Welcome to the new economy of the oldest profession. I make a little tsk-ing noise, widen my eyes. I am close to crying. But I know exactly how much time we do have. We have 35 minutes. My job is all about minimizing risk. I move closer, tell him I have an idea that would make him feel good. I tell him it would make me feel good, too. I moisten my lips, flash just a little tooth.
The tricky part of my job is over. Men have brought me tea from London, chocolates from Switzerland, lingerie from France and shoes from Italy. I told them I had a rich American boyfriend who was taking care of me. I am not a victim of child trafficking. I have never been raped, or drugged, or done porn.
I never had a pimp. Other kids have other problems. My parents had problems when they were kids. My therapist has helped me see that. I did what politicians in this country are always encouraging immigrants to do.
Work hard, seize opportunity, maximize your talents, and adjust and adapt to the new world economy. And not because I sometimes had to deal with idiots, though that was part of it, too. I got out because I want to study filmmaking, and psychology, and I can afford to do that now. I grew up in central Russia. When I was little, I wanted to be a tour guide and see the world.
Then a tour bus came through our town and it was small and stinky with no air conditioning. The tour guide had frizzy hair and sweat stains under her arms. I thought tour guides in the United States probably had it better. I had the phone number of a Russian woman who had said she would host me.
When I came out of the train station I saw all these ugly people, people in wheelchairs, old people, and the streets were smelly and the people were wearing clothes worse than what people wore in the Soviet Union and the train station was loud and I thought: Fuck, this is not the America that I heard of. I spent four days there before I met a girl who said I could live with her in Manhattan.
When I got there and looked around, I understood the fuss. I understood why all people want to come here. I applied for jobs at restaurants and medical offices, but no one would hire me. I saw an ad for dancers and called. They picked me up in a truck filled with other young girls. There were a lot of drunken men at the club, trying to touch different parts of my body. No thank you, I said. Actually, it was more like, fuck off, you stupid dude.
Then I saw an ad about massage. I stood in a room with another girl and when the guy came in and got undressed, I did what the other girl did, and rubbed his back and his legs. I started working five days a week. The other girl from the spa and I decided to rent an apartment and to work on our own.
We pooled our savings and bought a massage table and a bed and we started advertising on Backpage. Most of the guys wanted more than a massage, which is what they all called a hand job, and they offered to pay more.
He asked about my life in Russia and told me I might feel better if I talked to a psychologist. It was tempting, but I thought that if I ever fucked for money, I would never respect myself again.
He told me he liked me just the way I was. He told me he would like to help me get into school, to take care of me. He told me I would be a great psychologist, because I made people feel comfortable. So when he invited me to the Plaza Hotel one night, I went. He had an expensive suite with great views, opened a bottle of expensive champagne, and we started to talk. We talked for a while and then we got undressed and had sex. He had to leave the next morning for a business trip to Chicago, but I stayed in the suite and ordered room service — orange juice and a big fluffy omelet with mushrooms and beautiful golden toast and little pats of butter shaped like sea shells.
I was so happy. I felt like Vivian from Pretty Woman. I opened my eyes that day. Clients knew me as Angelina or Anna. But there are lots of young, pretty girls in my business. What got me to the top — and what kept me there — was my work ethic and attention to detail.
I was successful because I learned some hard, valuable lessons about making it in the sex-for-money business. Here are some of them: I considered those investments in myself. The best page for escorts, Eros. They charge the most, and they attract the most serious escorts and guys who are willing to submit to screening. Backpage is more wide open, and it gets cheaper guys, as well as scary, freaky guys. Craigslist is barely worth mentioning. You can rent a cheaper place in the Bronx, or Queens, sure, but you think guys with money are going to come see you there?
In my first ads, I used very little copy. What was the point? It surprised me, but a lot of them — most of them — really need to feel a sort of connection. I always wondered why Playboy ran those little interviews with the girls alongside the photos. The guys who are jerking off want to feel like they know the girl.
Men here — especially American men — have certain ideas about certain nationalities. American men think Russians are hot, but also icy and mean. Some of the guys have had some not-so-good experiences with what I learned they call Russian gold diggers. American girls are seen as being in really good shape and put-together, and open-minded and fun. Once I learned all that, I decided that Angelina and Anna would be beautiful and mysterious, cosmopolitan, but no one would be able to tell from their names what part of the world they were from.
So if you want to make money as an escort, you better deliver something special. I offered toys, role-playing, and BDSM. At first I thought he was joking and I think I hurt his feelings a little when I laughed. Mostly, I offered understanding. The truth is, even for guys who hire me for three or four hours, the sex usually only takes about 15 minutes.
White girls can charge the most, at least in New York. Then Spanish girls, then Asians Koreans and Japanese tend to demand more than Chinese , then black girls. He said it was because the marketplace wanted brunettes now, because of the increasing Latino population and their buying power. In any case, I took advantage. I charged top dollar.
They set up your appointments. They take care of you. What they also take is your money. First off, the ones that advertise 20 girls usually have two, one blonde and one brunette. So, of course, those girls are working hard. If an agency gets 20 clients a day, each of those girls is fucking 10 guys — a day. I worked hard, but once I went into business for myself, I worked hard for myself, not someone else.
I got manicures and pedicures at least twice a week, always red, and always showed up in expensive lingerie and thigh-high stockings. Every time I met a client it was a performance, so I prepared. Not to mention the shoes. No wonder so many guys complain about not getting laid.