Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

Nastya Polikarpova’s Men with Red Ties is a book for women curious about the lives of formal escorts in the sex industry. To begin with, the chapters of the book do not flow in a logical sequence. The story bounces from the present, to the past, then back to the present without any forewarning to the reader. It is difficult to keep up with where the story is presently in time and it might sacrifice some of the momentum of the story in the process. The book is not quite written in stream of consciousness, but almost, and the jumble of thought is difficult to follow at best.

Men with Red Ties is about two friends, Alina and Alexa, who work as female escorts at a dance club. They meet men and understand the nature of fulfilling the men’s fantasies. Because the men are typically business types, they all wear the standard high power “red tie,” hence referencing the name of the book. The women find that some men are sensitive, others just want a good time and still others crave a real person who will just listen to them talk about themselves, thus confirming that they are as important as they believe themselves to be.

The book is a bit of a difficult read, but there are several good points. Men with Red Ties does offer some sage advice that anyone would find applicable, such as the women’s note that snobs are really just narcissistic men who don’t know themselves very well. The best advice I took from the book is that women should love and value themselves, and that is something I do agree with when it comes to living a quality life.

Who is to say what is right or wrong? If you are reading this book, it’s not about judging these women, it is about understanding their story and seeing that at the end of the day, we all share the same feelings about how to make it in the world.

Rating: 2/5

After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Nastya Polikarpova. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.