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Rachel Uchitel Is Not a Madam

Lisa Taddeo has a horrifying, irresistible article for New York about high end nightclubs and the nebulous sexual economy that pervades them, in which very wealthy or famous men sort-of pay to have sex, or often mere fondle, or flirt, with beautiful young women. It explores the ruthlessly efficient market in which wealth, fame and beauty all have assigned values. One takeaway from the piece is that there are numerous gradations between prostitution and gold-digging:

These kinds of girls, this is how you spot them. Garcia says, “You have to look at the discrepancy between her income and her lifestyle. These girls are going to St. Barts in May, Gstaad in winter. Their rent is three grand a month, and they don’t have a roommate. Dresses cost them $1,000, $2,000.” VIP hosts and bottle girls are half-pimps to these half-hookers, using them to keep their clients satiated. While some bottle girls will sleep with patrons, for the most part their interactions are limited to the confines of the club. Party girls are more like freelancers, and sex is their currency.
The exchange happens like this. A girl will say to a guy she has not slept with yet, but perhaps they have kissed or she’s let him touch her, “I’m short on my rent” or “There’s this dress I really want.” After sleeping with him a few times, she might say, “I need a tan. I should go to Miami.” The beauty is in the subtle gaucheness.

It's a long article, very well-written and completely fascinating.