We have had a couple of enquiries this week from people wanting a website for escort agencies. We’ve thought about it, including remembering the immortal words of Frankie, one of the mice from The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:
I mean, yes idealism, yes the dignity of pure research, yes the pursuit of truth in all its forms, but .. if it comes to a choice between [being pure] .. and on the other hand just taking the money and running, I for one could do with the exercise.
.. and the answer is, sorry, no.
Twenty years ago, as a prostitute your choices were street, agency or brothel work. The advent of places to advertise, mobile phones, and especially the World Wide Web changed all that and it’s now very, very possible to work for yourself. There will always be street work and we can see that brothel work is a good choice for some, but agencies are doomed to decline for the simple reason that agencies need escorts far, far more than escorts need agencies.
Neither of us know of any existing agencies we could actually recommend an escort to use. There are hundreds in London alone, but when someone on the SAAFE message board mentioned that they had worked for an unnamed one in London that was good but which had closed, it was possible to know which one it was! Agencies come and go, but good ones are like hens’ teeth.
Not that stops just about everyone and their dog thinking that they could run one better than anyone else. One of us used to work somewhere where there would be at least one call a week from someone wanting advice about starting a high class – in nearly five years, only two didn’t stress that – escort agency. After talking to them about it, I don’t think (m)any ever did do it.
For a start, the second you make money from finding someone escort work, you’re at risk of the laws against ‘control for gain’ – what replaced the offence inaccurately known as ‘living off immoral earnings’ in England and Wales – which carries a maximum penalty of seven years. (Is it sensible for governments to say that criminals are involved in running escort agencies while ensuring that everyone who does so is a criminal? No, but that’s the situation.) Plus on a conviction, the courts are also highly likely to go after your assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act, which leaves you having to demonstrate that what you own didn’t come from illegal income.
Then there’s all the other agencies already out there, the costs of advertising, the hours, the worry that ‘your’ escorts might be finding work where you don’t get a cut of the money they earn by having sex (and many of them will be), managing the agency’s reputation (‘punter’ websites may be a mixed blessing, but you will be judged ruthlessly by them), the overheads of having a decent security setup, etc etc. Oh, and don’t forget to pay taxes on the income – it may be money made illegally, but HMR&C don’t care about that and they actively look for escort agencies to find the ones that don’t pay tax.
We know more than most about what would be necessary to run an agency properly, and we wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole.
So the best way of helping you is say, no, we’re not going to do agency sites because we don’t think you should be doing an agency. There are dozens and dozens of designers who will happily take your money and if you let us know what you’re being offered by them for what money, we can tell you if you’re being too ripped off. Or we may be prepared to offer a discount for group order of individual sites for people who want you to handle their booking procedures, but they’d have to be owned by the escorts themselves. It’d still work out much cheaper than a typical ‘agency site’…