What it’s like to be a woman buying a male escort

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How does it feel to pay thousands of dollars for a long-term romantic relationship? One woman tells us.

The word “escort” typically conjures images of 1-900 phone-sex ads with nubile young women from Eastern Bloc countries, charging obscene amounts of money to engage in unspecified sex acts with wealthy finance moguls behind closed doors. But there are many different types of escorts, so it follows that there are many different types of escort clients. 

Some of these clients, in fact, are women. Angela (name has been changed) is one of them.

A 46-year-old banking officer and mother of two from Texas, Angela is a client of Cowboys4Angels, an escort agency that caters primarily to female clients. She started using the service back in 2012, shortly after her husband of 20 years passed away in a motorcycle accident. After losing 150 pounds after gastric bypass surgery, she started seeing Nick Hawk, a male escort employed by Cowboys4Angels who also appears on the Showtime series Gigolos.

Angela is witty, attractive, successful, and fiercely independent, a far cry from the stereotype of escort clients as sexually frustrated weirdos who can’t get a date without money changing hands. But since she first met Nick in 2012, she’s spent thousands of dollars on dates with him, traveling back and forth from her hometown in Texas to New York and Las Vegas to see him. 

Cowboys4Angels is very clear that their clients are paying for companionship rather than sex, though as Angela puts it, “what happens between two consenting adults behind closed doors” is impossible to control. So what motivates a woman like Angela to pay for companionship with a male escort?

How did you hear about Cowboys4Angels?

I was married for 20 years, and my husband passed away suddenly in a motorcycle accident in 2011. So at that point I just decided to start reworking my life as I knew it. At the time, I weighed 300 pounds; I had gastric bypass surgery and lost 150 pounds. That was back in 2012. 

My husband died earlier that year, and I knew at some time I’d want to get back out there and experience dating. I knew that I wouldn’t be attracted to the people I was attracted to at the size that I was.

So my girlfriend and I were talking, and I was thinking about getting out there and going on a date. I Googled “male escort” and [Cowboys4Angels] came up. I clicked on the page, and I didn’t know at the time about the show [Showtime’s Gigolos] or anything. I didn’t want to do it because I was still really big, so then I decided to have the surgery and lose the weight. I called Garren [James, the head of Cowboys4Angels] back eight months later and said, “Hey, I’m trying to figure out what to do after my husband died,” and that was it. I couldn’t even fathom going on a date with someone so attractive, because of what a big girl I was.

Why did you decide to see a male escort? Why didn’t you go on a dating site or try to meet someone in a more conventional way?

For me, it was because I had kids. I have two kids, a son who’s 13 and a daughter who’s 21. I hadn’t been on a date in 20 years. I wanted to hang out with someone attractive and not have to deal with any of this bullshit. I’d tried several dating websites. I met several people, but it never panned out. They were creepy. [Laughs] I’m not good at picking people over the computer.

One guy who I met and had drinks with, he told me right up-front, “Well, I need to tell you, I’m married.” Another guy said, “I don’t actually live here, and every time I drive through here I stop by and pick up a woman.” It was just one thing after another. None of the guys were honest. And I never had fun.

Had you ever considered hiring a male escort before? What did you know about male escorts before?

Not a thing. I’d seen American Gigolo, and that was the extent of knowing what a male escort is. So no, I’d never considered it. But then my girlfriend said, “If you’re gonna get out there, why not hire a male escort to get your feet wet? Just go out with someone and have fun because you haven’t done that with anyone of the opposite sex in 20 years.”

“Nothing’s more of a confidence-builder than walking around with a Greek god on your arm.”

Was sex a consideration?

Maybe [sex] was part of it, but it’s really just about having control over what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it, instead of feeling like I’m meeting a guy and being in total misery for an hour and a half, or going to a bar and getting shit-faced drunk and going home with some guy who’s just an absolute loser. I wanted to build my confidence. Nothing’s more of a confidence-builder than walking around with a Greek god on your arm.

How did you decide who you wanted to go out with?

For me, a lot of the guys were really, really young. And I was 45 at the time. I’m like, “I’m not going out with some guy who could be my kid.” That eliminated a large amount. Then I wanted someone very alpha, very dominant, but not an asshole. That narrowed it down, because a lot of the guys are very metro. The person I wanted to meet, Nick Hawk, he’s 32, so he’s young, and not too young. And he’s beefy, he has a lot of tattoos, so I liked that. That was my fantasy, the whole bad-boy thing.

Was your husband like that?

He rode a Harley, honey. He didn’t have tattoos, but he was definitely alpha-male, for sure. I don’t like to be dominated, that’s not what I’m into, but I need someone confident who’s not a jerk. There’s nothing like it. And when we first met, I will never forget: We were sitting in the restaurant, and I was nervous, and he asked, “What do you like?” And the waitress came up and he just ordered. I don’t remember anyone ever doing that. He was just like, “She wants this and that,” and it was outstanding.

You said you were nervous at first. Why is that?

I was a little embarrassed because I’d just had the [gastric bypass] surgery and I couldn’t eat very much. I didn’t know how he’d react when I told him, “OK, just so you know, a year ago I weighed this much, and if I don’t eat all my food it’s not because it’s bad.” And he really did a good job of putting me at ease. He said, “We just ordered all that food and now you’re gonna waste it? We could’ve shared something.” From that point on, I never ate an entire entree again. And I was nervous because he’s very, very good-looking. Like, stop-you-in-your-tracks good-looking.

Was there anything else that surprised you about him? Did he look different than his pictures?

No, he was better. He was way better. His aura, his energy—he almost struts when he walks. It’s very empowering, because he’s very much with you. So you feel the need to walk with your head up and be just as confident because you don’t want to look like a mealy-mouthed Minnie Mouse next to him. It was very empowering.

How did the rest of your first date go?

The very first time, I went to Las Vegas and he came up to my suite and we sat down. I didn’t have anything planned, I didn’t know what to do. Then he just asked me. We planned out the entire weekend and and walked around Vegas and had some lunch. Then we went to the Garth Brooks show, which was epic. Then afterward we [ate] tapas. I’d never had tapas. It was very, very fun. There was no hem-hawing around.

Did your family know you were planning this date and meeting this guy in Vegas?

Vaguely. They knew I had a friend in Vegas. It’s my business. That’s the other thing, having a little bit of anonymity in your relationship is nice. It’s not cumbersome. You don’t have to explain it to your family or friends.

Do they still not know about Nick?

No. They don’t.

Is there a specific reason you don’t want to tell them?

Because they’re my kids, and what he does for a living is still very taboo. I’ve talked to girlfriends about Nick, but my kids didn’t know about the boyfriend I have now for six months. It’s a little different. They lost their dad as well. But my girlfriends know, for sure.

What do they say about it?

At first they loved it, because it changed my whole attitude and outlook. They were very supportive. But after I saw Nick a few times, they said, “I think you should get out there and take your newfound powers and find someone you can spend more time with.” But nobody ever judged me and said, “Oh, you’re so sad,” or anything like that. Everyone I told was very supportive.

How many times did you see him after that?

Gosh. All told, over two years, probably 12, 15 times? We went to L.A. and Vegas and New York and he came to Dallas. Just all over.

Was money ever a consideration? These trips must’ve been pretty expensive. [According to his profile on Cowboys4Angels, Hawk charges $3,000 per day for a date.]

Yeah, sure, that’s why you have to spread it out.

Did you ever talk to each other or spend time together without money changing hands?

Nope. That’s just not part of the deal. And that’s the thing that people have the most difficult time wrapping their heads around. You’re paying him because that’s his job. You can’t tell someone “I want to see you” without paying [him].

Was it ever hard for you to wrap your mind around it?

At the very beginning, definitely. You’re just kinda like, “This is fun and I’d like to spend more time with you,” but Nick was very good about talking about it and working through it. I guess it’s common.

What did he say?

He was very kind and supportive. He would always remind me of how lucky I was to have a wonderful family and a wonderful life, and for us to spend time together. I’d say, “Do you ever think about me?” and he’d say, “Absolutely.” And I’d say, “Do you miss me?” And he’d say, “Absolutely.” And I’d say, “What do you do?” And he’d say, “I just think about how much fun we had and that’s what you should do.” You just have to change how you think about it.

Do you feel that at any point your feelings went beyond that for him? Or that it was hard for you to change how you thought about it?

Oh, yeah. I’d say, “Hey, I really care about you,” and he’d say, “This is what it is. Think about how much fun we have. Think about not what’s not there, but what is there.”

Did it ever get physical?

Physical as far as our relationship?

Yes.

The things that happen outside of scheduling time with someone is personal and has nothing to do with the agency. Obviously, if two people spend time together, there are probably occasions that work themselves… out [laughs]. I’ll just say that and leave it at that. I’m not a huge fan of talking to someone about that. I mean, I don’t like talking about my physical relationship with the man I’m seeing now.

“I’m 46 and he’s 32. Sometimes you have to sit down and have a big fat cup of reality.” 

Without getting too specific, then, does sex complicate things, considering that money is changing hands?

Yes and no, I guess. I guess I could see how it could, but that’s not what I ever focused on or worried about. That wasn’t the intent. I saw him, and do see him, as a very, very good friend.

Do you see him as a friend, an employee, or a lover? What order would you put them in?

He’s definitely someone I think is special. A special friend who will always have a special place in my heart. I’ve never thought of him as an employee, ever. Romantic? I’m 46 and he’s 32. Sometimes you have to sit down and have a big fat cup of reality. 

What kind of thoughts crossed your mind?

That it was more about focusing on why you wanted to hang out with this individual in the first place. When you see him on Twitter, and think, “Aw, I miss him,” those are also times where you look at it and go, “He’s 32. What are you doing?” You have to think how lucky you are.

Did he ever mention any other details of his life beyond his job? Like, did he talk about his family, or people he’d dated?

Yeah, I would ask him sometimes. We’d talk about his mom, his brother. He’d share wonderful things with me: his auditions, his music. He’d ask my opinion about things as well.

He did some photo shoots a few times and he told me he’d gone out with a few of the girls in the shoot, what she was like, things like that.

Did he solicit your advice on girls he dated as well?

No. [Laughs] God, no. You should go on his Twitter and see some of these girls that he hangs out with. I’m not dissing them in any way, but—it is what it is. Don’t get me wrong: If I could look like them and know what I know about life, that’d be one thing. But I wouldn’t exchange one for the other.

Was there ever a time you saw him on his show or interacting with someone on Twitter and you got… I don’t want to say “jealous,” exactly, but you reacted instinctively to it?

You’d know I was lying if I said no. That’s human nature. That’s one of the things you need to work through when you do this. You have to think, “Why would I sit and watch this crap when it makes you crazy?” Envious is a better word. Like, “Gosh, I wish that were me.”

Why envious and not jealous?

Well, because you start feeling resentful, and then you think, “This is what he does for a living. You subjected yourself to this. He didn’t subject you to it. You’re the one that can take yourself out of it.” So I did. I quit watching the show. But a couple of times there’d be clips and they’d post them on Twitter, and I’d see pictures of him wearing something I’d bought him, a necklace or a hat or something, which was kind of cool.

We’ve been talking a lot about how you saw Nick on these dates. But how do you think he saw you?

We talked about that too. Because when you spend 48 hours with another person nonstop, you talk about everything. He has always been very, very sweet, and has always said that he thinks a lot of me, and that he thinks I’m a special person and considers me someone he trusts. And I don’t take him for a liar. He’s not a liar. So I believe him.

Why don’t you think he’s a liar? Why do you have so much faith in what he says?

Because he’s a very straightforward, honest person. It’s funny, because I’ve said stuff to him before, and he’s been like, “No. That’s absolutely, 100 percent not the way it is.”

Can you give me an example?

When I first met him, I brought him a Dallas Cowboys T-shirt, because I came through Dallas to get to Vegas. And he said, “Angela, I don’t mean to offend you, but I can’t take this.” And I said, “What?” He said, “I’m a huge Packers fan. I’m not gonna lie. I do not want this.” He’s just very straightforward. Most people would say, “Oh, thank you,” and throw it away, but he respects you enough not to lie to you. 

When was the last time you saw Nick?

In September, in New York. Then we went to Vegas a few weeks later and I spent a few days with him.

Do you think your experience as a woman client was any different than a male client?

“It wasn’t about sex. It was about making me feel really, really good.”

I think that it’s more accepted for men than it is for women. Everyone has this opinion: “You’re a woman. You can just go and find any guy.” But it’s not about that. For men, it’s a transactional thing. But I think for women, it’s an emotional thing.

How so?

Well, for me, it wasn’t about sex. It was about making me feel really, really good. It seems like with most men, they have one thing on their mind and they get it over with and they’re done.

You mentioned you were seeing someone else now. When did you start seeing that person?

I was actually seeing him then. We’ve been dating off and on for a year.

How did you meet him?

I met him at my favorite karaoke bar. He’s the complete polar opposite of Nick. No tattoos. Really sweet, soft-spoken. He’s a very genteel man.

Does he know about Nick?

Yep.

How did that conversation go?

[Long pause] I thought lying about it would create anxiety and fear. So I just told him, “This is something from my past. This is who this person is. And if you don’t like it, we don’t ever have to see each other again.” But we’ve worked through it and it’s been fine.

How did he find out about it?

He stumbled upon it, being a nosy shithead. [Laughs] I had been having a conversation on my text with Garren [James, the owner of Cowboys4Angels] about an upcoming encounter, and I went to the bathroom and he looked at my phone. Then he looked up who Nick was. I had no intention of telling him.

Have you addressed it since?

No. He’s fine with it, so there’s not much else to talk about. I don’t want to hear about his ex-girlfriends, so why would he hear about… I didn’t want to say “ex-boyfriend,” but Nick tells me all the time that I’m one of his favorite girlfriends.

Does Nick know about him?

Yep.

What does he say?

(Laughs) When I told him last summer that I’d been seeing somebody, he said, “OK. Just so you know this is the only time I want to talk about this person.” (Laughs) I don’t want to say he was jealous, but it was cute. Here’s the thing with Nick: When he’s with you, he’s with you. He’s not with anyone else. So he doesn’t want you with anyone else either.

Did you see it as infidelity?

I did not see it as infidelity, no. We had not made a commitment to each other at that time. We’d just been seeing each other off and on.

Are you exclusive now?

I don’t know the answer to that, to be honest with you. We’re kinda in this transition. He said he loved me the other day, and I freakin’ hate that shit. I didn’t say it back. I was just like, “Really? Why don’t we just have fun and enjoy each other’s company?” Love complicates things. We bought season passes to Six Flags together. Isn’t that enough of a commitment?

Do you love Nick?

Sure, I love Nick. He’s someone special. How can you not care about someone and have all these great adventures with them and not care about them?

Do you plan to see Nick while you’re seeing this person?

I don’t know. That’s also part of this whole transition. That’s why I’m trying to figure out what it is that I want. Because in relationships, you get comfortable. That’s what happened in my marriage. We got comfortable and we didn’t exercise or eat right. With Nick, it was always, “I’m seeing him in six weeks, I gotta eat right, I gotta work out,” and it was always a motivating factor. It kept me focused and on the right path. I got all my work finished, I got all my deals closed, because I had [Nick] to look forward to.

It’s surprising to hear that, actually, because if I were in your position, I’d think, “Well, I’m paying him. He’s going to treat me well and find me attractive either way.”

Well, I never thought of that with Nick. It was always an empowering conscious choice I made to make myself better, rather than, “Let’s just stay in and eat tacos and watch Netflix movies.” I never did that with Nick. But over the past four months, I see myself doing that and I’m like, “What’s wrong with you?”

If you had to choose between Nick and this other man you’re seeing, who would you pick?

He’s real life. Nick is fantasy. There’s no either/or. That’s the whole thing: Do I want to continue to have this adventure? I don’t know. I’m at a crossroads, to be honest with you. With Nick, there’s always something fun and exciting planned. Right now, I don’t have anything fun and exciting planned. That’s the whole thing. If I let that go, does that mean riding roller coasters, going to Vegas, jumping off buildings—is that all done? Am I not just gonna have fun anymore? I’m trying to figure it out. Because I don’t think sex complicates things as much as love. Love complicates things.

Photo by Tax Credits/Flickr

EJ Dickson

EJ Dickson

EJ Dickson is a writer and editor who primarily covers sex, dating, and relationships, with a special focus on the intersection of intimacy and technology. She served as the Daily Dot’s IRL editor from January 2014 to July 2015. Her work has since appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Mic, Bustle, Romper, and Men’s Health.