No strings attached
Ladies can have their men and dismiss them, too
Many women are looking for a well-mannered gentleman to accompany them along their travels. They are hired for work events, weddings, dinner and sometimes merely to make someone jealous.
A lot of planning goes into finding "Mr. Right Now," with screenings to determine which companion is suitable for the client and event. Role-playing does occur, and a script is often provided in advance. This business is all about the women, but James said these gentlemen for hire are often equally as pleased to see the return of a familiar face.
Heather Smith, a 39-year-old manager of a Fortune 500 e-commerce company, speaks openly about the positives of dating "professionals" as opposed to "civilians," as she refers to them. With no Mr. Right in sight and failed attempts at fertility treatments, Smith found herself gaining weight and losing dating skills. Hiring an escort was an alternative to the norm with a lengthy list of attributes, including "no drama and no disruption to life."
Smith said it has been "a great weight-loss tool." Rewarding her milestones with dates, Smith said, "It is a lot easier to get out of bed and run when you have a hot guy waiting for you at the end of the day."
I was hooked at hot, but the package got more appealing as she described the men as "handsome and highly engaging." Finding them to be strong motivation for both her personal and professional life, Smith said she determines her companion based on her needs for the week. When faced with an intense meeting-filled week, Smith schedules a date with a particularly aggressive escort who fires her up. There is also a particular go-to guy for those times when Smith needs a more soothing effect. Vin is the man who "knows what a woman needs" and makes Smith feel "relaxed, calm and pretty."
A charming, handsome and attentive man who responds adequately to emotions? How does one not get attached to such an anomaly of a man I inquire?
"This is not something for the jealous type," Smith advises. "Don't kid yourself that these guys are ever going to be your boyfriend."
It often requires an emotional check, and boundaries must be established. Not seeing the same man too often is one way Smith maintains a distance, and phone numbers are never exchanged. When asked if she had intentions to return to "civilian" life, Smith said she could see herself moving in that direction soon. The men have provided a fun and useful tool in losing weight and building confidence, and Smith has taken control of the show.
Tommy, the 35-year-old corporate salesman turned escort, confirms that "it is all about the woman." He describes himself as a humble guy who truly wants to make his clients happy. Tommy, the father of a young daughter, said he turned to this business after the economy began to fail and would not have done it without the consent of the child's mother. He has maintained a relationship with a woman for 10 months despite his work, and he indicates that he has no intentions of a career change any time soon.
There was a lonely period of adjustment for him with a lot of travel to accommodate the many appointments, but Tommy confirms he genuinely "gets excited" when he sees that certain clients have booked him. Tommy makes it clear however, that "if numbers are exchanged, it is no longer business." He said feelings do get involved because everyone is human, but it is a job; he is loyal to his company, and every exchange goes through James.
The dates are anything but mundane. Smith said she tries to plan them based upon the personality of her escorts. Dinner and massages are among the norm, but Smith said she had been planning a NASCAR Experience for one, and one of Tommy's regulars took him on a cross-country road trip.
All the arrangements are made through James, who said every measure is taken to provide the perfect companion and safeguard the client. A follow-up phone call is made to guarantee satisfaction.
The guarantee of satisfaction piqued my interest, as I explained to James that for that amount of money, I would certainly expect sex.
"Well that would just be illegal," James informed me. "Any woman can walk in a place and find an opportunity for sex."
He maintains that his clients are looking for a handsome, charming and well-mannered gentleman to enjoy in a no-strings-attached environment. It is made very clear that sex is not being bought. James does, however, offer the analogy of the pizza delivery guy: "Say you order a pizza and have paid for the pizza. The pizza is your purchase, and if you open the door and sparks fly with the delivery guy, well then, that is something different."
James' main goal is "to make people happy one client at a time." All signs seem to indicate that Tommy and his other companions are indeed succeeding at making women like Smith feel special, happy ending or not.