The Cleveland Escort Association, which is led by women, is looking for an escort to join their group, which includes the local area’s first live escorts.
Cleveland has been a hotbed of sex workers since 2010, when a new law mandated licensed escorts to be registered and to follow certain guidelines.
Now, the Cleveland area is in the throes of a wave of sex worker growth that has been fueled by the repeal of the state’s prostitution law, which has led to a surge in the number of women seeking to join the business.
The Cleveland Police Department said its officers have made about 50 arrests and issued about 200 citations in 2016 for the act.
The city’s new ordinance will make it a crime to offer sex services to an individual without a license.
The Cleveland Escorts Association has partnered with the local chapter of the National Organization for Women, which said the group’s members are ready to help fill the void.
The group is looking to attract more women, said Ashley Hines, who has been working as a live escort for the past five years.
She said the Cleveland escort industry is thriving because of a “huge lack of regulation,” and because of the social stigma that comes with it.
“We’ve had no complaints from the public,” Hines said.
“We’ve been told that the men we are escorting are just like the women we are, but we’ve never been asked to sign any papers.”
ClevelANDescorts.org says the association has hired a new marketing coordinator, a sales manager, and a director of operations, and the organization is working on new events, new services, and new ways to attract women.
The association is also partnering with an agency called Ohio-based Women for the First Time.
The group is asking women to attend an orientation in November, when they can apply for a license and receive training.
In January, the association will begin a two-week training program for female escorts at a private training center in Cleveland.
It’s not clear if the training will be similar to that for male escorts that are licensed.
Hines said the organization will continue to educate the public about the industry, but said that for now, the group is focusing on the first step of its program: educating men about sex work.