Escort pricing -- hourly to full-night?
June 14, 2015 2:51 PM   Subscribe

SexWorkFilter: I was flattered when a friend claimed I could command a high rate doing sex work. But it turns out that my immediate circle of friends knows relatively little about how that market is priced. What would I actually command for a "date"-type night?

Casual research has led me down a rabbit hole of opaque pricing models.

I apparently have a bit in common, physically, with an independent woman who charges $250 per hour, incall. But that's her hourly rate; I'm really trying to figure out how a full night out would price out. Is it really as simple as "well, dinner and the show and everything else lasted 5 hours, so hourly rate times 5"?

Is there a term I should be using when researching that pricing?

Throwaway email:
posted by anonymous to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I'd think your (general, e.g. city) location would be very relevant, and the market segment you're aiming at.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:57 PM on June 14, 2015

Date nights like what you describe aren't very typical and would tend to be negotiated by the client and worker directly, so it might be hard or impossible to find detailed "standard" pricing.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 3:25 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

(Also, hourly rates for sex are not hourly rates for dinner and a movie and things like that because--and this is just my impression and I don't speak for everyone--going to dinner with someone might be very undesirable compared to simply sleeping with them in a hotel. You also have the long amount of time spent in public with that person, which could be an issue for some escorts in smaller cities and/or escorts with SOs or families. The "girlfriend experience", in my experience, refers much more specifically to the things involved in and surrounding the sexual act itself, like cuddling, being friendly and chatty, pretending to some extent like you're being seduced, things like that--not as much going to dinner. YMMV.)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 3:29 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

Unfortunately, I agree with what the others have said about there being no clear pricing guide. Location matters a lot; I know I've seen escorts who charge 75% of their NYC rate when a client sees them in Chicago, for instance.

And it also depends how you are going to find your clientele. If you're advertising on backpage or something, there's no way you'd get anywhere near $250/hr. With sites like that, you'd be lucky to clear $100. If you work with an agency, they'll take some of your money, and working independently would mean you'd have to find all your clients yourself.

You can try searching for high class escorts or elite escorts, just go through synonyms like that, and maybe you can find someone who might offer some assistance, but don't count on it.
posted by mermaidcafe at 4:44 PM on June 14, 2015

This is like asking the Internet, "I was flattered when a friend claimed I could make a lot of money as a salesperson. But it turns out that my immediate circle of friends knows relatively little about how that market is priced. What would I actually make as a salesperson?"

I hope this doesn't come off as snarky. We can't help you because we don't know what you're selling, where you're selling, when you're selling, how you're selling, and to whom you're selling.

There is no way that MetaFilter can give you a ballpark number unless you give us details (photos, age, location, educational background, references from past sexual partners) that you should absolutely NOT put on the internet for safety reasons. Even then, we probably wouldn't be all that much help.

I'm a stripper. I hear a lot about of speculation about "what strippers make," like there is a typical amount. There is no typical amount. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't understand how varied the sex industry is. I make more than many girls in the industry and less than many others.


Physical appearance matters more than you would like but not nearly as much as you would think.

You compare yourself to a girl whom you believe you have physical traits in common with, but there is a lot more to her sex work game. This blank space drastically affects how much she can charge.

Maybe she gives really good blowjobs. Maybe she gives really terrible blowjobs. Or, more likely, maybe she is good at giving blowjobs in a particular style. Maybe your style is different. Maybe she is not as good at intellectual conversations as you are but she is great at talking dirty. Maybe she has great photos but clients notice hygiene issues once they arrive. Maybe she caters more to a party fantasy than the girlfriend experience.

I regularly have clients tell me that they love my appearance, but I also have clients regularly tell me that they were convinced to buy dances with me just because of the conversation.

And I know that the reverse is true: my style turns some people off. I try to change my style to suit the customer as much as I can—to manufacture chemistry, so to speak—but at the end of the day, most girls cannot be the complete opposite of their natural style. From what I've observed, most sex workers don't consciously choose their style. Generally, your "style" is a handful of aspects of your natural personality, cranked up to eleven.

Girls of every body type and race and hair color make good and bad money in this industry. And the same is true of every style.


Some things you can control. Some you can't. Some you can learn. But truly, a frustrating amount of your earnings in this industry is just luck.

I sat down with the right guy recently and he ended up spending about $1,700 on me over a few hours. He was about to leave. I almost walked by him. The sale happened in part because I had a body type he liked and I conversed in a way he enjoyed, but honestly, the transaction hinged on luck.


I don't know how to go about figuring out what you could make in the hypothetical. I don't do escort work. But in my experience as a stripper, and from what I have heard from my friends who strip, webcam model, and escort? Earnings in the sex industry don't work in the hypothetical. You either do the sex work or you don't. Doing it is the only way to get your ballpark number.

I understand the curiosity though. I was curious once upon a time too, and could have written a similar question, ha.

Please feel free to follow up or MeMail me if you have any particular questions or thoughts. I know that my answer isn't the number that you were looking for, but I hope it is still helpful.
posted by Peppermint Snowflake at 6:01 PM on June 14, 2015 [35 favorites]

Your post leaves me a little concerned that you may not have an entirely realistic idea of what sex work entails. If the friend who suggested escorting to you doesn't actually have connections to the world of high-end escorting, is it possible they meant it as an offhand compliment and not a serious career suggestion? If you're interested in pursuing sex work then by all means look into it, but the best place to start is probably with information written by sex workers for other sex workers, rather than websites or other advertisements intended to attract customers.

For any type of freelance worker starting out and uncertain how to price themselves, I would give the following advice: there are people doing your type of work for anywhere from $10 to $10k an hour, and where you fall in that hierarchy depends on almost infinitely unpredictable (unless you have a mentor, but often even then) factors. You may as well start out by offering your services at the minimum rate you won't feel like a fool for accepting, and when you get swamped with offers increase your fee until you have a work load you can handle and can still be choosy about your clients. THIS IS VERY GENERAL ADVICE. Good luck.
posted by milk white peacock at 6:06 PM on June 14, 2015

dinner and the show and everything else

Of all the different friends that have worked as escorts I have known, regaling me with tales of their "dates", none have included dinner, much less a show. They usually charged around $200/hour - more when they were underage, spent in a mid-level hotel room (I'm not sure who was responsible for the hotel cost, not that I think of it), where there was little conversation/date-type activities and the women stuck tight to the time line as they had other customers scheduled back-to-back. It really was work, and nothing like a date. GFE meant they were dealing with insecure guys they could manipulate a little easier, not that they were treated like a girlfriend.
posted by saucysault at 6:25 PM on June 14, 2015

Listen, the handful of times I was given this same "compliment" from "friends," they had been putting out feelers as a prelude to suggesting a certain mutually-beneficial arrangement. So just a head's up, if you're serious about pursuing sex work you might have a client already waiting in the wings with whom you could discuss rates directly.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:51 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

In my experience, an encounter would run around $200 - $250.
posted by tr33hggr at 7:16 AM on June 15, 2015

From an anon commenter:
Hi, I used to work as an escort (provider) part-time.

Provider pricing is almost always hourly, and it's determined largely by your geographical area, your services provided, your experience and trust level in the hobbyist community, and your target demographic. A good rule of thumb is to set an hourly rate equivalent to an attorney in your area. Pricing varies wildly between demographics and advertising venues: e.g., someone advertising on Craigslist is charging much less, but is exponentially more likely to be someone working in vice. Hobbyists are willing to pay a decent amount for someone who's trustworthy, not flaky, and known to not be a vice cop. Be willing to start out at a slightly lower rate than the going one, as you build up a network of trust.

Pricing has very little to do with your body type. I don't look at all like the stereotypical image of an escort or a porn star, and I charged $300/hour. Whatever you look like, someone will be into your body, and someone will be willing to pay to be with your body. Whatever you do in bed, someone will dig it. Peppermint snowflake is absolutely right about this.

It is very rare to be booked for an entire evening, which is why there's no accepted code for it. Most hobbyists are trying to fit you into a very tight scheduling window. For multi-hour appointments, I'd reduce my hourly rate a bit, but not much, generally 75% of the full rate. This is an area where you do not want to go cheap. Cheap almost always translates to 'untrustworthy' in this business. I specialized in GFE, which meant I was almost always booked for at least an hour, and often two, because the men who wanted GFE did generally not want to feel rushed or have it feel perfunctory or transactional.

Having said all that, I'd strongly discourage you from becoming an escort. No, you won't become a strung-out homeless addict. But the job has some distinct downsides:

You will have to lead a double life, and that is insanely stressful. I cannot emphasize this enough. The logistics alone are a headache: you have to get a second phone, a second email address, deal with email encryption, a phone number proxy service, take good photos for your ads, post ads, respond to ads, find a reputable community to advertise in, and screen clients. Or, find an agency to do all that for you, but they'll take a significant cut.

Unless you live somewhere that prostitution's legal, you have to learn how to dodge law enforcement. Mistakes in this line of work can have serious consequences. This isn't stripping, porn, or fetish work in a dungeon (all of which are also damn hard work, but legal); you can be arrested, possibly go to jail, and while it's unlikely, it's also potentially fatal. Many employment contracts have moral turpitude clauses; if outed, you might lose your day job. You might have a hard time finding normal work afterward.

You'll have to deal with the financial stress of booking hotel rooms, and absorbing the cost when clients don't show or cancel at the last minute. You'll need to start spending a lot more money on grooming, hair, skin, and nails, and then deal with the questions from people in your regular life who comment about how you look.

You'll have to deal with reading reviews of your performance in bed. (Not recommended for the remotely insecure.) You have to always be on and be cheerful and put on a persona. You have to deal with clients who try to use you as a therapist, clients with questionable personal hygiene, and clients who have major issues around power and money. You have to deal with men you absolutely are not attracted to, and to have to fake emotional and physical attraction. The regulars I had who were actually men I found attractive, treated me kindly and as if I were a person in my own right, instead of a walking Fleshlight? Few and far between, honey.

It will absolutely and irrevocably change how you view men, sex, and relationships. Let me repeat that: irrevocably. I strongly suggest seeing a therapist while you're escorting to help deal with the new ways you're going to see people and yourself.

Yeah, it's nice to get the compliment that you're so good at fucking that you could charge for it. But please think about the entirety of what that entails — at great length — before you embark on it as a side gig.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me at
posted by restless_nomad at 2:28 PM on June 15, 2015 [6 favorites]

From an anonymous member:
I am an escort & yes, a 5-hour date is my hourly rate times 5. If it's a client I like spending time with, I might give him a discount (e.g. 5 hours for the price of 4). Overnights are usually my hourly rate times 6 or 7. Some escorts have a "social rate" that is lower than their regular rate: the client will pay less for any time spent together in public than for intimate time. Still others have a set rate for a "dinner date" which includes e.g. a 1-hour dinner plus 2 hours of intimate time. This rate will always be less than the hourly rate times 3 (that's the point of having a "dinner date" rate--the client pays less if he takes you out to dinner than he would if he wanted to have sex for 3 hours).
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:06 PM on June 15, 2015

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