I have an idea for a yoga studio in LA, but I don’t have much cash. I was thinking of escorting on the side to pay my bills while doing this. I was wondering should I do this? I’ve always been open minded. Have you ever participated in the sex industry, or tempted to?

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9 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    The problem with the sex industry is that it’s a dead-end job. So there’s no point in doing it unless you can turn it into something that is not a dead end. And in this case, I don’t think you are able to do that.

    Because I don’t think you have a good understanding of how yoga studios make money. The most successful business model for a yoga studio in LA is all marketing and connections. Running a yoga studio in LA has very little to do with yoga. The yoga world is way too competitive and heavily funded by companies who use the studio as marketing to get people to the things that really make money, like conferences and retreats.

    If the only way you can figure out to get money is the sex industry you’re probably not well connected enough to make a go of the yoga studio. Even with the extra cash.

    Penelope

  2. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    This seems like a pretty poor example. She is known for being a call girl to support herself, right? So that is her identity and I think very few women would want this for their life. The call girl thing as a means to an end only works if it’s temporary and gets you to somewhere new. Otherwise the call girl thing is a means and an end.

    Her story also speaks to a huge problem with the sex industry which is that many women think it’ll be temporary but the money and attention are intoxicating and it’s hard to stop once you start. I think she’s a good example of that.

    Penelope

  3. Ellie
    Ellie says:

    If she were in a good PhD program she would receive a stipend from the school, probably additional grants from the govt and outside grants from endowments and scholarship funds.

    A good rule for PhD programs- if the school doesn’t pay you enough to live- don’t do it. If you can’t make money doing your research as a student, you will never be able to after your PhD.

  4. emily
    emily says:

    Also, I think the question is an example of a quick solution to something that requires the exact opposite. It may be totally reasonable to want to own a yoga studio in LA – but the type of long term thinking the project requires is exactly the opposite of doing quick and dirty work.

    And by dirty, I don’t mean sex work. I just mean work that requires very little of your own planning. In fact, I think sex work isn’t a fast and easy way to make lots of money. If it were, a lot more people would probably give it a try.

    Also, after reading the wiki entry on Belle de Jour, it seems to me that she was a writer who happened to do sex work for a short period of time. So her identity wasn’t just as a sex worker. If she were a guy, people would just call her a journalist.

  5. Charles
    Charles says:

    This is another, perhaps more relevant example http://www.mcsweeneys.net/columns/bianca-the-covert-toronto-escort-with-a-day-job. Assuming that this is a true autobiographical account, it fits the model of a woman working temporarily as a sex worker, making money for a purpose, and then calling it quits. Not advocating for this or suggesting anyone else should do it. Also not arguing for or against any points already mentioned. I do agree with Penelope’s comments though. Just thought I’d submit this column because it is interesting and relevant to the discussion.

  6. kay
    kay says:

    I am by no means an authority on this topic, and it is so dated I doubt anyone will really see this – but, I did work at a gentlemen’s club through several years of college and graduate school. Aside from providing me with the financial security that I needed as a full time student, it provided me with a wide range of skills (aside from the obvious skills like dancing around in 6″ heels, without any clothes on and managing not to look ok while doing it). The most valuable of those was having a space to leverage intellect in an environment that is highly sexualized. I know that you have written on many occasions the growing capacity of women to utilize their bodies, as well as find ways to gain access into what we see to be a male dominated corporate world. I had the opportunity to really test out what worked and what didn’t with wealthy business men, and it has aided me in my post-dancing professional career on many occasions. I am often the only woman at the negotiating table, and having worked in the sex industry, in many ways, empowers me in those moments that I need to be reminded that they are “just men.”

    However, I completely agree that like any career choice, you need to be strategic about what you will gain from the job, what the lifecycle of the job will be, and how you will transition. The industry is over-saturated with young, uneducated women who will never make that kind of money again in their lives, and so they get stuck. It is those that go in with a plan and get out that will really benefit from it. I have always said that dancing is the perfect playing ground for educated women, because they are the ones that make the most money – men do in fact appreciate good conversation on top of good tits.

    Screw the yoga studio. Here is a start-up idea: open up a gentlemen’s club (sure, throw some yoga moves in there if you want) that creates incentives for women to coordinate education with their schedule (i.e. no house fees for a certain amount of credits, less pay out for a certain GPA, etc.). The more money the girls bring in – the more money the club makes. The less girls that are addicted to coke, whoring out on the side, and so forth – the less legal risk for the club. And as I mentioned, the smarter the girl (assuming all of her physical faculties are also there) – the more money the men dish out.

    • Morgan
      Morgan says:

      I’m a smart business woman. 29. Have been working on building my startup for a few months and am running low on cash, and accumulating debt, marketing and networking my business. I live in an expensive city and the job market is saturated. Selling sex and companionship is something I’m considering.

      Like the girl who started this thread, I’m a Yoga Professional, so I make my own hours and schedule, but when you’re starting out in this industry in the West, it’s difficult and it is all about networking. Now, I don’t want to start a studio. I deal mostly with Stress Management Coaching of Executives, but it still takes time to build a client base.

      I agree with Kay. If you are smart, and go into the sex industry with a plan, short terms goals, work at building your business Full Time, but spend time with men Part-Time, you can really achieve a lot of financial gains quickly to support the investments needed to start a business. I also agree with her point about learning how men think. If you can learn to see them as just men, you can learn to sell your brains to them in the corporate world.

      I recently watched Love, Marilyn. A documentary about Marilyn Monroe based largely on a box of letters and journal entries recently found. She was an ambitious woman who knew how to use the minds of men to get what she wanted. She openly admitted to having sex with producers. Maybe she didn’t get paid for the sex, but she got jobs. Hollywood actresses, hell even actors, are known for having sex to start careers, and it works! We idealize these people, but condemn the sex industry. They are making millions. Who’s laughing? Miley Cyrus is t’working it all the way to the bank.

      In yoga, we learn about Tantra. Tantra is not just about sex, it’s about using energy to stimulate the body and mind. Ancient temples In India have sex scenes inscribed in the walls. The Kama Sutra is not about how dirty sex is, it’s about using Sex, a natural instinct to reach higher levels of thought and awareness.

      Girls have sex after club hopping and barely remember it. Often taking the walk of shame the next morning, feel dirty, because society tells them they are sluts. They had mindless drunk sex for free, probably didn’t have an orgasm, and spent money rather than made money. I think for those who can leverage sex to get what they want out of life, all the more power to them.

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