There are different types of escorts and it is hard to distinguish what some of them do from prostitution. However, that is not to say that there are no escorts who are just escorts; escorts who provide only companionship.
There is a legal escort service that organizes for companionship. The client pays the escort company and gets a woman, for instance, to accompany him to an event. The escort company operates a legal business and rents out escorts on agreed terms. If the client and escort thereafter agree to have sex, the company will not be liable as they will claim not to know this. They will also claim that that was not what they agreed on.
It is therefore difficult to prosecute an escort service without proof that they had knowledge of the sexual arrangement.
Escort services are a more refined form of prostitution. The women who work for an escort service are expensive and premium. They may work as professionals during the day such as lawyers or doctors, then work at night as an escort for extra money.
The offer for payment is made before the escort services are provided. The escorts’ websites make it clear that they are not prostitution sites. Sex is implied but this is not stated explicitly. You can pay to take a girl on a date and that’s all – the rest is up to the two of you. You can then negotiate with your date on how much to pay for sex and other services.
The client may have a say on what he wants the escort to wear, or how she should look when showing up for the date. Since the date is also expected to be a companion, the client may pay for the escort to look the way he wants by providing costumes or particular clothing.
The amount negotiated initially may be very different from what is paid at the end. Obviously when sex is involved, the amount ends up being higher.
What makes as escort more costly than a prostitute is that they go beyond sex. Escorts are usually educated, well dressed and able to make the transition from the company cocktail hour to a hottie after hours. Pleasure escorts can travel as companions and will often have their passports in order, ready to fly off to a client at a moment’s notice.