Research: Life of a (UK) Call Girl.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted some brilliant data from Jon Millward on porn actors and actresses (link here). He also conducted a fascinating study of escorts and call girls a couple of years ago. From his blog:

Life of a Call Girl: Fantasy vs. Reality

In the final weeks of 2011, I delved once more into the secretive world of the UK sex industry.

This time my focus wasn’t on men who pay for sex, but the women who supply it. So I reached out to hundreds of British escorts with one request: tell me about your life. And—on the condition that their words remain anonymous—they did.


A hundred questions about the escort way of life sprang to mind. How did they get into the business? Which are their favourite sex acts? Do they lie about their age, or to their friends and family about what they do? What is the craziest thing a client has requested? I wanted to strip fantasy from reality and find out what it’s really like to be a courtesan, an escort, a working girl, a prostitute…

Making Contact

There are roughly three kinds of ‘working girl’ in the UK. The first can be found on the street. She is the classic prostitute: a night-worker, selling sex to men who pass in cars and on foot. She has low prices and high risks. The next works in a parlour or brothel alongside other women and she does ‘incalls’—men visit her place of work and she provides them with a massage and a happy ending of one flavour or another. The last is the escort. She mostly does incalls but in her case the men flock to her apartment to indulge in pre-booked sessions of varying durations. The escort will either belong to an agency, which advertises her services, sends clients her way, and takes a cut of the money, or she’ll run everything herself—as an independent.

It was the independent UK escorts I decided I’d contact, for two reasons. My hunch was that I wouldn’t have much luck asking agencies to pass on my request to their catalogue of courtesans. I thought it would be better to bypass the middleman and reach out directly to the women I wanted to contact. The other reason was one of convenience. I knew that only a certain percentage of women I contacted would end up contributing to my research, so it was vital I get in touch with as many as possible—hundreds, in fact. I found three massive directories of independent UK escorts and set about harvesting their contact details. This is a good way of acquiring email addresses, but it isn’t strictly legal or respectable. In fact it’s tantamount to spamming, but I couldn’t think of any other option. I’d be as polite as possible in my email, make it clear that my intentions were strictly honourable, and hope for the best.

Go read the rest here.

And the resulting infographic (click to make larger):