It’s been a bit of a hot topic – and it does tie in a little bit with stuff I’ve said in the past.
Are Pro-Domme sessions actually TOO CHEAP?
Now, some of this post is going to be quite cold and quite maths based.
It also doesn’t consider that costs and demand fluctuate between areas.
Some areas seem to have “going rates”.
For me this is very easy to say it shouldn’t be about the rate but the person, but I appreciate this on hindsight.
If I go back to my very first Pro-Domme session – I was looking moreso for a one-off experience.
I had specific things I wanted to do (foot worship) or try (watersports) and it had to be somebody available on an outcall to the area I was in.
Price wasn’t the factor, but was a factor.
I was somewhat confused, at the time, by some of the wild fluctuation in pricing – but I feel retrospectively that there’s lots of reasons for the chosen tribute.
– their actual overheads
– what they think their time is worth
– how many sessions they actually want
A lot of this is personal preference here.
One of the things I love about Femdom – and sex work in general – is it gives women & workers freedom over their own domain.
I assume, for many, sessions are the ‘fun part’ in a job that has other necessities; admin, accounts, promotion, networking, dealing with idiots…
So, I can get somebody asking for a low tribute in order to be able to have more sessions.
I can also get someone asking for a high tribute to promote a little bit more exclusivity.
Beware the haggler
Now. What I don’t like is sub guys trying to manipulate this, be it the “if she loved this she would do it for free” patter or the “if you lowered your rate you’d get more sessions”.
So. Let us talk around that.
Firstly, haggling like that goes a little against Femdom in the sense that as I said – the worker should have control over their domain and not for you, as an alleged sub, to try to take control of.
Next. Time to get some maths out.
Now. I honestly don’t know how many sessions most Dominants get per month and I would feel rude asking.
I also imagine that due to all round circumstances the amount required would vary.
So. I’m going to pick on a fictitious Mistress.
Meet Lady Evian
Lady Evian, whom is an apprentice for Mistress Yvonne. Perhaps Lady Evian will come up in other stories and examples. Lady Evian is new, a little naive, and some guys try to take advantage of this.
Lady Evian is asking £125ph. Sessions are her only real income. She’s doing maybe 20 a month.
Clever people at the back now think she makes £2500 per month, which is pretty good.
But you haven’t considered what she pays in rental – and her other regular outgoings.
I made a blog about this a while ago and some clever guy pointed out everyone has expenses in their job. Now, they do – for me it’s my travel pass (£106 per month), work clothes (which, let’s be honest, is fairly negiable) and I guess the laundry of said clothes (standard washload – maybe works out a couple of quid a month) lunch (I’m a sandwiches to work kinda guy…)
And most of us are the same. If my keyboard at work breaks, I go to tech support and they give me another keyboard.
If I want to buy some software to help with my work I present a business case to my boss.
Obviously some of this may differ if you’re self-employed – but again, most of the guys amongst us don’t need to worry about make-up, manicures, pedicures, hair dressing, etc.
Lady Evian’s monthly costs we’ll say are virtually the same however many sessions she does (not strictly true – but let’s ride with this) but she pays Mistress Yvonne £50ph for rental space hire.
(But, for the sake of these maths – everything she could want is well stocked – and while she cleans as she goes, doesn’t need to worry about any form of deep cleaning).
So – Lady Evian is making £2500 in tributes, but is paying out £1000 in hire costs, meaning her other expenses come out of £1500 left over and even that is taxable.
Again, clever people might think “Well, she’s making equivilant to an £18k salary for only 20 hours a month” which of course doesn’t consider that sessions are only one part of this and she’s spending many other hours dealing with bookings/clients/promotion/yada/etc.
Really clever people might point out she can off-set the dungeon hire as an expense – but let’s not overcomplicate this. Regardless, whatever can be declared or deducted – is moot for my point.
One of her clients whose been a couple of times. We’ll say he’s ok. Not the most memorable of sessions, but, OK enough.
He says he’d come see her more and that she’d get more sessions in general if she lowered her price.
She works out that this would massively cut her take though, so she has a word with Mistress Yvonne “If I took more bookings could you offer me a deal on the hire”.
Mistress Yvonne suggests to ignore the client – and if anything she should raise her price.
So. Maths time.
Lady Evian currently gets an average of 20 sessions per month at £125ph with £50ph hire fee giving her an income of £1500pm.
If she raises her price to £150ph then she would make the same income with only 15 sessions per month (15x£150=£2250 less £750 hire) – meaning she can afford to lose a quarter of bookings and can use the extra time not in the dungeon to spend more time on other tasks (including those that further her reputation).
Even, if she loses 20% of bookings she would still be £150pm better off.
If she lowered her rate to £100ph she may get extra sessions but she now needs 30 per month – an extra 10 – in order to make the same income she is already making. That is an increase in bookings by 50%. This obviously also further increases the time in the dungeon which takes time away from other tasks which still need done.
Even if Mistress Yvonne agreed to lower the dungeon hire to £30 an hour – then with an extra 2 or 3 monthly sessions (which in reality, is all it would be) she would only be around £40-£110 per month better off.
So the reality is that if a Dominant is not quite reaching her targets then it’s better to put prices UP… not down.
Of course there are a lot of factors my maths don’t take into consideration.
The main point of my maths is that subs who say “If you lowered your rates you’d get more sessions” are manipulative and miss key points. That every session has overheads and every session taken is also time away from other tasks.
Some thing that isn’t of course taken into consideration is the want to do sessions.
So Lady Evian could raise her rates and afford to lose a couple of bookings. Although, it might be she actually enjoys the sessions and wants to do more through enjoyment. Also, every session boosts her experience and develops relationships with some of the regulars.
In which case of course, there are other things she could do which do not involve wholesale lowering her rate (perhaps discounts on longer sessions, double-Domme, collaboration, filming days, rewarding regulars, seasonal specials, so forth).
Back to the above
I started to tell a story above to return back to and that’s the one of my first Pro-Domme session.
I had a budget.
As I said, price wasn’t the factor but it was a factor and there were a whole bunch of ladies I looked at between £100-£150ph for outcalls.
I suspect mindset works differently from guy to guy. Whilst the Lady I did contact was £100ph, I did so as of those I’d looked at, she was genuinely the one I warmed towards the most.
But, also at that point – I was looking for an experience.
I wanted to do one of my favourite things (foot fetish), I wanted to try something I’d fantasised about (watersports), I wanted to try some new things. Ultimately, I wanted to see what a Pro-Domme experience was like.
Whereas I can be honest, hand on heart, that her low tribute wasn’t what attracted me to her – I do imagine other guys in a similar boat may consider a kind of race down.
Or, worse, contact a more expensive Mistress and say “I found this other Lady for £x – will you price match?” – as if they’re shopping for bread in Tesco.
But then, are these the kinda guys you really want in session anyway?
There is a lot of argument and debate around undercutting. I need to be cautious to get over my point here. There is a “going rate” in a region which will probably be dictated a little bit by general forms of overheads and costs and perhaps newcomers choosing a rate “in-line” with others.
I’m aware of a premise where all Ladies have to offer the same rate, but, I don’t believe this is overall common place. As I say above, when I was looking for someone I found rates varied wildly.
I think there’s a little fear that raising above the “going rate” could lose clients. Whilst in my personal position I would only see Ladies who genuinely interested me, I appreciate there are many clients who are as I was. Those who wish for the experience as a one-off. Those who’d like to try certain things. Those where their fetish is more important to them than the Ladies they see.
However, I think should you wish to raise your rate there is still the maths at play of how many sessions you can then afford to “lose” and if this does now mean you’re in session for a couple of hours left if that time can be spent doing other things to boost profile or make money.
I do think that some deliberate undercutting is bad. A lot is contextual. Say, going through someone’s clients and being “You see Lady Evian for £125 per hour, come see me for £100 per hour” or actions to that effect – that’s bad.
I would also as a client be a little concerned by a Lady who seemed overall “too cheap”. I mean, a lot of this is contextual, but I just came across someone asking for £50 an hour. The premises she uses are £20 an hour to hire. Is she desperate? Is there a problem? Maybe she’s not that good? (Her profile claims her to be one of the biggest kink experts of all time!) or if not… is she happy sat in a dungeon all day with all the cheap skates for limited income, but also taking work away from others? And that to me is a bad thing.
However if one Lady is happy with her rates – be those below or in-line with “going rate” and does not wish to raise them. That is her call. That is her power and freedom within the industry and part of the point of Femdom. If there’s one thing we should have learned from blame politics (“Immigrants taking our jobs by being cheaper”) is that it’s not someone else’s fault you can’t get the rate you seek.
Client Spending Power
Equally, of course – for both our UK and US readers, our countries aren’t generally in the greatest financial position – by all means put your prices up, especially if they’ve been frozen for a long time, but remember a lot of potential clients also haven’t had meaningful pay rises : asking for more (or less) is your right, but doesn’t increase client spending power.
My overall views are pretty standard.
– People are free to set their own rates for their services.
– Subs, don’t haggle down. If you like the person you’ll pay her rate, if you don’t then find someone else.
– Dominants, don’t allow someone to haggle you down and don’t believe the “you’d get more sessions if you were cheaper” bullshit – see maths above.
– But, if you ever want to offer ‘specials’ or ‘discounts’ on your own terms, then this is the whole point that you have control over your domain
– Although, something to consider that if you do announce some form of special/discount/offer do note how this can be perceived to those who’ve purchased from you in the past that didn’t get such an offer.
– Even with less sessions you can overall make more money with a higher tribute.
– But, likewise, don’t be talked into raising your rate : again, control over your domain.
– Pretty much all Dominants are worth more than they actually request.
– But, I’m certainly glad they don’t ask more because I’m someone who would be quickly priced out….
I appreciate the irony of a (perceived) sub guy telling people what to do, but given that what I’m saying is “here’s some info which says do what you want and don’t let others tell you otherwise” then I hope you forgive me for it…
October 30, 2018 at 11:33 am
I think it’s also worth mentioning that first of all, for BDSM sessions, an hour is usually not an hour. The dommes I’ve sessioned with usually include some time at the start of the session for a chat, and time after the session for aftercare. And quite often if they’re really enjoying the session (which depends a lot on the sub!) they’ll run over time as long as they don’t have a tightly booked schedule. Plus you have to factor in preparation time before the session – travelling to the dungeon, cleaning up, smelling good, and putting on tight latex/leather outfits and thigh-high boots all takes time! And cleaning down the equipment afterwards.
So an hour of session time probably equates to a bare minimum of 1h20 of actual work and often more.
Also, you would need to deduct the cost of disposable items used during session. Lube, condoms, medical gloves, electrodes for e-stim play, needles for medical play, etc etc. Not expensive but not cheap either. Equipment can get damaged or suffer wear and tear over time.
October 30, 2018 at 7:03 pm
I’d add time again to that.
Email comes through for a booking request. Even in the best of cases this might take a few messages backwards and forwards.
Then of course like you say the travel time, the session time (including pre-chat and aftercare) the clean up time
And – of course, the possibility of swapping mails post session.
I worked out for a friend of mine that the time she was putting into a session was going to work out below the minimum wage.
I think a few of these points I’ve covered in other finances-based blogs.