A girlfriend experience (GFE) is a commercial experience that blurs the boundaries between a financial transaction and a romantic relationship. It ranges from a transactional sex relationship to a client paying a prostitute to pretend to be his girlfriend during the session. Within the sex industry, GFE is a common term for a sexual encounter in which both the escort and the client are willing to engage in reciprocal sexual pleasure and some degree of emotional intimacy. The "girlfriend experience" generally involves more personal interaction than a traditional call girl or escort offers; it varies widely from person to person, however. There is a focus on not just having sex, but also having more of a comprehensive experience. Within this particular realm of sex work, workers embody a sense of authenticity in order to make the experience more pleasurable for their customer, as well as to make a more lucrative outcome for themselves. Regardless of the type of service, including GFE, paying for any sexual act is still considered to be a form of prostitution and because of this the legality of it varies from place to place.
If the sex worker is male, the service is called the boyfriend experience.
Girlfriend experience and prostitutionEdit
In some instances a person who provides a girlfriend experience is also recognized and titled an "indoor prostitute". As the definition of what that type of service entitles, unlike a "street prostitute" an "indoor prostitute" provides a type of interaction that involves conversation, affection and mutual sexual pleasure. "Indoor prostitution" also includes: massage parlors and saunas, brothels, strip clubs, and escort prostitution.
Contrary to "street prostitution", indoor prostitution is less likely to receive complaints from bystanders. Most relationships are made online as opposed to the traditional idea of prostitution where the client would meet the prostitute on the streets. The cost of these services depends on the prostitute as well as the acts that are performed. The GFE typically starts with dinner at a nice restaurant followed by making out on the sofa back at the prostitute’s home and ends with cuddling and consensual sex which gives the feeling of a relationship. While it used to be the norm for legal prostitutes to never kiss on the mouth,[page needed] the popularity of the GFE has changed the business with brothels like Dennis Hof's Love Ranch South, Moonlite Bunny Ranch, Kit Kat Ranch and Sheri's Ranch advertising themselves as "GFE" Establishments.
Clients or hobbyistsEdit
The term "client" is sometimes used to describe a person who pays prostitutes for sex. However, in the escort agency code that has grown up around the GFE, clients often call themselves "hobbyists" and refer to a prostitute who provides GFE as a "nice girl". In a GFE situation the client would pay for time spent with the call girl meaning: social interaction, dating, or sexual acts. Clients could come from all different backgrounds (white-collar, blue collar, different races, different ages) therefore there is not a "typical" type of client using the GFE service. Many clients emerge through the need for a feeling of closeness without the commitment of a relationship. To a certain extent it eliminates the feeling of guilt or fear of "addiction" to a relationship.
Research in Cambodia published in 2010 identified a number of waitresses and bartenders who were also working as "professional girlfriends" with "western boyfriends". They relied on these relationships for their livelihood but did not regard themselves as "prostitutes" and often sought love and marriage as well as material comforts. In these relationships there was a performance of intimacy which lay somewhere between the feigned and the genuine.
In Thailand some independent sex workers are reported to work as "professional girlfriends", providing company and affection to foreign men and middle-class Thai men, and only having sex with their clients occasionally. Their remuneration is provided in the form of things such as clothing and visits to the cinema.
- Hoefinger, Heidi (2010). Negotiating Intimacy: Transactional Sex and Relationships Among Cambodian Professional Girlfriends (Doctoral thesis). Goldsmiths, University of London.
- Flowers 2011, p. 151.
- Huff, Aimee Dinnin (2011). "Buying the Girlfriend Experience: An exploration of the Consumption Experiences of Male Customers of Escorts". In Russell W. Belk; Kent Grayson; Hope Jensen. Research in Consumer Behavior. Emerald Group Publishing. pp. 111–125. ISBN 9781780521169.
- Anka Radakovich (29 March 2012). "The real-life girlfriend experience". GQ. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
- Bernstein, Elizabeth (2010-06-08). Temporarily Yours: Intimacy, Authenticity, and the Commerce of Sex. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226044620.
- Weitzer, Ronald (2007). "Prostitution: Facts and Fictions". Contexts. George Washington University – Department of Sociology. 6 (4): 28–33.
- Farley, Melissa (July 2005). "Prostitution Harms Women Even if Indoors: Reply to Weitzer" (PDF). Violence Against Women. 11 (7): 952. doi:10.1177/1077801205276987.
- Albert 2011.
- "The Girlfriend Experience". Moonlite Bunny Ranch. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
- "KitKat Ranch home page". KitKat Ranch website.
- "Menu - Love Ranch Vegas". loveranch.net. Archived from the original on 31 October 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- "Sheri's Ranch Sex Menu". sherisranch.com. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
- Cameron, Deborah; Kulick, Don (2003). Language and Sexuality. Cambridge University Press. p. 20. ISBN 9780521009690.
- Chia, Jasmine (24 September 2017). "Men and their mistresses". Bangkok Post.