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Are Escort Agencies Illegal?

February 27th, 2010 admin No comments

Having had a suprising telephone call from the BBC a short while back I have had to have time to think about what the researcher was asking me about.  I don’t keep my eyes on this part of my life all day every day as I have other finance clients to keep up to date with and during the horrible weather in the first weeks of this year it was hard to keep on top of their work and instead, on more than a few days, I found myself at home not daring to brave the ice for longer distance journeys but it did give me the chance to have a look at the direction this researcher pointed me into.

Did you know that an escort agency had been closed down recently?  Have a look at this article from The Independent Newspaper of Tuesday 29 December.

I think what narks me about this is that people still put escort and prostitute as one and the same thing and this grey area as to what is the difference between the two is going to be an ongoing debate for a long time to come.  To me its straightforward.  If an agency displays a girl on their site and the site clearly shows services (OWO/CIM etc) of those girls then they are very obviously advertising prostitution.  It makes no matter to me that they state it’s only time and companionship and whatever happens is between two consenting adults because the second they start to display what the girl offers then they are definitely offering a prostitute.

A true introductions agency would not offer services, would certainly not discuss services and the escort who sees the client has every right to walk away after payment for her time (which should always be made at the escort’s arrival point) if the client wants a personal service that she is not wishing to provide and he is under the impression that she is there purely to service his sexual needs and is not prepared to accept her “no”.  Prostitution is solely about a woman selling her body as a personal service and describing what she will/will not offer before their time out is agreed on.

This particular agency when you have a look at their site was clearly offering services.  They have naked women clearly displayed, they have well-known sex services jargon listed on the girls’ profiles and they are offering incalls which no matter how you describe them are simply a so called high class term for brothels as we all know in the industry that agencies provide these apartments to girls for the sole reason of them seeing various men within them.  One of the girls from the agency says that because this agency was closed she has been forced to sell sex (her words) from London or work from a massage parlour. So exactly which part of this agency was just an introduction then?

Yes, I know full well that agencies purport to make an escort’s time safer by vetting the clients but this agency had clearly showed services on their site and this article showed one of their team detailing that she now had to sell sex elsewhere so I can understand why they were targetted.  The law, as the article says, is grey on this area and so long as it is clear that an agency is not profitting from prostitution then we can be termed an introduction agency but this agency was clearly not arranging introductions … they sold sex; their website clearly showed services and even the girl in the article mentioned clearly that she sold sex.

I have mulled over publishing this grumbling of mine for weeks since the BBC first rang me mainly because there are definitely two sides to this debate.  My side of the argument will always be that if an agency shows services then they are selling prostitution no matter what the disclaimer on their site is, however, the more that the police shut down people prepared to protect the girls who need to prostitute themselves then yes, the problem of safety becomes ever more exacerbated for these girls.

Safety is truly paramount in this industry but men who ring agencies do not expect to met with a “no you cannot see someone now”.  They ring because they want a supply and for the vast majority of guys they want that supply now.  How often have I had a stupid twerp on the phone who, when I have said no to an immediate booking and again said clearly, we are an advance notice agency only, has the idiot come back to me and said “you mean to say I have to book in advance to get a f**k” – I jest you not. 

Most agency owners are, I guess, used to these kind of people and are happy to cater to them because, I have to be truthful to myself here, there are literally countless girls so caught up in the poverty and money trap that they would jump through hoops and say how high to get a booking out if it means that they can eat that evening and agency owners know this and that is where a lot of the usage of these vulnerable people comes from.  Don’t get me wrong here, I am not trying to say that every agency owner uses their girls but for so many agencies the girls that are within them are not there because they want to be, they are there because they have a serious need of money for whatever reason that may be.

I have had potential customers and even some of our clients trying to tell me that no girl would escort for fun and that they all do it for money …. this always gets my back right up.  My escorting time was my choice and my absolutely wonderful fun and for those guys of you who did know me as an escort, not only was I very definitely a person but I certainly was not in need of money and I loved my time out.  Having had an ex customer from October 2005 get in contact recently I know the effect I had on people and that is what is so missing in so much of this industry – a person who escorts not a body.

Don’t get me wrong, for those readers of my diary who know me well, I did offer incalls in my own home during my time as an escort for a big Leeds agency but my home was just that …  my home.  Most of the girls who use these upmarket apartments are simply escorts who arrive to see a client and who leave after and then another girl from the agency arrives to also “use” the premises to see her client and so it goes on during the day.

Some agencies do operate the kind of apartments where maids are (receptionists) and where girls are made to line up so that a client can choose which one to “have”.  These are still described as incalls but this is simply a fudged (upmarket) way of describing a brothel.  This practice does go on and whilst I know agencies purport to be ensuring these girls are safer by being off the streets the legalities of it are that they are practising against the current legal system so if they get caught then so be it – they know the risks they are taking.

According to this article, high class escort agencies are being targeted by police in a wider clampdown on online prostitution.  This debate seems to ebb and flow in various ways and is certainly a frustration for every agency owner out there and, as you can probably tell, is definitely an irritating one for me.

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