Harlotry: On The Rates I Charge For Clients

Cate is something of a renaissance sex worker and has held numerous interesting jobs in the adult industry. Each week, she shares her stories in Harlotry.

Everyone knows that a well-balanced market has a variety of levels of service and an equal variety of price points. The best analogy is restaurants: if you want to go out to eat in a major city, you’ll have a range of options. They will go from the cheap, family-owned hole-in-the-wall with the most amazing food you’ve ever tasted (and service to match) to the expensive steakhouse with a dress code and waitstaff who are so attentive you feel as if you’ve been transported to Downton Abbey. Somewhere along this continuum are also the cheap hole-in-the-wall places with awful food and worse service, as well as the expensive restaurants that still make you feel as if you’ve been transported to Downton Abbey, but more in the context of making you feel like you’re the chauffeur who married the youngest daughter. The same holds true for sex workers.

While I can’t speak to the experience of small town sex workers (though I’m sure they exist), I CAN speak to my experience as a mid- to high-range indoor whore in Chicago. I’m not going to share the exact dollar amount that it takes to get under my skirt, but I will say that it’s more than most girls charge, but less than plenty of other girls require. My rate allows me to work relatively infrequently while maintaining a fairly decent standard of living. This frees up a lot of time for volunteer work, self care, and the pursuit of various hobbies and interests, such as sewing, napping, and binge-watching shows on Netflix.

I’ve found that in general, higher-end work suits me best, but sometimes I just need a change and I’m not against taking a one week paycation for higher volume, lower rate work in other cities. I can come back with a few thousand dollars and go back to my usual routine of seeing clients infrequently and selectively. It doesn’t matter what I’m charging, though–I give all my clients the exact same level of service because I firmly believe that when it comes to both tacos and sex workers, more expensive is not always the same as better.

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    • Communik8

      Cate, I’m surprised you don’t call yourself a feminist, because this was an excellently written piece of feminist ideology. If I understand you correctly, you are asserting that a person’s value is not tied with their monetary worth. This is so true for men and women alike, in every profession, situation and walk of life. I completely understand why you are frustrated with people who call themselves feminists, but still shun and shame others for their choices. Still, I applaud you for living a life that embodies core feminist values. You choose who you want to be regardless of societal constraints. You are not afraid to live your life openly. And you live a life that sees real value in others, regardless of their choices or bottom line. Awesome!

    • PsychologistInTraining

      I just started reading these last week, all I can say is wow! I can’t figure out why I didn’t start sooner, this is an amazing body of work! Can’t wait to see what’s next :) Also, I really hope you have a manuscript cooking, you have so much to say and it’s all begging to be on the Best Seller table in Barnes & Noble. Please, please never stop writing.

    • thurs

      Can I ask a couple of questions out of ignorance? How are the meetings achieved- are they at hotels or at your home? If at a hotel, does the client pay for it? Also, what are the provisions in terms of condoms? Is it something that is required and mentioned ahead of time?

      I know these are basic questions- but it seems to be along the same theme as the article- which is essentially explaining the business model. And I do realize that it probably varies quite a bit.

      • Sabrina

        I’m not qualified to answer for the author, but I can speak from my own experience. Meetings can happen at the whore’s home, the client’s home (or workplace), hotels, or sex clubs and other venues, such as private sex parties. As far as hotels go, the clients can pay in any variety of ways – cards, checks, even cash. Some people prefer not to leave a trail and actually, I’ve done the thing where I book the room in my name and pay for it with the client’s money several times. For most sex workers, other than I guess some fetish workers – I’m not sure about this but I’ve heard stories – and some street whores, condoms are standard practice and non negotiable. Being an indoor whore myself, I know I used them. It’s not even up for debate.

    • guest

      Where is Cathryn? On a great vacation, I hope. Need a new article.

    • Distraught Reader

      Come back! Man, I really hope you’re just on an extended vacation :( I just discovered your column!

    • Casual observer

      I hope you’re just busy and haven’t run into any trouble. I miss your columns.