Rate is a sensitive subject for many sex-workers and it used to be for me as well. Ok, well it still is. It is very difficult in a profession where you sort of choose to be sexually objectified, to not put your value as a human in a dollar amount.
You see women going at it all of the time about rate amounts and their quality. I have even done the same in the past particularly in my younger days and I’ve since learned. To some extent, you do have limits based on who you are. You may also have privileges based on who you are. We work in a male-desire-driven field. If you are BBW, there is a smaller market and you likely have to charge less for consistency. If you are uneducated and unable to provide longer dates with stimulating conversation, you have to charge less. If you are “mature” you may have to charge less. This is just the way of things.
Furthermore, the sex industry is frequently changing. You may have to charge less in different areas, different seasons, and different economical climates throughout the years.
However, ultimately, your rate is not a reflection of who you are, it is just what works for you.
When you see women with $1000, $1200, $1500/hr rates, don’t assume you are failing at an “average” rate. These are usually women in porn and very often the expectation is bareback “pornstar” experiences. If you don’t want clients risking your health to get paid a small fortune, it is fine to not have $1000/hr rate. Not to mention, these types of sessions being accommodated at all is harmful to all women. This should not be the expectation of casual sex. It should be safe. That being said, please don’t assume because a girl has a high rate she is dirty. She also might just want to work on occasion – a super high rate ensures that and creates a filter.
The best thing we can do as sex workers to support each other is to refrain from assuming and comparing to other women, particularly if you are someone with a higher rate. I used to work at a higher rate and was completely ignorant to the fact that some sex workers just simply have lower rates because that is the market that works for them. Assuming that women with a lower rate are somehow providing a lesser service is completely destructive.
I have since worked at many different rates, and worked with women who have many different rates. And I can assure you that the quality of the date is judged by the quality of the person and not the rate.
So, as a sex worker how do you decide what your rate will be? After years of experience I have found something that works for me and I will explain my experience. Everyone is different but the key to remember is that a higher rate does not equate to a better experience.
When I first started escort work, way back in the days of Craigslist’s “adult services” section, I started at $300/hr maybe less. I did quickies and half hours. I also started back at $300 when I took a several-year hiatus and came back under a new identity. Little reputation means you should start slow and steady to build a presence. For me, someone who was young, thin, etc $300 was a good starting point as I saw that comparable peers were maybe around 600 with a reputation. Over time I bumped it up until I was comfortable.
This was my rate for the most time out of any. I found it to be comfortable yet attainable for the men I wanted to see. I offered 45min (450) 60 min (600) and above. It was a good system for me at those times and gave me enough consistency to be comfortable. The financial climate in Chicago was ok. I could have probably charged 700 during those years but I found this to be suitable.
When I began in porn and lived in LA, the sessions were fewer and farther between. I felt I needed to bump up my rate in order to “hang” with the other pornstar providers in Los Angeles and in the porn scene. Even still, the bigger stars charged hundreds more than I. This is where the rate thing became tricky for me.
I began to seriously question my career and my value. Up until that point I had lived comfortably being worshipped by my clients and being paid readily. But in LA the market was completely different. Particularly at a hefty rate.
As my rate got higher, the patrons got more entitled, rude, flaky, and disrespectful of my body. They wanted bareback, they tried to remove condoms, they felt I should be worshipping the ground they walk on, they dangled the money in front of my nose as they fucked off all day on scheduling just to disappear. This may be fine for some, but there is only a certain amount of male-ass-kissing I can do for a dollar. I need to feel like myself to survive in this industry. Working a this rate made me miserable. It made me hate myself.
This is technically my rate now. I’m a mom of a young child, I have less time on my hands. So I offer sessions at a 2-hour minimum at $500/hr. I have found this to be very comfortable. What I have found with this rate is that I have access to reasonable, intelligent, everyday men who are smart and clean but still respectful and low-maintenance.
This setup allows me to filter out clients whom I like, and like to have rounded experiences where we share conversation and more during our time together – with plenty of time to experiment. Expectations are low, openness is high, and the mutual respect is bountiful. I don’t feel like I’m doing something for less than is worth my time, and they don’t feel like I owe them a pound of flesh for that fat white envelope.
Occasionally I offer one-hours, but typically I will just take the occasional two-hour date. I don’t have to work “in-person” every day, and if I am going to get dolled up and ready for a session, I can give it my all and my client feels that.
Now, keep in mind, these are only numbers I have worked with in my areas and with my reputation. The numbers are not what matters, it is the experience. Don’t sell off your health or self-respect for a higher rate. But DO know what your time is worth. Find a rate that is comfortable and that you feel good about getting done-up for. Find a rate that wont cause resentment or burn-out. Find rate that a client can’t dangle like a carrot to keep you chasing their bullshit.
Only you know what your time is worth so just own it, don’t compare and compete with other women. Don’t let anyone tell you what your rate should be. It will eat you alive! You truly only have yourself in this business so find “you” and work it!