- FEATURE: Voices of Choice
- THE FOODIE FILES: Spring in a Bowl
- GUEST OPINION: A Big Win for Wolverines
- THEM ON US
- THE BUZZ: Nest Contention
- MUSIC BOX: Double Dub and Keyed-up Piano
- IMBIBE: Dramatic Alto Adige
- CREATIVE PEAKS: In-house and Homemade
- GET OUT: Utah State of Mind
- WELL, THAT HAPPENED: The Swashbuckler
How To Marry a Millionaire: Love broker to the rich and famous tells all
JACKSON HOLE, WYO – We’ve all seen the ads. We’ve heard the buzz. A dating service calling itself StreetFox hit town with the pitch that they were “connecting the magnates of the Mountain West.” Was this some kind of escort service for the G6 clique? Maybe a haughty eHarmony for aristocrats with, as Robin Leach would say, champagne wishes and caviar dreams?
We had to know.
We tracked down the modern day yenta herself. Christy Lawton met with us over a double European mocha at Coco Love and explained how she got started matchmaking and why she turned it into a full-fledged business in Jackson Hole.
JH Weekly: What is this StreetFox all about? It looks like a dating service for heavy-hitters.
Christy Lawton: The clients that I am dealing with are people that could never put their face on a website. They are people that are either well-known – celebrity or tied to celebrity – or they are people that are business owners or CEOs or people that just flat out want their privacy yet they want to find love. How are they supposed to go about doing that in this small town, in this community? It’s been very challenging.
My phone doesn’t stop. I’m getting calls from all over the country, and I have to tell them it is strictly Rocky Mountain. Every single person in Jackson has said, “Thank God you are here. It has been so needed.”
JHW: So how does it work?
CL: I started in 2011. It’s turned way more consultative. In fact, it’s being relaunched as we speak. It’s more of a love liaison. Because the men are not coming to me and saying, “Show me your ladies.” They are coming to me and saying things like, “Christy, this is so messed up, and I am so confused. What have I done wrong?” Or, “Did I blow it? Interpret this text for me. Tell me what to do.”
I have a couple of men that say they have women trying to sleep with them, but they don’t think they should be doing that. A couple of them are scared shitless. One asked, “Am I too old to date a 35-year-old?” Another guy said to me, “I think it’s over for me. I just had my third divorce.” They are emotional. It isn’t funny. These men are literally emotional wrecks.
I just got off the phone with a guy after an hour. He said, “I’m so confused with her messages. Why is she doing this? She is talking out of two sides of her mouth.”
JHW: These are high-powered men in high-end jobs? They sound more like insecure teenagers after the prom.
CL: It’s love translating for men. They need it. It’s not like these men are dumb. These are high-end [magnates]. They are busy. They are confused. They are scared. If you had any idea who I am dealing with in this valley, it would blow your mind.
JHW: Go ahead. Drop names.
JHW: So what kind of advice are you giving the men? How much help do they need finding a date and making it through one?
CL: I have men that want me on a 24-hour basis. I have men that want me to shop for them. I help them with getting ready for the date. Everything from styling to what they will wear to teeth-scrubbing to spray tans and haircuts. I give suggestions on where to have the date. Kissing: When and how. The embrace. Every ounce of it. You have no idea. That’s why I have two phones.
It’s funny, I hear less from the female [after a date]. My consultations are way more with the male. And men are loving the feedback.
JHW: But before they are even allowed to go on a StreetFox first date you vet these bachelors thoroughly and even hand out reading assignments.
CL: It starts with their past, present and future. I always make sure they take accountability and ownership for the mistakes they’ve made, and if they can’t that’s a huge issue. They read the books. I make sure they read the book Wild at Heart because it speaks to a man’s soul. They also read the book Love Languages because half the time they don’t even know what their love language is.
[Then we] talk about sex. Depending on their age, a lot of men think there has been an issue in their past. They think they are good in bed or they are not sure they can satisfy a woman. It’s not a dirty conversation. They sometimes get very upset. They get very emotional.
I had a neurosurgeon whose wife left him saying the reason was he was a bad lover. He was very upset about it. I said, “Well, sometimes women say things to hurt. Sometimes they know exactly where to hurt you.” Then I said, “So is it true?” He said, “I don’t know.”
JHW: These sessions cut to the quick.
CL: I am a no bullshit person. I get right down deep and dirty. I can tell in five seconds flat on a date who is lying to me, or if they are a player. I can tell that in my consultations. People come to the table with truth, with no mask on, with no veil, and give it to me straight. That or get out of here. I have no time for it.
JHW: What about the women? [StreetFox has a 5 to 1 ratio of women to men]. What do they hire you for?
CL: I don’t like the concept of women retaining me because it violates my principles. So that’s when it turned into the “den.” The women are members in my den. The men are clients, ready to hunt.
JHW: Violates your principles? Hunt?
CL: I don’t believe women should hunt for men. I think if men – just like they hunt for animals, just like foreplay, just like the erection – if men don’t go hunt for the beauty of their life, if they don’t feel like they are earning something, they won’t keep her. If the man doesn’t think he has a beauty to behold, how will he cherish her in a relationship?
If a woman goes and hunts for her date, for her man, she’s never going to be happy. She’s never going to be satisfied in a relationship. Ultimately, a woman wants to be cherished. Every female wants to be pursued, wants to be fought for. When you see women lashing out, when you see a woman misbehaving in her marriage – she doesn’t feel valued. Every woman wants to feel like she’s the most beautiful woman in the world to her man. And if the man doesn’t really truly feel that way about his woman, well, there’s your problem.
JHW: That’s kind of old fashioned.
CL: I was raised with very old school values. When a boy asks you out you go out on a date and you might kiss a little. I was a virgin on my wedding night.
JHW: So what kind of advice do you give to women?
CL: My biggest advice is: Find your femininity. Be aware of your essence. Men are not looking to meet masculine women. They are looking to meet a feminine woman. Don’t be afraid of the word feminine. Look it up. We’ve been so focused as women to find our strength and “I am woman, hear me roar.” Well guess what? That’s not working for the men. That’s not turning men on.
For example, I have a woman who is phenomenal. She has a resume that would probably intimidate most men. So what she did is she went the extra mile in making sure her photos were very, very, very feminine. She wore feminine attire, had softer makeup, and had her hair blown out. She totally understood that her resume would probably make most men run.
If you went to Harvard undergraduate and Yale Law, don’t announce that on your first date. It doesn’t mean you have to be ashamed of it, just don’t lead with it. Feminine wiles go a long way. Save that for pillow talk. Later. Way down the road. Because men don’t need that. That’s going to make a man want to hire you, not make love to you.
JHW: Can we go back to your personal life again and talk about what led up to you learning you had a knack for putting people together even when, for quite a while, you couldn’t do it for yourself.
CL: I got married in 1997 and divorced in 2006. I had a five-year-old and a three-year-old. I was 26. I called a male friend the day the papers were signed. He said, “Welcome to the club.” I got this pit in my stomach. I said, “What do you mean ‘welcome to the club?’” He said, “Welcome to the cesspool.”
It scared me. But still, I was a concert violinist, went to a private university with a full scholarship. I was kind of THE girl in college to date. I had my pick of the litter. It’s kinda been that way my whole life. I’m from Southern California, and California girls – we did what we wanted. All the time I thought, “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. This is going to be a cakewalk. I’m going to have my pick of the litter of who I want.”
JHW: But you found the dating scene was a bit more loathsome than you remembered?
CL: I don’t know what changed. Men had begun treating women differently, and I wasn’t about to put up with it. What was really shocking to me was the women who would. Then there was this whole online thing where the men are shooting fish in a barrel. They go online and see all these pictures, and they think all these women are for them. Like shopping in a candy store. They were on dates with women, and they would go do their thing with women, sleep with them later that night, but while they were on the date with them they were literally online looking at somebody else’s profile. I thought, “This isn’t right. I’m not going to do this. I don’t care if I have to stay single the rest of my life. I will never ever be treated this way.”
JHW: You dated off and on for years never finding the right guy, but in the process you were able to fix up several girlfriends with men you had met. Satisfying, but still you were alone.
CL: I found a few good men. Very few. It was hard. I found a life coach who is phenomenal. Dr. Bonnie Vestal in Boise. I am still with her to this day. She’s touched my life. She worked with me a lot. It was very hard because I have a very, very, very high libido. And when you don’t have someone in your life, and you don’t sleep around, that was very difficult for me, especially as a Latina to not have that. I missed that a lot, to not have a lover during that time. I prayed a lot. I just hoped that there would be somebody for me. It was very painful to continually go on a date and have that hope and then the jackass would say something out of his mouth …
JHW: That all changed when you were invited to the annual library benefit at the Four Seasons.
CL: There were a lot of guys trying to talk to me that night. I was way overdressed for the event in a red, satin Shelli Segal gown. So I see this man, and I see this dimple. I just had to put my finger in it. He’s got this crater on his face, and I wanted my finger in his crater. So I was sitting down, and I don’t what it was about me. I had been single too long maybe.
He was talking to this guy who is now our really good friend, Wes Lucas. I walked right over to him and said, “Hi, I’m mingling.” And he goes, “I’m Pete,” and he looks over at Wes and says, “I’ll see you Monday.” Like shoo, go away, get out of here. And we were just locked. That was it.
He asked me to go skiing the next day. We go skiing, and we go to dinner [Stieglers] the next night. We made out like rock stars, and we of course did not sleep together because I don’t do that. It was absolutely love at first sight.
JHW: You drove home to Boise after that love-struck weekend only to find you had been fired from your job as vice president of a Wells Fargo bank. You were devastated. This man you just met, that you hardly knew, was the first one there for you.
CL: He said he was going to stay in touch, but men never do what they say they are going to do. Men, I find, are not honest in their actions. So I was suspicious. Pete ends up driving up to Boise. Shows up on my porch. He said, “I’m so sorry. I am here for you. You are not going to get rid of me that easily.”
Pete showing up like that showed that he was different. That he was a different man. The fact that a guy from Jackson Hole would drive to Boise for a woman – there was no sex, there was nothing guaranteed – just to show me he cared. I hadn’t seen that in any other guy. That was it. Game over. Nine months later we were engaged and married on the day we met [a year later]: December 4, 2010.
JHW: Even after your marriage, you still had acquaintances approaching you for love advice. They wanted what you had. They were looking for love and turned to you like they always had.
CL: I had a lot of girlfriends that were ridiculously immature and juvenile. I could not believe the way they spoke about men. “Oh my god, he was ridiculous,” or “Ugh, he’s so ugly,” or “What a joke.”
They were treating these men like they were garbage, and I didn’t appreciate the way people were talking about people. I would tell the ladies: “That took a lot of courage for him to ask you on a date,” and “Well, you didn’t have to sleep with him. He didn’t call you, because you acted like a slut. If you don’t want to be treated like a slut, don’t act like one.” I couldn’t believe the level of what people were engaging at. I couldn’t stand it. I wanted people to elevate their behavior.
JHW: At StreetFox, you bring a maturity level and integrity to dating that’s maybe been missing for decades.
CL: I have a code of conduct. You are not to engage in sexual activity on the first date. If I find out that happens, you are out. You are not to be drunk. You are to stay sober. If I find out you didn’t, you will not be set up again.
Because the men that have hired me are expecting to go out with a lady. You have agreed to a code of conduct when you joined my site. So if I find out behavior like that happens, you broke your own agreement. Don’t sign it then.
JHW: Are there clients you won’t work with for any amount of money?
CL: I’ve walked out on several bachelors.
CL: The disrespect they had for women. Their attitudes. They didn’t do what I asked. I don’t have time for that. Not when I have so many beautiful people working so hard to achieve love. Not when I have ladies that are working very, very hard on their profiles and themselves and then these men are not willing to do very simple requests. You are not looking for love. Go out and find another service. Goodbye. I don’t mess around. I carry a very heavy whip.
JHW: So when your bachelor is ready to go on his first date, do you handpick the bachelorettes?
CL: Let’s say you are my bachelor and you are ready to go out on a date. I say, “Great, I have narrowed it down to three; sometimes two. Men shoot themselves in the foot if you give them more options than that. And the bachelors are very happy about that. They don’t want choices. They want me to narrow it down for them.
JHW: You have a lot of success stories I see on the website. What if there’s no love connection?
CL: Well, it just happened last Saturday night. I had a couple I put together – a very high-level partner and a lovely, exquisite lady. Beautiful. Former model. They had a lovely time and enjoyed each other’s company very much but they didn’t feel the chemistry was there. They both brought closure to the date and have decided to stay in touch, to remain friends, but it just wasn’t a romantic connection. But they both were a lady and gentleman about it.