Kelly is wearing an eighties-style dress, all geometric shapes and latitudinous shoulders. She is hooking up with a 20-year-old male model but he’s not here tonight and she’s got her eye out for something else. Girls like her are either dating older men with money or young and good-looking ones without. There is a stupendous symmetry to this. The rich old men want to be young and good-looking and the young ones want to be rich, but both are sleeping with the same girl.
Now Kelly gets up, first her shoulders and then the rest of her. “Where are you going?” says Parker. She mutters something unintelligible. She’s wasted. Parker smirks and says, “She’s trading up.” Later, Parker will see her leaving The Box, being escorted out of The Box, rather, by security. She will be crying and angry and her dress will look like it needs a rest.
Also at CV that night is Parker’s friend Ricardo Garcia, a former hedge-fund guy turned PR guy and a promoter on the side. For him, it’s less a way to make money than it is a sweet gig with benefits.
Garcia says everyone is aware of how it works. “American girls, I take them out to a nice restaurant,” he says, “to the cool clubs, and they’re satisfied with that. That’s what they get out of it. American girls are looking at the kind of wine you order. But Russian girls, they’re after the serious shit. They want the Mercedes. Out at dinner, they’re plotting ahead. They’re calculating. They’re professional.”
Most of the foreign girls come from “bootleg” modeling agencies. Places nobody has heard of, or maybe a friend has taken some shots of them in their Brighton Beach one-bedroom. Fembot-pink bras and crappy lighting. “Money-hungry Russian girls go to the Boom Boom Room looking for serious bank,” says Garcia. “They say they’re students or models, but you ask them what agency and they say, ‘Oh, I don’t like talking about that.’ American girls are not as obvious. They pinpoint banker guys, they’re looking more for marriage or boyfriends. Maybe Italian girls and German girls will go to Cipriani Downtown.”
“Oh, Cipriani is a fucking haven,” says another guy at the table. “It’s the No. 1 spot in Manhattan for hookers and half-hookers.” The difference between hookers and half-hookers is that the former will ask for money straight away, and the latter will ask for gifts. They follow the money as the money follows the seasons along the worldwide circuit of bottle service. St. Barts in December, Miami in March, Las Vegas in May. In New York, half-hookers hang out at steak places like Del Frisco’s. Or the Friday-night parties at Le Cirque.
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.
“There is no nightly prostitution” for the half-hookers, says Garcia. “It’s a weekly thing, or a monthly thing. And when both sides have gotten what they want, they move on.” Unlike with true escorts and some bottle girls, these party girls won’t admit what they’re doing. This is because most of them can’t admit it to themselves. Some girls are looking for husbands. Rich ones, but yes, they are looking to settle down. Garcia takes out his phone and shuffles to a picture of a gorgeous Swedish blonde. He says she was getting too expensive, asking for rent money. “I had to send her home.” Andrew Parker’s friend had to pay a girl to leave. She was squatting at his apartment, they weren’t even having sex anymore. “She wanted twenty grand,” he says. “They settled on ten.”
In the post-Woods era, girls will be looking for more—perhaps even the ultimate cash-in, to become $10 million babies.