AD 2022

AD Podcast about our high class escortservice

On November 6th, 2022, the national newspaper AD published a podcast in the series "About love" by Debby Gerritsen. This time, owner Marike from Society Service joins Debby and they talk about what it's like to run an escort service. Among other things, Marike talks about clients who sometimes fall in love with the escorts, and why that happens. You can find the original publication here and listen to the podcast in Dutch here. In addition, you will find a global transcript in English below.

About love: "Men sometimes fall in love with our escorts"

In the podcast About Love, Debby Gerritsen talks with well-known guests about questions about love, lust and life. This week Marike van der Velden, owner of escort company Society Service, is a guest to talk about the life of a high class escort lady. Is that really as glamorous as we often think? Marike van der Velden: 'People who are purely looking for an erotic experience are not at the right address with me'

Whore, prostitute, call girl, lady in red… There are at least as many names as there are questions about the world's oldest profession. Is paid sex also a form of love? And what is it like to work as an escort? And what does such an evening actually look like when you book someone? I talk about that in this episode with a real expert. In a new episode of About Love, Debby Gerritsen talks to Marike van der Velden about the life of a high class escort. Marike has been running her own escort company Society Service for seventeen years and can tell us like no other about the persistent prejudices ('It is often thought that only very unattractive, pathetic clients book an escort'), and juicy details from the business ('Men sometimes fall in love with our escorts'). Listen in!

Debby: You founded an escort company at the age of 21. Why?

Marike: Well, I didn't just do that. During my studies I doubted what exactly I wanted after my studies. I did internships to gain some experience on the labor market and learned above all that I am not a good employee. I wondered if entrepreneurship would be something for me, but in what? When I met someone with the idea of setting up a high class escort service, I decided to go for it. It sounded so exciting and intriguing and in hindsight I think it was being provocative also counted. I've always been a bit of a contrarian.

Debby: How many escorts do you employ?

Marike: I don't employ anyone, but I work with about 50 to 60 escorts: men, women and everything in between. Most of the escorts are female, some male and a few transgender. I sometimes see a certain demand developing among clients and therefore decided a while ago to also offer male escorts and now even a number of gay escorts. I think it is important to respond to such a demand, but I cannot provide for every request. Clients also ask for things that I don't want to offer and don't want to mediate for. An example of this is people who only want sex. That is not the type of service we want to offer, even though the client can pay our rates. It is a special experience in which the social aspect is also important. Our escorts expect clients who book with us to find the social aspect of importance as well and not just looking to fulfilling an erotic need.

Debby: Did you want to start an escort service as a child?

Marike: No, as a child I wanted to be Prime Minister, something completely different. Not everyone around me was equally enthusiastic about my choice to set up an escort service. In order to keep my options open for my future, after all I did a university study, I did not go public in the media in the beginning. When it turned out that I really liked my job and was good at it, that changed. I have also lost friendships because of my choice of profession. I found that very painful on the one hand, but it also gave me strength to prove them wrong. Because the people around me see how I approach this profession and with what kind of people I work, their image of my work has been positively influenced.

Debby: Did you enter this industry with a certain image in mind?

Marike: When I started Society Service there were only a few escort agencies active, none of which had an extensive website. There was a lot of frenzy about the subject, while I just wanted to show that doing business in this industry doesn't have to be any different than doing business in any other industry. I do think it's an advantage that I'm a woman. I mainly hear from escorts that they only want to be mediated by a lady because she looks beyond beauty and eroticism.

Debby: The listeners question; how realistic are the series we see on TV about working as a high class escort?

Marike: They are a bit correct, but just like with everything you see on TV, these series are quite romanticized and dramatized. A booking may include a private plane or private island, but such glamor is certainly not standard. A booking in a beautiful hotel suite or private wellness is. One booking is a few hours in a hotel, the other booking a luxury dinner in a gourmet restaurant and a night in a luxury hotel, that's all part of it. The experience can be compared to a perfect first date.

Debby: What kind of agreements are there in advance?

Marike: Many, the escorts are well prepared for a booking. Practical matters such as who, what, where and how are all arranged in advance by me, but during the booking we leave a lot to the spontaneity of the escort. That's why every booking is different and that's what's great about escort bookings. A client is free to pass on preferences and the escort will take this into account, but we do not guarantee specific sexual acts in advance. What happens during a booking is up to the escort and client, whatever they both like. Nothing is mandatory.

Debby: What talents should you possess as a high class escort?

Marike: You must have high empathy and see the beauty in others and be willing to look for it.

Debby: What type of clients book an escort?

Marike: That differs a lot: young clients with little experience in the social and erotic field, successful businessmen, lawyers, entrepreneurs, doctors, all possible professional groups but all with a minimum average salary. This is necessary to pay our rates, which start at 700 euros for 2 hours, but a few thousand euros for an evening is no exception. Client wishes also vary greatly; from casual clothing and a nice activity in nature to specific lingerie preferences and naughty erotic wishes. Ultimately, it remains a form of sex work, so sex will always be an important motivation for clients. But ask them what they found most special about the booking, it concerns feelings of desire, recognition, attention, interest, humour, intimacy.

Debby: Do clients ever fall in love with the escort?

Marike: That happens regularly and that makes sense because the high class escort is the ideal dream woman in terms of appearance, character and eroticism. This dream woman adapts to your wishes and preferences and responds to them during the booking. Then you make love to the stars of heaven with her. Isn't it logical that people fall in love with that? But remember that this is a commercial matter, the escort is there because she gets paid for it. But just like any other job, this is the most fun way imaginable for the escort to earn money.

Debby: Are there also sides to this business that are less nice? As a child you don't think about wanting to practice this profession, so it is also possible that people do this work out of a need for money and therefore cross their own boundaries. It is an intimate profession and vulnerability is lurking.

Marike: That is what a good mediator is for. He or she should take the responsibility not to work with people who only do this out of financial need. That sounds crooked because a lot of people work out of financial necessity, because they simply have to pay the mortgage, for example. But if this work is your only way out of debt, then as a mediator you should not participate with that. A license is required to operate an escort service and in my opinion you are only worthy of that permit if you are careful about this.

Debby: This is in line with the statement "There is still a huge taboo on paid sex".

Marike: I agree with that and I notice that myself as an entrepreneur. Many authorities exclude me from their business services or they are subject to additional strict requirements and procedures. Giving an example; from my bank's recent "Know Your Customers" survey, I found most of the questions downright stigmatizing and offensive. I have a permit, for which our government has conducted a BIBOB investigation. That's an integrity check. And that makes it unnecessary for a bank to ask such questions again. You see such practices in more business services and that only makes it more difficult to do business legally and transparently. I believe that as a licensed business you deserve the same treatment as any other legal business. In the personal sphere, I sometimes notice it at parties, when the alcohol is flowing. Then people can sometimes ask stigmatizing questions. The most common question is whether the clients are not all very dirty old men. That doesn't match reality at all. I hear from the escorts that clients do their very best to make it a good time for both and pull out all the stops for that.