Parool about students working as high class escort

On August 22nd 2015 newspaper Parool published an article in annex PS about students working as high class escort. Owner Marike and student escorts Ava, Stephanie and Mila of Society Service were interviewed for the article. The original publication was in Dutch but a short translation can be found here.

Naughty student looking for lucrative part-time job

Part-time, adventurous and well paid. Is high class escort the ideal part-time job for students?

During the day, Mila (23) is a student. She’s busy with a technical master, likes to wear jeans and is surrounded by male students. But in the evening she puts on her garter belts and stockings, high heels, elegant dress and is booked by fifty year old banking directors – as an escort. Mila “I wanted some femininity back in my life and a job as an escort seemed like the ideal way to accomplish this.” And not completely inconsiderable: “With one or two bookings a week I make enough for a luxurious lifestyle and a nice savings account.” On average, an high class escort makes around euro 500 per booking.

There are no exact figures on the number of students in prostitution. According to cultural anthropologist Marie-Louise Janssen paid sex is an attractive part-time job: due to the higher tuition it is financially attractive and students are experimenting a lot with sex. Janssen is currently studying this form of prostitution. The survey Confessions of a student prostitute shows increased numbers of English students working as prostitutes. In 2000, four percent knew a fellow student who works in the sex industry; in 2006 this number went up to six percent and in 2010 to even ten. In France, nearly two percent of the students are engaged in prostitution, reported the French newspaper Le Figaro a few years ago. In the United States the sugar daddy is popular. Students sell their bodies through websites like to men in exchange for sex, their rent, books and tuition. Nearly 1.4 million students have already registered, says Brandon Wade, founder of the site in the Belgian magazine Knack.

What stands out: there are two worlds in which students prostitutes are active. On one side you have the world of high class escort with rich businessmen, luxurious restaurants and private jets. Masters student Mila: “I like it when a man is a true gentleman. I really wanted to see the northern lights, a client promised to take me after reaching a certain business milestone. Last year we went.” In addition, there is a world that mainly takes place at the Red Light District, dorm rooms and shady websites. There, women offer themselves with slogans like ‘naughty student with huge sex drive’ and ‘a sweet little student who wants to earn some money for the holidays. “The price list is even included: ’45 minutes’ 100 euro ‘and’ cum on body: 10 euros extra.

Students move more into the escort industry says researcher Jansen. “It is part time, adventurous, provides prestige and is paid much better.” A job as a high class escort is much more attractive to students, also according to Marike van der Velden (31), owner of one of the largest Dutch high class escort agencies: Society Service. “Either you’re a week at the Red Light District, or you go for one night of luxury at Marike.” Society Service has about forty escorts employed. Van der Velden, long blond hair, Chanel sunglasses and Southern accent, started the company as a 21-year-old business student. Together with her partner she invested 4,000 euros. A fellow student designed the website: in exchange he was allowed sex with an escort. Now the company is turning over a million a year – she does not want to provide exact numbers.

Van der Velden speaks of ‘ladies’ and ‘clients’. More than half of her ladies are students. Fortunately, because Van der Velden likes to employ them. They are flexible (‘classes are not mandatory’), independent (‘the student lives alone and is often used to solve her own problems’) and popular (‘pretty smart girls are doing well in the escort business’). Yes, her clients sometimes even ask explicitly for ‘the students type’. “When they’re in their car, they often see these girls on their bicycle. It appeals to them, because they don’t get to meet this type of women during their day to day life.” Vice versa such businessman is also appealing to a student, she thinks. “The average client is an intelligent interesting man you wouldn’t easily get to meet in everyday life.” She recently matched a law student to a top lawyer. “Then you can socialize with him and you’ll also get paid well for it. But I always emphasize: studies first.”

Stéphanie (25) is such a student who is working on a PhD. She enjoys cooking, reading and is doing a wine course. And she works as an escort. Recently she was booked by her “idol.” “It was a man who writes books about my studies and of whom I had often seen lectures. You do not get the client’s full name in advance, so when the door opened, I could barely hide my delight. We had a memorable night.” Mila also talks positively and lightly about her work. “I think for the right amount almost everyone is willing to share the bed with someone who is not their husband, boyfriend or lover. Having sex with a client is like having sex with a “normal” bed partner. You do your best to please each other and I might as well enjoy it. Nothing is obligated, including orgasms.”

Escort Ava (22), lawstudent, is positive as well. She likes her work “way to much to quit” and is “building an enormous amount of people skills”. “Which comes in handy, is weekly having dinner with persons who in my future career are in higher positions and I need to formalize with. Now, the contact is informal and intimate, which I learn from.”. Ava is tall, slim and blonde with blue eyes. “Yes, an all Dutch girl.” If she has any time left in addition to her studies, friends, sports and bookings, she enjoys going to the sauna. “I often hear people think you need to turn a switch when having sex with a client. Well, that’s not the case for me. Aside from being more aware of safe sex, sex with a client is just as pleasant as with a lover. Even more so; a client is usually more experienced with women and therefore a better lover than the average student.” She visits her sorority twice a week. In addition she’s surprised how ‘easy’ her fellow students think of sex. “My girlfriends have a lover here and a lover there. They have just as much sex as me, but just aren’t getting paid for it. Many students have a rich lover or are available for indecent proposals.” She also tells us about the ‘gala duty’ of such a sorority: “The boy who invites to the gala pays for the tickets. For the average student that’s a lot of money. My friends feel obligated to have sex with him, even if they don’t really like him or he’s drunk. If that’s your point of view, then why not become an escort?”

It doesn’t really surprise researcher Marie-Louise Janssen for escorts to speak so highly of their job. High class escorts are, according to her, a ‘special category’ within prostitution. “These women have a lot of control over the situation, are great negotiators, often say no and have regular and educated with who they travel and go out for dinner.” She regularly has students in her class who are working as an escort: “These boys and girls are far from shy. They are not forced to do this, no they make the conscious choice. And when they no longer like it, they just quit.”

Despite all that, Mila, Stephanie and Ava do not want to be interviewed face to face. All contact is arranged through the escort agency. According to Janssen, this is due to the ‘enormous stigma’ attached to prostitution. “You will not openly admit to working as an escort during your studies. If that would be on my resume, I would never be able to work for the university. That’s a negative consequence of this job.” Political Science student Lyle Muns (21) is also afraid of this stigma. “I wonder how much I will be judged by others in the future.” Mums is also chairman of Dwars, the Amsterdam youth department of a political party and open about his work as an escort. “I would like to be active in politics in the future. I wonder if there are just as many options for me now as before I revealed this about myself.” Until turning eighteen, he was living a double life as a student in the Belgian city Bilzen: male clients would pick him up at a small street near the house of his parents. One time it went south, the client refused payment and left him far from home. “I felt made a fool and fragile.” Now he’s working as a freelance escort, controlling his own business. Why now being so open about it? “I no longer want to lie. There’s nothing wrong with my work.” He tells me hie’s happy with the free political party he’s working with. “But sometimes people make funny faces when I speak of my work. Or after I leave, they gossip about me. How it’s a bit weird that I’m doing this job, or if it’s sensible I want to be a politician. Luckily I also receive positive responses like ‘Lyle, you make me look at sex workers completely different’.”

Are Stephanie, Mila and Ava also afraid for their future? Stephany sometimes wonders about the consequences for her private life: “At the end of the day I would like to start a family and as an escort you have a different background from most women, without such experiences. It changes you a little bit as a person and I hope it doesn’t make me unsuitable for a steady relationship.” Mila trusts her clients for the full 100 percent: “Discretion is very important in this industry and this goes both ways. If I would ever meet I client, he doesn’t want to be approached by a beautiful young lady as well, when in the company of his wife.” Law student Ava even talks about her future with her clients: “I often get to meet people with a legal profession and nobody has ever told me my job will be a problem. I pay taxes and don’t have a criminal record. Excuse me, but what would you prefer. A student who worked as an escort, or somebody who isn’t good at his job?”

It isn’t all that easy to become an high class escort. At Society Service, multiple steps are required before you’re hired. First a short email with the facts: location, measurements, length, picture. Marike van der Velden: “I would like to see a body which is in proportion. A soft looking appearance. No tattoos with male names.” Next step is an email with a more elaborate motivation. “Ladies making typos are usually not intelligent enough.” Then fifteen minutes on the phone ‘to get a feeling of what type of person she is’, followed by a face to face interview at a hotellobby. One in every hundred applicants is invited to sign a contract at Society Service.