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An interesting account of one guy's escorting experience

Ben Manchester

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I found this account of one guy's experience of escorting at http://hereisthecity.com/2010/11/01/inside_out_the_ma_analyst_whos/

The article doesn't seem to be finished but it's a good read nevertheless.

Instalment One

'That day started much the same as any other, but by the end of it my world would be in a spin and my life would never be the same again.

But first I need to back up a bit, and give you some context. My life was complicated - very complicated. It all started after college, when I struggled to get a job in the industry of my choice - you see, I wanted to go into investment banking, but it was the fall of 2008 and we were in the depths of the financial crisis.

In the space of just a few days, Lehman Brothers fell, Merrill Lynch was acquired and Goldman and Morgan Stanley became bank holding companies. The investment banking industry as we knew it (or at least as I envisioned it to be) had changed forever, and firms were thinking about their very survival, rather than focusing on hiring rookies like me.

Now the markets may well have been in gridlock, but nothing in my life seemed to be standing still, and I was worried sick. My debts were building up, the rent was again coming due and the fridge was empty. The ATM had kept my card, my parents were in no position to give me any more help, and I'd tapped everyone I knew who could lend me a few dollars. In short, I was broke.

I saw no way out. Well, there was one way, although it was very much a last resort. But I guess it was last resort time. The only option that would enable me to earn a reasonable income fairly quickly was escorting. Yes, I'd have to become a hooker. And as a good looking young gay man (although no-one but one or two of my really close friends knew about my true sexual orientation), I knew I'd be selling my body to men, and mostly middle-aged married ones at that.

And I even knew how to get started. It was easy. I'd been using several of those gay sex websites for a couple of years (it was the best way to arrange anonymous meets with people in the same boat as me), and I was aware that there was a 'Commercial' section, where you simply stuck up a picture of your body (and usually your other 'attributes'), bought yourself a disposable cell phone and waited for the calls (and the cash) to come in'.

Instalment Two

'The first thing I learned about the gay escorting scene was that there were plenty of time wasters out there, guys who seemed to get off asking loads of questions about my preferences, my limits and anything else that turned them on. Over time, I came to realise that, generally speaking, the longer a 'client' engaged with you online ahead of a meeting, the less likely a meeting was to actually take place.

In time, it became easy to spot the time wasters, but initially I was caught out several times, spending an age responding to a constant barrage of questions, only to find that the 'client' disappeared just around the time it got to actually booking an appointment.

I also realised it was important to establish certain ground rules. It was clearly essential to manage clients' expectations and to let them know ahead of a meeting exactly what they were paying for. Misunderstandings would undoubtedly lead to conflict, and the last thing I needed was a confrontation - after all, I was trying to be a lover, not a fighter!

First off, I made it clear that I would only engage in safe sex - no 'bare back'. Strangely, there are plenty of men out there who get off on having unprotected sex with a number of partners, many of them escorts. The risk of catching a sexually transmitted disease, it seems, heightened the thrill. There's nowt as queer as folks, as they say.

Then there was the matter of what 'position' I'd assume in the little business arrangements I was planning with clients. And bearing in mind I was kind of fussy about who might 'invade' my personal cavities, I told everyone who cared to know upfront that I was a 'top' man only.

I also made it clear that I wasn't up for any kinky stuff - no 'toys', cross-dressing, or anything else that involved bodily fluids of any kind. Drug-taking was also out of the question. I wouldn't go with anyone who wanted to get high. No, both parties had to be fully in control at all times, and know exactly what they were doing and what was expected of them.

Finally, discretion was really important to me. Remember, I was only doing this on a short term basis, and had no wish to queer my pitch (excuse the pun) by being outed as a gay escort. I kind of thought that, should that unpleasant fact emerge, it might make it more difficult for me to get a proper job at an investment bank when the markets picked up. So, I clearly used a fake name (Byron, as I thought that was poetic and would make me stand out).

And I decided early on that I would never accommodate - in other words, entertain clients at my apartment. Not only was my place small, dingy and not up to much, but I just couldn't risk clients knowing where I lived (imagine some clown turning up uninvited when my parents were there!).

No, I would 'travel' only. And although this had its risks too - you never knew if you were being set up and might be set upon by some homophobic types as soon as you arrived at your client's place - generally this was the better option. You also got paid more for travelling too - generally $200-an-hour, rather than the $150 you could reasonably charge for entertaining clients at home.

Still, even with all these precautions, I admit that I was as nervous as hell the very first time I pushed the buzzer and waited for my first client to answer and let me into his apartment.

Instalment Three

My heart was racing as I walked up the stairs to the guy's apartment. I checked my watch. I wanted to make sure I was out of there no later than an hour - quicker if I could manage it without making the client feel that he'd been had. After all, I'd advertised a 'no rush' service. All the escorts seemed to say that, so I felt obliged to as well.

As I approached the door, it opened and the client placed his finger over his lips, signalling for me to be quiet. I guess he didn't want the neighbours realising what was going on.

And he wasn't what I expected. He looked normal, just an ordinary middle aged man who was looking for some 'company'. And he was fully dressed. I don't know why, but I kind of expected him to be ready for action - after all, he was paying for the next hour, and I felt sure he'd want to get his money's worth. I knew I would. I started to undue my trousers.

He'd sat down on the couch now, and through a drag on his cigarette, said: 'Relax. There's no hurry'.

I giggled nervously.

'You done this before ?', he asked.

'No', I replied, 'It is that obvious ?'.

He just laughed and motioned for me to sit in the chair opposite him.

'So, what's a nice guy like you doing a nasty job like this for ?', he teased.

I shrugged my shoulders, but said nothing.

'Come on', he insisted, 'Tell me your story. Guy's like you always have a story'.

I was beginning to feel a little uncomfortable now. I didn't like where this was heading. This guy seemed OK, but I was wary about giving anything away about myself. I was reluctant to tell this guy anything personal.

'Oh, it's the usual story', I replied evasively, 'I'm sure we all do it because we need the money'.

'You'd be surprised', he replied without any further explanation.

'You an expert, then ?', I asked, finding some courage from somewhere.

'Let's just say that I've been around', he smiled.

And with that he laughed and walked into the bedroom. My heart still pounding, I followed him inside.

But when I undressed and lay with him on the bed it was a big letdown (at least it must have been for him). To my embarrassment, I found that I couldn't perform (I knew I should have taken Viagra). The harder I tried, the more I willed myself to get ready for business, the more hopeless it became.

After a few more fruitless minutes, I knew I had to get out of there. This wasn't doing anything for either of us. I felt so stupid; I couldn't even do this right.

'I'm sorry', I said as I stood up to put my clothes back on, 'It's...'.

'Don't worry, kid', he interrupted, 'Everyone in your new profession has to have a first time, and I'm sure that many of them end up just like this'.

Fully dressed now, I quickly headed for the exit.

'Wait', he cried, 'You forgot your money'.

'I couldn't', I stammered, 'It's not fair'.

'Hey', he replied, 'You put yourself through a lot coming here. You deserve it, and frankly, you probably need it more than me too'.

I snatched the money from his outstretched hand, and murmured 'thanks', but didn't look back. I tucked my ill-gotten gains into my back pocket and ran down the stairs and out into the street. Although I'd bagged my first fee, clearly I had some thinking to do. Was this escorting lark really for me ?

Instalment Four

There was a little soul searching on my part after that first time, but I really had no other choice. I had to make it work. And, in time, I did. I began to learn the tricks of the trade.

First off, I learned to hedge the risks. And the biggest risk was from time wasters, the type I mentioned earlier. The very worse, however, were those who started to chat online and even called you up and provided you with an address. The trouble was, when you got there, the door would be opened by a doddery old lady who wouldn't have a clue about what I was on about. And all the while, your time wasting 'client' would be watching the action from his true address nearby, having turned himself on just by getting me to go on a fruitless trip out. And it wasn't just the fact that my time had been wasted that would wrangle. There's was always the possibility that I'd given up the prospect of a genuine meet to go on what turned out to be a fool's errand.

In time, however, I did learn to win the war against 'wasters', although I occasionally still got caught. And one of the first ground rules I established in the fight was that I'd refuse to travel more that five miles from where I lived. That way, I wouldn't have lost much time if I did end up being mucked about. I was also lucky in that I lived in an apartment (with a few friends from college) very close to the center of town, just a few minutes from where many financial types lived (and there are many more frustrated gay bankers and successful types out there than you'd imagine), and fairly close to all the hotels that were popular with overseas tourists looking for some 'action'.

I also learned that it was best to drive past the apartment building or house just before a first meet with a new client (I always took the car). Sometimes I'd get a bad vibe about a place, and I'd just return home. But even if I was fairly comfortable, I'd park up a couple of blocks away, leaving the car facing away from the client's home, so that I could make a quick getaway if I needed to.

It was also crucial to get your fee upfront. Incredible as it may seem, some so-called clients were after freebies, and had convinced themselves that when we met I'd fall head over heels in love with them, and that I'd spend the next several weeks in bed doing their bidding. And these were usually ugly fat guys who had massive chips on their shoulders. But it was also most important to get your cash upfront, as that made it much more difficult for an unsatisfied client to try and get it back. And, believe me, there are some people that you could never please, no matter what you did.

But possibly the most useful lesson I learned was how to get clients to that 'climatic' moment as soon as possible. The trick was to first engage them in a few minutes polite conversation. Strangely, most clients were prepared to tell you about themselves; some even admitted to being married with children. So, that usually got them relaxed. And it was nearly always me who got us focused on business, leading the way to a bedroom (interestingly, I'd say that the vast majority of my middle-aged clients were more comfortable getting physical actually in a bed).

It was in the bedroom, of course, that the fun really started. And here the client and I had slightly different agendas. A client would usually want the experience to last as long as possible. In fact, some grabbed me as soon as I entered, intending to get the most out of every last second from the hour they had paid for. Those guys, you could do nothing about. But the rest (and this was most of them), you had to find a balance. They'd paid their money and you wanted to give them value, so that they would come back. It's far better to have a regular numbers of repeat clients, who you come to know and feel comfortable with, rather than to go from one stranger to another, ripping them off so that they never come back. Not to mention that word gets around, and escorts get reputations.

No, it was important to provide a decent service, but that doesn't mean that you can't aim to get the 'hour' over as quickly as possible. After all, time was money, and the sooner you finished with one client, the quicker you were available to start again with another. So you learned to quickly identify what buttons to press to make them orgasm at the earliest sensible opportunity. Because once a client 'came', it was usually all over, and they couldn't wait to get you out of the apartment.

So, as you will have surmised, I soon began to adapt to my new lifestyle, and the money and the freedom it offered me. I was earning more than I ever thought possible (and all tax free, of course), had time for shopping during the day and frequent trips to the gym. OK, so I often had to be out and about at unsocial hours, but, at least for a while, I thought it beat working for a living. In the back of my mind, however, I knew that this was only temporary, and that I had to refocus and pursue my main career interest - getting a job in an investment bank.

Instalment Five

But getting a job in an investment bank was almost impossible that first year after I left college, and it wasn't until 2009 that I started to get a few interviews. And one of the first questions I was always asked was what I had been doing for the previous 12 months.

'Making old men very happy', I was tempted to say, but thought better of it. In the end, I settled on saying that I'd gone travelling, and had the whole thing off pat - what countries I visited, the sites I saw, the local people I met. It was no big deal, though, as no-one was really listening. Most of the firms I saw seemed to be going through the motions, the interviewers seemed mostly bored, and I rarely got past first base. It was so frustrating.

In the meantime, I was becoming a good escort. And I'd progressed to 'overnights' - actually spending the evening with a guy, 'performing' for as long as he desired, and returning home (usually deadbeat) after breakfast. It took a while for me to feel comfortable with this, but I soon got one or two regular clients and $1,200-a-night (tax free) couldn't be sniffed at. There were, of course, one or two unsavoury moments and some quick lessons that had to be learned on my part.

Firstly, I soon came to realise that it was best to steer well clear of clients high on drugs. Not only were these guys dangerous when they were out of control, but the drugs often helped them to go all night. And for me, who wasn't interested in drugs of any kind, that was a nightmare. As young as I was, I had my limits. Fortunately I soon recognised the signs, and if I received a call from a client who seemed high, I just made out that I was already booked.

And then there were the guys who wanted to live out their fantasies and have a threesome (or more). I kicked that into touch, too, after a couple of pretty bad experiences, mostly with fellow escorts who were happy to take a client's money, but who weren't prepared to do any 'work' for it. In the end, it always seemed to be me who was working overtime, and I decided fairly quickly that I was better off going solo.

But working in an investment bank became my main aim, and I was determined to get a foot in the industry, although try as I might, it was proving impossible to get hired - at least as part of the latest graduate intake. Then I got a break.

A friend of one of my former college tutors worked in M&A at one of Wall Street's largest firms, and he was after a 'grunt' - you know, someone to go out for the pizzas, carry around the pitch books and do the endless photocopying that needs to be done in that line of business (and it's always the 'grunt' who gets to do the photocopying - that's far beneath the team secretary). Anyway, after a brief round of interviews - where no-one seemed to care as long as I had two arms, two legs and a head - I became a team grunt.

At first I thought that I'd be able to give up escorting, but I soon came to realise that this would be impossible - firstly, my base salary was relatively low, and secondly I'd got used to a fairly high standard of living which I just couldn't give up. So I thought that I'd moonlight for a few months until bonus time, and sort away as much cash as I could from escorting to tie me over until I could survive just from the day job (of course, I was going to be a big rainmaker, and it wouldn't be long before the big bucks started to come in. Oh, how naive was I ?).

And working on Wall Street made me realise just how easy I had it before. I was up at 6am every morning, and in work by 7.30am - not that I did anything, but I was expected to be there just the same (even though on most days the senior team members didn't show their faces until just before 9am). I then spend the rest of the day being ordered around. It wasn't that the senior guys were rude, it was just that they had more important things on their mind than being civil to the likes of me; I was, after all, the grunt and was there just to do the mundane jobs no-one else wanted to do. And although I accepted this as the price I would have to pay to get my foot on the ladder, I admit that I did look on in envy at some of the graduates who had entered on the proper graduate training program - at least they had some kind of road map that would hopefully equip them for their future at the firm; all I had was my wits and a thick skin.

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I'm sure that there is an element of truth in both of these stories but I think its mostly fantasy, either from somebody thats been with an escort, interviewed an escort or just fancies the idea of being an escort.

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This might make me sound like a cunt, but...

I can't be arsed reading another account of being a (male) escort. Maybe it's jealousy that they've pulled the finger out and written about their life, but I think it's more than that.

I'm drawn to these accounts (blogs, memoirs, columns) the same way I used to be drawn to soap operas when it was announced that they'd be introducing a gay character or that an established character was going to come out. I'd tune into a soap or drama, maybe one I'd never even watched before, just to catch this little bit of representation and see how they'd tackle a gay character and always, inevitably, leave disappointed - it was the same story, the same emotional beats, nothing new. That's changed a lot now, there's lots of interesting gay characters popping up all over the telly, so maybe it'll be the same with the representation of (male) escorts, it'll take a bit more time for something off-the-wall and individual to regularly crop up, rather than just the same collection of anecdotes and experiences that seem to be the norm at the moment.

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