“It was my birthday,” Natalia remembers. “I’d just been cast as Ingrid Superstar in this play, Andy & Edie. I wanted to be Edie, but Misha Sedgwick, Edie’s niece, also wanted it, so forget that. I was eating in a restaurant with Peter Beard, the photographer. I was a kind of party girl for a while. I met Peter one night, and we hit it off. He said I should meet this guy Jason.”
Beard, a nocturnal bon vivant known for his “discovery” of exotic models like Iman, and who had been associated with Jason during the SoHo Models episode, warned Natalia off Itzler’s new venture. Eventually, however, Natalia decided to give Jason a call. “Being an escort never crossed my mind. It wasn’t something girls like me did. I was an actress. From a very nice home. But I was involved in an abusive relationship, with this Wall Street guy,” she says. “In the beginning, all I wanted was enough money to move out.”
Jason says, “When Natalia came over with Peter, I said, Wow, she’s so hot. She has one of the all-time great tushes. But there was this other girl there, too. Samantha. When she took off her shirt, she had these amazing breasts. So it was Natalia’s butt against Samantha’s boobies. I went with the tits. But when Natalia came back from making a movie, she moved in with us. Samantha could tell I was kind of more into Natalia. So we became boyfriend and girlfriend.”
At the time, Jason’s top girl was Cheryl, a striking blonde ballroom dancer from Seattle who says she got into the business to buy her own horse. “I did NY Confidential’s first date,” Cheryl recalls. “I had on my little black dress and was shaking like a leaf. Jason was nervous, too. He said, ‘Just go up there and take your clothes off.’ I told him, ‘No, you’ve got to make it romantic. Special.’ ”
It was Cheryl who came up with the mantra Jason would later instruct all the NY Confidential girls to repeat, “three times,” before entering a hotel room to see a client: “This is my boyfriend of six months, the man I love, I haven’t seen him for three weeks . . . This is my boyfriend of six months, the man I love . . . ”
“That’s the essence of the true GFE, the Girlfriend Experience,” says Jason. As opposed to the traditional “no kissing on the mouth” style, the GFE offers a warmer, fuzzier time. For Jason, who says he never hired anyone who’d worked as an escort before, the GFE concept was an epiphany. “Men see escorts because they want to feel happier. Yet most walk away feeling worse than they did before. They feel dirty, full of self-hatred. Buyer’s remorse big-time. GFE is about true passion, something genuine. A facsimile of love. I told guys this was a quick vacation, an investment in the future. When they got back to their desks, they’d tear the market a new asshole, make back the money they spent at NY Confidential in an hour.
“What we’re selling is rocket fuel, rocket fuel for winners.”
Jason decided Natalia would become his great creation, the Ultimate GFE. It mattered little that Natalia, for all her French-Scottish sultriness, might strike some as a tad on the skinny side. Brown-eyed, dark-haired, olive-skinned, not to mention lactose-intolerant, she didn’t fit the usual description of a big ticket in an industry filled with PSE (Porn-Star Experience) babes with store-bought bazangas out to here. Jason took this as a challenge. If he was into Natalia, he’d make sure everyone else was, too. It was a simple matter of harnessing the available technology.
The main vehicle was the aforementioned TheEroticReview.com, “the Consumer Reports of the escort industry,” according to the site’s founder and owner, the L.A.-based Dave Elms, a.k.a. Dave@TER. “The most important thing was to break Natalia out big,” Jason says. “To get the ball rolling with a number of fabulous reviews, I sent her to some friends, to sort of grease the wheel. I knew those 10/10s would keep coming, because no man wants to admit he got less. They’re brainwashed that way.”
If any hobbyist had the temerity to hand out a paltry 8/8, or even a 9/10, he would be contacted. “Don’t break my girl’s streak, this is history in the making,” Jason cajoled, offering to throw in a couple hours of free time to get the customer to do a little recalculating. If that didn’t work, good reviews could be ensured by the $5,000 everyone working at NY Confidential (except Jason) swears was FedExed to Dave@TER on the 15th of every month. Dave, who says he “would not argue with that” when asked if he is the single most important person in the escort business, vehemently denies any payoffs, from NY Confidential or anyone else.