The Las Vegas Madam
The Big Secret
“We locked eyes and I strolled toward him like a cat on a fence.”
I pulled into valet at the Paris casino, opened the car door, and slid a lean, polished leg to the ground. The lights glinted off the gold in my stiletto and into the corners of my eyes. It was nearly midnight and the city had just woken up. I loved that time of night in Vegas. The city pulsed with excitement, with all the beautiful people all in one place, all for the same thing—to lose themselves, or find themselves, in the City of Sin.
Careful with the heels, I reminded myself. I sometimes felt guilty for spending a thousand dollars on a pair of shoes—that could have covered three months of cheap Vegas rent, or car payments. But the more often I made a thousand (or more) a night, the more I forgot it used to take me a month to make that money back home. Now, it was a business expense, and I would make it back tonight. Plus, those sleek black leather Louboutin’s with the iconic red soles made me feel like I was on top of the world. They made me feel sexy. And that was exactly why I was in demand.
Often a trace of uncertainty flickered through my mind before a date. Dating for a living was like blind dating all the time, and even after I’d been doing it successfully every day for a few years, it only got easier because I adapted. It never felt completely natural.
I caught the peppery whiff of a cigar and watched the smoke swirl into the canopy of lights above. Bronzed bodies edged their way through the crowd and a drone of chatter rose above the music. I took a deep breath and sucked it all in. This was what I liked—the vibrations, the hum, the lullaby of Las Vegas. I dismissed the anxiety. I forgot about everything but the night ahead. Yesterday didn’t matter and neither did tomorrow.
I paused to text Sam—“See you in 15!”—then swiped on an extra coat of gold-flecked lip gloss, tugged my dress down, and psyched myself up.
Sam had hired me to be his date for the evening. We would have drinks, maybe dinner, then gamble. If I was lucky at the tables, I might make a few thousand extra. As I thought about it all, I felt that telltale tingle “down there.” I wasn’t sure if it was the money, the thrill, or the thought of getting laid, but I was finally getting pumped.
I wove my way through the busy casino, past the slot machines, over the slippery cobblestones, and up the steps of Bally’s toward Sam’s favorite bar. I spotted him before I even got close. He was wearing a dark suit, round sunglasses, and a long checkered silk scarf—a tad overdressed for Bally’s, but it was Vegas, after all. I glanced at my watch. Three minutes to go.
Just then Sam’s gaze landed on me. I felt that rush, an odd mix of apprehension and excitement that happened immediately before I became Haley. We locked eyes and I strolled toward him like a cat on a fence. In heels, the body naturally assumes this position. My ass was perched high in the air. The muscles of my legs were engaged, longer, leaner. I felt his eyes bore right through my skintight dress.
“Ohh-hhh-h, God, yes-s-sss, you do that so-o-o well-ll,” Sam moaned.
“Sam! It’s so great to see you again.” I leaned in to peck his cheek.
“Wow, you look divine. Great shoes.”
“Nice shoes yourself,” I said, noticing his black pointy-toed slip-ons.
He grinned. “They’re the only ones I own that aren’t made from alligator, they’re anaconda.” Drinks in hand, he led me to a table in the back of the room.
“I brought a special gift for you today,” I said once we were seated. I casually uncrossed my legs and reached between them.
Sam’s eyes flashed as he leaned forward.
I opened my palm and plunked two silver marbles into his drink.
My vagina had been bored the past few weeks. I’d heard about geisha balls, or BenWa balls, and decided to give them a try. These weighted marbles come in various sizes and are slipped inside the vagina. In order to keep them from falling out, the walls of the vagina contract, cinching them in tight, and strengthening the muscles. I had essentially been lifting weights and practicing aerobics with my vagina all day.
“I’ve been wearing them since this morning,” I said with a wink. “I’m dying to try out a new trick.”
He grinned and rested a hand on my knee. “That’s why I love seeing you—I never know what to expect.”
There was an art to first-class dating and I had mastered it. Sam paid well because he expected excellence. The basics weren’t difficult: a few Kegels, a full wax, and weekly rounds on the adduction machine for that three finger between-the-leg gap. But it takes a bit more to go beyond, to be an A+.
Sam wanted to feel like he was with a real girlfriend. It’s like splurging on your favorite pie for dessert. You might be able to find that pie on any corner, but homemade apple pie from Grandma’s kitchen, spruced up with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, tastes a whole lot different than what they pull out of the fryer at McDonald’s. All pie is not created equal.
“God, it’s been such a stressful month,” Sam sighed as we entered his room. “I knew you could make me forget about it.”
This part was easy. I’d done it hundreds of times before. I draped my arms around Sam’s neck and drew him close.
We stumbled our way toward the bed, bodies entwined. “I’ve been thinking about this all day,” I whispered in his ear. Sam wouldn’t take long. An easy-peasy five minutes of missionary would have done him in, but I put in a bigger effort because I wanted to keep him coming back. Sam was a high roller, both in the casino and in the bedroom. And I never forgot the number one rule in courtesan dating: the ones who pay are the ones who stay.
The straps to my dress slid off my shoulders and I let it fall to the ground. Sam was out of his shirt lightning fast and reached out to cup my breast with one hand and pull my face to him with the other. I jumped on top and pulled him inside with my newly toned muscles. I arched, flexed, and slid all the way down, then rhythmically squeezed and pulled up, relaxed again on the way down, paused, and started all over again.
“Ohh-hhh-h, God, yes-s-sss, you do that so-o-o well-ll,” Sam moaned.
I smiled. This part gave me pleasure. Not because my job was almost done, but because it was satisfying to bond with Sam. I was always looking for something to make me feel connected with the rest of the world; to fill the emptiness that I sometimes felt consumed me. I’d been searching for it, something to fill the void, my whole life and hadn’t been sure how to find it. I searched for it through masturbating, cutting myself, and praying—first to God, then to the devil. Then I thought it was love I needed, and I got married. Then I thought it was a degree or a job, until I got those too. It was when I became Haley that I found a way to feel satisfied. I wasn’t sure what it was exactly, but I thought I had found something behind those hotel room doors. The power I felt when I walked into a stranger’s room as an escort made me feel like I had a place in this world. And finding my place made me feel less empty.
“I wish I had a girlfriend to fall asleep with,” Sam mumbled sleepily. Five minutes later he was passed out.
We were the same, Sam and I. We found ourselves involved in the sex world for similar reasons, searching for similar things. Most of us saw prostitution as a solution to what ailed us. For Sam, spending time with me made him a little less lonely that day.
Sam had left an envelope of money sitting on the counter with “Haley” scribbled across the top. I picked it up and tucked it into my purse. I felt guilty for charging him so much money just to hang out. People labored for hours just to keep food on the table, and after one night I walked away with thousands. It didn’t feel right at all, especially when Sam wanted nothing more from me than a good time.
My heels echoed off the walls of the lavish suite as I walked across the room. Sam had left the safe open and stacks of money spilled out. Not a good habit to get into, Sammy, ol’ pal, I thought. Then again, another reason Sam paid so well was because I offered safety and privacy. He knew I wasn’t going to slip a drug in his glass then call a pimp to come up and rob him blind. When Sam went home, he wouldn’t worry about blackmail or a broken condom. He was paying for a great memory and nothing else.
I rummaged around the desk for a notepad, kissed the sheet of paper, signed xoxo, and left it on the table under his gold Patek Philippe watch. Then I quietly closed the door behind me.
As I walked back through the hotel, I took a breath and tried to rein in the myriad of emotions that coursed through me—excitement, pleasure, boredom, loneliness, guilt—when one went away, another took its place. I wondered if this was the way everyone felt, not just prostitutes like me. At least that crushing emptiness was gone for the moment.
“Kept your car up front this time,” the valet guy said. “Heard you lost it the other night and it took a week before you found it”—he paused and snickered—“parked in our garage.”
I cringed. I hated it when valet guys knew why I was there. I felt like I was wearing a scarlet letter. But it was better for me to valet. Parking was hard to keep track of—which day, which casino, which garage, which floor. I had lost my car too many times.
“Guess that just means I had a fun night.” I laughed and fished out a twenty-dollar bill.
While he circled my car around, I pulled out my phone to review my schedule. My calendar days were blocked off for the next six months. I was fully booked. There would be several more appointments squeezed in. I had become one of the most sought-after escorts in the city, according to the underground review boards where clients searched for a companion. The following days blended into months and then years.
Who is Haley Heston?
When I looked in the mirror, I barely recognized myself.
This is the story of my life as a professional prostitute named Haley Heston. I liked to think of myself as a woman who has a master’s degree in dating men (and women) and uses it with the sole purpose of improving her financial situation and achieving her goals. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master, according to Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point. Over the course of eight years, I calculated having easily I spent more than 10,000 plus hours becoming a master in courtesan dating.
Even though that date with Sam had happened six years before, I remembered it like it was yesterday. Since then I had met many guys like Sam, as well as madams, pimps, and other escorts. With a small group of escort friends and clients from my early days as Haley Heston, I had started an elite screening firm—or in more loose terms, a “modeling agency”—called Haley Heston’s Private Collection (HHPC). It started out as a weekend project, a hobby, something to fill my time while my other business was catching up during an economic downturn. Three years later, my private collection of friends had turned into something bigger than I ever thought it would. It had become a thriving enterprise and the city’s premier boutique agency.
I was running one of the sexiest businesses in the world—or at least it appeared that way. Glamorous women, rich men, and decadent nights consumed my life. My agency days were just like my call girl days, only amplified. I had more clients, more drama, more dilemmas, and more work. Although I rarely had a free moment, I didn’t mind. Chasing success made me feel alive. I didn’t have time to feel anything else. But at some point, the chaos took on a life of its own.