Woman Glossy edition on “Confessed” and Marike’s escort agency
On October 1st 2021, Vrouw Glossy published an edition entirely devoted to the subject of “Confessed”. This edition also contains a report called “Lust” in which various women talk candidly about the taboo surrounding sex and their profession. Marike, the owner of this escort agencyy, was also interviewed for the report. View and read the Dutch translation of the article here.
Without shame: Escortagency
Sex is still a taboo. A relationship with two men? Working in the red light district? Running a swingers club or escort agency? Not everyone dares to talk about it candidly. Fortunately, these women do. Marike van der Velden (37, in a relationship) has been running escort agency Society Service in Amsterdam for fifteen years now. She still has to deal with prejudice.
“During my Business Administration studies, I met a glamour model who wanted to start a high-end escort agency, there were hardly any in the Netherlands at the time. She was looking for someone who was good with numbers. After two years I bought her out. Now it’s my company, my baby, and I wouldn’t want anything else. I really enjoy the freedom and lifestyle this work brings. Where others sit in a dusty office under the fluorescent light, I have the freedom to work where I want. My office was a beach in Italy the other day. I work very hard and yet it never feels that way. Many people are reluctant to go to work, I never am. And yet it is those people who judge the harshest.
I often have to account for my work. Some friends ended the friendship. My parents were and are certainly not thrilled, but they are proud of me as an entrepreneur. My boyfriend? He has nothing to say about my job. I don’t condemn his work at the bank either? The funny thing is that as an entrepreneur you apparently have to write a book to be taken seriously. Since the release of the Escort Bible, more people see me as a businesswoman and less as someone with a job in the sex industry.
In the Netherlands we think we are free-spirited, but I notice the aversion every day. I get hate mails, threats that I would go to hell and sometimes people send me a bible to get me ‘on the right path’. Ten years ago, that kept me up at night, but not anymore. It is frustrating that I am discriminated against in daily life: no insurer wants to do business with me or my company. During the lockdown, my ladies and I were excluded from any form of state aid. Incomprehensible. I follow all the rules, pay a lot of taxes… but when it comes down to it, the government turns a blind eye.
I regret the misconceptions about sex work. Not all women in the red-light district are forced and not all escorts live a glamorous life. A midweek Seychelles is sometimes part of the deal, but those are really the slogans from the porridge. Also, the customers are really not old, unkempt or disrespectful and the girls are not all size zero. Although of course you have to be beautiful and intelligent.
Out of a thousand women who sign up every month, which invariably happens in September when the studies start again, I’ll hire maybe two. For those ladies it is a conscious choice to do this work. It’s not just the customers who enjoy it, they often do too. Most people can’t wrap their head around that. On the one hand I am disappointed with the prejudices, on the other hand the taboo atmosphere also works in my favor. The mystical makes it exciting and therefore lucrative. If booking an escort becomes as normal as buying a loaf of bread, I might be out of business soon!”