Mar 23, 2009

An Escort To Remember

I wrote this out years ago. This was my first experience with an escort service. It's a cautionary tale and should serve as a reminder to always go with an independent!

"Don't be ripped off again." That was the first line of the ad. That didn't so much catch my eye as the fact that this organization accepted credit cards as payment. I certainly didn't have much room left on my Visa but I knew I didn't have the cash available. After some precarious juggling of finances, I managed to secure enough credit for my first encounter with an escort service.

When hearing the term "escort service," I had always thought that it was synonymous with prostitution. It usually is but not always. I found that out the hard way. Certainly, there might be some shady operations out there that advertise as "escort services" that indeed provide sexual favors for money but this wasn't one of them. I found that out the hard way.

Maybe it was the way I was raised or the crazy world we live in but I have no moral qualms about prostitution. While I may resent paying for a little strange; I can definitely see the necessity of it. And, indeed, I felt that urge on my first night in D.C.

I had gotten in early in order to check out the finer points of our nation's capitol. As it was, however, I hadn't eaten since hours before I caught my flight. Oddly, while my physical hunger grew, so did my sexual appetite. Air-tine peanuts and bitter coffee just didn't cut it. Neither did masturbation. Grabbing a City Paper as I checked in to my hotel, I went upstairs to look up restaurants and see what this city had to offer in "Adult Services."

More horny than hungry, I made a few calls and settled on "An Escort To Remember" -- a reasonably priced escort service before going out for some grub. I had talked to "Candice". She seemed nice enough. I don't have a head for measurements or even a proclivity towards one or more "featured item" on a woman. I try not to objectify the female body and subjugate it to dissection. I'm not an "ass, leg or breast man". I was going more on Candice's voice and what little of her personality I could glean from our conversation about rates. Apparently, there was a "special" going on as it was Sunday. Must be a slow night for escorts...

I don't think that Candice was quite as busty as she made herself out to be on the phone but she was very nice looking. A little overly made-up and heavily perfumed (I can still smell her on my telephone receiver) but attractive nonetheless. She wore a fake leather jacket, tall clunky heels with a form fitting top and pants. If I had seen her on the street I probably would have admired her figure but silently noted that her long, curly hair could use some work. A little more body and less hairspray.

As expected, she immediately got on the phone to "check in". She asked to see my poor, belabored credit card so that she could make an impression with it--everything had to be on the up and up, according to her. I believe that's when she first used the term "credit card fraud." It was a different card with a different number than I had given her contact earlier (as I said, I had to do some juggling). This required her to call my Visa company and pre-approve the charge. I don't know why I thought the evening would be cheaper, but somewhere our math varied. Candice was suddenly five hundred dollars for three hours. Not wanting to appear cheap, I secretly hoped that her attempted charge wouldn't go through and this whole evening would be aborted.

This was not a moment to be confident. I had never been with a prostitute before so I wasn't sure of procedure. I didn't know what precautions had to be taken or what limits were going to be imposed. Miss Manners hasn't had a lot to say on social etiquette with escorts. I figured that I'd play up the shy angle and let nature take its course...if that damn charge went through.

Against all odds, it did. Damn. What to do? Candice wanted to know exactly what I had in mind at that moment. The clock was ticking. What did I have in mind?

How does one introduce screwing into polite conversation? After some hemming and hawing and some unnecessary back-story, I told her that I would like an intimate evening (nod nod, wink wink). I think I was still in a bit of shock after trying ever-so-hard to be euphemistic that Candice's immediate spiel about the laws on Washington D.C. prohibiting any man/woman interaction of the naked kind didn't immediately sink in. The evening had just taken a terrible turn. She explained, in no simple terms, that using a credit card for this service was grounds for fraud and that by taking money for sex she could be arrested for prostitution. Yeah, no shit.

Before I knew what was happening, Candice was on the phone to her contact explaining that I was under a false impression. Our date for the evening was being postponed until I could think of something nonsexual for the two of us to do together. "Hey, wait a minute," my mind struggle to comprehend through a fog of discomfiture "I wanted to get laid, not to go out dancing."

Confusion and civility prevailed and I agreed to see Candice some other time under better circumstances. Alit wanted was her to be out of my room now, as I felt humiliated. There's nothing worse than being forced to ask for sex and then being shot down (having the legalities of the matter bashed over one's head simultaneously does nothing for one's ego either). She passed me the telephone and beat feet out of my room. Dazed, I talked to her contact for a few minutes, vaguely agreeing to possibly having another evening. "An indefinite credit," they called it.

I racked the phone and then I stewed. And I stewed and I stewed and I stewed stewed stewed. I stewed about prostitutes and live hundred dollars. I got so mad that I wanted to holler. How was I to know that this nefarious business was more up and up than its rap had presented'?

And then there was that debt that I now so resented. Five hundred dollars for five minutes of infamy? Did they really think they could do that to me? I turned on the television and I paced the room, all the while not realizing that I was under the boom. That five hundred charge had exceeded my credit line and now I was staying in this hotel on borrowed time. It all seemed so hopeless! There was nothing to do but stew and stew and stew and stew.

The thought stayed with me all night. There was only one thing I could think of. A word lit in neon bursting through my troubled mind. R-E-F-U-N-D. Of course, they'd refund my money! it was like ordering a pizza and only getting an empty box. I could give back maybe, say, fifty dollars if they weren't willing to give back the full amount since Candice did make the effort, after all.

As soon as the alarm went off the next morning, I was on the phone leaving a message at the service. When I got back from my daily grind there was no message on my voicemail. Uh-oh. I called again. Still no answer. Another message left. A few more hours. Another call. Yet another message. An hour longer. A human voice!

Before I could even begin my tale I was told that there was a "no refund" policy. I warned the woman on the other end of the line that, before she jumped to any hasty conclusions, she should speak to her manager. There was an unsatisfied customer on the other end of the line. "Call me hack once you get the full story." I told her.

And call me back she did. What ensued was one of the most heated and pointless arguments I've ever had. I was informed that I was morally corrupt that I had offended Candice by calling her a hooker (I did no such thing), and the real kicker was that I was now being blackmailed.

Yes. I should have known after all the chiding Candice did for me to explain "exactly" what I wanted to do with her that something fishy was going on. Though I am relying on hearsay, I was told that Candice was wired. Flaunting this "incriminating" tape, the woman on the other end of the phone (who claimed to be a manager) sat in judgment upon my case telling me that if I tried to renege on my five hundred dollar charge the tape would he given not only to my credit card company who, she assured me, would prosecute me for fraud) hut that a copy would find its way to my wife. That last hit drew a chuckle from me and I wondered if I could mask it as a sob, suddenly breaking down into a crying jag about my poor dead wife who suffered years of agony from ovarian cancer before passing away. I figured that way, both of us could be liars.

I suddenly felt akin to John DeLaurean and Marion Barry. I wondered if Linda Tripp was on the other end of the line.

She couldn't seem to understand that I had been under a false impression by no fault of my own that escorts provide sexual favors. Why else would a man shell out hundreds of dollars to a woman? It might he viewed as pathetic to pay for sex but it's far worse to pay for none. How could I be penalized for a general social assumption? Moreover, what would have happened if I had paid in cash, would she have taken the money, sapped me with a blackjack and headed for the hills?

I tried in vain to explain my position that no services had been rendered nor would any service ever he rendered and, thus, to charge five hundred dollars for nothing would be ludicrous. Whenever I got close to completing this argument, she would begin impugning my character and defending poor Candice. In addition, each mention of the word "refund" brought a renewed exhortation of "fraud." I finally had to ask her if she would ever cease being unreasonable. When she assured me she wouldn't I simply stated the word "refund" and hung up.

There was an uncomfortable silence in my room in the seconds that followed my slamming the receiver to its base. My mind was still racing. I quickly surmised that I have been completely fucked and not in a good way. Even being proverbially "fucked in the ass" would have provided at least some prostate stimulation. No, I was facing a pain far worse that of economic plight. My balancing act of credit cards has failed. The five hundred dollars put my one card over the limit while I waited for another card to do a balance transfer. I bad the front desk of the hotel calling me on a regular basis and was forced to fend off a bellhop sent to my room who informed me, ever so gently, that I needed to get this matter straightened out. I feared that I might end up headline for those aforementioned hills myself. I wondered if John Kennedy's eternal flame could keep me warm. I doubted I could find out. However, since I probably lacked the funds to get over to Arlington.

So, when you're in Washington D.C., you're looking for a good time, and you don't want to he ripped off again don't call 703-222-4385. Nevertheless, if you want three hours of company and you can't find anyone to hang out with, feel free to use my credit. Just ask for Candice.


Mollena said...

This doesn't make any sense to me.

They are skirting the edge of legality, and charge-backs to adult services have a very high success rate.

Had you called the credit card company and reported the card stolen immediately, the card would have been frozen and you would not have been liable for the charge.

Louis Friend said...

I was young and foolish then (I feel old and foolish now).