It isn’t everyday that you meet a male escort. Taking a sip of our watered down Jack and Cokes, we listened with open ears. Maybe it was the way he told the story. Or maybe it was our subconscious mind begging for more information because at one point, we considered a stint in the profession. What could be the harm? We like sex. We like money. And we sure as hell like someone else paying for our nice dinners. Then again, could we sleep with a lady as old as Hugh Hefner? Probably not. Money is nice, but changing a client’s bed pan after sex would be the tipping point.

It should probably be known first how we met Tom. He would like to be called Tom for this story because he has aspirations of law school and becoming a criminal defense attorney. Unfortunately, having male escort on your resume doesn’t sit well with the general public. Over beers in Capital Hill district of Denver, watching the Texas vs. Nebraska Big 12 Championship, we met Tom through a friend of a friend. Meeting Tom, he had a humbled charisma that engulfed the room. Ladies flocked to him like bugs to a light. Maybe for pleasure, we don’t know.   

Tom is a Southern boy who can’t be missed. His blonde hair and blue eyes, accompanied with the six foot, six inch frame, create a figure that demands attention upon entering a room. Calm and collected, he will engage your every word like you’re the only person worth listening to – a trait that has served him well. Graduating from Ole Miss, he followed his high school sweetheart, the only girl he had ever dated, to Denver. Not four days after moving, the love story turned to hell. His “sweetheart” confronted him with the painful news that she had been cheating on him with a “ski bum” from Breck. He didn’t take it well. Pain turned to denial which then turned to anger.  Anger that could only be subdued by sleeping with one of his ex-girlfriend’s friends, filming it, and sending it to his ex via text message. The accompanying message: thanks for breaking my heart, and bringing me to the Mile High City. That felt much better.

By this time, our entourage of drunk party-goers with dry palates was in search of the next watering hole. Coincidentally, it was an Ole Miss bar called Moe’s. Take one-third Catacombs, one-third the downer, and throw in a splash of the Kitchen and you have Moe’s. An eclectic mix of older and younger patrons, all seemingly from the area. Everyone was either acquaintances or good friends. The owner worked behind the bar; giving drinks, sipping drinks, and yelling at the stupid drunks who sat in the server station. Through the chaos, there was order. Respect. We made our way to the bar. Tom gave the bartender a look of understanding. This wasn’t the first time Tom had been to this bar. Three Jager shots and three PBR’s. 

Before Tom moved to Denver, he was planning on attending law school. Between his stature, his attitude, and his ability to control the situation, law couldn’t be a more perfect occupation. In Denver, he found an internship at a local criminal defense firm. The experience was good, but the pay was non-existent. Tom needed to supplement his income. On evenings, he began working as a doorman at one of Denver’s exclusive clubs. Gorgeous women out for the night instantly took a liking to him. On one shift, a lady in her late thirties – early forties – approached Tom at the door. Her aura of confidence was overwhelming. It was simple. She liked him. She was a professional and wanted to hire Tom. But first, he would need to pass an interview. He agreed.

Moe’s was starting to get packed.

The Madame was soft spoken and relaxed. She moved about with the confidence of an industry veteran. He didn’t know what to expect. Twelve other “gents” joined Tom for an interview that consisted of wine, dinner, and dessert. She described to them the job: showing rich, working women how to relax and enjoy Denver. Sex was not required; that was decided between them and the client at a rate the escorts determined. He hesitated. It isn’t everyday that you are approached to be a male escort; as a kid you don’t aspire to this profession. As the questions ran through his head, the Madame began listing the payment potential. He was in. It was time to work.

Tom was instructed that he would receive a “request” email with either a picture of the client or a brief description. If Tom chose to accept, he would suggest a handful of places to meet, and then he would receive a list of the client’s likes/dislikes as well as a description of what she would be wearing so he could identify her for their meeting. The first email that came, he accepted.  

The nonchalant demeanor in the sound of Tom’s voice as he narrated the story was telling its own story. The story of a guy who was left hurt and confused from a horrible breakup and fell into an occupation that wasn’t necessarily him. Our enthusiastic naiveté overshadowed the fact of how he hesitated when revisiting this part of his life. He was looking to move forward. Taking this job wasn’t him. But when something as deep and painful as losing the love of your life occurs, you lose your sense of self, who you are, grasping for a remedy. For Tom, this artificial remedy came in the form of a confident woman. 

Our drinks were empty. Tom waved at the owner for another round: four SoCo and limes for his friends. While the owner was mixing up the shots, Tom leaned over to make us aware that one of the girls at the bar was a past client. Noticing Tom, she came over for a hug. Like middle schoolers observing the smooth high schooler, we watched them – our facial expressions in admiration. The drinks arrived and Tom began telling us about his first date.  

There isn’t training in this occupation. It’s not like working the deep-fryer at McDonald’s. You either get it right or you get a new job. To say the least, Tom was nervous about his first date. It probably helped that beforehand, he had consumed three glasses of wine and a Xanax to calm his nerves. He arranged to meet her at the Capital Grille downtown, a very nice, upscale restaurant. She was in a sky blue dress with what had to be two, two-karat diamond earrings. She was gorgeous.  Come to find out, she was a big whig with Wells Fargo, based out of San Francisco, and was simply in town for a weekend conference. He could get used to this. It started with cocktails and appetizers, and progressed to a club for dancing.  She was shy, but polite. It was the first time  either of them had done something like this. After the club, Tom offered to call her a cab. She informed him that her driver would be picking them up momentarily. Baffled, Tom lit a cigarette. Hooking up on the first date wasn’t something he anticipated, but it was also something he never ruled out. It came with the territory.  Her chaffeured Cadillac Escalade took them back to her room at the Brown Palace. As she headed towards the bedroom, she told Tom to make himself comfortable. The wet bar was full and Tom took advantage of it. She reappeared from the bedroom wearing a bright pink nighty. The job description had changed – for the better. The next morning, he awoke to $500 on the table, and a note that said "Thank you for an amazing time, the money is just for your hospitality, and please order breakfast in bed, and charge it to the room…on her." The first date was over and he had managed to survive.

Weekend after weekend, night after night, his boss would alert him about an incoming client: The usual when, where, and what the client did for a living. He went to weddings and birthdays. Any event that required a stand-in boyfriend, he was there. Over time, the deception began taking its toll on his conscience. Fake conversations, superficial relationships, and meaningless sex were not attributes he wanted to perfect. Again, this was only a job to supplement his income while he attended law school. Nothing more. For nine months, Tom would date more than seventy girls, dine at Denver’s top-notch restaurants, and live a double life. Law intern by day, and entertainer by night.
Tom took a sip of his half-drunk beer. In his eyes  we could see the recollections of stories amassing in his head. Like the date that ended with the client pulling him into a Starbucks’ bathroom. For 30 minutes they went at it in the women’s restroom. When they opened the door, the manager was waiting for both of them. Evidently, the Starbucks was just about to close when they showed up, and their lovemaking session delayed the employees from closing the store.
It was the final date that left him asking questions about who he wanted to be and what he wanted to do. He met her at a small bar. The fact that she was a regular made the night that much more enjoyable. Their relationship was established and a friendship had been made. At the end of the night, Tom drove her to her car in the parking garage. She offered to give him head. Thinking nothing of it, he agreed to let her do so. As she started, her husband pulled up behind them in his car. Apparently, a private detective had followed them to the bar and alerted the husband as to where they were. As the client got out to restrain her husband, he tossed her against the car. Then he ran to Tom’s side, ready to punch him through the open window. Tom closed the window just in time thinking the worst was over. The husband ran back to his car and opened his trunk. After digging through the trunk, the husband popped back up. In his hand he clutched a nine millimeter, walking towards Tom’s car. Tom threw the car into reverse, clipped the husband’s car, and sped away. He not only left the parking garage that night, but the whole industry as well. Guns were not in the job description. That wasn’t him.

It was last call. One last drink and we headed outside. The bitter cold brought the buzz to a unwelcomed halt. As we climbed into the cab, Tom opened his phone to make a call. We asked who he was calling. He laughed: “Oh, just one of my girls.”

Play on, Player.