A journal from Duke University’s East Asia studies department has an article published that describes South Korea’s “Tenpro” prostitution culture:
Tenpro (Koran for “ten percent”) are a special kind of sex worker conceptually defined and imagined as women who are intellectually and aesthetically in the top ten percentile of all women, similar in concept to a high-end escort of the United States. Because of the exclusivity and secrecy that surrounds these exceptionally beautiful tenpros, this glamorous business had been veiled from the eyes of the general public. Only recently, with the spread of this business practice and heightened interest in this topic, a few former tenpros like Mihee have released detailed first-hand accounts of their lives.
According to a research conducted by the Korean Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, an average of 49 Korean men out of 100 are predicted to have had used some sort of sexual service, despite the fact that prostitution is illegal in Korea. Additionally, research conducted by the Korean Women’s Development Institute indicates that prostitution amounts to approximately 1.6 percent of Korea’s GDP, or 13 billion US dollars. When we compare this figure to that of America’s, which is currently estimated to be 14 billion dollars, or less than 0.1 percent of its GDP, we see that an average Korean man spends 16 times more than their American counterparts on sexual services. [Duke East Asia Nexux]
You can read the rest at the link, but the article concludes by stating that high end prostitution services in Korea is so popular because it is a status symbol for the well off to flaunt their wealth to their peers by affording “Tenpro” girls.