Since the press can’t be bothered to do their homework, I’m doing it for them.
Let’s get a few things straight: Kristen, or Ashley Alexandra Dupre, or Ashley DiPietro, or Ashley Youmans, did not earn “several thousand dollars an hour”.
Her rate was $1,000 an hour, and she stayed for two and half hours, I believe. Plus, Client 9 put down a deposit of $1,500 for future visits. Do the math. It works out.
Agencies in the United States take a fifty percent commission, which is absurd, but never mind that for now. So actually, her rate was $500 an hour. But wait! It gets better. When a client pays with a credit card, he’s hit with a surcharge of fifteen percent. And then the agencies, greedy bastards that they are, also take fifteen percent out of the escort’s cut. So, for a single hour, one thousand dollar call, she can walk away with as little as $400-450.
Emperor’s Club was one of the more expensive agencies in New York. A lot of averages are being bandied about by the press, and they don’t seem to me to have any basis in reality. The average rate for a high end outcall escort (an escort who goes to a client’s hotel or residence) in Manhattan is about $600-800 an hour, before the agency’s commission. Perhaps more if the escort is of model-height and model-looks, or if her agency simply markets her under a different name, with different rates and a different rate structure. You just fudge her height, age, and measurements a little bit, and upsell clients when they call: Well, Megan isn’t available this evening, but we do have Devon for you, though she’s more expensive. Emperor’s Club engaged in this duplicitous practice, as do most agencies in New York.
There’s a Columbia sociologist named Sudhir Venkatesh who is getting an awful lot of mileage in the media as an “expert” on all forms of prostitution. Listening to him, I get the feeling that he pulled a lot of his research out of his ass. $10,000 a session? Sure, in 24 hour session, maybe, but it’s really not that common. There are so few men who can afford that kind of money, to begin with, and even the ones that can often don’t, for reasons I don’t feel like elaborating upon at the moment. I was a very well-paid whore, and my earnings were about $100,000 a year, gross. And I had a hell of a lot of expenses. I could have worked a lot more, but I turned down a lot of appointments. I guess you could say that I was a bit of a soup Nazi when it came to prospective clientele; for example, I deleted e-mails with text abbreviations like “ur” and “u”. Your typical high end escort can gross $200,000 to $300,000 a year. In a city like New York, it’s really not that much money.
Most men see a rate of say, $300 an hour, and they think, “That whore is seeing six clients a day, fifty weeks out of the year – she’s making $90,000 a year tax-free!” Nope. First of all, fucking for a living isn’t the same as working an office job. An escort cannot sustain that kind of volume without serious risks to her mental and physical health. Even if that were not true, the demand for her services isn’t a constant. There are some weeks that she’ll receive twenty serious inquiries, and some weeks where she’ll receive none. It’s a feast-or-famine kind of business.
I guess I just find it funny that the institution of whoring is taking such a drubbing right now, and at the same time, the media is feeding the public such inflated figures. There’s a whole generation of Myspace narcissists out there who are going to think that prostitution is a fast lane to riches and celebrity. Who is going to take responsibility when that happens?
Last, I take issue with agency owners being called “pimps”. I don’t like agencies. Nine times out of ten, they’re awful, mercenary people who don’t give a damn about their employees, and don’t do anything that merits a 50% commission. But pimps take all your money. They might give girls in their stable some crack and Roca Wear as a consolation prize, but that’s all.