I’m writing this post as a response to someone who asked me about how to get into this profession in a safe and healthy way. There are a few different ways to get started. You can go independent, or go through an agency like I did. Both have benefits and drawbacks.
Before you look into these, I recommend brushing up on the laws around sex work in your area. The United States has very strict laws regarding sex work, and you will have to work around them. In places like Canada and the UK, the law is much more relaxed. You will have to navigate legalities in order to work, so be aware of that. The way I work, doing outcalls, I am not breaking any laws, but the people I work with are, so I have to be discreet in order to protect them. The drivers and booking agents I work with could be arrested for ‘living off the avails’ an archaic and paternalistic law that supposedly protects sex workers from exploitative pimps, but in reality can be used against people we hire for security and marketing, and, in some cases, even our live-in romantic partners. That said, the reality is that generally the police ignore the indoor sex industry in favor of harassing more visible and vulnerable street workers.
So back to the biz itself. There are pros and cons to working independent and through an agency. First, I’ll talk about going independent. The benefit of being independent is that you have complete control over your marketing, work hours (depending on clients, of course). You can set your own rates for your services and you don’t have to deal with having a boss. The downside is that you have to front the costs of advertising, and you have to screen clients yourself.
If you go independent, you can work discreetly from your home or another apartment you rent for your work. Another apartment is better than working out of your home, although it is an additional cost. Remember that if a landlord finds out that you are doing sex work on the premises, you can be evicted in many parts of the world, including Canada, so it’s best not to put your housing at risk. Also, even though the overwhelming majority of clients are respectful and decent people, on the off chance that you get a rude or violent one, you don’t want him knowing where you live.
If you do outcalls, it’s important to have someone you can call when you get to the client’s location. Give them the client’s address over the phone in front of the client. That way, he will know that he can’t get away with anything. Also, tell them how long you are going to be there, and, if possible, have them call you to remind you when your time is up, although that isn’t completely necessary.
If you don’t have the time to screen, handle the phone and email inquiries, and do your own marketing, an agency might be the best choice for you. It’s a good idea to research an agency before applying. Go to an interview and ask questions about their practices. Be careful of any agency that is strict about your time, that won’t back you if you don’t want to see a troublesome client, or who charges ‘fines’ for silly things. There is a local agency that fines escorts for having chipped nail polish! Avoid avoid avoid!
I was very lucky when I found the agency I work for now. I didn’t research them in detail beforehand, but they turned out to be a fabulous agency that treats the girls with respect. I have, so far, only refused to see one client, and they completely supported my decision, even though it meant less income for them.
The benefits of working for a reputable agency are that you have more time for yourself. You don’t have to market or deal with the phones. You just have to show up, and they arrange appointments for you. Agencies do tend to be 24 hrs, with much of the appointments happening late at night, so that is something to consider. I am naturally a night person, so that works for me, but for someone else it might not. On the downside, you don’t take home as much cash per appointment as you would as an independent. The agency takes a cut of your fee, usually between forty and fifty percent. Where I work, the agency charges 300 dollars an hour, and I take home 150. I make tips on top of that rate frequently, but that varies person to person and month to month.
When it comes to income, it is lucrative, but irregular. When it’s good, it’s very good. I have gone home a few nights with over a thousand dollars in my pocket just from one client who wanted a long session with me. Other nights, nobody calls and I go home empty handed. If you want to support yourself in this business, it’s important to save your money. It’s easy to get sucked into living large. It’s hard not to feel like a gangsta when you have a stack of crisp hundreds in your pocket, but you have to remember to make that money work for you. In my first six months in the business, I got into the habit of spoiling my then-partner, buying her fancy dinners and gifts and paying her rent for a while… and then work got slow and I had to take appointments when I didn’t want to in order to make ends meet. I don’t want to see anyone in that position. Sex work can be very lucrative, but it isn’t a ‘get-rich quick’ scheme.
I would recommend doing some soul-searching before taking the steps to get into the business. Sex work is, at its best, a very fun way to make a living while helping people and sharing your skills and knowledge. At its worst, it can be a path to drug use and trauma. It is so important to figure out your own boundaries around what you will and will not do with a client and to be comfortable sticking to them. I also recommend some self-defense training. I have only felt threatened by two clients in my first year in the business, but I was very grateful for my knowledge of martial arts and those handy pressure points that can make a grown man weep during one of those two incidents! Some escorts carry tasers or pepper spray. I personally prefer to rely on my hands and my wits. To each her own.
Practice regular self-care! As empowered as you are around your work, sometimes living as someone in a heavily stigmatized profession, and having to spin cover stories to certain people who would judge you harshly, takes its toll. Getting a massage, taking an aromatherapy bath, or walking on the beach, are great ways to care for yourself. Find what works for you.
Good luck and I wish you all success on entering this fascinating profession!