Nairobi Nights: My Fee

Men pay for sex with a prostitute as if paying for a commodity. But my ideal situation would be if they paid for the service the same way one pays for a work of art. Not necessarily a Dali or Wanyu Brush but an obscure artist whose abstract painting pierces the soul of the buyer. If that was the case I would have the same basis as great artists to charge high prices; not for the aesthetics of the art but for the inexplicable effect a work has on the soul. But the ideal is only a fantasy I dream of, as I live through a very different reality.

Pricing of commodities is a function of many factors but the key is the cost of production. Someone argued in one of the comments here that in my kind of work the commodity is naturally occurring and I should not price it. That however is a little simplistic. To start with it ignores the equivalent of the cost of mining; compensation for the psychological leap that is practicing prostitution. Then there are the obvious maintenance and packaging costs; buying clothes, making the hair, gynecologist charges and the likes, not forgetting the cost of transporting the commodity from the factory to the consumer. Perhaps I should state, hoping not to sound like Coca-Cola, I don’t sell my body, but happiness.

When I moved from the SJ to the street I set myself the standard fee to charge; Ksh.1,500 per session. Though a somehow arbitrarily amount I calculated it was enough to cover my costs and a fair price for what I was giving in return. However I soon did away with it. It was limiting. There were men who wanted to pay slightly less and I was shutting them out. And the others who wanted to pay more but were caged by my price.

Still naive, I then started charging on the basis of the car a man drove. But as I pointed out earlier the car a man drives is a very poor indicator of what he may pay a girl. Some of those who seem to have bought sleek cars through a formal career or clever business, are a little full of themselves, like they are running the world. They feel they have nothing to prove, and are actually doing me a favor. They pay what is a complimentary amount for the bother. But there are those with the expensive cars who seem to have made money the easy way; perhaps through deals, corruption or some other backdoor manner. These are generous with their cash and pay much more than what I ask for.

Those driving the lower Toyota , Nissan, Volkswagen and second hand BMWs ( The latter are indeed very interesting) are quite unpredictable. Some are on low budgets and cant pay a lot as much as they would like to. Others have this constant fear that they are being persecuted or exploited by the government and everyone else, so they are just tough with their cash. The second hand BMW types seem in doubt of their wealth, or more appropriately whether people recognize them as wealthy. They will pay relatively more and with some flamboyance, just to prove they are loaded.

Nowadays I gauge each customer differently. This is the best strategy. I use some simple indicators to know what to charge. For instance men who ask what my price is immediately I enter their car are not ready to pay much, so I quote a figure a little bit low. Those who talk much will definitely negotiate, so I quote a higher price to create room for negotiations. A customer asking when I would like my payment ; before or after the session is a hint to charge more. Why a man is sleeping with me is an important consideration too. Those who sleep with me for the spirituality will have no problem paying more, as  compared to those in it for the physical satisfaction. At one time I thought men appreciate girls who charge more because things classy come at a premium price, but then I realized many men want a prostitute for who they think she is; a lowly girl without social or moral inhibitions.

The much I have been paid per session is $150 ( plus other benefits), not so long ago by a man who flew all the way from Kampala to come spend the night with me at a $ 200 hotel in Nairobi. An exact opposite of Sylvester. I will mention it in my next post this week.

Writer: Sue