“Mr. Green” and the VIP concierge

by on April 24, 2010  •  In Culture, Sex work

New York Magazine has posted its "look inside the life" article on how super rich straight men get sexual recreation. It's written as if the story is far different from what it used to be, but I have my doubts about that. Still, it seems that boom times probably expanded the reach of this adult male fantasy world – the more money, the more men with money, etc etc.  The article is built around the story of Rachel Uchitel, who became Tiger Woods' special someone:

…Rachel Uchitel … occupies a position of power in this strobe network of girls and money and celebrity. As VIP concierge and director of VIP hospitality at Tao in Vegas and at Dune in Southampton and at the Griffin, Marquee, Stanton Social, and Pink Elephant in Manhattan, she was the ambassador of client desire.

Her job was born out of the culture of bottle service. The concept of paying for a whole bottle of alcohol and sitting at a table originated in Europe and grew a tail in the States in the early nineties, at New York clubs Life and Chaos. But it didn’t stick until 2001, when bottle service became the new way of gaining entry into a world that had previously not been for sale. You no longer had to be an Andy Warhol descendant to party at a place like Bungalow 8; you could be Joe Banker or Joe Banker’s son with his father’s credit card. And the staffers changed, too. Cocktail waitresses evolved from out-of-work actresses into Penthouse Pet–level creatures who sparred with their co-workers for client gratuities by expanding their breadth of service. Their take-home pay skyrocketed from $300 a night to $3,000 banner shifts. With the volume of VIP clients growing and the number of tables quadrupling, the need for organization spawned the creation of the VIP host, someone who could be trusted with the biggest clients.

In Las Vegas, at the Bank, Woods’s club of choice, a host would meet him at the door and walk him to his table on the second or third floor. From his perch high above the dance floor and flanked by superstar friends like Michael Jordan, Woods could look over the balcony and say, Oh, that table of pretty girls there, bring them up. The nightclub has become a smorgasbord. All you have to do is point and ask….

The hosts are much closer to their clients than almost any other service provider in a wealthy person’s life. Money isn’t exchanged directly in most cases, so it can genuinely feel as though the host is taking care of you for no other reason than because she wants to. In return, she—or he; most hosts are actually men—is a part of the entourage, a trusted confidante….

A source in the business estimates that [Uchitel] made more than any other VIP host. “At my best,” Uchitel says, “I made $250,000 base, plus a guaranteed $250,000 from the tip pool.” Half a million a year, paid by a single club—probably Tao, though Uchitel will not confirm it. (She also says she has never been kept on retainer or paid by a client directly.) This does not include the extracurricular trips, on yachts in Saint-Tropez and to Monte Carlo…

[Uchitel] really hates the accusation that she set up sex for any of her clients. She is not a pimp or a madam, she says. “It’s not our job to get anybody laid.”

What the hosts do is more like placement. They are puzzle-doers, wielding a table chart and making sure the room looks good, depositing models beside Wall Street bankers in a Rubik’s Cube of dovetailing desire. They are also realtors, selling tables, sometimes auctioning them off to the highest bidder. At the door, a host will procure a man’s credit card and his I.D. and quote him what the minimum will be at a certain table. Table minimums are usually around $1,500 at clubs in Manhattan, but a prime spot can go for as much as $30,000. And Uchitel has seen bills of $245,000 and higher for patrons who are buying huge Methuselahs of Champagne—the equivalent of eight standard bottles in one—or, in their schnockered magnanimity, have decided to treat other tables to rounds of Cristal.

In their BlackBerrys, VIP hosts lovingly store all of their clients’ birthdays, children’s names, sports teams, preferred vodkas. (Some of them also note which types of girls their clients like: loose brunettes, intelligent blondes, C-cups, real, and so on.) These are the things that make a good host. …

Uchitel won’t talk about Tiger Woods…. She announced a press conference in early December, as though she were going to tell all. Suddenly the press conference was canceled amid reports that Uchitel’s boldface attorney, Gloria Allred, was seen leaving Woods’s attorney’s offices. Allred’s daughter, attorney Lisa Bloom, told The Early Show, “That can only mean one thing: As we say in the law, Mr. Green has arrived.” TMZ has reported that the amount is in the neighborhood of $10 million…


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