Q&A with Vin Armani of ‘Gigolos’
Talking sex, software and being there to cuddle
Wed, Oct 19, 2011 (12:31 p.m.)
Photo: Leila Navidi
Showtime series Gigolos returns to the small screen for its second season on October 20 at 11 p.m., with Vin Armani again joining his escort brethren for a look inside the world of the gigolo. The Vegas- and LA-based reality star (and computer geek) took time out of his lucrative dating life (and from writing a book, The Tao of the Gigolo, on Kindle this December) to talk about sex with clients, industry stigma and his fascinating, people-person profession.
Why do most clients seek your services?
[For women] they have the opportunity to have the romantic life that they want. They can craft it for themselves, and they don’t have to wait, because most men that they’ve dealt with have not been able to deliver that.
If a client is uncomfortable, how do you break the ice?
A lot of times clients are nervous. You’re essentially going on a blind date, and that’s nerve-racking for most people. But for me, the easiest way to help that situation is the fact that I’m really generally not nervous. Especially at this point, I’m generally not nervous sitting down with a client. So you know, just being in a relaxed mood, smiling, having fun, letting them talk and share about themselves. It doesn’t take too long. A couple glasses of wine never hurt! ... And if, as a man, I’m willing to lead the interaction and I’m calm and I’m having a good time, that’s my job to sort of make that infectious so they have a good time, too.
Do clients normally dictate where you go and what you do?
Sometimes clients will ask my opinion. But generally clients have a pretty good idea before they even call.
What job did you leave to be an escort?
I own a couple of software development businesses; I’m a software developer by trade. So I’ve been doing that for a long time, and I honestly haven’t fully left it. ... I just finished with a contract about two weeks ago.
What do you enjoy most about being an escort?
I love being around women and I love making women happy … and also couples, being able to fulfill, a lot of times, fantasies that they’ve had for a long time. That’s a wonderful experience for me, and I really feel like I’m enriching people’s lives.
Your site states that you are paid for your time and companionship only. Are you allowed to have sex with clients?
How does that work? It’s like any interaction that we have. ... It’s the same situation if you happen to hire a photographer to take your pictures. And the two of you are there and attracted to one another, and you say, “Hey, you know what? Would you want to go out and get some coffee after this?” And you two end up having a relationship or something like that.
What’s the biggest misconception about being an escort?
The biggest misconception about both male and female escorts, true escorts, is that there is a connection to the fact that we are selling sex, which we are definitely not. And I think that if you go and you speak to women who work at brothels ... about what it is that they do and what it is that their clients want, and then you go and you speak with female escorts … there is such a huge chasm. They’re not there if the client wants to cuddle. They’re there to sell sex. But that’s not what we sell, because what we charge is a lot more than what is charged for selling sex.
Do you think it’s more socially acceptable to be an escort/companion if you’re a man, rather than a woman?
There are so few men that do it, that there’s almost not enough men for there to be a stigma. With women, though, most of the women who do what I do don’t call themselves escorts. They just call themselves girls, and when they get older and they’ve actually snagged a full-time client they call themselves Real Housewives.
As someone who has a lot of experience entertaining women, what advice would you give on how to attract a woman?
I think the problem that guys have is that they’re so interested in getting to some endpoint. … They want to direct the interaction in that way. Just be into her, listen to her, what she’s saying, you know?
How do you feel about the term “gigolo?”
I’m good with it. It’s an old one … maybe I like it a little more than escort, I think. At least we’re talking about a guy who’s charming and seductive. It’s a man that a woman actually wants to spend time around, and who actually makes her feel good and special and beautiful. That’s exactly who I want to be, so I’m okay with the term.