A brief history of high-dollar prostitution, Silicon Valley style

The age of the High-Class Internet Whore began in 1999, with a lady who popularized the notion of two-day, $12K minimums and favored Slashdot to the back of the free local paper for advertising. I've pulled together a timeline of the High-Dollar Hottie, the Valley-based escorts who followed her, and the new one who may be their legacy.

A brief history of high-dollar prostitution, Silicon Valley style

Name: Anne Marie, the Educated Escort

Rate: $12,000/day, 2-day minimum

Launch: 1999

Notable media appearance: Slate, January 2000: "She played me a message left on her voicemail from a self-described Silicon Valley geek about to retire, who wanted to know what her annual fee is."

Anne Marie's bio puts her geek pedigree like this: "She also continued her education studying technology and working with some of the pioneers in the computer industry. In fact, one certain technological event landed her on the front of the New York Times and forced her to dodge reporters until this day." Not at all press shy, to get the word out, she gave interviews to Slate and Salon, the kinds of online publications her potential clients might actually be reading. Now retired, she still moderates the High Dollar Hottie web forum. See one of her earliest saved posts there, from 2002, where she responded to those who can't afford her.

A brief history of high-dollar prostitution, Silicon Valley style

Name: Jet Set Lara

Rate: £6,000/day

Launch: 2003 (archive of her first escort site)

Notable media appearance: GQ, January 2006: "Some men seduce by manipulation, while others are more organic, it just flows", she explains as we drift into a blur of champagne."

Lara courted blogger chic from the beginning. Her advertising angle was to get her hotel reviews linked to by Gridskipper and HotelChatter. She was also the first paid companion that you could actually hire that Jason Kottke blogged. Lara's blog is still live, but reports from colleagues say she's now more interested in being hired for writing. Typical!

A brief history of high-dollar prostitution, Silicon Valley style

Name: Brazil

Rate: $5,000/overnight

Launch: 2002

Notable Press Appearance: Numerous in 2004, after $61,000 in assets were seized from her safe deposit box, later claimed as a gift from Ask.com co-founder David Warthen.

Brazil was one of the first high-dollar hotties to go down for the content of her message board postings, bragging about her ability to pay off student loan debt with her escorting income. She left the business, got hitched to Warthen, and now reportedly owns a boutique in the Bay Area. Her legend still haunts the next generation of Internet call girls — a cautionary tale (report your income) with a Valley-twisted Cinderella ending.

A brief history of high-dollar prostitution, Silicon Valley style

Name: Samantha Waters, "The Dot.Com Call Girl"

Rate: Unknown

Launch: Unknown

So Why Is She Here: Waters was "a dynamo sales representative for a Silicon Valley tech firm" who worked as a call girl on the side. Her book is a memoir of those days. I'm not sure which will happen first — I'll either meet a former client of hers soon, or discover that I already know her.