Hong Kong Escort Girls
Interview with a Hong Kong Escort
It was 4 o'clock on a Sunday afternoon when I arrived at Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station in Hong Kong's Kowloon peninsula. Meimei had texted me when I was still on the train, telling me she would be waiting at exit B1. When I got there I began looking for her among the crowds of passengers coming in and out of the station.
I wasn't sure how she - a young Hong Kong escort girl - might look like. I had imagined her as extraordinarily beautiful. I thought she would have an aggressive, sexy outfit. Girls wearing hot clothes are a common sight on the streets of Hong Kong. I believed that an escort had to look sexier and prettier than average girls.
Picture of Meimei
When I finally found her, I was quite surprised. She was a normal, pretty and cute young girl. She was far from fitting my stereotype. She wore a simple white, short-sleeved top and light-blue mini-shorts. Her hair was dyed brown and her skin was remarkably white and smooth. She seemed to be the type of girl men would like to have as their girlfriend. Only her full lips - perhaps the result of plastic surgery - were somewhat at odds with her cute appearance.
We shook hands. She avoided looking into my eyes. Her cheeks were slightly blushed. I realized that she was nervous. I hadn't thought that an escort might feel agitated because of a simple interview. I suddenly became nervous, too. "Where should we go?" I asked her. She pointed at the exit, forced a smile and began walking without answering my question.
The idea of interviewing an escort girl came to me a few weeks before I travelled from Taiwan to Hong Kong. Recently I've been receiving more and more messages from girls on social network websites who at first seem to be interested in language exchange or friendship, and then turn out to be escorts. Some of them invited me to click on links with their pictures, some told me that their parents were experiencing financial difficulties and they were looking for a rich husband or boyfriend, others again plainly ask me if I "needed" them.
Particularly shocking to me was the case of a 21-year-old girl from Taipei who created a profile on a famous social network in order to advertise herself. She stated to be "a college student and a part-time prostitute." She looked very young and cute. Her straight-forwardness about what she does for a living surprised me. I started thinking about what was on that girl's mind, when she began doing this and how she felt about it.
I made some research online and found out that the phenomenon of college students working as prostitutes originated in Japan, where it is known as "enjo kosai", or compensated dating. Enjo kosai isn't exactly prostitution, because it doesn't necessarily involve sex. It can be compared to what geishas do: they entertain, engage men in role play and stimulate the fantasy of their customers. Nevertheless, in practice compensated dating often ends in sexual intercourse. After a scandal in the 1990's, Japanese and Western media became aware of the phenomenon, which soon spread to neighbouring countries, especially Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea. Girls who were interviewed mostly mentioned as their motive the desire for money, brand clothes and expensive electronic products such as mobile phones. At the beginning, telephone services were the commonest platforms to find girls for compensated datings. But it was with the rise of the internet and social media that the phenomenon of enjo kosai literally exploded. Girls just needed an internet connection to find as many clients as they wanted.
Taipei is said to be conservative and prude. However, when you observe it more carefully you realize that sex is all around, and it's cheap to get. As I learnt from friends, there are webpages where young girls of exceptional beauty advertise their services. There are bars and massage parlours where you can get more than what the signboards suggest. There are plenty of illegal establishments in dark alleys that you can enter only through a friend's recommendation. This secret world fascinated me, and I wanted to know what motivate these girls.