Client Desires and the Price of Seduction: Exploring the Relationship Between Independent Escorts' Marketing and Rate

Alex J. Nelson, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Kathryn Hausbeck Korgan, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Antoinette M. Izzo, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Sarah Y. Bessen, Dartmouth College


This article explores Web site content and differences in advertised rates among a sample of 839 independent female online escorts operating their own Web sites in major metropolitan areas in the United States. Statistical analyses of escorts’ rates indicate pricing variation across cities in which escorts advertise; the number of cities and Websites in which they advertise; whether they travel to areas beyond their primary locality to meet clients; their age and stated racial/ethnic/sexual identity; the Internet platforms on which they advertise; and how they present themselves and their services on their Web pages. These relationships between business strategies of independent escorts and their published rates shed light on client preferences and market demand. Our findings provide important new insights into independent online escorts’ business strategies and financial tactics and identify factors impacting perceived market value for escort services. This research supports emerging literature indicating that clients of independent online escorts will pay more for particular provider characteristics, dispositions, and services, and they most highly value erotic services that are seductive and mirror the qualities of nonremunerative sexual exchange, often described as the “girlfriend experience” (GFE).