Rachel Uchitel, Bottle Service, And The Gray Market For Sex

New York Magazine's Lisa Taddeo has scored an interview with alleged Tiger Woods ur-mistress Rachel Uchitel, who paints a depressing picture of the bottle girls of Vegas and New York and the Woods wannabes who sleep with them.

Unsurprisingly, Uchitel won't talk about Woods himself (she supposedly got $10 million not to do that). What she does talk about — mostly defensively — is her former job as hostess at VIP clubs. She's been accused of being both a mistress and a procuress, but she vehemently denies that her job was about sex, saying, "I'm really offended by the notion that I used my sexuality." And, "It's not our job to get anybody laid." And,

People say, ‘Oh, Rachel, she's such a starfucker,' that I hang out with only celebs. No. I hang out with successful people. I hang out with people who matter, and I'm honored to.

Uchitel has clearly been extremely successful, even in the retirement forced on her by the Woods scandal — new job offers are rolling in. She may get to call the shots, and be truly "honored" by her celebrity friends and clientele. But since Uchitel's not willing to offer up anything really sordid, Taddeo digs deep into the world Uchitel left behind, a word of bottle waitresses who are "half a stripper and half a pimp," in the words of one of their kind. Bottle waitresses or "bottle girls" are expected to bring in big clients and keep them happy, by flirting with them themselves, and helping them meet women who may do more ("To be a girl who is trusted," Taddeo writes, "you need a track record of having slept with famous men and not talked about it.")

It's of course not surprising that exclusive clubs have a sort of gray market for sex, but Taddeo describes the whole scene with a noirish knowingness that's a little off-putting. On Clinton and JFK, she writes, "Historically, powerful men with slavering appetites have mainly acquired their girlfriends the way a pair of pants gathers lint-rather incidentally." On the "pros and cons" of paid sex: "Men like to hunt, and there is no need to hunt a prostitute. Men like to cheat without strings, and you can't stop a civilian from falling in love." On sexual sociology: "The rich old men want to be young and good-looking and the young ones want to be rich, but both are sleeping with the same girl."

What's perhaps most disturbing about Taddeo's piece isn't its quotes from Uchitel or from bottle waitresses and their admirers. It's the suggestion that in certain circles, all sex becomes a market. Taddeo writes,

Jason Itzler, the former founder of high-profile escort agency New York Confidential and inventor of the so-called girlfriend experience (GFE), thinks there is an untapped potential in the half-hooking that goes on in nightclubs.

"That's where trends in prostitution are headed," he says. "Guys go crazy for the GFE shit."

While the idea of the girlfriend experience as something a guy can invent is disturbing (and ignores thousands of years of courtesans), Itzler's idea isn't that revolutionary: "instead of doing what the bottle girls do sporadically and for an unspecific payback, Itzler's girls would have sex (or perhaps just president-and-intern sex) and get paid." Part of the point of GFE, it seems, is to pay not just for sex but also for fun, companionship, and validation — for a girlfriend who never gets mad or breaks up with you. Except sometimes the system breaks down. Taddeo reports one man's story of a "half-hooker" from the nightclub world who offered a man sex in return for gifts and financial support — until she didn't: "She was squatting at his apartment, they weren't even having sex anymore. 'She wanted twenty grand,' he says. 'They settled on ten.'" It's sad but maybe also a little refreshing that even in a system where all sex is a quid pro quo (and I'm sure cynics will argue that we all participate in this system), things can still get messy.

Rachel Uchitel Is Not A Madam [NY Mag]