The authors of Freakonomics, pimping their next book, regale Sunday Times [UK] readers with the heart-warming tale of Allie, a prostitute with a heart of gold and a Visa card to match. The authors mention the precautions she takes to keep herself safe from her clients, her frustration with keeping her occupation secret from her family and friends, and her realization that she had to move into a completely different career before she lost her looks. In the midst of all that, the authors declare:
[T]he real puzzle isn’t why someone like Allie becomes a prostitute, but rather why more women don’t choose this career.
Jonathan Kulick gives this the snark it richly deserves:
I look forward to reading the entire chapter, so I can find out why more men don’t choose to become high-end gay escorts. It has to be much easier than waiting tables or accounting or laying pipe.
I, personally, am puzzled as to why the Freakonomists are so puzzled by the choices of non-prostitute women, but treat the johns’ motivation as self-evident. The vast majority of men who hire $500-an-hour prostitutes can also afford enough therapy and what-not to become attractive to the women who seek, ahem, noncommercial romantic relationships. If they’re not getting those relationships, well, that says something about their capabilities and priorities, doesn’t it?
Personally, if I had to choose between waiting tables for $10 an hour and pretending to love creepy men for $500, I’d go for the tables.