Who Are They?
Escort agency employees are mostly female, with a few transsexual and male workers thrown in for good measure. Straight male escorts are also employed by a few agencies. There are no gay male escort agencies in the United States. Workers for escort agencies may also do other sorts of sex work, such as street sex, self-employed sex, or brothel work. Contractors, not employees, are categorized as sex workers for escort agencies, and must pay their own taxes. There were 22 licensed (legal) escort agencies in Victoria in 2018, with an unknown number of unlicensed (illegal) escort agencies.
How They Operate
Clients might reach out to an agency through a website or a phone number. The agency makes the reservation, collects payment, and communicates with the escort and the client. After that, the escort is delivered to the client’s home or hotel. Professional drivers are employed by several escort organizations to transport their escorts, and these drivers also provide protection to the worker. The agency may or may not have a physical location, and if it does, no sex work services are provided there.
Escort service sex workers are required by law to show a doctor’s certificate of attendance verifying that they have taken a sexually transmissible infection (STI) test. They do not provide the STI test results to the escort management, only the certificate of participation. Every three months, a certificate is necessary.
The cost of a licensed (legal) escort agency varies from $150 to $2000 per hour, depending on the service. The average hourly rate is $350, however, the escort must pay 50% to the agency and the remaining 50% to the driver. This often translates to the sex worker earning as little as 40% of the total booking cost. In 2018, a high-earning agency escort charged $40,000 for a client’s week-long international excursion.
Sex workers who work for an escort agency are not responsible for advertising, photography, or responding to texts and phone calls. Escort agency sex workers, unlike private sex workers, are not compelled to register with the government or get an SWA registration number – obligations that the majority of sex workers oppose.
The most significant downside of working for an escort service is the fact that the company takes a percentage of a worker’s profits. Because licensed escort agencies are not allowed to advertise for new sex workers, anyone interested in working for one must approach the agency directly.