Assume or imagine you are a "money is no object" Silicon Valley executive looking for "play for pay" sex. Which of these two escorts would you choose: Alix Tichelman who at age 26 looks like she might be 44?

or Suzy Favor Hamilton, onetime Olympic champion who was, until recently, a high-en escort, and who at 44 looks like she might be able pass for 26, 28, or 30?:

Me? Given that choice, there'd be no hesitation in choosing Hamilton.

Tichelman is accused of basically murdering Forrest Hayes, a rich Google executive, via a drug overdose. Her boyfriend died a while ago under similar circumstances. Are there no more attractive call girls in the Silicon Valley or do you think his problem was needing/wanting to find one who was a source for heroin? Did he crave a "goth" experience with a girl with a crummy/slummy heroin-chic look? Like many of the men who use escorts, Hayes had a wife and children. Did he feel his life was too conventional? Had his marriage become sexless?

Certainly, a Google executive in the Silicon Valley would have had many very attractive escorts to choose from. In the course of my career, I've known a small number of models who were also doing escorting, and all of them had more native appeal, at least in conventional terms, than Tichelman. Two of those weren't even remotely "high end" in terms of their business plan. They were just Craigslist/Backpage escorts. Another one, age 19 at the time and an attractive redhead, worked for a high-end escort service in Los Angeles and fetched $1000 an hour for a few months until she caught genital herpes.

If there were a law requiring prostitutes at all levels to be licensed anonymously to eliminate those with seriously shady pasts, who are using heavy drugs, or who are carrying communicable diseases, do you think it would be a good thing?

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Since when did you meet a prostitute who doesn't have a drug problem? 

I would have thought that not many men get to spend $1000 an hour on female company. 

It seems that you, like most people, get their "information" about prostitution from TV documentaries about streetwalkers being run by pimps.

That is a large part of the world of prostitution, but much of that does not reply to the self-employed high-end part of the business.

If someone is a prostitute, it does not follow ipso facto that they are hooked on drugs.

And, hey, wait a sec. Where am I supposed to place the stress on that first sentence? "Since when did YOU meet a prostitute who doesn't have a drug problem?"

How could we initiate anonymous legislation to do background checks on hookers? You would have to keep an updated record of some sort with the actual names of the participants.

Fantasy sex has nothing to do with whether the prostitute is good looking or not. It's more about whether the hooker is willing to play the role you desire (whips, bondage, whatever). 

Silly! Of course the prostitute would have to identify herself to those investigating her, but that would be as far as it goes. On her license would be her status and her professional name. Only in the database would her real name be correlated with the name she gives to clients. And of course if she failed approval she wouldn't have a license, and her client would know that he'd be taking his chancs with an unlicensed practitioner.

Depends on what I'm looking to do. I feel like those'd be two different experiences. I feel like with Tichelman I may fall into a sexual superiority complex where I kind of view her differently and maybe treat her worse. Which, you know, upon reflection, I'd of course like to avoid going in (maybe I'd tell her she should take some classes, get some hobbies).

Hamilton kind of makes me want to be a better man. I mean, I know it's still about sex. The getting dressed up, the dinner, the false pretenses, all that dating stuff. But I think the illusion would be more all-encompassing. Probably because she seems to have more going for her, or she just seems to have more value as a person all around (that sounds horrible). But while I'm fucking Hamilton and calling her a dirty little whore, I'm not being serious. I don't actually believe it like with Tichelman. I respect her, essentially.

I hate it when people give me either-or scenarios like this, because I'm forced to wonder what kind of a person I am (or rather, I feel forced to choose the one that makes me a better person and the world a better place). I think we all have a Mr. Hyde within. He's our evolutionary forefather, the caveman chained to us and caged deep. We didn't just propel from him to some super-evolved perfect beings. He paved the way for our mutant freedom of choice through violent, brutal dominance. He's still in us and we're still him, so I think we have the burden to constantly choose to keep him caged and I think if we're millionaires and can kind of do what we want we maybe lose some of the incentive. I feel like hookers appeal to our Mr. Hydes.

The hypothetical law's a thinker. I can't help but to wonder about negative consequences, but it has to be an overall good direction, right? Safer for everyone, healthier. I really can't help but to wonder about how it would change culture. What would happen to the economy of any given region? What about the prostitute economy? Would prostitutes be forced to lower prices? How would the unlicensed prostitutes suffer? If it's legal, how do people's views change on it (especially married people's)? I have a million questions about this.

Also I live in Denver and know a girl downtown who works from her apartment (small client base), and does not do drugs. At all. Not even a little coke. Not even pills. Not even marijuana. And that's legal here.
This brings about another question. This database. Who has it? Everyone? Can I find it online? Or do the cops have it? And if I can find it online, how does that change our culture? They'd obviously be rated in short time... Also, would cops be allowed to purchase their services?

The database would be a government database. I can see cops contributing some of the information but not having full access to info without a court order.

I think giving sex workers more respect (and protection) to be a civilizing thing.

Escorts are rated right now on sites like,, and

The database with the personal data would not be publicly accessible and might even be designed to keep even those doing the vetting to correlate real names with professional names to help prevent official abuse.

As to whether cops could use escorts, they probably couldn't afford the high-end ones, but if prostitution is legal, they are citizens just like everyone else, aren't they?

To be clear about review sites, the truly high-end escorts aren't there in the reviews. They get their business two ways: word-of-mouth and high-end escort services, though they try to avoid using agencies if they don't need them. The more privacy and anonymity the better. 

Who is the high-end escort? Generally, she's brighter than average and an entrepreneur. They also tend to have above-average looks (in the conventional cheeleader/movie starlet way). While they can be as young as 18, they can be much older as long as they take care of themselves as Suzy Favor Hamilton obviously did. It's probably fair to say that most are in their early 20's to early 30's.

While they can earn a lot of money, they also have expenses. You can't be a high-end escort operating out of a $600/mo one-bedroom apartment. You need a posh, well-appointed, well-kept apartment where everything is top-drawer from high thread-count sheets to a selection of the best whiskies.

She will tend to be conventionally pretty because one of the roles a high-end escort plays is to be a companion at social functions, especially when her client is single. She's essentially a trophy girlfriend. Obviously, playing this role for a client whose associates know him to be married is rather risky for the client.

High-end escorts are a bit like geishas in the sense that they are expected to be good at conversation, to be well-educated and possibly even have a talent, since their purpose is not only to impress their client but, sometimes, his associates as well.

While this article gives only one example and no particular high-ender is absolutely typical, this interview should help break down some of the stereotypes about the ones at the top end of the sexual pay scale.


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