The University Times about escort in The Netherlands
On February 2nd, the Irish “The University Times” published an (online) article on prostitution in The Netherlands, including an interview with high class escortservice Society Service. The complete article can be found here, below you find parts of the article regarding general information as well as the interview with high class escortservice Society Service, which includes information about the Virgin Experience.
Society Service: Jane Fallon Griffin discusses the necessary evil of prostitution in Amsterdam.
The sex trade in Amsterdam is now widely considered a necessary evil, and it continues to flourish financially. It is estimated that there are between twenty and twentyfive thousand working prostitutes in the Netherlands with forty per cent of this number active in the city of Amsterdam. The largest Red light district in Amsterdam is De Wallen, which features more than three hundred full-length glass windows occupied by prostitutes. The rooms behind the curtained windows are frequented by an average of twenty thousand people a year, half of whom are tourists. The average client is aged between twenty-five and forty-five. Here, business hours are not confined to the dark of night and many prostitutes fill the window-lined alleys during the day. The decision to legalize prostitution in the Netherlands in October 2000 stemmed not from governmental approval of the industry, but rather as a result of concern for the welfare of the workers. Since the law was introduced brothels are subject to health and safety inspections. Furthermore the legality of the industry allows the government to enforce laws over the trade as it would over any other business. Working hours, taxing and safe sex are all now subject to inspection. Sex workers are required to register their profession with local government in order to ensure they pay taxes.
As the Netherlands is one of the few places to offer a legal sex trade, competition between companies is rife. As the cheapest option the red light district attracts many, as do the escort services for a client seeking a more discreet booking. Within the upper end of the escort market, where price tags of well over €1500 are common, there is always a need to distinguish one’s company from the next. One such company with headquarters in both Amsterdam and Rotterdam is that of Society Service. Marike is both founder and owner of this high class escort agency. A graduate in business and entrepreneurial law, Marike started the company ten years ago. According to the owner, the difference between the services offered by each level of the three tier industry is easily explained. Using the analogy of a coffee bean, Marike explained to me why the price varied. She spoke of the difference between having a coffee at home, ordering one in a café and going for coffee in a high class hotel. She describes the red light district as being purely for satisfying a need as in the case of making a coffee at home using shop bought beans. The client gets what they are looking for and it is at a minimal price. In terms of an escort service, Marike explains that it is similar to using a service such as a café to purchase a coffee, it will be more expensive but the client can order from a menu and the service will be provided for them. In terms of the high class escort agency she runs, Marike explains that her company offers an experience rather than a service as in the case of the other options.“There’s more to it than sex” she adds. By ordering a coffee in a fancy hotel she explains how you pay not only for the coffee but also for the pretty cup, the accompanying sweets, the waiter who serves you and the plush surroundings of the hotel.
The profiles of escorts available for hire on SocietyService.com not only have model-esque photos, but also personal information on the escort, much of which relates to her education and interests. Marike explains that after a year and a half of operating Society Service, stories began to emerge of clients who were virgins, and for whom intimacy was a big ordeal. The majority of clients are aged between twenty-five and thirty, although sometimes this age range can rise to forty. As a result of this, a service catering solely for males over the age of twenty-one was created. The Virgin Experience is designed to make clients (many of whom, according to Marike, are very nervous and have had minimal sexual interaction) feel relaxed.
The girls capable of providing this service must be very socially skilled, she continues, with special training being offered to ensure the experience runs as smoothly as possible. The employees who provide this service are guided by a sexologist, sociologist and a flirt coach. The Virgin Experience lasts three hours and while time may be added the duration cannot be decreased as the company feels this is not conducive to a relaxing and productive experience. While there is a massive difference in price between this service and the red light district (three hours starts at €950), Marike says that it is the experience you pay for and if you simply want to lose the term “virgin” that can be done in two minutes in the red light district. The three hour minimum is designed to encourage a positive first time experience for the man involved. The experience also involves educating the man in intercourse in order to make future sexual experiences less daunting. “A woman needs more than just sex and that is what they are taught in the Virgin Experience,” she explains. Marike also claims that Society Service often receive letters from clients who have become engaged, and recognise the company as the source of confidence which has led to their forthcoming marriage.
To ensure that its escorts maintain a level of enthusiasm for and continue to enjoy their work, escorts must have another occupation and no more than two bookings per week are permitted. Although most escorts will work for around two years while a student or until they enter into a serious relationship, there are cases where a couple agrees that escorting will solely be a profession and not interfere with their own relationship. The agency receives around one hundred applications per week from which very few are actually hired. The criteria for employment spans the physical, intellectual and social sphere, with girls expected to fulfil the “dream girl” idea of being attractive, intellectual (Society Service prefers applicants with degrees, but it is not essential) and the ability to blend into any social event a high class client may attend. The job description involves providing an ideal date-like experience for the client including dinner, conversation, companionship and ultimately sex.
Society Service also offers an international service whereby an escort is flown to the location of the cliënt. However, although this and all other services offered by the company are legal, perhaps the people of Amsterdam are not quite as liberal as their city’s reputation suggests. The owner explains that the stigma surrounding the sex trade in Amsterdam is still very much alive. Whatever one’s moral stance or otherwise on the issue Society Service, like the rest of the sex industry in the Netherlands, continues to attract new and repeat clients with plenty of scope for new initiatives such as The Virgin Service. It is undeniable that sex sells, and will continue to be a marketable commodity so long as it maintains its profitable position as one of Amsterdam’s top attractions.