On a recent weekend evening, Jenna, a professional escort then-based on the Lower East Side, happily crawled in between the soft, luxurious sheets of a hotel bed with her client.
But before having sex, the duo spent most of the evening cuddling and watching the “Star Wars” trilogy.
“He was a big movie buff, and his wife never watched movies with him,” says the 25-year-old, who asked that her last name not be used for privacy reasons.
She was paid $2,500 for the geeky encounter.
Informal interactions such as this are common for Jenna and other women-for-hire who specialize in “the girlfriend experience” — a service recently made popular by the sexy Starz series of the same name, which follows Christine Reade (Riley Keough) as a law student-turned-escort.
More than straight sex, the girlfriend experience is the ability to act like a well-heeled plus-one at an A-list event, recall important biographical information with repeat clients, stay the night and say good morning with a wake-up kiss. “The physical needs of a client are important, but equally important are his emotional and psychological needs,” says a 20-something who goes by the name Allissa at legal brothel Sheri’s Ranch in Nevada. “You’re there to treat the man like the most important person on Earth.”
Before women become girlfriends-for-hire, most dip their toes into the sex industry in other ways. Jenna, who recently relocated to Los Angeles, began as a cam girl charging people to watch her perform solo sex acts online. “Through that, I’d get offers to sell my panties for $200 a pair.”
Jess Brighton, who moved from the Midwest to Washington, DC, in 2008 in her 30s to become an escort after losing her job in finance, reached out to a few agencies she found online and made her pick after cross-referencing on the Erotic Review, a sex work-review Web site that rates agencies.