Most of us got into this industry for the same reason – Money. We want to earn a lot of it and we want to earn it quickly. Whether it’s out of necessity or pure desire, money is a powerful force, and can be intoxicating if you’re not careful.
Here’s the thing about money in the sex industry – it’s rarely, if ever, constant. You have good weeks, bad months, killer years, and rough seasons. Ideally you get a feel for the rhythms that you’re going to experience and over the long run can live relatively steadily on your income. But that takes time, commitment, preparation, and dedication. It’s a challenge that few of us rise to on the first try. An added challenge is that we can be surrounded by clients who make obscene amounts of money, and are generally expected to present a glamorous and upscale lifestyle. Whether it’s as simple as having our nails taken care of or a deeper persona we develop – it’s important to have a REAL sense of what kind of lifestyle we can afford. But before you even get to that part – you need a really simple understanding that your income is not constant. You do not earn an annual salary. You do hours of unpaid labor. And sometimes the money just isn’t there. Sometimes you can do everything right, but the night is slow, the clients are flaky, or the worst economic recession in recent history fucks with your regulars. There’s a lot that is in your control – but there is a lot that isn’t. Your income WILL fluctuate.
This is especially important for New Girls. For your first 6 months (maximum – and depends on your field – for some it’s more like 6 weeks or 6 days) you will be the New Girl. You will be the hot new flavor, and you will be exciting. Milk this time. Build a base of regulars. Enjoy the relative freedom you have to make mistakes with fewer financial consequences. And remain fully aware the entire time that you have New Girl status, which will eventually fade.
It may not fade right away. It may not fade suddenly. You might not even notice it fading at first because (hopefully) you’ve developed your own rhythm and regulars and understanding of how you work. You can tell yourself that you’re going to do everything right. You’re going to be prepared, have some money saved, and have done such a good time building regulars and having new ideas to stay fresh that the experience you gain will counteract the disappearance of the New Girl status.
But you probably won’t. Honestly, most of us don’t. And that’s ok. For most of us there’s a significant dip between when we started and then when our businesses really started to grow significantly. Here’s some ideas to minimize the damage that dip can do to your finances.
Five Things NOT To Do With Your $
- Extravagant shopping sprees. Treat yourself for sure, but try to keep it within reason. Better yet, make someone else take you shopping.
- Taking on major financial commitments based on your brand spanking new salary. Like buying a new car. Or signing a lease on an upscale apartment. Make sure you know how much you’re going to be making over a longer period of time.
- Getting into debt. Don’t assume you can just pay it back later because you’ll see an extra client or sign on an extra couple of hours.
- Quit your day job. Yes, that’s usually the point. But hold on to it for a little bit of time while you get your feet wet and figure your shit out. It takes time. Really. And this industry has an extremely high turnover.
- Act like an asshole and brag about or lord over all the money you make to your friends. They’ll be far less sympathetic during the rough times, and well, you don’t want to be that asshole.
Five Things DEFINITELY To Do With Your $
- Put some in your savings account. Put more than you think you need in your savings account. Save 30% for tax season (see #5)
- Pay off your debt. Just good advice in general.
- Invest in your business. You already bought your domain, right? Get a decent camera. Get enough supplies to last for a while – condoms, lube, whatever. Get some dungeon gear. Get some new lingerie. Get toys! And keep your receipts if you’re going to file taxes!
- If you have financial goals – stick to them. Saving for a house? Don’t touch those savings under the assumption you can earn it back later. Putting money away for a college fund? Leave it there. Be disciplined and it will happen.
- If you have trouble with any of this – hire help. Get good software. Get an accountant. Hire the Tax Domme – and especially if your income is tracked, which it will be for just about any legal area of the industry, pay your damn taxes. It’s far more expensive not to.
I’m not a financial expert. I wish I had taken more of this advice when I was new. Just be conscious, cautious, and smart. It can be feast or famine in this line of work. Don’t let yourself starve if you can help it.