Astute readers of this blog know that we have an abiding interest in the economics of prostitution. One of the people who will be featured in our next book is a high-end call girl who goes by the name of Allie. Without giving away much detail here, let me just say that Allie is a very bright and attractive blonde who works for herself (not through an agency) in a large U.S. city, and often travels to other large cities. In light of the news about Eliot Spitzer’s encounter with a high-end call girl, we asked Allie a few pertinent questions:

Q. Have you ever had a client as powerful or well-known as Eliot Spitzer? (You haven’t had Spitzer himself as a client, have you?)

A. I have clients that are professional athletes, artists, and entertainers. They are probably better known, but obviously not as powerful. I don’t believe I have ever seen Eliot, or as I like to call him, Number 9.

Q. In what ways is such a client different from your run-of-the-mill client?

A. I haven’t found them to be that different. Some clients are worried that you will give out their information, and others don’t seem to care. You see the same thing with the typical guy that no one knows because he is deathly afraid of getting in trouble with the law, or with his wife.

Q. Do you typically know the true identity of your clients, and if so, how?

A. Yes. Always. I insist that they give me their full names and their place of work so that I can contact them there before we meet. I also check their identification when we meet. I also use verification companies, which assist escorts in verification of clients. These companies do the verification of the client and put them in a database so that when the client wants to meet with a girl for the first time, he doesn’t have to go through the verification process again. For a fee, I can call in and they will tell me if the client has a history of giving the girls problems, where he works, and his full name.

Q. How would you describe your typical client?

A. My clients are generally white, married, and professional males, between 40 and 50 years old, with incomes over $100,000 a year. They tend to be doctors, lawyers, and businessmen looking to get away for a few hours in the middle of the day.

Q. Are there any generalizations you can make about clients from different industries — i.e., doctors vs. lawyers vs. politicians, etc.?

A. I have had politicians as clients, but never someone of [Spitzer’s] stature. I think it should be noted that politics is a little unusual as a profession, since politicians tend to have enemies, who have lots of power. This makes politicians different from most corporate executives or lawyers or even professional athletes. I couldn’t say I could classify my clients by their chosen profession. That being said, I think it’s clear that clients with more disposable cash are willing to spend more money if they think their privacy will be protected.

Q. What’s the most you’ve ever been paid for a date (overnight/weekend/whatever)?

A. I have been paid $10,000 for two days, and $1,000 for an hour, but this is rare for me.

Q. From your perspective, was Spitzer being reckless, and if so, how?

A. Yes. I think Spitzer has made lots of enemies over the years, and he is a public official. In addition, the investigators claim that the initial reason for the investigation was the transferring of money between different accounts. That seems like a subject he really should know about from his days as attorney general.

Q. How do you think your life would change if prostitution were made legal?

A. I’m sure it would cause me to lower my rates. I’m sure more people would take up prostitution as a profession, and I am sure more men would partake in the activity. That said, legalization does not remove all the barriers to entry. The job still would have a huge negative stigma associated with it, both for the escorts and the clients. In countries like Canada, enforcement of prostitution laws is extremely lax, and while rates are lower, they aren’t wildly different. So there would still be men out there afraid of their wives finding out, and I still wouldn’t want to share my job title with my family.

Q. Is it common for clients to have a girl come in from out of town … even from his hometown?

A. In Spitzer’s case, it seems like he was away from his family and had a night to spend with an escort. So instead of going to the trouble of verification with another agency or girl, he just called the one he had used in the past. From what I have read, Spitzer had an ongoing business relationship with this agency. I’m sure he felt that his identity was safe with the agency. It probably seemed like a place he could order up different girls and not have to worry every time about his information. The agency had even given him an alias, with the idea that the girls wouldn’t know who he was. As for my experience, it is a little of the same. I travel to see clients who are just not willing to take the chance that they might have a bad experience.

Q. What percentage of your clients are married?

A. Almost all of my clients are married. I would say easily over 90 percent. I’m not trying to justify this business, but these are men looking for companionship. They are generally not men that couldn’t have an affair [if they wanted to], but men who want this tryst with no stings attached. They’re men who want to keep their lives at home intact.

Q. Have you ever had a client whose wife found out he was seeing you?

A. Unfortunately, yes. [It has] probably happened more than I know about, but it has been confirmed several times. Hopefully it has never happened due to my neglect in any way.