Gigolos: Bradley Lords on What It's Like to Be a Male Escort (and Make $12K in Three Days)

Damian Holbrook
Gigolos
Josh Caine/Showtime

He works hard for his money. Soooo hard for it, honey. And if you've ever seen Showtime's doc-tease Gigolos, you know that Bradley Lords is not one to lay down on the job...so to speak. As a former Marine now shooting a different kind of ammo as a Cowboys4Angels escort in Las Vegas—and one of the five stars of the series—Lords has seen his fair share of action of all sorts and has maintained his sunny Southerner's charm through it all. So we gave the hottest guy on the Strip a call the other day to talk about tonight's Season 6 premiere, his bond with costars Brace Land, Nick Hawk, Ash Armand and Vin Armani, and why people still have the wrong impression about paid companions.

Sorry this is early, but I figured you probably start your day pretty early.
I usually do, yeah. I don’t sleep a whole lot so I’m always up at crazy hours.

I can imagine.
[Laughs] Well, I have a finance job most of the time and then I do Gigolos on the side.

Wait, what?
[Laughs] I actually work in finance. It’s my regular job. I have three or four employees, and they make the calls and do the applications and the financing. I own the satellite office of a company in L.A.

OK, so now I am even more fascinated by this whole situation. How does a nice Southern gentleman from the Marines get involved in escorting?
You know what, the best answer is, you just fall into it. There’s no way to actually plan for something like this. Garren [James, owner of Cowboys4Angels] gets hundreds of applications every month. I want to say that ever since he started the company in ’09 I think he’s had some ridiculous number of applications because guys want to [get into this] work. A lot of the guys are crazy and you look at them like, ‘Okay, yeah right.’ Some of them are really good guys, though. He looks for a certain thing in people and in the beginning when I first started working for the agency, he actually was not sure of me because I had no experience. I did a lot of modeling and my background was good, so he took me on. But it was like six, seven months after working for him that I actually auditioned for the show.

When did you realize that you were good enough to charge for sex?
Well, we don’t ever charge for sex, because that would be illegal! [Laughs] But in all honesty, let’s just pretend that it was legal, it’s totally different than what people think, because if you think about it, females don’t really have to pay for sex. That sh-t’s been thrown at them since they were old enough to look good, so they never had to pay for it anyway. It’s really more about the companionship and the boyfriend experience and the personality—a little bit of everything all combined that the females really look for. After tonight's premiere, I leave for three or four days to Canada with a client and obviously, we’re not going to be having sex all the time. She’s a really cool lady, she’s the CEO of a company, she’s there for business for two weeks in Montreal. We’re going together, we’re going to go snowmobiling, skiing, have some fine dining…I'm somebody there to share time with because a lot of these women don’t want some guy they may randomly meet on the street. They want someone they know they get along with, who they’re compatible with, and who looks okay. There are a lot of different aspects of it, so it really comes down to that.

Gigolos

Don't dress for the job you have. Undress for the job you want!

Does being on the show scare some women away from hiring you because they don’t want to be seen with an escort?
You know, for us on the show perhaps sometimes, yes. I do have a couple clients from before I got really popular on the show and they’re always asking me 'You’re not too famous or anything now, are you? I don’t want people to notice you.' And I’m like, ‘No, don’t worry…out of the five guys I’m the All-American one so I kind of blend in.’ [Laughs]

What are we going to see this season?
This is a really good season and what makes it so good is that for Seasons 4, 5 and now 6, it’s been the same five guys, so we have really good chemistry and compatibility. We read each other, we have this camaraderie. As good of an actor as you want to be, you can’t make that happen, we just know each other. The five of us have such a bond that we actually cut down the production time from five and a half weeks to four and a half weeks this season. We’re so good at it now that when we film, we click.

So you guys are really friends?
Just last week, I actually watched Ash’s son for like four days. He went out of town, I watched his 13-year-old son for a few days. A few days before that, I had coffee with Brace a couple of times during the week. We all know each other so well, we know what to say, what to do; we have that special chemistry onscreen that, even for good actors, you can’t teach that stuff to. I really think that’s going to be evident in this next season. And you’re going to see that we have a lot deeper parts of the show now, it’s not just [sex]. If you ask anybody, if you took a survey of people, they’re not watching the show for the sexual content. I mean really, we ask people all the time what they like best about the show and, honest to God, most people tell us that once a sex scene starts, they watch for a second and then they fast-forward because they want to see the camaraderie, they want to see the reactions, they want to see the relationship between the guys and the situations much more than just seeing tits and ass. You can go anywhere and see porn. You can see titties and whatever else anywhere. This is 2016.

But there is a lot of sex and skin. Once the show was renewed for this season, did you all have to get back in shape or is that just a constant state for you guys?
Most of us stay in pretty decent shape, obviously. None of us go to shit in the off-season because we still have clientele. But we do kick it up a notch for the season of course. I mean none of us are spring chickens anymore. [Laughs]

Are you all using Brace’s supplements line?
Of course! Absolutely. [Laughs]

Gigolos

Lords gets about 2 grand per ab.

In the third episode this year, a new guy named Billy is shadowing Nick on one of his dates. Did you ever have to observe any of the guys for pointers?
Actually, they kind of just took me and just threw me into this! I had to catch up and learn faster than anybody. Luckily, Brace is just such a great guy; he took me aside and said, ‘You know what, Bradley? Just roll with it and show your personality. You've got charisma, you've got personality, just let that sh-t flow and just roll with it.’ They all really coached me through it, and they really helped me a lot. Ash, too, and even Nick. He’s a really great guy. He took me aside [when I started on the show] and said, ‘You did really good, keep it up.’ We all want the show to do well, so we want each other to do well and that’s what makes this show unique. We’re not a bunch of housewives battling each other, fighting and spitting on each other. We all want each other to do well. And we have the taboo of the sexuality already, we don’t need any more drama. We can be funny, we can laugh and make jokes and mess with each other, but at the end of the day we laugh about it and it's great.

What was your first date like?
On the show or in real life? [Laughs]

Oh right! What was your first professional date like?
The first date, you’re always a little nervous. Obviously at that point in my life, I was in my thirties, so I’d been on plenty of dates. I wasn't a 21-year-old kid going on a first date, you know? It’s just more that you want to represent well and not mess anything up and you want to be professional and make them feel happy. What we really do at the agency and as gigolos is to provide a great service to people. That's what we really do, and we’re really proud that we provide a great service that makes people happy. When they come to see us, they’re a little nervous and they leave happier. That’s what we really want.

Obviously, this is not the easiest job to explain.
We get a bad rap because of the whole gigolos thing. But let’s just say we have two scenarios: You take two guys, one guy goes out with a lady, spends two days with her, makes her feel like a queen, she feels loved, she feels happy, she hasn’t felt this way in years and they part ways like adults. Then you have another guy who goes out on the weekend and picks up a girl on Friday, one on Saturday and a different girl on Sunday at a pool party, has sex with all of them and just moves on. Well Guy No. 1 was a gigolo who was paid for his time and Guy No. 2 just did it 'cause he did it. Are you going to say we’re nastier or dirtier than that guy? No way. If you step back and think about it, then absolutely not. We’re very professional, we make people happy, loved and welcome.

It’s all about your clients?
Exactly. And that’s what we really truly try to represent in the show and in the real world. We want to make people happy. I think that’s a true reflection of the show. One of my first episodes in Season 4 was a date with a lady named Judy and she was a little heavier. One of the comments that captivated the audience was that, for the first time in her life, she didn’t feel like the fat girl in the room. She felt special, and that’s what we’re trying to do. It’s not like we’re here just to hook up with different girls.

Is that the biggest misconception?
Society may think, ‘Oh they’re paid to be there, so they’re not right’ and I’ve always fought against this. I’ve had so many different adventures in my life. I grew up in church as a Southern Baptist, my one brother’s a minister, my youngest brother’s a youth director, my dad’s a deacon. I went into the Marine Corps and traveled all over the world fighting and then I got to this. So when somebody pulls that card on me, I’m like, "Well, you know, I done this and this, too.’ I think a have a pretty solid platform to make the case that what we do is good for people and not what people would think. They have this bad perception that we’re out there just going to hook up with everybody. It’s not the case. We’re there at the end of the day to make everyone happy.

How often are you guys tested?
All the time. It’s a basic screening; we always do that. I think everyone is. I want to say that anyone who goes on screen and has any kind of contact with anyone else, whether it’s a boxing match or UFC or football or Gigolos or a major motion picture, we're all tested. It just kind of comes with the game. And in this day and age, they have the capability and the technology to test everyone all the time.

What would you say the strangest date has been for you?
Everyone loves the one where I didn’t talk. That is brought up so often. It was strange for me, really strange for me because I talk a lot! [Laughs] I mean, if you’ve noticed, a lot of the deep conversations and storylines usually involve me and Vin or Brace. We talk a lot, we dig deep into every subject matter. If there’s a client who wants somebody to carry on a conversation with her, then they pick me a lot of times because, well, I never shut up! But that was a [crazy] date…she didn’t want me to talk at all. Just follow her out of the bar. She wanted me to feel like a stalker. It was strange and kind of kinky. It was really hot in a way!

Gigolos Season 5

Did the addition of the cameras, when you started doing the show, add to any kind of performance anxiety?
[Laughs] No! You really learn how to turn off that part and focus on what’s going on with the woman. I think it’s more of a challenge for them than us. I’m always telling the girls not to worry and to focus on me, not the cameras. It’s more a hassle for them than us I think.

Do you have a hard "No" on stuff that you’re not willing to do for a client?
Well, I never do anything I don’t want to do, so it’s always at our discretion. No matter what we’re asked to do or paid to do, we only do what we want to do or what we feel like we want to do, if that narrows it down.

How has this affected your personal dating life?
It’s a challenge. Girls are usually cool with it at first and they’re like, ‘Okay, it’s fine, I understand,’ [but] then they get to the point where they’re not as happy anymore. There’s always a jealousy factor and there’s going to be a certain aspect of [what we do] that makes it a little bit more a challenge than normal dating.

How many guys have tried to hire you?
Oh, I get asked for guys all the time on social media! [Laughs] They hit me up all the time and I’m super cool with it. I’ve done a lot of charity events in West Hollywood for AIDS foundations and things like that where there’s just an abundance of gay males and I love them all. I mean, I love all my fans, so it’s not a problem for me whatsoever. I think I speak for all five of us when I say that it doesn’t affect us whatsoever. We love all the guys, it’s just that it’s not our cup of tea, so to speak.

So there’s no price that could get you to try it?
No, not really…because we’re not really in that realm.

How many clients would you say you take on a week?
On the average, maybe a couple. It’s not an abundance, maybe a couple of weekends or so, so maybe six to 10 per month. Something like that. The show kind of covers more of the short-term client where it’s like one or two hours together. But overall, it’s going to be, like I said before, where I'll leave on a Friday for three days out of town. A lot of our clients are two or three days at a time, not so much the two or three-hour kind of gig.

And how much do you cost for a three-day weekend?
A three-day weekend would be, before commission, 12 Gs.

Damn!
Go big or go home. [Laughs]

We just spent a half an hour talking. How much will this cost me?
I’ll be sending you a bill! But you get a big discount for being a good fan. [Laughs]

Gigolos premieres tonight at 11/10c on Showtime.