Butt naked

Sanne and I take our seats across from one other in a quiet corner of a large pub that ensures the necessary anonymity of our conversation. In her hometown, that is. She has been working as a high class escort in Amsterdam for a year now. It’s therefore important that we conduct parts of the conversation in a soft tone.

The safe and profitable version of Tinder: escort

Sanne (29) still has to freshen up and arrives a bit later than expected. Her booking last night was extended. That’s the first thing we talk about.

Sanne: ‘The man was shy, which made for a very funny date. It was a duo date, me together with another girl from the agency. In this case, it was quite clear to the people around us what was going on. It was so obvious.’

This booking did not involve Sanne having sex with the man, but with her fellow escort. ‘So how did that go?’ I ask her. ‘I’d brought one of those double ended dildos which we could both use at the same time. I really wanted to try that once, but we didn’t get around to it. It was enough to have sex without toys.’ Sanne herself is surprised how often there is no sex: ‘The men are more interested in the attention, they want a nice evening out. Sometimes just a good conversation makes the evening successful.’

“My girlfriends have sex without a condom with a Tinder match. What I do is much safer…”

But the sex aspect can’t be completely ignored, right? ‘No, you can’t ignore it. But it’s sometimes made bigger than it is. Friends of mine are much more unwise, I think. They make appointments with a Tinder match and then sometimes have sex with on the first date. Unsafe! They don’t know him and may never see him again. What I do is safer, always with a condom in any case and I can call the agency if I don’t feel comfortable. And I get paid too, my girlfriends don’t.’

Sanne works for Esther Meppelink, co-owner of high class escort agency “The Courtesan Club” in Amsterdam. Last year, in collaboration with Jovanka de Boer, she also founded “The Courtesan Academy.” Esther believes it is important that the ladies who work for her have the opportunity to share their experiences with each other. ‘We meet once every six weeks and in addition they can participate in the workshops we organize with the Academy.’Erotic massage service Amsterdam

Sanne: ‘You have to be clear about why you do things. If you were to do it just for the money, you would go beyond your own limits.’ Esther confirms this: ‘We don’t take on ladies who depend on the money they earn with us. Of course, for some women sex work is the biggest source of income, but those women don’t work with us. I think it’s important that a woman can stop at any time. For example, if her private situation changes.’

It started very spontaneously for Sanne. My best friend and I thought that an experience as a high class escort should not be missing on our bucket list. At the beginning of last year, we took on this ‘bucket item’ and signed up with an agency. A different agency than the one I currently work for. We were both hired.’ Her best friend has since quit, but Sanne has been working as an escort for almost a year now. ‘In total, I’ve had about twenty-five dates, which for me meant I could go back to studying.’

“The sex in my private life is often so superficial, so flat, as if the men are just getting it over with”

Sanne’s first date was not necessarily a success. ‘I didn’t have an enormous click with the man. I really liked all the excitement involved, that I didn’t know where I would end up, what it was going to be like and with whom. The anticipation is huge.’ What about the sex? Sex has never been so special to me, or something I value highly. I do enjoy it, but I don’t put a lot of emotion into it. The sex I have in private is often so superficial, so flat, as if the men are just getting it over with’.

Why do we find it hard to understand why someone chooses this job? I talk about this with Marijke Vonk. As a psychologist, she has specialized in the world of BDSM, fetishism and sex work. According to Marijke, the idea that it’s still a taboo for women to have sex for a reason other than love or a relationship still exists. Secretly we may even think that sex is dangerous for women. And then there is the stigma. When we think of a sex worker it’s very quickly someone who has few opportunities, does the work because she has no other options. There is a distinct image that is not necessarily positive.

Can we actually have sex for any other reason than for love? According to Marijke, we can. A study from the 1970s shows that there are about eighty reasons to have sex. The motives of men and women do not differ much. But what about those hormones involved in sex? As a woman you may feel in love during contact with your client, is that a risk? ‘It’s better to see that as an advantage, sharing intimacy with other people.’ Marijke also says that it’s actually something that many sex workers experience as positive. ‘In addition, falling in love is not bad for you.’

“Before I started this work, I had never done it with a married man”

Is there a certain type of woman who chooses this profession? Sanne: ‘There are qualities that are important. You have to have both feet on the ground, be able to put things into perspective and be self-assured. It’s also important to know who you are.’ Once in a while Sanne meets with her colleagues: ‘That’s one of the nicest aspects. They’re all so inspiring and have a great attitude towards life. They don’t judge others, they think out of the box and all are, in their own way, wise to the ways of the world.

‘During the past year, I’ve met a lot of great people and started thinking more about why things are the way they are. Why do people do what they do? I have become stronger and more social. This has made me even more curious. The other girls, but also the men, have taught me to think outside the box. An example? Before I started this, I might have thought I wouldn’t do a booking if the guy was married. But sometimes lives are so integrated, you can’t just distance yourself from that. I can use my work to make sure that arguments about sex drive don’t happen, for example.’ Don’t you ever feel bad about that? ‘After talking to men about why they choose this, a lot became clear to me. This is a way to discreetly and without emotional infidelity, satisfy your sex needs. Beautiful, right?’

Esther says ‘Men who book at The Courtesan Club are usually businessmen with busy lives and little time to meet nice women. They take good care of themselves and do their utmost for the women. They don’t just want a nice evening for themselves, they can’t if the other person isn’t having a good time. And usually they are men who have seen a lot of the world so they have something to say. It’s true that sometimes a lady doesn’t feel the connection with a customer, but at such a moment she will be so professional that he won’t notice a thing.’

“I can have sex without emotion; sometimes there’s more charge in saying hello”

So what is this sex drive, do you think? Sanne: ‘Sex is a means of communication and often the result of a connection. But what do you actually share with each other? The value I place on my relationship, for example, is not reflected in our sex.’ So it’s a way of expressing appreciation? ‘Yes, and as I said, not the means to which I attach the most value. When I’m stressed or sad, I would much rather have an arm around me or a comforting conversation. But what does sex actually say? I manage well to separate that from each other and I can have that without emotion, sometimes there is even more charge in saying hello. I can find someone so special that I can make that deeper connection purely in terms of sex.’

Sex without emotion is one thing, but does money play a role? According to Marijke: ‘Getting naked is literally a big thing for a man to do anyway. However, a lot of research has been done on the effects of sex work on people; having sex for money doesn’t seem to have a negative effect. And when you really don’t want to be naked around others you don’t have to. Besides, a sauna visit is not traumatizing either. Being naked is not something we perceive as dangerous’.

But what is it that makes us always wonder if we can do it ourselves when we are confronted with sex work?

Marijke: “The funny thing is, with someone who does factory work, you almost never ask yourself if you would like that. But because sex work is about something intimate, we do ask ourselves that question. While it’s actually irrelevant to the other person whether you would also like it or would choose it.’Erotic massage service Amsterdam

Working as a high class escort has taught Sanne something she might not have discovered otherwise. ‘The great thing is, I’ve learned to look at other things than appearance. That is not decisive whether you will have a nice evening together. Whether someone is handsome no longer matters; what matters is whether he is smart, funny or sophisticated. For example, I find a man with a lot of knowledge incredibly attractive.’ After a date she can feel like a princess: ‘I sometimes walk away on clouds because I was so appreciated for a whole evening. It’s not just him who has something to gain from the evening.’

 

*Sanne is a fictitious name.

 

 

 

 

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