I have been dreading it for one year. I have been resisting it for two years. I have been considering it for three years. But now I really have no choice: I have to raise my rates.
The fee schedule I originally created has been in place since 2010 – it has been untouched for over five years. I’m going to keep the structure essentially the same, but the base rate upon which I generate all the multi-hour discounts ($250 for a one-hour in-call) is no longer enough. In this entry I will explain again how I think about fees.
I see a maximum of three clients in a day. I space them out by at least one hour, but prefer two or three hours, whenever scheduling permits. This keeps me fresh and upbeat at every appointment. As I said in Part 8 of (the unfinished series… yes, I know I need to complete it) “Establishing a Career in Adult Entertainment, Economics:”
Over the course of a week I am looking for 7 – 12 billable hours during trips away from home (and only 3-6 billable hours if I stay in Charlotte for the week). I need two billable hours to cover hotel and food; one or two to cover airplane fares; three to amass the money I need that week for living expenses; and then the difference goes toward savings, personal/creative projects, and/or spending money. This means that out of a maximum of 12 billable hours in a week (this is one way I avoid burnout!), a quarter of the money goes immediately back into my travel expense account, a quarter goes towards bills, and half goes to me.
That same formula still applies; however, the variables have changed. Inflation happens. From 2009 – 2013 there were more carriers flying out of Charlotte. Now USAirways has integrated with American Airlines, and the merger has resulted in consistently and significantly higher fares to many of my cities. A roundtrip flight between Charlotte and NYC had been $200-$300. I’m in NYC as I write this, and the flight this time was $500. Yay for unchecked capitalism! Also, from 2009 – 2012/2013 people weren’t traveling as much for work. Not only the airlines, but hotels were desperate to get butts into seats. For years I was able to get deeply discounted hotel rooms by using a corporate code from a friend. I could get into good hotels for only $35-$99/night. Now, even in places like Little Rock, the rooms start at $75/night, but they average $125. With the discount. In Little Rock. Arkansas. Think about that. Also, parking, ads, food, etc. have all increased since 2010.
Whether I like it or not, I have to adjust up. There are other concerns too:
- For years I was priced at the uppermost range of what most escorts were charging. This vetted out cheap, dickering time wasters. Lately I have been getting more messages from these unpleasant people. I went online, took a gander, and behold: Without me realizing it, my stagnated fee had become “average.” Oh, no, no, no, honey… Uhn uh. No. Don’t you ever use the word “average” about me ever again. No. I used to raise my eyebrows when someone’s base fee was $300 or higher, but now that range is common. Time to bump up and maintain connections with clients I can afford. Average??? Me?! Pfft!! LOL Have you seen my booty??? Okay then… It costs a lot of money to maintain the appearance people want and expect from me (which brings me to point #2).
- I keep getting fitter and fitter. For real: My new trainer is Charlotte’s only vegan body builder, and he is cleaning me up and whopping my ass! This dude, the large amounts of organic food he wants me to eat, and the vegan supplements he wants me to use all cost way more than the trainer, food, and supplements I was using in the past. (I need to figure out how to update the pics in the carousel on my gallery page – those pics don’t look like me anymore.) Not to be a bitch, but I’m turning out to be one of those dickheads who keeps getting better with age. AND THAT COSTS MONEY TO MAINTAIN. If these silly, lesser heauxxx can charge more than me (and yes, many of them are silly, lesser heauxxx), you can bet your ass I’m not letting them leave me in the dust. No, sir. Nope. They’re not hotter than me. They’re not smarter than me. They’re not nicer than me. They’re not funnier than me. They sure as shit aren’t more transparent than me. They’re not more educated than me. They’re not more experienced than me. They’re not more reviewed than me. THEY’RE NOT BETTER THAN ME. Their videos are more current, but I don’t happen to give a damn about the “prestige” of gay porn. If the top dudes are charging $300-$400 nowadays…
- My grandmother died recently. And that fucking sucks worse than I can possibly convey to you. I have been struggling lately to even function. She was like a second mother to me. Because of the relationships ruined between gramma and every individual person in the family (except me), I have had to grieve alone and between work obligations. The rampant dysfunction in my family became an all-out feud once gramma passed away. She had six children, but chose me to be the executor of her estate and her personal representative – what does that tell you about my five worthless uncles? Also, as I dig deeper into gramma’s choices over the four years after grampa died in 2011, I learn more and more about her that tarnishes my memory of her. One of the reasons I have taken so much time off from work these last six months is because I have not been emotionally viable as an escort. I’ve finally wrapped my head around the family situation, and I’m back on track (though dented, dinged, and a tad more cynical). At any rate, I absolutely cannot contend with the estate and rampaging family drama and also be stressed out about the eroding value of my out-dated base rate.