‘I make $15K a week as a high-class male escort’
AT just 22 Jake Ryan (not his real name) started stripping and topless waiting to put himself through university.
Now five years later, the 27-year-old has put his degree in the medical field on hold, to work full-time as a high-class male escort, making up to $15,000 a week.
It's not quite where the Gold Coaster expected to find himself, but for now, he's not looking back.
He said only about 20 per cent of his work was "physical", and that most women wanted an emotional connection.
Mr Ryan lives in a luxury hotel and has a steady list of regular clients, aged between 20 and 70, who include business owners, foreign diplomats, celebrities and politicians.
Mr Ryan said he knew his industry was "taboo", but he was always honest and open about his career.
"Some of them (my family) already knew I was doing different bits and pieces," he said.
"I've always been very open about the topless waiting and stripping side of things, but obviously there's quite a taboo about escorting, that's it's dangerous or sleazy.
"Mum was very supportive, but she's always been very supportive … she said was she's going to support me and love me regardless and yeah just to be careful."
He said he hopes to have a family in the future and intends to return to his studies.
"I've put [university] off at the moment just because work demand is quite high, so I'm doing this full-time - a lot of touring, a lot of travelling from city to city," he said.
"People view escorting as just sexual-based whereas a lot of the time it's kind of emotionally and mentally healing, which is just a paradigm not quite addressed in today's society, especially for women that have been [hurt] or going through trauma," he said.
Mr Ryan, who went full-time with escorting last September, said that he could see between three to eight clients a day while touring.
"Some weeks you can earn up to $15,000, but some weeks you might make a loss, when you don't work as much, because of costs like gym, rent, that kind of thing," he said.
"It's all relative, I work my own hours. If I'm having an off day, I'll try to spend some time to myself, because I think what's understated in the industry is that you take on a lot of emotion."
He said the demand for male escorts for women is increasing in Brisbane.
"I've just watched the massive growth of people coming into the industry," he said.
"I think there has been a lot more acceptance for sexually empowering women to have that option; to have a guy come over and spend the night if they don't have the time or the patience or even the emotional availability for it.
"Things like 50 Shades of Grey has been a great catalyst, things like Magic Mike has been a great catalyst, for not only escorting but just the adult industry in general."
Despite landing in a lucrative job with lots of perks - including gifts like designer watches and expensive red wine - Mr Ryan said he doesn't know how long he'll be in the industry.
He said it was for that reason he didn't show his face in articles, or on social media accounts.
"The sex industry has a shelf life, I believe personally," he said.
"I don't know if I have a shelf-life of 10 years, but again it's all within the perspective of how well I grow, what I'm able to accomplish and how well I do with it all."