Being a Sex Worker is not easy from a business perspective. There are many financial risks. Paying for hotels, advertising, travel expenses, food, make-up & personal grooming, lingerie, and other costs can make being a Sex Worker rather expensive. And then there is the fact that there are no guarantees of getting any clients.
To top it all off, there is the seemingly increasing problem of clients either cancelling at the last minute or not showing up to appointments at all. This can potentially leave a provider with hundreds of dollars in expenses with no income to off-set it.
And this brings us to the a very hot topic these days: Deposits and Cancellation Fees.
Many providers are choosing to implement these in order to create some sense of financial security in their work. But is it a good idea?
This is a fairly simple idea. If clients are required to pay a certain amount in advance of a session, they are more likely to show up. This also allows Sex Workers to be able to pay some of their expenses in advance, which can be of great value to those who are traveling or who do not maintain a permanent in-call location.
Currently I see a small—but growing—percentage of Sex Workers who require deposits when booking appointments. These deposits are generally being paid via PayPal, Cash App, or similar online services. The amount of the deposits ranges from anywhere between 10 percent and 50 percent of the session rate.
From the Sex Worker perspective there are certainly advantages to these deposits. Since these deposits are a fair amount of money, it is highly unlikely that a booked client will not show up. If a guy has already paid 50 or 100 dollars just to book an appointment, chances are he is going to be there unless he has a very real and serious reason not to. This can definitely reduce the chances of no-shows and last minute cancellations.
Unfortunately, it also reduces the chance of booking many clients. There is a very large percentage of clients who only deal in cash. There are multiple reasons for this, but chief among them is that cash leaves little or no paper trail. It’s anonymous and very secure. Additionally, dealing in cash only can help prevent spending outside of one’s budget.
But as a result of being cash-only, this means that a large percentage of potential clients will be passing on any providers who require a deposit. This can potentially lead to a very real reduction in the number of clients a Sex Worker can book.
Additionally, many clients view deposits as a high-risk endeavor. Many men fear sending a provider money, only to have the provider be a no-show. This has, unfortunately, been done many times in the past. It is a risk that many within the community do not wish to take.
Overall, while deposits may seen very beneficial to Sex Workers, they may not be the best of ideas if they lead to a reduced interest and bookings.
This is another interesting concept. Charging clients for not showing up. I have seen this listed in many providers listings and—to be honest—find it a bit odd. I understand the idea. If a client cancels a session within a certain time period, they are charged a fee. Doctor’s offices do it, so why not Sex Workers?
But, barring having received a deposit, this seems a fairly impractical endeavor. Without already having money from the client, how does one charge a cancellation fee? Does the Sex Worker send the client a bill? Obviously not. The only real option is to add that fee onto the rate of a future session. But such a fee might make a client not desire to see that provider.
If a Sex Worker charges one of her regulars a cancellation fee, it could lead to unease in their relationship. If the client in question is not a regular, chances are they won’t reschedule.
Honestly, outside of keeping a pre-paid deposit, I see no practical value in the idea of cancellation fees. In fact, I feel that even listing it on advertising is likely to be a negative point when clients are looking for providers. While I understand where providers are coming from wth regards to cancellation fees, I think that even talking about them is likely to hurt their business instead of helping it.
It is difficult to say what will happen in regards to deposits and cancellation fees. Right now they are likely hurting many Sex Workers potential business prospects. But that may not always be the case. If more clients become comfortable with electronic donations instead of cash, deposits may become very common. This could certainly become a reality as various cyber currencies become more popular.
In my opinion, I think that finances within Consensual Transactional Sex are likely to become more involved with electronic transactions instead of cash as the younger generations of clients become more involved. A decade from now it may only be a few old men like me who are sticking to cash-only. And we may find that OUR options will be limited then. But it’s hard to know the future. For now, I think that it is best for all parties to stick to good, old-fashioned paper money. It may mean dealing with a certain amount of no-shows and cancellations, but it is very secure for both parties.
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