A Call Girl’s View of the Spitzer Affair

Astute readers of this blog know that we have an abiding interest in the economics of prostitution. One of the people who will be featured in our next book is a high-end call girl who goes by the name of Allie. Without giving away much detail here, let me just say that Allie is a very bright and attractive blonde who works for herself (not through an agency) in a large U.S. city, and often travels to other large cities. In light of the news about Eliot Spitzer‘s encounter with a high-end call girl, we asked Allie a few pertinent questions:

Q. Have you ever had a client as powerful or well-known as Eliot Spitzer? (You haven’t had Spitzer himself as a client, have you?)

A. I have clients that are professional athletes, artists, and entertainers. They are probably better known, but obviously not as powerful. I don’t believe I have ever seen Eliot, or as I like to call him, Number 9.

Q. In what ways is such a client different from your run-of-the-mill client?

A. I haven’t found them to be that different. Some clients are worried that you will give out their information, and others don’t seem to care. You see the same thing with the typical guy that no one knows because he is deathly afraid of getting in trouble with the law, or with his wife.

Q. Do you typically know the true identity of your clients, and if so, how?

A. Yes. Always. I insist that they give me their full names and their place of work so that I can contact them there before we meet. I also check their identification when we meet. I also use verification companies, which assist escorts in verification of clients. These companies do the verification of the client and put them in a database so that when the client wants to meet with a girl for the first time, he doesn’t have to go through the verification process again. For a fee, I can call in and they will tell me if the client has a history of giving the girls problems, where he works, and his full name.

Q. How would you describe your typical client?

A. My clients are generally white, married, and professional males, between 40 and 50 years old, with incomes over $100,000 a year. They tend to be doctors, lawyers, and businessmen looking to get away for a few hours in the middle of the day.

Q. Are there any generalizations you can make about clients from different industries — i.e., doctors vs. lawyers vs. politicians, etc.?

A. I have had politicians as clients, but never someone of [Spitzer’s] stature. I think it should be noted that politics is a little unusual as a profession, since politicians tend to have enemies, who have lots of power. This makes politicians different from most corporate executives or lawyers or even professional athletes. I couldn’t say I could classify my clients by their chosen profession. That being said, I think it’s clear that clients with more disposable cash are willing to spend more money if they think their privacy will be protected.

Q. What’s the most you’ve ever been paid for a date (overnight/weekend/whatever)?

A. I have been paid $10,000 for two days, and $1,000 for an hour, but this is rare for me.

Q. From your perspective, was Spitzer being reckless, and if so, how?

A. Yes. I think Spitzer has made lots of enemies over the years, and he is a public official. In addition, the investigators claim that the initial reason for the investigation was the transferring of money between different accounts. That seems like a subject he really should know about from his days as attorney general.

Q. How do you think your life would change if prostitution were made legal?

A. I’m sure it would cause me to lower my rates. I’m sure more people would take up prostitution as a profession, and I am sure more men would partake in the activity. That said, legalization does not remove all the barriers to entry. The job still would have a huge negative stigma associated with it, both for the escorts and the clients. In countries like Canada, enforcement of prostitution laws is extremely lax, and while rates are lower, they aren’t wildly different. So there would still be men out there afraid of their wives finding out, and I still wouldn’t want to share my job title with my family.

Q. Is it common for clients to have a girl come in from out of town … even from his hometown?

A. In Spitzer’s case, it seems like he was away from his family and had a night to spend with an escort. So instead of going to the trouble of verification with another agency or girl, he just called the one he had used in the past. From what I have read, Spitzer had an ongoing business relationship with this agency. I’m sure he felt that his identity was safe with the agency. It probably seemed like a place he could order up different girls and not have to worry every time about his information. The agency had even given him an alias, with the idea that the girls wouldn’t know who he was. As for my experience, it is a little of the same. I travel to see clients who are just not willing to take the chance that they might have a bad experience.

Q. What percentage of your clients are married?

A. Almost all of my clients are married. I would say easily over 90 percent. I’m not trying to justify this business, but these are men looking for companionship. They are generally not men that couldn’t have an affair [if they wanted to], but men who want this tryst with no stings attached. They’re men who want to keep their lives at home intact.

Q. Have you ever had a client whose wife found out he was seeing you?

A. Unfortunately, yes. [It has] probably happened more than I know about, but it has been confirmed several times. Hopefully it has never happened due to my neglect in any way.


I noticed you didn't print my last epistle, perhaps because I got a bit reckless and used the F word (you could have ***'d it out), but more likely because I pointed out your skewed priorities and underneath it all tacit approval of the status quo of exploitation and sexual compartmentalization of women.

You seem to love being seen as hip edgy and avant (which actually means heartless) --but I think you interviewed Allie because it was fun and easy, and would sell those stupid little pop up ads you have to concern yourselves with. As I suggested in that post, why don't you research the side of this sordid business that REALLY matters--human trafficking of women from Asia, or the "economics" of the nastier street side of whoring. I pointed out a horrendous dehumanizing policy that went on in San Diego back in the 80's and 90's, of closing the book on prostitutes' murders with the stamp, "No Human Involved." A lot of your male readers would love that I'm sure--especially the one poster who thought a tryst with Allie would have special savor because of your interview. Maybe you could introduce him to the titillation of a one-legged dwarf or an AIDS-ridden halfway there trannie (which one costs more?) Then he could really refine his tastes. And there's the CRUX of my point--this was a shallow, callous piece pandering to well off arrogant misogynist unthinking white guys who haven't a clue about the suffering of the majority of sex workers and the real evil that lies just under the surface of their existences. Deriving a special thrill from an arcane personal perversion (that Allie was interviewed by you!) makes me sick--it's the sign of a way decadent society, folks.

The last time I checked western civilization had raised us a tad above "biological imperatives." At least that's what everyone's been pretending it was supposed to do.

I'll tell you something else for your titillation, if you're in any doubt by now that prostitution is a sad, vile, hellhole for most practicioners, but I doubt that you'll get the connection:
when I was a gorgeous and I mean gorgeous 20 year old hippie girl in California working for a carpenter doing light finishing of cabinets and such--sanding, varnishing, etc-- I was told one day when I went in to get my pay that "I could make a hell of a lot more money if I'd lie down on the floor," I took my check, refused, walked out, and never went back. I didn't have a lot of options at the time, no one had warned me against stuff like this, and he wasn't bad looking, but y'know, I just knew in my heart and soul that what he was suggesting was WRONG and would DAMAGE me.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.



Ten bucks will buy me about 11 seconds with a 1000 dollar a day Hooker.

Sadly, hat's about all I've got, and, even more sadly, about all I'd need.


A bit of detail about the actual person involved in the Spitzer scandal:
She left "a broken family" at age 17, having been abused, according to the MySpace page, and has used drugs, "been broke and homeless."
~~~ from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/13/nyregion/12cnd-kristen.html?ref=nyregion


js (205):
"What is wrong with commoditization of sex? It precludes a woman from having her emotional needs met."
I find it hard to believe this is an absolute truism for all (or even most) women. I also question whether achieving success in romantic love is the same thing as "having emotional needs met," since I know women who really have no desire to be in a relationship or get married--though they enjoy the occasional fling.

But since I'm not a woman, I'll assume that you're right.

"She can not simultaneously share it freely to express her love, and sell it."
Prostitutes share (well, sell, actually) sex. Not love. Sex does not equal love for many of us, including my wife and most of my female friends. It can be an integral part of love, but can also be separate. To use the extreme case, masturbation, for instance, is sex. It's a release. But it's not love.

"When desperate, she will commoditize it at the expense of her emotional well-being."
That's called life, and it would be her decision to make. Not yours. Many of us sometimes make emotional sacrifices for physical needs. The aspiring actor or musician or artist who takes an office job because he or she needs to eat sacrifices emotional fulfillment for physical needs. Sorry, fact of life. It happens. And yes, it IS the same thing. People often have to sacrifice something that is personally important to them in order to survive, and it's not your place to tell them what sacrifice is or is not acceptable.

"She is precluded from having a genuine love."
Maybe. Maybe not. Irrelevant here, since you and I are not responsible for helping a third party achieve genuine love. A lot of people get married knowing that they are trading the chance for true happiness and love for the emotional security of having someone to come home to. I think it's wrong. But I'm not going to be so presumptuous as to tell someone they shouldn't do it.

"She makes decisions for her short-term benefit and becomes trapped."
Well, I'm sorry if that happens, but it's not your right or your responsibility to keep her from making mistakes. What about the young star college athlete from a poor background who chases dreams of a pro career and enjoys the trappings of being the "big man on campus" instead of studying? In the short term, he's the star--he's taken care of, he's adored and respected, he gets to live a pretty good life. We all know that he should be getting an education just in case the NFL doesn't sign him, but we can't force him. Same thing.

And yes, for purposes of this argument, that's the SAME THING. I don't actually think becoming a prostitute is a very good idea. But it's not my right to prevent a woman from choosing it, even it DOES turn out to be a mistake.


Robert Mills

I agree with DW, one should be understandable of other people`s lives, not be so hypocritical. I once had a relation with an escort who worked out of an escorts resort in the Caribbean. She was a Russian woman in her early 20`s, told me her family was not doing good back home.

If world leaders were more into their jobs and helped create better conditions for all, women trade would not be so widespread. Google shows so many sex vacation websites, that offer men discretion and fantasy, single or married alike.

Charlisangels offers the same as the Emperor`s Club, but based in the Caribbean there`s no way for anyone to tell if our politicos are there at any time. When privacy is back in America, business will return to our land.


jz 201:
In what meaningful way to this discussion are sex workers different from secretaries?

Is it because sex workers work in a banned industry? Fine, then. Let's imagine that you also saw a lot of guys in the ER who were underground pit fighters (not saying that this exists, but hypothetically.) Do you assume that all pit fighters in the ER are abused, exploited and beaten -- or do you assume that you only see the guys who lost the fight?

Or maybe it's because sex workers do something you're not comfortable with or find distasteful: have sex professionally.

OK, prostitutes are not pets. But they are human, like wives. And many wives are abused: I bet many wives who come into the ER with a black eye or broken ribs have been abused. By YOUR logic:

1) All wives are abused.
2) We should prevent the abuse by banning marriage or tell women who they can or can't marry.

What, the analogy "isn't complete"? Why? Because a prostitute has sex for money? Does that make her less rational of a human being? Or less intelligent? Because that's what you're saying.



I love the way all the johns on here are trying to justify their actions. They know absolutely nothing about the women they are seeing, what their lives are like.

And the people trying to justify cheating on a spouse? Just get divorced already. You can't have your cake and eat it too.


jz(201) P.S.

I disagree with your assertion that women with other options don't choose prostitution. But let's assume you're correct.

If we ban the one remaining option for these women, that would therefore leave them with ... NO options. Except to starve or die, I suppose.

What's that? They would then be forced to get help? What, they don't have that option now? Assuming they want help -- and they have to want help -- they can obtain it.

Oh, you think we as a society should give such women other options besides that? Well there are other options. Sure, they won't be making six or seven figures right away, but they can get other jobs and use them as a stepping stone to something else.

Dupre, the girl with Spitzer had the option between waitressing and prostitution. She chose prostitution. BECAUSE IT WAS THE MORE ATTRACTIVE OPTION--at least short term. By your logic, waitressing must be EVEN MORE EXPLOITATIVE than prostitution. Let's ban waitresses.

And by the way, what's wrong with waitressing? True, it's a hard, low-paying profession. But it can put food in your stomach and a roof over your head WHILE YOU LOOK FOR SOMETHING BETTER. Plenty of people have started with waiting tables, gone to school part time, then moved onto better paying, better jobs. Why not?



#121. is a breath of fresh air. The biologic imperative states that only men with the resources to nurture children would have sex. Maternal instincts would drive women exclusively to the men with resources. Monogamy advantages men more than women.

What is wrong with commoditization of sex? It precludes a woman from having her emotional needs met. She can not simultaneously share it freely to express her love, and sell it. When desperate, she will commoditize it at the expense of her emotional well-being. She is precluded from having a genuine love. She makes decisions for her short-term benefit and becomes trapped.

For many, government sanction is the only moral compass they know.


Dangerous Liasons----Certainly, the sensationalism was not called for which was asociated with repeated media hyped headlines like "Spitzer Linked to Prostitution Ring" which just made everybody think the governor himself might be operating a prostitution ring. Even the use of highly paid call girl services seems justified for any hi profiled patron of prostitutes who might want to maintain some secrecy about what is commonly considered a clandestine relationship. However, what remains puzzling to most who claim to have known Elliot Spitzer well, is his apparent wrecklessness (and perhaps even self destructiveness) engaging in such activity which if disclosed would certainly lead to public disgrace especially given his past recent work against prostitution trafficking. Not that his particular choice of a prostitute would necessarily be considered one so trafficked. Perhaps the jokes about Spitzer will never die down because some will always think he's getting as good as he gave or got what he deserved, given what some even consider ruthlessness vis a vis his political ambitions, enemies or prey. While some close to the governor have raised the question of possible mental illness ,I've not seen that charcterization of his recent behavior pursued. I would only say that for whatever it's worth, and certainly not to exhonerate him from his contributions to negative political fallout, his behavior is rather consistent with a psychatric diagnosis of Type II Bi-Polar disorder, an illness afflicting an extensive number of individuals all over the world and whose illness goes unrecognized by the individuals themself as well as many mental Health and Social Service professionals alike.



to 197:
My argument is neither emotional nor prejudicial; it is experiential and compassionate. Get some new material.

If it is any consolation for you, Spitzer's "high-class" hire was a high school dropout with a history of drug use, "broke and homeless". Her employment option was waitressing. Men cling to the myth of "high-class" sex worker. Women with options don't choose prostitution. They are desperate and can be exploited for their weakness.

#198. all analogies are incomplete. Sex workers are neither pets nor secretaries.


Why all the male & Prostitute bashing! If it is consentual within ones marriage then so be it. It is of no matter to any one else. We as humans are far to hyphocritiacl of others. I mind my own business as well as that of others. I have friends whose wives work for Escort services while others are in open marriages and others into as they call it the life style or swinging. I have found that these very same people are active in their communities as well as church. So who are we to condem our fellow man or in some cases his spouse when we know not of their lives. D.W.


jz 197: It does not follow that because many prostitutes are abused, that prostitution is wrong. Many house pets are abused too. Does that mean we should ban pets? The problem is not that prostitutes exist, but that we (generically) treat them badly.

Also: "Women with options don't prostitute themselves."

That's far too much of a blanket statement to be logical or true.

"Where are the men who would love and commit to a sex worker?"
I'll admit that hypothetically, I would not be comfortable in a relationship with an actively working sex worker, but would not hesitate (again, hypothetically -- I'm already married) to enter into a stable relationship with someone who had once been a prostitute. Since some porn actresses have found happiness and marriage with men outside the industry, I can only assume that some prostitutes and ex-prostitutes have too.

And while clients of sex workers may have a limited view of the industry, so do you. In the ER, you ONLY see the prostitutes who have been beaten, exploited, and have various problems BECAUSE HEALTHY PEOPLE DON'T GO TO THE ER. If a prostitute is at peace with her profession, and in a good situation (not abused, not exploited, and physically healthy), why would you have reason to see her? If you saw a bunch of secretaries with carpal wrist syndrome, is it logical to conclude that all secretaries have carpal tunnel syndrome? Or would you conclude that the secretaries whose wrists don't hurt have better things to do than stop by the hospital for a visit?



Welcome to our country, the Oligarchy -- a form of government where political power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society (whether distinguished by wealth, family or military powers).

People seem to miss the point that political marriages are marriages of convenience. These marriages are done to consolidate power in our Oligarchy society. That is why many women will not leave men that cheat on them. In fact, in some cases, cheating is expected. After a few kids, sex ends in these marriages because that was half of the marriage "contract" -- the contract being to have a few kids together and consolidate power. These are like any arranged marriage -- from European royalty to some traditions in India.

Spitzer's mistake: he paid for it rather than having the "approved" mistresses. Even "approved" mistresses can get you in trouble with the public; but, not divorced from the spouse -- see, Bill Clinton.



#197 You have no idea of my experience, I see the same workers you do, I also see many of the others. If my experience is limited it is in the respect that I have never had a personal conversation with anyone who can command $1000.00 per hour.

Your view is very narrow and very prejudicial. Your arguments are emotional, you fail to see the cause of the distress in the workers you treat. Their mental state is not caused by their profession. Their addictions are not a result of their profession. If their pimps are beating them it is not because they are employed as a sex worker. There is some risk from bad clients, there is more risk from bad cops, and those are some of the reasons the profession pays ten times as much as others requiring the same qualifications.


jz @249,

Women's sexuality, in the abstract, is worth butterflies and hearts and dreams and will-o-wisps.

By the market, women's sexuality is worth roughly $250-$5,000 an hour, depending on where you go -- hardly "very little." If you *think* that's very little, wait until you hear about the market value of MEN'S sexuality. I wish you shed tears over the -$corporate-salary-man value of men's sexuality (that is, women demand that we PAY them, *enormously,* in order to have sex with them. How's THAT for devalued?)

This is something men have to cope with their whole life: Where are your tears?

"Teach her there will be no men to stay bonded to her as she commoditizes it."

Yes; Thank you for making my point. Audience: the point is this --> It's not that women *reject* the concept of selling sex for money; What women *reject* is the concept of selling sex *for too little.* Women are trying to keep the "marriage pricing union" going, in order to *get more stuff* from men. THAT is why they hate prostitution.

All that "abused as a child" and intentional confusion with child-sex (what's next, terrorism?) and other stuff they wave around is just there to confuse you. What they REALLY care about, is keeping the marriage scam going.

And jz, a great many men LOVE dating ex-prostitutes, ex-show girls, and sluts (ex- or otherwise.) My favorite girlfriend *EVER,* who inspired the most love and compassion from me, who made me the most happy, the most happy romantic days of my life -- were with a total slut. God graces whomever man she comes by.

Make no mistake: Sluts, prostitutes, and all other manner of sexual givers or traders, are **saints.** The *WICKED* girls are the wives.



jz (#174 and #180):
Fair enough, you feel that it is OK to ask people to risk their lives on behalf of public safety and national security (i.e. police officers, the military, firefighters), but not OK to ask people to risk their lives to provide a client/customer pleasure.

What about a movie stuntman/stuntwoman? We ask them to jump off buildings or douse themselves in flaming liquids to entertain us, and this certainly puts their lives at risk. Does this mean stunt work is wrong or immmoral, just as (in your view) prostitution is? What about pro athletes such as football players, boxers, hockey players, etc.? They risk serious harm or even death in some cases for our entertainment. Are these professions morally equivalent to prostitution?

As for your comment to Michel: "You don't value sex intrinsically and treat it as a commodity." -- my response is: What's wrong with that? If some people don't attach the same emotional significance to sex that you do, what business is it of yours? I attach great emotional significance to a watch I got on my wedding day as a gift. But I don't ask you to look at it as anything other than a material good.



It is always amazing how people with no experience in a matter think that they understand it so well that they need to tell others how to act.

Sex workers come from all walks and educational levels of life. The fees they charge range from very little to very much, like any commodity the fee is based upon availability, demand, freshness, risk, desirability. Men and women are both clients and workers. To the degree that sex workers are abused and abased is that degree to which moral society sanctions the profession.

People who do not know better have the vision of the "street sex worker" as the "norm". They are only a small portion of the industry. Many people attending colleges and universities work in the sex industry, many people work out of their homes, many work for agencies. Most choose this profession for its high rate of pay and its flexible hours of employment.

For those who say "why would anyone pay for a sexual encounter" , ask for an explanation in this forum ... and I will supply a detailed explanation.


One more thought

As an aside, I resent the gender classifications several people have made on this page by claiming men want more sex than women. I know several lovely ladies who look to get their fill, inside or outside a relationship, and my own sex drive keeps right alongside my mate's, if not surpassing it at times. To me, a lot of times a person's sex drive or attitude toward sex is determined more by their personality than by their gender. You just have to know women who are comfortable enough with themselves not to be limited by the generalizations of purity that are imposed upon them. This is not to equate feminism with female promiscuity (I actually also resent shows like "Sex and the City" who rely too lazily on that connection), but come on, neither men nor women like to be put into a stereotyping box.


I have both consumed and provided erotic labor. Much of the hysteria and downright ignorance surrounding the Spitzer story has surprised me. Comments here seem to be way more enlightened than the norm.

Let me respond to 176 and 180.

The reason people don't talk about male sex workers being exploited (and I'd guess that if you look at either academic or legal writings, they do mention it) is that (1) damsels in distress make better sob-stories, and (2) people are either uncomfortable with the idea of gay sex, and don't want to mention it (or empathize with gay hustlers), or they feel that the added dimension of homosexuality complicates the issue.

To comment 180: sex is not always "just sex", and that's true of commercial sex as well. We pay fees for intimacy in many ways: we pay teachers and child-care workers, psychotherapists, health-care workers. Those forms of fee-for-service care seem legitimate to most of us. Why must prostitution be different?

The best of the best sex-workers are highly intelligent, charming people who in my experience I've been perfectly happy to pay for their company and some cuddling (which I mean literally, not as a euphemism for sex). Doing so can be every bit as healing, transformative, or stress-releiving as having a session with a counselor or spending time with a friend. I'm not saying the experiences are interchangable, obviously, but that they are of the same value (interestingly in the case of psychotherapists and strippers, this is economically true as well, with rates of about 200/hr).

I think both clients of erotic-laborers and those who argue against prostitution are under a lot of illusions. It's nowhere near as easy or glamorous a job as some clients might like to pretend, nor is it necesarilly anywhere as awful an ordeal as anti-prostitution crusaders might make out. It's just a hard, well-paying job like many others, only with less overt barriers to entry.