Media appearance in Lianhe Zaobao (联合早报)

I'm so happy to announce that not too long ago, I was featured in Lianhe Zaobao (联合早报), Singapore's most prolific Chinese newspaper read nationwide. I couldn't be happier or more flattered by how the interview came out. 

Page 6 of the Zaobao issue dated 26 March!

Page 6 of the Zaobao issue dated 26 March!

Here is the translation of the entire interview: 

Title: College student pursues social escorting because of her desire to be financially independent

Not everyone chooses to be a social escort/pursue a career in the sex industry because it is their last and only option. Rebecca, a 20 year old local college student is one such example defying this stereotype. She is from a typical upper-middle class family, and she doesn't have to worry about her daily necessities like food and shelter. She chose to be a sugar baby by becoming the exclusive companion to a sugar daddy who agreed to pay her $2000 allowance every month in order to maintain this one-on-one relationship with her. Six months into the arrangement, Rebecca felt drained by the intense emotional labour required of her by her sugar daddy and decided to call it quits, to leave the sugar bowl and become a social escort instead. 

So why does she want to be a companion? Rebecca says: "If you're good at something, never do it for free. There will always be a demand/need for companions. The clients that I meet are typically successful people who are well-mannered and know how to appreciate and treat their beautiful companions. Our relationship/connection is more straightforward and simpler than that of a sugar baby and sugar daddy. There aren't any extra requirements/emotional attachments being expected beyond the date itself. The monetary rewards of this profession are high, it's a great way to earn extra income." You can sense the confidence radiating from her designer spectacle-clad eyes.

At the very beginning, Rebecca started escorting via an escort agency. Soon, she learned that being an independent companion allowed her more freedom and control, along with keeping all the money she made without having to pay an agent for it. She has invested a lot of time to re-launch herself as an independent companion, studying the dynamics of the escort industry, with online research as well as networking with other more established foreign escorts. She eventually chose to have brand new photoshoots and designed her own website to fortify her presence and brand. Her dedication and professionalism rival those who choose to launch start-ups. 

Advanced Screening of Client Information: In order to protect her own privacy and maintain confidentiality as a companion without compromising her real identity, Rebecca has chosen to not have any personal social media accounts of her own. Prospective clients can only reach Rebecca via her secure online form found on her site. She says her typical client is between 30-50 years old, and have achieved relative success in the fields they are in. About 70% of her clientele are foreigners/non-Singaporeans. Rebecca's companionship rates start from $550 per hour, while a 24 hour rate can reach $4,500. 

"I'm selective about who I see and I make sure to read my clients' information and understand their preferences thoroughly before I proceed to accept them as a new client. If I don't feel safe/secure about a particular client, or sense that a client could potentially be demanding/high-maintenance, I will choose to decline their requests to meet for a date." Rebecca's rejection is about 50% and perhaps it is because of her thorough screening that is part of the reason why Rebecca has yet to meet a terrible client. 

When asked about her earnings as a companion, Rebecca paused a bit, and reflected that her annual minimum profit goal is $35,000 and it is an achievable figure for her to reach a few months into being a companion. She has also chosen to control her spending on luxury brands, and simply favours clothes that would look good on her and fit her style and budget. "My earnings are sufficient to cover my expenses now, and I don't have anything to complain about. I chose to be an escort so that I can achieve economic independence in the long run so that I don't have to worry about my finances in the future." Rebecca's occupation is kept unknown to her family members. 

Many people insinuate that it is easy to become a companion and earn lots of money. Rebecca immediately sits up and adjusts her posture when faced with such a generalisation, and seemed to be annoyed by these comments. She recalls, "A classmate of mine joked about becoming a social escort if she couldn't find a job in the future. But she's not even qualified to be one in the first place! Being in this profession, one must be very strong emotionally, while maintaining your sanity without having your boundaries pushed. Boundaries should be respected by the client, and definitely enforced by the escort. I am put in a very vulnerable position when you are in a private room with a stranger, and it is a delicate balance to keep the client happy and make him enjoy himself without having my own boundaries violated. Another aspect of companionship is to listen to your clients and their stories like a genuine close friend would, and this also takes a high emotional toll on the escort." 

After being a companion, Rebecca has developed into a person with a stronger sense of self-identity and has become more opinionated, better at reading people and has become more adept at declining less-than-desirable invitations from unwanted men. Rebecca admits that it will be increasingly difficult for her to have a typical boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, because her successful clients and the affection that she has received from her clients have elevated her requirements for a boyfriend. It is rather difficult to find a boyfriend who is a mature and successful person with the financial security at levels Rebecca has now become accustomed to, which is similar to the clients that she has. 

Rebecca has chosen to prioritise her college studying over providing companionship for now, as being an escort is just a part-time side gig. Rebecca predicts that she would look for and secure a normal job after graduating from college, and will likely reduce her escorting availability to existing regulars only or just stop escorting altogether. "If there was a perfect job where rating it a 10 is a perfect score, I would give escorting an 8. How many people are truly happy with their jobs? Being a young woman is an advantage and no one will be 20 forever. Why not seize the moment that youth has afforded us, maximise my capabilities and all the benefits it could potentially bring for me?" Rebecca concluded our interview with this reflection. 

PS. I am very seriously considering visiting London, as well as accepting fly-me-to-you requests in from December 2017 till mid-January 2018. If any of my readers are interested, please reach out to me on Twitter or via my contact form! :)