Libelle 2020

Libelle magazine about an escortservice and Corona

On June 26, Libelle magazine wrote an article for their online magazine about what it is like to run a high class escortservice during and after the Corona crisis. For the article owner Marike was interviewed, who talked about how her work changed from one day to the next. You can read the article on the Libelle website, or find an English translation below.

Marikes escorts were not allowed to work during corona: "While they do much more than have sex"

The corona crisis makes it impossible for various sectors to go to work normally. This also applies to Marike van der Velden's escorts. In recent months they have been at home, while all other contact professions were allowed to return to work.

Marike van der Velden: “High class escorts are 'sex workers' and were one of the few contact professions that were not allowed to work in recent months due to corona. That's why my 50 escorts have been out of work since March. They miss out on an average of 4,000 euros per month because the profession would be too risky. I do not agree with that. High class escort is about much more than just sex and it is time for my ladies and gentlemen to get back to work.”

I founded an escortservice when I was 21 years old

“Society Service, my escort company, has been around for almost 15 years and has grown into a gigantic company in that time. But when I started doing this at the age of 21 it was not yet the case. A friend of mine who was a model was regularly asked if she could be hired as an escort. She did not want it herself, but she knew many ladies who would have an ear for it. However, to set up her own escort company, she needed someone with the business capabilities for such a venture. With my university business administration studies, that was me.”

“I bought her out in 2008 and have been running the company on my own ever since. I enjoy the thrills and the fact that I don't have a 9-to-5 job. There is always something happening. Air tickets have to be booked, hotels reserved, ladies have to send to bookings. My work was always exciting. But that changed in March.”

The corona crisis and high class escort

“From one moment to the next my company came to a complete standstill. No one flew anymore, no one could eat out and no escort was allowed to come into contact with a client. That was a big blow. Financially it was not a problem for me. I have built up a strong buffer over the years. But it was tough for my escorts.”

“The escorts work under a pseudo-employment contract. This means that they work for me, but not according to a traditional employment relationship in which the employer determines what the employee must do. That doesn't work in this field. Escorts must always be able to decide for themselves which client they want to see and not and whether they want to sleep with clients or not. In that respect, such a pseudo-employment relationship works perfectly. But during the corona crisis, this meant that no escorts were eligible for financial compensation from the government. And that is very unpleasant for them.”

“On average my escorts have 2 to 3 bookings per week that last several hours. Many escorts have a job or study in addition to their escort work, but they easily miss out on thousands of euros per month. And that is something you will notice quickly on your bank account.”

Escort limitations during corona

“As unpleasant as the situation was, I understood that measures like these were necessary during the corona crisis. But in mid-May my understanding changed completely. Suddenly, all contact professions were able to return to work. Masseurs, physiotherapists, everyone was allowed to do their job again. But not sex workers. I thought that was absurd. An escort appointment often revolves around social contact, conversations and being together. It is really not the case that everyone is constantly having sex. In addition, we have always had to deal with the transmission of diseases in our industry and we are very careful with this. We have many measures that are always being taken and are therefore designed for this type of situation. In other contact professions this is not the case and there is also much more physical contact. Yet my escorts were all still at home.”

“That was very frustrating and that is why the Association of Dutch Escort Companies wrote a letter about this to the State Secretary for Economic Affairs, with me as spokesman. It was simply no longer justifiable that all contact professions were allowed to go back to work, but the sex workers were not.”

Running an escort agency is usually very exciting

“For me it is not as annoying as for the escorts who have no income. I have also felt the blow of the corona virus. In recent months I have mainly been busy with chores that were left, such as updating the website. But I miss the excitement, the variety and the contact with people. When I was 21, I consciously chose my exciting job and now I am back working on boring tasks from 9 to 5.”

“It is therefore great news that it has now come out that all sex workers can start working again from 1 July. It was time for this sector to also be allowed to participate in the relaxation of corona measures.”