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It was a big surprise when I arrived at the birthday party of an old school friend to find myself surrounded by beautiful, elegant young girls.
For some reason, the guys were carefully trying not to notice these goddesses in their midst.
Immaculately made up, perfectly dressed and occasionally talking among themselves, they didn’t seem to be part of our group. It was only later that I learned the dark truth:
they weren’t. Far from being shy fellow students of my friend, they were professional models hired to ‘decorate’ the event.
But where did they come from, exactly?
Searching the internet produced a host of agencies from the sophisticated to the sordid. Too many sites promised ‘VIP dating,’ ‘luxury leisure’ and ‘expensive ladies’ – long-serving euphemisms for simple prostitution.
Others had such terrible grammar and spelling that it was impossible to imagine their imagined ‘respectable, serious men’ could ever contact them for an ‘intelligent, well-educated beauty.
Beautiful as the girls were, it was hard to shake the suspicion that a Moscow sightseeing tour would stretch only as far as the route from sauna to hotel room.
Clearly this is not so much a market as a ‘bazaar,’ to quote “V” of ‘Elite Escort’ agency. His company, which positions itself as a reputable provider of feminine companionship, offers a different approach.
Its well-structured, well-written website, has little in common with the super-high-class-luxury-VIP hype that disfigures much of the competition.
V himself believes the market is growing, but agrees that the term ‘escort’ is ambiguous. Most agencies still treat it as a euphemism for prostitution.
V: The real escort agencies with a good record are few, because this business is not very profitable. Potential clients just don’t understand what is meant by escort.
It’s not about selling call-girls or hookers. We don’t deal with this business, that’s another story. The Russian mentality prevents this sector from developing into a prosperous business.
Every day we receive hundreds of calls asking, “Can you bring a girl to my hotel room?” This is the reality we’re living in.
MN: Who are your clients? How do you find them?
V: Traditional advertising is not effective. The ad expenses never pay off. I’ve already described a typical request from an average customer. We’re looking for clients ourselves. Usually we send a polite business letter to big companies.
Later, some of them become loyal customers. So mostly we focus on corporate clients.
MN: What are the functions of the escort girls?
V: They attend corporate parties, business dinners and different social events. Most often businessmen simply invite them to restaurants to dilute the company of other lonesome gentlemen.
MN: Do you have foreign clients: tourists or expats?
V: Not so many, most of our international clients come from the same domestic corporations we work with. For example, when a big company receives a foreign delegation, they might need nice sociable girls who can at least speak English to show the guests around the city, or to simply wine and dine them after tiring negotiations.
We have girls who speak European languages.
MN: What qualities are essential for an escort girl?
Is a modeling background obligatory?
V: Beauty comes first on the list. Yeah, our girls are all models. Since working in escort is a part-time employment, they all have a permanent modeling career. Escort girls should also have excellent interactive skills and a good education to be able to participate in conversations. Just a radiant smile won’t do, she needs to be really sociable and smart. A sense of humor is also of great value.
MN: How many girls are working with the agency? How do you recruit them?
V: We have a total of 70 girls with about top 20 professionals who are always in demand. We don’t try to expand since it’s not our core financing project. This segment doesn’t bring big revenues. There are regular clients who call and ask for Lena and Katya, because they liked these particular girls at a previous event.
We don’t hunt for models in public places or elsewhere.
They come themselves and those who start working bring along their friends. Our recruitment policy is based on word-of-mouth, rather than advertising.
We have a limited staff, but I know the girls personally. Some of them even have husbands, but they are reliable and responsible. Most newcomers are simply looking for a sugar-daddy. I prefer not to deal with them.
MN: And the final question is money. What are the tariffs?
V: Price is usually negotiable. The average cost for a one-time escort service varies from $400-800. The agency’s commission is 50 percent.