When I Was Recruited by
a Male Escort Service

One day in 1995, I was walking down a main road in the suburbs when a car pulled over in front of me. A lady who appeared to be in her mid-30s jumped out of the passenger side and stopped me, and just looked me up and down. I was wearing slightly fashionable business attire (which is unusual for me, as I'm normally not into fashion) and must have looked a bit surprised and amused, but I remember that I was smiling in a friendly way over what I thought was a case of mistaken identity at the moment.

Then she asked me, in good English, if I would be interested in ... "modelling". She looked pretty determined, but was dodgy on details. I was scheduled for work and pointed to my mobile phone. She wanted to meet up with me later. Her driver, a young and attractive lady who was professionally dressed, provided the business card to me with a kind of shy but direct look in her eye. Then there was a twitch in her face and she looked away. The first lady then kept saying the word "modelling" in sentences in a somewhat strange way, and the driver looked a little uncomfortable. The business card was professional looking but general, and used the word "Models" in the name. Located in Town-In-Town.

I went on to work.

The next morning I got a phone call. She wanted me to come to her office but I had difficulty understanding where it was. (I had been in Bangkok less than a year, and had just expanded into the suburbs.) Never mind, she would come to my apartment building on Ramkamhaeng 22 later in the day, as she was already scheduled to see someone else near me. That turned out to be an experience worth waiting for.

She took some photos of me on the outside, noting that I look Latin, and was getting real confident in demeanor, orchestrating me into some good poses. However, she started asking me some weird questions and was starting to get tense in a kind of frustrated way. I had no experience and kept replying in a shrugging way, and then she asked me pointedly that don't I know what she's talking about? "You know, ESCORT."

Bingo, it hit me. Just a few months previously, on my first visa run by train, I'd spoken to a beautiful British woman who eventually revealed that she was a prostitute in the "escort" business, currently in Thailand and Malaysia, mixing work and adventure travel. She had spoken about some interesting elements of the business with me, and had mentioned that rich women also hire men from agencies. So it had dawned on me that now I must now be talking to an agency, and was I ever naive.

"Ahhh... THAT kind of modelling. Escort service. Nowwww I know what you're talking about..."

She went on to say that she had a Taiwanese client arriving real soon who had requested a Latin escort. I would travel with her, she would pay for everything, and it would be a few days. In many more words than this, but this is the gist of it. She also had Japanese clientele.

Then she asked me what my daily rate is. That's when I shocked her.

At the time, during the 1995 boom period, I was doing computer consulting for more money than that per day from large Western multinationals. I explained to her what I did for a living. She was surprised.

"Oh, I thought you were an English teacher. Why are you near the university?" "Same reason you are here -- the lovely and higher class ladies."

Then she moved into a negotiation manner, noting that she can get English teachers for 3000 baht per day, in a rather overconfident, aggressive and hard nosed manner, trying to negotiate me down. I asked what her clients pay her, but she brushed off that question. (How much do you think?)

I replied that I would consider it more for the adventure and experience than for the money, and only if I didn't have other work, with weekends preferable. Then I countered her tough business manner by getting down and dirty with her, with off-the-cuff remarks as I thought to myself about it. It went something like this:

Me: "I've never done or even imagined doing anything like this. I mean, what is it like? What if I don't like them? What do they want me to do? What kinds of people are they?"

Her: "These are VERY WEALTHY businesswomen. They have LOTS OF MONEY. They will take you to nice places. You don't pay anything. She pays for everything, and will give you a little spending money. But I pay you after.

"... OK, you can meet them first at my house, and if you decide that you very much don't want to go with them, then OK, I can find another escort for them ... but it will be OK, you can go with them, they will take care of you, it will be OK, trust me."

I was imagining trying to entertain or romance someone who I probably had nothing in common with. Maybe a high strung businesswoman with no clue about life, who may be bored with laid back me. Then sex would probably be requested. For a woman prostitute, no problem, they don't need to get an erection. I imagined being expected to perform by some middle-aged Taiwanese businesswoman who is used to demanding her way with her money and has little clue about romance. I could imagine looking forward to the THREE DAYS or more to BE OVER WITH. Would keep 10,000 baht in my pocket so I could run away and catch the next plane flight.

It must have been pretty apparent from the look on my face that I wasn't interested. Then I asked her, jokingly:

Me: "Do you have any lovely young students who would want to hire me?"

She didn't find it funny, and I immediately turned the conversation into closure, saying "Thinking about it, I don't think I'm interested, and I don't think I could do it, spending a lot of time with a stranger and just doing what they tell me to do. Understand, I am a professional in a technical field and I don't need the money. Uh, I also have a girlfriend." (Maybe in Thailand having a girlfriend or boyfriend doesn't mean "it's final, no!".)

She did one last ditch push to recruit me, and then got in her car in a kind of pissed off way, like I had wasted her time.

Sometimes I have wondered, and who knows, they might still be using those photos of me she had just taken, 7 years old now.

Note: There are legitimate "modelling" agencies which have nothing to do with escort services. Indeed, read my journal account of when I was recruited to do a TV commercial. Yes, I was on Thai TV. Maybe you can do it, too, as I tell at the end of that article: Farang Acting for Thai TV Commercials

 > History, culture, situation > Journal >

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