RATES for social escort services vary greatly.
The New Paper on Sunday spoke to 22 agencies offering such services here and found that rates range from $200 to $2,000 an hour for escort services only.
Any additional charges, such as a discreet encounter, is charged separately.
Bigger players such as Social Escort Singapore and Singapore Exquisite Social Escort Services typically charge higher rates, from $1,000 an hour.
Fees for mid-range players start from $500 an hour, while the rest can go as low as $200.
Naturally, much depends on the "quality" of the girls offered - models and flight attendants typically command higher rates.
The owner of Singapore Model Escorts, who wanted to be known only as William, said that the most expensive booking it had was a $25,000 three-day trip to Maldives.
"It's about exclusiveness," he added.
Trips to Bali
But overseas assignments for social escorts are not common, he said.
Mr Prince Wong, owner of Singapore Escort Services, said his company arranges overseas trips in South-east Asia, "usually in Bali, because it's easy to get the visa and no one knows them and it's also a more romantic location".
Claiming his company offers "starlets and actresses", he added: "No one there would recognise an Asian actress, just like how you would not recognise a top-notch Indonesian businessman."
Clients willing to pay top dollar are usually professionals, elite businessmen and young entrepreneurs in their late 20s who have successful companies, he said.
"(But) the majority of our clients are lawyers and bankers," he added.
William pointed out how his agency charged "easily $25,000 for a few nights".
"It sounds crazy...but there are people who are happy to pay such prices."
Mr Wong, who claims that his agency works with top Asian models and actresses from Hong Kong and Taiwan, said prices can go up to $8,000 an hour.
The owner of Velvet 6 Management, who wanted to be known only as Bob, said there's no standard rate for escort services.
If anything, the prices only serve as a deterrent for those who can't afford it, he said.
Bob added: "Those who can afford will still call up."
He also said that perception of "class" is in the client's mind.
Bob, whose company has been in business for five years, charges $450 per hour for companionship to events, with an additional $250 for each subsequent hour.
While Mr Wong works with escorts from an international background, William chooses his from among women here.
He said: "We chose girls based on their CV (curriculum vitae).
"For example, if they were cover girls on popular men's magazines, then they command a higher price."
Other attributes include clear clean skin, clean straight teeth, a nice smile and a friendly personality.
Agency owners we spoke to said the girls usually approach them to be a social escort.
Mr Wong said: "They apply, we don't advertise, except on our website."
Out of the total amount that a social escort makes, the agency takes a cut of 35 per cent to 40 per cent.
Bob said: "Other companies have a 60-40 arrangement, where the agency takes 40 per cent of the takings. But we take only 35 per cent due to competition."
As to what the services entail, Bob said that the escorts are expected to provide companionship and converse with the client.
Sometimes, they might have to accompany the client to a room too.
"But what they do after that is none of my business. Nobody forces anybody into a room," Bob stressed.
Despite the big bucks, not all escorts stay on.
He said: "It is a rolling parade. The people we have need the money such as they face financial difficulties or want to help their families out.
"So when they have paid off their debts, they just drop off."