Ever wish you could just “borrow” a handsome AND smart gentleman to have on your arm for that company party? If you’re a busy Single woman who wants more from an escort service, Rent A Gent may be just the website for you! CEO Sara Shikman gives Single and Living Fab readers the story behind this unconventional escort service.

S&LF: What was the inspiration behind Rent A Gent?

Sara Shikman: The inspiration are the successful and confident women I see all around me. In 2013, I reached a level of success at my other business that it was running on its own with a great management team and our employees across the globe. I also saw that my female friends and I were making more money than our mothers and grandmothers before us and had the same limited entertainment options. I attended a few boring parties where the male entertainers couldn’t carry on a conversation with intelligent women and decided it’s time to do something about this.

S&LF: How is Rent A Gent different from what most women perceive to be your standard male entertainment service?

Sara Shikman: I attended male strip clubs and male revues for bachelorette parties and realized that the men at these venues all have one thing – a great bod. That’s wonderful. However, I want to provide and cater to the successful women who will need a gent with a  great body but also with a great personality and brain. We hand pick our gents through extensive interviews and psychological questions to see how the gent would respond and act in the presence of an intelligent woman. Education is very important to us, as is being well traveled.

S&LF:  What is the screening process for the selected gents?

Sara Shikman: Every gent is an independent contractor who’s been carefully selected from the thousands of guys who applied to work with us. Less than 5% of the guys who apply ultimately make it onto our site.

S&LF: What gave you the idea to go beyond standard dating and entertaining services to offer gents as helpers and teachers too?

Sara Shikman: We wanted to provide all the sophisticated services that successful and confident women would want.

S&LF: How far in advance do women have to reserve a gent?

Sara Shikman: Most clients book about two weeks in advance, but we also accept bookings up to the day before. For best availability, early booking is encouraged.

S&LF: Some women may be hesitant to use services in which they are paying for a man’s company. Why do you think those women should reconsider and how do you think services like this are beneficial to single women?

Sara Shikman: Women do not have to pay for a man’s company. Just like women do not have to buy a $400 pair of shoes. It’s a choice, a fun choice, that beats just going to a bar or going out to dinner. It’s just a different entertainment option for women who already have many options.

S&LF: Why do you think there is still a stigma behind renting dates, even for perfectly eligible but busy professional women?

Sara Shikman: Because men put that stigma into our heads. But we no longer have to listen to anyone when we make our choices, which is very exciting.

S&LF: Can you talk a bit about your experience as a former corporate lawyer and what it was like trying to date with such a busy lifestyle?

Sara Shikman: As a corporate lawyer, I would often get invited to charity events and other upscale events with every short notice. I always wanted to have the hottest date in the room and it was hard to do with such short notice. But now with Rent A Gent, our clients can book a guy even that same day to attend an event.

S&LF: Why do you think it has taken so long for a service like this to come about when these types of services have been available to men for such a long time?

Sara Shikman: Probably because many entreprenuers did not want to risk entering into a market that has not been opened yet.

S&LF: Your company’s services are based mostly on the East Coast. Do you have any plans for expansion in the future?

Sara Shikman: We are actually expanding to the West Coast within a week or so, already have lined up castings on the West Coast, and have recently expanded to Chicago.

In an upcoming interview, S&LF talks with an actual Rent A Gent customer who gives us the inside scoop on her experience. Stay tuned!