Friday, June 22, 2007

Working the Stiffs

Beth asks a question over on the Eden club review: why would anyone work an exclusive contract with a club? What are my thoughts?

I haven't worked an exclusive since the day I walked out of Twisted Orchid months ago, I agree with Beth: for me, exclusives are not a good deal. But Beth admits she's a voice girl, whose average rate is double that of top text escorts, and which is a product, phone sex, not tied to sl. SL can advertise it, but it exists outside of sl. Even more so with cam girls: the average rate for a Cam girl runs 3K :15, which is four times my text rate, and the top cam girls with HD and a good show run 10K :15, which is four times my top rate for specific clients. When that kind of money is available, a girl would have to be a naïf to sign an exclusive.

For me, as a relatively pricey text escort, exclusives don't make sense either, because the clients who seek me out are looking for me at my freshest, with a full range of imagination. The first hour someplace will fish out the interested person, or it won't. It makes no sense to grind for four hours someplace, when the last three just aren't worth anything at all.

Now let's turn this around. Consider the girl who is new, or whose rate is the more usual 350L - 500L :15 and has no equipment of her own. The 20% club tip may sound steep, but she would be earning nothing without the stream of customers coming to her off the tp drop point. I remember the early days of my being an escort, and nearly sighing with relief when a well appointed male avatar bulked out from the default female shape. At last! Money! I had only one ad placed, rather than the dozen I place now, and no expenses but upgrading my look. The result was that text escorting in the middle range kept a steady stream of people willing to buy a half an hour of my time at 1000L cost to them, 800L net to me. Now figure out how much typing you are going to do in dancing and escorting to clear 30K in a week. It's a small novel's worth.

A friend of mine, very skilled in sex, pretty, sweet and experienced, recently went two weeks without a client. She's working Elements now. For her, is working an exclusive worth it? Of course it is. 100% of nothing is a great deal less that 80% of a lot.

I believe that text escorting is doomed, personally. I think that as voice rolls out, and the cost of being "really" sure that the other person is female drops to zero, and the greater illusion on the part of the male that he has some chance of making this girl his permaslut hole, text escorting will be an adjunct to voice, a low end product, or an arcane taste of a few people who practice the old rites of old SL. New SL will have left it behind. I think that a year from now cam girls will have their own areas, not necessarily islands, just clubs, the will hire hungry text escort girls to give out essentially free sex to churn demand, and then skim off the cam customers who show up looking for cam. The text escorts will probably make something like 200L to 400L per hour, and be happy of it, and the cam girl will pay for this out of the profits that the additional customers are drawn in. I have some empirical evidence on how this would work, but don't care to share it at this time.

(This will be particularly true since the cost of building a "barbie" is dropping to zero. Right now I can design not one, but about 500 different girl avatars who cost 10L, the prim shoes being the only expense, who can get a job at any club you care to name based on their looks. When a barbie costs almost nothing, then the premium an escort can command for being better looking and better dressed than most women on sl also drops to nothing.)

(But this is a general pattern, rl money is coming to sl, it will swarm and swamp sl economics. People pay sl as if it is "play," not work. People pay rl money for rl things: voice, sight of actual pubic hairs soaked and wet. Old SL, that we live in now, is going to go away, and be replaced by a more balkanized, more integrated with rl, and pricier, place to play.)

So my thoughts: for the girl who is learning, who does not want to to the work to build a client base, and who is text only, an exclusive makes a great deal of sense. This is particularly true of working a top club: where business is flowing in like a river. However, for other clubs, other than a few very successful boutique clubs, and I would list Twisted Orchid as an example of of a successful boutique club, an exclusive is not a particulary good deal for a working girl. Many clubs harass their girls mercilessly, or guilt them into showing up at absurd hours. Many club owners insult their girls calling them stupid, or bitch or cum slut whore. All in the drive to raise traffic and have product on display.

The skin trade, even virtually, is a rough business, and the people who have made it to the top of it, or even the upper middle, make far, far, far more than than those who are scraping by at wages just above camping. A few top or niche clubs can justify demanding an exclusive, because they really can put the tips in the jar for the girl. But most clubs cannot, and yet many, many club owners want exclusives.

From the point of view of club owners, having exclusives is important. For good owners, it is because the cost of training is high. For bad ones, it is that hungry tired and confused girls are easier to push and abuse. Either way, the desire to control someone has huge payoffs for the club owner. For the girl learning, or one who is in someplace where it is easy to check in, work an hour and walk out up 3000L up, and yes, I've done it, and I know others who have, an exclusive works out just fine.

Beth mentions she wouldn't want to give any of her money over. That is true, except that if working a club brings you in more business, then the house percentage is worth it. Particularly for the new girl who has no bed or place of her own with ban privileges to work. I remember letting out a spare room for 50L, and having girls whistle with relief that I would give them temporary ban powers.

Top clubs can demand exclusives, because they provide benefits worth the 20%. Many others demand them, without giving those same benefits.

Yedo is not a strip or escort club. Were I to run such a club, I would not ask for exclusives.


  1. Hello Jazon, I hope settling your rl is working out well, and that if we can't have you in world that you will keep writing for us.

  2. Of course I will keep writting Lillie, but I will be returning to Second Life shortly, lol and I hope I haven't already lost my job.

  3. We wil be very, very, very happy to have you back.

  4. (I messed the registration in the laptop, hope I am not trying to post this twice).

    I've always thinked about SL escorts as courtesans, for the good (charisma, money, a kind of freedom) as the bad (disgusting, rude or obssesed customers, boredom, underpayment).

    But after reading this: "Many clubs harass their girls mercilessly (...) to raise traffic and have product on display."... why they do it? are some cents of dollar enough reward to come to SL and be unhappy? Or does the hope to be a high profile escort someday sustains them?

  5. For me, when I was on the pole and a customer was abusing me, I took it for fear that I would not get another job. Who would listen to a newbie girl with a free skin and a self-made shape? I had had enough experiences by that point knowing that filing a second life abuse complaint did... nothing.