrible escorts. As soon as they're with a client they're not particularly attracted to, they fail." What do escorts need to have then, if not a high sex drive? James thinks for a minute. "The ability to get enjoyment from pleasing someone else."
Second, he says, no one is forcing him to do this. In fact, he's never heard of any heterosexual male escort who's been forced into the profession - they choose to be there. "They don't do it because they're desperate for money or are drug addicts, " he says. "There might be men who are sleazy or creepy trying to get into it for the wrong reasons but, simply put, they won't get any work."