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xmag.com : July 2001:

If a group of sex workers got together and custom-designed the ideal advocate, they would come up with Veronica Monet. A sexy, petite 41-year-old (she's not shy about her age or almost anything else, for that matter), this Oregon native has become one of the most visible faces in America for the world's oldest profession. Sophisticated, well-read, well-spoken and possessing a sharp wit, this famous escort comes across as an articulate feminist--that you or I would gladly give thousands of dollars to for sex.

A 4.0 student in her teens, Monet was home-schooled by conservative fundamentalist parents. After graduating from O.S.U. with a degree in business and a minor in psychology, Monet came upon her career epiphany while working in radio sales. Her boss kept sending her out to clients more interested in spending sperm than dollars. Her female charms had considerably more appeal than the station's format. And then it hit her: "I was marketing the wrong product," is how Monet puts it.

Since the late '80s, Monet has been building up not only her client list and bank balance, but also a varied resume. The eloquent escort has appeared on shows like 20/20 and Politically Incorrect as well as the college lecture circuit, contributed to two books and written another, and produced her own videos. Between piloting a private plane, scuba diving and trips to the spa, Monet lives the kind of life that is usually reserved for arm-candy babes in Jean-Claude Van Damme movies.

Warm yet professional and clear-headed (she doesn't drink or do drugs), this woman obviously takes care of herself, and as a result looks like she can probably not only ask for a five-figure fee without blinking, but can probably continue to do so for another ten years. Exotic spoke recently with this self-described "courtesan" by phone from her home in San Francisco.

 

Exotic: What kind of childhood did you have?

Veronica Monet: Well, my family was super-religious, so every day I had to pray for 20 minutes and read the Bible for 20 minutes. I had read the Bible cover-to-cover by the time I was 12, and I had to memorize chapter-and-verse on flash cards.

Exotic: So, you basically grew up as one of Ned Flanders' kids?

Monet: Well, it was more my mother. Dad wasn't into the religious aspect of it, but he didn't want the "bad influence" of public school. I always say that right-wing religious groups turn out more prostitutes than anybody else, because most of my friends come from the same background.

Exotic: At your speaking engagements, what's the most-often-asked question from women?

Monet: The first thing that comes to mind is they want to know how do I screen my clients and how do I get them. Now, if that's not a telling statement...Men want to know where my website is so that they can find me. Women in particular are usually moved by my conversations about how women get stigmatized with the whole "madonna/whore" thing. Then I get up there and say, "Hey, I'm wearing the label 'whore,'" and even if I go into another career and do something else, I'm going to continue to wear the label 'whore' because that has really hurt and damaged women's lives. I've been surprised, too, because a lot of times it's said that women don't like prostitutes because they're seen as competition...but women love me.

Exotic: If a woman says they want to do what you do, and want your advice, what do you tell them?

Monet: I tell them I'm in a position where I can absolutely, positively not give you any advice at all. How to do it, how not to do it; I can't even tell you that you should or shouldn't do it. The reason being: The law reads that if I commit an act of prostitution it's a misdemeanor. If I help another human being to commit

an act of prostitution, it's a felony...and the only misdemeanor I commit is prostitution. I'm very clear on that, and being in the public sphere it's incredibly important that I never deviate from that; even with my close girlfriends. It's traditional in this business to do this thing called "doubles," where you work with a girlfriend, or refer your clients to a girlfriend. I can't engage in any of that, so I work completely alone; I never share any information or resources with anyone. I don't want anything I say or do to be construed as a felony. And I say to them that if this disturbs you, then please remember that when you go to the polls.

Exotic: When the mainstream media does a story on you, is there an obvious preconceived image they're trying to reinforce?

Monet: The media always wants to go in one of two directions: very glamorous or very depraved. So they either want to paint my life as being somehow removed from day-to-day reality and therefore a big fantasy, or, they want to find all the dirt and make it somehow directly related to my profession. Nothing I do or say is just because I am human. Everything is about the sex trade. Of course, in reality, sex workers are just normal people. We may like our jobs more than most people, but we still live normal lives. One time, a movie director that had approached me to fund his movie (I did not, by the way) ran into me in the dentist's office. He was so embarrassed and flustered and wanted to know why I was there. Before I could answer his ridiculous question, he said, "Oh, I suppose you have to go to the dentist too, huh?" Duh!

Exotic: When you do your taxes, what do you put down for your occupation?

Monet: Exactly what I do: writer/consultant. This is a form of consulting. [Laughs] I had a girlfriend who used to call herself a physical trainer; and she was!

Exotic: Could you describe your typical daily/monthly schedule? Monet: As an escort, I get to spend a lot of time pampering myself with massages, pedicures, manicures, bikini waxes and appointments with my hair stylist. Of course, gym time is mandato-ry— at least 5 days a week. In order to give each client the focused and intense attention he deserves when he spends top dol-lar, an escort should not see too many men. Quality is what counts, not quantity. I am unique in that I also spend a lot of time writing and on lecture tours. The rest of my time is spent in luxurious hotel rooms, five-star restaurants, day spas and airports waiting for my next flight to depart.

Exotic: What country has the most gentlemanly clients, and which has the least?
Monet: Men from Japan are the most polite and gracious, hands down. They are also generous and grateful. American men have too much to prove—either macho or performance-oriented—so often they can’t enjoy themselves fully. Most young Russian men love to talk shit about America. Men from India are gentle and sweet, if a bit awkward and shy. Men from Britain are very polite and straightforward. Men from other European countries vary drastically. There are always exceptions, but cultural influences are much bigger predictors of behavior than race or gender.

Exotic: Do you have clients that require special costuming?

Monet: Latex fetish, shoe fetish, cross-dressing, some S/M play all require cos-tumes and equipment. I wear a size 34B bra, 7M shoes and size 4 dress, if you would like to buy me something special to wear! I get lots of clothing as gifts. It ensures I will be wearing what turns that man on the most and it shows incredi-ble class on his part.

Exotic: Who has been your oldest client?

Monet: I’m a little too spunky for most older clients. I have a couple who are retired and in their 60s. Hardly cause for concern; they are usually very fit and athletic. Most of my clients are younger—ages 25 to 50 on average. Lots of col-lege cuties looking for lessons in love and married men with at least two chil-dren looking for a jump-start in the romance department.

Exotic: When you were starting out, did you have any rough experiences?

Monet: The worst thing that happened was when a young man took his money back. I went to take a shower, and the money was in my bag. Somehow he got in there and got his money out while I had my head turned for three seconds. I didn’t know it until I got home and saw I had no money. So, I put on a three-piece suit, grabbed a briefcase and went down to where he worked. He didn’t know I knew where he worked. I had a boyfriend at the time who was a male stripper. He was really buff, and had big biceps, and he wore an athletic shirt and some workout gloves; so he kind of looked like a badass when he went with me. When we got there, I told his receptionist, “I have a meeting with Mr. (So-and- So), would you please ring him?” He opened the door, took one look at me and started to run. I grabbed his hand, pulled on it and said to him, “I’m sure you know why I’m here.” He said, “I don’t have it here;” and I said, “No prob-lem, we’ll wait.” He went to the bank and came back and that was that.

Exotic: What happens when a client falls in love with you?

Monet: When a client falls in love, I try to remind him that if he really wanted everything that comes with committed relationships, he would not have called me from an ad and handed me a wad of cash. I remind him that he is looking for something a lot more fun than nagging and divorce court. That usually brings them back to their senses and then the fun continues!

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