Secrets of Gigolos: Why More Women Say They Are Willing to Pay for Sex
Showtime reality series shows women hiring male escorts for sex.
Feb. 16, 2012— -- Gigolos, catering exclusively to women, used to be considered a sort of urban legend, but as more women are willing to say they pay for sex in no-strings-attached situations, this once taboo topic has become more mainstream.
Some women said they like paying for what they called the "perfect boyfriend experience," because at the end of the night, they pay the guy to go away.
"I definitely don't want somebody telling me what I should be doing with my money, or my time, or anything like that," said Heather Smith. "This works perfect for me. I know they aren't going to call. I don't want them to call. I know that whatever I say is what I say and they either like it or they don't, I don't care, and there's a freedom there. There's a liberty in just being whoever you are and knowing it doesn't matter."
Reality TV series, "Gigolos," helped draw back the curtain on the world of male gigolos. The show chronicles the lives of five straight male escorts, Brace, Nick, Vin, Steven and Jimmy, who live in Las Vegas and are employed by a real agency, Cowboys 4 Angels.
Garren James, 36, a former gigolo, is their agent and what some would call a pimp.
"Sex for money is illegal," James said. "It's not illegal to charge somebody for your time, and that's basically what we're doing. We're charging somebody for somebody's time."
That mantra, where payment up front is no guarantee of sex for clients, is legal in all states where the Cowboys 4 Angels services are available -- prostitution, by contract, is defined as a guarantee of sex for money and therefore illegal. Vin, who has a live-in girlfriend and was a former philosophy major, believes that what he is doing is not prostitution.
"Everything that happens with me is voluntary, no one has to hire me," he said.
Essentially, the men of Cowboys 4 Angels said they make themselves available for dates exclusively with women, for a price. James doesn't believe what he and his employees do is immoral.
"I think a moral thing is just something that's right or wrong," he said. "If I'm a man and I want to take a woman on a date, I'm paying for dinner... I'm paying for everything. I don't see how it's much different in the fact that just because a woman is paying now, that it's wrong. It doesn't make sense."
James' company employs 35 men, who work out of Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Dallas, Atlanta and Vegas, and since being on the show, business has been booming. James said he also has received over 2,000 employment requests. But it takes a specific type of person to join the Cowboys 4 Angels team.
"They should look like a model-type guy -- Educated, humorous, intelligent and a gentleman," James said.
James said he conducts four-part interviews with prospective gigolos, but because his company is not offering sex for money, he cannot demand STD testing. However, James said he runs a background check on each one and the men who spoke with "Nightline" claim they all practice safe sex.
His clients, James said, are often smart, affluent women, who are coming to his company's website in spades.
"Most women are successful in business, college educated, can be in their 20s, 30s, 40s, women that travel a lot," he said.