Nothing agreeth worse/Than a lady’s heart and a beggar’s purse. - John Heywood
The story is told that George Bernard Shaw was once at a party and said to a woman that anyone would agree to do anything for money, if the price was high enough. “Surely not,” she said.
“Oh yes,” he said.
“Well, I wouldn’t,” she said.
“Oh yes you would,” he said. “For instance, would you sleep with me for… for a million pounds?”
“Well,” she said, “maybe for a million I would, yes.”
“Would you do it for ten shillings?” asked Shaw.
“Certainly not!” said the woman; “What do you take me for? A prostitute?”
“We’ve established that already,” said Shaw; “Now we’re just trying to fix your price.”
It is a strange but true fact that (excluding depressed markets like Dallas, Texas) the annual incomes of most competent whores except for those at the very top (popular porn stars and mercenary “wives” of rich men) and those at the very bottom (the most exploited brothel girls and most degraded streetwalkers) tend to fall very roughly into the same general range. This is because those who charge more attract fewer customers and therefore earn fewer fees, while those who charge less earn a higher number of their cheaper fees. Prostitutes in large and wealthy cities (again, excluding Dallas) can command higher fees on average, but of course the cost of living and doing business in those cities is also proportionately higher so their net income is similar even if their gross income is much larger. Also, girls who do a higher number of calls with cheap clients put themselves at far higher risk of disease, rape, assault, arrest, exhaustion and psychological burnout than their sisters in the higher echelons. The key to maximizing one’s profits is to realistically assess the market value of one’s services in one’s own market and to charge the highest price which that market will bear without exceeding the point of diminishing returns; of course, finding that point may take careful observation and trial and error.
If the majority of independents and agencies in an area advertise prices or at least communicate with one another, a neophyte whore can start by simply charging the going rate, then experimenting once she has a feel for her average weekly income adjusted for seasonal variation and other circumstances (such as competing entertainment due to sporting events, fairs and the like). If she does not advertise her prices it isn’t difficult to recognize an increase in the number of inquiries which fail to result in completed calls, but if she does advertise prices it’s a bit more difficult to tell. In any case some judgment and rudimentary calculation skills are necessary if one means to experiment thus; a girl whose computational ability is not up to the task would be better off just charging the going rate and being done with it.
Since in the United States prostitutes have no guild or union, the prices of individual girls in a highly-competitive market may vary widely; this is the reason for the aforementioned buyer’s market in the Dallas area. For some reason, there are a large number of pretty young girls working there, and since the supply always exceeds the demand Dallas girls will wheel and deal more than those in most other cities. Though some independent escorts in every city may offer discounts from time to time when the market is slow due to the economic climate or seasonal slumps, in Dallas this is the norm; some girls get so desperate they will cut their already subnormal prices even lower, with the result that many escorts who could make a good living elsewhere are reduced to glorified streetwalkers there. To any unhappy Dallas girl who reads this I have only one thing to say: Get out while you can, because it isn’t going to get any better. The Dallas market has been this way since long before I started stripping, and I see no reason to believe it will get any better in the near future. There are plenty of cities within a few hours’ drive where you will be appreciated and can earn the respectable living you deserve.
New Orleans, for all its reputation, is the exact opposite; when I was working the going rate there was the same as that of much larger cities, namely $300 (about twice the Dallas average). And due to the fact that a large percentage of our business came from tourists and travelling businessmen, we often had to deal with men (especially Dallas men) who insisted that our prices were too high. When I was the one answering the phone, my response to these men varied with the caller’s attitude; if he was rude I would simply say something like, “You’re welcome to try elsewhere, but you’ll find that is the going rate in New Orleans.” If he had talked to other services before me and asked “Why is it so high here?” (this was the typical question from Dallas residents), I would respond with a one-sentence economics lesson along the lines of, “Supply and demand; there are too many girls in Dallas so the price drops, but few in New Orleans so the price increases.” If he lied to me with “So-and-so only asked for $150,” I would simply say either “Caveat emptor” or “You get what you pay for.” But if he was polite and asked for my help rather than demanding a bargain, I would generally ask, “How much do you have, sweetie?” and then let him know if there was anything I could do. Most New Orleans girls would accept $250 if it was daytime or early evening or the call was close and the client seemed nice, and when girls helped the service by taking such calls I rewarded them by selling their services a bit harder to future clients. If the client had less than $250 but we weren’t busy, I would offer him a half-hour and lower the agency’s fee to $75 so the girl could still make out OK.
One advantage of a tourist economy is that one can make such deals without ruining one’s reputation; if word got around that a $300 internet independent was accepting $250, pretty soon every man would demand that price and it would turn into a PR nightmare. But in a tourist economy there is little communication between clients, and since many ”hobbyists” disdain agencies a girl who works for one has more leeway to deal without having to worry about long-term repercussions either to herself or to other escorts in that market. Also note that there is a vast difference between a client who negotiates on the phone and one who attempts to do so in person after pretending to accept a girl’s price in order to get her there; the latter is not only dishonest but potentially dangerous, and the wise escort should simply take her cancellation fee and go rather than face the possibility of rape and/or robbery.
The absolute lowest amount of money I would advise any self-respecting escort to accept is $200 no matter how short the time; I have heard of internet girls accepting less than that for a half-hour, but I would never accept such a deal myself nor allow any of my girls to do so. The reason is simple: Every ATM I have ever seen will give out at least $200, so a decent man might legitimately claim to only be able to get his hands on that much in a strange city. If a man cannot come up with at least $200 it means he cannot afford $200, which in turn means that the money is dearer to him than to a more affluent client and he will be more likely to try to get every last penny’s worth out of his escort’s hide; as I previously observed about black men, such a client will often be rougher and far more demanding, and nine times out of ten will cause the girl to exceed the agreed-upon time. As an experienced escort told me when I first started, “The less they pay, the more they want,” and I found that to be absolutely true. Another factor, of course, is that prices under $200 attract a poorer clientele who are less likely to have perfect health and may not be as wary of public exposure as professional men usually are, which creates an unacceptable security risk.
Doug once told me that Linda had been at his office earlier that day and secretly looked into his books while he was on the phone with a client; when he hung up she angrily confronted him with, “How come Maggie makes so much money?”
Doug replied, “Because she’s out doing ten $250 calls while you’re waiting for one $400 one.” While this was a bit of an exaggeration, the point is nonetheless a valid one: Even though most of us fall into the same general income range, a whore who sets her price to the highest her market will comfortably bear and then makes occasional exceptions as conditions require and reputation allows will earn at the high end of that range, while a whore who sets her price too far above everyone else’s in her market will generally earn at the low end.