A blog for escort business entrepreneurs

The Blueprint Blog is often updated with tips, ideas, and advice for entrepreneurs interested in opening and operating an escort service.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Credit Cards and Escort Services

There are divided opinions on the topic of escort businesses accepting credit cards for service, but most readers are aware of my position in the argument. The main reason that I would never take credit cards is that it creates a client list for the bank and anyone that wants to subpoena the records – read state or federal government. If I wanted to pass around client lists then I would go ahead and accept credit cards.

Jeane Palfrey (the accused DC Madam) didn't accept credit cards, but she did have the escorts mailing her money orders on a regular basis. If they managed to locate all of the escorts that testified by tracking the money orders, what do you think they'll do with your credit card records in relation to tracking your clients? That is how they located close to all escorts that were called as government witnesses in her case, and even a few clients that she had mailing her money orders.

It is not that you are conducting any illegal business. It is that if you are ever under scrutiny for any reason, the first thing that they will do is subpoena those records. Those records are client lists. Do you not believe that if squeezed by state or federal authorities the clients will state whatever they're told to state? Whether escorts provided prostitution or not or you discussed full service with the clients on the phone or not, you have set yourself up for a fall. It depends what that client has to lose, and most would say anything to get themselves out of a jam. Credit card records are there for years.

It is also important to note that the credit card billing must be in the correct legal name of your business and the paperwork with the credit card processing company must reflect the correct type of business. Surely you have heard of charge-backs, right? Well, you'll have more than your share of charge-backs and the consequent problems with the escorts. Few escorts want to work for the service that accepts credit cards once they realize that it could mean they won't be paid for an appointment.

I read through, and still have, all of my co-defendant's credit card records in the case from hell. Why do you think he pled guilty? Certainly the client list/credit card records played a part in the plea. There were plenty of people with incentive to testify against him. In the case they located only one client from my agency, and he had given an escort a business card a week before agents accosted her and searched her purse. She was not arrested – but they stole the business card from her purse. They then contacted and threatened the client by telling him that they had all of my client records, and dipshit that he was, he bought it hook, line, and sinker. He then helped them get me to send an escort out, and that escort was arrested. I never thought anything of sending her there as he was a repeat client. However, because he was the only client they located and because he hired an attorney, they didn't call him to testify. Of course the manner in which they located him also had something to do with him not being called as a witness.

These days there are cash machines everywhere – from 7-11 to the hotel lobby. How can anyone that wants to book an appointment claim that they cannot get cash?

You may never have a problem with cards, with the operative word being may. I will state that there is a 10% chance that you will never have legal problems as a result of accepting credit cards. Is it all worth the chance to you? If it is, then you should accept credit cards for your escort business. If it isn't worth the probable fallout, then send your potential clients to cash machines. It is really that simple. We all operate our businesses as we see fit, but any agency that I have ever encountered has had legal troubles over the cards, eventually.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Advice for the Independent Escort

My Blueprint for an Escort Service book and Blueprint for an Escort Service 2: Beyond the Original Blueprint are written for the escort business entrepreneur and are all about the business side of the equation. An independent escort interested in turning her (or his) lone venture into one in which they are able to profit by setting appointments for other escorts and operating an escort service will benefit from both books. Everything that I write is from the perspective of the escort business owner (former anyway).

For the independent that is only interested in booking her own calls and is looking for advice that is more escort oriented, there is a list of great books available on Amazon.

Amanda Brooks writes The Internet Escort's Handbook Book 1: The Foundation and The Internet Escort's Handbook Book 2: Advertising and Marketing. Amanda has two blogs and writes frequently on the escort business, but from the perspective of the escort.

Kay Good has written an excellent advice book for independent escorts, and as far as I know, she is still in the business. Her book is titled In Good Company: The Escort's Guide, and it is available on Amazon. Kay doesn't have a blog or website – at least it's not connected to her book page on Amazon.

If you are seeking tax advice, J.D. Roberts is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) that has written two books targeting the independent escort that works on her own. This is his specialty tax area. His books are:

The Business Side of Escorting: The Ins and Outs of Running a Business in the Cyber Age for the Escort and Sensual Masseuse Serious about Her Business

The Business Side of Escorting II: The Escort's Guide to Intelligently Running Her Business in the Cyber Age

Now J.D. Roberts is an accountant and his titles are mainly tax advice for an independent.

Hopefully, with all of the real books available, you will pass on these $100 to $600 books or guides offered by so-called experts. I'm sure that each knows something about the escort business, but anyone that tells you that you'll make millions$ or tries to convince you that you need a 5-volume package is pulling your leg.

Most people that get into operating escort services never read a book about the process because there is no exact process. It is business and not much more. Tips and advice are helpful, but in the end it is really up to you to make your business work.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

How to Open an Escort Business

This post on how to open an escort business gets so many reads that I felt it necessary to add an update. If you really want to open and operate an escort service correctly you must be aware of the party offering the advice. Sure I'd like it if you opt to buy a copy of Blueprint but the goal of this update is not to sell my $10 ebook.

One main point that I'd like to make here is the absolute necessity of knowing who is offering the information. If anyone claims to have operated a successful escort business for several years or more, that party should not have any problem giving a real name and verifiable information, unless they never owned an escort service to begin with and/or evaded taxes. And then if they were as successful as they claim, why write and sell such information? Hell, they shouldn't need the money and should be kicking back in Amsterdam (or wherever), right?

There are others besides me that are capable of writing a how to book on escort service operations; however, to date none of them have. The information that I see out there comes from a couple of marketers that have read my book, a couple of people that have been in business for 2-4 years and are still in business, a guy that uses escorts for sexual trysts, and a woman that was in business in Canada for a few years.

The marketers are people that have read books on how to operate an escort business (like my books for example) and then rearranged the information, threw in this or that and removed parts, and now are on a hard sell mission. These people may indeed be better at marketing than I am; however, they know little to nothing of how an escort business actually works and the many potential dangers involved for you. They paint it with a broad brush and refer to it as "fun" and "sexy" and tell you you'll make $millions when it's more likely that you'll be indicted before the first year is over if you follow their advice.

There's one new guy in town and he bought a copy of my book back when it was available as a PDF. I'm not going to name this outfit, but you'll find that the expensive book they sell has a similar structure to my own, though the content is not at all the same. In other words, they used many of my chapter titles, but that is where the similarities evolve. One major difference in the book is that they try to sell you on a merchant account by including a free website (thanks, but I'll control my own domains and websites).

Yes, they want you to sign-up and accept credit cards for your new escort service and if you have read my book, well, you know what I say about that, whether anyone agrees or not. Hell, I have sat and watched it for over 15 years now and always knew better than to accept cards or any form of payment other than cash. Yes, that includes the Green Dot crap, but that isn't why I'm bothering to update here.

I have mentioned this long story on my other blog - Operation Out Call (IRS), but the original story that was embedded in the blog footer is no longer viewable as Blogger won't allow frames anymore. It is available free in Google Books and is a New York Magazine article dated July 22, 1996, titled "The Love Float," but states "The Screwball Scheme" on the actual start page.

Go to page 30 here: The Love Float by Daniel Green

End of March 2012 Update.

My last post induced me to look and see what information is actually available for the inexperienced escort service entrepreneur that has little or no knowledge of the business. So guess what – I'm going to do your work for you and include a list here; I will also offer my opinion on each listing, though I recommend my Blueprint books for the entrepreneurial types that need to get involved in a money-making business and do not expect 24/7 live support. I certainly answer questions, but there are limits to this.

1. The most findable information is offered by Michelle of Exotic Publishing.

The first issue that I have with Michelle is her opening line: "Have you ever dreamed of getting rich by opening and owning your very own escort agency?"

To me this is scary stuff. Why? Because I have known people with agencies from Orlando to NYC to London, and none have ever hit the "rich" category. To me the escort business is simply create-a-job. Sure, you can make a decent living at it, but it is a lot of work, and you'll never get rich if you operate correctly. Sorry, but those are the facts. Michelle offers a 5-volume box set for $544. Sorry Michelle, but the escort business isn't rocket science and I cannot imagine what information requires five volumes.

After reading the "about" page on her website, I decided that Michelle seems like a nice lady, that probably knows her stuff – except for the credit card thing. Accepting credit cards is good, if you're in Canada or Las Vegas. If you want 24/7 live support it might be a good idea to go with Michelle's deal. From my perspective, if you need 24/7 live support you don't belong in the escort business, and this is not a service that comes with my books by any stretch of the imagination. Just do yourself a favor and ignore what she says about credit cards.

2. The next most simple to find information is from Lenexa & Hefner, whoever they are. They say that they are "experts in the escort industry," but don't you want to know why they claim such a title? I do. Who are they? Well, they do not explain that at all. I don't know about you, but I want a resume of some type from anyone that claims expert status.

They state that their information is valued at over $550, but it's on sale now for $?. That's quite a markdown – better hurry. They list a featured client as "Las Vegas Escorts" and have a banner link to the website. Few services in Vegas refer to the business as an "escort service" as escort services cannot be licensed there. Vegas has loads of "entertainment companies" licensed as "outcall promoters" that send out dancers or entertainers.

Where is Mr. Winky? I can't seem to find his information anywhere, but this guy can tell you how to find girls and use them to operate an incall – which is not an escort service at all. So if that is what you want to do, then find Mr. Winky on your own. He does sound like an expert on that.

There are several real books on Amazon.com that relate to becoming an escort, advertising and marketing for the escort, and accounting for the escort, but that is not the discussion here. This is all about opening and operating an escort service – I never went out as the escort and I'm not figuring that you intend to. This is all about running a business.

If you are seeking a babysitter, I would advise you to go with Michelle - she charges a high price, but she also states that 24/7 live support is included. At the same time I must ask you to analyze your ability to run escort services.

Caveat Emptor!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Defining Escort and Escort Service

What is an Escort Service?

In the course of my research for a second book that's in progress, a situation of great importance, at least in the adult business world, has come to my attention. I believe that what is transpiring can easily be attributed to law enforcement continuously labeling hookers as "escorts" and brothels and in-call operations as "escort services" – it is as I stated it in Memoirs of an Accused Madam – the general population listens to these police agencies and believes what they state, and after it is stated repeatedly on various forums over a length of time, it becomes factual, at least in the mind.

Definition of "escort" from two sources:

Oxford University Press Dictionary & Thesaurus (2002 version):

noun (1) – entourage, attendants, bodyguard, protector, convoy, defender, contingent.
(2) – partner, companion, gigolo, hostess, geisha; informal date; dated beau.
verb (1) – accompany, guide, conduct, lead, usher, guard, protect, safeguard, defend.
(2) – partner, accompany, take out, go out with, attend on.

Cambridge University Press (2009 online version)

noun (social companion) (1) – a person who goes with another person, usually someone of the opposite sex, to a social event. (2) – someone, often a young woman, who is paid to go out to social events with another person: He hired an escort girl to go to dinner with him.

verb (formal) – to go to a social event with someone, especially a person of the opposite sex: Who will be escorting her to the ball?

Nowhere in either definition does this describe "prostitute," as a geisha is not a prostitute. Only in the U.S., thanks to overzealous law enforcement agencies, is "escort" defined as "prostitute." It must be noted that both Oxford and Cambridge are universities in the UK, so one may find "escort" defined as "prostitute" in a recent US dictionary – this is the trend lately, and not the proper English definition.

Definition of "escort service" or "escort agency":

Cambridge states: a business which supplies people who work as escorts.

Oxford online nor my 2002 version list these terms. Merriam-Webster also does not list it, so I'll go with the above stated Cambridge definition.

Now that we've straightened that out I'll get back to the problem at hand. I met two ladies a couple of days ago and each told me they had worked as an "escort" recently; however, both described an incall/brothel situation, and not at all an escort service. According to their stories, the business operator set them up in an apartment, scheduled 15 minute appointments, and sent in men. This could never be described as an "escort service" – it's clearly an incall operation, and if sex was involved, a brothel situation. Neither stated whether sex was involved or not and I didn't ask, as it falls in the category of none of my business. It simply infuriates me that a business operator would present such an operation as an escort service and these ladies had the audacity to refer to themselves as escorts! But then, I'm sure they interpreted it to be exactly that from listening to local law enforcement rhetoric that is now embedded in the minds of the general population.

An escort service sends escort out, and the escort and client go out to dinner, to a club, or tour the area. They do meet in the client's hotel room, but only to take care of business matters as this is not done publicly. An escort service can also operate as an entertainment business. An entertainer can entertain a client in the privacy of his home or hotel, and by "entertain" I mean offer a non-therapeutic body rub, a private dance, or a lingerie show. Certainly there will always be greedy and/or in-need escorts that will accept additional money (in the form of tips) for illegal services, but escorts are paid for time and company, not prostitution services. I have not yet encountered a real escort agency that takes any part of these tips, and few promote this type of service – why would they? While any escort service operator would hope that the ladies are tipped, at the same time none would expect it to be at their expense or for prostitution services.

These days every prostitute in the country is referred to as an escort, from the street hookers to the online hookers found on BigDoggie.net, Backpage, Craigslist, in Village Voice ads, or on The Erotic Review. The ads clearly reflect prostitution services, not escort services. There is a difference in services just as there is a difference in ad content.

Skip the inappropriate labels, please.