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I’m a sex worker, just like you.

I inspire and educate sex workers who are looking to grow their business with unique marketing tools and proven strategies. I understand the struggle of trying to build a business as a sex worker, so I deliver resources that will help you live more and work less.

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How To Decide Whether To Take Deposits

By Amelia P

Deposits are a hot topic in the escort world at the moment. For some escorts, deposits are mandatory, while others never request a deposit. So, what’s the deal?

Escorts who require deposits usually cite one of two reasons for doing so: time wasters or law enforcement.

Deposits manage timewasters. A deposit shows the client is committed to the booking and is less likely to flake, no show or cancel the booking. Deposits make it easier for an escort with a busy schedule to manage their calendar, rather than scurrying around for last-minute booking which then results in a no-show, a pissed off escort and an empty bank balance. A deposit also acts as compensation if the client does cancel – the deposit can cover the time spent interacting with the client and any pre-paid costs involved in the booking (e.g., hotel, flights, concert tickets). Especially if it is a longer booking which requires a lot of planning.

The second common use of deposits is to avoid law enforcement. In some areas where sex work is illegal, law enforcement are allowed to practice entrapment. That is, police officers can pose as a client, attempt to obtain services from a sex worker (or get the sex worker to explicitly state they will provide sexual services) and then charge the sex worker for doing so. To avoid this, some sex workers who are working outside the law will request a deposit before meeting with a client, with the logic that law enforcement will not pay a deposit.

In my experience, escorts who DON’T take deposits often wish they could, but are afraid that they will lose bookings and money if they push clients for a deposit (and who can afford to lose money?) I completely understand this mentality because I have been there. For many years, last-minute bookings without deposits made up the majority of my income, and I was happy with this. I had set work hours and always made sure I was available and ready to take bookings during this time. If a client no-showed it didn’t bother me – I had plenty of time to make up for the lost booking.

But then everything changed. I started a day job outside of sex work and went back to University. Suddenly my ‘free’ time was minimal. I only had a few gaps in my schedule each week for bookings, and if a client no-showed, I was left in the lurch, unable to make up for the lost income. The obvious solution was to start requiring deposits. Still, I was scared – sure, deposits might stop clients who have booked and paid from no-showing, but that if deposits put clients off from booking altogether? Luckily I constructed a foolproof way to get clients to pay deposits.

The point is, where you are in your sex work career is the key to whether you should take deposits. Deposits made NO sense for me when I was cruising along taking short-notice 30-minute bookings – asking for deposits would have hindered my business. Yet I felt less-than for NOT requiring deposits because I thought that’s what ’high class’ escorts did. I was playing the comparison game, rather than focusing on what was best for ME.

Later, when I needed to adjust my business model to fit my new lifestyle, deposits made total sense for me, and they WORKED for me. They worked because I was making a change to my business that was best for me, rather than worrying about what other people we’re doing.

So, should YOU take deposits?

That is entirely up to YOU. I want you to think carefully about what you are trying to achieve, and what your ideal work-life looks like.

Grab a pen and paper and answer these questions:

  • What is your ideal booking length?
    30 minutes? A few hours? A few days? A few weeks? Shorter bookings are generally easier to cater for last-minute than longer bookings and don’t require as much planning. It’s also much easier to replace the income from a 30-minute booking who no-shows compared to a three-day booking who no-shows. If short bookings are your preference, you might find that deposits are more hassle than they’re worth.
  • How much notice would you ideally like for a booking? Are you able to take last minute bookings?
    In my experience, it’s generally easier to obtain deposits for advance bookings. Clients who make last-minute bookings may be in a rush and be unable to stop to adhere to your deposit policy. That’s not to say it’s impossible – if you take last-minute bookings and want clients to pay a deposit you need to make it easy for them. Research options that are instant, discreet and easy for your client to use.
  • How does a last-minute cancellation or no-show impact you?
    Last-minute cancellations impact different people in different ways. If you have to book a hotel room, organise childcare, rearrange your day job schedule and travel 30-minutes each way for a booking, you will be significantly out of pocket if the client cancels or no-shows. Conversely, if you work from home and have few other commitments, a cancellation might be frustrating, but it won’t leave you in the red.
  • Why do you want to take deposits?
    This is something you need to be crystal clear on for yourself, but also so you can explain why you need a deposit to any clients who are hesitant to pay one. Do you want to take deposits because your free time is limited by university or family commitments? Or because you don’t have a permanent incall, so you need to book a hotel room? Or maybe it’s not about compensation, but because you are trying to guard yourself from law enforcement? If this is the case, I urge you to revise the laws and double-check with your local peer sex worker organisation that taking a deposit will achieve what you are hoping.

Once you have answered these questions, you will have a pros and cons list that will help you evaluate whether deposits are right for you.

You must make the right choice for YOU and YOUR business, rather than getting swept up in the idea that you have to take deposits because that’s what successful escorts seem to do. Remember, so much of social media is smoke and mirrors. Try to stop playing the comparison game and instead focus on YOU.



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