Illustration by Daiana Feuer


Photo by Illustration by Daiana Feuer

Why We Buy Men (It’s Not Just Sex)

In part two of our series, we meet two women who hire gigolos — and love it.

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It’s noon on a Monday at a bar in Hell’s Kitchen, and the only customers are Jane (not her real name) and her escort William. It’s her first time with a gigolo, so it’s a little awkward at first. When he asks her why she hired him, she’s not sure how much to tell. In the end, she just blurts out the truth: “My husband won’t put effort into our love-making.” William smiles and tells her she’s pretty. She warms up.

Before long, the two of them are delving into her most lurid sexual fantasies, while the rest of Manhattan grabs a lunch hour bite. She tells him that she wants to be dominated. William likes to dominate! She wants a threesome. William can arrange one! They get comfortable touching one another. This wasn’t so hard after all.

Outside of this transaction, they have little in common. She’s a 41 year-old businesswoman in Manolo stilettos and he’s a statuesque 24 year-old in gym shorts. The Ohio-born Jane picked Long Island William from an online agency for his rugged appearance and the bio that accompanied his photos – active, college grad, interested in the arts. She doubts the credibility of his resume, but it doesn’t matter. They quickly move to the neighboring hotel she already booked in case this worked out.

Jane bought William for sex – the butterflies, the passion, everything she’s lost in her 14-year-marriage to Steven (not his real name). She’s self-made and wealthy, the owner of a real estate company outside of Manhattan, and Steven, 43, is a day-trader, so he’s always home for dinner. They have a decent marriage, solid friendship, no children and little-to-no sex life.

“After all these years, my husband and I stopped being sexual. Even when I asked, he wouldn’t put any effort into romance,” Jane says. “I know it sounds cheesy, but I want to feel hot and sexy. William does that for me.” The beautiful blonde is otherwise happy in her relationship. “I don’t want a new husband, just a new lover.

Sex with William is Jane’s big secret – one that involves out-of-the-way hotel rooms during workdays, cash withdrawals from her personal bank account, and occasional meetings at bars in the city. Once, an encounter ended with a blowjob in an alleyway. It is all very wicked.

“I love the excitement of it even more than the sex,” she says. Though the sex is far from lacking – William is 6’4, muscular and passionate with a 10 1/2-inch penis. “His size actually scared me at first,” she laughs. “I wasn’t used to that – what woman is? But that isn’t what this is about. I am in love with the courtship, the flirting.” She doesn’t even orgasm at every meeting. “It’s more about our time together and that passion.”

Randi, another married woman who sees an escort, doesn’t always climax either. But her situation is quite different. She’s married to David, who approves of and sometimes participates in her dates. A Texas couple, they’re attractive, wealthy, in love with one another, and they have two school-aged children. It all started six months ago, when Randi saw the Showtime series Gigolos which graphically documents the lives of five straight male escorts.

“I couldn’t believe it! I showed my husband the next day and he said, ‘Well, heck, give it a try. Do something crazy.’” Randi and David are not swingers. They are typical suburban Houston and have been happily married for 20 years. They do not have an open marriage, nor have they had flings in the past.

“This was a one-off,” the brunette coos in her charmingly innocent Southern accent. “I was about to turn 40 and I still felt so young. He and I have a very honest relationship and it turns him on to know other men find his wife attractive.”

Randi chose her escort online and flew him to Texas for a two-night stay. She and her hire ‘James’ stayed in the hotel together while her husband was Skyped in for the first of three explosive sexual sessions. “The sex was unbelievable and there was such a connection,” she says. “James was fully prepared, fully protected. Everything he did was deliberate, methodical; it blew my mind.

The Texas couple hired James five more times over the next three months. With hotels and flights, the experiences cost around $40,000. “I could have had a new car, but that’s not nearly as meaningful as what I’ve gotten from this,” says Randi. Her marriage is stronger and more enriched than ever. “The whole thing allowed me to find a release in my body that I never would have experienced if it were not for James. He taught me so much that my husband was more than happy to have him back. It added a different dimension to our marriage.”

David, Randi and James were in a 2,000 squarw foot suite at Aria in Las Vegas the first time Randi tried anal sex. “I had never wanted to do it but I trusted James and he had shown me so many things that I hadn’t known before,” says Randi. “He was so patient, it took 45 minutes just to get my body relaxed.” At that point, her husband joined for double-penetration, another act the conservative married couple never imagined performing. “If you knew me, you wouldn’t believe it. I’m like the ambassador for the everywoman.”

Randi has nothing but positive things to say about her time with an escort. “I feel so fortunate that I found James and had this experience. I feel sorry for women that will never reach this comfort level in their marriage or sexuality.

The high that both Randi and Jane experience with their gigolos might sound terrific, but it’s a red flag to Dr. Jenn Berman, psychotherapist and Director of the Berman Women’s Wellness Center in Los Angeles. “This can be addictive and you can easily get compulsive about it,” says the host of Cosmo Radio’s Love & Sex show. “It becomes a need that has to be filled. and a need that no other man can compete with.” A gigolo, she says, is at the client’s beck and call, doing whatever she wants sexually, telling her what she wants to hear emotionally and behaving how she desires. “He is paid to create whatever the woman wants, and adores her throughout,” says Berman, “It becomes compelling.”

If the escort is good at his job, the women will feel a special connection, intimacy and meaning in the contact. “Women don’t pay men to orgasm,” says Berman. “They seek connection, adoration, love and then want to have sex.”

As it stands, Jane and Randi are seeking flings with new men. Jane with other gigolos and Randi (with her husband’s permission) with men she meets through dating websites. “It’s a rush,” they both say.

Next part of this series: we hear from one of the gigolos.

Miss the first article in this series? Read Part 1: When Women Buy Men.

Jennifer Gersten Ray is a Los Angeles-based writer who has worked for Vogue, Men’s Vogue, and US Weekly.


It’s her first time with a gigolo, so it’s a little awkward. When he asks her why she hired him, she’s not sure how much to tell. In the end, she just blurts out the truth.Jennifer Gersten Ray

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