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escort strategies to stay out of legal trouble

posted May 14, 2019, 1:55 AM by Nikki Rain

First I would like to answer a very important question:

Are escorts legal? Yes, escorts are legal.

How so? Escorts, unlike prostitutes, are paid for their time and companionship. Anything that happens within this time is a private matter of consenting adults. One of the challenges of escorting is staying within the limits of escorting, and the text below helps define these limits.

As an escort, not only are you looking to promote your business, but you’re also looking for ways to ensure that you and your business do not catch the eye of the legal authorities.

Being an escort is not illegal, and you are not breaking any laws by performing escort-related services. However, any acts of prostitution or solicitation of acts of prostitution is illegal in most of the United States. Other countries are generally more relaxed about prostitution and have friendlier laws concerning the activity.

Blatantly breaking laws is one way to get yourself in trouble. The differences between escorting and prostitution are sometimes subtle, but with some thought, consideration and common sense, you should be able to keep yourself out hot water and operating a successful business.

1. Create a contract
Write a contract that briefly describes your business. It should inform the client that your personal services are related exclusively to modeling or exchanging time as a companion for a fee. This contract should outline that anything outside of the personal services you have detailed are instances of personal choice or preference between two or more consenting adults of legal age and not for compensation in any way or form nor are contractable now or in the future.By creating a contract, you specifically define your role as an escort and exclude anything that is illegal. Require each client to sign it before services are rendered. Clients are usually happily inclined to sign such a contract, as it works to protect them from future discrepancies with the authorities, as well.
2. Ask for a donation
If you are uncomfortable with the idea of a contract for your business, use a donation method. Remember that most states define prostitution as accepting money as compensation for sexual services delivered to another person. To avoid the compensation debacle altogether, ask for a contribution or donation for your personal services as an escort. Do not refer to the charge as a fee or cost.
3. How to accept money
As an escort, you will be accepting money for your time. The best way to accept a donation is to have a small table near your apartment door, if you are working from your own apartment. As your client enters, ask him or her to leave the money in an envelope on the table. Ask them, “Do you have an envelope for me? Just leave it on the table there, please!” At that point, suggest that they “freshen up” in the washroom. As he or she is in the washroom, quickly examine what has been left for you. In this fashion, you have deniability about the direct transfer of money for your services.A different situation arises if you are visiting a client in a hotel room or other location. Keep in mind that some clients will be very uncomfortable with going into the washroom and leaving an escort alone in their hotel room with their belongings. This is completely understandable, as you both are strangers. A strategy to avoid this awkward situation is to request the client to place the envelope in a location that’s right next to the washroom. As you ask them to enter the washroom, say, “Feel free to keep the door cracked open so you can hear me right here. I’ll be coming in 30 seconds; I just need to check something first.”
4. Familiarize yourself with the law
Read up on state law concerning prostitution and other related violations. Knowledge is power, and the more you know the better you can protect yourself from legal trouble. As an escort, you should clearly understand what prostitution means in your state.
5. Become a masseuse
Instead of calling yourself an escort, become a masseuse. Massages are legal in all 50 states in the U.S. and are easy to advertise. It is generally very easy to become a masseuse in each state, with limited licensing formality. Being a masseuse also helps in regard to creating a contract. However, read up on any laws that may concern contact with another individual. Your massage descriptions should avoid discussion of erotic massage or massages involving the genital or intimate areas on an individual.
6. Pay Uncle Sam
One of the easiest ways to attract legal attention to yourself and your business is to fail to file taxes and report income. The IRS can easily track everyone down, and by not paying taxes you may be waving a red flag in their eyes.File taxes and report your income as compensation for rendering personal services. Personal assistants, housekeepers and cosmetologists report income for personal services for other people; and, you can, too.

The downside to this strategy is that you must pay taxes. However, every legitimate business is required to pay taxes, and as an escort, remember that you are running this type of business.

7. Avoid street walking
Never take your business to the street. By standing on a street corner, hovering around a bus station or hanging out at a truck stop, you might as well be telling a police officer that you are a prostitute. The message is very clear to law enforcement officers when they see someone loitering and stopping passers-by. It is much safer and simpler to promote your escort business online.
8. Go big city
Move your business to a large city. It’s much easier to fly under the radar and go unnoticed if you’re working in a large, metropolitan city. With cities that have populations of 750,000 or more, you’re less likely to attract attention.Additionally, large population means a larger potential client base, plus you will be less likely to run into someone you know.
9. Don’t proposition
Escorts should never start the conversation about business. Always allow the client to bring up requests, money offers and anything else that should be discussed prior to doing business. By making the offer or explaining the details, you may break prostitution solicitation laws, which can cause you problems.
10. Stay quiet
Keep your career choice quiet. There’s no need to share what you do with everyone. The fewer people who know what you really do, the better. Even though people may not mean any harm, information can sometimes be incidentally shared with the wrong person or in the wrong company. By keeping mum about your career, you reduce the chances of any legal backlash.
11. Become a legitimate business
Register with your city or municipality and state for a small business license and obtain an escort permit. After completely filling out all paperwork, you will receive a business ID number and the legitimacy of being a real business. Worries about your escort business being found to be illegal are lessened when the city and state both recognize your business as legal.Of course, just because you have a legal license does not mean you are above the law. You should still operate your business cautiously and with subtleness.
No guarantees
There is no guarantee that following any of these strategies will shield you from all legal risks involved in working as an escort. It is important to always be cautious, not reveal more than necessary, and to refuse service to anyone if something doesn’t feel right.

Interview with a lawyer: Tips for an escort to stay legal

 Mr. Shanon Gray is an attorney at Gray Law, a Portland, OR-based firm that handles criminal defense cases, including prostitution. Mr. Gray would like to preface this interview by making it clear that none of this is intended as legal advice, but merely responses to general questions.

What jurisdiction does your advice apply to?
I am licensed in the State of Oregon. I am not familiar with other state laws on prostitution and escort services.
If it’s very local, are there general guidelines across the United States?
Each state has its own laws and most of these offenses will not be federal offenses (unless you get into sex trafficking) . The Feds may also get interested if there are large amounts of money being exchanged and/or services that are being performed across state lines.
Does asking a client “are you a police officer” help escorts in any way?
Not sure how it would help as the police officer is not going to tell you he is a cop.
Does having a disclaimer in an ad along the lines of “I offer escort services and not prostitution services” protect the poster in any way? Especially if a poster later agrees to have sex within the time limits of their encounter?
The disclaimer would help you at trial (looking like a legitimate business) if you were charged with prostitution. Although there will probably be additional evidence of prostitution (johns’ testimony, etc…) in order for the District Attorney’s office to issue the case.
Would having a client sign a contract stating “Payment is for my services as an escort only and not for sex” (prior to the session), protect an escort in any way?
Contracts are fine and give the impression of a legitimate business although using the terminology (“and not for sex”) above alludes to the notion that something sexual may happen.
Does accepting money directly from a client, vs having it being placed on a table, and then picking it up a bit later offer any protection? Is there a suggested way of going about accepting money as an escort that would minimize legal exposure?
Placement of money is one of those issues that cuts both ways. If you accept the money directly from the client then you would have a hard time challenging the notion that you did not know what the money was for especially if sex was involved, if sex wasn’t involved then it looks like you are running a business. I don’t know of any legitimate business that you go in and set money down. You don’t buy coffee that way. If money is just set down then you could argue that you did not know what it was for and maybe thought it was a tip or something. But it also looks fishy in front of a jury, because that’s how prostitutes get paid.
What steps should an escort take if a client suddenly says that he/she is a police officer in the middle of a session?
I advise all of my clients when contacted by the police to not make any statements or say anything at all. Nothing that you say is going to help you out. I also advise people to get an attorney immediately if contacted by the police in any way. Police will tell you anything you want to hear in order to get a statement. The police cannot guarantee any outcome of the case, because they don’t have the power to decide if the case gets issued or not, that is the District Attorney’s office. You can always cooperate later once they cut you a deal.
Anything else that you think people out there should know, but mostly don’t?
Prostitution is illegal and should not be done. Escort services ( paying for a social or business companion) are part of our society and can be a very lucrative business. The more open you are with your business and the more you conduct your self like a business the less attention you will draw to yourself. It is not illegal for two consensual adults to have sex. Being very clear about the services you offer and controlling your clients (potential police officers) expectations is the key.


As you can see based on Mr. Gray’s answers, establishing your escort services as a legitimate business is your best bet when it comes to staying out of legal trouble. Be discreet, do your best to avoid anything that could be incriminating and seek professional legal advice if you run into trouble.

Some good ways to start:

  • Familiarize yourself with your state’s prostitution law
  • Register your escort business
  • Consider obtaining an massage therapy license
  • And begin paying taxes on your escort income or at least some of it


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