Salon reports that high-end prostitution isn’t very sensitive to downturns in the economy. In fact, while prostitutes serving Wall Street may not have as many parties to attend, they’re still in high demand.
From Sudhir Venkatesh’s article:
Today’s high-end sex workers see themselves as therapists, part of a vast metropolitan wellness industry that includes private chefs and yoga teachers. Many have regular clients who visit them several times per month, paying them not only for sex but also for comfort and affirmation.
The cost may be thousands of dollars for an evening of leisure…In good times, Wall Street came calling. But bad times seem not so bad either…After the dot-com bubble burst and again in late 2006 when the housing market began to flatten, the high-end women…in New York and Chicago reported upticks in business. Their clients were coming to them for a mix of escape and encouragement.
As Jean, a…”corporate escort” told me, “I had about two dozen men who started doubling their visits with me. They couldn’t face their wives, who were bitching about the fact they lost income. Men want to be men. All I did was make them feel like they could go back out there with their head up.”
(In general,)…about 40 percent of high-end sex transactions do not involve a sexual service.
Venkatesh reports that prostitutes, like anyone looking to brave economic cycles, must diversify their services. Prostitutes will reduce rates or perform services on credit during hard times. Some also form underground money market and insurance funds through pooling their savings.
But the real ticket to survival during tough times, according to one prostitute Venkatesh interviewed, is to keep ’em coming back.
We could all take a lesson from that.