Madison James’s clients are busy professionals who crave companionship and no-strings sex. Yep, you guessed right: that's because Madison is a male escort.
Wondering what that actually entails? Essentially, a male escort is someone who's carved a career out of selling his sex services. Otherwise known as a male prostitute, gigolo or rent boy, escorts, generally speaking, charge more for their means. Again, stereotypically, they operate in the higher rankings of society, wining and dining clients, getting to know them, and then charging anywhere between £1,000 and £3,000 a night for their services.
Here, two professionals tell us all about how they got into their line of work, why customers come to them and how much, as a male escort, they earn per hour.
I'm a male escort - here's what it's really like
What is being a male escort really like?
"My date for last Tuesday evening had pulled out all the stops," shares Madison. "A 42-year-old banker, she turned up straight from work wearing a Roland Mouret dress paired with a classic red Hermès handbag. A cloud of Alexander McQueen perfume surrounded her as she approached me."
"Anyone who watched us chatting away over Dirty Martinis in the Soho rooftop bar where we met – or later, at the theatre where we spent the rest of the evening – would have thought we were on a first date. A successful one, too, given the rapport we struck up and the hours I spent in her room later that evening. We talked about her past relationships and upcoming promotion at work while I explored every inch of her body. But for me, this was a regular midweek night at work. Not that 'work' always feels like the right word."
"Every encounter I have as an escort begins like this. Not in the bedroom, but over drinks or dinner. It’s important to spend time learning what makes each of my clients tick. One woman might be coming to me to try a Kamasutra sex position; another because she’s desperate to feel valued or appreciated."
Who uses a male escort?
"After Fifty Shades Of Grey, a lot of women became curious about bondage, pegging sadomasochism," explains Madison. "Demand got so high that I made it one of my specialist services. I’ve met women who are very clear it’s what they want, but others embrace it gradually. One thing my job has taught me is that, in general, a woman’s sexuality is like a dial, which you turn up gradually. You don’t rush new things all at once."
"‘Most of my clients are between 35 and 45, educated and successful - at £150 an hour or £1,200 for the night, they need money to hire me. They’re lawyers, business owners and City executives, mainly, and many are repeat customers. I’ve been doing this for three years now. The money is good, but being honest, the real pleasure comes from the transformative side of what I do. I get to see women unleash their craziest sexual fantasies, which they’ve never felt comfortable displaying with a long-term partner." (Read up on how to talk about your fetish, here).
"One regular – married for ten years to a hedge funder – told me, “I just want to feel sexually alive again.” Another, a single, good-looking forty-something (they rarely tell me their age) banker was, I had established from our chats over dinner, a bit of a ball-breaker at work. Still, she struggled to establish intimate relationships. “I can’t believe that in 2017, men still feel so intimidated by women like me,” she said after a few glasses of champagne. “Is it that hard to find a 40-year-old man who is kind, funny and also has his shit together?".
What are escort hirers looking for?
"Some women are just unashamedly looking for adventure. I had one client who got her kicks from sex in public – we had one session under a tree in a London park, and another in a nightclub. Then there’s the regular client who wanted to try tantric sex. She contacted me because she liked the spiritual, sensual vibe of my website. Before we met, we talked for an hour on the phone about everything from Buddhism to meditation."
"One of her frustrations was that a lot of the guys she met weren’t into spirituality, but she wanted to share that with someone. For our first meeting, we just had drinks. For our second, we went back to her apartment and had sex for hours, focusing on tuning into our sexual energy."
"Often, the job is as emotional as it is physical. I saw one married client in her thirties several times while she was preparing to get divorced. She hadn’t had sex for years, and I think she hired me to ease her into a new stage of life. I provided an environment where she could de-stress."
How do you get into being a male escort?
"Of course, being a male escort isn’t something you aspire to as a young guy, and it’s certainly not something that I expected to do. I’ve always been curious about other people and quite open-minded. Surprisingly, though, my background is actually very traditional. I was raised in a strict, church-going family and for years I led a pretty conventional life."
"Leaving school with good grades, I went on to study Graphic Design and Fine Art at university. Then, I used my creative flair to set up a number of successful small businesses. In another world, I often think, I’d be married with kids by now. But I’m just not ready for all that yet."
"I'm 37 now. As the years have gone by, I’ve realised there’s a link between many of the women I meet. Whether married or single, their interactions with men often leave them wanting more. They feel overlooked, not fully appreciated. Some of them have never met a man who’s genuinely dedicated to pleasing them during sex. Modern dating trends aren’t helping, either. I think many women feel casual sex apps are geared towards quick liaisons for men, rather than satisfying the needs of women."
Is there always sex involved?
Not always. As Keith from Gentlemen4Hire explains, some male escorts offer purely non-sexual services.
“Women sometimes hire escorts to find a good listener. The women I encountered as an escort who provides platonic services often wanted to talk about their lives, problems, and aspirations. I listen and ask questions as part of my job. They don't really care about my life and issues. The most important thing is to concentrate on what they're saying and let them know you're giving them your full attention.”
“The younger women I have encountered are tired of endless dates, especially ones from dating sites. It's too stressful for them, given how hit-and-miss it can be and how awkward it is to go out with someone who they find not to be their type. Having the option to choose an escort that they like and book every single detail under their control is refreshing.”
“On the more mature end of the spectrum, most women are either married and bored or divorced."
"Some women are just looking for a companion. Once a client from New York wanted a tour of London, so I showed her all the best attractions. We visited the British Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, and her first taste of classic British cuisine was in a quaint bistro. We rode the tube together and even went on a double-decker bus tour. Her tour of London was definitely memorable - she told me as much before we parted ways.”
How to be intimate can transcend sex - sometimes, it's building a rapport with an individual, instead.
Top tip? Avoid blurred lines
"Being honest, I love my job, but there is the odd occupational hazard," shares Madison. "When sharing a connection, it’s easy for lines to get blurred, and occasionally I’ve sensed that a regular is developing deeper feelings for me. Drunk clients can be a problem, too. Then there are times when I’m going through the motions – if I’m tired, for example. I’ve also had situations where because the woman is paying, she thinks she owns me."
"Luckily, I’m naturally attracted to many different kinds of women. Although, on a couple of occasions, I have felt that I might struggle to perform at all. The solution to that dilemma is to gently suggest another escort might have a better rapport. It’s rare, though."
"Really, I'm lucky. I haven’t had my own relationship for a long time, but this is a sacrifice I’m comfortable with. Wondering how many women I see a week? It's normally two or three women a week on average, many of them regulars. Being truthful, I could see more, but I have to balance it with my general maintenance."
"My clients aren’t just paying for my body, but a whole package. I hit the gym five times a week, but I also make sure that I’m up on current affairs, and I read self-improvement books. I won’t do this job forever, but I don’t feel I have a sell-by date yet. The women I meet don’t want a toy boy, but rather a man with experience and sensitivity, who listens to their needs. You wouldn’t believe how few of them feel they get this."
Shop the experts go-to sex toys now
Like the idea of restriction but only a beginner to more experimental sex? A bondage rope is a great beginner toy that will appeal to most parties. (Just be sure to float the idea with them first to make sure your partner is into it).
There's nothing more relaxing than a soothing massage - so amp up your intimate time with the massage candle from sexual wellness brand Coco De Mer.
Marie Claire Newsletter
Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, eight-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She regularly hosts panels and presents for things like the MC Sustainability Awards, has an Optimum Nutrition qualification, and saw nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw, with health page views up 98% year on year, too. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.
The Bridgerton season 3 release date is 'closer than it's ever been'
Penelope Featherington will be at the centre of the plot
By Lauren Hughes
As a Sustainability Editor - why COP28 is the most important conference to date
Plus, who will be attending this year.
By Ally Head
Why Squid Game fans are furious at Player 278 - but others are defending her 'selfish' decision
Player 278, Ashley, caused a stir among fans of the competition
By Lauren Hughes