I spent some time hanging out at my favorite place to laugh at people... the explodingly popular red light district. It is filled with the people who are the most pathetic on SL: people trying to use SL as a place to fulfill really stupid real life fantasies. One guy wanted an rl girl to be in his rl car as he crashed it. Another IM'ed me to work as a free hooker at a party he was charging for. An rl party.
One girl was begging to do anything at 100L. During an hour I saw only one hook up take place. And yet, the Red Light District is spawning its usual wave of whores who go to the rest of SL and wonder why everyone isn't charging 50L :15.
Let's add this up.
A full sex bed costs 25K Linden. At 200L an hour, that is 150 hours of whoring. At the rates I was seeing hook ups, that comes to umm... a year.
Let's talk about what it costs to be a beauty on SL.
Skin set: 4000L for RAC, Backstage or other top quality skin set.
Hair sets: 300L each, about 8 will do. 2400L
Shape: 500L, even if you later do your own.
Shoes: 300-400L per set, at least 5 sets. 1750L
Outfits, I own over 100. But let us pare that down to a mere 40 at 800L average apiece. 32K.
Tools and assorted other needful things come to about 2000L. AO's for example.
A 4000M plot is, at minimum mainland prices, 32K.
Assorted other furniture and dance balls runs another 5K.
Xcite parts run 3K for a full set.
Let's add this up. A top quality escort has a base cost of 110K. That is about 400USD. Tier runs at about 30USD a month for this, plus 8USD a month for membership if she does not belong to a land group. Buying island will come to a bit more, even without the membership.
To earn 100K base back at 100L, would mean 400 hours of escorting. If done 20 hours a week at the usual 2 to 1 rate I was seeing, that is two hours of standing around for 1 hour of work, that is 7 hours of escorting, which is 2800L a week. Since tier runs 10K a month for this, our hobbyist nets 1200L a month to pay back costs, or almost 2 years of escorting. But by then many of those items will be outdated and need to be replaced all over again. So , even if you are a whore nympho, there is no way to even break even at the escorting rates that the red light district supports. This presumes that our hobbyist has a full time rl job.
And yet the men there see me, and expect me to fall in with that price line, provide rl pictures, and do cam for free. And they complain about the newbie haired girls.
And yet this is exploding in terms of traffic.
What this tells me is that there is an undercurrent of violent hatred in our society, not just in the US. This is confirmed to me by how many people who say they want professional relationships act, with violent abusive insults being the order of the day in many quarters.
Second Life's economy is going to bifurcate. Hobbyists are going to be driven down to piracy wages. The only way to get quality content at those rates is to steal it. I should check if the pirated hair is still for sale. More over, there is a strange double standard. The people who built that sim sold it for 50000 USD. So LL is allowed to make money selling places for sex, that is rl money, enough to pay bills with. The sim builders are. The content providers are. And yet the women actually doing the service, charging? Outrage!
There is a word for people who are supposed to work for free while others profit. Slaves.