In hard times, the business of selling sex continues to struggle, part 2
Last week, I shared the story of an exotic dancer who revealed how the recession has affected her industry. Today, you’ll hear from a Las Vegas escort how the economic downturn has reshaped her line of work.
“Cali” is the blogger behind (NSFW) The Las Vegas Courtesan. A five-year veteran of the escorting business, she has been called “the Washingtonienne of Sin City.” Here, she talks about her life as a 21st century call girl, from the return of financial industry clients, the battle over tipping, and what sex acts men request when they’re down on their luck.
At first the change in the clients and money was a slow one. Las Vegas has always been a roller coaster of a ride in earning money as a sex worker or as a stripper, so at first I didn’t really notice much of a change. The highs got a little lower and the bad nights got a little more frequent. I would say that the bad times really were noticeable in the fall of 2008 when the markets really fell and things really took a turn for the worst. I remember that fall for a few months it seemed like I was just sitting at home waiting for nonexistent calls. I noticed another large dip in the spring of 2009, which is normally the most busy time of the year with the most conventions coming to town during the months of Feb-May. Obama had made a few choice comments in February that year and it started a cascade effect of cancellations of conventions. Normally I would be very busy and making good money, but instead it was like someone closed Las Vegas down to the normal happy conventioneers. Since late 2009 until now I have seen things pick back up ever so slightly, especially this year. Nothing huge or a “back to normal” state, but people seem a little more relaxed about spending money on having a good time. I have also noticed most recently a jump in people who work in the financial industry.. such as bankers, hedge fund managers, investors, etc.
As for the types of clients I meet, that has changed as well. There are a lot more foreign clients, which a lot of times are difficult due to language barriers and what they are accustomed to in their country. Some agencies have raised their fees due to greedy cab drivers who are having an issue making money actually driving, but some have become more lenient with negotiating the company’s fee because clients are working on a tighter budget. They would rather make something than nothing and potentially have a client get mad at the girl. I meet a lot more guys who have been ripped off at the massage parlors, which makes my job a lot more difficult and also I think has had an effect on people wanting to return to Vegas and call an escort. It leaves a bad taste in their mouth (no pun intended) and they are reluctant to call back in the future on their next trip. As far as my income goes, I definitely have had to make some adjustments to what clients think is fair for certain services. Many more people are on set budgets when they call an escort and a lot more negotiating goes on now. What used to be a 15 minute transaction (getting the fee + tip for services) has often turned into a 30 minute or more ordeal. I have also come to the realization of “it’s better to get something than walk away”. You can almost always work something out with people and it’s better to work towards that than waste your time unpaid. Some girls say that I have a gift of patience to deal with people…. glad they see me that way!
I haven’t had any different requests only that people have become a little more simple at what they want to do because they know they can’t afford to splurge. They tend to now keep it a little more easy and quick because they know their budget prevents them from a longer session or adding a dinner date. All in all I think people are doing a slight bit better but have become more aware of their spending and not getting themselves into a credit card black hole like they would have done mid 2005. Las Vegas is still the “roller coaster” it has always been but the averages are picking up a bit more.