Louie Veleski is the founder of Dates4hire, which is a website on which to find platonic escorts; here is a link to the site:
Q: What inspired you to start Dates4hire?
A: I have always had a fascination with online dating sites in general, but I don’t believe that the concept of traditional online dating works for everyone. For males especially, unless they have a chiselled body and a face to match their chances of being seen with an attractive woman on their arm is highly unlikely. It is a well known fact that the majority of women on dating sites get way more responses and emails than their male counterparts. Many of the men on dating sites most likely have a lot to offer but are never given the chance to make that first impression. This is why I have always thought how amazing it would be if these men could go out with someone that is highly attractive and be seen with them in a public arena. It doesn’t matter if they are not romantically linked. The confidence that the person hiring the date would gain from this experience would be immeasurable.
The other side of the website allows people to sign up for free and become an actual dates for hire. They decide their own hourly rate and choose the days and times they are willing to work which is displayed in a calendar on their profile. I have always liked the concept of getting paid to go out and socialize and this was another major inspiration for developing the site.
Q: What kind of professional background do you have?
A: For the last 25 years I have been involved in the entertainment industry as a singer. I still front a very popular Melbourne cover band called Sexual Chocolate ( www.sexualchocolate.com.au ) and have been doing this for the last 18 years of my life. Up until 6 years ago music was a full time job and the band was working about 4 nights of the week. But ever since I browsed my first internet page I have been enthralled with the endless possibilities that the world wide web had to offer. I was very curious about how websites worked and especially how they were built. So I started teaching myself how to build a website by watching Youtube videos and doing various online courses. I started designing websites as a hobby but eventually it developed into a very profitable business. But developing websites for other companies was merely a stepping stone to eventually embarking on my very own startup. I do have another developer that has worked with me on this project due to the complexity of the site but overall the concept and architecture of Dates4Hire is all me.
Q: What are some typical events that people hire dates for?
A: When you really think about it, a platonic date is nothing more than a companion. Therefore any event can be suitable when hiring a date from our site. You might have a wedding to attend but no partner. You might have just moved to a brand new city and would like someone to show you around. Maybe you recently broke up with a boyfriend and he’s already moved on and found a new girlfriend. You have both just been invited to a mutual friends birthday party and you know that his new girlfriend will be there. Hiring an attractive date from our site helps you avoid embracement and retain your dignity. Maybe you want to go and see a movie but don’t like to go by yourself. Or you can even hire a gym buddy as a date.. The possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination. We have many date categories to choose from on the site and are always up for suggestions from our members..
Q: How do you avoid having your employees prostitute themselves?
Q: I didn’t see any men in your system. Do you think it is easier to get female employees?
A: For now this seems to be the case. We are getting more women signing up as dates for hire but for any charismatic males reading this interview we encourage them to get on the site and sign up straight away. Here’s the weird thing. The site was in development for around 2 years or so. During this period we had a temporary website that explained the concept and allowed people to fill out a form and express their interest. Much to my surprise the amount of women looking to hire a date from our site was a staggering 70% of the overall signups. So yes we do currently have a shortage of men on the site but I think this is partially due to the fact that most men would find it hard to believe that women are willing to pay them for this type of service. We will however continue to create more marketing campaigns in the future so as to attract more males to sign up as dates for hire.
Q: What’s to stop a date from blackmailing a client?
A: I am not entirely sure why someone would want to blackmail a member on the site nor would it be possible considering that sex is off the table. Also members are encouraged to always meet in public places for the good of their own safety. There would be far more opportunity to blackmail someone on a traditional dating site than there would be on ours. But just to let your readers know we do have a very strict screening process and unless this process has been completed a members profile does will not be displayed on the site. As for someone that is looking to hire a date, unless their profile is fully completed they are not able to hire a date. One of the main security measures we have integrated into the website is a phone verification feature. You basically input your cell phone number in the field provided and hit the ‘Verify My Phone’ button. Once you have done this we send you a 4 digit pin code which you input in the field below and click the ‘Verify Code’ button.. This is no different to online banking or even when signing up for say a Google account. Nothing is full proof but I know for a fact that not too many other dating sites have this security feature in place.
Q: What was the strangest request you’ve ever had?
A: In all honesty we haven’t had any strange requests to date but then again we are fairly new onto the scene so I am sure that we’re bound to get some weird requests in the future. But unless the request is of a sexual nature it is entirely up to the members common sense to decide on whether or not the request is doable.
Q: What kind of demographic do you primarily cater to?
A: As I mentioned before we surprisingly have a lot of women requiring male companions for social events. But having said this we cater for anyone that is over the age of 18 and looking to either hire a date for an event or become a date on the site and earn some extra cash while having some fun in the process. Keep in mind that members dating on the site are able to choose their very own demographics and what type of people and age brackets they’re willing to go out with. If for example I was 40 years of age but the member in question was only willing to date someone up to the age of 35 then her profile would not even come up in my search parameters.
Q: What kind of prices are we talking about here?
A: Members can charge anywhere from $5 per hour up to $300 per hour. They decide their own hourly rate and we do not interfere in their decision. They also can choose a minimum amount of hours that they would like to be booked for. I guess members can negotiate between themselves outside of the website and that is fine by us. We however do charge a small fee when someone wants to book one of our members. We give people 2 options. You can either sign up for a monthly membership of $24.95 and gain access to all members on the site and book as many dates as you like. Or you can choose the one time booking option that is only provided when a member has updated their calendar and actually has some available dates displayed. A single booking token is only $9.95 and if for whatever reason the member declines your booking it will remain valid until someone accepts it.
Q: If I showed up on the arm of a model everyone would know that I hired him. Do you have any plain looking dates?
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)