Love, Sex

This Is What Having A Paid "Girlfriend Experience" Is Really Like

Photo: getty
What To Expect When You Hire A Sex Worker To Be Your Girlfriend

The girlfriend experience came into pop culture zeitgeist in 2018 because of the movie The Girlfriend Experience and the Starz TV show The Girlfriend Experience. It's got people wondering what exactly a girlfriend experience (or GFE) is really like.

The Mynt Models Escort agency writes on their website, "GFE has different definitions for different people. Some use it to refer to an escort who provides deep kissing and a very affectionate intimate date — much like one's real girlfriend should she come to visit. Others consider a GFE more of a tasteful lady-friend."

Although that sounds very genteel, they're downplaying the sexual aspect of the GFE. Within the sex industry, GFE is a common term for a sexual encounter in which both the client and the escort are willing to engage in reciprocal sexual pleasure and emotional intimacy.

RELATED: A Letter To My Husband's Mistress —​ Five Years Later

There's a whole different set of terms for the girlfriend experience:

  • Prostitutes or sex workers are called "providers."
  • Clients or Johns are "hobbyists."
  • When a client wants the GFE, he'll book a "nice girl."
  • Instead of paying afterward with a credit card, you put the cash in an envelope and hand it to woman beforehand. Payment is called a "donation."

Kristin Davis, the Manhattan Madam whose former clients included New York's Governor Eliot Spitzer said in an article, "This [wanting a nice girl] usually means that they want kissing and unprotected oral. It's code for paying for things a girlfriend would do with her boyfriend such as foreplay, non-rushed sex, and cuddling."

The girlfriend experience often starts with dinner at a nice restaurant, followed by kissing back at her place and can include DFK (deep French kissing), BBBJ (bare back blow job), DATY ("dining at the Y," aka cunnilingus), mish (missionary), doggie, and possibly an A level (anal sex).

RELATED: There Are Only 3 Kinds Of Homewreckers In The World

In a two-part series, a writer (no name given) gets the OK from his girlfriend to have a GFE of his own, but without the sex.

"When we planned the date with a brief phone call — not necessarily her norm — I broke down how, while this would technically be a date, there'd be no sex," the writer said. He then said he justified the no sex because he wanted to find out how the GFE was different from other sex work, people who specialize in fetishes, and body rubs.

The escort (called Jessica) said, "I don't want to say dates have a guarantee of sex activity because they don't. A) because it's illegal, and B) they simply don't. There have been a good number of instances where I have not been able to get there with somebody." A huge part of the dates (besides sex) actually involve a lot of flirting and physical touching.

Jessica and the writer met at a restaurant. "We hugged — she had a really warm hug — and I could feel she had nerves, too." They went inside and he showed her his driver's license, her protocol for first-timers. 

"The first date is the first big step of trust, on both ends," Jessica said. "They don't know who they're meeting. I'm trusting they're going to be respectful, they're going to be safe, and they're going to treat me well."

She also feels out the client in terms of attractiveness. More than once she's stopped dates because of poor hygiene.

"I've had people ask me if I was attracted to them, and I've had to very sadly say, 'I find a lot of things about you very interesting.' I'd pull one of those cards. I'm not going to lie. You can't find everyone attractive."

RELATED: How I Went From Being The Other Woman To Being His Wife

Jessica will then find out what her client is looking for through general questions such as, "What do you like? What feels good to you?" The more comfortable both the hobbyist and Jessica get, the more likely sex is going to happen. But the date doesn't end after the sex. 

"They'll tell me stories about their ex-wife, all this stuff about their childhood," said Jessica. "The more time you spend with anybody, the more drinks you have, the more hours you talk, the more things open up."

The GFE started to make a certain sense to the writer: "You'd want to spend as much time as you could in this constructed dreamscape, where an exceedingly attractive young woman is not only bringing your deeply hidden sexual proclivities to life but also hearing you gripe about the world and nodding along with every declaration about how so-and-so doesn't get you," he said.

"...When you become one of her regulars to push even beyond those boundaries — sending a text or email when she's "off the clock," looking for advice, or just telling her you're thinking about her — you're excited for your next date. And she is, too. By that point, she does have some version of feelings for you. Maybe not love, but close."

"Then it's like actual dating," Jessica said. "But they're still paying me."

In the end, while it may be the girlfriend experience, it's still not having a real-life girlfriend. Plus, you don't have to pay your real girlfriend to listen to you.

Christine Schoenwald is a writer and performer. She's had articles in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, and Woman's Day. Visit her website.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in February 2018 and was updated with the latest information.