Today, we asked a legal sex worker in Nevada to track her money for an entire week — both what she spends and what she earns.
Occupation: Legal Sex Worker
Location: Mound House, NV
Salary: It varies. I typically bring in mid-six figures. My first year, I booked $511,000, pocketing half of that as my income pre-expenses. The house takes 50% of whatever I book.
My goal is to book $750,000 this year. I've booked $534,000 this year so far — $267,000 pre-expenses and pre-taxes. During tax season, many things for us are deductible — condoms, lube, massage oil, photo shoots, my computer, my cell phone, the cost to get my hair cut, makeup, etc. I file as an LLC and pay just over $15,000 in taxes each year on average.
Paycheck: Varies, as I'm an independent contractor.
Rent: $1,000. My roommates are two cats, two dogs, and one pig. I pay for pet sitters on an as-needed basis.
Student Loan Payments: Paid in full as of this month!
Other Monthly Expenses
Transportation: $527.03 for my car and car insurance
Fitness: $150/week to meet with a personal trainer and nutritionist
Car Registration: $557/year
Phone Bill: $108.67
Health Insurance: I am currently uninsured, but it typically costs $400/month and up for private insurance.
Savings: $15,000 into savings and investments
8 a.m. — The alarm goes off but I've been awake since 7:30 a.m. I’m an early riser by nature.
8:15 a.m. — Breakfast time for the animals! I have two cats, two dogs, and a mini-pig. I love spending my morning with them on my days off. After breakfast, we go for a walk around the block.
9 a.m. — Monday is one of my two days off each week. I consider it an errand day, when I go grocery shopping and take care of what needs to be done. Today, I have a breakfast date with my coworker and best friend Roxanne Price. We live right next to each other and often go out to a local breakfast spot. We talk about the work week, our cats, video games, etc. We switch off on who treats for breakfast; this week, it's my turn. $24.50
10:30 a.m. — Meeting and workout session with my personal trainer and nutritionist. I have low blood sugar, so it’s very important that I'm on top of my fitness and diet plans.
12 p.m. — Protein shake and supplements after my workout. $10
12:30 p.m. — DMV registration is due on my car for the year. Cue work-life crossover, where I notice a local client across the room. We exchange knowing smiles while we wait.
2 p.m. — Grocery shopping time! I drive to Whole Foods in Reno, as it's the only shop that stocks everything I need. I purchase a week's worth of groceries, including chicken breasts, salad mix, salmon, fruits, and assorted vegetables. $209.67
3:15 p.m. — My phone goes off just as I get home and start unloading groceries. One of my regulars is at the ranch looking to visit with me. I quickly toss the cold items into the fridge and head out the door.
3:20 p.m. — I make a pit stop at Starbucks for coffee and egg-white bites since my lunch is now to-go. $12.56
4:11 p.m. — J. is one of my local regulars. We exchange a hug and a kiss, then head back to my room to negotiate. We decide to go with our usual — the GFE or Girlfriend Experience — with a few new positions. J. uses Viagra, so we return to the bar to have a drink and catch up while we wait for it to kick in.
5 p.m. — We head to the office to book our date. Amount Booked: $2,000. Amount Earned: $1,000 (after the house's cut)
6:45 p.m. — I get home from my appointment and finish putting away the groceries.
7:35 p.m. — Dinnertime! I prepare some of the salmon I purchased earlier and decide to make this a working meal. I eat in front of my computer while I respond to email inquiries.
8:15 p.m. — Evening walk with the dogs.
9 p.m. — Netflix and tea. I’m catching up on Stranger Things in anticipation of the next season! I only have so much time to watch television, so I carefully pick and choose shows to follow.
10 p.m. — I turn off the overhead light and read The Lord of the Rings until I fall asleep.
Daily Total Spent: $256.73
Daily Total Earned: $1,000
Room & Board: $0. We pay $32/day for room and board at the Ranch even on our days off, as long as we maintain a room. The $32 cost is waived if you book a certain amount each day: Sunday to Thursday, you need to book $1,000 (before the house cut). Friday and Saturday, that amount goes up to $1,500.
7 a.m. — Wake up. Despite today being one of my normal days off, I’ve got a photoshoot scheduled. No sleeping in — there’s hair and makeup to be done!
8:35 a.m. — I prepare egg whites at home and eat them in a pita wrap on the road to the blow-out bar for my hair and makeup appointment.
9 a.m. — Time for my appointment! I’m getting beachy waves and natural makeup done since this is for an outdoor fall photoshoot. Many people assume we only take boudoir images, but some of my most popular pictures are of me out and about, living life! $125.67 (including $20 tip)
11 a.m. — Time to meet my photographer at the park. We start out taking photos of me in cute outfits on a bridge in a dress, and work our way around the park with various outfit changes. $150
1:35 p.m. — We’re both getting hungry and the lights are starting to get a bit harsh, so we wrap up the shoot and go out for a sushi lunch, my treat. $66.67 (including $10 tip)
3:45 p.m. — Emails. So many emails. I spend my afternoon catching up on the online side of my business with website updates, emails, a new blog post, and more.
6:05 p.m. — Dinnertime! I grill chicken breasts for my meal, plus a few extras for the work week.
7:47 p.m. — I finish my day watching Netflix, reading a book (Sex at Dawn), and head to bed around 10 p.m.
Daily Total Spent: $374.34 (including $32 room and board)
Daily Total Earned: $0
6:45 a.m. — I’m awake bright and early as it’s a work day! I start my day with a big cup of coffee, and a round of morning exercise. Stretching, Pilates, and strength-building exercises to keep my body in tip-top shape. Breakfast is my workday usual: egg whites, chicken breasts, and a protein shake, which I pack and take with me to work.
7:47 a.m. — Shower post-workout, then taking care of the animals and getting ready for work. I usually put my makeup on before I head to work since my shift begins promptly at 9 a.m. Today, I'm paying for a pet sitter. $15
8:45 a.m. — Out the door and on the way to the Ranch.
9 a.m. — My work shift begins. I check my emails while eating breakfast.
10:17 a.m. — The bell rings. Company! We all run out of our rooms and down the hallways to the front parlor, where we stand in a line and introduce ourselves to the gentleman that has just walked in. This is called a lineup. The gentleman walks up to the lady of his choice, takes her by the hand, and they then "go on tour." Since I am the one chosen, I take him around the back of the property and show off some of our bungalows and suites. The ranch is much larger than it looks from the front, so people are often surprised by the size of the facility! We wrap up the tour and head back to my suite to negotiate.
10:36 a.m. — We settle on $1,000 for our encounter, and head to the office to book the party. Here at the ranch, rather than "having sex," we say we are "having a party." It’s a term that's unique to the industry, but one I’m rather fond of. When we book a party at the ranch, I take the guest to the "Hooker Booker" office where the transaction takes place. The cashier handles the financial information — rather than the ladies — to protect our guests' information. Amount Booked: $1,000. Amount Earned: $500
12:05 p.m. — After the party, I settle down in front of my computer to continue working on emails. There are several more bells during this time, but I'm not picked.
1 p.m. — The doctor has arrived. By law, all legal sex workers must visit the doctor each week for STD/STI testing. If she comes back positive for anything, the girl is unable to work. The doctor cost is $75/week, and once per month we have to do blood work, which brings the cost up to $110. This is a normal exam week for me. This expense must be paid by the working ladies, and isn't covered by insurance. $75
3:05 p.m. — Lineup, and once again I am picked. We go on tour, and negotiate a simple massage party. I’m a trained massage therapist, so this is a frequent request. Amount Booked: $500. Amount Earned: $250.
4:10 p.m. — I break for lunch. Part of our room and board cost includes food and use of the kitchen. We get a hot meal daily, plus access to fruits, veggies, eggs, and leftovers, 24/7. I’ll tell you something — sex workers sure can eat. We certainly aren’t starving ourselves here! We have hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs, pulled pork, steamed veggies, and cake for dessert. I happily indulge.
9 p.m. — My shift is over, and I pack up and head home for the day.
9:35 p.m. — It’s late and I'm already tired. I drink another protein shake for dinner, tend to my animals, and tuck in.
Daily Total Spent: $90
Daily Total Earned: $750
6:45 a.m. — Notice a trend? I wake up early! Rather than working out this morning, I take my two dogs for a morning walk. This takes a bit longer, so I grab breakfast from Starbucks on my way to work.
8:47 a.m. — Starbucks stop for coffee and egg-white bites. $7.89
9 a.m. — The workday begins.
11:47 a.m. — Second lineup of the day, and I'm picked. This is a couple from out of town that came by to tour the place. They don't seem interested in sex, so I focus on giving them a great tour of the property. We get visitors throughout the week who come by to see the place and are more interested in what we do here. They tip me $20 for my time. Amount Booked: $20. Amount Earned: $10
2:45 p.m. — Fifteen minutes until Tea Party! Each week, the ladies of the Bunny Ranch have a meeting with the staff to go over that week's performance, upcoming events, notes of interests, and more. I leave my room and take a seat in the parlor.
3 p.m. — Tea Party is supposed to start. We’re operating on S.S.T (Sex-worker Standard Time) so Tea Party actually begins a bit later at 3:10. This week, I am "Bunny of the Week" and receive a box of soap and bath accessories as my reward.
4:05 p.m. — Tea Party ends, and it’s back to the computer. I just got my photos back from the photographer and spend time sorting through the images and posting them on social media.
5:55 p.m. — Company! I’m right in the middle of eating my lunch, too. I abandon my coffee and salad and head to lineup. I’m picked, and excuse myself for a moment to move my food to the fridge before heading back for a tour. We negotiate and settle on $2,200 for a romantic GFE encounter. GFE, or the Girlfriend Experience is my specialty. During a GFE party, there is an element of romance and connection with the other person. Lots of kissing and cuddling — think of honeymoon sex. Very lovey dovey, just the way I like it. Amount Booked: $2,200. Amount Earned: $1,100
8:09 p.m. — I spend the last hour of my shift showing one of the new girls how to set up her Twitter account. Social media is very important for us, as we can’t advertise in the traditional way. That online exposure can make or break your business.
9 p.m. — I head home from my shift. I needed a pet sitter today, so it was another $15. $15
9:35 p.m. — I arrive home and begin the nightly ritual of dinner, animal care, etc. I head to bed around 11 p.m.
Daily Total Spent: $22.89
Daily Total Earned: $1,110
6:17 a.m. — I’m up extra early today, as I want to get to work early and spend time with my pony, Merlin. He lives at the Bunny Ranch along with Dennis' mare, Cheyenne. (Fun Fact: the Bunny Ranch doesn’t have rabbits, it has horses.) The ranch has graciously cared for him alongside Cheyenne, which is a great work perk and a real money saver.
7:45 a.m. — I grab my pre-prepped egg whites and chicken breast and head to work.
9 a.m. — I finish up with Merlin and get ready for my shift. I have an appointment at 2 p.m. today and a natural makeup look was requested, so I keep that in mind while getting ready. I go through emails, message board postings, and social media until my guest arrives.
2 p.m. — My client arrives with a bouquet of lilies (my favorite), and Starbucks (also my favorite). This guy’s earning some serious brownie points for his awesome Deadpool t-shirt. A common misconception is that the ranch is very formal — quite the opposite is true! You dress however you feel most comfortable, from jeans and a t-shirt to a suit. I’m wearing a simple fall dress, since we discussed potentially going out together as part of our date. We negotiate, and he decides to join me, not just for dinner and a date, but also for the night! On average, I do one to two overnights each month. Amount Booked: $15,000. Amount Earned: $7,500
2:15 p.m. — While booking the party, I send a text message to my pet sitter and let her know that I’ll need overnight and morning care in addition to the normal daily walk. $50
2:35 p.m. — The date begins. We go for a walk in nearby Virginia City, then back to the ranch for intimate time together before dinner at Duke's. On an outdate, the client typically covers any activities that we do, so he pays this time. I'll sometimes treat my regulars to a meal or buy us surprise show tickets, etc. This isn't standard for all the sex workers, but it's something that I choose to do to show my appreciation. Afterwards, we head to a local coffee shop to relax, chat, and people watch. We head back to his hotel room for the night.
Daily Total Spent: $50
Daily Total Earned: $7,500
12 p.m. — Our date ends after breakfast and we part ways. I’ve already sent a text to management requesting today off. My request was approved, so I head home rather than stay at work.
12:45 p.m. — I get home, give my pets a big hug, and take an afternoon nap. We didn’t sleep much last night. (Imagine that!)
3:15 p.m. — I wake up hungry and head out to Basil, a local Thai restaurant, for soup and duck salad. I tip $5 tip. $25.15
4:45: p.m. — I do a little bit of shopping in downtown and buy a new massage oil for my room at work. $12.26
7:05 p.m. — Roxanne calls. She's home early from work and wants to know if I’d like to have dinner. She comes over to my place and we watch bad '80s zombie movies, drink wine, and enjoy a home-cooked meal.
11:45 p.m. — Roxanne heads home and I head to sleep.
Daily Total Spent: $69.41 (including $32 room and board)
Daily Total Earned: $0
7:05 a.m. — Wake up, work out, animal care, breakfast. It’s an average Sunday morning for me!
9 a.m. — The workday begins.
1:17 p.m. — Lineup, and I'm picked. We negotiate a basic sex party for $900. Amount Booked: $900. Amount Earned: $450
2:10 p.m. — Something’s up; my stomach doesn’t feel 100%. I take a Tums, and the discomfort persists. I opt to head home early and rest up, as I have several big appointments next week.
3:45 p.m. — My stomach still is hurting. I try ginger ale, toast, nothing. Still hurting.
7 p.m. — Dennis texts and invites me out to family dinner. Each week, Dennis takes some of the ladies out to Chinese food on Sundays. We relax, hang out, and just enjoy each other's company. I think about it but decide to pass this week. My stomach is hurting even more.
9:05 p.m. — At this point, I’m now vomiting from the pain. That's not good. Roxanne drives me to the ER and waits with me.
11:10 p.m. — I’m admitted to the hospital overnight for appendicitis. I text Dennis and Suzette to keep them in the loop, and contact my dog sitter to let her know I’ll need overnight care. $50
11:30 p.m. — I eventually fall asleep thanks to the painkillers that are finally kicking in. I’m woken up throughout the night for vital checks, antibiotics, and more pain medicine. Roxanne left at some point after I fell asleep; she’s an amazing friend.
Daily Total Spent: $82 (including $32 room and board)
Daily Total Earned: $225
Guess who had to get their appendix removed? This chick. The surgeon recommended that I not work for three to four weeks, so there go my big appointments. While I'm recovering from surgery, we arrange for another lady use my room at the Ranch, so I won't pay the room and board fees.
At this point, I'm almost fully recovered from surgery, and can function well on my own. I’m catching up on emails and rescheduling appointments that I'll miss due to my appendicitis. I also receive the first of many medical bills from my hospital stay; one from radiology for the pre-surgery scan of my appendix is $3,567.45.
As an independent contractor, I do not have an insurance plan through my job. Instead, I would have had to obtain insurance at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, these policies do not cover multiple states, and I was still living part-time in the Midwest at the beginning of the year. (The reason why I opted out of insurance.)
Before being discharged, I spoke with a woman from accounting who estimated that my out-of-pocket burden will range from $16,000 to $35,000. I am also losing three or four more weeks of income, which is typically about $20,000 to $30,000. I’ll have to live off my savings for a while and arrange a payment plan with the hospital.
I had two clients coming in from out of state, so I also have to purchase plane tickets for those rescheduled appointments. The medical emergency was on my side and the previous flight reservations weren't refundable, so I went ahead and covered the cost of their tickets. Financially, the impact of this surgery is huge.
Alice Little is a legal sex worker, currently at Bunny Ranch in Carson City, Nevada. Her diary has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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