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"Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?"
—"Lady Marmalade," Moulin Rouge

She charges £600 (or $1,000) an hour, looks great in a court wig and robes, speaks several languages, knows her tort from her barratry and can charm half the High Court.

She's not a barrister, or a solicitor, she's a prostitute.

Mind you, she might be arguing cases before a court of law in a few years yet; she could well be putting herself through law school. But for the moment, she is a prostitute. Far likelier than other kinds of prostitutes to be an Ethical Slut, she might not even charge for sex. Instead she calls herself a courtesan or an escort and charges only for her company, regardless of whether there is sex or no.

The High Class Call Girl is the highest class of prostitute and one that is usually safer, pays more and is seen as more glamorous. It allows for highly attractive actresses to look convincing as prostitutes and do plenty of Fan Service. Her clientele will mostly be men in the upper echelons of society; expect at least one of them to be a politician, particularly one who is always publicly stressing good old fashioned conservative Family Values. Having said that, if these girls are anything like their real-life counterparts, they cater to a higher-class clientele because they are classy, well-educated, and smart. The nature of this clientele may also lead to them becoming involved in a Hookers and Blow situation.

Compare and contrast Dominatrix and Silk Hiding Steel. Compare Gold Digger. If they limit themselves to one client, they are The Mistress.

In Real Life, the basis for the High Class Call Girl's attractiveness in many cases does not stay solely in her appearance, attitude or intelligence, but in her inaccessibility - the mere fact she charges breathtaking amounts of money is a guarantee that she is not for everyone, and her company makes the client part of a very restricted club, which is far more glamorous than simply paying for sex or company.

Examples of High Class Call Girl include:


Anime & Manga

  • In an episode of Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei, Itoshki briefly overcomes his pessimism and resolves to become The Hedonist. This includes hiring a high class prostitute.
  • Nokaze in Jin is the most famous courtesan in 1860s Edo. The time-traveling title character gets the special deluxe treatment from her.
  • Yumi Komagata from Rurouni Kenshin. She was an oiran or high-class courtesan, more exactly. Also, despite not being a bad person, she was far more cynical and emotionally broken than the standard thanks to some extreme dick moves on the part of the government AND a Dark and Troubled Past that's revealed in the prequel To Rule Flame.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka - Principal Daimon financed her revenge scheme by being a hostess in a seedy bar.
  • Rare Male Example: Souma from Sakura Gari will let anyone fuck him as long as there is something for him to gain from them in return. One of the detectives even remarks on it, saying that even back when they were investigating his step-mother's suicide, he had the eyes of a prostitute.
  • Another Rare Male Example: Sakuya, the male lead from Sensual Phrase.
  • We meet two in Wicked City. They're both demon women sent to act as Honey Trap, and one of them actually becomes a major antagonist.
  • What Suzu's former mistress Riyo used to be in The Twelve Kingdoms.


Comicbooks

  • One volume of The Boys has a superhero party called Herogasm, where the majority of the country's heros gather and have wild sex with each other and the high class call girls there. At one point, The Homelander attempts to use one of these girls to distract his uber competent Magnificent Bastard boss from Vought American.
  • Katchoo was one during her years in LA in the history of Strangers in Paradise. She looks back on this time with nostalgic fondness and love, but also with horror, disgust and revulsion. It was during this time that she met Emma, the first person to actually be nice to her except for Francine, and the woman who took her off the street, gave her a a place to live, and whom Katchoo eventually fell in love and escaped with, but Emma is also the one who introduced her to the world of prostitution and, more importantly (And traumatically), Darcy Parker, whose psychotic tendencies and obsessions drove Katchoo to drink, abuse drugs and suffer from crippling emotional issues for years.

 Emma: Nervous? Well, don't be. You'll do fine. Act shy but interested. They love that. And don't fidget... they hate it if you're nervous. Aw, c'mon, honey... its not like it's gonna kill you!"

  • While it's not outright stated, the girls of Old Town are implied to have a wide range of prices. One story explains that you can see limos parked alongside old pickup trucks in Old Town. Gail, the madame, carries herself in such a way as to imply that she is quite pricey.
  • Trish from Knights of the Dinner Table might not be quite as high priced as some of the others on this page, but she is certainly classy, well-educated and smart.
  • A one-shot Punisher story had Frank using one of these as an accomplice to get close to some corrupt politicians/corporate goons in order to...well, do what he does best.


Films

  • In Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts' character essentially goes from street-corner hooker to this in one fell swoop.
  • Satine from Moulin Rouge is a courtesan in the high night club of Paris.
  • Gloria from Butterfield 8.
  • Flowers of Shanghai is about the life of high-class courtesans in 19th-century China.
  • The middle segment of Three Times depicts the relationship between a high-class Chinese courtesan and her favorite patron.
  • Al Pacino's character from Any Given Sunday gets approached by one of these ladies one night in a bar after his team suffered a bad loss, and he is too drunk and depressed to take her up on her offer.
  • Lynn Bracken from L.A. Confidential is part of a stable of high class call girls who are made to look like movie stars.
  • The Jennifer Garner character in Catch Me If You Can.
  • Bree Daniels in Klute.
  • Severine in Belle de Jour.
  • Chelsea in The Girlfriend Experience. Offers low five figures for the titular experience, and finds her clients are starting to get wary given the economic crisis. Bonus points for being played by a pornstar.
  • American Psycho Several times, along with numerous Streetwalkers he kills, in many different ways.
  • Liz Blake in Dressed To Kill, who's on the phone with her broker between johns.
  • Memoirs of a Geisha is set in Japan about the girl Chiyo who trains to become the esteemed Geisha, Sayuri who is primarily an artist but is required to sell her virginity to become official.
  • Sylvia, the Italian courtesan, in Brotherhood of the Wolf.


Literature

  • Francesca in Heirs of Alexandria. Goes on to become an imperial advisor and The Mistress.
  • The James Patterson novel Sail.
  • In Robert B. Parker's Spenser series, recurring character Patricia Utley runs a whole enterprise of this sort. She takes very, very good care of her girls.
  • In the Kushiel's Legacy series, prostitution is a sacred calling. The protagonist, Phedre no Delaunay, is an extremely high priced prostitute, who, besides her innate craving for pain, is a trained spy, speaks thirteen languages, and is quite generally regarded as the best in the business by man and woman alike.
  • Haruki Murakami wrote Dance Dance Dance which had a network of these.
  • The story "The Whore of Mensa" in Woody Allen's book Without Feathers features a call-girl agency where the girls discuss high literature with the customers (and do nothing else).
  • Madame Ahnzhelyk Phonda runs this sort of establishment in the Safehold series, catering to the needs of the various priests and bishops of the Corrupt Church. She uses this role to act as a spy.
  • In Colette's Cheri and La Fin de Cheri novellas, Lea de Lonval is a retired kept woman.
    • And Gigi is being raised to...take up this trade, as previously had her mother, grandmother, and great-aunt.
  • Servilia in the Emperor books ensures that her brothels are staffed entirely by girls like this. She herself also qualifies, and is so successful that she can influence the senate.
  • Thais of Athens stars the (in)famous Greek hetaera of the title as the protagonist. There is also her best friend Aegesichore.
  • Discussed in The Wise Man's Fear: Denna rescues a runaway girl forced to play prostitute to make ends meet from a violent client, then has a long talk with her about how if she doesn't want to return home she can at least make herself one of these. The glamor only goes so far, though: Denna compares a High Class Call Girl to a normal prostitute by comparing a lord's well-kept horse to a shabby, run-down steed - including the part where at the end of the day they both get ridden.
  • Mona Sofia from Federico Andajhazi's The Anatomist is the most beautiful, cynical, and expensive prostitute in the whole Venetian Republic. A whole chapter is dedicated to the squicky circumstances behind her success. She meets an anvilicious and tragically ironic end.
  • In Death: Charles Monroe is definitely a High Class Call Boy. Eve is friends with him, even though his profession bothers him. There is this one High Class Call Girl who ends up murdered in Indulgence In Death.


Live-Action TV

  • Joanie Stubbs in Deadwood. At the beginning of the series she has graduated from High Class Call Girl to Bottom Girl and manages the other whores. She goes on to open her own brothel staffed exclusively by High Class Call Girls. It doesn't work out.
  • Belle de Jour from Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Based on a True Story.
  • Sam's first girlfriend in the The West Wing
  • Leanne Battersby briefly works as a call girl in Coronation Street.
  • Multiple murder victims on CSI are those.
    • As is recurring character Lady Heather. Though she's doesn't run a brothel, just an S&M club.
  • A professional hitwoman becomes one of these in an episode of Life in order to get close to her victim.
  • Brenda's friend Melissa in season 2 of Six Feet Under
  • Companions in Firefly. They are seen as high class citizens, and Inara gets bizarre looks when she steps outside the ship on backwater planets. Contrast that to the unlicensed brothel in the episode "Heart of Gold"; the workers there are seen as trash.
    • When the crew gets interned by a Alliance Cruiser, the officer interrogating them is rather surprised to find a preacher and a companion on board with the implication that Inara is seen as a person of higher social standing than even the preacher.
    • It's mentioned or implied several times that Mal originally allowed Inara to rent one of his shuttles because of the air of class and sophistication having a Companion around gives his ship.
  • In the Australian straight-to-cable TV series Satisfaction, one of the main protagonists is an independent call-girl of this nature who gets work through the brothel the series focuses on.
  • The women (and men) of Dollhouse are this, and much, much more.
  • The episode "Pleasure is My Business" of Criminal Minds had a high-priced call girl who moonlighted as a Serial Killer.
  • Blair's new friend Brandice turns out to be this on Gossip Girl.
  • Ted believed that the date Barney got her for an award ceremony was one in How I Met Your Mother. The series of Accidental Innuendos (some of which were extreme cases of Getting Crap Past the Radar - you can't really make a more direct reference to anal sex on prime time TV...) didn't help. She actually was a paralegal.
  • In Community episode The Politics Of Human Sexuality Pierce's girlfriend Doreen is an escort. Curiously (considering this is Pierce we're discussing), he doesn't have to pay for a date with her. At least initially.
  • Reed from Homeland, who is part of sheik's harem. One character calls her a hooker, another a paid girlfriend.


Music

  • Killer Queen by Queen pretty much defines this trope. [1]


Tabletop Games

  • The Vodacce courtesans in 7th Sea.


Videogames

  • Planescape: Torment has two different classes of prostitutes who can be solicited, the other group being very destitute.
  • If the player doesn't do so well in Princess Maker 2, but just enough to give the daughter good stats (especially Charisma/Glamour and Elegance/Refinement, plus Karma/Sin over 100), she may end up taking the advice of the "Flirty Punk" and become the "star" of his high-class brothel. In the ending picture, which is included above, she's seen completely naked on a bad and giving a mischievous wink.
  • Mass Effect: While Sha'ira the Consort and her Acolytes are technically more than prostitutes (one of the Acolytes specialities is speech), the Consort's Chambers are located on the Presidium and opposite the Citadel Embassies.
    • A news report in Mass Effect 2 mentions that Sha'ira was forced to leave the Citadel following some sort of scandal over her spreading her customer's secrets. Bizarrely, this happens even if the player helped her out with the false claims in the previous game.


Webcomics

  • Debacle in the Insecticomics is a well-respected actor and cultural icon, mainly due to her Debbie Does Daebola series. No one seems to have a problem with this, besides the local network executive (whose problem is mostly because she has no idea what the porn is about even after seeing it).
  • Bridget O'Brian in Tales Of Gnosis College is a beautiful and talented college student who agrees to spend time in a sultan's harem -- even going through a mock slave-auction to get there -- partly in return for a hefty fee paid to her for her services, although she also claims to be doing it as a mode of sociological research.


Real Life

  • The Butterfly Girls of early 20th century Chicago were beautiful, brilliant, and earned the modern equivalent of over $400,000 per year.
  • Ashley Dupre, the call girl who brought down former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. Is now an advice columnist for the New York Post.
  • Sydney Biddle Barrows, "The Mayflower Madam", and her employees.
  • Courtesans the world over, including regional variations like oiran in Japan and hetaera in ancient Greece. Of the last category, the most famous is Aspasia, who is believed to have had a major influence on Pericles' opinions and oratory (however, historians now disagree as to whether she actually was a courtesan: that might have been a joke told by the stand-up comedians of the time).
  • Empress Theodora of the Eastern Roman Empire was not an example of this. She was an actress and borderline prostitute who worked her way up to a higher class of client, including eventually becoming the mistress of the future Emperor Justinian and having him overturn many laws on Marriage for prostitutes to higher class Romans. Belisarius, the top General of the Emperor, however was then free to marry his own high class prostitute mistress.
    • Theodora's sister, Comito, was however one of the leading courtesans of the period.
  • Heidi Fleiss, the "Hollywood Madam".
  • The oiran of Japan were the High Class Call Girls of their time and culture. The most beautiful, most high ranked oiran were of high demand and charged accordingly, and their job, along the laying down part, consisted of partying with their clients. Geisha, high class entertainers sometimes mistaken as prostitutes, were often called to entertain both the oiran and her customers.
  • Phryne, a hetaera from ancient Greece, was so beautiful that she may have been the model for multiple statues of Aphrodite and eventually grew so rich that she offered to rebuild the walls of Thebes so long as the words destroyed by Alexander, restored by Phryne the courtesan were inscribed on them. Coincidentally, she was a native of Thespiae, where Eros, the god of love/sexual desire, was the most worshipped deity.
  • A generation before Phryne, Aspasia may or may not have been a hetaera; on one hand, it's recorded in several sources, but on the other hand, several of these were basically Ancient Athens' equivalent of stand-up comics making jokes about her lover Pericles, so it might just have been Memetic Mutation. However, being beautiful and a (Greek) foreigner (from Miletos), it's not too far of a stretch to believe that she might have run the Ancient Greek equivalent of an escort service (prostitution was one of the few areas of work open to free, single, foreign women, and she didn't become Pericles' SO right when she arrived in Athens).
  • The originally anonymous writer of Belle de Jour wrote a memoir about her experiences as a call girl, The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl. In a story that made newspapers, the mystery surrounding her true identity eventually lead Dr. Brooke Magnati to reveal herself to public.

Notes

  1. She's also an assassin!
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