23 Things I Wished I Knew When I Was 22. #1 SAVE YOUR MONEY
At age 22, I started stripping. Over the next fifteen years I worked off and on as a dominatrix, porn actress, and escort.
Now I’m 49.
Here are 23 things I know now that I wished I’d known then:
#1: Save your money. Save your money. SAVE YOUR MONEY!
One great thing about sex work is making large lump sums in no time. One bad thing is that can quickly skew our thinking. It gets easy to lose sight of how money works, what it’s for, quite literally what it’s worth. If we have the ability to earn a regular week’s pay in an hour, what does money “mean?”
Let me tell you what sex work money means, if no one has ever told you.
In the short term, money set aside means you can walk the fuck away from any situation for any reason. This is so profoundly important. Money in the bank is what gives you true power to consent in sex work.
In the medium term, savings give you control over your business. If you get burnt out, if something bad happens and it’s best to go to ground for a week or a two, or you need to find a new club or dungeon, you have that freedom. You can experiment with your advertising. You can raise your rates from a position of strength, not weakness.
In the long term, savings puts you ahead of the game. Unfortunately, most sex workers, no matter how gorgeous or talented, end up with nothing to show from their time in the sex industry. This does not have to be you, but you have to be smart. No one I’ve ever known or heard about has retired on a closet full of handbags and platform shoes.
So start saving your cash. You can never save too much, and you can never start too early. Every time you work, set a portion aside, every shoot, every scene, every shift, every call. Ten percent is good; twenty is better. Thirty is rockstar. Make me proud.
I write extensively about both the practical and emotional aspects of money in Thriving in Sex Work, now available for in Kindle, Nook, and iTunes formats. You can buy it here.
Until next time, be sweet to yourself--
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