What It's Really Like To Be An Escort (And Why I Prefer It To Stripping)

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Why Escorting is Classier Than Stripping
Self, Sex

At the surface level, many people — including strippers themselves — consider stripping superior to escorting because like web-cam modeling and phone sex, it's both legal and doesn’t involve “full service,” penetrative sex. Porn, on the other hand, is legal due only to the fact there's a camera present but most adult actors and actresses moonlight as escorts, unless they're at a very high tier of success in that industry.

As an escort by way of strip club hostessing, bartending, and then stripping, I can safely say I feel like the escorting profession is classier for a number of reasons. I tried to use frustrating Sugar Dating sites as a “middle ground” where I wouldn’t have to advertise as an escort and risk being “outed” but those sites were minimally fruitful and more aggravation than they were worth.

Whether or not you're aware of how to be an escort or a stripper, and whether or not you're part of the lifestyle, here are just a few reasons escorting is much classier than stripping.

RELATED: The 10 Biggest Myths About Being An Escort (And What The Lifestyle Is Really Like)

1. Pricing

Charging $350+ for an hourly minimum as an escort is a huge spam filter for trashy clients you have to filter through at the strip club (with tedious conversations over loud music, and time-wasters). You still get cheapeskates, hagglers and time-wasters as an escort but the higher your rates are, the fewer people will bother trying to negotiate with you.

In certain parts of the country, $350 is high-end, while in areas like NYC, minimum rates of $1,000 are par for the course. Most escorts fall somewhere in the middle. I started at $400 hour, quickly giving myself a raise to $450 and ultimately $500, where I have remained, because I moved to a part of the country where rates are generally lower than where I started.

2. Drug culture

As an escort, I'm not surrounded by illegal drugs, people drinking like alcoholics, cigarette smoke, and dry humping 20+ guys a night without a shower in between (not to mention the sweaty crotch from stage sets under club lights). With escorting (at a low volume/high hourly minimum rate), I'm always clean and fresh, and shower after every appointment before leaving.

My clients are 90 percent white collar and gentleman, unlike lots of strip club guys. They tend to be in their forties and fifties, with successful careers. They are people an escort would date, or even marry, in real life if the client were unmarried and the escort herself was open to dating older men.

3. Marketing

As an internet escort, your marketing helps you reach a desirable, classy demographic (my clients are classy, but not insanely rich flying me around the world). Hiding behind the internet protects against stalkers, sexual assault, and you screen clients to avoid bad apples, ensuring that every appointment you take is a pleasant experience.

Not every appointment goes perfectly but the worst experiences I’ve had do not involve rape, beating, or a client’s refusal to practice safe sex. Lack of chemistry with the client, or the client terminating the appointment, is about as bad as it gets. I’ve never been turned away for supposedly not looking like my photos or for having a face the client didn’t like (but I do blur my face in my escort photos to protect my “real-life” identity).

4. Appearance

Although I'm not the type of escort jet-setting in Louboutins with 2K handbags, I wear classy outfits to classy hotels for my appointments, not fishnets/clear heels. I am well-educated and discreet enough not to draw attention in hotel lobbies or out at steakhouses, etc. with clients. 

There are strippers who aren't terribly adept at having eloquent, appropriate conversations in public or dressing appropriately. And there are certain strippers and escorts a client would be concerned about bringing in public. As an escort, I’ve been to several upscale restaurants and had clients who were highly-educated intellectuals or driven career people. Overall, escorting outfits are classier and more versatile than stripping outfits. 

I remember a time during my early stripping days where I owned scarcely an outfit outside of my stripping ensembles. I would arrive to work in cheap, gray-washed yoga pants and head to the "magic transformation room" (AKA dressing room) to doll up. Unlike stripping apparel, escorting apparel is a sound, more versatile investment, so you can build a nice wardrobe for use outside of the profession.

Sometimes clients prefer a casual look like jeans but generally speaking, business casual is the average level of formality. Many clients request lingerie with stockings and garters or perhaps a short skirt or role-play outfit. However, most clients understand my need to arrive and depart from our appointment discreetly dressed.

Escorting clients of my demographic don't like tattoos, crazy dyed hair colors, and tacky face piercings. Some men of all incomes do enjoy these things, either because it’s a fetish or because it makes them think of a “bad girl” but generally speaking, a client wants to see an escort he can take out in public. It’s not all about whether your appointment involves so much as leaving the hotel room, but it’s important that the escort at least make it to the elevator without being stopped by security.

5. Makeup

When I meet an escorting client, I wear a reasonable layer of natural makeup, not caked on glitter and thick fake lashes or tacky fake nails. Standard uniform for escorts is to look nice and make more of an effort than you would make on the average day to make a great first impression and best present yourself.

However, discretion is of the utmost importance and I’m not inclined to wear a short skirt or exceedingly high heels to meet an escorting client. Furthermore, I go out of my way to avoid glittery, shimmery makeup, as this leaves evidence on the client that he’s had contact with, either a sex worker, or another woman outside his marriage.

Even when the man is unmarried, he does not appreciate being left smelling like bodily fluids, cheap Bath & Body Works lotions, strong perfumes, or having other tangible evidence about his rendesvouz with you.

6. Types of customers

The vast majority of my clients tell me they are “not strip club guys.” This is proof that the men I see as an escort are in a completely different mentality and class then men frequenting strip clubs.

Rather than trying to show off by getting lap dances in front of friends, they prefer discretion and intimate conversation in addition to intimate sexual acts. Strip clubs tend to involve exceedingly loud music, cut-throat competition where other strippers try to “steal” a customer you are getting along with and just have an overall more sleazy vibe.

RELATED: A Prostitute Reveals The 10 Most AWFUL Things Men Have Done To Her

7. Appointments

Some strippers are top-notch hustlers but as an escort, I show up to my appointment knowing how much I am going to make. Every appointment I have is a guaranteed $500+, and there are countless nights I’ve left the strip club after multiple sweaty, tedious stage sets and at least six hours of work, with far less than I make in one hour of escorting.

Some strippers are great at deciding “I’m going to make $2,000 tonight” and actually reaching those goals but it takes a different kind of girl with different skill sets to make big bucks as a stripper. The easy money and huge overall income are usually blown out of proportion in popular culture; this is partly because strippers who are not top earners and top-notch hustlers inflate their income self-reporting.

The average stripper is younger than the average escort leading to a public fascination with extremely young women, many of whom aren’t even old enough to have a Bachelor’s Degree, yet making easy money, supposedly an easy six figures. But trust me, it’s not easy.

As an escort, I prefer the “sure thing.” In the past, I have used the strip club as a back-up plan when I had no escorting appointments but if I have any escorting appointments, I’m probably not going to bother with the club unless the appointment is earlier in the evening, my legs are shaved, and I’m nearly ready to hop onto the strip club stage afterward.

8. Discretion

Escorting is an easy job to cover up when you are single and dating. When I was a stripper, I had to explain my vampire work hours by lying that I was a bartender. With escorting, it’s quite easy if you have a roommate or anyone else you’re explaining your whereabouts to, that you have a “date” from an online app, website or elsewhere.

It can be trickier if you're not single but when I'm in relationships, taking a healthy amount of space from my partner is necessary with or without appointments lined up. So if I do have appointments, I find reasons to get rid of the guy I’m seeing or assert my need for some personal time and space.

I don’t recommend living with a significant other as an escort. If you are at the stage of a relationship where you want to live with your partner for the right reasons, you should probably be fully out, or 90 percent of the way out of the industry. I’d rather lie than date a guy who is okay with me doing this line of work.

9. Independence

If you are an independent escort, you keep 100 percent of your income (minus overhead, which, depending how you operate, varies). With stripping, you might only get 50 percent or so of a champagne room that the client pays a lot for. To the client, spending $1,000 is spending $1,000 but to the sex worker, making the full $1,000 beats having to split it down the middle with the strip club owners.

Club owners and managers often feel like pimps, but, of course, they rarely inflict the kind of tyrannical behavior an actual pimp does. Escorting agencies can be a good way to start out in the business if you need quick cash but they don’t have your well-being as a top priority. Agencies tend to deal in higher volume at lower rates instead of lower client volume at higher rates.

10. Vulnerability

At strip clubs, depending on the club, you will encounter drug dealers and pimps targeting you. Some clubs have a higher tolerance for such “clients” than others but I sure as heck haven’t had an escorting client strongly encourage me to try heroin, offer me free drugs, or promise me the world as part of his “pimp pitch” to turn me out.

Vulnerable women who are naive due to age or lack of street smarts make easy prey for sexual exploitation and getting hooked on drugs, which virtually does not come up for high-end, independent escorts, or any escorts charging respectable rates, for that matter.

11. Identity

Escorts can hide their identity, thanks to blurred photos and the internet. If you have a tattoo that makes you identifiable, you can blur it in your escorting ads (just be sure to be honest in your ad that you have tattoos, but have to blur them for discretion). Like me, you can blur your face.

When you work at strip clubs, especially in high-profile cities like Las Vegas, you risk exposing yourself and bumping into someone from your “real life.” One time, I decided not to strip the night someone I went to college with had a bachelor party at my club. Another time, a friend of mine was caught red-handed by a friend of her father’s, who felt compelled to tell her Dad.

With escorting, you can omit personal details about your life that are “identifiable,” and as long as you blur your face, there's room for doubt and deniability if someone recognizes you online, but isn’t 100 percent sure. I look like myself in my escorting photos, minus the blurred face, but if you really want to play it safe, wear a wig just for escorting. 

Crossing that line from stripping to escorting is not a decision to take lightly. You should do a lot of research and make sure you can handle what escorting mentally entails.

If having full, penetrative sex for money is a line you simply won’t cross, don’t cross it because you are desperate for money or backed into a corner. I approached and backed away from the figurative “ledge” of going from stripper to escort many times until I grew more and more comfortable with the idea. Like losing my virginity, I was ready before allowing it to happen.

What I have written here is not meant to belittle strippers or glorify escorts; it's simply an outline of why I feel escorting is a classier way to work in the sex industry than stripping based on my experience, and mine alone. Everyone is different, and if you make great money as a stripper, keep at it!

If you are dissatisfied with stripping, do some serious soul-searching before taking the leap into escorting and decide if it’s worth giving a try. For me, it certainly was, because after a slow start, I brought in $13,000 my second month in the business, working less than ten hours per week in appointment time.

RELATED: Why 'Anti-Sex Trafficking' Legislation Made Me Leave The Escort Sex Business For Good

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Jolene Dubois is a self-confessed seductress and professional escort based in the United States. She is currently working on her exit strategy from the sex industry and plans to attend graduate school and become a true working writer.